OPEN THREAD 20200124

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

Citizen U

Day 79 – GOLD.

17 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200124

  1. Everyone knows all sorts of things about gold. The price per ounce is on the newscasts. Just about everyone has held some — probably jewelry, but also coins. So I’m going to try and find some gold trivia.

    For example, the Aztecs regarded gold as the product of the gods, calling it literally “god excrement” (teocuitlatl in Nahuatl).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gold jewelery is frequently soldered together with gold. Traditionally, three types of gold solder were used, referred to as “easy”, “medium”, and “hard” — although the major difference was the melting point. Intricate jewelery could be fabricated by using the “hard’ (highest melting point) solder first, which would hold together when adjacent pieces were soldered using “medium” solder, and so on.

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  3. Using essentially just hammers, an ounce of pure gold — essentially a single Canadian Maple Leaf coin — can be made into 300 square feet of gold leaf. Even natural nuggets that are less pure can be turned into a substantial amount — and when this is affixed to a structure, or to artwork, it becomes essentially incorruptible (at least from the gold side). Silver will tarnish, copper will patina to green, but something covered in gold leaf will shine with gold for centuries.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It was final exams for a senior level college class, and the exam counted as 75% of the grade.

    The exam was also strictly timed.

    5 minutes before the time was up, the professor gave a warning, “remember, 5 minutes left. When I say put your pencils down, you must do it, or you’ll immediately be failed.”

    He gave the warning with 1 minute, and then counted down from 10.

    “3,2,1. Put your pencils down, and bring your finished exams forward.”

    As the rest of the class followed instructions, bringing their exams up one by one, one student was furiously writing, in an attempt to finish the exam. The professor got very mad.

    “Put that pencil down immediately!”

    The student ignored him and after being yelled at a few more times, finally finished.

    He walked slowly to the front of the class, where the professor said, “you fail this class! You took too long!”.

    To which the student replied, “do you know who I am!?!?!?”

    “What? What are you talking about? I don’t care who you are, you fail!”

    “Do you know who I am?!?!”

    “No, I do not!”

    So, the student said, “ok then”, walked up to the pile of finished exams, lifted up the top half, stuck his in the middle, knocked the pile to the floor, and then walked out.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Little Johnny’s teacher is warned at the beginning of the school year not to ever make a bet with Johnny unless she is absolutely sure she will win it.

    One day in class, Johnny raises his hand and says “teacher, I’ll bet you $50 I can guess what color your underwear is.” She replies, “okay, meet me after class and we’ll settle it.” But before class ends, she goes to the restroom and removes her panties — figuring that she would then have no chance of losing the bet no matter what color Johnny picked.

    After class is over and the students cleared out, Johnny makes his guess — “Blue.” “Nope. You got it wrong,” replies the teacher as she lifts her skirt to reveal she isn’t wearing any underwear.

    “Well, come with me out to my dad’s car, he’s waiting for me, and I’ll get you the money.” She follows him out. When they get to the car she informs Johnny’s dad that he lost the bet and had showed Johnny that she wasn’t wearing any underwear.

    His dad exclaims: “That mother fucker! He bet me $100 this morning that he’d see your pussy before the end of the day!”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. There are a whole cluster of similar jokes based on “WINNING through losing”. In another one, a businessman taunts another that his ass is so fat, it can’t be covered by a single jar of peanut butter. The other guy disputes this, so they decide upon a $1000 wager. The fatty gets a jar of Skippy and proceeds to trowel it on smoothly enough that it does, in fact, cover everything. He’s allowed to clean up, then they go to the protagonist’s banker to settle up.

        The banker says, “ok, so what are we here for?”, and PB-guy says, “we bet $1000 that I couldn’t completely coat my ass in one container of peanut butter, and I did.” He then notices the banker has gone white.

        “He bet me that he could have you coat your ass in peanut butter and brag about it before the end of the day — I figured, ‘what are the chances?’ so I had $10,000 riding on it.”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A group of engineering professors are all sitting on a plane going to an awards conference. After everyone is loaded, and the doors are shut, the captain comes over the intercom and announces a surprise — the entire plane has been designed and built by their students.

    Understandably, all the engineers immediately begin panicking, desperately scrambling to get off the plane, all except for one who is still calmly sitting in his seat.

    The others urge him to abandon the plane and save himself, to which he replies — “Relax, I’ve watched these students grow from freshmen who could barely figure out Calc I, to budding young engineers. I’ve seen their lab work, checked their math, and knowing the astonishing skills they have developed in their time as students…..I have every faith that this damn plane won’t even start.”

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  7. Aaaaah, gold, known since antiquity.

    There are only three more stable elements left…and two of them were also known since antiquity.

    The ancient Egyptians prized gold, of course…but found silver to be about three times more valuable, since they had no ready access to sources of silver. Since then the value ratio gold:silver has changed from 1:3 to something a lot closer to 100:1. (In fact I remember a day many years ago, around the turn of the millennium, when the ratio actually did hit 100:1.)

    When Federal coinage began in the 1790s, our dollar was defined as a certain quantity of silver alloy with a very exact (and distinctly non-round) purity of 1485/1664ths pure (which works out to 0.8924 fine). But we had larger denomination gold coinage (an “eagle” was defined as ten dollars, and we had gold quarter eagles, half eagles and eagles), and the intent was they would contain their face value in gold. If memory serves, this was true but only if the value ratio was 14.5 to 1.

    Of course the ratio altered. It altered first in gold’s favor, causing our gold coinage to become worth more than face value…which led to it being melted down. Thus the amount of gold in our gold coins was reduced in 1834, to solve that problem. (US gold from before 1834 is much rarer than gold from after that date, as a consequence. Though some coins are fairly available as long as you don’t care much about condition, some dates that were issued in the tens of thousands of pieces now only have three or four examples known, making them among the rarest coins the US has produced, today.)

    Then gold was discovered in California…a LOT of gold, enough to drive its value down relative to silver, and silver began to disappear from circulation instead. So we had to reduce the amount of silver in our coins in 1853, except the silver dollar, which saw little use in any case. That let those coins circulate, and agian, pre-1853 silver tends to be scarcer today than post 1853 silver.

    There is a cautionary tale here if we ever return to a gold standard…or a silver one. Be prepared to accept that coins in the other metal will contain less than face value..OR, have two parallel currencies and let them float against each other; silver dollars (dollars began as a silver coin in renaissance-era Europe) alongside gold ducats (a time-honored gold denomination) and let US dollars float against US ducats. I don’t see the latter happening as it would bring about “moneychanging” as a very visible occupation and the association with the critters that infested the temple in Jerusalem would incense many. Bet we know that bi-metallism of the type our founders set up is untenable when the actual market ratio between gold and silver fluctuates, which…it does.

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