Twitter Treasure

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Twitter logo transparent

Twitter is a good invention. It’s easy and fun. Much less demanding and intrusive than Facebook. So much so that many millions of people, from the famous to ordinary people like you and I, use it every day.

On the back of that success the Twitter company is doing very well. But recently it did even better when its shares jumped four per cent in a matter of minutes.

It all happened after a buyout story appeared on the internet that claimed that Twitter had received a significant offer. It started off, “Twitter is working closely with bankers after receiving an offer to be bought out for $31 billion…”

fake-twitter-story

Investors piled in. And not just the amateurs, lots of the ‘professional’ Wall Street guys too.

The trouble was, however, that the internet story was on a bogus web site and was completely fake. The site was called “bloomberg.market”. It was not “Bloomberg.com” the official name of the web presence for the Bloomberg financial organization.

“Bloomberg.market” was what they call a ‘mirror’ of the genuine “Bloomberg.com” website. Whoever designed “bloomberg.market” set it up to look like “Bloomberg.com”. They copied real headlines and linked them back to the real dot-com website. With one exception: the fake Twitter story, which was dressed up to look like a legitimate webpage.

The spike in the Twitter share price only lasted about 15 minutes before Bloomberg denounced the story as fake and the share price dropped back to its previous level. But 15 minutes is a long time in the world of finance and plenty of time for someone to profit substantially from the scam.

spike in the Twitter share price

No one yet knows who owns the dot-market domain – except the people who own it, of course –  but it was registered just days before the scam message, using a proxy service called “WhoisGuard”, based in Panama, that protects registrant details by offering its own address and contact numbers. But the details of “WhoisGuard” on its own website at “WhoisGuard.com” also appear to be fake, listing a telephone number that is disconnected. Emails to their contact address have not received a response either.

The significance of this incident is not that some greedy and stupid people lost money rushing to buy Twitter shares on the back of this fake announcement.

The problem is that so many new dot word domains have recently been allowed – hundreds of them in fact – that the whole internet is becoming bloated and confusing. And expensive.

If you are a company that wants to protect your online identity and integrity it could now cost you tens of thousands of dollars to cover all the permutations. Not many companies, even huge affairs like Bloomberg, will choose to do that.

That leaves the way wide open for cyber criminals to take advantage of gullible internet users.

I am certain they will.

Like the Twitter announcement, it’s just too good a deal to refuse.

online-scam_gullible-investor-cartoon

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First Fasab Quiz Of 2015.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello and welcome to the first fasab quiz of 2015.

Twenty questions that cover history, geography, science, music and nature and maybe more.

Some of them are quite easy though, so don’t be alarmed.

And as always, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Q.  1:  By what more common name are the 3rd Molars known?

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Q.  2:  What do snakes use their tongues for?

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Q.  3:  What is the diameter in meters, of the circle from which a discus is thrown?

            a)  1.5 meters                b)  2.5 meters                c)  3.5 meters

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Q.  4:  What disease is an infection of the intestine caused by drinking dirty water?

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Q.  5:  Which federal state consists of 26 Cantons?

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Q.  6:  What is 9 percent of 9?

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Q.  7:  What is the more common name for the chemical symbol ‘fe2o3’?

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Q.  8:  What are the only 2 mammals to lay eggs rather than give birth to live offspring? (You get a point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get both correct.)

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Q.  9:  What killer disease very prevalent in past centuries was controlled by Jonas Salk’s vaccine?

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Q. 10:  What type of fuel do jet aircraft use?

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Q. 11:  How many minutes are there in a week?

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Q. 12:  Common Salt is a compound formed from 2 elements, one is sodium what is the other?

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Q. 13:  Which bird has ‘golden’, ‘silver’, ‘Lady Amherst’ and ‘argus’ varieties?

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Q. 14:  What alternative name is given to the River Thames as it passes through Oxford, a name that has been very prominent in the international news recently for a very different reason?

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Q. 15:  What is the second month of the year to have exactly 30 days?

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Q. 16:  What kind of paper is used to test whether a liquid is acid or alkali?

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Q. 17:  What are the two heaviest land animals? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 18:  The ancient city of Machu Picchu is in which country?

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Q. 19:  Walter Frederick Morrison invented the ‘Pluto platter’ in 1948, but what is it more commonly known as today?

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Q. 20:  What is the better known stage name of Robyn Fenty?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  By what more common name are the 3rd Molars known?

