Sunday, February 25, 2018

Quote for the Day

Origins: Gillette, Adidas, Amazon

What is it?
Gillette is a brand of men's and women's safety razors and other personal care products including shaving supplies, owned by the multi-national corporation Procter & Gamble
·       While working as a salesman for the Crown Cork and Seal Company in the 1890s, King Camp Gillette (1855-1932) saw bottle caps, with the cork seal he sold, thrown away after the bottle was opened. This made him recognise the value in basing a business on a product that was used a few times, then discarded.
·       At that time men either went to barber shops to be shaved or used  straight razors that needed sharpening every day using a leather strop.
·       Safety razors had been developed in the mid-19th century, but still used a forged blade. In the 1870s, the Kampfe Brothers introduced a type of razor along these lines. Gillette improved these earlier safety-razor designs, and introduced the high-profit-margin stamped razor blade steel blade. Gillette's razor retailed for a substantial $5 (about $140 in 2014 dollars) — half the average working man's weekly pay — yet sold by the millions.
·       To sell the product, Gillette founded the American Safety Razor Company on September 28, 1901 (changing the company's name to Gillette Safety Razor Company in July 1902). Gillette obtained a trademark registration for his portrait and signature on the packaging
·       Gillette was a Utopian Socialist and advocated that all industry should be taken over by a single corporation owned by the public, and that everyone in the US should live in a giant city called Metropolis powered by Niagara Falls.
·       He offered Theodore Roosevelt the presidency of the company, with a fee of one million dollars. Roosevelt declined the offer.


What is it?
Adidas AG is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after Nike.  It is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade golf company (including Ashworth), Runtastic, an Austrian fitness technology company, and 8.33% of Bayern Munich, the football club.
·       The company was started by Adolf Dassler (1900-1978) in his mother's house; he was joined by his elder brother Rudolf in 1924 under the name Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.
·       Dassler assisted in the development of spiked running shoes (spikes) for multiple athletic events. To enhance the quality of spiked athletic footwear, he transitioned from a previous model of heavy metal spikes to utilising canvas and rubber. Dassler persuaded U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use his hand made spikes at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
·       In 1949, following a breakdown in the relationship between the brothers, Adolf created Adidas, and Rudolf established Puma, which became Adidas' business rival.
·       In 1954 Germany defeated Hungary in the World Cup in what became known as the “Miracle of Bern”.  The German Team was equipped with Adidas boots, with a design never seen before, those boots had exchangeable, screw-in studs that could be adapted to any weather. The match was played under heavy rain, and the Adidas boots played an important role on this victory.  The unexpected win evoked a wave of euphoria throughout Germany, which was still suffering in the aftermath of World War II, and that victory is also considered a turning point of post-war Germany.
·       In 2012 Adidas posted on their Facebook page a picture of a pair of Jeremy Scott-designed shoes containing shackles. The picture was of a planned shoe line that Adidas intended to release in July. The photo quickly caused controversy.  Shortly after the outcry, the company cancelled the product.


A boot from the 1954 World Cup.

Adidas’s Roundhouse Mid Handcuffs. The $350 sneakers were labeled as racist and reminiscent of slavery.

What is it?, Inc., doing business as Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington. The tech giant is the largest Internet retailer in the world as measured by revenue and market capitalization, and second largest after Alibaba Group in terms of total sales. The website started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics.
·       The company was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 in response to his regret at not participating sooner in the Internet business boom,
·       He initially incorporated the company with the name Cadabra, Inc. but changed it to, Inc. a few months later after a lawyer misheard its original name as "cadaver".
·       Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he settled on "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and different", just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. The Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest bookstore in the world. Additionally, a name that began with "A" was preferential due to the probability it would occur at the top of any list that was alphabetized.
·       The company began as an online bookstore from the garage of Bezos’s home in Bellevue, Washington.  He chose books due to the large worldwide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print.
·       Since its founding, the company has attracted criticism and controversy from multiple sources over its actions.
·       These include:
o   luring customers away from the site's brick and mortar competitors;
o   poor warehouse conditions for workers;
o   anti-unionization efforts;
o   Amazon Kindle remote content removal;
o   taking public subsidies;
o   its "1-Click patent" claims;
o   anti-competitive actions;
o   price discrimination;
o   various decisions over whether to censor or publish content such as the WikiLeaks website; LGBT book sales rank; and works containing libel, facilitating dogfight, cockfight, or pedophile activities.
o   In December 2011, Amazon faced a backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to purchase the same item from Amazon.
o   The company has also faced accusations of putting undue pressure on suppliers to maintain and extend its profitability. One effort to squeeze the most vulnerable book publishers was known within the company as the Gazelle Project, after Bezos suggested, according to Brad Stone, "that Amazon should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle."
·       On July 27, 2017, Bezos became the world's wealthiest person when he accumulated an estimated net worth of just over $90 billion according to Forbes Magazine. As of February 21, 2018, he is worth $122.9 billion, and is contended to be on track to become the wealthiest person in modern history


