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Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Form Re 9 REval Estate Continuing Ed Course Form Re 9
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Why do doctors work such crazy hours when they should know better than anyone how unhealthy and risky that can be?It is part of their culture, or more correctly, subculture. Watching them closely while making clinical software, I could see they choose to do this to themselves. It is a little point of pride and one more story in the "we're special and different from you" book of M(inor) D(eity). Recall that, preventable medical errors are the 3rd most common cause of death in the US, after heart disease (600,000) and cancer (580,000). Tired, rushed doctors kill *400,000 people per year. Compare that to 88,000 for alcohol, 33,000 for automobiles and 32,000 for firearms. One out of three hospital patients will encounter an error. Imagine if banks or airlines had those error rates. Of the top ten nations with the best medical care, the US is not even on the list, at #11. In that group, we're last in access, least efficient, dead last in equity of care and length of healthy life. We are number 1 in price, paying about double for our poorer care, compared to the top 10 of the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, France and Canada, in that order. BTW, the UK, at #1, has about 11,000 deaths per year from preventable medical errors. All of the top nations have universal healthcare systems. All of them. Sadly, here the noisy, under informed rank and file equate national health with communism and so have a visceral negative reaction to the idea. In reality, national health would make our nation more business friendly and attract jobs. Ballooning healthcare costs are a serious burden to companies both large and small. Working to a frequent state of exhaustion, by a group that makes life and death decisions and should certainly know better, is not justifiable. This is one tradition that should go out with blood letting and not washing hands between patients. I've watched a zoned out doctor plug the Insure feeding fluid into a chest drain tube, instead of a feeding tube. This kind of thing is the definition of preventable.*Note, some professional organizations list fatal errors at one tenth to one fifth of this number (44,000 to 98,000) but base their numbers on an automated review of discharge codes. A review of actual patient charts shows many more errors, as indicated by this number.
What are the most interesting facts you know?1. Mammoths were alive when they were building the pyramids(via TED Blog)Image Source: via National Geographic / Science Picture Co., Corbis2. It rains diamonds on Jupiter(via BBC News)Image Source: via DOGO News 3. Maine is the closest state to Africa(via ACSCDG) Image Source: via Proud to be American4. Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas(via Mirror)Image Source: via Sneaker Report5. Betty White is older than sliced bread(via Huffington Post)Image Source: via Ryan Seacrest / Getty Images6. Turtles can actually breathe from their butts(via California Turtle and Tortoise Club)Image Source: via imgur / GandalfTheTartan7. Nintendo was founded in 1889(via Gizmodo)Image Source: via deviantART / PokeMarioFan648. Saudi Arabia imports their camels from Australia for meat production, because they focus on breeding animals for domestic and racing purposes(via BBC News)Image Source: via Fine Dining Lovers9. From the time it was discovered to the time they revoked its status as a planet, Pluto had not yet made a full trip around the Sun(via Wonderopolis)Image Source: via Planets for Kids10. An octopus has three hearts. Two hearts are used to pump blood to each of the octopus' lungs and the third pumps blood throughout the body.(via About Education)Image Source: via cerebrovortex11. Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Walters were all born in the same year(via Biography)Image Source: via Break 12. When you get a kidney transplant, they leave your original kidneys in your body(via UCSF Medical Center)Image Source: via Vietnam Active Tourism 13. North Korea and Finland are separated by only one country(via Today I Found Out)Image Source: via imgur / tobeornottobe14. Vending machines are twice more likely to kill you than a shark is(via Freakonomics)Image Source: via Wikipedia15. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland(via Scottish at Heart)Image Source: via ThinkGeek16. Peanuts are not actually nuts, are in fact legumes(via The Peanut Institute)Image Source: via Aaron Quinn 17. Every two minutes we take more photos than were taken during the entirety of the 19th century(via 1000 Memories Blog)Image Source: via izifunny
What did the job interviewer say that made you NOT accept the job offer?So a few years ago. The company I was working for announced that they would be closing in our facility in 6 months. They need about twenty of the employees to stay and help pack up the office and warehouse. The office was moving to a small location down the road, but the warehouse was moving from NH to Chicago. The warehouse had 22 million dollars of stock. My job was inventory control/warehouse adminstration. I was one of the people they wanted for the move. So my boss pulled me aside and made me a nice offer. A year of pay and benefits plus a $5000 bonus. Way to good to pass up. Plus I was almost done my college degree. It would be able to take a few months of with pay. So we start the move get it done in 4 months. So our managers were very happy. Paid us the bonus plus I had a check and benefits coming for the next 8 months. During this time I met several of the managers who worked in Chicago. They need skillef workers. My supervisor was moving to Chicago. He wanted me to go. This would be a huge life changing experience. I told sure but for a least $50000 a year plus