Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**

katlaughing 09 Apr 03 - 11:34 AM
Clinton Hammond 09 Apr 03 - 12:18 PM
Wolfgang 09 Apr 03 - 01:46 PM
Kim C 09 Apr 03 - 01:51 PM
katlaughing 09 Apr 03 - 01:58 PM
catspaw49 09 Apr 03 - 02:22 PM
Wolfgang 09 Apr 03 - 02:31 PM
katlaughing 09 Apr 03 - 03:47 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Apr 03 - 04:46 PM
Bobert 09 Apr 03 - 04:55 PM
Mary in Kentucky 09 Apr 03 - 08:13 PM
mack/misophist 09 Apr 03 - 08:15 PM
Bill D 09 Apr 03 - 09:05 PM
JedMarum 10 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM
reggie miles 10 Apr 03 - 12:41 AM
DougR 10 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 03 - 12:45 AM
DougR 10 Apr 03 - 01:11 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 03 - 02:15 AM
Jack the Sailor 10 Apr 03 - 03:34 AM
Wolfgang 10 Apr 03 - 07:44 AM
DougR 10 Apr 03 - 09:14 AM
Bill D 10 Apr 03 - 10:09 AM
Wolfgang 10 Apr 03 - 10:15 AM
Bill D 10 Apr 03 - 10:34 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 03 - 10:58 AM
Wolfgang 10 Apr 03 - 11:14 AM
katlaughing 10 Apr 03 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 10 Apr 03 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Lyle 10 Apr 03 - 04:26 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 03 - 06:14 PM
Hrothgar 11 Apr 03 - 04:52 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 11 Apr 03 - 06:17 AM
Mark Clark 11 Apr 03 - 04:51 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 11:34 AM

From a friend's email, today:

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball point pens would not work in 0 gravity.To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300C.

The Russians used a pencil.

Enjoy paying your taxes this year!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 12:18 PM

Intaxification...

The elation one feels between opening a large refund cheque, and realising that the money was yours in the first place...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 01:46 PM

After a short search: Pen story is wrong

I also get a lot of junk mail each day and I delete it.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Kim C
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 01:51 PM

It is a funny story though! Sometimes a simple solution is the best one. Although, a pencil doesn't write very well underwater.

I got a funny e-mail last year - I wish I had saved it. It was something about "dear IRS, I read that the Government spent $600 on toilet seats, so as payment for my taxes, please find enclosed two toilet seats."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 01:58 PM

Oh jeez, well I got took, for once, so sue me! I get lots of junk email,too, Wolfgang, and I do not often forward it, nor post it. I DO often check its veracity, esp. if it has to do with computer viruses, etc. This seemed a funny and harmless little joke. I hope it gave you some pleasure to once again post a *debunking*.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 02:22 PM

What is true is that to make up for cost overruns, General Dynamics has billed the US government on several occasions for hammers at $300. and screwdrivers at $150. Like Blake Clark, I think I'll send them a Cordless Drill and tell them they can keep the change.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 02:31 PM

I would never have bothered to check the story if the "12 billion" would not have kickstarted my baloney detector (with e.g. 750,000 I might have believed the story). If one reads 'Twelve billion' in this context one just knows the very same second something is very wrong.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 03:47 PM

Something is wrong alright, Wolfgang, but I don't think it is baloney.:-) Check out Banking on Efficiency at Government Executive Magazine. Granted it's a little old, 1996, but I doubt things have changed much. Millions and billions are tossed around a lot by the Army Materiel Command (AMC). Here's just an excerpt:

For example, the Army spends about $77 million per year on batteries. By using new technology to extend the life of batteries, AMC believes it can eventually cut that expense in half.

And, when talking about how the AMC might reduce spending, the author said It is a tall order for AMC, which spends $20 billion a year and has a staff of 69,400 employees scattered in 258 locations across 42 states and 14 countries.

Gee, only $20 billion per year?

And, one more example of how the gov. really does spend it:

But noting that NASA "spends over $12 billion a year" on its contractors, the GAO report said: "Since 1990, we have identified NASA's contract management function as an area of high risk, principally because it has lacked accurate and reliable financial and management information on contract spending, and it has not placed enough emphasis on end results, product performance and cost control." This failure, it said, "threatens the success of NASA's major programs."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 04:46 PM

Re the "Russians used pencils" story.

Graphite in contact with aluminum and a few other "space-age" materials is so corrosive that graphite pencils have been prohibited on penalty of instant dismissal in many aircraft manufacturing facilities.

In addition, one cannot use a graphite pencil without generating at least some "dust" - which is instant suicide around critical electronics and air quality management systems, especially in a zero-g environment.

One does not need to check anything to see that the original reference is BULLSHIT.

It is certainly true that NASA has a large budget, and has been the target of numerous witch hunts by the GAO - often at the specific request of some member of Congress out to prove a point. The cited "emphasis on end results, product performance and cost control" is typical MBA-speak that is meaningless unless you've got the budget in front of you, and such emphasis may be a significant contributor to some of the "failures" of NASA programs. (Not speaking just of the catastrophic ones.)

