Saturday, December 12, 2009

Up in Santiago, there’s a young American chap of Galician parentage who’s studying at the university there. His comments on his experiences give a nice insight into the student culture here in Galicia. And possibly in the rest of Spain as well. His last two posts have been responses to a reader who’s convinced that, in the lingo, Spain sucks. Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I can understand the criticisms. On the other hand, it should also be obvious I have no problem with Xuán-Wahn‘s responses. Which – to be a bit patronising - I find very mature.

Spanish TV does a version of the Britain’s Got Talent show. Whether it’s as far from the original as the local version of the BBC’s Celebrity Come Dancing I can’t say, never having seen it. But a friend tells me it’s more of a freak show than a talent showcase. So I guess it’s no surprise the latest series was won by a 75 year old Englishwoman performing salsa. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing this, click here.

Slightly more seriously, here’s my friend Daniel Hannan on the EU bureaucrats’ strike I mentioned yesterday.

Finally . . . Here’s an article on the state of British education which is worth reading in its own right. But for a comment of genius, scroll down to the message from smacmebatam at 09:49 today. Or, if you can’t be arsed, carry on reading to the end of this post.


1. Teaching Maths in 1970
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is 80% of the price. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is £80. How much was his profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100. His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20.. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Maths In 2005
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. Your assignment: Discuss how the birds and squirrels might feel as the logger cut down their homes just for a measly profit of £20.

6. Teaching Maths In 2009
A logger is arrested for trying to cut down a tree in case it may be offensive to Muslims or other religious groups not consulted in the felling license. He is also fined a £100 as his chainsaw is in breach of Health and Safety legislation as it deemed too dangerous and could cut something. He has used the chainsaw for over 20 years without incident however he does not have the correct certificate of competence and is therefore considered to be a recidivist and habitual criminal. His DNA is sampled and his details circulated throughout all government agencies. He protests and is taken to court and fined another £100 because he is such an easy target. When he is released he returns to find Gypsies have cut down half his wood to build a camp on his land. He tries to throw them off but is arrested, prosecuted for harassing an ethnic minority, imprisoned and fined a further £100. While he is in jail the Gypsies cut down the rest of his wood and sell it on the black market for £100 cash. They also have a leaving BBQ of squirrel and pheasant and depart leaving behind several tonnes of rubbish and asbestos sheeting. The forester on release is warned that failure to clear the fly tipped rubbish immediately at his own cost is an offence. He complains and is arrested for environmental pollution, breach of the peace and invoiced £12,000 plus VAT for safe disposal costs by a regulated government contractor.

Your assignment: How many times is the logger going to have to be arrested and fined before he realises that he is never going to make £20 profit by hard work, give up, sign on to the dole and live off the state for the rest of his life?

7. Teaching Maths In 2010
A logger doesn’t sell a lorry load of timber because he can’t get a loan to buy a new lorry because his bank has spent all his and their money on a derivative of securitised debt related to sub- prime mortgages in Iceland and lost the lot with only some government money left to pay a few million pound bonuses to their senior directors and the traders who made the biggest losses. The logger struggles to pay the £1200 road tax on his old lorry however, as it was built in the 1970s it no longer meets the emissions regulations and he is forced to scrap it. Some Bulgarian loggers buy the lorry from the scrap merchant and put it back on the road. They undercut everyone on price for haulage and send their cash back home, while claiming unemployment for themselves and their relatives. If questioned they speak no English and it is easier to deport them at the government's expense. Following their holiday back home they return to the UK with different names and fresh girls and start again. The logger protests, is accused of being a bigoted racist and as his name is on the side of his old lorry he is forced to pay £1,500 registration fees as a gang master. The Government borrows more money to pay more to the bankers as bonuses are not cheap. The parliamentarians feel they are missing out and claim the difference on expenses and allowances.

You do the maths.

8. Teaching Maths 2017
أ المسجل تبيع حموله شاحنة من الخشب من اجل 100 دولار. صاحب تكلفة الانت=D 8ج من
الثمن. ما هو الربح له؟

3 comments:

Midnight Golfer said...

This would all be so much funnier if it weren't so sadly true.

Anonymous said...

I Spain there are also versions of this joke:
http://www.arrakis.es/~mcj/patatas.htm

Xoán-Wahn said...

Thanks for the mention Colin! Actually, I should say 'cheers' as my professors have been trying to beat the American out of me and would be upset if I didn't at least try to use British English more often.

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