SNAFU

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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snafu

It’s never pretty when some smart ass says I told you so.

But never mind that.

“I told you so.”

There I said it.

I wrote a post “The Only Way Is Up, Unless It’s Sideways” (if you want to read it click here) that all the logic in my head told me that contrary to the Fed’s threats to raise interest rates in June they wouldn’t.

They didn’t.

Gloat, gloat.

Mind you, although I’m taking all the credit that’s going, it wasn’t that hard to figure out. Despite that it did seem to be beyond most of the ‘financial advisors’ who just swallow whatever government crap that’s going and act accordingly – and usually lose money.

So it wasn’t a great surprise to me when on Friday past, after an announcement from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that reported 280,000 jobs created in May, the promised interest-rate hike expectations have moved back to this September. My guess is still that interest rates will remain near zero for considerably longer than that. (I explained my reasoning in that other post just referred to.)

SNAFU they say in the army.

For those who don’t know, SNAFU means ‘situation normal, all f***ed up’, because that’s how it always seems in the military. Usually however they muddle through because they can always count on being bailed out by the government.

With the government it’s different. There’s no one to bail them out.

US-Gross-National-Debt-1972-2014-B

The American economy, which is currently built around a staggeringly enormous debt of $18 trillion, is slowing.

Add to that equation sluggish economic recovery on the back of a collossal and prolonged printing of money by the Fed — Quantitative Easing, they called it.

And you do not have a sound enough foundation to support raising interest rates.

Some wiser voices in the Fed – maybe just a wise voice – realize the whole thing is out of control. The Fed has hinted, prodded and sometimes just asked plainly for the government to stop reckless spending habits. But the government hasn’t tightened its belt, nor doesn’t seem likely to.

dollar bill stash

What this really means is that a hike in interest rates too soon or too fast risks not only a market crash, but also a catastrophic mess for the government — and as I said in  my previous article on the subject 2016 is an election year so there probably won’t be much boat rocking going on.

Stay tuned for what happens in September, I still have some humble pie in the freezer if I need it.

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Plant Puns: Weed ‘Em And Reap!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Not really a day of plant puns, but it is Pun Day, so you might want to weep anyway.

You know the drill (little gardening pun there).

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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Teacher: If you were a great composer,

where would you live?

Boy: In A Flat.

Jimi Hendrix's flat

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I missed today’s Hairdressing Championships,

can anyone tell me if there were any highlights?

Hairdressing Championships

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The World Health Organization has

just announced its new slogan.

“WHO cares”.

WHO cares

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My teacher said I was average,

I told him that’s just mean.

average and mean

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I used to be a gold prospector,

but it didn’t pan out.

gold prospector

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I’ve written my own political manifesto

but I haven’t used one single upper-case letter.

I’m not a capitalist.

lower-case letter

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Men with gender issues have it tough in the UK,

I’m sure they’d love to be a broad.

Men with gender issues

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I wrote some new hymns for the congregation

to sing at my local church and the

Vicar says everybody loves them.

They can’t stop singing my praises.

hymns for the congregation

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I got chatting to a lumberjack in a pub.

He seemed like a decent feller.

lumberjack

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If you want to be a coroner be

prepared for a stiff examination.

coroner

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My friend is a real Don Juan with the ladies.

The ladies Don Juan anything to do with him.

Don Juan with the ladies

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When I was in the army I reckoned all

officers higher up that Colonels are assholes.

But I hate when people Generalize.

Generals

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I’ve never seen a flamenco dancer,

but those Spaniards must be clever

to train a bird of that size.

flamingo dancer

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My wife is trying to wind me up

with jibes about my impotence.

I’m not rising to that.

jibes about my impotence

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I didn’t want to go to the

“I Love The 80s” fancy dress party,

but my friend was adamant.

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Coat Hangers, White Chocolate And Kissing. Must Be Fact Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Looks like another day of random facts.

Hope you find something that you like.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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A coat hanger is 44 inches long if straightened

 

coat hanger

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White chocolate technically isn’t chocolate.

It contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor.

white-chocolate

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The science of kissing itself is called philematology.

science of kissing

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Elephants aren’t afraid of mice

but they are afraid of bees

Elephants afraid of bees

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The Mauryan Empire was founded by

Chandragupta Maurya in 322 B.C and was

the largest empire ever on the Indian subcontinent.

chandragupta_maurya_by_mrinal_rai-d760bch

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In 2007, While attending a dart-throwing convention

at a Minneapolis hotel, Josh Hanson (heavily intoxicated)

fell out of a window, plummeting 160 feet and

slamming into the ledge of the first floor.

