Free beer

Once upon a time in the Soviet Union Ivan bought a huge barrel of beer. Early in the gorgeous morning he put on a wall a large sign “FREE BEER” near the barrel.
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Several people saw the sign and did not believe it. Then one brave young man came to Ivan and asked if it was a joke.
“No, it’s not a topic for a joke! Enjoy free beer!”
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People were surprised and very happy.
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Some of them said; “Let’s form a line and see that nobody breaks in.” They formed a line. One by one Ivan gave people in the line a large glass of beer. People thanked him and left.
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In 15 minutes the line became very long. 10 more minutes passed and nobody could control it anymore. 
People started to fight. Several were stabbed. Police arrived, dispersed the crowd and arrested several people including Ivan.
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 Then they interrogated Ivan:

— Why did you provoke the fight?
— I did not expect it to happen!

— Did you trade without a license?
— No. I gave beer free. There are many witnesses.

— Are you crazy?
— No, no! I am a good worker, a member of an union, have a wonderful family.

— Ok, Ivan. We let you go. Only tell us why did you spent your savings to give people free beer?
— You know, I am not a young man. I wanted to see how everything will be after the victory of communism!

#3

Painting by JF

 

Clever mathematics

I got an email from my friend with a story that l liked.

Here is the story:

“A farmer died leaving his 17 horses to his three sons.

When his sons opened up the Will it read:

My eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of total horses;

My middle son should get 1/3rd (one-third) of total horses;

My youngest son should get 1/9th (one-ninth) of total horses.

As it’s impossible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other.

So, they decided to go to a friend who they considered quite smart, to see if he could work it out for them.

The farmer friend read the Will patiently, after giving due thought, he brought one of his own horses over and added it to the 17.

That increased the total to 18 horses.

Now, he divided the horses according to their father’s Will.

Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 horses.

1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 horses.

1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 horses.

Now add up how many horses they have:

Eldest son……..9

Middle son…….6

Youngest son…2

TOTAL ….…….17

This leaves one horse over, so the farmer friend takes his horse back to his farm.

Problem Solved!

Moral:

The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th horse i.e. the common ground.

Once a person is able to find the 18th horse the issue resolved.

It is difficult at times.

However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution.

If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!

                                              That’s clever mathematics!”

MASTER OF THE REALM by Bernd Owsnicki-Klewe

Battle (using Kurt Vonnegut’s rules for writing fiction)!

Kurt Vonnegut

Eight rules for writing fiction:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.”

— Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1999), 9-10.

The rules above are from HERE.

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Now about the BATTLE (life and death).

It will start at 10.00 a.m. eastern time in Hollywood, Florida here.

chessWhere exactly? In the shadow below the upper pool ( look straight north in the middle of the picture).

Combatants: YK (77) and JF (close to 80).

Weapons: chess and chess clocks.

Action: 3 blitz games (each opponent has 8 minutes in each game).

History: this season JF won majority of battles but yesterday he lost 0:3. He smiled and congratulated YK with great victory.

Both opponents will do everything possible to win today.

I hope you know what you need to do.

Hint: pray for me!

Only 65 minutes left!

A painting.

My 90 years old friend Mark asked me to help him to choose a painting he wanted to send as a gift to his son-in-law’s 70th birthday.

We went to an arts gallery and I recommended to buy a nice, colourful abstract painting by a local artist. Mark bought the painting and sent it to his daughter Maria who lived in Las Vegas.

When Maria received the painting she called Mark and told him that she liked it very much. She put the painting in the dining room and the room became brighter and more pleasant. She added that her husband Sergey did not know yet that the painting was a gift from Mark. She was going to tell him about it on his birthday.

 In two days Sergey called Mark and thanked him for the gift.

A week passed and Maria called Mark. She was very upset. She told Mark that since the painting appeared in the dining room Sergey lost appetite and 25 lbs. Never before he was interested in paintings but now he spends a lot of time each day looking at the painting.

“Father, you are a doctor! What should I do? Should I hide the painting?”

Mark asked me to call Sergey and to talk with him about the painting.

Sergey told me the following:

“Before my birthday I had a regular checkup. My family doctor said that I needed to lose at least 60 lbs as soon as possible. He recommended long walks and meditation before each meal.

You know, I was a businessman before retirement. There was no time for me to walk. It is difficult for me to walk now. However, it is very easy and pleasant to look at the painting, to think what it is about and to enjoy colours. It is my way to meditate. I do it at least 30 minutes before each meal. I feel very well and I already lost 25 lbs.”

After I told Mark about our conversation he and Maria stopped worrying and everybody was happy.

