Archive for May, 2012

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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http://jitterygt.wordpress.com  made a comment on one of my posts, “Confirmed Stupidity” that “The creativity of stupidity is also endless”. And so it seems to be.

Stupid people are always finding new ways to do stupid things. I don’t think I would go so far as to call it creative, though. Most of it happens by pure accident rather than design.

Now I have to point out at the start, that this blog post is not about things that are done to assist those in society who have some kind of disability. Everything that is done in that regard to make life a bit easier and things more accessible is to be encouraged and applauded. This blog applies specifically to those who could get out of their own way but because they are too lazy and/or obtuse, won’t!

So the question today is, and it’s a good question that hardly anyone bothers to ask or tries to answer, “Should we have to waste time, energy and resources pandering to the idiots in society?”

In other words should EVERYTHING have to sink down to their level? Should the rest of us normal-ish people be deprived of a better and simpler existence just because some people seem to be incapable of living their lives without doing themselves harm?

I vote NO, we shouldn’t pander to them. Not in the slightest.

In the dumbed down society that we are increasingly being forced to live in, and that the even dumber politicians encourage (probably so that the majority of people don’t develop the skills to see the hash they are making of everything), far from questioning the consequent waste of time, energy, and resources, they continue to make more and more rules to cater for the intellectually challenged.

Think about the consequences for a moment.

How many labels do we have on jars and cans and elsewhere that really don’t need to be there? Do we really need a label on a packet of nuts telling us that the packet contains nuts? Do we really need a label telling us that hot coffee is ‘hot’ or that iced mocha is ‘cold’?

How many otherwise productive man-hours are wasted each and every year trying to figure out what dumb thing some moron will do with a particular product?

 

Example of a sign for morons

Example of a sign for morons

I know the whole waste of time phenomenon has been spurred on in many cases because of spurious and unnecessary law suits by lawyers who aren’t smart enough to set up a proper law practice and by judges who are so out of touch with reality that they should be thrown out of court for not doing the same with these foolish lawsuits.

Example of a sign for morons

Example of a sign for morons

 

Then we have the bureaucrats weighing in. With nothing productive to do themselves, except to make our lives more and more intolerable, they dream up new rules and regulations to make business more uncompetitive and ordinary peoples’ lives more complicated.

 

Example of a sign for people stupider then morons

Example of a sign for people stupider then morons

And it’s all a waste of time. No matter what rules are invented and what precautions are taken it is a law of the universe that morons will find a way round them and hurt themselves anyway. Some of them have even walked into the signs put up to warn them about walking into signs.

So we should NOT waste time trying to make things foolproof because the fools have proved time and again that it’s a waste of time!

Let’s aspire to learn more and be smarter, instead of dumbing down to the level of those who don’t give a damn anyhow!

End rant. Have a cup of coffee – mind, though, it’s hot!

 

Here are a few more examples:

 

Suitable for outdoor use.  Found on a rain gauge.

 

Warning: High in sodium.  On a salt cellar.

 

Remove wrapper, open mouth, insert muffin, eat.

 

Use like regular soap.  On a bar of soap.

 

Simply pour the biscuits into a bowl and allow the cat to eat when it wants.  On a bag of cat biscuits.

 

Instructions: open packet, eat nuts  on a packet of nuts

 

Do not use as an ice cream topping  on Hair colouring

 

Warning: do not attempt to swallow  on a Mattress

 

Caution: contents may catch fire  on Matches

 

Some assembly required  on a 500-piece puzzle

 

The appliance is switched on by setting the on/off switch to the ‘on’ position  on a Kettle

 

Product will be hot after heating  on Bread Pudding

 

Warning: May cause drowsiness  on Sleep Aid

 

This ice may be cold  on an Ice drink

 

Instructions: Put on food  on Ketchup

 

Do not open here  on the Bottom of a Cola bottle

 

 

“Fight Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I used to be friends with a guy from Northern Ireland. We are going back thirty years here so quite a while ago. We’ve lost touch since as you tend to do with some if not most acquaintances.

This story is about his Dad.

As you may or may not know the weather in Ireland is awful. Cold, wet, windy, rains every day with a ‘y’ in it, or so the locals say. One traveler from Africa once remarked that it was like living under an elephant!

The result has been a continual decline in vacation resorts, towns and villages there. People still come for the golf, there is renewed interest in that with the recent success of Rory McIlroy and Darren Clark. But on the whole the locals prefer to get away for one or two weeks to a location with at least the chance of a bit of heat and sunshine.

