February 2009


A Tax Official has come to a rural synagogue for an inspection. The rabbi is accompanying him. “So rabbi, tell me, please, after you have distributed all your unleavened bread, what do you do with the crumbs?”
“Why, we gather them carefully and send them to the city and then they make bread of them again and send it to us.”
“Ah. So what about candles after they are burnt? What do you do with the ends?”
“We send them to the city as well, and they make new candles from them and send them to us.”
“And what about circumcision? What do you do with those leftover pieces?”
The rabbi, wearily, replies, “We send them to the city as well.”
“To the city!? And what do they send to you?”
“Today they have sent you to us.”

* The mother and her both parents in Look Who’s Talking
* Roland Brittain, the protagonist in Risk by Dick Francis
* The villain in Death and Taxes by Susan Dunlop
* Some of Michael Jackson’s best friends
* Wanted
*Schindler’s list

¬†On a sunny afternoon three accountants are standing near a tall pole and wondering about the height of the pole. First accountant, a CPA says, I do not think there is any authoritative guidance on how measure the height of a pole, that is not the job of accountants. Second accountant, a professor at a state university says, well, if we take a survey of similar locations and asked people about the height of poles, then we may be able to deduce height of this pole, it will be a good enough estimate. The third accountant is a professor at an Ivy league university. He confidently claims, if we measure the shadow of the pole under different conditions, then I can run a multivariate regression model and can give a very good estimate of the height. As this conservation is going on, an engineer is passing by, he stops and asks about their discussion. Accountants tell him, you probably can not understand this complex problem. The engineer persists and hears about the problem. He smiles, lifts the pole from the base, measures it, and says, “twelve feet and three inches,” and walks off. Accountants look at him, laugh contemptuously and say in unison – “hell, we wanted to know the height of the pole and he tells us the length.”