Now, as we know that an abstract painting is very effective in helping people to lose weight I suggest to use (if necessary) my paintings below.

Health and Happiness to you!

125

1252

A short story about my first article.

In 1958 I started work on my dissertation (it was in the USSR).

At that time my professor was 82 years old.

As I chose to work on problems of using mixtures of natural and man-made fibres for producing fabrics he told me: “I never had anything to do with man-made fibres but I’ll be able to check your work and to help you to write articles.”

I was very lucky to find explanation why in many cases addition of a stronger fiber to a weaker one (such as cotton) resulted in a weaker yarn. Then I developed formulas that allowed to calculate the strength of any yarn from mixtures of different fibres in different proportions. Then I found everything published in the world about experimental results and compared it with results of my calculations.

It was a very pleasant surprise to find that there was close correlation between the theory and real experimental data. The formulas worked.

I happily told my professor about it. He said that I must write an article about everything as soon as possible. He mentioned that the Soviet government wanted to prove to the world that our scientists were the best and that priority of many discoveries (like wireless telegraph) belonged  to Russians.

He added that after he reviews and approves the article he will ask for the meeting of the faculty. I’ll have to make a report and answer questions. After the faculty approves the article it will go to the magazine of all Soviet universities for publishing.

I wrote the article in two days. It took only five printed pages and I considered it very simple and straightforward.

My professor read the article during two hours and wrote down some notes. Then he said: “I did not understand anything. Please rewrite it.”

After I submitted to him the seventh version of the article he said: “Fine! Now everything is clear! I approve your approach to the problem, method of solving it and prove that your formulas ready for use in the industry! Let’s call for the faculty’s meeting.”

Next week I made a report and was ready to answer questions. All of a sudden one member of the faculty said: “There is nothing new here. I read it and much more a month ago in the book published by professor X.” 

I was about to argue that the book and my article were opposites but my old wise professor stopped me and said: “Why don’t we ask professor X  read the article and tell us his opinion during the next faculty meeting?”

In two weeks professor X visited the meeting of our faculty and during an hour criticized my article. He said that the theory was wrong, that all assumptions I made when I created formulas were unacceptable. He also said that he could not understand why there was so close correlation between data of researchers from different countries and results of calculations using my formulas.

All members of the faculty thanked him for taking time to read my article and let them know his opinion. After he left the faculty immediately approved the article.

The article appeared in the magazine in 9 months (after usual censorship). Only three more months passed and our librarian notified me that the article was fully republished  under my name in the West Germany’s magazine for the textile industry.

Later I met researchers from several countries who told me that they were working on the problem but stopped their work after they read my article and independently verified formulas.

There are several conclusions from this story:

1. When you write something or discuss something think about every word and try to make your thoughts understandable to others. Don’t assume anything.

2. When you are doing something in a new field remember that there are no experts in the field. Experts appear when the field is already not new.

3. Old wise people can make fast and very effective decisions.

4. Censorship and bureaucracy are enemies of science.

My daughter asked…

About 17 years ago my daughter called: “Father, Alex’s company sends him to Philadelphia for seven days. I’d like to go with him. Would you agree to stay with Michael?”

I was already retired at that time and Michael was 3 months old. I could not believe that my highly educated daughter (Price University) asked me such stupid question.

Who would refuse to stay a week with an angel? Would you?

A week passed and my daughter and her husband brought Michael to our apartment.

My daughter showed me how to feed him formula and they left.

Michael and were very happy to stay together. We smiled and talked (each in his own language). When my wife came from work I showed her the happy angel and reminded her that only I am responsible for his well-being.

It was a very happy week!

However, there was one serious problem! I badly wanted to sleep but I could not sleep even when our angel was sleeping. You see, my hearing is very bad. I was afraid that if the angel awakens and starts crying I will not hear him.

Finally, the week passed and Michael’s parents came to fetch their son. They enjoyed their stay in Philadelphia very much and they were very glad to see their happy smiling baby.

Then my daughter asked: “Father, would you be so kind to feed Michael one more time? We are very tired after driving in heavy traffic.”

Surely, I did not mind. I wanted to sleep but I felt sad that the angel was going home. So I took him in my loving hands, put him on the kitchen table and started to feed him with a spoon. Both of us were very happy!

All of a sudden my daughter asked: “Dad, what are you doing? Did not I bring a special support to put him on so that his head was not flat on the table? Did not I tell you about it?”

What could I say?

I answered: “You know, my hearing is bad. And Michael does not know Russian. He was unable to remind me what you said.”

PS. Michael was the fourth young angel in our family. Now we have five of them.

We pray for their happiness and we are ready to share it with them!

grandchildren