I usually try hard to avoid writing here about anything not directly related to mathematics and physics, but on rare occasions I can’t resist. Many readers may want to skip this posting as unserious, but maybe some will find it entertaining.
My travels last week took me to Las Vegas, where I stayed overnight with my old housemate John Chang and his family. During my graduate student days at Princeton, one year I lived with two fellow physics graduate students who were part of a card-counting team which had started up to take advantage of the recent opening of casinos in Atlantic City. Many of the other members of the team were based at MIT, and my roommates often mentioned one of them, “John”. A few years later I was looking for a place to live in Cambridge, answered an ad, and ended up going to meet the owner of a house who was looking for a housemate. After we talked for a while, I realized that he was the “John” my Princeton roommates had been telling me about.
Anyway, you can read more about John in a story just put up at the Xconomy web-site. He’s the model for the character “Mickey Rosa” in the book “Bringing Down the House”, which has just been made into the movie “21″, opening this weekend (Kevin Spacey plays “Mickey Rosa”). I’m looking forward to seeing the movie on Saturday.
Update: For more about John and the card-counting business, see this article in Men’s Vogue.
Update: If you’re interested in this, you should definitely check out John’s blog, which he has started updating again with new postings.