A.  1:  Wisdom teeth.

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Q.  2:  What do snakes use their tongues for?

A.  2:  Hearing.

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Q.  3:  What is the diameter in meters, of the circle from which a discus is thrown?

            a)  1.5 meters                b)  2.5 meters                c)  3.5 meters

A.  3:  The correct answer is b) 2.5 meters.

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Q.  4:  What disease is an infection of the intestine caused by drinking dirty water?

A.  4:  Cholera.

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Q.  5:  Which federal state consists of 26 Cantons?

A.  5:  Switzerland.

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Q.  6:  What is 9 percent of 9?

A.  6:  It is 0.81.

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Q.  7:  What is the more common name for the chemical symbol ‘fe2o3’?

A.  7:  Rust.

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Q.  8:  What are the only 2 mammals to lay eggs rather than give birth to live offspring? (You get a point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get both correct.)

A.  8:  Duckbilled platypus and the spiny anteater (will accept just ‘anteater’).

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Q.  9:  What killer disease very prevalent in past centuries was controlled by Jonas Salk’s vaccine?

A.  9:  Polio.

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Q. 10:  What type of fuel do jet aircraft use?

A. 10:  Kerosene.

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Q. 11:  How many minutes are there in a week?

A. 11:  There are 10,080.

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Q. 12:  Common Salt is a compound formed from 2 elements, one is sodium what is the other?

A. 12:  Chlorine

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Q. 13:  Which bird has ‘golden’, ‘silver’, ‘Lady Amherst’ and ‘argus’ varieties?

A. 13:  Pheasant.

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Q. 14:  What alternative name is given to the River Thames as it passes through Oxford, a name that has been very prominent in the international news recently for a very different reason?

A. 14:  It is called the ‘Isis’, the name also used for the militant Islamic terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

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Q. 15:  What is the second month of the year to have exactly 30 days?

A. 15:  June.

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Q. 16:  What kind of paper is used to test whether a liquid is acid or alkali?

A. 16:  Litmus.

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Q. 17:  What are the two heaviest land animals? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 17:  The elephant and the hippopotamus.

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Q. 18:  The ancient city of Machu Picchu is in which country?

A. 18:  Peru.

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Q. 19:  Walter Frederick Morrison invented the ‘Pluto platter’ in 1948, but what is it more commonly known as today?

A. 19:  The ‘Frisbee’.

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Q. 20:  What is the better known stage name of Robyn Fenty?

A. 20:  Rihanna.

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What Do I Think Of Message Boards? I’m Forum!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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And I’m for punny jokes too.

The worse, the better.

Here’s some more.

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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Downloading digital audio has completely revolutionized our lives.

It’s the biggest change in the way we buy music since records began.

cds_vs._digital_downloads

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I went to the doctors today

about my addiction to astrology.

He said “What are the signs?”

Zodiac-signs

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For Sale:

Grandfather clock

– only one part missing.

Second hand.

Grandfather clock

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My wife asked me to fix a

plug for her this morning.

I refused.

fix a plug

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Did you hear about the guy who 

trashed a Chinese restaurant?

He’s being charged with

Wonton Destruction.

WonTon_Destruction_by_Cheswick

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I looked up ‘Opaque’ in the dictionary today.

The definition was not very clear.

Opaque glass

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Scientists who were against genetic engineering

have managed to cross a seagull with a sheep,

which is a massive ewe tern.

seagull and sheep - Tanya Marriott designs

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I bought a belt made entirely from five dollar bills.

It was a waist of money.

Money Origami

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What is a group of deaf people called?

I bet it’s not a herd.

group of deaf people

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To help change her appearance my missus

has started using clay facials with cucumber slices

over her eyes and her hair in rollers.

It helps, but I can still tell it’s her.

young-woman-with-cucumber-slices-on-the-face-in-a-spa-saloon

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I got stopped by a policeman

while I was driving along the road.

I stopped, opened the window and he said

“This is a spot check.”

So I replied

“I’ve got 2 blackheads and a boil on my bottom!”

cartoon cop stopping car

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Fibonacci numbers.

It’s as easy as 1, 1, 2, 3.

Fibonacci numbers

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I hate the local debating group.

They discussed me.

debating group

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So; if men are from Mars

and women are from Venus,

do gay men come from Uranus?

(Oh oh, that’s going to offend somebody!)

