Misc //

Two Ways To Gamble With Life

Peter Walsh on the punt best left alone.

Gambling-addiction

Don’t Bet Your Life (But others are fair game)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman died in 2014 age 46, which was worth 54 points. If something were to happen to Amanda Bynes, you would get a cool 71, which is probably a more interesting gamble than just selecting George H.W. Bush (91 yo) who would only give you 9. Such is the way of the Celebrity Death Pool, a form of gambling[1] gaming where you select an optimistic list of ten public figures to die in a particular month or calendar year, receiving points based on how many you predict.

Stiffs.com, the self-described “home of death on the web since 1994”, hosts the most famous of these competitions, and doubles as a sarcastic celebrity obituary database. OJ Simpson’s lawyer Johnnie Cochran is memorialised in rhyme (“If he doesn’t breathe, you must bereave”), while Christopher Lee only warrants a pun (“Dead Lee”). This year’s competition is 10/12ths finished, with the leaderboard being controlled by users CHAD and DePressED, who paid the $15 entry fee between four and six times apiece to use different lists. Q. What makes a good death list? Being aware of all the old celebrities with terminal diseases is a start, though it also means a high likelihood of ties as everyone’s picking similar people. Q. Nah nah, tell me the good stuff. How do I win this? Okay okay, get your hands off me. It’s always handy to take a few high-risk high-reward selections. Young talented people around the age of 26 do feel the allure of 27-club immortality and are less careful around their drugs. Q. Any other tips or tricks? People on death row are celebrities in the United States and if you time your letter writing campaign properly, you can likely force a stay of execution until the month you need them to die.

Work At UTS

I take it on good authority—which is to say I read it on an anonymous Japanese web forum—that a level of the UTS tower is no-go for staff and students alike. The reason? Building One—which was constructed as a testament to humanity’s hubris in the face of God—intersects with the path of the radio tower at Sydney Airport. Specifically, it intersects with one office, and day after day microwaved the professor within at regular intervals. He took like 30 sick days, which is enough to make even the NTEU blush, and then eventually dropped dead (with a lot of apologies from the NTEU: “Oh what a tragedy” and “How could we have been so callous?”).

The staff member who died was, towards the end, seen speaking in tongues, which was quickly diagnosed as Tower of Babel Syndrome by a visiting Fine Arts student who mistakenly thought appending the word “syndrome” to the end of an allusion would somehow transmute it into a living breathing disease. It ended up being a brain tumour the size of the stone that felled Goliath—a reference lost on the Professor, who was both a committed atheist and operating on 50% because of the tumour, so the doctor (Catholic/tumourless) cupped one hand around her other fist and said: “This big.”

[1] Don’t call it that, it’s technically a ‘game’ due to the bizarre kinks in US law that restrict what constitutes a fair bet: death, after all, not being a chance or skill thing but just a matter of time and waiting.

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

Michael Spence

Michael Spence: the fair controller?

The Vice Chancellor has been in the role for almost a decade; his drive to reshape the University seems to have only grown.