I wanted the full 8 months a pay I was promised. They agreed with my demands. But here is where the snag hit. I was told I had to interview for the job in Chicago. Even though it was already offered to me. They firsted interview me in NH. They asked me about my experience and education. This was silly. I pointed out that I am not interviewing for a new job just a transfer for my current job. But I decided to play there came. I pointed out how I got high review from my manager over 7 years. I helped to reduce stock loss from 10 percent to .5 for 22 million dollars of stock. On my education I pointed out that I just finished my Bachelor's degree at 40. They thought this was great. They then flew me to Chicago for 2 more interviews. The 3 interview made realize I did not want this job because of one comment. One manager told me they did not believe I was worth the rate we agreed upon in NH. I was annoyed. I said really. I have 7 years experience with this position. I helped develop a new ordering system, a new inventory system. I got a college degree improve my job skills. I also got amazing reviews. I then asked the HR person. How much do you expect to pay me. She said $12 dollars an hour. I just started to laugh. I was making more before the move. I asked so you what not even match my old rate she said no. I then said thank you an flew home. They did give me my bonus and year pay. It was nice I took 3 months a traveled. I got a call from my old manager. They could not get any one for the position I was originally offered. They had to split my responsibility between 5 people. Thus madee laugh
What would you do if a perfect stranger stopped by your house, gave you a bag containing a million dollars, said to you, "Take it, it's yours", and then walked away?Did you know that a million dollars in U.S. currency weighs just ten kilograms? It's true. A freshly-minted $100 bill weighs in at slightly over a gram, and 100 of them is ten thousand dollars. 100 of those stacks, and there's your million.It’s not often that 10 kilograms - 22 lbs of anything can change your life. But on February 25th, 2014, that’s exactly what happened. Day 1: $1,000,000 As the man in the gray suit walks away, I shout after him “Hey, come back here. Who are you? What’s this all about?” He does not look back and quickens his pace. Between the choice of chasing down a stranger, or securing what appeared to be stacks of currency, I chose the currency. We can resolve the issue of his identity later, but a loose sack of cash is, well, a loose sack of cash. I look through the contents again. Bundles of US$100 bills, stacked a hundred bills deep, wrapped in standard $10,000 bank bands. A quick count revealed that there were precisely a hundred of those stacks in the bag, and spot-check riffle-counts of the $10k bands suggest that there are no short-stacks within. These were full bands of $10,000 apiece of non sequential USD$100 bills, and I was holding what appears to be a million even in cash. And it feels like just as many question are swirling in my head, as I feel my pulse pounding in my skull. Who was that guy? Why me? What is this all about? But the most urgent thoughts swim past the dizzying deluge of unanswerable questions. Fakes. It’s one thing to inadvertently be the recipient of counterfeit currency; as you’re reading this very sentence, a clerk at a retail store somewhere in your city just accepted a counterfeit bill and made change from the real money in the till. But to be in possession of a life-changing amount of counterfeit currency of the United States of America? Well, that’s sort of thing that can bring the full might and wrath of their law enforcement apparatus on your head. My emotions swing wildly between the elation of instantaneous wealth, and sheer terror that I was minutes away from being snatched from my home and corralled into a Federal holding cell, where I will grow old within its walls. Terror was the stronger of the two emotions, and I quickly went to work. First things first: the bag had to go. If there is a GPS tracking device embedded in its seams, it would take too long for me to root it out. Better to incinerate it, and make sure that whatever trail it was laying stops at a dead-end for its pursuers. I pour the stacks of bills into an empty duffle back from my garage, and lock the bag in my condo. There’s an abandoned marina just a mile from my home and I get in my car and drive straight to the docks, at the top of the posted speed limit. After pouring enough Kerosene on the bag to see the shimmering mist of petroleum evaporate above it, I lit a book of matches and threw it in the middle of the mass. A satisfying “Whoomph” lights up the fire, and I watch the edges of the bag curl and burn - sizzling in the midmorning sun. As the remnants of the bag’s embers swirl around the scorched mark on the docks, I drive back to my condo, pulse still pounding in my skull.I still haven’t figured out if the bills are real or not, but if this morning’s bag-drop was an attempt to pin a piece of deeply incriminating evidence bearing a tracking device … well that plan has been thwarted. Or delayed, at the very least. What do I do? What should I do? Call the authorities? Consider how it would sound: “Hi, Police? Somebody dropped a million dollars in cash at my home. I don’t know if it’s fake or not. Please help.” Would you believe such a ridiculous story? I wouldn't. Any reasonable law enforcement dispatcher would consider the caller legally insane, and I'd be arrested on the spot and sent to psychiatric care. If the money was real, it’d be seized and I'll never see it or spend it. If it was fake, they’d find a way to stick “possession of counterfeit currency” charge on me, and I'll be shoved into a Federal concrete box, draining the best years of my life away, only to be released when I can’t chew solid food any more. No. The only recourse is to