Posts Tagged ‘facts’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, the usual unusual mixture of facts for you today.

You’ll have a job trying to get Saturn into a bathtub, but in the meantime there are a lot of other facts to explore.

Enjoy.

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facts 04

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If you could put Saturn in a bathtub it would float.

(But you will need a very large bathtub.)

saturn in a bathtub

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If saliva cannot dissolve something,

you cannot taste it.

taste

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Your brain accounts for about 2% of your mass

but uses up to a quarter of your oxygen and energy

brain

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Chocolate contains phenylethylamine,

a naturally occurring amino-acid

which is believed to have aphrodisiacal effects

and is even said to be able to “cure” hangovers.

chocolate

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Roger Woodward goes down in history

as the youngest person to go over the

Niagara Falls unprotected and survive.

It was unintentional and happened

after a boat he was in capsized.

miracle of Niagra

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Marc Okrand, the linguistics professor responsible

for coming up with the fictional language of Klingon,

spent 3 years teaching his son when he was little.

His son went on to forget everything.

klingon

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At its height in 480BC the first Persian Empire

covered 44% of the world’s population.

This is the largest percentage of any empire in history.

By comparison the British only had 20%

persian_empire

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Life expectancy in the middle ages wasn’t as low as you think.

The average age was brought down

but that was mostly because of a high infant mortality rate.

Most adults lived well into their 60s.

the middle ages

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Animal Kingdom was supposed to have had

a land devoted to mythical creatures,

but it was abandoned at the last minute.

However, no one thought about

changing the Animal Kingdom sign,

which still includes a dragon

disney-animal-kingdom-logo

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Gorgias of Epirus, a Greek teacher

was born in his dead mother’s coffin.

The pallbearers heard him crying during the burial.

Gorgias of Epirus

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Heresy comes from a Greek word meaning choice

Heresy-stamp

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JFK was a huge James Bond fan.

He first met the author of the series,

Ian Fleming, at a dinner party in 1960.

They allegedly bounced around ideas

about how to get rid of Fidel Castro.

007

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The world’s highest road is the Aucanquilcha mining road.

This mining road was once used by trucks

to climb this Chilean volcano to an altitude of over 6,000 meters.

Aucanquilcha mining road

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In ancient Rome, urine was used as mouthwash.

(Now that really is taking the piss!)

urine was used as mouthwash

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The musical Grease is one of the highest grossing of all time

with receipts Worldwide of $394,955,690.

I think this is the one that you want….

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello and welcome to another fact feast day on the fasab blog.

The usual selection of random facts, but with a few extras thrown in as a tribute to the late, great, and apparently much troubled Robin Williams.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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In spite of the larger-than-life legends,

the Pony Express only lasted 19 months

(April 1860 to October 1861)

Pony Express

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According to a published Star Wars encyclopedia,

the real name of the Star Wars robot known to us as ‘R2-D2’,

is actually ‘Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2’.

Star Wars robots R2D2 and 3CP0

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Robin Williams was awarded a star

on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

in Hollywood, California

on December 12, 1990.

Robin Williams Hollywood Walk of Fame

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The first chocolate bar

suitable enough for widespread consumption

was produced by the Fry’s chocolate factory,

located in Bristol, England in 1847.

Fry's chocolate factory Bristol

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Of the ten deadliest wars every fought,

seven were fought in China

More people died in each of the two largest

than in WWI

war in China

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Up until the 1800s dentures were often

made from the teeth of dead soldiers.

dentures

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Robin Williams devoted much of his time and energy to charities.

For example,

he supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

and helped to rebuild the city of Christchurch

after the 2010 earthquake in New Zealand.

Robin Williams; Whoopi Goldberg; Billy Crystal

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In Archi,

a language spoken around the Caspian Sea,

each verb can have up to 1.5 million different conjugations

Archi_pic

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During medieval times animals were put on trial

and sometimes sentenced to death

Medieval animal trials

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Robin Williams co-owned the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco

with his friend Robert De Niro and

fellow Bay area resident Francis Ford Coppola.

Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco

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You have roughly 70,000 thoughts

every day!

thoughts

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Dung beetles can use the Milky Way to navigate.

(My stars!)

Dung beetles can use the Milky Way to navigate

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The title, “World’s luckiest unluckiest man”

belongs to Frane Selak, a Croatian music teacher,

who has literally escaped the jaws of death seven times.

On January 1962, a train he was on flipped off the tracks

killing 17 passengers. He survived.

In 1963, he was sucked out of a malfunctioning plane door

and landed in a haystack; the plane crashed killing 19 people.

In 1966, a bus Selak was on skidded off the road and into a river

where four passengers drowned.

1970 and 1973 his car caught on fire;

1995 he was struck by a bus

and in 1996 he drove into a gorge.

Frane Selak

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In 1911, French tailor Franz Reichelt

decided to test his invention,

a combination overcoat and parachute,

by jumping off the Eiffel Tower.

It didn’t work.

Franz Reichelt Eiffel Tower

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Robin WIlliams is also the author of many

both humorous and serious quotes such as:

“Reality is just a crutch for people

who can’t cope with drugs.“

Or

“No matter what people tell you,

words and ideas can change the world.“

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Did You Know? – Another Round Of Fabulous Facts!

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Factoids, Unusual
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another random bunch of facts for you today.

I think I prefer the final one the best because of its irony and the fact that it illustrates that people can sometimes delude and convince themselves into believing they saw what the really didn’t.

Anyway, here they are, so choose your own favorite, but whatever you do….

Enjoy.

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facts 02

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The US Constitution contains many

spelling and grammatical errors.

american-constitution

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The term ‘Lunatic’ is derived from the Latin word ‘luna’ meaning ‘moon’.

It originated from the belief that insanity is caused by changes in the moon.

Lunatic

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Thirty-three light years away there is an

exoplanet completely covered in burning ice.

burning ice

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James Stephen “Steve” Fossett was an American businessman,

and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer

who, in 2002, became the first person to

fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon.

Steve Fossett

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At its peak the Roman Empire

stretched for 2.51 million square miles,

but it was only the 19th largest empire in history.

Roman_Empire_Map

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Throughout the 1800s people were buried alive so often

that coffins included mechanisms to allow those people

to ring a bell in the graveyard.

people were buried alive so often that coffins included mechanisms to allow those people to ring a bell in the graveyard

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Homer and Langley Collyer, two compulsive hoarders,

were found buried beneath a collapsed pile of

the things they had stored in their house over the years.

Homer and Langley Collyer house

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The last time a cavalry charge was used on the battlefield

was during WWII when a Mongolian cavalry division

charged a German infantry division.

Two thousand Mongolians were killed

and not a single German died.

Mongolian cavalry division

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In ancient Egypt some servants were covered in honey

to attract flies away from the pharaoh.

(I suppose it’s better than the alternative!)

servants were covered in honey to attract flies away from the pharaoh

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June 28, 2014 was the 100 year anniversary of the assassination

of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria,

heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne,

who was killed in Sarajevo along with his wife Duchess Sophie

by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip.

This was the incident that led to the Great War,

also now known as World War I.

assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

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Although several notable people died on the toilet,

one of the most famous is probably Elvis Presley.

Doctors attributed his death to too many prescription drugs.

elvis-presley-s-toilet

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When pizza deliveryman Brian Wells

was stopped by the police in the middle of a bank robbery

no one believed his story that he had been forced to do it

by some people he had delivered pizza to.

He kept on pleading with the officers saying that

the necklace he was wearing was a bomb.

Unfortunately for him though,

the bomb squad didn’t show up early enough.

pizza deliveryman Brian Wells

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Almost one-seventh (840) of all the languages on Earth

are spoken in one country…

Papua New Guinea.

map_of_papua-new-guinea

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When it was first built,

Disney’s Tomorrowland

was supposed to represent

the far off future year of 1986.

