Two Lottery Tickets Equals Double Your Chances of Winning, Right??

This is actually a question that I’ve been wondering about for a while so I did some research and I have the answer…It’s actually yes!…kind of.

Don’t get too excited just yet though, that’s not the whole story. You may have doubled your chances of winning but your chances of losing has only gone down by 1. Just one! How’s that?

Let me explain, for ease of math let’s say that the lottery you are playing has a 1:100,000 odds of winning. This means your 1 chance of winning has also bought you 99,999 chances of not winning.

Now if you buy 2 tickets, that means that your chance of winning is now 2:100,000 or 1:50,000. Congrats! You just doubled your odds of winning! But you see, that’s not the whole story. Odds of winning are great and all, but the doubling your odds of winning is deceiving. Although you have doubled your odds of winning, your odds of losing has only gone from 99,999:1 to 99,998:1.

Happy gambling!

Cheapest Alcohol in British Columbia, Canada

I am what some people call cheap. I prefer frugal…but whether it’s cheap or frugal, I had a cost issue that I wanted to solve once and for all.

Many people want to know what is the cheapest they can get drunk. So I set out to find out…What is the cheapest alcohol for your money? How can you get drunk for the least money?

There are many theories in play here. People were always saying, “olde english is the cheapest booze you can buy” or “the cheapest vodka is your best bang for the buck” but I didn’t believe any of these people and decided to do some hard math and find out the answer for certain.

First and foremost, I needed a list of every alcoholic beverage, price, and alcohol content to get an accurate price to alcohol ratio. With a little web knowledge, this was fortunately easier than I thought. I did a simple rewrite the URL for the BC liquor store website product page and voila!, all of the products, alcohol contents, and prices in one pretty list. All I had to do was a little formatting and math in an excel doc and I had the answer to the age old question…What is the absolute cheapest alcohol you can get drunk on in BC?

The answer turns out to be…Andres Medium Dry, 22% alcohol, 2 liter bottle of Sherry for the great price of $15.99.

Cheapest alcohol in BC

Yes, this picture means that I have bought a bottle of this…and to answer your questions…no, it doesn’t taste good. No, you won’t feel good about buying this. No, there is nothing even remotely classy about this. Yes, you will be made fun of if you drink Sherry in public. But, also…yes, it will do the trick. And most importantly to this blog post, yes, this is the cheapest alcohol in BC.

With that said…Although this does not taste good by any stretch of the imagination, it is also not immediately “vomit inducing” as straight vodka is …so that has got to count for something right?? Also, at the end of the day, it is also equivalent to more than a 40 of any other hard liquor for at least $4 less than the price of any other 26.

PS. – In case you wanted more info on the costs of drinking in this great province, here is a Google doc of every product available to British Columbians (*legally) via the BC Liquor Store sorted from cheapest to most expensive. Cheapest Alcohol in BC.

*Note: This spreadsheet does not take into account the deposit fees. This sheet assumes that you are a responsible adult that recycles and receives the deposit back rather than littering or throwing out the bottles.

The future as I see it

This picture is on the front page of the Founders Fund site, a Venture Capital firm in Silicon Valley. When I saw this, I knew that there might just be hope for the future. It really isn’t all doom and gloom.

I say this, because for a long time now I have been focusing on news; following all the bad stuff that is happening currently, and will be happening in the future, from climate change to the economy and from the jeopardy of our internet freedoms to the overall pussification of society.

All that changed recently though, when I came across a radical idea that sometimes…just sometimes…people do things for no other reason than being passionate about it.

Not for money. Not for fame. Not for their friends. Not for admiration or recognition. Not to impress. Not for anything tangible at all.

They do it only because they see an opportunity to innovate or make something better and take that opportunity, and run with it.

Some of the greatest things ever to be invented have come from these types of passionate people. In fact it’s not too often that something truly great, life changing, or earth shatteringly innovative comes from people who are not this type of passionate person.

