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THE MADNESS OF MARCH MADNESS 

According to Wallethub.com, a website that keeps track of things that no one else would ever bother to keep track of, the following are some of the statistics about March Madness that you may have overlooked.

For instance, there is a reason why your boss hates the words March Madness. It’s because you and your lazy coworkers are contributing to a $1.9 billion, with a “B,” loss in worker productivity. So when you suddenly see Tom jump from his cubicle screaming, “Yes,” just know that it’s not because he finally finished the spreadsheet he should have turned in two days ago. It’s because his office bracket still has a shot at earning him a little cash.

And how about those brackets? You think yours is perfect this year? Not a chance. You actually have twice as good a chance at winning back-to-back Mega Millions lotteries as you have of filling out a perfect bracket. In fact your odds are so long that Quicken Loans and Berkshire Hathaway are offering a $1 billion prize to anyone who can do it, and they aren’t exactly breaking a sweat that they’ll have to payoff a winner. The odds are in their favor, as in you have a one in 9.2 quintillion chance of choosing a perfect bracket.

But optimism among the March Madness crowd springs eternal with every new spring, which explains why they will once again be plopping down $12 billion in gambling wagers over the next few weeks. What isn’t a gamble is being involved in basketball this time of year.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski makes $9.7 million a year. That’s 708 percent more than the president of Duke University makes. Mark Emmert, the NCAA’s president, makes a cool $1.7 million a year. The average NBA rookie is knocking down almost $2 million. The University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team is valued at roughly $40 million. And the NCAA’s basketball fund doles out $194 million a year to Division 1 schools.

So where does all this money come from? Advertisers are paying $1.5 million for 30-second ads, and you are paying $350 to $2,200 for tickets to tournament games, and that’s in the primary market. Who knows what lofty prices are being paid to scalpers.

Madness indeed.

ANOTHER REASON NOT TO LIVE IN FLORIDA 

More bad news for Antarctica’s Totten Glacier… and subsequently life on Earth. Scientists, using instruments mounted on airplanes that can see through the ice sheets, have found two previously unknown pathways for deep warm water to reach and melt the glacier.

A little perspective on why this stuff matters. We already know that the ice in West Antarctica is rapidly melting, which will cause sea levels to rise. The Totten Glacier is in East Antarctica, and it is huge. The warm water plumes discovered by scientists are crawling along the ocean floor beneath colder water and melting the glacier at its base. The Totten is so big that if these plumes are able to completely melt it away, it will raise global sea levels by more than 11 feet all by itself. And 11 feet is a lot. It would turn Disney World’s Space Mountain into a tiny fiberglass island, and It’s a Small World characters would become a bunch of swollen underwater corpses like in The Poseidon Adventure, only they’d still be wearing little hats from all around the world.

In response to these new findings, Senate Environmental Chair Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) went to the podium in the Senate chamber, threw a glass of water into the air and declared that global warming is a hoax. Forty-six Republican senators then signed a letter stating that President Obama is causing the glacier to melt because he is actually Satan.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com