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Joe's Cafe

Curiosities

New dollar bill

To support the bailout of AIG, Lehman, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac the US Treasury Department has issued a new one dollar bill…

New dollar bill

Willful panic

Watching CNN (or one of the other cable channels endlessly broadcasting the end of the world as capitalism knows it) I heard one of the “expert commentators” describe last Thursday’s sell-off on the London Stock Exchange as “a bloodbath – sheer, unadulterated, willful panic”.

What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with “willful panic”? Please add your answers and comments.

(“When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom.” Confucius)

College Entrance Exam

Time allowed: 1 minute

College Entrance Exam

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Answers to College Entrance Exam

That’s OK, I didn’t pass either 🙁

Morality Test

This test only has one question, but it’s a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.

Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

Please scroll down slowly and give due consideration to each line.

THE SITUATION

You are in England, York to be precise.

There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding.

This is a flood of biblical proportions.

You are a photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, and you’re caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.

You’re trying to shoot career-making photos.

There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing into the water.

Nature is unleashing all its destructive fury.

THE TEST

Suddenly, you see a man in the water.

He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris.

You move closer… Somehow, the man looks familiar…
You suddenly realize who it is… It’s Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the UK! You notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever. You have two options:

You can save the life of Gordon Brown or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, documenting the death of one of the country’s most powerful men!

THE QUESTION

Here’s the question, and please give an honest answer…

Would you select high contrast colour film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

April Fool’s Day

April 1st is called April Fool’s Day in English, and it’s a day when people play jokes on other people. They can be small, personal jokes or tricks, or big “industrial-size” hoaxes by newspapers or television channels like the BBC. (more…)

Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Hoax

Below is probably the most classic April Fool’s Day hoax of all time. On April 1st, 1957 the BBC ran a short programme about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland, showing spaghetti growing on trees. Many people believed the programme and phoned in to ask how they could grow their own “spaghetti tree”.

(more…)

How many words in Shakespeare?

Several sources claim that Shakespeare used nearly 30,000 different words in his works. However, we need to ask what we mean by “different words”. Is it reasonable to count go and going and gone as three different words? If we count go and going and gone as one word (GO), then Shakespeare used fewer than 20,000 “different words”.

What is it?

Riddles are short poems or texts that ask a question that seems difficult to answer. The following famous riddle by Catherine Fanshawe is talking about something, but what is it? (more…)

7 That’s in a row

What’s the most times you can repeat the same word consecutively in a sentence and still retain meaning? Here’s a sentence with 7 words in a row. (more…)

Amzanig huh?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.