Whoever did the detective work in the top answer to this article should get into investing, if they aren't already.
Remember Chernobyl? When news broke that the Soviet nuclear reactor had exploded, Alexander called. Only minutes before, yet Alexander had already bought the equivalent of two supertankers of crude oil. The focus of investor attention was on the New York Stock Exchange, he said. In particular it was on any company involved in nuclear power. The stocks of those companies were plummeting. Never mind that, he said. He had just purchased, on behalf on his clients, oil futures. Instantly in his mind less supply of nuclear power equaled more demand for oil, and he was right. His investors made a large killing.
Minutes later, Alexander called back. “Buy potatoes,” he said. “Gotta hop.” Then he hung up. Of course. A cloud of fallout would threaten European food and water supplies, including the potato crop, placing a premium on uncontaminated American substitutes. Perhaps a few folks other than potato farmers think of the price of potatoes in America minutes after the explosion of a nuclear reactor in Russia, but I have never met them.
I know some person who does this kind of detective work, let's express it this way: as a private, really time-intense hobby. Among others he revealed a complicated case of insolvency fraud and investment fraud involving multiple countries and stooges.
The sole reason he started all this detective work was because some customer was not willing to pay him as agreed for a web design job that he did (surely not more than 2000 €) - you cannot make up such a reason and story.
While he has a lot of talent for this kind of detective work, I would never give or lend him any money for the single reason that he simply has not the slightest magic touch for making money.
RIP Christopher Evan Welch
There have always been people willing to do things like this for "no good reason" and for nothing in return since time immemorial. I don't want to live in a world devoid of such awesomeness. I've done it myself and hope to continue to do so, even being cognizant as I am that someone may benefit from my toils without my making a buck. If I spend a month developing an open source library that does something novel and release it under a liberal license (MIT, BSD) on GitHub, am I not doing the same sort of thing every day?
This SE answer is awesome and it's helpful and insightful; but it isn't an example of capitalism at work and poor people being fleeced out of their time and money so the big guy can make a buck.
Respect to the poster. That was some legit research.
@sp332, you've submitted 693 items to HN, and you've made thousands of comments.
What did you get for all that work?
Not all utility is money. The poster voluntarily spent time and energy creating that response, and voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial. So the poster got something for all that work, but it wasn't money.
What's your basis for this claim? I can see saying "this poster received no financial compensation for all this work" but that's a different claim. It seems to me that the poster must have received somethingp, or they would not have put the effort forth in the first place.
: where "something" could be self-satisfaction, ego-boost, intellectual gratification, or any number of other non-financial rewards.
These same people could still be working, since there is no reason they shouldn't be in an office, factory, etc, for a full 14-hour workday. Clearly there is just not enough work to go around, which manifests itself as people sitting around drinking or going on fun Internet sleuthing that nobody would mistake for work.
(well, except that one guy.)
Those people are still working, they just don't know it
If people want to try to make money from their Q&As they can post them on their own site and either charge for access or advertise, but then they'll need to market it to get revenue so then they become like an SE but only for their own content and they'll make very little money anyway. That's basically the position of a professional blogger and very few of those make any real money.
I know we don't keep people out of poverty right now, and that's something that needs to be fixed. But if you think equality of outcome (i.e. eliminating economic disparity) is the solution to that then you may want to read up on the USSR and Maoist China. Capitalism is pretty good at raising the living standard of the whole population, even if it does end up creating billionaires at the same time.
Almost as good as the story about the missing German family (http://www.otherhand.org/home-page/search-and-rescue/the-hun...)!
The way it's written, and the theme, remind me of:
More seriously, I sometimes sorta miss USENET. However, my ISP actually still provisions it. It has been a while, but I have gone back to check it out. It's nothing like I remember, so I don't end up making it a point to check the groups regularly and I leave it alone for a few more years.
Oh internet, never change.
it was quite fun to be a part of, actually.
He did it all the time and didn't care at all for the quality of the product. At first I tried to make the illustrations myself or actually try to do an original spin on the product, but he put pressure to just pull a clip art and call it a day.
Some times I tried to hide some in-jokes or innappropiate stuff just to see if anybody noticed. For example, he once got me to to copy a whole book on some catholic saint, on a hurry, and refuse to pay some one to proff-read it. So I intentionally replaced some words here and there to change the meaning and I even changed the name of the saint to "Batman" in the middle of the book. Nobody ever noticed.
So my guess is that whoever designed this ball is on a similar situation and did put even less effort into doing it, than whoever has the third top answer in the Stackoverflow post. Or maybe she even put a swedish axe just to see if anybody would notice.
Incredible. Not sure what cognitive bias is at play here (or more charitably: perhaps they didn't scroll down).
EDIT: Some say these are pictures of a paint tube and some yellow paint: https://jimthechairmaker.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/my-carving...