He sustained a broken leg, two collapsed lungs and

a few bruises but lived to play darts again.

dart-throwing convention at this Minneapolis hotel

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Humans have more brain cells at the age of two

than at any other point in their lives

brain cells

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Images for picture stamps in the United States

are commissioned by the

United States Postal Service Department of Philatelic Fulfillment.

United States Postal Service Department of Philatelic Fulfillment Simpsons stamps

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It takes a lobster approximately

seven years to grow to be one pound.

lobster

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Bobby Leach was one of the greatest dare devils to ever live.

He would regularly perform death defying stunts

and was only the second person in history

to go over the side of the Niagara Falls in a barrel.

One day, however, while walking down

a quiet street in New Zealand,

Leach slipped on an orange peel, broke his leg,

and died due to complications that he developed afterwards.

 

Bobby Leach Niagra dare devil

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The ridges on the sides of coins are called reeding.

reeding on coins

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At latitude 60 degrees south you can

sail all the way around the world.

latitude 60 degrees south

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King Goujian of Yue placed a row of

convicted criminals at the front of his army.

Before the battle they would all cut off their own heads

to show the other army how crazy King Goujian’s army was.

King Goujian of Yue

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The “Calabash” pipe,

most often associated with Sherlock Holmes,

was not used by him until William Gillette (an American)

portrayed Holmes onstage.

Gillette needed a pipe he could keep in

his mouth while he spoke his lines.

William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes, with Calabash pipe

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In 2006, American Film Institute

named Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

as one of the best American musical films ever made.  

Yeeeehaaaaaa!!!

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Did They Really Mean To Say That? – Newspaper Headline Nightmares, Part Seventeen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Maybe the last in this series of newspaper headline nightmares – for the moment. They’ve had a long run, buy I hope an entertaining one.

So enjoy this latest batch.

Who knows what will happen next week!

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np_weiner1

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np_whoops

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np_whydoIhear

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np_wmandmary

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np_womensdiseases

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np_worldbank

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np_wrestlersmellstitle

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np04

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np05

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np11

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np_thinkofaheadline

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And finally, a correction

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np09

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Time For Another Fun Filled Facts Day

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes it’s time for another day filled with those fun facts that we all like to read.

And they’ll come in handy when you least expect it, as one or two people have already found out.

So learn and enjoy!

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In the 1800s feeding lobster to prisoners

was considered to be ‘a cruel and unusual punishment,

like making people eat rats’.

lobster-thermidor

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Mosquitos are more attracted to the color blue than any other color.

mosquito-hunter

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The Guinness Book of Records holds the record

for being the book most often stolen from Libraries.

guinness-world-records-2013-book_0

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In Albania,

nodding your head means ‘no’

and shaking your head means ‘yes’.

opposite-day

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You share your birthday with at least 9 million other people in the world.

How unique is that?

birthday

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In India, Pajamas are accepted as standard daytime wearing apparel.

kurta-pajama

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A female oyster produces 100 million young in her lifetime;

the typical hen lays 19 dozen eggs a year;

rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over million descendants;

and it is possible for one female cat to be responsible for the birth of 20,736 kittens in four years.

kittens

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The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69,

to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia.

In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.

Only two of the children failed to survive their infancy.

69-children-born-to-one-woman

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750ml of blood pumps through your brain every minute

which is 15-20% of blood flow from the heart.

brain

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The February of 1865 and 1999 are the only months

in recorded history not to have a full moon.

moon

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It has been estimated that at any one time

around 0.7% of the world’s population is drunk.

Cheers!

Cartoon_Drunk

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The name Jeep comes from “GP”,

the army abbreviation for General Purpose.

jeep

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Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth,

not the baseball player.

baby-ruth-logo

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Elwood Edwards did the voice for the AOL sound files

(i.e. “You’ve got Mail!”).

Elwood Edwards

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55.1% of all US prisoners are in prison for drug offenses.

prisoners

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Sherlock Holmes NEVER said ‘Elementary, my dear Watson!’

Holmes does use the word ‘elementary’ in The Crooked Man (1894)

but ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’ itself was coined 21 years later

by P.G. Wodehouse in his novel Psmith, Journalist (1915).

However, Holmes did ejaculate several times, as did Watson and others.

In fact, there are 23 ejaculations in total, with 11 belonging to Watson and 6 to Holmes.

On one occasion, Holmes refers to Watson’s ‘ejaculations of wonder’ being invaluable;

on another, Watson ejaculates ‘from his very heart’ in the direction of his fiancée.

