Saturday, August 5, 2023

Forrest Gump explains Mortgage Backed Securities... again!

Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates. Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors.

Eventually somebody bites into a turd and discovers the crime. Suddenly nobody trusts American chocolates anymore worldwide.

Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $800 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal. Meanwhile, Hank's buddies, the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted.

Mama always said: "Sniff the chocolates first, Forrest."

Now here's another classic story illustrating the evils of gambling and betting...
An elderly woman walked into the Bank of Canada one morning with a purse full of money. She wanted to open a savings account and insisted on talking to the president of the Bank because, she said, she had a lot of money.

After many lengthy discussions (after all, the client is always right) an employee took the elderly woman to the president's office. The president of the Bank asked her how much she wanted to deposit. She placed her purse on his desk and replied, "$165,000."

The president was curious and asked her how she had been able to save so much money. The elderly woman replied that she made bets.

The president was surprised and asked, "What kind of bets?"

The elderly woman replied, "Well, I bet you $25,000 that your testicles are square.'"

The president started to laugh and told the woman that it was impossible to win a bet like that. The woman never batted an eye. She just looked at the president and said, "Would you like to take my bet?"

"Certainly," replied the president. "I bet you $25,000 that my testicles are NOT square.'"

"Done!" the elderly woman answered. "But given the amount of money involved, if you don't mind, I would like to come back at 10 o' clock tomorrow morning with my lawyer as a witness."

"No problem." said the president of the Bank confidently.

That night, the president became very nervous about the bet and spent a long time in front of the mirror examining his testicles, turning them this way and that, checking them over again and again until he was positive that no one could consider his balls as square and reassuring himself that there was no way he could lose the bet.

The next morning at exactly 10 o' clock the elderly woman arrived at the president's office with her lawyer and acknowledged the $25,000 bet made the day before that the president's testicles were square. The president confirmed that the bet was the same as the one made the day before. Then the elderly woman asked him to drop his pants so that she and her lawyer could inspect his balls.

The president readily obliged, anticipating an unexpected windfall of $25,000.

The elderly woman came closer so she could see better and asked the president if she could touch his balls.

"Of course," said the president. "Given the amount of money involved, you should be 100% sure."

The elderly woman did so with a small smile. Suddenly the president noticed that the lawyer was banging his head against the wall. He asked the elderly woman why he was doing that and she replied, "Oh, it's probably because I bet him $125,000 that around 10 o' clock in the morning I would be fondling the balls of the President of the Bank of Canada."

[First published 27 November 2008, reposted 6 August 2012]

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

SUNDAY FUNNIES: The Genie and the Ostrich

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders.

The man says, "A hamburger, fries and a Coke," and turns to the ostrich. "What's yours?"

"I'll have the same," says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order. "That will be $9.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "A hamburger, fries and a Coke."

The ostrich says, "I'll have the same."

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the waitress.

"No, this is Friday night, so I'll have a steak, baked potatoes and a salad," says the man.

"Same," says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, "That will be $32.62."

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?"

"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there."

"That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"

"That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.

The waitress asks, "What's with the ostrich?"

The man sighs, pauses and answers: "My second wish was for a tall chick with a big butt and long legs who agrees with everything I say."

[Forwarded by Jason Rao. First posted 27 July 2008]

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Cross Dressing, Anyone? (worth another reprise)

In 1998 my friend Ray Langenbach initiated a "religious exchange" program wherein he undertook to embrace the belief system, no matter how weird, of anyone willing to embark on the experiment. He sent me a questionnaire and requested that I fill it out. At an appointed time and date we sent each other our questionnaires. When I read Ray's I burst out laughing, because we shared almost identical beliefs - except he's an academic and writes kinda funny. Below is the email I sent Ray...

Subject: Cross Dressing, Anyone?
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 00:20:45 -0700
From: Antares
Organization: Magick River
To: Ray Langenbach

1. Your religious beliefs.


OPTION A: "Scientific Pantheism" as a belief system. Very briefly, Scientific Pantheism postulates that a Universal Force or Spirit underlies and overlights all phenomena, and our "religious duty" mainly consists in gaining an ever clearer and deeper understanding of the Mystery, the Unknown, by using the tools of our intellect - language, mathematics, art, music, dance, and reason - for to know (and understand) is to appreciate and love, and to love and appreciate is the only service required of all conscious entities.