handle this myself. I call an old college friend practicing criminal defense law in New York City: “Hey Roger, it’s Kai. How’ve you been?” “I'm cool. It's been a while. What’s up man.” “We should catch up soon in person. But I’m calling because I need something.” “Ok, shoot.” I swallow hard - it’s difficult to even say the words: “Who’s the best CrimDef lawyer you know in California, who defends against Federal charges?” A moment. His voice lowers noticeably. “Shit, man. You in some kind of trouble?” “I’m not sure yet.” I said, truthfully. “But I need someone experienced and smart ... someone who you’d hire, if you’re facing serious attention from the Feds." He lets out a long exhale. “Vincent King. Former rockstar DOJ prosecutor in D.C. Had a change of heart halfway through his rotation in Maryland, when he was securing Life sentences for “interstate drug transportation” charges on young Black kids who were busted muling for the cartels. Was offered a fast-track promotion straight to the U.S. Attorney’s office but went rogue. He set up independent shop in San Francisco, fighting Fed cases. Heavy hitter clients, but makes a point of refusing to represent anyone accused of murder or human trafficking. Intimate knowledge of Federal prosecutorial procedures and evidence-collection protocol. Smart. Methodical. Very expensive.” “Perfect.” “I did mention ‘very expensive?’” “You did.” “I’ll send his contact information now.” =================================“I’m sorry - Mr. King is in court all day and won’t be back in the office. His earliest appointment is tomorrow morning after a client meeting. Shall I book him for 11am for you?” “Yes, thank you Marta.” “We’ll see you tomorrow at 11 then.” I look at the digital clock in my kitchen - it reads 10:44am. Just me and a stack of bills which may or may not be fake, no formal legal representation for over 24 hours. It’s going to be a long day. Taking even a few of these bills to a bank to corroborate their authenticity is out of the question. If a bank officer confirms they are fraudulent, I’ll be arrested on the spot, and since I haven’t hired counsel, I’d be at the mercy of the Public Defender’s Office - the most overworked and underpaid division of the American Criminal Justice system. No, thank you. The next number I dial is an old friend, Robert Kendrick, sole proprietor of ‘Secher Nbiw - The Golden Path,’ a gold bullion dealer with a whimsical Dune reference in the name of his shop. I’ve known Robert for over a decade; his business deals in large amounts of (mostly) legal cash. By necessity, he has a high-end currency counter/ counterfeit detection device in his office, which can swiftly count and verify large sums of money with precision. “Bobby, it’s me.” “Hey, what’s up.” “Can I come to your office - like right now?” “Sure, what do you need?” “I, uh, came into some money. Long story, and I really don’t want to get too much into the details … but I’m wondering if you’d be willing to run the bills through your counter for me? I’m not 100% sure they’re real, and I’d like a discreet way of verifying them. If they are, I’m going to pick up some bullion as well.” “Sure man. Happy to help. How much money are we talking about?”“$60,000” I flinch at that - I hate lying to friends, but at this point, I have no idea who to trust. Though if you want to be technical about it, I did come across $60,000. I am just simply not telling Kendrick about the other $940,000 that accompanied the $60k in the satchel that dropped into my life just three hours ago. “Come on by.” I pull apart a few $10,000 currency bands and start plucking random $100 bills from the middle of every 10k stack to assemble a randomized sample of the entire million. 100 bills, wrap it up. 100 bills, wrap it up. 100 bills, wrap it up. Three bands, thirty thousand dollars, randomized and fully assembled to be tested for authenticity. “Half” of my alleged $60k windfall. The rest of the loose bills are refolded back so there remains 97 stacks of $10k racks, re-wrapped and properly sorted. In 30 minutes, I will figure out if I’m rich, or holding on to enough illicit contraband to send me to Federal Prison for the rest of my life. =============================The Golden Path, like most bullion dealers, work out of small, highly secured office covered by multiple layers of security. At any given moment, Robert may have several hundred thousand dollars in cash or gold, silver and platinum bullion on the premise, it pays to be careful. One of the few civilians in California with a Concealed Carry Weapons permit, Kendrick and I met on pistol gun range ten years ago; we bonded over shooting .45 ACP slugs down-range. He and I spent countless hours debating the relative merits of his preference for single-action 1911s, vs my bias toward double-action SIG-Sauer P220s. In the bullion business, you learn to know the boundaries of money-laundering laws, and know how to walk right up to the edge without triggering reporting thresholds. Drop US$10,000 in cash or more at a car dealership, bank or bullion dealer in a single day’s transaction, and the U.S. authorities gets very interested in the source of your funds. By law, these business that receive such sums of cash must fill out invasive forms to tie the transaction to you and your Social Security Number. Keep cash transactions below US$10,000, and you can avoid much of that intense scrutiny. “Welcome back man. I haven’t seen you in a while.” A discreet man, Kendrick does not inquire further about the source of the cash. In the business of buying and selling gold bullion, you learn to comply with the letter of the law, while avoiding conversational topics that can jeopardize one’s own plausible deniability. While his clientele is mostly legitimate, I’m certain the most lucrative of his customers are criminals - and he smart enough to know not to ask the sort of questions that open up a line of