Tomorrowland_Disneyland

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A famous proponent of healthy eating and organic farming,

Jerome Irving Rodale died of a heart attack

while being interviewed on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971.

Some of his last words were that [he] would

“live to 100, unless [he was] run down by a a sugar-crazy taxi driver”.

Appearing fast asleep during the show, Dick Cavett joked

“Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?”

before discovering that his 72-year-old guest had indeed died.

Many people are convinced they saw this on TV

but the incident was never aired.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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In truth nothing much to do with August, except that’s the months we are now in and you have to call these posts something.

But don’t let that deter you from finding out a few more interesting facts.

Here they are.

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fact 01

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You have over 100,000 km of blood vessels in your brain.

That’s enough to wrap around the world 4 times.

The arteries of the brain

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Poinsettias are not lethal.

If your pet is silly enough to eat one,

it may upset its stomach but it won’t kill anything.

christmas-poinsettia-flowers

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Allan Pinkerton,

famous for creating the Pinkerton detective agency

died of an infection after biting his tongue

when he slipped on a sidewalk.

Allan Pinkerton

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Your ears secrete more earwax when

you are afraid than when you aren’t.

afraid more earwax

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Chewing gum doesn’t take 7 years to digest.

It actually can’t be digested at all

and will pass right through you as is.

guy_chewing_gum

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It takes a photon, on average, 170,000 years

to travel from the core of the sun to the surface.

Then it takes just 8 minutes

from the sun’s surface to your eyes.

a photon

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The radiation leak from the Chenobyl nuclear reactor accident

caused the nearby forest to turn a bright ginger color,

thus the forest was named the “Red Forest”.

 

red forest

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The Tinkerbelle that flies across the sky during the

Disney fireworks show is sometimes a man.

Tinkerbell fireworks display Disney

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According to researchers,

who have not been there and don’t know what they are talking about,

the center of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells like rum.

raspberry and rum galaxy

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According to astronauts,

who have been there and do know what they are talking about,

space smells like seared steak, hot metal, and welding fumes.

astronaut space-smell

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On Sept. 2, 1944, George H W Bush was flying over Japan

when his aircraft was shot down in the Pacific.

Bush and another crewman were able to bail out,

but the other man’s parachute malfunctioned,

and he went down with the plane.

Bush was eventually rescued by a

submarine off the coast of Chichi-jima.

George H W Bush WWII

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There are roughly 7,000 languages

estimated to still be spoken on Earth.

About 2,400 of them are in danger of going extinct.

In fact, one goes extinct every 14 days.

7,000 languages

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War comes from a Germanic root

that meant “to confuse”

war

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For a long time people speculated over the identity

of the secret informant behind the Watergate Scandal,

codenamed “Deep Throat”.

Recently he was revealed to be

former FBI associate director Mark Felt.

FBI associate director Mark Felt

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Michael Holmes, the youngest man

to have ever received a skydiving instructor certification,

saw his young career almost come to an end

when on December 2006 a skydive jump went horribly wrong.

Due to faulty ropes, Holmes’ main and reserve parachutes

failed to deploy sending him spiraling out of control

towards certain death.

However, thanks to a blackberry bush,

Holmes was able to survive the fall

with only a punctured lung and a shattered ankle.

This horrifying experience was all captured on camera.

Here it is….

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Did You Know – The Facts Are Here!

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Factoids, Unusual
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The facts are indeed here.

Most Tuesdays in fact (no pun intended, that’s Thursdays!).

A very random selection of hopefully interesting things to peruse, perhaps with a nice cup of coffee.

Enjoy.

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facts 03

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Dogs don’t sweat through their tongue.

Most of their sweat glands are located in their foot pads.

While panting does keep them cool,

panting is not equivalent to sweating.

dog panting

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The word “Berserk” comes from ancient Norse fighters

who were known as Berserkers

Berserker

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800,000 brave men risked their lives

by exposing themselves to radiation

in order to contain the Chernobyl disaster.

25,000 of these have died (20 percent by suicide)

and 70,000 are disabled.

