December 1, 2018
Kind of reminds me of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. By the way, there's a marvelous YouTube cut of the theme for that movie, done by the Danish National Symphony. I'd never have BELIEVED it took so many instruments and voices to create this theme.
This blog has a snippet for several tastes.
We'll do Irritating first and get it over with. In October, 2018, some South Carolinan won what I sincerely believed was MY MEGAMILLIONS JACKPOT of $1.6 billion dollars..and yes, I had a ticket.
I didn't even win a dollar. I wish the winner happiness. Sigh.
The IRRITATING part comes in with a rather smug article entitled, Bought Mega Millions Tickets? Here's What You Could Have Made If You Had Invested That Money Instead.
They're not talking about the $2. They're talking about the average American's YEARLY expenditure of $223.04 a year on lottery tickets.
Keep in mind, that "average" includes those too young to be eligible to play the lotteries...people in jails and mental institutions... people who live in:
Which have no lottery.
Basically, if you put $223.04 a year in an S 500 Index Fund AND it yielded a 10% annual return AND you let it ride for 50 years...
(Yeah. 50 years. Like THAT's gonna happen.)
...you'd have $259,000. Into a 30-year treasury note, let it ride for 50 years and IT would yield $86,145.
But you'd miss out on the “entertainment” of checking your lottery ticket(s) a few days a week. But you'd get a usually-mildly-stimulating zing of reading the financial pages occasionally.
UNLESS the stock market crashes and eats it all. Or whatever the Finagle that financial meltdown in 2008-2009 was.
OH YEAH...THOSE HAPPENED, DIDN'T THEY? In my parents' lifetime. In my lifetime. In my nephew's lifetime.
Anyway, here's the link. Irritating. I warned you.
When you close your eyes to go to sleep, do you see weird kaleidoscopic patterns on your eyelids? They're from the firing of neurons created by the visual cortex. They have patterns because we see a LOT of lines in life: doors, tree trunks, lottery ticket edges... and repetition strengthens the connections.
It's perfectly normal! Really!
I also get little dots of extremely intense color, just a quick flash, usually in the blue/green/aqua range. My sister gets them in white; my brother doesn't get them at all.
Here's the science:
As of around 1860, German astronomers could see a really, really, really big star. They named it UY Scuti. It has 1,700 times the radius of our Sun...and a volume 5 billion times times larger.
(How big is our Sun? You could fit 1.3 MILLION Earths inside of it!)
Luckily, UY Scuti is 9,500 light years from here, so you can't be expected to buy it a holiday gift. Finding a decent fit would be a nightmare.