Posts from 6th May 2006

May 06

-gated noise

Blog 7Post a comment • 457 views

ever since two junior footslog reporters toppled a US president 30 years ago, the american mainstream media has liked to get ahead of the game by giving a beltway scandal a “-gate” suffix, in honour of the watergate, the vast, swanky washington hotel which hosted that crappy little break-in which eventually did for nixon: these range from carter’s billygate and reagan’s irangate/contragate on down (recent clinton-or-bush -gates including coingate, filegate/travelgate, monicagate/zippergate, plamegate, rathergate/memogate, troopergate and wiregate… )

full marks if you can recall the full details of some of the above from their -gate nickname alone: intention is to position the journalist as a fearless icon-toppling investigator: the effect, by contrast, is a mush of same-old-same-old, a scandal so dull we called it a ‘-gate’

unfolding currently is the slightly more promising hookergate, promising because — as well as massive bribes and corruption, election fixing, senators and congressmen (some already indicted or jailed), the CIA (the boss just resigned abruptly, after only 18 months in charge), a fellow named Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, native american tribes and gambling laws (the full mess is a clusterfvck of three or four ongoing investigations which refuse to stay distinct), and hookers obviously — the tale features all-night poker parties which turned into orgies IN THE WATERGATE HOTEL

it has been suggested that, rather than “hookergate”, the story be dubbed “WATERGATEgate“: then we’ll have come full circle and this stupid convention can be retired for good…

We are all goblins now!

TMFD3 comments • 9,220 views

Jason Mills, Manchester

I recently purchased ye famous D100 and noticed at once (Spot Hidden 75%) that the faces we not equally spaced. To be specific, they are farthest apart nearer the ‘poles’ of the die. This did not strike me as a good way to run a randomiser.
5164 rolls later, my suspicions were confirmed. I enclose a copy of my results; mean 51.64, standard deviation 13, and you can work out further statistics for yourself.
What is immediately obvious, however, is that numbers below 8 and above 93 occur with les frequency. In terms we will all understand, this means that using a D100 one is less likely to score critical hits, fumbles, etc than with a standard 2d10. The numbers below 8 and above 93 are, incidentally, the ones located around the ‘poles’ of the die…

White Dwarf 85, January 1987