The environmental group Greenpeace places the

eventual death toll at 93,000 cancer deaths world wide,

but surprisingly, the overall rate of cancer deaths

and other health effects related to the Chernobyl accident

is lower than initially feared.

Chernobyl disaster workers

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The average woman is 5 inches shorter

than the average man.

tall woman short man

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On her 112th jump South African skydiver,

Christine McKenzie’s main and reserve

parachutes both failed to deploy.

As she raced towards earth from a height

of about 11,000 feet, she fell on power lines.

She was not electrocuted,

but instead the power lines helped

brake her fall and save her life.

 

skydiver.

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At any given time your brain

can generate up to 25 watts of power.

That’s enough to power a lightbulb.

brain can generate up to 25 watts of power

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Martin Bormann, the highest ranking Nazi official

who wasn’t accounted for after World War II

was thought to have gone into hiding

somewhere in South America

and sightings had been reported for years.

In 1999, however, his body was found

in an unmarked grave near the bunker

where Hitler committed suicide.

Martin Bormann

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Bats aren’t blind.

While many species do use echolocation,

some have excellent night vision

and don’t rely on echolocation at all.

Bats

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British pro wrestler Mal “King Kong” Kirk

was squished to death under the belly

of Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree when

Crabtree performed his signature “belly slam”

Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree

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There’s a gas cloud in the constellation of Aquila

that contains enough alcohol to make

400 trillion trillion pints of beer.

(Now that’s my kinda gas cloud!)

pints of beer

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When you are looking at someone you love,

your pupils dilate…

they do the same when

you are looking at someone you hate!

dilated pupil

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The statue of Cinderella at Disney

looks sad to adults,

but from a child’s view she is

happily smiling and wearing a crown.

statue of Cinderella at Disney

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A Japanese man recently sued the

National Broadcasting Company

for the mental distress they caused him

by using too many English words in their programs

Japanese English dictionary

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The Earth isn’t actually orbiting around the Sun.

It’s orbiting around the Solar System’s center of mass

known as the Barycenter.

Although this point often falls within the mass of the Sun,

it can be shifted by the pull of larger planets.

Therefore, at least some of the time,

everything in the solar system

is orbiting around empty space

Earth orbiting around the Sun 

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The Silbo language of La Gomera

off the coast of Spain

consists entirely of whistles.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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“It was the Russians, they’re the ones to blame.”

“It was Putin. He’s the baddie. We can’t let him get way with it!”

 malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17

So go the cries in the US in the aftermath of the shooting down of Air Malaysia Flight MH17 over the Ukraine.

And that was long before any of the facts had been collected and it was known who shot down a plane on a different continent, or why. 

Russia wants (virtual) control of the Ukraine. There isn’t really any doubt about that. For them it is a strategic imperative. Russia’s history has taught it that it needs to be able to control a vast amount of territory, if only to use as a buffer zone against invasion.

The situation is not helped by various US Presidents and Secretaries of State giving Russia assurances that they would not attempt to involve the peripheral former Soviet states in things like NATO – and then trying to do the exact opposite.

It is now widely accepted that the underlying reason for the unrest in the Ukraine and Russia’s reaction is because of US interference in that country, which included helping to overthrow its democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and replace him with someone who was a virtual puppet of the West.

That was just asking for trouble. And they should have known it.

And they will get trouble, probably much more than they bargained for.

Unfortunately that will impact on ordinary people, like us.

 Major_NATO_affiliations_in_Europe

Just as the US has its beady eyes on bringing the Ukraine and other former Soviet states into pro-Western organizations like NATO, it is equally certain that Putin will have his beady eyes on not only bringing the former Soviet states back firmly under Russian control, but in perhaps expanding his relationships with other parts of Europe.

Putin has the energy reserves to do it. Whilst there is very little in the way of direct trade between the US and Russia, particularly in regard to energy supplies, (Russia is just the United States’ 20th largest trading partner), Europe is largely dependent on Russian gas to keep it going. Over 30 percent of the European Union’s energy supplies come from Russia and the EU is Russia’s largest trading partner.

