May 31, 2011

Flip a Coin Day~June 1st

Quick Facts:
Always on June 1st
Creator and origin of Flip a Coin Day are unknown

Flip a Coin Day is a day to practice making decisions by using the flip of a coin. According to wordiQ, "Coin flipping is the practice of throwing a coin in the air to resolve a dispute between two parties [and I would add - or to make a decision regarding two possible alternatives to a question or problem]."

"Coin flipping is a method that trusts the decision to pure luck, since there is no possibility for strategy, and any attempt to alter the odds (such as, most obviously, using a fake coin with both sides the same) is considered cheating. It is generally assumed that the outcome is unpredictable, with equal probabilities for the two outcomes."

"Coin tossing is popular because it is fast, more or less fair, and requires nothing but a little spare change."

Coin Tossing in History
Julias Caesar - It is said that in ancient Rome during the reign of Julias Caesar, Caesar used the toss of a coin to make important decisions regarding things such as property disputes, marriage, and even criminal guilt. The image of Caesar's head was imprinted on one side of each coin, while something such as a ship was imprinted on the other. The side of the coin with Caesar's head was "heads" (obviously). When other people used the flip of a coin to make decisions, they believed if it landed on "heads" it was a sign that Caesar approved of the decision.

Sigmund Freud - According to Wikipedia, Sigmund Freud used the technique of flipping a coin to help people make difficult decisions, "not actually to determine the decision, but to clarify the decision-maker's feeling. He explained: 'I did not say you should follow blindly what the coin tells you. What I want you to do is to note what the coin indicates. Then look into your own reactions. Ask yourself: Am I pleased? Am I dissappointed? That will help you to recognize how you really feel about the matter, deep down inside. With that as a basis, you then will be ready to make up your mind and then come to the right decision.' "

Ritchie Valens - Ritchie Valens was a young Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who quickly rose to fame in the late 1950's with hit songs like Donna and La Bamba. On the fateful night of February 2, 1959, after a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, fellow performer, Buddy Holly, chartered a plane to fly he and some of his guys on to the next city on the concert tour. There were only four seats on the plane with one of those belonging to the pilot, Roger Peterson. Scheduled to ride in the plane were: Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, and Tommy Allsup. J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson became ill with a fever and asked Waylon Jennings if he could take his seat on the plane. Jennings agreed. Later, Ritchie Valens, who had never flown in a small plane before, approached Tommy Allsup and asked if he would give up his seat on the plane. Tommy suggested they flip a coin, and drew a 50-cent piece out of his pocket. That fateful coin toss placed Ritchie Valens, age 17, on the plane with Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, and the pilot Roger Peterson. Sadly, a sudden snowstorm arose which was believed to make visibility for the pilot difficult. Shortly after midnight, on the morning of February 3, 1959, the small plane crashed shortly after takeoff killing all four people on board.

(There have been disputes as to the validity of the coin toss story.)

Source:  Wikipedia

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