liability for him. So long as the proper theatrics of anti-money-laundering protocols are observed, everyone is technically in the clear. I hand him the three $10k stacks and he pulls the bands off them and puts the entire block in his high-speed currency counter. After a second, the machine spools up and the digital counter swiftly runs from zero to three hundred. Thirty thousand dollars. “It’s real.” It’s real. His words hang in the air for a moment, and it takes a moment for them to sink in. One million dollars. Genuine currency of the United States of America, the most recognized and accepted form of money in the world - denominated in crisp, non-sequential bills. I hold my face as neutral as possible, but my excitement made me slightly dizzy, and I am glad I was sitting down. “What’s the spot price of Gold today?” Kendrick’s eyes drift to his laptop computer, where the current day’s commodities prices were fed to him via a live stream. “$1334 Ask, $1335 Bid.” I nodded my understanding.Precious metals bullion trade in troy ounces, and prices are quoted on a per troy oz basis; depending on the specific type of bullion (bars, coins, make), there are different markups from the quoted price. Depending on the specific form, Gold is typically marked up by USD$20 to $60 over the day’s quoted Bid price, and sells for $5~10 over the Ask. “What do you have in inventory right now for gold?” “The usual. South African Kugerrands. American Eagles. Canadian Maples. Oh, I do have a lovely Credit Suisse 5oz bar that somebody just sold to me, and I’m happy to let it go for $25/oz over spot.” I quickly did the mental math calculation. With the hard-cap spending limit of $10,000 before I trigger any mandatory anti-money-laundering paperwork, $1335/oz works out to about seven troy ounces of bullion I can buy, without forcing Robert to fill out invasive forms about me and my identity. “I’ll take the 5oz Credit Suisse bar, and two American Gold Eagles.” Kendrick pulls out a calculator and taps in the numbers, “So five troy ounces at 25 over spot plus Eagles at $50 over spot works out to nine thousand six hundred and -“ “Take ten grand and keep the change.” I interrupt. “I will be back for more.” He raises his eyebrow, but says nothing. “Thank you. I’ll be right back.” He counts back $20,000 and hands it to me, taking the $10,000 in the back room of his office and returning with the 5oz Swiss bar and two heavy 1oz American Eagles, along with a receipt for US$9675. I pause for a moment and hand him back one of the $10,000 stacks. “I know the limit is $10k in transactions per day. Consider this pre-payment for a purchase tomorrow. Your call, on a mix of anything up that totals up to $9500. Keep the rest for you and Katie.” A barely-perceptible smile flickers across his face, then his face was clear again. “Sure thing.” There’s nothing like the feeling of holding physical gold - the density, color and heft of the metal is like no other substance on earth, and it is no wonder that since its discovery, every culture on Earth treated gold with awe and respect. With 18 hours left before I can understand my legal options, there’s only two things I know for certain: 1. The money is real. 2. At least one person knows exactly where I live, and where the money was dropped off. I need to get mobile. I need to get mobile and off the grid ASAP.... to be continuedIf you'd like to be the first to get updates to this story, please add me kai chang 張敦楷 (kaichang) on Twitter. Part 2 (of 10) is being written right now, will be announced on Twitter. Please follow for updates on the saga of the Quora Millionaire! :D
What are some mind-blowing facts about Japan?A lot of things have already been said! But I will share a few more based on my personal experiences & visits to a few Japanese corporates!Gifting is a religion there. The companies overburdened with souvenirs. a) Tokyo Stock Exchangeb) CITIZEN Factory: A famous Japanese company for Digital equipments. They welcomed with Cap, good luck charms, pen etc.c) TCS Japan: Not purely Japanese but the Japanese branch of an indian company2. Heavy reliance on Seafood / Non-Vegetarian: Being an Indian vegetarian, it can be very difficult to survive in Japan without prior preparations. A funny incident happened when one of my friends asked for vegetarian options in a hotel to which the waiter replied if “Ohh, you are pure veg! So only egg or fish will do”!It’s just a huge tuna fish-head. Nothing worth seeing :P3. Strong focus on detailing In India, we don’t really know what detailing mean. Apart from warm-seater toilets and technologically advanced traffic system, even their menus are detailed for various spice levels.4. Tokyo Stock Xchange: They must be the only stock exchange who use opposite signs. The stocks which are improving are shown in red while the falling stocks are shown in green. They have interesting reasoning for that! Want to take a guess? Comment section, please!5. Indian Food: A little bit of patriotism is necessary, right! For a risk-averse person like me who doesn’t take risk when it comes to food, I searched for Indian restaurants. I finally stumbled upon a scene in a Tokyo Hotel which was mind-blowing! India-Pakistan rivalry is well-known but who knew the two flags can be seen together on the streets of Tokyo. This restaurant was run by Shaikh Sahab, a Pakistani who got so emotional to know that I am an Indian. He offered a delicious free tandoori chicken! What more can you expect? Much love, sir! <36. Cars: The most exquisite models of cars in any country. McLaren, Porsche, Ferrari etc. you name it!It was an extremely interesting country for me to explore! I wish you all the luck for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.Last but not the least, it would be a shame to not show the beauty of Tokyo and what their cleanliness is all about.I will keep adding !Thanks for reading :) . Have a nice day!