To me, and apparently the people at Founders Fund as well, this goes beyond making something just better. It means being wildly disruptive, but in a positive way to humanity as a whole. It means something like Wikipedia (bringing a base of all human knowledge to everyone for free) or something along the lines of Project X (commercial space travel) that drives innovation beyond just building on the existing technologies.

This type of innovation does not mean being able to share your photos with your friends instantly. The type of innovation that I see in the future, is the type that changes nearly all of humanity for the better, and in the way that people don’t fully comprehend the amazingness of it at first. In the kind of way that electricity or the steam engine has changed the world. Not in the way that Twitter has.

The Internet was innovative on this scale. Instagram is not. The incandescent light bulb was innovative on this scale. LEDs (although cool) are not. The car was even innovative on this scale. Electric cars are not.

At the end of the day there is not really a point to this post other than to express the realization that if you focus on the bad in the world and in people, that is what you’ll see. The same goes for the good in the world, and in people. It isn’t to say that there isn’t one or the other. There is always good and bad. It’s just that the best thing to do is recognize that there are both in most things and to see the potential good…and that working towards that good is your best possible move…and also, wherever possible, go beyond good. Strive for more than is currently possible and even if you don’t succeed, you will ultimately find yourself in a better place.

TL:DR: The future as I see it involves radical innovation from people who care. This is the only type of innovation that truly matters.  I want to be one of these innovative people.

Holy Shit!…I’m 25!

For the first time since last year, I feel old. Not necessarily in a bad way…just more like, I just feel older. I don’t want to write some sappy post about all the things I’ve learned in the past year or all my goals for the future, but I would like to make a list of small changes I’ve made in the last year or so, that have made my life better:

  • Tell the people you like that you like them. Get to know these people better. Ditch those that don’t bring positivity to your life… BTW being neutral is not positive, it’s just dead weight.
  • Finish projects you start. I’m still learning this one, but getting better.
  • Don’t ever be an asshole. Everyone is an asshole every now and then, at least by accident, but never try to be one…It’s never worth it. (Side note: When everyone recognizes someone being an asshole, it is your duty to point it out…you are an asshole if you don’t).
  • And last, and most importantly…Laugh. Especially at yourself. Especially when you do something worth laughing at. Especially with the people you care about. And especially when you make assumptions about someones gender…and you are wrong.

Web Presence Experiment – Part 2: Baseline Stats

If you have tons of traffic, but no one spending any time on your site, that traffic isn’t worth very much. Likewise, if you have thousands of Facebook followers but no one is talking about what you are doing or sharing and liking your posts, those followers are not worth much either. On the other side, if you have a few dedicated followers/fans/readers, let’s be honest, they are probably just your family and friends flattering you.

Part 2 of this little experiment will outline some baseline stats. None of these stats are definitive in themselves, each is a part of “web presence” as a whole. I’ll split it into two sections to show my personal and business stats. Since I plan on this experiment taking 3 months, my starting stats will be for the period from 3 months ago until today and my ending stats will be from today until 3 months from now. Google analytics data from this baseline report has been taken from the period between July 16, 2012 and October 16, 2012.

Personal:

Traffic stats for this site are all, quite frankly, very bad. Most of the traffic is probably myself simply because I have yet to block my own IP in Google Analytics.

 

 

 

PageRank – 0
Google Queries – <10
Impressions – <10
Clicks – <10
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) Rankings – none
Backlinks – 0
Pages in Majestic – 7
Links to site in Majestic – 0
mozRank – 0 out of 10
Domain Authority – 1 out of 100
Alexa Rank – 17,634,830
Indexed Pages in Google – 9

Social Media

Facebook friends (just a personal page so not super useful for this) – 336
Twitter followers – 156
Twitter following – 62
Tweets – 86
Google + – 12 added to circles (19 in my circles)
LinkedIn connections – 19
LinkedIn Views – 5 (last 90 days)
Showed in LinkedIn search  – 32
Klout score – 44

All of these stats are really bad simply because I have put literally no effort into this site as of yet.

