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Ultrinsic: A New Way to Gamble and Make School More Fun

August 12, 2010 2 comments

Ultrinsic.com is a new website that allows users to bet on their grades in college. The name means an ULTerior motivation that produces intRINSIC love of knowledge. Here’s how the creators came up with the idea:

While hanging out together one Sunday afternoon, I mentioned to my friend Steven Wolf that I had an exam the following day and that if I were to study I was sure to get an A. (At the time, I was a student at University of Pennsylvania.)  But I was enjoying my Sunday afternoon, and I told Steven that I had no intention of studying. That’s when, in order to provide me with motivation, we made the following agreement: If I got an A on the exam, he would give me $100, and if I didn’t get an A, I would give him $20. Steven and I quickly realized that lots of other students might like this kind of motivation.  To that end, we began developing what is now Ultrinsic Motivator Inc. – Jeremy Gelbart

I love this idea. If you’re like me, gambling on anything always adds fun and excitement, and while I am smart, I often have trouble motivating myself to put in the work that I should for my college classes. What better way to combine my love of gamble and my disdain for studying?

I’m currently entering my senior year, so I’ll only have a brief opportunity to use this site, but anyone entering their freshman year of college can put down $20 and turn it into $2000 if they manage to achieve a 4.0. Granted that is pretty tough at most schools, but for the rest of us, you can simply wager on getting any given grade in whatever class you choose. What’s impressive about Ultrinsic is that using your academic history and whatever information it can find on how tough the class is, it automatically comes up with custom odds for each individual for any class and any grade level. You can even use it as a fall-back plan, say betting $20 that you’ll get worse than a B, thus taking the sting out of it if this should happen. I would prefer using it for motivational purposes rather than as “grade insurance” but if you are less confident in your academic abilities this might not be a bad way to go.

Ultrinsic is currently available for 35 different colleges. I plan to try it out this fall, and I suggest you do the same.

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Are You Missing an Instant Classic?

July 21, 2010 1 comment

 We Watch Sports.  Every channel.  Every game.  And alert you when to tune in.

I just discovered this site called Are You Watching This (http://areyouwatchingthis.com/) that keeps track of every game that is in progress in a wide variety of sports, and let’s you know whether you should be watching them or not. All games are judged on the following scale:

OK – All games start off as OK. Snoozers and blowouts are OK. Not even their momma would vote for a game that’s OK.

GOOD – A GOOD game is starting to get good. It’s a tied game in the top of the 9th, or maybe a ranked team down at halftime. If you already have the TV on, you might as well click over and check it out.

HOT – Any game that is in overtime or extra innings, and sometimes just a close finish or upset possibility will reach HOT. This game is definitely worth turning on the TV for.

EPIC – Drop everything you’re doing. This is Boise State vs. Oklahoma, Lebron vs. Pistons, and no-hitter in the bottom of 9th territory. Find the nearest TV post-haste.

I love this idea. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched a game and thought to myself, this is an instant classic. My only concern is whether the site will be too lenient as to which games reach the level of epic. The Boise State vs. Oklahoma and Lebron vs. Pistons games definitely warrant it, but recently the World Cup Final between Spain and Netherlands was called also “epic”. You could argue that any World Cup Final is automatically epic, but in my mind, the title of Instant Classic must only be given out in extraordinary circumstances, and there were many better matches in this year’s World Cup than the final itself. I’d say USA vs Slovenia, Netherlands vs Brazil, and possibly Uruguay vs Netherlands were all more “epic” than the final.

During the baseball season I doubt I’ll use this site much, as there are probably only a rare few “epic” games during the regular season. I would say with the NFL it is easy enough to keep track of all the games going on without needing this site. Where areyouwatchingthis will truly shine and be very useful is for NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, and the NBA. Here there are so many games going on that it is difficult to keep track of them all and easy to miss something epic. So bookmark http://areyouwatchingthis.com/ and don’t miss out on the next Instant Classic.