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Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio
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Author:  BillMullins [ Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

In the context of gambling with cards, "cheat" and "mechanic" are not synonymous. A mechanic cheats by manipulating cards, possibly at the shuffle, cut or deal; or during play by ringing extra cards in and out, marking cards on the fly (by nail nicking, crimping, etc.), surreptitiously exchanging cards with a partner, etc. The activities of a "cheat" would include much more than sleight of hand with the cards -- glimpsing or using shiners during the deal or cut, copping chips, miscalling hands, pre-marked cards, using stacked decks, etc. The simplest and most effective way to cheat, however, is signalling with a partner. In a five-handed game, if either of two players have any knowledge of each others' cards, they have an insurmountable advantage compared to the other three. (This technique works with bridge, as well).

Mechanic is a subset of cheat.

Jim Gifford is right -- without more specific knowledge that Heinlein had some specialized skill with cards, "sharp" is probably a more accurate term than "mechanic" would be.

Author:  Guest [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

While "mechanic" and "cheat" are not synonymous, mechanic being a subset of cheat makes it equally insulting. Mechanics are a minor worry these days, collusion being the major form of effective cheating in casino poker, but they are still cheats. I am waiting for the author to clarify. I hope sharp is a better term for what he meant.

Author:  BillPatterson [ Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio


Author:  WillinNewHaven [ Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

Because of his interest in and practice of stage magic, Heinlein would certainly have been capable of being a mechanic. It would have been both extremely risky and, in my opinion, dishonorable. However, young men are often quite sure of both their ability to avoid detection and their moral code, even when it differs from the norm.

Given a modicum of skill and serious application, the amounts you mention his making would not be difficult to make from a typical serviceman's game without card manipulation or collusion.

Author:  BillMullins [ Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio


Author:  BillMullins [ Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

p. 34, 3rd para, 1st line: "Junior high school also brought Robert's first opportunity to follow in the Heinlein family tradition of military service." Is "Junior high school" correct here? The first military service by RAH discussed here is his ROTC service at Central High -- did it start in Junior High?

Were Junior High and Senior High as clearly deliniated in the mid-1920s as they are now? When I went to school (mid 1970s), Jr High was 7,8 & 9 grades. My brother is 2 years younger, and his 9th grade was considered Sr. high, and only 7 & 8 were Jr high. Now, here in Huntsville, 1-4 are Elementary School, 5-8 are Middle School, and 9 - 12 are High School -- there are no named "Junior High" and "Senior High" schools.

Author:  RobertWFranson [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

Junior High -- my father and uncle, both somewhat younger than Heinlein, went to school in Chicago. In their district, Junior High was "invented" in the few years between my father's schooling (1-8, 9-12) and my uncle''s (1-6, 7-9, 10-12).

Now in San Diego we have discovered "Middle Schools", and the grade levels are 1-5, 6-8, 9-12. This is Progress.

Moving 6th Grade up to Middling was done a few years ago to keep those big, bad-ass 6th graders away from the little kids.

Author:  BillPatterson [ Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio


Author:  BillPatterson [ Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

"Card mechanic" is on p. 139, para 1 lines 5-6 and I will be replacing it with "card sharp." It took about an hour to pinpoint that.

Author:  WillinNewHaven [ Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio

I'm sorry about not giving a page number. I know there is no way to search as their would be on an eBook. My copy of the book rode the bus and train with me every day until I finished it but now it is on my shelves.

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