Jeff Bezos

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Quote for the Day

Walter Elliot Elliot (1888 – 1958) was a prominent Scottish Unionist Party politician in the interwar years. His most important role was as Secretary of State for Scotland. Who would name their child Walter Elliot Elliot. Thankfully that was not his first name. It puts one in mind of Major Major Major in Catch 22, destined never to rise above that rank by reason of the army having only one such name.

Sydney's Suburbs, continued: Blair Athol, Blairmount, Balkehurst, Bligh Park

57 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Campbelltown, part of the Macarthur region.
Name Origin:
The suburb was named after the house, named Blair Athol, built by early settler John Kidd.
From Wikipedia:
British settlers began moving into the area in the early 19th century, establishing farms and orchards in the fertile soil. John Kidd, a Scotsman, built the original Blair Athol homestead in 1879. The following year he became the area's member of parliament a position he held until 1904.
In 1945, the land was sold to an engineering company who planned to build a factory in the area. Campbelltown Council rezoned the entire area as industrial in the hope that other industries would also move into the area but for the most part the land remained vacant.
In 1992, Council rezoned the land back to residential and the current suburb was born.


John Kidd (1838-1919)

Blair Athol House after which the suburb of Blair Athol, NSW is named. It is now in private ownership and has been restored.


58 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Campbelltown. It is part of the Macarthur region.
Name Origin:
The suburb is named after a house by that name, still standing, which was originally known as Belmont. “Blair” means “cleared space” in Scottish.
·     Blairmount, the house, was purchased by Leslie Rouse in 1923. He turned it into a horse stud and, after his death in 1928, it was purchased by Frank Young, the horse stud thereafter specialising in Clydesdale horses.
·     The suburb began to be redeveloped into housing in the 1980s and a school was opened in 1983.
·     The main road is Clydesdale Drive and its other streets are named after horse breeds in recognition of the horse stud that was originally there.
·     The suburb had 482 residents in the 2011 census.
·     In terms of Sydney suburbs, that makes it as big as this   Γ  .
·     Okay, I hear you say, then what horse breed is Waler Place in Belmount named after?  Waler Place is named after Australia's own equine. It was mainly bred in New South Wales (hence its name) as a hardy army mount for British forces serving in India during the 19th Century. This same breed carried the famous Australian Light Horse battalions across the deserts of the Middle East in World War One, inning wide respect for their endurance.


Blairmount, the house

18 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Georges River Council. It is part of the St George area.
Name Origin:
Blakehurst was named after William Blake, road assessor and postmaster for Cooks River in 1863. Blake ran a small farm in this area that was originally part of a land grant of 75 acres (300,000 m2) to Robert Townson in 1808.
·       Blakehurst's development from the mid-1800s was aided by its proximity to the water. Water transport was very popular and boatbuilders in the area were kept busy. As a sideline they hired out boats for recreational use.
·       A punt was established in 1864 at Tom Uglys Point.
·       Tom Uglys Bridge, well known to most Sydney residents, was originally known as Georges River Bridge when it first opened in 1929. It connects Blakehurst and Sylvania.
·       The origin of the name is unclear. Suggestions include that:
o   it was the nickname of an Aboriginal man who lived in a cave there;
o   it was named after an old fisherman called Tom Illigley;
o   or after Tom Huxley, a caretaker on a large estate and called Tom Hoogli by the Aborigines;
o   or named after an Aboriginal man called Tom Waggerly who had only one leg ('waggerly' being the Aboriginal word for 'lame animal').
·       Tom Uglys Point has been on maps since c1846 and has been in continuous use ever since.
·       Today Blakehurst is essentially a residential suburb with some of the southern suburbs' most impressive homes,


Intersection Princes Highway and King Georges Road.

Blakehurst, aerial view. Tom Uglys Bridge at right . the lower of the two bridges shown. The top bridge is Captain Cook Bridge, which links Sans Souci and Taren Point.

