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August 30, 2006

Ph.D. on Star Trek

Filed under: Just for fun — indexfundfan @ 12:02 am

It seems like these days, you can get a Ph.D. for just about in anything. According to this news article, a Ph.D. thesis, titled “Broadcast Space: TV Culture, Myth and Star Trek” has been written on Star Trek:

It’s the PhD thesis that boldly goes where no thesis has gone before. Djoymi Baker watched 700 episodes – 624 hours without ads – of Star Trek and its spin-offs, dating from 1966 to 2005, in the name of research.

July 29, 2006

Tipster set fund scandal snowballing

Filed under: Just for fun — indexfundfan @ 8:28 am

“I think you should investigate mutual funds,” said a clearly nervous female voice.

The anonymous phone message, left with a staff lawyer for New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer, touched off an intense investigation of the mutual fund industry in the summer of 2003. Spitzer, the ambitious prosecutor who had just nailed Wall Street investment banks for sending out biased stock research to investors, was looking for a new target. The $7 trillion mutual fund industry, which had been largely scandal-free for decades, was ripe for exploration, especially given the fees they charge investors for handling their money.

A very interesting read in the Washington Post on how a tipster set the fund scandal snowballing: Tipster set fund scandal snowballing.

April 20, 2006

Coin inflation

Filed under: Just for fun — indexfundfan @ 10:06 am

The price of commodities have risen sharply over the past few years. As we know, coins circulated through the ages have been made from various base metals such as copper, zinc and nickel. Cheaper metals are used to mint new coins as the intrinsic value of the old coins start to exceed their nominal values.

The website gave some interesting information for this trend. According to the website, the quarter issued from 1932 to 1964 is now worth $2.63, more than 10 times its nominal value. More recently, the 1959-1982 one-cent coin is worth about two cents at today’s copper prices. I guess people might start to horde the more valuable coins if metal prices continue to rise.

March 28, 2006

Cognitive Reflection Test

Filed under: Just for fun — indexfundfan @ 12:21 am

I found the following three questions from an article in the April 2006 issue of Smartmoney rather interesting:

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half the lake?

Each question has an intuitive — but wrong — answer. See if you are ‘tricked’ by your intuition. 😉

PS. The answers are given in the Comments.

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