Gearhead Wiki:

There is one admission of guilt from my past with some of these stats…I bought Facebook fans and Twitter followers for this site…so as this experiment progresses, I expect these particular numbers to drop.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

PageRank – 1
Google Queries – 292
Impressions – 15,000
Clicks – 600
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – 16 (7 first page, 9 second page)
Backlinks – 15
Pages in Majestic – 36,262
Links to site in Majestic – 1,394
mozRank – 3.45 out of 10
Domain Authority – 34 out of 100
Alexa Rank – 18,621,757
Indexed Pages in Google – 23,247

Social Media

Facebook fans (likes) – 560
Twitter followers – 9,487
Twitter following – 1,674
Tweets – 162
Google + – (not on G+ yet)
LinkedIn connections – 0 (Not on LinkedIn yet)
LinkedIn Views – 0
Showed in LinkedIn search  – 0
Klout score – 0 (Not on Klout yet)

This should give a pretty accurate baseline as to where these sites are at right now and give good comparison data for the end of this experiment.

Web Presence Experiment – Part 1.1

This is just a first step that will try to help get this site in front of more people. There is a site called Technorati.com and it’s basically a search engine/directory for blogs. Technorati requires you to put a code into a post on your blog in order to verify that you are actually the owner of the site, so here it is…

WPH5Q74TE684

The sooner you start putting your blog or site all over the internet, the sooner you will start seeing your traffic go up and have readers start to flock to your site.

Web Presence Experiment – Part 1:Explanation

I have been spending too much time on the internet since…well…I first got the internet. I also started working at a web design and marketing company in January 2012, and since then, I have come to realize many things about the web, marketing, people, social media, web design, the analysis of websites, business practices etc. etc. in my time at the company and just in general on the internet.

I have realized that getting recognition, making money, or simply becoming a household name on the web comes down to getting your content, face, product, or whatever it is you do, in front of people. This may sound a bit daft, but it is really that simple. On the web there is very little need for quality. Look at Rebecca Black for instance or any laughing baby, or cat video. Sure, quality definitely helps, but you don’t need a film crew or be a New York Times bestseller to become someone on the web. The hard part today is not making the content, it’s getting it in front of people who care enough to make a purchase, click a link, visit an ad, continue reading, subscribe, etc..

Depending on your medium you choose to deal with (writing, video, music, photography etc.) there are different ways to go about getting your name out there on the web. Since I know very little about the technical aspect of SEO and marketing for music and photos and only slightly more about video, this experiment will largely focus on text based SEO, marketing, and overall web presence. Text based SEO is, in my opinion, the “easiest” to get into. (“easiest” in quotes because this is very dependent on the market you are entering…just try to enter the “get rich quick on the internet” scene)

Goals for the Experiment

  • Rank this site and other sites that represent me (social media profiles mostly) on the first page of Google for my name, Mark Wilson.
  • Increase web presence in social media (more followers, friends, likes, connections, and +1’s)
  • Do it all organically/legitimately (ie. no link buying, sponsored postings, buying “likes”, no black hat, etc.)
  • Keep track of everything to use as a case study for others to learn what helps and what hinders.
  • As some things won’t make sense for my personal use/personal “brand”, some experiments will be done on my company’s site Gearhead Wiki.
  • Do this all in 3 months or less.

Due to my name being quite common and having some stiff competition (pro athletes, magicians, car dealers), this task would be easier for someone with a more unique name.

Part 2 will contain all of my baseline stats pre-experiment.

TL:DR – I want to rank first on Google and show you how I did it.

Why a blog? Why now?

For a long time I thought that blogs were for depressed or angry or occasionally funny or extremely technical people to write about whatever they wanted. To a huge extent, that is still what I think of blogs, but I have come to realize that someone might want to read my thoughts and gain from my vast stores of knowledge, but more importantly I want a place to chronicle my rise to greatness (insert evil laugh, followed by a *cough cough) but seriously I want a place to write about my life, business, experiences, realizations and anything else I feel like.

Why now? Basically because writing a blog can’t hurt my life in any way but I can see some benefits.

TL;DR Why not?