Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, January 2018

As if there’s not series on Learn Fun Facts, I decided to start another one. To tell you the truth, I’m still not sure what in the world should I should write here. So any suggestions are welcome. I suppose that I’ll just see how this series will develop.

Random Ramblings

What’s up with That?

When WhatsApp popularized voice messaging, I thought that it was cool since I don’t have to call someone if I want to leave him a short voice message. However, I’m now finding this feature annoying. In Hong Kong, it’s now normal to see people sending voice messages everywhere. This is fine but what irritates me is when they receive voice messages.

giphy

In most cases, the receiver’s phone volume is turned to the max so people from a few blocks away can hear it. It’s all right if it happens only once, but I’m not that fortunate. Usually, this would be followed by the receiver shouting at his smartphone, mimicking the phone’s deafening sound. Of course, there would be a reply with the same intensity of loudness. And you guessed it, the receiver would shout his reply once more.

They can be more galling than the screeching of an obstreperous car alarm. Couldn’t anyone of them just call the other as it looks like that they have a lot to talk about? It seems to me that they are broadcasting their uninteresting conversation to an uninterested crowd.

A Funny Accounting Joke

An accountant friend of mine told me the following accounting joke (paraphrased in my own words):

A father, who happens to be a CPA too, likes to read fairy tales to his four-year-old daughter. One night, he decided to read Cinderella to her for the first time. His daughter found the story intriguing especially the part where the pumpkin turns into a golden coach. She then said, “Dad, when the pumpkin turned into a golden coach, would it be classified as a taxable income or a capital gain?”

cinderella-coach

I found this joke hilarious but this may only be due to my sick sense of humor. My advice to Cinderella is she should pay the sales tax on the pumpkin before it turns into a golden coach. Though I am sure that the CPA’s daughter was already aware of this.

New Pages

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For those of you who do not know, there are two new pages on Learn Fun Facts. Please check them out if you have time:

Become a Contributor — Do you want to write a guest post on Learn Fun Facts? This page contains the information that you need to know for submitting an article here.

Curious Links — Every day, I scour the web to find interesting stuff. This is the page where I share all the curious stuff I gleaned from the tangled web of the Internet.

Monthly Likes

Quote

When a man you like switches from what he said a year ago, or four years ago, he is a broad-minded person who has courage enough to change his mind with changing conditions. When a man you don’t like does it, he is a liar who has broken his promises.

— Franklin P. Adams, Nods and Becks, 1944

Book

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A Corporate Bestiary: Or, How to Spot the Animals in your Organization by William Zikmund (1986)

I recently found this in a second-hand bookshop. The title looks interesting so I picked it up though I didn’t expect that much from it. So, I was surprised that the humor on some items is actually good. In some parts, the humor seems contrived but it’s okay as there are also parts that entertained me.

The book describes the “animals” that you can find in the corporate world. Here are some examples:

The Up-and-Comer scrambles on the fast track. Desperately and aggressively seeking the upper echelon, its only movement is upward. Climbing to the top is the be-all and the end-all of its existence. Anything goes. Fiercely competitive, it may devour its peers. In its quest for preeminence, the Up-and-Comer displays great ingenuity to hide its own weaknesses behind a Subordinate’s talent. Survival is a finely honed skill. Attacking easy prey is the fastest way for the ruthless to get ahead.

The Obfuscating Bureaucrat wallows in mud and prefers murky water for its buck-passing ritual. This instinctual behavior, performed so that the public and press are unaware of the true nature of the Bureaucrat’s actions, assures one that a manager is not confused with a Bureaucrat. Bureaucrats spend most of their day reporting on what they are doing, rather than doing anything. Its mumbled verbiage (also called gobbledygook) is difficult to decipher. However, after years of difficult study, scholars now agree that communication among Bureaucrats is altogether impossible.

The hindsight of the Ubiquitous Committee is wonderful, on the other hand, its foresight is extremely poor. A unique feature of the Committee, the complete absence of insight, surprises corporate neophytes. Older, more worldly observers are rarely surprised by anything a Committee does.

I don’t work in the corporate world. Nonetheless, I can appreciate the humor.

Curiosity

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Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov suggested a simple test to separate a chemist from a non-chemist. How? Have somebody read the word unionized aloud.

The non-chemist would say “union-NIZED” while the chemist would pronounce the same word as “UN-ionized”.

Art

These are some of the paintings of Vladimir Kush, a Russian surrealist painter. They were painted during the 1980’s.

Mathematics

The following two number relationships that I gleaned from Edward Barbeau’s Power Play (1998) are worthy of note:

1 + 2 = 3 = 3 × (1²)
4 + 5 + 6 = 7 + 8 = 3 × (1² + 2²)
9 + 10 + 11 + 12 = 13 + 14 + 15 = 3 × (1² + 2² + 3²)
16 + 17 + 18 + 19 + 20 = 21 + 22 + 23 + 24 = 3 × (1² + 2² + 3² + 4²)
etc.

and

1 = 0³ + 1³
2 + 3 + 4 = 1³ + 2³
5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 = 2³ + 3³
10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 = 3³ + 4³
etc.

Curious Links

Video

This video shows Johnny Cash doing his impersonation of Elvis. I think that this is quite amusing.

Music

I just found a piano performance of a young Liberace (Władziu Valentino Liberace) on YouTube yesterday. Apparently, this was filmed during the 1940’s though I’m not sure exactly when.

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About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com
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11 Responses to Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, January 2018

  1. floatinggold says:

    The art is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kush paintings remind monkey of some illustration in codex seriphinianus.
    http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/CodexSeraphinianus.pdf

    Like

  3. vhealing says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog Edmark
    I am as ‘curious’ as you and had fun visiting your Facebook page for more fun facts.
    I see that you like to play with numbers. Have you ever studied Numerology?
    I have followed this science of ‘numbers’ for the last 15 years, well… who could argue with Pythagoras?
    I have a page on Facebook at Numerology Daily Matters, I hope you take a look. I would love to know what you make of this science of numbers for your Fun Facts.
    ‘I used to hate maths, but then I realised that decimals make a point’ 😀

    Like

  4. Do write about whatever is in your heart at the moment and that will be good enough…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jack Shalom says:

    Fun assortment, thanks. A couple of typos in the last math pyramid though make it incorrect…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Peter Klopp says:

    The accountant’s joke is hilarious, worth retelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. masercot says:

    You didn’t address what I think was the most important aspect of the Cinderella story: Should she have used straight line depreciation or sum of squares? Frankly, if her fairy godmother had turned a grasshopper or silverfish into an accountant, I wouldn’t have to ask that question…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb Whittam says:

    I love this … a bit of everything. The paintings were great as was the joke. I’m an accountant though so ….

    Liked by 1 person

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