First off, gambling revenues apparently increased by 8% last year in Montana. As the linked article points out, this is $944 dollars for every person in Montana. Wow. And now I see why someone at one of our trainings was able to point out that a bar was able to stay open on the revenue of a single video poker machine. Apparently there's a machine in my county (Lewis and Clark County) that made close to $200,000. Wow again. What I wonder is how this $944 a head figure would break down across economic lines. I mean, what's the average gambling expense of someone who's making $15,000 a year vs. someone who's making $80,000? My gut tells me that the poverty level folks are the ones who are driving this figure up.
On a completely unrelated note, this response to a cease and desist type letter amused me greatly. Apparently, Dreamworks' legal counsel sent this letter to the Pirate Bay, a site that provides links to download movies. The specific letter was addressing the availability of a pirated copy of Shrek 2. The letter gets interesting in that the website is in Sweden, and the lawyers were trying to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a US law. Quoting the letter: "As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated." The rest of the response goes further with this flippant attitude. It makes me smile to see that people are willing to stand up for their rights, rather than just crumbling once someone with a bit of money and maybe authority comes after them. (You should definitely read the rest of the response, as they tell the lawyers to fuck off - literally.)
Anyway, that's all for now . . .