But in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the period in which this story is set, foreign travel was a fairly new phenomenon for most ordinary people.

But my friend’s father and mother thought it would be a nice and different break for them and they booked two weeks in the south of Spain.

They arrived without incident, booked in to their hotel and that first night just had a meal in the hotel restaurant and went to bed. Traveling is always tiring.

The next day they partook of the buffet breakfast that most of the touristy hotels in Spain provide and after that went back to their room, got their towels and creams and so forth, and headed for the beach, which was only about 100 yards or so from the hotel.

My friend’s mother lay down on a towel to take some rays, as they say, and his father who wasn’t really the type of guy who liked to lay about all day, got a beach chair from which he had a better vantage point to survey the beach and sea activities.

We’ll never know whether it was the heat, or just the sight of bare heaving glistening continental bosoms, (they are not a bit bashful in some parts of Europe), but after about half an hour on the beach it all became too much for my friend’s Dad. All of sudden, without any warning whatsoever, he jumped out of his beach chair, started to yell like Tarzan, beating his chest at the same time, and ran towards the Mediterranean Sea.

There was a slight slope in the beach and by the time he had reached the water he had built up a considerable head of steam. His momentum took him quite a bit into the water, not quite waist deep but getting there.

Now, I should say that the Med is no Pacific Ocean, but there are nevertheless waves and as everyone knows the seventh is usually bigger than those preceding it.

And just when my friend’s father reached about as deep as he could on his feet he decided to dive through the next wave, which was a relatively big one. According to his wife, who was looking as this spectacle with more than a little bemusement, he was still doing his version of a Tarzan yell and beating his chest. And so into the sea he dived still yelling and open mouthed.

I forgot to tell you he wore dentures, which is rather crucial to the rest of the story.

Yes, when the wave passed and he resurfaced not a tooth of any kind had he in his mouth.

Of course he frantically searched for both sets of gnashers.

I love watching when people who don’t know how to dive underwater try it. Their ass goes way up in the air, their head maybe six inches or a foot under, and then after maybe two or three seconds they re-emerge gasping and spluttering as if they’ve just been down to the bottom of sea. I imagine that’s what he did.

But you know what the sea is like. Both sets of false teeth were long gone, never to be found again.

I have heard tell of people packing extra underwear, or shoes (hey ladies), or even glasses as emergency back-ups. But I have never heard of anyone packing an extra set of teeth.

My friend’s father wasn’t to be the first one to do it and so he had to spend the next twelve and a half days of his vacation completely toothless, only able to eat soft mushy stuff and soup, but having to avoid the juicy steaks completely.

And he looked like a prat, maybe not quite as bad as the photo below but you get the idea.

toothless

toothless

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

Just a short blog post today, but a real little gem.

This is actually a follow-on from Sunday’s post, “I like Watching Game Shows” which featured some US (or US versions) of popular shows such as Wheel of Furtune, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Family Feud. I hope you enjoyed those.

But the funniest game show incident I have seen comes from a British show called “Catch Phrase” hosted by a comedian called Roy Walker.

Catch Phrase with Roy Walker

Catch Phrase with Roy Walker

 

If you’ve never seen the show, the idea is to guess the answer (usually a well known phrase or saying) from the picture/animation on the screen which is slowly revealed in nine different random parts.

I don’t know what is funnier here, the actual animation, or the presenter and male contestant laughing, or the fact that the poor dumb girl contestant hasn’t the slightest clue what all the laughing is about.

Anyhow here it is.

Enjoy – you’ve got to!

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Well, as I am sure you (particularly the folks in the good old US of A) are well aware, today is the last Monday in May, otherwise known as Memorial Day and the official start of summer. I hope you have been and are enjoying a long leisurely holiday weekend.

There are lots of blogs doing pieces on Memorial Day, so I’ll try to make this one slightly different.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and was established after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers.

Slight rant for a moment. I get irritated when I hear idiots talking about the US Civil War. The Civil War in America was fought between Union forces (made up of Americans) and Confederate forces (made up of Americans). This isn’t going to turn into a history lesson as to the why’s and the wherefore’s, but the point is that at the time of the civil war the States of America were anything but “united”. Use the term “American” please. End rant.

The chances are that you may already have seen Ken Burn’s fantastic documentary series called Civil War. When it first aired on PBS something like 40 million Americans tuned in and it has been distributed and shown on the BBC in the UK and in many other parts of the world since. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend that you do so. It is a gem of historical information, photography, narration, music – the whole thing is just wonderful.

