Fresh Air

I’m taking a long train trip right now, and there are stops designated as “fresh air stops”. In this context, “fresh air” means there will be time for people to get off the train to smoke.


A Mighty Game

Hey, for the two gamers that read this blog, I have a question. Has there ever been a game where the world is quicksand bureaucracy and the goal of the gaming party is to get some on-the-surface-insignificant-but-actually-world-changing policy adopted? Somehow that sounds like fun, given a well-realized bureaucracy.

H & R Crock

I just saw an ad for a major tax-preparation company. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. They have a series of ads out right now that assert that if every citizen in the United States would just let them prepare their taxes, then taxpayers would recover an extra one billion dollars of cash money. That’s a lot of dough. The ads are centered around trying to get people to understand just how much money that is.

So in this particular ad, palettes of (fake) money are displayed on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier running at full steam. The stacks of money are, one by one, pushed into the sea. Because that is what happens to unclaimed tax refunds.

They are illustrating a reasonably good point, in an effective way.


How many tax dollars were spend making that ad? I’d bet dollars to donuts that the tax boys did not pay the full operating cost of an aircraft carrier for a day of filming.

Sure, the whole thing could be CGI these days, but while I’m no expert I didn’t see the signs. I think they managed to “borrow” an actual frickin’ aircraft carrier (at taxpayer expense) to tell us that they could save taxpayers money. Nice to have them looking out for us like that.