Sunday, April 6, 2008

Changing The World

We here in The Middle Room have never hesitated to show our heartfelt admiration for the advances in science and in scholarship. The diligence and sacrifice of the researchers, inventors, and academics whose hard work, discoveries, and inventions are constantly changing the world always leaves us in awe.

But it has always been a point of great shame that we here in the Middle Room have added nothing substantial to this scholarship.

That changes now.

The Middle Room has always had a few spare super-computers sitting around collecting dust: mostly we've been using these as coat racks or to build the occasional fort. But, after years of leaching off the work of others, we decided it was time to give something back.

So we dusted off those super-computers and tossed our coats on the floor, being sure to avoid the chasm that runs through the center of the room. We powered those machines up and got to work, striving for a new discovery, something The Middle Room could give the world.

It is in that spirit that we are proud to introduce the International Dungeons & Dragons Index (or iD&Di for short). This index, graded on a scale of 0 to 1, provides us in The Middle Room with the ability to calculate the precise statistical odds that any given celebrity or politician has played Dungeons & Dragons.

Powered by a network of 20 powerful super-computers, the index utilizes a vast system of equations in assigning an accurate value.

But all of that is academic. You no doubt want results, and we have no intention of disappointing. We begin with an easy case, that of Tom Cruise, and after only fifteen minutes of processing, we learn that there is a seventeen point three percent chance he has, at some time, played some version of D&D (our system is not so refined yet to factor in for game edition, but we hope to improve that by the fall of 2012).

Tom Cruise (iD&Di: .17)

But that's only the beginning. Due to a sizable grant allowing us to continue our research, we can now crunch the numbers for any celebrity with enough public data available.

Sam Jackson (iD&Di: .78)
Bette Midler (iD&Di: .02)
Vin Diesel (iD&Di: 1.0)

It should be noted that while the system will return a grade of 0.0 in few (if any) instances, a grade of 1.0, or a 100% chance, is given in circumstances where the individual's D&D background has been confirmed. Other iD&Di 1.0's include: Stephen Colbert, Patton Oswalt, and Judy Dench.

It is important to note that the program is calibrated to return a grade of 1.0 only in situations where the individual (or a designated representative) has publicly verified their D&D experience: doing so in character or as part of a skit will not count.

We don't want this turning into some sort of joke.

Therefore, Al Gore does not receive an iD&Di grade of 1.0, despite claiming on Futurama that he was a "tenth level vice president," because this comment was clearly made in jest. Nonetheless, Al Gore does have a perfectly respectable iD&Di grade of .58.

It should be added that the program is not perfect, that it is limited by the information put in it. But, for the time being, it is surely the best option available, as we are aware of no other tool or organization offering this service. Updates and corrections will be made as additional information becomes available and system improvements are implemented.

From now on, whenever we mention a celebrity or politician, we will try to supply you with their iD&Di grade for your information. This is but one of the many ways we are working to make your experience to The Middle Room satisfying and educational.

We want to make the world better place, and we know from growing up watching GI Joe that knowledge is paramount in importance.

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