Showing posts from 2012

No Mr. Mandela

I was not intending to write anything this side of 2012 but today I read something on my Facebook timeline that made me angry. It was one of those photoshoped/powerpointed images with fancy background and fanciful font, another one of those quotes to live by. This feeling was compounded by another piece of news in the Reuters website entitled Yale under fire for new campus in restrictive Singapore. The Facebook quote I read was from Nelson Mandela.
You are so wrong Mr. Mandela and for me that is very hard to swallow as I have you in such an high esteem. I guess I never came across this statement before or only now completely understood its cruelty. As you are an educated man, you fell into the fallacy that poverty and inequality exist because people have no education, do not go to school, can't read or write, do not know the capital of Papua New Guinea or the fission of the atom. And that is so cruel and unfair to those people. You think that an educated man has more chances of suc…

Fürstenberg? Never heard!

The last posts may have been a bit too heavy so today I decided to "lighten up" a bit with a true story that always makes me laugh uncontrollably every time I remember it. I think this could be a good time to share it with you.
In 2004 I worked as a temp for a car leasing company. I was assigned to the underwriting team that was dealing with affiliates ie car dealers and franchises that wanted to sell personal leasing and did not have the resources to provide that type of finance. So... quite often a fax or letter would arrive with a request, a few bits of documentation, personal details, address, type of car, employment details, etc. All requests for underwriting were manually assessed and the Head of Underwriting had this constant shout "Last 3 payment slips! No payment slips, no car!". Only after, a thorough credit check would be made. My role was to verify if all the relevant and accurate information had been gathered by my colleagues, use common sense when not …

(a bit) Racist!

When the Army wins, it's a victory When the Germans win, it's a defeat When the Zulus win, it's a massacre
The expression "a bit racist" has been cropping up of late in the dialogue of English language. One day does not pass without listening to it on Radio, Television, the streets... I find its use almost endearing, not to apologize for an attack on any racial minority that lives in this country, but to excuse or slightly admonish the originator of the comment.
However... there is no such thing as "a bit racist", like there is no such thing like "a bit murder", "a bit theft", "a bit rape", "a bit adultery", "a bit punch", "a bit stab"... There is only Racist! The more you excuse yourself and others of the mindset you have regarding your outlook towards minorities, the more you perpetuate a state of affairs that is omnipresent on all minds, and by proxy, all institutions of this country... and you …


"Jack Brigance: — What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts? 

I set out to prove a black man could receive a fair trial in the south, that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. That's not the truth, because the eyes of the law are human eyes -- yours and mine -- and until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be evenhanded. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices, so until that day we have a duty under God to seek the truth, not with our eyes and not with our minds where fear and hate turn commonality into prejudice, but with our hearts -- where we don't know better. 
Now I wanna tell you a story.

The Art of Diversion

A prank, a blag, research, all words used by the media to obtain information for lucrative purposes by breaking the law.
The word prank has been used recently to label the act of an Australian radio broadcaster that triggered the sad suicide of the Nurse Jacintha Saldanha last Friday. Everyone broke the law, from the start of the phone call, its recording, its broadcasting in Australia, its dissemination and high profiling in the United Kingdom's media. Surely this should have been worth of an injunction on the same level of the photo of the Duchess of Cambridge boobs. But oh no, nothing happened, until some "unforeseen" event triggered what is now a lot of backlash allied with salty water crocodile tears.
If you go to a bank impersonating someone else, with a card and false signature in order to withdraw cash from an account... is that a prank? a blag? research?
If you go to the GCHQ dressed as Her Majesty The Queen look alike in order to obtain some secrets for monetary e…


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won a court injunction in France against the "a posteriori" topless exposure of the future Queen of England. Everyone is happy in the island now, they've beaten the French, hurrah (do you know that hurrah originally is... German?)  It is though utterly surprising, all this media exposure (bam bam to you Katie, literally and photographically), happening on a society so obsessed with mammary glands. For something that really will make you smile I recommend viewing the clip below featuring Julie Andrews on Blake Edwards's film S.O.B.
Do you want to see my boobs? — Julie Andrews

The Truth? You can't handle the Truth!

When (profoundly) sorry is not really the hardest word!

The hazards of cycling

Will Munny: Who's the fellow owns this s***hole? [pause]
Will Munny: You, fat man. Speak up.
Skinny Dubois: Uh, I... I own this establishment. I bought the place from Greeley for a thousand dollars.
[Will levels the shotgun, and speaks to someone standing behind Skinny]
Will Munny: You better clear outta there.
Man: Yes, sir. [scampers out of the way]
Little Bill Daggett: Just hold it right there. Hold it...! [Will shoots Skinny. Screaming, the women scatter upstairs]
Little Bill Daggett: Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a b****! You just shot an unarmed man!
Will Munny: Well, he should have armed himself if he's going to decorate his saloon with my friend.

In "Unforgiven"
No, no, I don't think it was Will Munny / Clint Eastwood that did the awful killings in Chevaline, Haute-Savoie, but by the comments and theories that are spreading about this horrific and now high profile crime (read some here at the Huffington Post), he might be one of the suspects pretty soon, m…

Oh (Lord) Sugar!...

"No income tax, no V.A.T.
No money back, no guarantee..."

Please gimme a break! I saw the last edition of “The Apprentice” loosely based on (Lord) Sugar’s catchphrase “smelling what’s selling” but in the end I could only smell a rat.

I know that all these ego exercises are for Television purposes only but it is amazing, or disingenuous, or ignorant or all of this, the way the entire exercise got put together… to start with the numbers as numbers don’t lie except when showed on “The Apprentice”.

The losing team ended with cash in hand of £422.61 plus unsold stock of £415.60. The winning team ended with £681.30 plus unsold stock of £273.90.

Now... (Lord) Sugar says that the assets are cash plus stock. However something has been forgotten here… unsold stock needs selling which implies more trips, more work, more labour, more expenses.

Frankly, for that day, we had 10 people and 2 vans and they cashed in £1103.91. If you take from this figure the original capital, plus travel, plus …

Event Horizon

E=mc2… this is the most famous and known equation of modernity. But what if it is wrong? Or what if it is right on a small scale of a bigger picture? What if by using it, applying it on Earth on a daily basis in experiments and production, it may cause a ripple effect on our world time line? Suddenly, without any warning, we are TERMINATED! Maybe not finding it and living within Newton’s Laws would have kept us safe and the biblical allegory of the fruit of knowledge is more than that. Maybe… another power up of the Large Hadron Collider and…
Ufff! Back again! What I am mentioning above has little chance to be part of Reality and, if it is, we will never know. For all practical purposes it has no interest to us whatsoever. But it justifies that new formulae create new environments… and that is what happened with the new financial environment created by the Black-Scholes formula. It is used everywhere since its inception and it is the main cause of our financial demise. The Black-Schole…