Uranus

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We used to call the printer in the office ‘Bob Marley’.

It was always jammin!

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I Just Knew I Was Going To Get Thrown Out Of The Optimism Society.

 “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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And if you were an optimist who thought there would be no puns in June, then your membership of the society is in doubt too.

Here’s the latest batch.

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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Some people have a way with words,

others not have way.

you_have_a_way_with_words_by_geistgirl-d4a9hky

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My friend received an email yesterday asking him

to send trouser zips to the address provided.

I told him to ignore it,

it sounds like they are fly phishing.

trouser zips

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I thought growing my own lettuce would be difficult

but it was quite easy in the end.

It’s not rocket science.

rocket lettuce

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A policeman asked me to come down

to the station for an interview.

I haven’t even applied for a job there.

police_officer_cartman

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This linguistics professor was lecturing the class.

“In English,” he explained, “a double negative forms a positive.

In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative.”

“However,” the professor continued, “there is no language wherein

a double positive can form a negative.”

Immediately, a voice from the back of the room piped up:

“Yeah….. right….”

linguistics professor double negative

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I remember when my parents died,

all they left me was a globe.

It meant the world to me….

globe

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If I had a billion pounds

for every time I underestimated…

I would be a millionaire.

1 billion versus 1 million dollars

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My mate Steven, who shares the same name as me,

thought it was funny to erase the letters ‘St’ from my pencil case.

So, during break, I did the same to his.

Now we’re even.

steven even

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My father worked in a steel fabrication plant.

They didn’t produce anything,

they just said they did.

empty steel fabrication plant

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Jimmy: “Can I ask you a question?”

Ted: “Sure, what is it?”

Jimmy: “It’s an interrogative statement, used to test knowledge.”

an interrogative statement

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I have no idea what the opposite of imagination is.

NO IDEA PIC

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After hearing my son saying,

“I want to be good with acoustic,”

I decided to buy him a guitar.

Turns out he wanted a pool cue.

pool cue

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The Internet now has the second largest collection of jokes in the world…

The House of Representatives is still hanging on to the top spot.

House of Representatives

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I told my mum I was going out for a walk.

She said, “How long will you be gone?”

I said, “Probably the whole time”

out for a walk

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Look, at the end of the day

….. it’s night!

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I Don’t Believe It! – The Bureaucrats Have Done Something Sensible!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It had to happen eventually.

Admittedly we’ve been waiting for a long, long, long time, but finally the bureaucrats seem to have done something sensible.

Sort of.

But hold on!

US citizens, fear not, your bureaucrats are standing firm. They are not included in this minor breakthrough.

It’s all about the snoopers.

In this case Google, who thinks it has the right to collect any and all information it can from people who use its search engine to find things on the internet.

But as a result of a recent European Union Court of Justice ruling, EU citizens have been given the ‘right to be forgotten’. Certain users can now ask search engines to remove results for queries that include their name, where those results are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.”

Google is complying, but reluctantly, making the whole process anything but straightforward and easy. It is launching a service that lets European users ask for personal information to be deleted from the search engine, but on its ‘right to forget’ form users will be asked to provide links to the material they want removed, their country of origin, a reason for their request, AND also attach a valid photo identity.

And keeping its options as open as it can, Google has also said, “In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information — for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”

Who defines “the public’s right to know” has not yet been clarified, but I bet you if it is left up to Google what is in the public interest will be remarkably similar to what is in Google’s interest too.

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Come on all you American bureaucrats, America used to lead the world, what are you waiting for?

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Time To Take The Brain Out For Some Exercise!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, brain exercise it is. Quiz day again folks.

Another random mixture of subjects and questions, some easy, some difficult and some you know you should know.

As usual the answers are given waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 10

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Q.  1:  What name links the standard infantry rifle of the US Army from 1873 to 1936 and the popular animated television series ‘The Simpsons’?

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Q.  2:  ‘Backrub’ was the original name for what well known company?

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Q.  3:  ‘Robert’, ‘Aurore’, ‘Apple’, ‘White’, ‘Mornay’, ‘Ivory’ and ‘Reform’ are all examples of what?

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Q.  4:  What nationality was Winston Churchill’s mother?

