EppsNet Archive: Monkeys

‘Expert’ Predictions for the NBA Finals

1 Jun 2016 /

26 experts give their predictions for the championship series rematch between the Warriors and Cavaliers. — ESPN.com

“Experts.”

Provide some insight or context if you have any. How does a prediction add to anyone’s understanding or enjoyment of the game? What is the difference between a prediction from an “expert” and a prediction from a random loudmouth drunk at a sports bar?

I notice that a large majority of the “experts” are predicting a victory by the favorite (the Warriors), which is the same result you’d get from a bunch of drunks at a sports bar, or a group of dart-throwing monkeys (of course adjusting the monkeys’ targets to provide a proportionally larger area for the favorite).

So what have we learned?

NBA Finals 2016


Japan, Day 5: Snow Monkeys, Yudanaka

26 Dec 2013 /

Snow Monkeys

Jigokudani Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Koen) is in Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park (locally known as Shigakogen), and is located in the valley of the Yokoyu-River, in the northern part of the prefecture. The name Jigokudani, meaning “Hell’s Valley”, is due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold and hostile forests.

The heavy snowfalls (snow covers the ground for 4 months a year), an elevation of 850 metres, and being only accessible via a narrow two kilometre footpath through the forest, keep it uncrowded despite being relatively well-known.

It is famous for its large population of wild Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), more commonly referred to as Snow Monkeys, that go to the valley during the winter, foraging elsewhere in the national park during the warmer months. Starting in 1963, the monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen (hotsprings), and return to the security of the forests in the evenings.

Wikipedia

Today we ventured into the cold and hostile forests above Nagano to visit the legendary snow monkeys.

The monkeys aren’t friendly or unfriendly. They don’t approach you but they don’t try to stay away from you either. They might sit still for a selfie but they won’t smile.

Snow Monkey

Snow Monkey

Snow Monkeys in Hot Springs (Onsen)

Snow Monkeys in Hot Springs (Onsen)

Yudanaka

We stayed the night at a ryokan (bed and breakfast) in nearby Yudanaka Onsen, a hot spring resort, where we enjoyed traditional accomodations, including a multi-course Japanese dinner and sleeping on the floor (on tatami mats and futons).

Our room didn’t have beds but it did have a flat-screen TV. There’s a limit to how much deprivation up with which a traveler is willing to put.

Traditional Japanese Meal

Traditional Japanese Meal

Onsen

Onsen

Traditional Japanese Accomodations

Traditional Japanese Accomodations


My Favorite Poem

21 Jan 2012 /

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”


Monkeys on Typewriters

26 Sep 2011 /
Monkey typing close up

If one puts an infinite number of monkeys in front of (strongly built) typewriters, and lets them clap away, there is a certainty that one of them would come out with an exact version of the Iliad. Upon examination, this may be less interesting a concept than it appears at first: Such probability is ridiculously low. But let us carry the reasoning one step beyond. Now that we have found that hero among monkeys, would any reader invest his life’s savings on a bet that the monkey would write the Odyssey next?

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Fooled by Randomness

Shot the Monkey

17 Mar 2009 /

Man mistakes woman for a monkey, shoots her