The punt at Tom Uglys Point, 1903

Another pic of the punt. Photo dates from between 1885-1892. Note that it is steam driven. The bell was to indicate to the other side when it had reached the shore. The punt operated until 1929 when the bridge was built.

Construction of the original Tom Uglys Bridge, 1929

Tom Uglys Bridge as it looks now, still in use

The old and new Tom Uglys Bridges, next to each other.

The two bridges at night.

Princes Highway at Blakehurst near Tom Uglys Point, date unknown

Exhausted diver with workman during construction of Georges River Bridge, 1928

58 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Hawkesbury and is part of the Greater Western Sydney region.
Name Origin:
The suburb is named after William Bligh, renowned as the captain who lost his ship HMS Bounty through mutiny and surviving a 6,701 km/4,164 miles journey to Timor in an open boat, accompanied by 18 loyalists.
Seventeen years after the Bounty mutiny, on 13 August 1806, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia, with orders to clean up the corrupt rum trade of the New South Wales Corps. His actions directed against the trade resulted in the so-called Rum Rebellion, during which Bligh was placed under arrest on 26 January 1808 by the New South Wales Corps and deposed from his command, an act which the British Foreign Office later declared to be illegal. He died in Lambeth, London on 7 December 1817.
I have found little about Bligh Park so here is some information about William Bligh, quite interesting:
·       Because the vessel was rated only as a cutter, Bounty had no officers other than Bligh (who was then only a commissioned lieutenant).
·       Bligh divided his crew into three watches instead of two, placing his protΓ©gΓ© Fletcher Christian—rated as a Master's Mate—in charge of one of the watches.  The friendship of Christian and Bligh dated back to Bligh's days in the merchant service and Christian was well acquainted with the Bligh family.
·       Ostensibly the Bounty was to travel to Tahiti and collect breadfruit, then take it to the Caribbean for experiments to see whether it would be a successful food crop for African slaves there on British colonial plantations in the West Indies islands. In reality the voyage to Tahiti was to maintain a presence, the territory being disputed between France and Great Britain.
·       The voyage to Tahiti was difficult. After trying unsuccessfully for a month to go west by rounding South America and Cape Horn, Bounty was finally defeated by the notoriously stormy weather and opposite winds and forced to take the longer way to the east around the southern tip of Africa (Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas). That delay caused a further delay in Tahiti, as he had to wait five months for the breadfruit plants to mature sufficiently to be potted in soil and transported. Bounty departed Tahiti heading east in April 1789.
·       The causes of the mutiny, when one of the watches, led by Christian and using firearms released by Christian, are still debated.  One view holds that  Bligh was a cruel tyrant whose abuse of the crew led them to feel that they had no choice but to take over the ship. Bounty's log shows that Bligh resorted to punishments relatively sparingly. He scolded when other captains would have whipped, and whipped when other captains would have hanged. He was an educated man, deeply interested in science, convinced that good diet and sanitation were necessary for the welfare of his crew. He took a great interest in his crew's exercise, was very careful about the quality of their food, and insisted upon the Bounty's being kept very clean. He tried (unsuccessfully) to check the spread of venereal disease among the men
·       Historian John Beaglehole has described the major flaw in this otherwise enlightened naval officer: "[Bligh made] dogmatic judgements which he felt himself entitled to make; he saw fools about him too easily … thin-skinned vanity was his curse through life … [Bligh] never learnt that you do not make friends of men by insulting them."
·       Bligh was no worse (and, in many cases, objectively gentler) than the average captains and naval officers of the era.  The other explanation put for the mutiny,  the more commonly accepted view, is that the inexperienced crew had been corrupted by 5 months of sun, sex and sand in Tahiti and wanted more of the same.  It is noteworthy that 18 of the 24 mutineers demanded Christian return to Tahiti, despite Christian pointing out that this would be the first place the authorities would check.
·       As Bligh was being set adrift he appealed to his friendship with Christian, saying "You have dandled my children upon your knee". According to Bligh, Christian "appeared disturbed" and replied, "That,—Captain Bligh,—that is the thing;——I am in hell—I am in hell."
To be continued


Rear Admiral William Bligh, 1814

The mutineers turning Lt Bligh and some of the officers and crew adrift from His Majesty's Ship Bounty.

Portrait of Fletcher Christian

Friday, February 23, 2018

Thought for the Day

Funny Friday


It's Friday so this must be Belgium time for some fun, or rather, funnies.

A contribution by John P starts off the humour, the first few are his.  Thanks John.