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Q.  5:  What does the Russian word ‘Sputnik’ mean?

           a. Satellite    b. Little traveler    c. Star light

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Q.  6:  Brian Warner is the real name of which American singer?

           a) Kid Rock        b) Axl Rose         c) Marilyn Manson

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Q.  7:  The Simplon Rail Tunnel links Switzerland with which country?

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Q.  8:  In which animated Disney movies would one find the following characters? (One point for each correct answer)

           a) Pumba,     b) Si & Am,     c) Pongo,     d) Edna E. Mode

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Q.  9:  Which French philosopher is associated with the quote, “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)?

            a) Jean Paul Sarte         b) Rene Descartes         c) Blaise Pascal

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Q. 10:  ‘Blepharoplasty’  is cosmetic surgery on what part of the body?

            a) ears         b) upper arms         c) eyelids

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Q. 11:  It’s the stage name of WWF wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson and the name of a movie starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery, what is it?

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Q. 12:  Which baseball star married Marilyn Monroe in 1954?

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Q. 13:  The herb ‘coriander’ belongs to which family of vegetable?

            a) carrot         b) beetroot         c) cabbage

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Q. 14:  Excluding television, radio and ‘unofficial’ versions, six actors have played the role of James Bond, name them. (A point for each and a bonus point if you get them in the correct chronological order.)

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Q. 15:  The Earth’s position in the solar system gave the inspiration for what television series?

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Q. 16:  What kind of Christmas present is ‘oil of Lebanon’?

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Q. 17:  Who did Omar Sharif play in a famous movie set in the USSR?

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Q. 18:  Everybody knows that the name of the Lone Ranger’s horse was ‘Silver’, but what was the name of his sidekick Tonto’s horse?

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Q. 19:  The name of which European country ‘apparently’ stems from a Carthaginian word meaning ‘Land of the rabbits’?

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Q. 20:  In which movie series are dilithium crystals used for fuel?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What name links the standard infantry rifle of the US Army from 1873 to 1936 and the animated television series ‘The Simpsons’?

A.  1:  Springfield.

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Q.  2:  ‘Backrub’ was the original name for what well known company?

A.  2:  Google.

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Q.  3:  ‘Robert’, ‘Aurore’, ‘Apple’, ‘White’, ‘Mornay’, ‘Ivory’ and ‘Reform’ are all examples of what?

A.  3:  Sauces.

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Q.  4:  What nationality was Winston Churchill’s mother?

A.  4:  American, Winston Churchill’s mother was born in Brooklyn.

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Q.  5:  What does the Russian word ‘Sputnik’ mean?

            a. Satellite    b. Little traveler    c. Star light

A.  5:  a. Satellite.

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Q.  6:  Brian Warner is the real name of which American singer?

           a) Kid Rock        b) Axl Rose         c) Marilyn Manson

A.  6:  c) Marilyn Manson.

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Q.  7:  The Simplon Rail Tunnel links Switzerland with which country?

A.  7:  Italy.

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Q.  8:  In which animated Disney movies would one find the following characters? (One point for each correct answer)

           a) Pumba,     b) Si & Am,     c) Pongo,     d) Edna E. Mode

A.  8:  a) Pumba in The Lion King;   b) Si & Am in The Lady & the Tramp,

    c) Pongo in 101 Dalmations; and,   d) Edna E. Mode in The Incredibles

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Q.  9:  Which French philosopher is associated with the quote, “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)?

            a) Jean Paul Sarte         b) Rene Descartes         c) Blaise Pascal

A.  9:  b) Rene Descartes.

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Q. 10:  ‘Blepharoplasty’  is cosmetic surgery on what part of the body?

            a) ears         b) upper arms         c) eyelids

A. 10:  c) eyelids.

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Q. 11:  It’s the stage name of WWF wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson and the name of a movie starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery, what is it?

A. 11:  The Rock.

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Q. 12:  Which baseball star married Marilyn Monroe in 1954?

A. 12:  Joe DiMaggio.

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Q. 13:  The herb ‘coriander’ belongs to which family of vegetable?

            a) carrot         b) beetroot         c) cabbage

A. 13:  a) carrot.

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Q. 14:  Excluding television, radio and ‘unofficial’ versions, six actors have played the role of James Bond, name them. (A point for each and a bonus point if you get them in the correct chronological order.)

A. 14:  Sean Connery,  George Lazenby,  Roger Moore,  Timothy Dalton,  Pierce Brosnan  and  Daniel Craig.

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Q. 15:  The Earth’s position in the solar system gave the inspiration for what television series?