Ken Burns Fabulous Civil War Series

Ken Burns Fabulous Civil War Series

 

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I have always been fascinated by the Civil War. I have visited numerous battle sites and know some people who have little museums and take part in re-enactments and so forth. Because it was fought in the mid 1800s and featured such well known historical figures as Abraham Lincoln and Robert E Lee the impression I had (for no logical reason, as sometimes happens) was that it was an event that happened a very long time ago. Then I discovered that the last Union veteran of the Civil War, Albert Woolson only died in 1956, not quite within my lifetime, but close enough to make me realize that this was not so long ago at all.

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So could it happen again?

In America I very much doubt it.

Civil Wars are part of the teething pains that most countries go through. They have happened in England, France, Spain, Portugal, China, Russia, Cuba, Korea, Vietnam, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and on and on; and they seem to be a constant phenomenon in one part of Africa or another.

There will probably be periods of increasing civil unrest in the US as the government ham fistedly tries to get itself out of the mess that it has caused by trying to steal more money from the ordinary people, but that’s a different thing. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much yet.

As for Memorial Day nowadays, it encompasses all Wars that American forces have been involved in, and it is a convenient marker to remind us of those who have willingly put their lives in harm’s way to protect us. The political decisions that lead to wars are not the fault of those sent to fight.

This weekend I have been remembering some of my friends who are no longer here. They are in a better place for sure, but they got there far, far too soon.

Soldier Reporting For Final Duty

Soldier Reporting For Final Duty

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Don’t start me on soaps which I don’t watch. Except a few years ago for SOAP which was a soap about how bad soaps could be and was quite good indeed. Confused, as they said? Quite possibly but you’re inside my mind now and this is how it operates.

The television soap SOAP

The television soap SOAP

But Game Shows like Family Feud, Family Fortunes, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, etc., I do like. Sometimes I try to answer the questions just to limber up a brain cell or two, but really I watch them in the hope that a complete twit will take the stage – usually the first one out of town, as it happens, after they’ve been asked a few questions!

Here are a few examples of what I mean.

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Worst wheel of fortune fail ever?

Probably not but what an idiot!

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Dumbest Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant ever?

Probably not but very close.

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There are surprises too, when the people questioned in the sample give just as dumb an answer as the contestant.

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And my favorite, something that gets passed around

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I think the moral of this blog post is, if you have to grab a granny at all then be very careful how you do it; and if you do do it hang on as tightly as you can no matter how much she struggles.

It rather strange advice I know, but there is a reason for giving it.

First of all, here’s granny Lucerne.

skydive01

skydive01

As you can see she is in good spirits. I don’t know whether she had a bucket list, but one of the things that this 80 year old granny wanted to do and had been planning for a decade was to skydive.

As for myself, it has never been an ambition of mine to jump out of an airplane that wasn’t in trouble. Although I would much rather that they would stick a parachute under my seat on an airplane instead of a bit of glorified polystyrene, I mean on a flight from L.A. to New York for example how much ocean is there to be worried about?

But back to 80 year old granny Lucerne. For a while everything went well. She was very happy and excited by the prospect of her first skydive parachute jump.

skydive02

skydive02

The trouble started when she got to the door of the small plane and peered outside at planet earth below.

skydive03

skydive03

As her skydiving buddy, to whom she was attached, also tried to push through the open door ready for the jump, granny’s reluctance turned to panic.

skydive04

skydive04

She was heard shouting “No”, but by that time it was too late, the whole process had gained its own momentum.

skydive05

skydive05

And out they tumbled.

skydive06

skydive06

And tumbled, and tumbled, plummeting earthwards at an accelerating rate

skydive07

skydive07

By now granny must have been in a blind panic because instead of relaxing and going with her skydiving buddy, she flailed about and started to slip out of the harness that was holding them together. Remember just the buddy had the chute.

skydive08

skydive08

The next few shots show just how far out the harness her struggling had caused her to slip. By the way, the hand in the bottom left of the photo belongs to the photographer who had realized what was happening and guided himself over to them to try to help.

skydive09

skydive09

Another photo also showing just how far out of the harness granny had managed to wriggle.

skydive10

skydive10

Eventually her skydiving buddy gets the chute opened. (He has got a complete right leg in case you’re wondering, it’s just the angle of the photo!)

skydive11

skydive11

And with granny held in what had to be a vice like grip they both made it to the ground, a little worse for wear but thankfully, alive.

skydive12

skydive12

And here’s the video.

