Issue 71: Sigh… The Oscars

February is usually a hard month. It’s typically cold and dreary. Historically, it brings a lot of snow. Every 4 years (well almost…), it gains a leap day, throwing off segments of the population as well as posing the standard conundrum as to the correct way to calculate the age of the people who are born on this day. Not to mention how hard it is to spell. But far more tiresome than any of these, is the yearly celebration of the narcissistic and the banal: The Oscars.

Nowhere else in the entire world can one find a bigger collection of spoiled, self-centered, ‘artists’ who use a faux awards ceremony as one part advertisement, one part ego stroke, and one part political stump speech. These artists tell us to love not hate while the characters they portray gun down everybody in sight. They tell us not to waste or pollute while cars, planes, and buildings are destroyed with gleeful abandon for the sake of their art. They tell us that torture doesn’t work while they manically portray some deranged caricature of mobster who always gets the information he wants by beating it out of some poor stooge. They tell us that what counts is what is on the inside, while they diet and train and liposuction and tanning booth their way onto the red carpet. They decry greedy capitalists, big business, and the sins of money while simultaneously demanding bigger and bigger paychecks so that they can spend profligately. Why we collectively watch this trash that masquerades as a venue for their much-deserved recognition is beyond me.

Fortunately for those of you who like counter-programming, Blog Wyrm has a fine spate of columns this month.

Starting off the rotation is an interesting analysis of decision making in the face of uncertainty. Aristotle To Digital dissects the Secretary Problem and shows that knowing precisely when to stop can be a very difficult thing indeed.

Ever hear of the twisted cubic? It’s a wonderful, elegant, simple-to-define space curve with some interesting properties that makes it an object of fair amount of mathematical research. Just the thing to demonstrate the nature of minimal frames, a topic that has been ongoing within Under The Hood.

There seems to be a universal argument in all creative undertakings as to who deserves the lions share of the credit. Is it the actor, or writer, or director and so on. Comic books are no different. This month’s About Comics discusses this perennial, fan-favorite source of drama.

What do haircuts and wine tasting have in common? If you didn’t say regulations and licensing then you need to read this month’s Common Cents where all will be revealed.