Monday, April 07, 2008

21 - Visions of Las Vegas

I just returned from seeing "21" a second time at the Southdale AMC theater. The movie is based on the book, "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions", by Ben Mizrich, which I haven't read.

I really enjoy the montage sequences of Las Vegas, which was home to me for two months early last year, and there is a scene that I can tell was probably shot while I was there (from the Prince symbol on the side of the Rio).

I don't gamble. I do know the extent to which the application of mathematics to winning games of chance has contributed to further development of math - as does everyone who has taken a college-level math class. I was never good at math - because I lacked discipline and encouragement in it after my father died - and also because I could do too much of it my head and sometimes was at a loss for how to show the work in the right format. I developed the same math phobia nearly everyone else has.

My father good at math and bad at spelling. I became freakishly good with words and spelling and grammar precisely because my father had so much trouble with it that he called out for spelling help while working on his psychological evaluations so often and me and my sister would race through the 'Misspeller's dictionery' or other dictionaries to help him out. I won a fifth grade spelling bee with the word "PSYCHOLOGIST" and "RHUBARB" some of the other finalists complained without any satisfaction. Unlike the students in the film I am better with languages and logic than numbers.

One of the odd student jobs I had was working with digital video, and I am familiar with some of the digital video protocols and applications in used and development for loss prevention in Vegas and other places, though I worked on it for microscopy, and was stymied on using it on the adult internet, unnecessarily, by the Acacia/DMT patent enforcement scare.

One odd thing I caught in the second viewing was the placement of a couple SEIU logos on an extra in the Chinese New Year sequence. Other than that, it was a good way to blot out my consciousness for a couple hours after an emotionally stressful day. Counter to real world statistics, the smart kid wins in the end.

While I don't know anything about card games, if I could put together a cohesive team of bloggers, web designers, videographers and adult talent, I could bring them to a party in Vegas better than "21"...

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