2. Describe any rituals to be performed, and when they must be performed, what must be said, what must be in the mind at the time, any prayers, how often, any taboo foods, words, actions, sexual practices, thoughts etc.

In Scientific Pantheism, rituals are optional. However, a few personal rituals I favor are those performed in acknowledgment of our vital relationship to the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and the Stars.

EARTH RITUAL essentially consists of resensitizing oneself to the magnetic field of our planet; recognizing that human industrial and military activities have a deleterious effect on the integrity of the geomagnetic field; and that as conscious individuals we can help reharmonize the field by aligning our own bio-energetic fields with that of the Earth, which may be perceived as the Great Mother of Life. This ritual can be performed by remembering to breathe deeply and slowly while visualizing a continuous flow of prana or ch'i through our biomagnetic field (which may be visualized as a doughnut-shaped "tube torus" energized by prana and rooted within the earth's central core, with the opposite pole extending outwards all the way to the nearest source of light, the Sun). As we perform this ritual, it is necessary to focus on our heart chakra (our compassion centre), letting it open to the max and infusing the pranic flow with ecstatic, unconditional, non-judgmental love.

MOON RITUAL: Taking note of life rhythms as they are affected by the phases of the Moon. Basking in the glow of the full moon in celebration of Beauty, Truth, and the Eternal Mystery of Life; tuning inward at each new moon, reassessing our life path, and refocusing on our personal goals/missions.

SUN RITUAL: Observing equinoctial and solstitial dates, opening our hearts and minds to the life-sustaining power of the Solar/Stellar Light, which permeates our bio-energetic fields as photons.

No specific food or sexual taboos... but in accordance with the Law of the Universal Food Chain, "Everything Eats and All Is Edible!" ... a practising Scientific Pantheist will regard each meal, each sexual encounter, as a fusion of energy fields - and therefore a true act of worship. Each experience of lifeforce exchange or transfusion is thus perceived as a holy (or whole-making) act, consecrated to what Einstein called "the Grand Unified Field."

3. Describe your cosmology, that is how reality or the world as we know it came into being.

This is a tough one! But the Hologram Model of Reality serves us best... 

Hermeticists quote the formula, "As above, so below." Our current understanding of Fractal Geometry and Hologram Theory prompts us to say: "As within the Micro, so throughout the Macro!" OR: "As within, so without!" In effect, inner and outer space are as concave and convex surfaces of a sphere, which is the prime geometric form of existence in this waveform universe. 

All forms are understood as permutations of the Sphere within which the five "Platonic solids" - the tetrahedron, octahedron, hexahedron, icosahedron, and dodecahedron - interact in a bi-polar dance of line and curve, yin and yang, male and female, electricity and magnetism. In effect, the World we see around us, the Cosmos surrounding us, has its correlation with an esoteric or inner reality accessed not via the outer senses but through establishing and sustaining a state of contemplative receptivity. 

There is a paradox which needs to be accepted: just as an electron can be a wave or a particle (physicists are now calling this paradox a "wavicle") - Universe is created and NOT created, depending on the specific frequency zone from which one is "viewing" it. This paradox applies to the perception of time - which can be linear (where Past, Present, Future exist) or spherical (where only Eternity reigns). In effect, both these statements may be accepted as "true":


(However, Scientific Pantheism tends to avoid using hackneyed terms such as "God" unless absolutely necessary.)

OPTION B: No beliefs. Only complete trust in the absolute perfection and wisdom of All That Is and Isn't. No rituals except the comfortable habits that get us through each day, e.g., brushing teeth, having breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner; the occasional indulgence, be it tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or sexual gratification. No taboos. An easy option.

OPTION C: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Lowest and the Highest, the One and the All. Sometimes I forget - hence the apparent mess we call Life. No specific beliefs - except that Life is a great deal neater when I remember who and what I truly am. No rituals - except conscious remembrance of my original and ultimate state of being and non-being. No taboos - except lying to myself (which of course includes everyone else).

4. Any other beliefs or actions that are important for someone who is to take on your beliefs.

Hmmm... can't think of any right now - but I'll let you know if something comes to mind. Or if I feel like making a few more up.

[First posted 1 March 2007, reposted 20 September 2014, 2 November 2016 & 21 June 2021]