– The strip is one massive optical illusion. All of Las Vegas is located on a very flat plateau. As such, you can see a long way into the distance. Everything on the strip is built oversized. The signs are enormous. South of the strip on Las Vegas Blvd. there is as strip mall with McDonald’s and a Subway with a sign that is over 100 feet tall out front. The effect of this illusion is that everything looks closer than it appears. It took 90 minutes of pretty much non-stop walking to go from the Luxor to the Hilton.
– I totally freaked out when I tried to download video from my camera to my laptop this week. I got all the cables out, plugged everything in, only to find out that it didn’t seem to work with a Mac. Sony says in the manual that you can only get video onto a Windows XP computer. This struck me as really funny because in all the research I’ve done, I never came across that “small” fact. The cable you used was an i.Link cable, which I’ve never heard of. I’ve never had a computer with an i.Link port so I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Moreover, the i.Link plug didn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before. Five minutes of research online and I learned something that I probably should have known. i.Link is the Sony proprietary name for Firewire (which is the Apple proprietary name). They use the same IEEE standard, but Apple uses a 6-pin connector and Sony uses a 4-pin connector. I just need the right cable and everything should be cool.
– I’ve stated this before, but the lowest job in the world are the people who hand out cards on the street for escorts and strippers. It requires no skill at all. No language skills, Nothing. A blind, deaf, mute guy with no limbs and Down’s Syndrome could in theory put a bag of cards around his neck and still do the job. Hardly anyone takes the cards, and those that do usually throw it on the ground within a few steps. I’m not really even sure how they get paid and why the people who pay them find this to be an economical way to advertise. Four color cards can’t be cheap. Are the guys paid by the hour or buy the card? I’d really like to know how much you can make doing this any why people do this over anything other job.
– There is an odd juxtaposition of things and people in Vegas. Vegas caters to the hoi poloi. This is not a bad thing. Vegas is fun and people of all strips and backgrounds can all congregate in Vegas and find something they like. This usually means swarms of people in tourist attire (t-shirts with obscene sayings, 3 foot tall margarita glass around the neck, drunk…you get the picture) Also all the casinos are open to everyone by law and by business plan, so you get all types of people everywhere. At the same time, you have some of the classiest shops, hotels, restaurants and shows in the world. The type of stuff that you would see on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or 5th Avenue in New York. Its odd to see someone with a “I heart to fart” t-shirt window shopping at Armani.
– Vegas exists not because the logic of local geography (a harbor, a river, etc) but because of local laws. There is no good reason to put a huge city in the middle of desert. (I’d say its the second dumbest place for a city in the US after New Orleans….which is below sea level, sinking, and surrounded by water). The power of local sovereignty is the resource which makes Vegas run. Everyplace else in the country places onerous restrictions on gambling and drinking. Vegas (and to an extent, all of Nevada) doesn’t care. Its the same why that indian reservations and small island nations can eek out a living. Just have laws more liberal and flexible than everyone around you and people will lead a path to your do. It doesn’t just apply to vices like drinking and gambling. It can apply to nuts and bolt things like incorporation (Deleware) or banking (Cayman Islands). It should also be noted that none of the places which have these loose laws are in state of anarchy. They get by quite well, thank you very much.
– Penn & Teller vs. Danny Gans. Everyone knows who Penn & Teller is right? They’re on TV all the time. Penn hosts a game show and had a radio program. They have written books and produced DVDs. That they have a big auditorium in Vegas is really of no surprise. If you go down the strip however, the biggest single billboard for any entertainer is for Danny Gans. WTF is a Danny Gans. (Turns out he’s an impressionist and a pretty good one at that) I’ve never seen him anywhere other than in Vegas. I’m not sure how he got top billing at the Mirage, an enormous billboard on the strip, and still can sell tickets or who goes to see him.