The fact that an axe is used in the exact same way in the Swedish book is very strong evidence. There's prior art.
Nouns beginning with Y are not exactly easy to come across (the official "Yo-Yo" is hardly as common as the other words on the ball), and as has been pointed out, it's entirely possible the art was worked on by multiple people and changed or whatever.
Maybe the wrong-language thing is more likely (the U-boat choice is the thing that makes me lean this way the most), but I don't think the yellow paint tube idea is completely impossible.
I don't know how anyone would come to that conclusion. It's "definitely not possibly" (adverb chaining, really?) a tube squirting yellow in image. If ascribing modern symbolism to images rather than what's portrayed plainly, there's no reason that any of the images are symbolic of words starting with the appropriate letters.
I could easily say "no one would ever draw an axe with a bendy handle". The intent is obviously unclear given all this discussion.
A paint tube for colour is an icon that exists and gets used. The representation on the ball isn't far enough off I would rule it out.
There are a lot of animals on this ball. How about "Yak"?
Yogurt, Yak, Yam, Yarn. There really just aren't a lot of options.
I suppose that when the designer comes forward and explains the way the image was chosen, there will be people who argue the designer is lying, or misremembering, or trying to hide the fact that their drawing was interpreted the wrong way.
This way UFOs, 9-11 Truthers, and homeopathy lies.
And you just did it again by referring to UFOs and homeopathy. This is not a case of conspiracy, this is a case of people looking for possibilities. By making analogies to truthers, and painting a conspiracy theory in advance, you are undermining Dan Bron's work and demonstrating your own cognitive bias.
You're choosing which proof to believe. The image of the (presumed) axe on the ball is yellow, that's also "substantial proof". It is, in fact, yellow. It's not unreasonable to suggest that there's better direct evidence, and a simpler explanation, for the "yellow" answer than there is for the "Yxa" answer.
Maybe the designer was Asian and accidentally saw the Y as an upside-down A, maybe "axe" was the word they were going for. Maybe the designer was Asian and used yuè, the pinyin word for axe. (https://english.stackexchange.com/a/395521)
It's not likely that a definitive answer will be found, so let's enjoy reading and speculating about it, bask in the awesomeness of Dan Bron's narrative and presentation, and lay off the unjustifiable holier-than-thou attitude that there's only one possible answer.
What I don't understand is they do it here, with the benefit of having all the information laid out before them.
1. The letter 'A' and an upside down Y-shaped character share the same key on a Chinese/English key board. This could lead to an unintended subconscious relationship between these symbol shapes.
2. The orientation of these characters abruptly changed on the ball graphic between W and Q, leaving the orientation of the Y-shaped letter unclear to someone with minimal familiarity of Latin letters. An upside down Y is also easy to confuse with the letter A if you are not familiar.
This all assumes that Axe was the first common-'A' word selected. Perhaps they postponed the choice of the common-'Y' word given it is challenging. After misattributing Y for A, then someone just added an Apple graphic.
Now I am hot on the trail of unraveling the entire mystery...
What I am now doing is to think like the person who designed it. The more I can be in their shoes the better. This has led me to find the discrepancies from the original ball and this one (the knockoff). I have focused on what is different between the two.
So far it is Y. V. and U which has led me to look for clip art that is similar between them.
I am not of the belief that it is an axe (yxa)until it is proven.
My first search was the other products from the company to see if it was used other places/products to no avail.
Now I am finding the clip art in alphabet sets and flashcards.
The more that are similar will lead to the answer(s).
I found only one u-boat flashcard http://www.picturesof.net/_images_300/U_Is_For_U_Boat_Alphab... but now do not think that is the actual image.
Now looking for clipart that has V is for volcano. Found a few and now looking for axes etc but...
My current theory is that it is NOT an ax or yxa but paint for Yellow like the second post shows.
My photoshop skills are not great but I think it is a combination from this image http://clipground.com/image-post/90353-red-color-tube-clipar... or this image http://clipground.com/image-post/90353-red-color-tube-clipar... (I also think that it does not have to be originally yellow as that is a simple change to do in photoshop so the other colors can work) The caps in this picture are very close as are the paint threads and my guess is that they can be overlaid with near perfection if my photoshop skills allowed.
I was led to this site because of the image for U-boat is here on the same site
I'd probably go with yoga, myself.
I see no harm in overthinking things considering the subject is rather amusing. I see an axe.
No one this side of WWII uses the term U-Boat in America. U is much more commonly associated with Umbrella in kids' books here.
As an American with a fascination in documentaries I have heard the term a lot but most consider it to be very specific to military submarines operated by Germany in the first and second world wars only. I suppose the term Unterseeboot still sees usage outside of the States these days.
> Yellow. Looks like a squiggle of yellow oil paint squeezing out of a short, fat tube.