Enjoy!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

Taking a little break from the normal blog post.

I guess that a lot of you are asking who the heck is Sam J Porcello and why should we be raising a glass of milk in his honor?

Well Sam is perhaps a lot better known as ‘Mr.Oreo’ the scientist who in a career at Nabisco that spanned 34 years, invented that creamy sticky stuff in the middle of Oreos.  He died recently at the age of 76.

You can't just take one

You can’t just take one

Sam J Porcello was one of the world’s foremost experts on cocoa, the raw material of chocolate, and the go-to guy for all Oreo related matters at Nabisco. He also created the chocolate-covered and the white chocolate-covered Oreo, and held five patents relating to Oreos.

Almost half a trillion Oreos have been sold worldwide since they hit the market in 1912, one hundred years ago this year, so I think you could say that they have been pretty successful.

oreo cartoon

oreo cartoon

And that just leaves the big question.

So how do you eat yours?

Are you a dry biter and cruncher?

Or a dunker?

Or a twist and licker?

However you do it, the next time you do it, save a thought for people like Sam J Porcello.

Oreos classic

Oreos classic

 

 

FACTOID ALERT!

Oreos are sold in Argentina (with banana filling and with caramel filling in the same package; in Canada (where they are manufactured and sold under the Christie brand); in China (where they were introduced only in 1996 but have now become the best-selling cookie in the People’s Republic of China, after altering its recipe to have a lower sugar content to suit local tastes); in Croatia (since February 2011); in India (introduced in March 2011 under Cadbury brand); in Norway (since 2004); in Poland (from February 2011); and in the United Kingdom from May 2008). They are also to be found in shops and supermarkets in many other countries.

If your interested Nabisco has an Oreo web site

http://www.nabiscoworld.com/oreo/

 

Speaking personally I’m a Wagon Wheels man. Good luck finding those but they’re truly scrumptious!

Scrumptious Wagon Wheels!

Scrumptious Wagon Wheels!

 

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

I should make it clear right at the start of this blog post that the person who was being accused of being an asshole was ME!

Of course, you know from reading my blog that such a description could never be applied to me ….ahem, however, a while back I had somehow managed to get my name on an “idiot” list of people who could be called about various scams and “investments”.

I suspect that one of those companies that would never sell your details, sold my details.

Well, as an unwanted consequence, I had cold callers by the square yard for a while.

Oil was the thing to be in.

No, it was commodities futures.

Had I invested in ETFs?

No, wait,  currency trading was far better.

Nope colored diamonds was even better than that.

Shale oil, natural gas, copper reserves, opal mines……

And on and on and on and on it went for several months.

getting cold called

getting cold called

At the start I listened politely. I’ve had to cold call people on a few occasions myself and I know what a horrible job it is, so I answered their inane questions, pretended I was vaguely interested in what they had to say, but eventually declined all their more than generous offers.

Man, if only I had done a few of those investments I would have been richer than Bill Gates by now – or broke a lot faster!

But as the weeks went on, a bit like the telemarketers I wrote about in the cunningly named “Telemarketers”,  my patience ran out. I started to say up front that I wasn’t interested and couldn’t afford it and if they couldn’t take that hint, I hung up.

However there was one particularly unpleasant young guy who worked for an investment brokerage in New York. He probably had never made it farther than Manhattan in his life, but he was an authority about everything, about everything, about everything. You know the type. And like most people so endowed he actually knew hardly anything at all.

So one day he phoned me up. I must have been at a bit of a lose end (before my blogging days!) so I listened to what he had to say. He had spoken to me before, but didn’t remember, so I knew his patter and what was coming and therefore was well prepared with my answers.

Was I interested in investing? Yes, absolutely.

Had I ever invested in the stock market before? Yes, indeed I had.

Had I any stocks at the moment? Well, no, not at the moment. I’ve been waiting on a “really great deal” to come along.

Of course, I knew he had a “really great deal”.

“Terrific!” he said. “Because I am about to offer you a really great deal!”

Am I psychic or what?

I have a great deal for you!

I have a great deal for you!

 

Naturally I got a little excited at this wonderful news and wanted more details, like pronto!

Ah, but first he had a bit on his cold call sheet to quality investors.

What kind of amount was I comfortable with? How much did I normally invest?

I knew this would be where the fun would really start. So I said that it depended on the deal, if it was good enough then it could be a decent amount.

That wasn’t good enough. He wanted to quantify it.