How does it feel like to live in Germany when you barely speak German?The surprising truth about English in GermanyWhen I first visited Germany for the first time more than fifteen years ago, I got the impression that everyone spoke English: My partner’s family, friends and acquaintances all spoke English. Even though some were not fluent, all of them could express themselves fairly well in English. During that visit, we did a small tour of Germany starting from the small town in Southwest of Germany) near Heilbronn where my partner’s family lived and headed to Berlin in the north about 600km away and then to Hamburg to the North-west and back. During this trip, pretty much everyone I encountered spoke English. I also noticed an eagerness of sorts among the many Germans I met to speak English. Strangers would often ask me probably because I looked different whether I spoke French or English. Needless to say, I concluded that one could get by in Germany without speaking German which as I later found out was at best naïve and at worst, well, very naïve :-)Living in Germany when you barely speak GermanA year after my first visit, we again visited Germany and this time I had an inkling that maybe not everyone spoke English. We drove to the southern town called Konstanz to visit his aunts and uncle. Konstanz is a border town bordering Switzerland and is a very popular tourist destination. His uncle’s and aunts’ English was halting and since I barely spoke German, my husband did most of the translations.Konstanz on Lake Constance (Bodensee)Soon after, we finally moved to settle in Germany.As soon as we arrived, we set out looking for a place to rent. This phase was very difficult but we eventually managed to get a place largely because of help from my husband’s family and friends.This early period was exciting mainly because there was so much to learn and to be shocked and surprised about. One of the things that I remember being particularly shocked about was the fact that one had to buy their own kitchen whenever they move into an apartment. A built-in kitchen is not part of a German lease. The other thing was the shocking figures/amount of money one had to pay the real estate agent. I think we paid two months’ rent as commission to the real estate agent and a month’s rent as deposit.But all these pale in comparison to what awaited me. As soon as my husband started working, I settled into my new life and went about learning German. I suddenly had to do things for myself, for example, buy myself a tram ticket, shop for food, just run daily errands and at this point I started realizing what I had deep down suspected: that most Germans don’t speak English. Like my husband’s extended family, they understand English but it isn’t a language that they are comfortable speaking. I remember especially dreading going to a bakery. I would walk into a bakery and feel a latent dread. The baker behind the counter would look up at me with an expectant face. I would fumble trying to decide what to order and how to say it correctly in German. And almost always, there would be someone waiting in line and watching and listening impatiently to the ongoing circus. I resorted to just using my hands pointing to what I want and nodding or shaking my head. The few times I attempted to talk in English, I was often met with blank faces or puzzled irritated looks.Visiting a doctorBut if I thought that this was bad, it was about to get worse. At around that time, I went to a gynecologist. I was then expecting our first child. My husband had called them and made the appointment for me but I went alone. When I arrived at the doctor’s practice the assistant handed me a bunch of forms to fill but they were all in German. With my basic knowledge of German, I could neither read nor understand what was in the forms. The two assistants spoke no English. I still vividly remember the exasperation on their faces when they realized that I could barely speak German. They had to do a blood test, measure my blood pressure, do urine test and all kinds of stuff and they had no idea how to communicate that to me. One of them, the younger of the two held her arm and then pointed to my arm and then to a blood pressure cuff. She repeated the process with a syringe to communicate that she needed to get some blood. When it came to urine, she didn’t quite know how to demonstrate but I somehow understood what she meant. To call that experience a nightmare would be a huge understatement. Luckily, the gynecologist, walked in and to my relief spoke to me in perfect English.This particular episode repeated itself several times. Whenever I went for a doctor’s appointment, whether dentist, gynecologist or whatever doctor, the assistants tended to not speak English while the doctors tended to speak English. The challenge however was that most of my interactions were with the assistants. I had to call them to schedule the appointment and to somehow manage the pre-appointment stuff before seeing the doctors.Losing confidence and feeling miserableIt was almost as if the Germany I had visited previously where everyone spoke English was a different one from the one I had settled in.The effect of all these on me was a massive erosion of confidence. Not being able to express myself and listening to people discuss issues affecting me without my input is one of the most humbling things that I have ever experienced.I continued learning German even more determined to overcome the difficulties and break out of this nightmare. I was surprised at how naïve I had been about the German language. For some crazy reason, I had convinced myself when I first started learning German that it wasn’t so different from English. ‘Guten morgen, Good morning’! sounded very similar to me. And now to my horror, I was finding out that it wasn’t just different, it was on a totally different level. Every noun had an article (die, der, das) which ultimately affected how to conjugate and construct correct sentences. Not using the correct article could easily make one sound like a moron which I did for the most part. The worst part was that these articles were all random and you somehow had to just know by heart that a table is male, milk is feminine and a book is neutral.Needless to say, Learning German was a long and frustrating experience. Regardless of how much I learnt, I often had the feeling that I couldn’t quite communicate with normal folks. There is something about learning a language from a text book that is quite unnatural and rigid. I had seen and experienced this in Kenya where tourists armed with Swahili lessons would go around telling people ‘jambo’or ‘hakuna matata’ .While this is all correct and proper, no Kenyan actually goes around greeting people with ‘jambo’ or saying crazy stuff like ‘hakuna matata’. It is very touristic and awkward.I was increasingly faced with a situation where my German was improving but the quality of my interactions was not. I felt awkward and unsure of myself. The other thing is that I felt an intense sense of shame whenever I was unable to express myself or made mistakes. Learning a language involves a lot of trial and error. One has to practice in order to get better. While this process is relatively uncomplicated for children because they don’t feel ashamed when they make mistakes, it becomes more complicated the older one grows because as adults we feel self-conscious. Being corrected is kind of cute when you are travelling around a country as a tourist but when you live in the said country, you start feeling