My niece Nora has been visiting Las Vegas regularly in the summertime since she was 8.  Each year I've offered her cash money if she would ride the terrifying roller-coaster at the New York, New York casino.  It started out as a lot of money, because I suspected she would never do it, but the cash prize has gotten lower each year as she grew up and got bolder.

Finally this year, at age 14, with the cash prize at $25, she rode the roller-coaster.  Above, I pay off.  She actually really enjoyed it, which took some of the fun out of the dare for me.

There is no amount of money in the world which would induce me to ride that roller-coaster — well, unless it was enough money to finance a low-budget Western.


It was with mixed feelings that her mother and I saw my niece Nora off on the train to Hogwarts — she seems awfully young to begin her training as a wizard, but she must follow her destiny and her dream . . .