William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Open Forum Friday. Black Friday?

For three reasons I thought we’d try and “open forum” post: (1) One of our long-time readers and commenters suggested it; (2) today is an unofficial national “holyday” and many won’t be at their computers; and (3) I made rather merry last night and typing makes a sound which is most unpleasant.

Here’s one possibility for discussion: a group of ordinary folks celebrating their entry into what appears to be a competitive sporting event. What a depressing video.

10 Comments

  1. The Long Time Reader

    23 November 2012 at 11:27 am

    I thought you might be interested in this article on cnn.com.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html

    According to the pope’s research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present.

    He also debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols.

  2. I could wax idiotic over the shabby goals and temporal objectives the competitors are seeking but then am forced to acknowledge my honey delves into internet-thingy hours on end seeking (and finding) the lowest prices, highest discounts and cheapest shipping (usually free!) for identical phylacteries and am forced to acknowledge the creed seems universal.

  3. @49erDweet,

    To quote my Mrs’s.

    “Your job is to make it. My job is to stretch it.”

  4. 49erDweet: “for identical phylacteries”

    which you bind to your forehead and forehead and forearm while congratulating her on her household management.

    Though perhaps you meant “prophylacteries” in which case harrywr2’s comment should probably be censored …

  5. I’ve always been too protective of my sleep to worry about getting up that early to potentially save some money (it’s often times not the best time to save on some items, such a big screen TVs). That being said, I am about to leave to do some shopping today, but it will be ~11 am by time I get out, so at least there won’t be the kind of rush shown in the video.

    Happy Black Friday!

  6. Briggs

    23 November 2012 at 3:23 pm

    All,

    Here are the headlines at Drudge (as of this time):

    ‘Gang fight’ at Black Friday sale…
    Man Punched in Face Pulls Gun On Line-Cutting Shopper…
    Customers run over in parking lot…
    Woman busted after throwing merchandise…
    Thousands storm VICTORIA’S SECRET… (perhaps the worst of the bunch)
    VIDEO: Insane battle over phones… (like a shark feeding frenzy; see comments on the page)
    “>Mayhem at Nebraska mall where 9 murdered in 2007…
    Shoplifter tries to mace security guards…
    Men Steal Boy’s Shopping Bag Outside BED, BATH & BEYOND…
    Heckler calls them zombies… (hilarious: “The man can be heard shouting ‘you zombies are the reason Thanksgiving and the holidays are being destroyed’ and other anti-Black Friday comments as shoppers filed in the store.” anti-Black Friday???)

    RAMPAGE!

  7. @ harrywr2. It doesn’t improve any after retirement, either. :-(
    @ rich. Going for the third definition: “an amulet, charm, or safeguard against harm or danger”, but have you seen how much “stuff” some students lug around these days – besides books? Most could use a leather strap to bind some stuff to their foreheads, except it would destroy their “look”. And we can’t have that!
    @ briggs. I’m of the school there are just as many crzzy-shopper stories available out there on non-black Fridays but not as many reporters to write them up. Reliable stats would be interesting.

  8. Briggs

    23 November 2012 at 3:49 pm

    49erDweet,

    There are probably orders of magnitude more non-frenzied shoppers than those driven to insanity, but it’s not the difference in proportion that is as much interest as why people would, in non-negligible quantities, devolve so quickly on this day of the year.

  9. @ Briggs. Seeking “bargains”. Believing they truly exist And assuming the bargained for item is something without which they would never survive their barren existences.

    Btw, they are possessing a completely different mindset than the faithful camping out for release of the newest doodad. Those are the ones that worry me.

  10. Black Friday does indeed look like a sporting event and more so every year. Competative Shopping requires endurance, drive, ingenuity, dexterity. And you actually acquire your own trophies. Perhaps it’s an unconscious response of the football non-fan to the numerous games played the day before.

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