the condescension that comes with it. I naturally resented this. As a result, I started avoided talking German unless I was 100 percent sure that whatever I was saying was correct. This is probably the worst strategy when learning a language. The less I talked, the less practice I got which ultimately meant that I was trapped in a vicious cycle of stagnation.Watching from the sides, a spectator in own lifeMy husband seeing my frustration decided that he was going to help me out by practicing German with me. We would only talk in German to each other. By doing that, I would practice listening and talking German in a safe environment. This didn’t go well. I would concentrate on trying to construct correct sentences and he would point out the errors and explain how to say them correctly. While on the surface this might sound like a brilliant idea, the reality was that it turned our lives into a monotonous dreary existence. I would often be pissed off at his incessant enthusiastic corrections. And he would be frustrated at my frustrations. After a few weeks, we were done. We went back to talking to each other in English.I can describe my life then as being trapped in a parallel universe. It’s incredibly tiring to communicate by using gestures or to constantly look through dictionaries to figure out how to say something correctly.I really missed a normal life. I missed small talk. I missed laughing. I found out that it’s impossible to laugh when you don’t understand what’s going on around you.I lived in Germany without living in Germany. I could see what was going on around me but I was a spectator in my own life. I had, like many foreigners taken the English in Germany at face value.5 important points to remember about English in GermanyThere is a very big difference between visiting a country and actually living there. When you visit a country as a tourist, you concentrate on doing fun stuff. You are not going to work or running day to day errands.What this means is that one is often surrounded by people whose objective is to make one’s life as painless as possible. What I didn’t realize and painfully learnt was that these kinds of people are the minority rather than the majority in any country. Germany is not an exception.Many Germans understand English but because they don’t practice it, they do not necessarily feel comfortable speaking it. I believe that this was the case when I first arrived and continues to be the case even today. English in Germany is largely passive.As a tourist, you can get away with speaking no German. People will go out of their way to help you out. This luxury is not accorded to foreigners who live in Germany. I for example quickly started feeling people’s impatience and frustration.Many people think that it is only the uneducated people in Germany who don’t speak English. This is not completely true. There are very many very well educated Germans who don’t speak any English, again I think because it is a language they don’t need for their day to day work.There is also the belief that how well one speaks English has something to do with their age. While it is true that a relatively high number of young people in Germany speak English, it would be foolhardy to make such a generalization.
“Which Tank will Will Fill up First? (example with 12 tanks, A to L, see question source for image)This is a recent meme that’s getting shared on facebook and elsewhere. Repeating the image from the question source:This is a question that has gone viral recently. Most people answer “G”.But look closely, as the question says. Many of the pipes are blocked - the line that blocks off D from C is not a mistake.To find the real answer (this is assuming a low flow rate, as after all it is shown as a drip in the diagram):From A to B to C is straightforward. None of them can fill before the next one.J is a bit more complex. But as you fill J, as soon as the water rises to the outlet to L it overflows to L. So it can never get any higher. Yes, its level also rises in the outlet tube leading to I, but it can never get high enough to overflow to I.So it flows to L, which in turn fills F.So which fills first, L or F?By the time F is full, L will only be partly full (with the water at the same level for both).So your F is the answer.This video shows the idea, an animation by Nick Rossi using a physics engine, AlgodooIt doesn't quite flow like a real fluid, as he says, but it's enough to get the answer and show how it works.Here is another animation Which will fill first? from THE FLOW... by CorneliaXaosWhich will fill first? by CorneliaXaosThat answers the question, since it shows a dripping tap at a slow flow rate. But let’s go off on a tangent.WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WATER IS POURED INTO A AT A FASTER FLOW RATEIf the flow is very fast then obviously A will fill first. However, could any of the others fill up first before F and before A?It’s’ governed by the Hagen–Poiseuille equation so long asthe flow is due to a pressure difference.the fluid is incompressible and Newtonian (water is, approximately).the flow is laminar (not turbulent) - it is with water if it flows slowly through a narrow pipe.through a pipe of constant circular cross-sectionthat is substantially longer than its diameter,and there is no acceleration of fluid in the pipe.All those conditions seem to apply. The pipes are substantially longer than their diameter which is one of the most important requirements. And they are narrow, and the fluid is water.Under those conditionsIf the outlet is above water, the flow rate is proportional to the height of the head of water above the inlet to the pipe. If the outlet is below water, it’s proportional to the difference in height between the water above the inlet and the water above the outlet.The difference in height of the water here is often called the “head” of water.It is inversely proportional to the length of the pipe.Or in short, the flow rate for laminar flow, in a pipe signNowly longer than its diameter, is proportional to the pressure difference, and so to the head of water, but it is also inversely proportional to the length of the pipe.(it also depends on the radius of the pipe and the viscosity of the water but those are the same for all our pipes).Techy details. The equation is:There L is the length of the pipe and R is its radius.Q is the flow rate (what we are looking for).ΔP is the difference in pressure between the two ends of the pipe, which for water is proportional to the difference in height of the inlet and the outlet.Finally μ is the dynamic viscosityAll of those are constant (the pipes are all the same radius, and the viscosity is constant) except for L, the length of the pipe, Q which we are interested in and ΔP.So our equation simplifies to Q = c ΔP / L, where c is a constant which is the same for all the pipes in our example because they are all the same radius.Double the length of the pipe and you halve the flow rate. Double the head and you double the flow rate.So now for instance, can L fill at any flow rate?Its outlet is a very long pipe. Even if L is nearly full of water ,the head of water in F will mean the difference in heads between L and F is quite small even if F is nearly full and L is likewise.Its inlet is a much shorter pipe. Whether L can fill will depend on whether we can get J to have a high head to increase the flow rate of L's inlet pipe to more than that of its outlet pipe. But, at least at first sight, it would seem that such a high flow rate could mean that one of the other