If one wants to make light-hearted fun around tax time, I'd suggest looking at why the IRS needs a 500 page specification for how to print a Form 1098, prohibits the use of "self-printed" forms, allows "commercially printed" forms but prohibits them from being identified as conforming to the specification, can and will fine you if you use one that isn't approved - for a form that gets your name and address and ONE "X" mark when you fill it out.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 04:55 PM

Well, I always pay my taxes on the last date allowable without getting socked with the usary penalties and interests that mnay states consider illegal but I do it, this year being no differnet. But this year is a lot different having just seen what I bought. I'm getting buyer's remorse. I just try to tell myself that my money goes straight to H.U.D. I know it doesn't work that way but its the only way I can bring myself to pay the taxes.... But if Bush attacks another country, I'm pulling out of *good citzen* pool and just give what I would have given the governemnt to worthwhile charities...

Bobert


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:13 PM

Ever notice how THE-IRS spells THEIRS?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: mack/misophist
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:15 PM

I remember those overpriced tool scandals. Who wouldn't? The eventual explanation was that, when the Army gives you a 20 page, detailed descriprion of what kind of screwdriver or hammer they want, it often has to be specially made. Makes sense to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 09:05 PM

like Wolfgang, 12 Billion rang bells in my head immediately....the story, while not too credible, is cute, and makes a point that 'sometimes' simple, cheap ideas are overlooked...but the truth makes the point that sometimes the simple, cheap idea may have problems, too..

It's a scary thing how fast urban legends and loose interpretations of the facts can circulate in these technical times...

If I was to write an email program, one feature would be to have a warning pop up when you tried to send an email with more than 3 CCs...

"Do you really want to send this to 47 people?..
Yes_
No_
I'll think it over_"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: JedMarum
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM

I had a very bad income year, and thankfully a very good tax year!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: reggie miles
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 12:41 AM

That's the story of my life Jed.

The real story does state that it took $2 million and 2 years to get the space pen up and runnin' not 12 million and 12 years. Maybe someone's keyboard trigger finger just slipped and put 1s in front of the 2s. The two numbers are right next to each other on the keyboard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: DougR
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 12:44 AM

Wolfgang: shame on you for pointing out inaccuracies on posts made to the Mudcat! How do you sleep at night? (soundly I hope!)

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 12:45 AM

Thanks, reggie:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: DougR
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 01:11 AM

Oh, and kat, if you object so to paying taxes, I trust you will write your representatives in Washington and ask them to support the tax cut President Bush is proposing! Or better yet, let's start a petition of support! :>)

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 02:15 AM

Doug, there ya go ass-u-me-ing things again. I didn't say a damn word about not liking to pay taxes. In fact I don't mind at all, I just don't agree with how they are used, in some instances. No, I do NOT agree with the shrub's plan for the wealthy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 03:34 AM

Doug as usual you have arrived at the wharf the day after the last ship sailed. If Kat wants to save money why would she support a tax cut designed for Bill Gates? If double taxation is a bad thing, start with income tax on social security payments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 07:44 AM

We have veritable hommes de lettres here in Mudcat (McGrath comes to my mind as a prime example), but I'm a numbers man. Whenever I read a number my mind nearly effortlessly checks the number for plausibility and for understandability. I often give my students assignments like 'Try to make sense of this number' with any statistics from the daily newspaper.

Too many numbers published are nonsense or ununderstandable. Journalists are particularly bad at numbers which is a pity but perhaps understandable for they did chose their profession for their ability to deal with words. Two examples from Germany:

Shortly after the fall of the wall: "The number of citicens coming over from the GDR to West Germany has grown to 3000". Completely senseless without telling us the time unit. Per hour, per day, per month?

A spokesman for the ministry of Defense: "The probability that a military aircraft crashes on a nuclear reactor is 1 in a million" A colleague follwed that nonsense up and asked the spokesman what the unit meant. Is this the probability per flight, per day, per week, per year, for the rest of normal German's life? The colonel didn't know. I'd say, why use a number in the first place if you don't know what it means. My colleague had to ask several more times until the colonel gave him a response (per year) which happened to be wrong (the error was of course in the direction to make it look more safe than it actually was). This colonel surely was the wrong man for his job as spokesman.

That's how my mind works and it also works when reading here in Mudcat. Whenever I read a number I do a quick plausibility check. And the 12 billion didn't pass my plausibility check similar like last year when Bobert posted a number of Americans dying in poverty per year which was so outrageously wrong that he should have realised it himself.

I can be mistaken too (I normally wouldn't tell you 'I didn't believe your number but I found it was correct'; that's perhaps not fair but I tend to post when I find an error and not when I don't find one; however, I'll make an exemption here:). Recently I saw the number 106,000 die annualy from adverse drug effects (kat too, perhaps). I thought it was too high but it wasn't when I read the primary source. However, reading the primary source gave me a better understanding how they came to this number.