A chap called Phelps ejaculated three times during the story of The Naval Treaty.

The only other ejaculator is Mrs St Clair’s husband,

who ejaculates at her from a second-floor window!

Paget_holmes

It is not clear whether it is Holmes or Watson who ejaculates in the passage below,

taken from “The Man with the Twisted Lip”, 1891:

“So he sat as I dropped off to sleep, and so he sat when a sudden ejaculation caused me to wake up,

and I found the summer sun shining into the apartment. The pipe was still between his lips,

the smoke still curled upward, and the room was full of a dense tobacco haze,

but nothing remained of the heap of shag which I had seen upon the previous night.”

Isn’t the English Language wonderful.

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – 15 Fifteen

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They’ve been ‘beautiful’,  they’ve been ‘big’  and they’ve been ‘unusual’.  Today we have another ‘significant’ number, fifteen, so-called because of their use and the beliefs surrounding it.

Enjoy.

 

15 Fifteen

15

The number fifteen is perhaps best known today because of Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame statement.

 

Other facts about fifteen include,

  • in mathematics fifteen is what is known as a triangular number, a hexagonal number, a pentatope number and the 4th Bell number;
  • fifteen is the atomic number of phosphorus;
  • 15 Madadgar is designated as an emergency number in Pakistan, for mobile phones, similar to the international GSM emergency number 112, if 112 is used in Pakistan, then the call is routed to 15;
  • Passover begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan;
  • in Spanish culture 15 is the age when a Hispanic girl celebrates her quinceañera;
  • it is the number of days in each of the 24 cycles of the Chinese calendar;
  • it is the number of guns in a gun salute to Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force Lieutenant Generals, and Navy and Coast Guard Vice Admirals;
  • it is the number of checkers each side has at the start of a backgammon game;
  • and it is the number corresponding to The Devil in tarot cards.

 

In sport,

  • there are 15 players on the field in each rugby union team at any given time;
  • in tennis, the number 15 represents the first point gained in a game;
  • the jersey number 15 is worn by the starting fullback;
  • the jersey number 15 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures: in Major League Baseball the New York Yankees, for Thurman Munson: in the NBA the Boston Celtics, for Hall of Famer Tom Heinsohn; the Dallas Mavericks, for Brad Davis; the Detroit Pistons, for Vinnie Johnson; the New York Knicks have retired the number twice, first for Dick McGuire, and then for Earl Monroe; the Philadelphia 76ers, for Hall of Famer Hal Greer; the Portland Trail Blazers, for Larry Steele: in the NHL: the Boston Bruins, for Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt: and in the NFL: the Green Bay Packers, for Hall of Famer Bart Starr; and the Philadelphia Eagles, for Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren.

 

In politics

  • The 15th President of the United States was Democratic Party candidate James Buchanan (1791–1868) who was in office from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861. His VP was John C. Breckinridge.
  • He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a lifelong bachelor, and the last president born in the 18th century.
James Buchanan 15th President of the United States of America
James Buchanan 15th President of the United States of America

 

  • The 15th Amendment to the Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.

 

  • Special Field Orders, No. 15 were military orders issued during the American Civil War, on January 16, 1865, by General William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi of the United States Army. They provided for the confiscation of 400,000 acres of land along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and the dividing of it into 40-acre parcels, on which were to be settled approximately 18,000 freed slave families and other Blacks then living in the area. Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton, an abolitionist from Massachusetts who had previously organized the recruitment of black soldiers for the Union Army, was put in charge of implementing the orders. The orders had little concrete effect, as they were revoked in the fall of that same year by President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln after his assassination.

 

Space Exploration

Apollo 15 was launched on July 26th, 1971, and landed on July 30th, 1971, at Hadley Rille. Splash Down was on August 7th, 1971. The crew was David R. Scott, James B. Irwin and Alfred M. Worden. At the time, NASA called it the most successful manned flight ever achieved.

Apollo15 insignia

Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission in the Apollo space program, the fourth to land on the Moon, and the eighth successful manned mission. It was the first of the longer “J Mission” expeditions to the moon, where the terrain was explored in some detail, and there was a much greater emphasis on science than had previously been possible.

The flight of Apollo 15 featured the first use of the Lunar Rover, which permitted Scott and Irwin to leave the Lunar Module “Falcon” behind and drive around over more than 27 kilometers of lunar ground.

The astronauts found and brought back the “Genesis Rock,”, a chunk of ancient lunar crust that has been extensively studied for clues about the origins of the moon and the Earth.

