I told you week, or so, back that Elaine and I were getting a gaming table because we had one room in the house that didn’t have a defined purpose.
In our (admittedly odd) way of approaching home design, each room ought to have a specific mission. Workstations for all activities one enjoys. There are “sleep rooms” and “body maintenance” rooms in all homes, of course. And we have two “food rooms” – one to prep and one to sit and enjoy. The latter is our spin on a Trader Vic’s restaurant with a Tiki / Polynesian vibe to it. Great fun!
This one room in the house though didn’t have a specific “theme” to it so we kicked it around and decided it would be the “game room.” Between Elaine’s writing workstation and the recording studio.
That gaming table we ordered showed up early last week. The only complaint about it was unlike the pictures on Amazon, there are not two tops to it. Only one, though reversible so it works. And I still couldn’t come close to building it in the shop here for the $110 price tag from Amazon.
It was set up and about then, all the accessories landed. The electric card shuffler, several racks of poker chips, and a dozen decks of cards.
Finally, it was ready.
Saturday afternoon, we used both manual and electric shuffling – and shuffled the hell out of the first deck. Jokers in, because it makes poker all the more fun.
And we shuffled some more. And we cut. And we shuffled some more. Then a couple of passes through the machine (5), another few cuts and hand-shuffles, another cut, through the machine…well, you get the idea: The cards were well-mixed. On the order of 20-shuffles and maybe 8 or 9 cuts.
We thought we were ready to go.
That’s when the woo-woo showed up.
Over the course of 90-minutes of poker (a getting-started session, really) Elaine had two Four-of-a-Kinds.
Mind you, we were playing slowly – having an adult beverage, not watching the clock – and Elaine as rusty so lots of questions from her. “Does a flush need to all be the same suit?” – that kind of thing. She got Four-Kings.
Then it happened again – she got another Four-of-a-Kind.
Don’t know how serious a poker player you are, but the math on Four-of-a-Kind works out to once (on average) in 564-hands. And to have it happen twice?
We had only completed maybe 30-hands. Getting back up to speed on the game, getting used to the electric shuffler, and so forth.
TWO Four-of-a-Kinds for Elaine. I was dumbfounded.
She demurred, of course: “You know, I’ve ALWAYS been lucky at cards….”
Well, luck can run that way so I just sort of blew it off. Beginners luck kind of thing.
Sunday afternoon, Elaine was out working on her schemes to keep raccoons out of the bird feeders so I decided to download the latest version of a certain casino game onto my Kindle.
A few minutes later, I was getting after it…and found myself playing five-card poker against the machine.
About 20-hands into it, Elaine comes in with a “Can you come look at this and tell me what you think?”
“Uh…sure, dear…just let me finish this hand.”
I picked two cards to hold (aces) and pressed the button.
Now I was shaking my head again, wondering about runs, streaks, and “clusters of luck.” To have played maybe 50-hands over the weekend and have three Four-of-a-Kinds come up is one hell of a statistical anomaly.
The reason? While in 7-card poker the odds of 4X are 564 to 1, when you drop down to five-card – which I was playing – the odds are over 4,000 to 1.
What the hell was going on?
I made some notes on Probability Theory that someone really ought to try in a lab setting because not only might it account for odd streaks in cards and gambling, but it might also yield insight into the operation of that elusive stuff behind the paranormal – psi.
Let me give you an example:
Since we had some very odd card performances, I made a short list of local environmental variables. This has been going on in mental background for a couple of years – since I’ve always been fascinated with the impacts of the Santa Ana winds on SoCal casino operations.
One of my favorite science books from the 1970’s was “The Ion Effect : How Air Electricity Rules Your Life and Health.”
In a nutshell, many people are “addicted” to negative ions. They love showers, waterfalls, and rainy days because it improves their mood – a lot. Not everyone, but lots of people are susceptible to improved mental performance from negative ions of the sort that come from rain, falling water, and even along the ocean when there’s a breaking surf running.
You can also make negative ions with a machine (ionizer) and I keep one running a good deal of the time in my office. There’s one in the gym, too. On a timer, it’s mentally like “stepping into the shower” when I show up to write.
On the flip side, positive ions are detrimental. There are winds such as the Meltemi of Greece, the Sirocco off the Sahara, and the Santa Anas in California that are psychological downers and can drive people to higher suicide rates.
Curiously, this is one of those areas where science is moving far too-slowly by my tastes. That book came out in the 1970’s and here’s a meta-data study in BMC Psychiatry in 2013 that concludes (in part): “Negative air ionization was associated with lower depression scores particularly at the highest exposure level. Future research is needed to evaluate the biological plausibility of this association.”
Come on, medicine! This is 40-years worth of “progress?” What the hell? We know that certain psychoactive drugs change people’s chemistries and no one is running screens on such drugs to see if, for example, high positive ion levels (associated with “sick building syndrome” in addition to ill behaviors from dry winds) accentuate suicide occurrence of mood-altering drugs? These are such of obvious questions it AMAZES me the big/small minds in medicine aren’t using it already as a standard screen in the FDA approvals process. Foolded and Drugged Administration, I call ’em…
Don’t mind me, I get grouchy when there is likely global paradigm-changing stuff to be found in a retest of all basic science …and that’s my point.
What can alter quantum states in an area? Area as in air?
Here at “High Hands Ranch” this weekend we had humidity levels all over the place. Does humidity drive luck? And, if so, is there an ionization effect?
Next time Elaine and I play cards, I may turn on the ionizer and see if it “feels” any different. Too small a sample, of course. But, does anyone know if casinos — besides their regular air conditioning are managing ionization levels?
One way to do it, for example, would be to notice whether the commercial carpet used in casinos is the grounded type used in server rooms, and such.
Seems to me these are important little questions to be asking. Because any quantum field effect manipulation could open the way to more successful psi experiments, among many other things.
Or, are these obvious questions things mere members of the herd are not supposed to be asking?
Otherwise, investing based on national air ionization levels (perhaps imputed from rising or falling humidity rates in the nation’s largest cities on aggregate) could be as good as any other form of technical analysis in calling directionality of markets….
We note last week’s heat wave over much of the country was associated with a rising market. Just saying…who checks the weather for forecast stock markets?
P.S. did NASA ever do any probability testing in, oh, space? Do random number generators work the same out past the moon as they do on the ground here? Someone ought to ask…and be willing to be shocked by the data, if justified.
Write when you get rich,