“Would you be comfortable with something in the $5000 range?” he asked.

“Not really,” I said, then hearing him deflate on the other end of the phone I followed with, “No, if I’m interested, and there’s no guarantee that I am because you haven’t told me anything about this investment, it would have to be a much bigger amount than that.”

Almost immediately I could hear the vacuum pump activating and re-inflating him.

Now he was sure he had hooked a whale, but tugging on his line was just the big bunch of crap I was giving him.

Then he told me what the investment was. Some pharmaceutical company that was about to go into orbit once a new drug they were working had been perfected and FDA approved and all that rigmarole.

If you don’t know about these things, firms like these who cold call hyping some obscure share or other are on a BIG percentage of the price they get. Could be as high as 75% in some cases. The shares are usually completely worthless and virtually unsaleable on the open market so if you are foolish enough to buy them you are stuck with them and the chances of the company coming good are millions to one. Better to buy a few lottery tickets.

So he could do me a great deal on these shares. They had been trading at up to 90 cents a few months ago (I presumed on IMDAQ, that’s the imaginary stock exchange) but his company had managed to secure some at a fraction of that price. If I were to invest say $50,000 I could get them at 30 cents.

Boy was I interested?

No, not in the slightest, but I didn’t tell him that.

What I said was something like, “Yeah that sounds okay, but for that level of investment is that really the best you could do. What if I could get a few friends interested and maybe raise $100,000? Could you sweeten the deal on your end?”

I got the feeling that this was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to this idiot. He could hardly contain himself.

He talked and he talked and he better talked.

Unsurprisingly he could sweeten the price a little for that level of investment and the price duly came down to 25 cents per share.

I wasn’t very impressed. I asked for a better deal.

This time he would have to consult his supervisor to see if he could get a better deal on the share price, so the line went dead for a couple of minutes (a well known sales ploy) and then back he came, 23 cents was the best he could do.

“So that’s 434,782 shares for the $100,000?” I asked. Our calculators agreed the number.

“It’s good,” I told him, “But for that sort of cash I would need at least half a million shares, probably more.”

“Let’s not play games,” he said, ready to make another counter offer.

“Why not?” I asked. “I like playing games.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah!”

“You like playing games?” he asked, a little confused.

The penny was very close to the edge but it hadn’t quite dropped.

“Yeah, don’t you?” I answered happily. “This has been fun.”

“What?

…..WTF?

…..You mean you’re NOT interested?”

 

“Well I did say up front that there were no guarantees,” I reminded him.

 

“But?….  Why did….? ….”

Short pause.

Silence.

Sound of penny finally dropping.

Then, in a very high pitch girly kind of voice,

angry and shrieking like a girl

angry and shrieking like a girl

“You’re a f****** asshole!”

CLICK!!!

He was great fun. But, alas, he didn’t want to play any more because he never called again ;(

 

Have fun with your next cold caller!

 

 

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

 

First of all, well done if you were one of the people who tried out the quiz. I hope you enjoyed it.

Today’s blog, if the alliterated title full of “f” words hasn’t given it away already, is regarding financial matters. No, hang on, stick with it. It’s not that bad really.

Were you one of the “zuckers” who bought shares in Facebook? I hope the answer is no, because it is another example of the stupidity and madness that greed can provoke in people who should know better, but frequently don’t.

Zuckerberg Pre-IPO

Zuckerberg Pre-IPO

I can’t predict the future, but I knew that the Facebook IPO would cost a lot of idiots a lot of money.

The IPO launch price was tagged at $38 per share or something like 100 times the company’s earnings. It is easy to know why they priced it so. They set the price that high because they thought they could get away with it. Because the herd, unknowing and unthinking, would swallow the crazy hype about the company and buy, buy, buy!

Does that show more than a little contempt for the people you want to invest in your company?  Sadly I think that it does. Not that it is all down to the greed of Zuckerberg. The advising and underwriting banks had a lot to do with it and we know for a fact that they have nothing but contempt for ordinary mortals like ourselves. We are the marks, they are the conmen!

Usually they take the time to milk us dry before abandoning the market and leaving the ordinary investor to lick their wounds. But this time it happened fast. Within hours in fact!

Those who were not in the “loop” and couldn’t buy pre-launch, waded in on launch day and bought, bought, bought from $38 right up to $45 which the shares reached for a couple of minutes.

zucker

zucker

The poor fools got whacked almost straight away.