Sometimes I give up. Recently I read here that it is fifteen times as likely to die in Iraq as a journalist than as a coalition soldier (perhaps McGrath). I don't believe that number for several reasons but I am so far unable to find the number of all journalists in Iraq. Without that number I cannot find out whether my idea is right or wrong.

A much too long post, I know. But I'd like to remind you all to let any number you post here pass a quick plausibility check. It's easier than it looks at the first glance.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: DougR
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 09:14 AM

Wolfgang: I think that most people who post numbers of the type you refer to are only repeating them from some article or opinion piece they found on the Internet. The fact that it's on the Internet is not proof enough? :>)

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 10:09 AM

but Wolfgang, 74% of psychologists interviewed said that 85% of statistics people post have a 50% chance of being highly inflated...+/- 5.4%......therefore it is reasonable to assume a "quatch mit sauce" rating of 63 for the avarage post-- ;>)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 10:15 AM

Grin: What is 'Quatsch mit Sauce' in English?

'Bullshit with an icing' gives you an idea what the German expression means.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 10:34 AM

yes, Wolfgang..*grin*...I hoped that was no lost on you...I learned that from my German instructor in 1958...he translated it as "nonsense with gravy", but I suppose it's all in the amount of emphasis used in converstaion. (perhaps he was too polite to say 'bullshit' in a college class)

(He served as an exchange professor in the mid 50s, and was proud that he manage to 'pass' as German, though he everyone always thought he was from 'somewhere else in Germany'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 10:58 AM

LOL! Thanks, Wolfgang, for the explanation. I do find it quite interesting to know how you think about such things. I don't remember the adverse drug side effects figure. Also, I should think the sheer numbers of coalition soldiers would make the journalist danger claim erroneous; it just doesn't stand to reason, but as you say, one would have to know the number of journalists there, first.

BillD, now I am going to have to go dig out my brother's little booklet he got when serving in Bavaria...all about how to get a date, with some pretty funny German in it; a real slice of early 60's!

katlaughing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:14 AM

Nonsense with gravy is better as a verbatim translation.
I had tried to get the sense in modern Mutcattian.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:18 AM

What language are they speaking?!

Oh, that's a strange little language, developed in the early days of the Internet. Used almost exclusively by musicians, with development input from all around the globe. It is known as
Mudcattian!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:24 AM

You might be able to get an estimate of the numbers of journalists in Iraq from a link from this site . Click on the *Media map of Iraq* where it says it shows the location of independent and embedded journalists - click on an icon and it will give you the names of the journalists at that location and who employs them (then a link to their stories if you are interested. I can't say more than that cos I couldnt view the map as you need flash or shockwave or summit and I cant download the software on my work computer.

Bagpuss


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 04:26 PM

But getting back to the original post...

It didn't cost that much, but there IS a space age pen, and it WILL write in outer space (I've tried it in an extreme vacuum) and the advertisement on the box says:

ÒThe Space Pen was developed for use in Outer Space. It writes instantly in any position at temperatures from -50 degrees to +400 degrees F. It is used by both the Americans and Russians on all manned Space Flights. For the average individual who uses a pen for ordinary handwriting, there is no cleaner, more dependable writing instrument anywhere on Earth.Ó

Made by Fisher Pen Co. Uses a pressurized ink capsule. Will write upside down as well as down side down.

So There!

Lyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 06:14 PM

Hey, hey, Lyle! Thanks! **bg**

Just thought of another thing...a dialect of Mudcattian might be Mudcatter Chatter!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Hrothgar
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 04:52 AM

I'd like to have a little talk with the astronaut who wants a pen that will write underwater .........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 06:17 AM

Shucks, and from the very start I just thought of the story as a folk tale used to illustrate a point! This has been an interesting thread for a lot of reasons, but I liked the tale!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: A thought at tax time -**bg**
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 04:51 PM

I actually use space pens. In the summertime I often wear short-sleeved pullover shirts with no pocket. A space pen has no sharp points or edges and if you slide the pocket clip off, it's small size fits nicely in one's pants pocket.

Now I seem to remember that GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) calls for a cost accountant, in cases where items on an invoice aren't seperately priced, to simply divide the total invoice amount by the number of items on the invoice when entering costs on the books. So let's say a defense contractor sells a missle and a hammer to the army and sends an invoice with only one amount. The accountant will divide the amount, say $1,436,852.00, by two and come up with a hammer valued at $718,426.00. Of course that's a ridiculous case but it illistrates the process by which the military seems to pay way too much money for some common item.

If a skilled smith were to forge a standard claw hammer by hand, one off, you'd expect that hammer to get at least $100.00 at retail or it wouldn't be worth the smith's time to make. Extend that to a specially machined hammer made to exacting specifications of a special alloy and a hammer can be very expensive without anyone making much money on the deal.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 17 January 3:10 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.