A. 15:  The very successful sitcom ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’.

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Q. 16:  What kind of Christmas present is ‘oil of Lebanon’?

A. 16:  Frankincense.

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Q. 17:  Who did Omar Sharif play in a famous movie set in the USSR?

A. 17:  Zhivago.

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Q. 18:  Everybody knows that the name of the Lone Ranger’s horse was ‘Silver’, but what was the name of his sidekick Tonto’s horse?

A. 18:  The answer I’m looking for here is ‘Scout’, although if you answered ‘White Feller’, the name of his first horse you also get a point – 2 points if you knew both!

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Q. 19:  The name of which European country ‘apparently’ stems from a Carthaginian word meaning ‘Land of the rabbits’?

A. 19:  Spain. (Ispania from ‘Sphan’ meaning rabbit).

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Q. 20:  In which movie series are dilithium crystals used for fuel?

A. 20:  The ‘Star Trek’ movie series.

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The Stupider People Are, The More They Complicate Things!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for a mid-week rant I think.

danger bureaucrats at work

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You may have noticed from the tag line of this blog that its major theme is to expose stupidity and bureaucracy and hopefully to encourage people to fight against it, rather than meekly fall in line with every idiotic rule and regulation that the bureaucratic morons introduce to make our lives a misery.

It is one of those curious contradictions in life that the stupider people are, the more they complicate things and the more they try to regulate things that require no regulation.

They just don’t understand that simplicity can sometimes be the most effective solution to problems – if indeed the problems they perceive even exist in the first place.

On the other hand, things that do need regulating, like the banksters for example, are left largely without interference.

how many bureaucrats does it take to screw in light bulb

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The big question is, why do these idiot bureaucrats needlessly complicate our lives? 

Many years ago I figured it out.

They do it to try to enhance their own importance. It’s as easy as that.

Let’s face it, most bureaucratic jobs don’t take a rocket scientist’s brain to cope with them. They are easy and repetitive but if done correctly can be completed quickly and without upsetting anyone.

But the bureaucrats won’t have it that way. Complicate the task is their solution. If they do that they need more staff to help them. If they have more staff they get to be in charge of more people, which makes them more important. If they complicate it even more they might need a whole department. And on and on it goes.

In the business world there are empire builders in all large companies. People of mediocre ability, but with enough survival instinct to create a belief that what they do is useful to the company. 

As time goes on they are able to hide within their little empires inside a company and no one questions if what they are doing is really needed and certainly few realize how dumb they are. It is only once they leave this safe environment that the truth becomes clearer.

I have encountered several of these beasts out in the open and it is not a pretty sight. They are so dumb that they have forgotten how dumb they really are. Inflated with their artificially induced and undeserved stature within their former companies they imagine that out in the real world they are, not just ‘as good’ as everyone else, but ‘better’ than everyone else! Invariably they make a mess of things, but unfortunately they cause a lot of damage, sometimes irreparable, before they are caught on and fired. 

Obviously the same type of people are in public life too. In fact this is where they excel, because here it is much harder to pin down their accountability and fire them. In many cases the people who have the power to fire them are exactly the same types and the last thing they want to do is diminish the size of their own empires.

baseball cap bureaucrats suck

Have you ever noticed that an average town or city can function quite well and efficiently with a mayor and a handful of administrators.

Yet if you take the same town or city ten years later, while it probably hasn’t changed much as regards size, (only in exceptional circumstances would it have doubled or trebled its population or area), it’s local bureaucracy has more than doubled and trebled in size, probably a lot more. It probably also has an increasing number of by-laws and regulations and to pay for it all more and more property and other taxes are being demanded from the community. Clearly all this additional bureaucracy is not needed. But it is there and will continue to grow.

Why do we allow this? Why do we keep electing people whose only idea seems to be the provision of the same basic services at an ever increasing cost?

Big government, federal government, is even worse.

The European Parliament, for example, churns out regulation after regulation after regulation, about ridiculous things like how straight a cucumber should be or how bent a banana can be and still be called a banana! 

Washington has adopted the same strategy, sticking its nose in things that are none of its business and that only serve to hinder rather than help the people who elected them.

banana wars

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It’s about time we tried to stop this spiral into disaster.

It’s time big brother and all his little administrators had their noses put out of joint. 

Remember, “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”,  wherever and whenever you can!

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