The market very quickly began to realize it had been conned, that this was not a LinkedIn IPO and the issue price had been set far, far too high to ever double on launch. An element of sanity crept in. Facebook  promptly started to fall, by about 11%.

In other words if you’d invested $1000 in the morning you would have turned it into $868 in the space of a few hours. If you were unfortunate to buy at the peak price, your $1000 would now be worth just a little over $700. OUCH!

Zuckerberg Post-IPO

Zuckerberg Post-IPO

But it wasn’t just individual investors that got caught. Almost every large mutual fund etc., most of which are run by, let’s be kind and say, poorer quality managers, felt compelled to purchase Facebook shares, not because they though they were a good buy but because they saw other idiots doing the same and they were frightened about the possibility of missing out “the next Big Thing”.

Little do most investors realize, but the situation could have been even worse had the price not been artificially propped up for a while by the investment bank underwriters.

For the benefit of those who aren’t investors and/or who don’t know how the market works in things like this, here is a quick summary. IPOs are underwritten by investment banks like Morgan Stanley. The investment banks therefore have their reputations on the line. If the IPO goes really badly so does their reputation and their chances of being asked to underwrite future IPOs (and they get huge gigantic enormous fees for this work so they don’t want to lose it.)

Trust Me I'm A Banker

Trust Me I’m A Banker

Thus, in the case of Facebook, when the share price stopped climbing and quickly fell back to the $38 launch price, the investment bank underwriters stepped in and bought heavily. Without their intervention Facebook could have fallen catastrophically on its first day of trading.

Facebook does generate cash, mainly from advertising revenue. It has a vast following and that advertising revenue should rise substantially over time, so the company may one day be worth the $38 and even more. Google launched at $85 and is now worth $600, but it is a proven quantity revenue-wise and the price rise took time.

But, and it’s a big BUT, Facebook would need to be a hell of a lot better managed than at its market launch.

Thumbs DOWN Facebook stock IPO crash

Thumbs DOWN Facebook stock IPO crash

But for now, I’m with my other “mad” friend Jim Cramer of Mad Money fame who rightly and sensibly advised a pass on the Facebook IPO. There may be a time to buy into Facebook, but the writing on my wall says “not today thanks”. Booyah Jim!

Jim Cramer "Booyah!"

Jim Cramer “Booyah!”

There’s an obvious question that I haven’t addressed. It is, “So what do I think Facebook is worth?” Well for what my opinion on these matters is worth (i.e. probably not much) I would peg the value at a lot closer to $18 than $38. I may be right, or I may be wrong, but I really don’t care because I haven’t bought any. I might reconsider if it the price comes a bit closer to my valuation, but it’s only a might.

The small print. (I know it’s just the same size, WordPress didn’t tell me how to change it.)

Fasab disclaimer: this blog post does not constitute professional advice as regards investments on the stock exchange, such advice would only be given and indicated thus if an outrageous fee were being charged and this blog is being given to you for free. Also any investor should always be aware that shares can fall as well as plummet and should act accordingly by not investing any money they can not afford to lose.

 

 

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

Okay, so you called in anyhow, despite yesterdays warning that a test was imminent. Well done. I applaud your courage. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, then you now know how I used to feel in school when then had surprise tests.

But don’t worry, most of the questions aren’t difficult, maybe a little tricky here and there. There’s no pressure, no pass rate, no minimum score you have to get, or any of that sort of stuff. And you may have seen some of them before. It’s just a bit of what I hope will be entertainment. (If you can answer them all correctly I might issue a certificate – because although they aren’t difficult questions, they aren’t easy either.)

Keep your thinking time to a minimum, the funniest results happen when you answer as quickly as possible.

For best results write your answers down on a piece of paper and then look at the answers (shown below) when you’ve finished.

Okay, here we go:

Q1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

Q2. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

Q3. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

Q4. Some months have 30 days, some have 31; how many months have 28 days?

Q5. Do they have a 4th of July in England?

Q6. Is half of two plus two equal to two or three?

Q7. A farmer has 17 sheep. All but 9 died. How many did he have left?

Q8. Three travelers register at a hotel and are told that their rooms will cost $10 each so they pay $30. Later the clerk realizes that he made a mistake and should have only charged them $25. He gives a bellboy $5 to return to them but the bellboy is dishonest and gives them each only $1, keeping $2 for himself. So the men actually spent $27 and the bellboy kept $2. What happened to the other dollar of the original $30?

Q9. If you had a ton of feathers and a ton of stones which would be heavier?