During the return flight aboard the Command Module “Endeavour,” Alfred Worden became the first man to perform a space walk outside of earth’s orbit as he went outside to retrieve some film from the side of the space craft.

Although the mission accomplished its objectives, this success was somewhat overshadowed by negative publicity that accompanied public awareness of postage stamps carried without authorization by the astronauts, who had made plans to sell them upon their return.

 

Militaria

F-15 Eagle

  • The best known aircraft with this designation is the F-15 Eagle. It made its first flight in July 1972, and the first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) trainer was made in July 1973. The first Eagle (F-15B) was delivered in November 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron was delivered. The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory beginning in 1979.
F-15 Eagle
F-15 Eagle

 

 

X-15

  • The X-15 is perhaps the most ambitious aircraft ever created. It was built to push the limits of flight and explore the possibilities of space travel. During its research program the aircraft set unofficial world speed and altitude records of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7 on Oct. 3, 1967, with Air Force pilot Pete Knight at the controls) and 354,200 ft (on Aug. 22, 1963, with NASA pilot Joseph Walker in the cockpit).
  • In the course of its flight research, the X-15’s pilots and instrumentation yielded data for more than 765 research reports.
  • The X-15 had no landing gear, but rather skidded to a stop in a 200 mph landing on skis. It had reaction controls for attitude control in space, and was a major step on the path toward space exploration. Much of what was learned on the X-15 was applied to the Space Shuttle.
The record breaking X-15
The record breaking X-15

 

The AR-15

  • With the exception of the Kalashnikov, the Armalite AR-15 is perhaps the best know assault rifle in the world. It is a lightweight, 5.56 mm, magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifle, with a rotating-lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation. It is manufactured with the extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials.
  • The AR-15 was first built by ArmaLite as a selective fire assault rifle for the United States armed forces. Because of financial problems, ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt. The select-fire AR-15 entered the US military system as the M16 rifle. Colt then marketed the Colt AR-15 as a semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle for civilian sales in 1963. The name “AR-15” is a Colt registered trademark, which refers only to the semi-automatic rifle.
  • Unfortunately its characteristics also made it a favorite weapon of terrorist organizations.
AR15 assault rifle
AR15 assault rifle

15 Gun Salute

  • A 15 gun salute is accorded to a 3-star General

 

 

The Plus 15 Skyway

The Plus 15 or +15 Skyway network in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is the world’s second most extensive pedestrian skywalk system, with a total length of 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) and 59 bridges. The system is so named because the skywalks are approximately 15 feet (approximately 4.5 metres) above street level. (Some Plus 15 skywalks are multi-level, with higher levels being referred to as +30s and +45s.)

The system was conceived and designed by architect Harold Hanen, who worked for the Calgary Planning Department from 1966 to 1969. It provides a pleasant alternative to the cold streets in the winters which can be harsh.

 

Plus 15 walkways, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Plus 15 walkways, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

The 15 Puzzle

One of the most famous puzzles, the 15-puzzle (also called Gem Puzzle, Boss Puzzle, Game of Fifteen, Mystic Square and many others) is a sliding puzzle that consists of a frame of numbered square tiles in random order with one tile missing. The puzzle also exists in other sizes, particularly the smaller 8-puzzle. If the size is 3×3 tiles, the puzzle is called the 8-puzzle or 9-puzzle, and if 4×4 tiles, the puzzle is called the 15-puzzle or 16-puzzle named, respectively, for the number of tiles and the number of spaces. The object of the puzzle is to place the tiles in order (see diagram) by making sliding moves that use the empty space.

The 15 puzzle
The 15 puzzle

 

 

And finally, The Church Choir

But one of the most unusual occurrences of the number concerns fifteen members of a church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska, due at practice at 7:20, were late on the evening of March 1, 1950.

  • the minister, his wife and daughter were delayed while his wife ironed the daughter’s dress;
  • another girl waited to finish a geometry problem for homework;
  • one couldn’t start her car;
  • two waited to hear the end of an exciting radio program;
  • one mother and daughter were late because the mother had to call the daughter twice to wake her from a nap;

and so on.

All the reasons seemed ordinary. In total there were ten separate and quite unconnected reasons for the lateness of the fifteen persons.

It was rather fortunate that none of the fifteen arrived on time at 7:20, for at 7:25 the church building was destroyed in an explosion.

Life Magazine reported that the members of the choir wondered if their delay was “an act of God.”

The Mathematician Warren Weaver, in his book, ‘Lady Luck: The Theory of Probability’, calculates the staggering odds against chance for this event as about one in a million.

 

 

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