tanks earlier in the chain could fill firstSo - it’s quite a finely balanced question, and hard to answer.A obviously can fill first with a very fast flow rate, just fill it faster than it can empty.Well we can actually try this out with a real world experiment :).Well we can actually try this out with a real world experiment :).Prozix has made a 3D printed version of the puzzle. If you have a 3D printer you can download it here and print it out and test it yourself: Answer to the question Which one fill First / water equilibrium system by prozixI don’t have a 3D printer but he has uploaded some videos.First this is what happens with a slow flow rateNote that at 22 seconds in, J nearly fills briefly.If you look closely, you see that a bubble forms in the outlet from J to L, which makes sense, it’s a downward pipe and air is buoyant. The bubble then gets pushed out into L and then bursts.This shows the bubble just before it bursts (you can show the video at 1080p from the Settings)So - if the pipes are very thin - or the flow is just right - that might lead to J filling right there, if you can arrange it to fill before the bubble disperses.So even at a slow rate we have something anomalous already, though its because of a bubble.But what happens at faster flow rates? I asked in a comment to the video, and Prozix was interested and answered with a new videoAt 28 seconds in, at one of the flow rates, then L and F fill at the same time.Here, it all makes sense up to J. J can’t fill (apart from that possibility due to the bubble) at this stage because the pipe from C to J has only a tiny head above its inlet. It’s outlet is about twice as long as its inlet, perhaps more.Aside: If C was nearly full, J would start to fill, and if we could have the level of water stay below the outlet into L while J fills, then C with its shorter pipe could continue to fill J even when it is nearly full. But as it is now, there is no chance of J filling.So that makes sense. But how can F fill at the same time as L? That's more mysterious.The pipe from L to F is three times the length of the pipe from J to L. Meanwhile, in the situation shown here, the head from J to L is about double the head from L to F.So by the Hagen Pousseville equation again, the flow rate from L to F should be about two thirds of the flow rate from J to L in this situation where J is half full and both L and F are almost full.So you expect L to fill faster than F.So, I don’t think they can get into this situation at all, with a steady flow into L. There must be something going on that doesn’t fit our assumptions of laminar flow, or something else such as a bubble forming.Let’s look at what lead up to this. If you look at the video, L fills faster than F to start with, keeping nearly the same head from L to F as from J to L.L is clearly filling faster than F and is on track to beat it. There is no sign of any bubbles in the inlet to L.But then a little while later you get this (25 seconds in)Now F is filling faster than J. Something has happened to reduce the flow rate into L, which then permits the two levels between L and F to equalize.But the head going into L hasn’t changed. Also the input pipe to L is full and there are no bubbles. I think the only possible answer is turbulence.You can see waves forming in J so maybe that means there’s a bit of turbulence impeding the flow from J to L, especially since the water level for J is exactly at the level for the outlet to L. What are your thoughts?This is what happened with a moderately fast flow rate:Here is the video starting at that point.All of A, B, C, J, L and F are just about full. B, L and F started to overflow first and I think L just about beat the other two though it was almost simultaneous. In this frame you can see L just about to overflow and the other two though they have the water raised above the level of the top, haven’t yet actually started to flow down the side.So how do we understand that as a possible state in terms of the flow rates? Back to our diagram againWith A, B, C, J, L and F all filled, then A to B to C to J all have the same length of pipe and same head (height difference of the water in the tanks above inlet and outlet) so have the same flow rate. J to L has around 2.5 times the head of C to J, and the pipe is around 2.5 times the length, so the flow out of J is about the same as the flow into it, and the difference in head between the top of J and the outlet to I is small. From L to F, the difference in head is about the same as for C to J (which we already know is about the same as the flow from J to L) but the pipe is far longer, so L shouldn’t be able to empty as fast as it fills, and the water flows out of J faster than it flows out of L, so L should fill before J.From L to F, the difference in head is about the same as for C to J but the pipe is far longer, so L shouldn’t be able to empty as fast as it fills, so it should fill long before J fills,So if the flow rate is high enough for J to fill like this, L should fill before J and F doesn’t get a look in.So how could it happen? Well it could be the bubble from J to L, slows down the flow out of J so that J fills first before L.As for F filling, how did that happen? Let’s look at it again:The head from J to L is far higher than from L to F and the pipe is shorter, so the flow into L should be a lot more than the flow out of L to F. So it seems impossible for F to fill like this. It's not the bubble - the two tanks fill up reasonably steadily at the same rate. You can watch the video at quarter speed to check. Click the Settings icon in the lower-right corner, then click the Speed selector.Perhaps at this flow rate, its the double kink in the pipe from J to L causing more turbulence and so slowing down the input to L? What do you think? That could also help explain why J fills at this flow rate, if the pipe from J to L, has a slower flow rate than you’d expect from its length and head. What do you think? Do say in the comments.Even K can fill, though it is pretty hard to do. This is with a very strong flow into A, and several of the others have been overflowing for some time. They have turned off the inlet pipe at this point.Amusingly, in the real world, E ends up half full too after some time of running it at a high flow rate with the water overflowing from A.Here is the complete videoSo far the only confirmed alternatives to F are A (obviously) and L (pretty sure it wins at the moderate flow rate).That’s just a start. There are many other things to tryVarying flow rate. Can you get, J, say, to fill first or even K by turning the flow rate up and down at critical points during the filling process? This could cause bubbles to form, as well as adjust the heads of the various tanks.What happens if you scale the whole model up, or scale it down to a very small size? Scaling it down could make the flow rates out of some of the pipes very slow. It could also mean that bubbles like the one from J to L take a long time to disperse too. Scaling up could lead to more possibility of turbulent flow through the pipes.Try adding sugar for viscosityWhat if it is really hot, and you use a slow flow rate so that the water evaporates quickly?What if it is really cold so that the water freezes? That would seem to be a way to fill even B first, if the water freezes by the time it gets to B to C but remains unfrozen as far as the flow from A to B.NOTEIf you see anything in this to correct, however small or important it is, please either suggest an edit for my answer or say in a comment. Thanks!