Q10. Take two apples from three apples and what do you have?

Q11. Imagine you’re alone in a boat with a large hole in the bottom. Sharks are swimming around you on all sides and the boat is sinking fast. How do you survive?

Q12.  Read this sentence.

Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.

How many times does the letter F appear?

Q13.  Two boys weighing 50 pounds each and their older brother weighing 100 pounds wish to cross a river. Their boat will only hold 100 pounds. How can they all cross the river in the boat?

Q14.  What is the only anagram of Springiest? (as far as I know)

Q15.  A plane crashed on the border or US and Canada. Where do they bury the survivors?

Q16.  A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven’t eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

Q17.  You are the bus driver.

At your first stop, you pick up 29 people.

On your second stop, 18 of those 29 people get off, and at the same time 10 new passengers arrive.

At your next stop, 3 of those 10 passengers get off, and 13 new passengers come on.

On your fourth stop 4 of the remaining 10 passengers get off, 6 of those new 13 passengers get off as well, then 17 new passengers get on.

What is the color of the bus driver’s eyes?

Q18.  Divide 30 by 1/2 and add ten. What is the answer?

Q19.  What is the significance of the following: The year is 1978, thirty-four minutes past noon on May 6th.

Q20.  Is it legal in the State of California for a man to marry his widow’s sister?

Q21.  If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

Q22.  What do you put in a toaster?

Q23.  What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

Q24.  Say “silk” five times. Now spell “silk”. What do cows drink?

Q25.  How many animals of each species did Moses take aboard the Ark with him?

Q26.  A boat has a ladder that has six rungs. Each rung is one foot apart. The bottom rung is one foot from the water. The tide rises at 12 inches every 15 minutes. High tide peaks in one hour.

When the tide is at its highest, how many rungs are under water?

Q27.  You’re riding a horse. To the right of you is a cliff and in front of you is an elephant moving at the same pace and you can’t overtake it. To the left of you is a hippo running at the same speed and a lion is chasing you. How do you get to safety?

Q28.  Perform this calculation in your head, mentally adding the numbers as quickly as you can. Start with 1000 and add 40.

Now add 1000.

Add 30 to that, then add another 1000.

Now add 20 to that result.

Add another 1000 and finally, add 10 to that.

What is the total?

Q29.  Two fathers and two sons go fishing together in the same boat. They all catch a fish but the total catch for the day is 3 fish. How is this possible?

Q30.  In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

And finally,

Look at the picture below and say aloud what color the word is written in, not what the word says, but the color it is written in. There is not a right or wrong answer to this, but try it anyway. Personally I find this one very difficult.

color conundrum

color conundrum

Why is this so difficult? Apparently it’s because the right half of your brain is trying to say the color, while the left side of your brain is trying to say the word. I suppose how well you get on will depend on which side is dominant.

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THE ANSWERS:

Q1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

A1.  Johnny, of course. The brain tends to focus on the sequence and a lot of people answer “June” so if you did you are not alone.

Q2. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

A2. Mt Everest. Just because it wasn’t discovered, it was still there and still the biggest.

Q3. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

A3. None! There ain’t no dirt in the hole. That’s why they call it a hole.

Q4. Some months have 30 days, some have 31; how many months have 28 days?

A4. If you answered “1” then you were wrong by “11”. All the months of the year have 28 days, at least.

Q5. Do they have a 4th of July in England?

A5.  Yes indeed they do. And a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th as well

Q6.  Is half of two plus two equal to two or three?

A6.  Three.  (2 x 0.5) = 1 +2 = 3

Q7.  A farmer has 17 sheep. All but 9 died. How many did he have left?

A7.  Nine. All but nine died, so nine were still alive.

Q8. Three travelers register at a hotel and are told that their rooms will cost $10 each so they pay $30. Later the clerk realizes that he made a mistake and should have only charged them $25. He gives a bellboy $5 to return to them but the bellboy is dishonest and gives them each only $1, keeping $2 for himself. So the men actually spent $27 and the bellboy kept $2. What happened to the other dollar of the original $30?

A8.  Nothing. There is no missing dollar from the original $30 it can just seem that way. When they got $1 back, the three travelers had paid a total of $27 for their room ($9 each), not $30. Out of that $27, the hotel has $25 and the clerk kept the remaining $2. If you still want to work from the original $30, the travelers have $3, the hotel has $25 and the bellboy has $2. The misleading part is adding the bellboy’s $2 to the $27, when in fact it should be subtracted.

