“Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

Do you know who came up with that quote? Well, it was the inestimable Douglas Adams. Everyone knows his most famous quote: Don’t Panic, fro the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but here’s a collection of 42 Douglas Adams quotes to live by.

My favourites:

“There is no point in using the word ‘impossible’ to describe something that has clearly happened.”

and

“I don’t accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view.”

and

“If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.”

Check them out : 42 Douglas Adams quotes to live by. Which are your favourites?

Proof that 1 = 2

Here’s an “interesting” proof I came across. Get ready to rethink everything you knew about Maths:

Given x = 1 and y = 1, then

x = y

Multiplying each side by x,

x2 = xy

Subtracting y2 from each side,

x2y2 = xy – y2

Factoring each side,

(x + y)(x – y) = y(x – y)

Dividing out the common term, (x – y) results in

x + y = y

Substituting the values of x and y,

1 + 1 = 1

or

2 = 1

Q.E.D.

How a few drinks got us into this financial crisis ..

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.
Image via Wikipedia

I came across a great “Derivatives Primer” today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers’ loans). Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.
Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds really are debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices still are climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Heidi’s 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi’s bar.

Now do you understand?

Ending the year with a joke

Here’s a good joke to end the year with:

Hans goes to Thailand on a business trip. When there he goes to a “gentleman’s” club seeking compliant female company.

The Mama sends a girl over. She drinks. He drinks. She sits on his lap. Hans whispers in her ear and makes a suggestion.
She screams. Slaps his face and runs off.

Mama sends another girl over. Once again after a while Hans makes a whispered suggestion. The girl screams. Jumps up horrified and runs off in tears.

The same with a third girl, a fourth girl. Whatever Hans is suggesting even her most seasoned girls balk at.

So Mama thinks that she’ll have a go with Hans. She has not done the bedroom work for some years but she is quite understanding of the demands men make.

What can Hans be suggesting that disgusts the girls so much they run screaming from the bar?

So the Mama sits on Hans’s lap. They drink. Hans gets bold and whispers in Mama’s ear the very same suggestion he has made to all the girls so far: “Can I pay in Euros?”

Got to get a train horn ..

My mate Rob told me a great story the other day: Gotcha! That’s what I shouted at one of my best friends as I drove off with a huge grin on my face after introducing him to my new train horn. I think most people have a friend like him. He’s one of those guys that’s always playing pranks, thinks he knows it all and believes he’s not stupid enough to fall for a prank himself.

That all changed yesterday when I drove alongside him as he walked towards his car and tooted my new train horn. It sounded even louder than I expected and this added to the effect. His sudden jump into orbit was followed by a look of shock and then embarrassment as he realized what was going on. It’s not often I have the opportunity to get the better of him, so it was a satisfying moment and I laughed all the way home. It’s an image that will stay with me forever.

Most adults yearn to be back in school playing tricks on each other and this piece of equipment definitely lets you do this. They’re not the cheapest auto products, but are definitely worth the money even just to see the reaction and facial expressions of people when they hear these horns for the first time.

It’s the simplest pranks that are often the funniest. No matter how many times you see this prank, it gets the same reaction, especially if you’re driving a small car. Seeing the sudden reactions and expressions makes it all worthwhile. It’s even funnier if you play this trick on someone who is generally cool and over-confident about themselves.

Later on, I called my friends cell phone. Naturally enough it wasn’t answered so I left an apologetic message, but couldn’t resist laughing at the end of the recording. As one of my best friends, he’ll eventually see the funny side. All-in all, it was worth it just to see his reaction as he jumped for cover from my favourite new toy – my new train horn!