How are You at Market-Timing?

John Bogle either loves or hates this game.

This game lets you try your hand at market-timing some of the world’s biggest stocks and indexes. After a few failed attempts at figuring out the interface (click the mouse to buy, hold to hold, release to sell), I managed to turn a profit, albeit trailing the stock and the S&P considerably.  With each turn, you get a new anonymous stock.  And the end of the game, the stock’s identity is revealed as are your fictitious gains or losses.

Think you can beat the S+P with your market-timing savvy?  It’s not likely, but give it shot.

Is Mario A Human? Also, why is Motherboard Body-shaming Mario?

Apparently, there’s an actual debate about whether Mario, Nintendo’s franchise player, is meant to be a human being.

From Polygon:

Nintendo has been on a quest of late to prove that Mario, the company’s most recognizable character, is human.

It was during a Switch event in January that Nintendo demonstrated new gameplay from Super Mario Odyssey. During the demonstration, Mario was brought to New Donk City, a fictionalized version of New York City, where Mario leapt atop cars and scurried around parks. Unlike other Super Mario games, where the only humans are Mario and his pals, New Donk City was populated with businessmen and women, artists and street performers — all of whom loomed over Mario.

From Motherboard (referenced by Polygon):

But those humans, those conventional humans, are a sharp contrast to Super Mario, who is a pudgy red firecracker of color who can’t be bigger than a Cabbage Patch Doll and can stand comfortably atop a streetlight. Prior to this upsetting revelation, we were left to imagine what Mario’s homeworld looked like based on evidence in the games. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and other humanoid-seeming beings all share a certain body type, so one could assume that people from Italy, Brooklyn, or wherever Mario came from, looked approximately the same. We could assume their odd bodies were just a stylistic choice Nintendo made. Now it is clear that this is not the case. Mario and his better-looking brother Luigi are aberrations.

Ok.  Why is Motherboard fat-shaming/short-shaming Mario?  Why is Luigi objectively better looking?  Because he’s thin? Because he’s tall?

And why does no one care that, at base, the it’s-a-meee characterization of Mario, an editorial choice made by Nintendo in 1990, is a blatant stereotype?  And before you say the Captain Lou Albano version from the Super Mario Bros. Super Show was also stereotype, so,  you know, samesies, consider that Captain Lou was an actual Italian with roots in New York City.  His live-action Mario was silly, but his animated counterpart was smart, resourceful, and heroic.  That’s a function of the writing, but also of what the Captain brought to the character when given the chance.

As an Italian-American, I’ve written before about the typical portrayal of Italians and Italian-Americans in popular media.  We’re either criminals or infantile buffoons, full stop.  Even Fonzie started as a hoodlum.

Certainly, though, grown-up reporting and responsible characterizations of Italians and Italian-Americans outweigh the stereotypes?  You tell me.

Is Mario a human?  Nintendo says yes.  That we’re even having this conversation without talking about the implications of the way he is characterized is, to me, offensive.  Sure, Motherboard managed to call his voice “patronizing” in a piece last year, right before they started swarth-shaming.  Boo to all parties involved.

Except Captain Lou.




Monopoly Is Releasing A New Edition For Cheaters

I’ve always been of the mindset that if you’re going to cheat, why bother to play.

That said, businesses with real-life monopolies usually get them by cheating, so I guess that makes the game more realistic.

Who knew Hasbro would sneak meta-commentary on economic inequality into the game where you literally go to jail for having bad luck?


For those who have always struggled with cheating Monopoly players, Hasbro has the perfect […]

Source: Monopoly Is Releasing A New Edition Which Encourages Cheating

Physical (Virtual) Proof of Moore’s Law At Work: Wolfenstein Graphics in 1992 and 2014

Zachary Lukasiewicz shared this tweet from Jeff Atwood, and supplied the Moore’s Law addendum.

Why I Think Disney Will Buy Rovio

I said yesterday that I believe Disney will buy Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, sometime this quarter.  Today, Mashable reports that Rovio is cutting 130 jobs, having staffed up for faster growth than has been realized in the past year.

Through its LucasFilm properties, Disney is already in business with Rovio in the licensing of Angry Birds: Star Wars.  Now that Microsoft owns Mojang, Disney should solidify Rovio and leverage the Angry Birds characters across its content platforms.