Q9.  If you had a ton of feathers and a ton of stones which would be heavier?

A9.  A ton ,is a ton, is a ton. They’d both weigh the same.

Q10. Take two apples from three apples and what do you have?

A10. Well, you took two, so you have two. A lot of people say one, were you one?

Q11.  Imagine you’re alone in a boat with a large hole in the bottom. Sharks are swimming around you on all sides and the boat is sinking fast. How do you survive?

A11.  Don’t worry. You’re in no real danger. Just stop imagining!

Q12.  Read this sentence.

Finished files are the re-

sult of years of scientif-

ic study combined with

the experience of years.

How many times does the letter F appear?

A12.  There are six. But most people skip the word ‘of’ and only count three, especially when reading quickly.

Q13.  Two boys weighing 50 pounds each and their older brother weighing 100 pounds wish to cross a river. Their boat will only hold 100 pounds. How can they all cross the river in the boat?

A13.  Two 50lb boys cross, one comes back.

100lb boy crosses, other 50lb boy returns

Both 50lb boys cross again.

Q14.  What is the only anagram of Springiest? (as far as I know)

A14. Persisting  –  unless of course you know different???

Q15.  A plane crashed on the border or US and Canada. Where do they bury the survivors?

A15.  Well, unless you are complete psycho and like to bury people alive then you wouldn’t bury the survivors at all!

Q16.  A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven’t eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

A16.  He should choose the third room. If the lions haven’t eaten for 3 years I’d say they probably be dead and couldn’t do him any harm.

Q17.  You are the bus driver.

At your first stop, you pick up 29 people.

On your second stop, 18 of those 29 people get off, and at the same time 10 new passengers arrive.

At your next stop, 3 of those 10 passengers get off, and 13 new passengers come on.

On your fourth stop 4 of the remaining 10 passengers get off, 6 of those new 13 passengers get off as well, then 17 new passengers get on.

What is the color of the bus driver’s eyes?

A17.  I don’t know the answer. But you do, since you are the bus driver!

Q18.  Divide 30 by 1/2 and add ten. What is the answer?

A18.  The answer is 70. It’s the dividing bit at the beginning that gets most people on the wrong track.

Q19.  What is the significance of the following: The year is 1978, thirty-four minutes past noon on May 6th.

A19.  The time/month/date/year of an American style calendar are 12:34, 5/6/78.

Q20.  Is it legal in the State of California for a man to marry his widow’s sister?

A20.  The answer is probably “Yes”, it is legal. But it is also impossible since the man would be dead!

Q21.  If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

A21.  Well, since you just passed the person in 2nd place that would put them in 3rd place and you in 2nd place. So “2nd” is the right answer.

Q22.  What do you put in a toaster?

A22.  You didn’t say “toast” did you? That’s what comes out of the toaster, the right answer Is “bread”.

Q23.  What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

A23. The clue is in the question here. The answer is ‘incorrectly”, except of course where it is mishspeeled.

Q24.  Say “silk” five times. Now spell “silk”. What do cows drink?

A24.  Did you say “milk”? Most people do. But think about it, a cow drinks “water”.

Q25.  How many animals of each species did Moses take aboard the Ark with him?

A25.  None. Maybe you were thinking about Noah???

Q26.  A boat has a ladder that has six rungs. Each rung is one foot apart. The bottom rung is one foot from the water. The tide rises at 12 inches every 15 minutes. High tide peaks in one hour.

When the tide is at its highest, how many rungs are under water?

A26.  None. It’s a boat. It floats.

Q27.  You’re riding a horse. To the right of you is a cliff and in front of you is an elephant moving at the same pace and you can’t overtake it. To the left of you is a hippo running at the same speed and a lion is chasing you. How do you get to safety?

A27.  Just get off the merry-go-round, you’re too old for that sort of thing anyway.

Q28.  Perform this calculation in your head, mentally adding the numbers as quickly as you can. Start with 1000 and add 40.

Now add 1000.

Add 30 to that, then add another 1000.

Now add 20 to that result.

Add another 1000 and finally, add 10 to that.

What is the total?

A28.  If you said 5000 you be along with 96% of people who try this, but you’d also be wrong. The correct answer is 4100.

Q29.  Two fathers and two sons go fishing together in the same boat. They all catch a fish but the total catch for the day is 3 fish. How is this possible?

A29.  They are Grandfather, Father and Son.

Q30.  In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

A30.  Because there ain’t a camera in a wooden leg (not a normal one anyhow).