And oldie that is usually a fishing joke . . .

Four old-timers were playing their weekly game of golf, and one remarked how nice it would be to wake up on Christmas morning, roll out of bed and – without an argument – go directly to the golf course, meet his mates and play a round.

The others all chimed in and said, “Let's do it! We'll make it a priority, figure out a way and meet here early Christmas morning.”

Months later, that special morning arrives, and there they are on the golf course. 

The first guy says, “Boy, this game cost me a fortune! I bought my wife such a diamond ring that she can't take her eyes off it.”

Number 2 guy says, “My wife is at home planning the cruise I gave her. She was up to her eyeballs in brochures.”

Number 3 guy says, “Well, my wife is at home admiring her new car, reading the manual.”

They all turn to the last guy in the group who is staring at them like they have all lost their minds. 

“I can't believe you all went to such expense for this golf game. I woke up, slapped my wife on the butt and said: ‘Well Babe, Merry Christmas! It's a great morning for either sex or golf ‘."

“She said: ‘Take a sweater’.”


A husband and wife who work for the circus went to an adoption agency where social workers raised doubts about their suitability.

The couple produced photos of their 30-foot motor home, which was clean, well maintained and equipped with a beautiful nursery.

The social workers raised concerns about the education the child would receive while in the couple’s care.

“We’ve arranged for a full-time tutor who will teach the child all the usual subjects, along with French, Mandarin and computing skills,” they’re told.

Then the social workers expressed concern about a child being raised in a circus environment.

“The child will be surrounded by family, but we’ve also retained a nanny who’s a certified expert in paediatric care, welfare and diet.”

The social workers were finally satisfied and asked: “What age child are you ideally hoping to adopt?”

“Doesn’t really matter,” said the husband, “so long as the child fits into the cannon.”


Another oldie . . .

A woman takes a lover home during the day while her husband is at work. 

Her 9 year old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them, and hides in the bedroom cupboard to watch. Just after getting into bed the woman's husband also comes home unexpectedly, she tells her lover to hide in the cupboard, not realising that the little boy is in there. 

After a little while the little boy says, 'Dark in here. 

The man, who obviously got a real fright not expecting to hear anything, let alone from a little boy says, 'Yes, it is.' 

Boy - 'I have a football.' 

Man - 'That's nice.' 

Boy - 'Want to buy it?' 

Man - 'No, thanks.' 

Boy - 'My dad's outside.' 

Man - 'OK, how much?' 

Boy - '$ 250' 

In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the cupboard together. 

Boy - 'Dark in here.' 

Man - 'Yes, it is.' 

Boy - 'I have football boots.' 

The lover, remembering the last time, asks the boy, 'OK How much this time?' 

Boy - '$ 750' 

Man - 'Sold.' 

A few days later, the boys' father says to the boy, 'Grab your boots and football, let's go outside and have a game of soccer. 

The boy says, 'I can't, I sold my ball and boots.' 

The father asks, 'How much did you sell them for and to who?' 

The boy says, 'To a friend of mine for a $ 1,000..' 

The father says, 'That's a terrible thing to do, overcharging your friend like that'. 'That's four times what they cost when they were new, I'm going to take you to church and make you confess your terrible sins.' 

They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door. 

The boy says, 'Dark in here'.. 

The priest says, 'Don't start that shit again, you're in my cupboard now!!’


God's Plan for Aging

Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom, God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom, He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.

So - if you find as you age that you are getting up and down more, remember it's God's will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.


That ends John’s contributions, send them in if you have them.


Here is an oldie that traces back to the 1920’s, The Snopes link is:

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term: 

"Is Hell exothermic [gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof." 

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following: 

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So, we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added. This gives two possibilities. 

1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 

2) Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. 

So which is it? 

If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Therese Banyan during my Freshman year, that "It will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then (2) cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic. 

The student got the only A.




Corn Corner:

After the previous lengthy ones, here are some corny quickies:

It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

A farmer in the field with his cows counted 196 of them, but when he rounded them up he had 200.

What is Bruce Lee’s favorite drink? Wataaaaah!

There was a prison break and I saw a midget climb up the fence. As he jumped down her sneered at me and I thought, well that’s a little condescending.

A blind man walks into a bar. And a table. And a chair.

My friend recently got crushed by a pile of books, but he’s only got his shelf to blame.

What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? Not sure, but the flag is a big plus.

What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

And, one very suitable for Bytes . . .

I started a band called 999 Megabytes — we haven’t gotten a gig yet.