Russia’s counter strategy, therefore, will obviously be to use its considerable economic influence as leverage to try to break up the NATO alliance and to separate the European power house, Germany, from its Anglo-American alliance.

Putin is being helped by the arrogance of America’s government spooks who thought they could spy on their friends and allies, even going so far as tapping the phone of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, without there being consequences.  

consequences

Prompted by leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the fallout from America’s spying debacle continues, people have been arrested, and the German government has even ordered the local CIA station chief to pack his bags and leave the country.

Germany may still place some value on its relationship with the US, but not nearly so much as previously, thanks solely to America’s lack of respect for them.

Putin and his advisors know this, even if Obama and Kerry don’t. They see Germany as ready for change. And they may well be right. The German people are angry at the contempt America has shown for them  – just as Americans would rightly have been if the Germans had done the same to them and their President  –  and they are increasingly frustrated at the burden the European Union has become economically.

If the US doesn’t catch itself on and behave differently and with respect towards its foreign friends, it may find that there will be changes it did not expect and certainly did not want.

Kerry Putin Obama

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We had it with the real estate market. Billions of dollars being lent to people who obviously couldn’t afford it.

We saw the trouble, hardship, misery and financial woes that were caused as credit dried up, real estate prices began to tumble, and bankruptcies and foreclosures increased.

And we know the damage it did to the economy when irresponsible banks and other lenders went bust and almost brought down the entire financial system. 

Smart people would learn from such a situation.

Smart people would never contemplate doing such a thing again.

But despite what they would like to have you believe, bankers are not smart people. They’re dumb and they are greedy, a deadly combination.

bad credit 100 percent financing

As a result of the financial crisis millions of Americans (and people in other countries too) have been left with poor credit scores. Yet remarkably they are now able to easily obtain auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. Even if you are bankrupt or living only on social security, banks like Wells Fargo will lend you thousands of dollars to buy a used car.

It’s called the new sub-prime boom, because the lack of caution resembles the frenzied sub-prime mortgage market before its collapse. And it is already bringing misery to many people who have been suckered into taking out loans that they clearly could not afford.

Worse than that, these sub-prime auto loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers, with interest rates that can exceed 20 percent. And many of the loans can be at least twice the value of the second hand cars they are being used to purchase!

wall street car crash

This creates a vicious circle for some borrowers, who still owe money on a car that they are trading in when they purchase another one, meaning that the former debt is rolled over into the new loan and they end up, not just paying too much for their current car, but also continue to pay off the loan on their previous car that they don’t even have!

This is the way loan sharks operate. Eventually you end up borrowing your own money and paying them interest for the privilege!

This surge in sub-prime auto lending is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in sub-prime mortgages. There is a veritable deluge of money pouring into sub-prime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors.

And just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are now feeding the growth in sub-prime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

To quote some of the figures, auto loans to people with bad credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered sub-prime, that is, people with credit scores at or below 640. Wells Fargo, mentioned earlier, made $7.8 billion in auto loans in the second quarter of this year, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and has at least $50 billion in auto loans on its books.

greedy bankers

Even worse, as was the case with sub-prime mortgages before the financial crisis, many sub-prime auto loans are being bundled up into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds. They are all scrambling for these, which in turn creates ever-greater demand for loans, and leads to the banks issuing more and more sub-prime credit.

Unbelievably it’s the same crooks doing exactly the same thing, including using incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, so that people who had lost their jobs, or were bankrupt, or living on Social Security, could qualify for loans that they could never afford.

carbuying credit report

Admittedly, the size of the sub-prime auto loan market is only a tiny fraction of the sub-prime mortgage market at its peak, and its implosion would not have the same far-reaching consequences.

For the banks the investors silly enough to buy their bonds, that is.

But the misery is just as great for the people who are suckered into accepting credit they cannot afford.

Illegal it may not be, but immoral it certainly is.

Political leaders who sit astride high horses and purport to be working on behalf of the ordinary people should be doing something about it.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t hold your breath!

obama used car salesman

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