Why is government bureaucracy almost always horrible at serving its citizens?I give you, The World’s Fastest Stamper!That’s interesting, isn’t it?Like, she’s stamping those… things… really fast. It’s an efficiency unimaginable by normal means, right? A lot of Americans could learn a thing or two from her.But here’s the real question, what is she actually doing?Well, two things worth thinking about. One, while she’s amazing at what she does… a machine could have still done it faster, faster and more accurately. She missed 55–57. Not hating. Just saying. Two… she’s stamping. Stamps usually imply that a human has verified something with a firm and made a decision about it. That actually sort of explains why a machine isn’t doing it, but if she needs to place a stamp for some reason… why is it her job just to make stamps?I don’t know the true nature of what she’s doing, but it seems clear that she developed a unique level of mastery over a task that doesn’t actually need to be done.That’s the fundamental problem with bureaucracy… Creep.It forms as the simple pragmatic solution to some necessity of governance. Maybe it’s a need or a want, or just someone’s seemingly bright idea that people assume will help people.We need to make sure that people are _____ safely. Safety is important!That reasonable acknowledgement of a problem that may or may not exist, leads to someone coming up with a far less good way of solving the problem.So what about if, before people ever get the chance to ______, we make them have a _______ inspection, and we can decide if they are allowed to or not.But then a reasonably good idea always requires a little bit of extra hassle to make it work.So how do we know that had the ______ inspection? Have them fill out an ID-10T form. Then we’ll check the form and see what it says and they can do the thing they want.But if you make a task, then you create work for someone.Someone needs to look over these forms to verify that ______ has happened.Someone eventually realizes that there are so many forms that need to be inspected, that they start encouraging workers to move faster.We need to find ways to verify these forms faster.Then the bureaucracy begins to channel incentives to people based on the speed of processing the forms, rather than verifying whatever the forms are for.Alright everyone, we’ve brought an efficiency expert to give a special class on how to stamp forms faster! It should take your stamps per hour up 600%!At some point, it becomes clear that this isn’t an office to verify forms, or to make the world a safer place from the horrors of… whatever someone wanted to make more difficult to do… but an office whose entire purpose is stamping forms. That’s when the bureaucracy has broken down, because the purpose of the forms themselves have become lost.At that point, the bureaucracy is doing far more harm to the overall system then whatever good they gain from the “solution”. In the worst cases, whole functions are merely parasitical, taking far more resources to continue than good they bring about.We have to account for employee pay, who exactly are producing those forms, what losses are incurred by those who must fill them out, and even the costs to maintain the machine that prints out those inane forms in the first place.Sure, there is probably someone in charge of overseeing costs such as this, but that person too… is a bureaucrat.The problem is that bureaucracy itself isn’t wrong. There are pragmatic reasons for most jobs that have nothing to do with the actual purpose of the organization itself, far more valuable to the company than just pencil pushers. But, over time, every organization expands to the point that there are wasted processes too difficult to let go, but which people are afraid of what would happen without them. Other times, systems that make sense to absolutely no one, continue happening because of the power such a system puts in the hands of those that run it.Look, pretend there isn’t some times where people just want to make sure that you have to go through them with your ID-10T forms.Like the video example, however, bureaucracy has a way of making a failed system look like a productive one. You just can’t see that until it’s staring you in the face. Like a system that rewards and celebrates a person stamping forms at a few hundred a minute, there is a point where the people in charge have to take a step back and realize what they’ve created, a bloated monster that wastes people’s time, energy, and money, become the masters of a wasteful process, rather than a productive one. Worse, the more bureaucracy grows, the more corruption not only becomes likely, but the only way to get good work done.So the real answer of why bureaucracies are dirty words to some people, is that it is a process which always starts off well meaning, but requires constant supervision not to run away with itself. It’s a slippery slope, but when it finally falls off the cliff, it takes a lot of people with it. Eventually, it turns into a monster that prevents anything good from happening naturally. All that is because someone, usually someone with just a little bit too much self-righteousness themselves, thought it was a good idea to regulate something that no one else would, all in a way that put just a little bit too much power into their hands. When the best way to get things that most people would agree aren’t bad in and of themselves is to pay off bureaucrats or break the law, making decent people into criminals… that’s just a bad system.The problem with bureaucracy is that all organizations grow to eventually become those bad systems.To quote Oscar Wilde, “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the expanding needs of the bureaucracy.”Relaxed. Researched. Respectful. - War Elephant
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