English songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton is considered to be among the greatest guitarists of all time, just behind Jimi Hendrix. Popularly called ‘Slowhand’ because of the painstaking way he would change guitar strings on stage, Clapton is the only person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three different times, first as a member of bands The Yardbirds and Cream, and later on as a solo artist. Eric Clapton was longtime friends with Beatles guitarist George Harrison, and they collaborated on the famous song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, and Eric’s song ‘Layla’ was written for Harrison’s then-wife Patty Boyd, who Clapton later married (they’re British. Don’t ask). Clapton’s distinct blues-rock technique has influenced basically every guitarist in the last thirty years, so yeah, this dude is good. Clapton is also a major fan of cricket, and therefore will probably be following the …
Benford’s Law is one of those things that just…couldn’t possibly exist, but does. Stay with me for a minute because this is about to get weird. Benford’s Law, also called First Digit Law, states that in any collection of real-life data, the frequency of numbers always follows a particular order: the number ‘1’ will occur about 30% of the time, the number ‘2’ will occur about 17.6% of the time, and so on, till you reach sad little number ‘9’, which only occurs about 4.6% of the time.
Confused yet? Good. Look through a newspaper, make a list of all the numbers that you find. Go ahead, I know you have nothing better to do. If you have a decent enough sample, you’ll see the pattern. Almost a third of the numbers start with 1. The reason is deceptively simple : 1 is the first number, and therefore likely to occur the most number of times in any sequential distribution. Oh and the people who wonder where something like this can be useful? Try evading your taxes once. Or fudging your finances. That’s how they catch ye.
Occam’s Razor is a problem-solving principle devised by William of Okham, which is also called the ‘law of parsimony’ or lex parsimoniae if you want to be all Latin and stuff. It basically states that in a situation where you have multiple equally likely outcomes to choose one from, choose the one which requires the least number of assumptions to be made. Don’t get it yet? The medical community has a charmingly simplistic version of it – ‘When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras’. The solution that requires the fewest assumptions, or the least unnatural solution, is the one that should be preferred. Basically, if you’re detecting the symptoms of a common cold, don’t assume it’s lupus. Because as everybody knows, it’s never lupus.
Remember Dory from Finding Nemo? Or if you want a less accurate example, the protagonist from Nolan’s Memento? Both these people (I use the word loosely), had the same medical condition – the inability to form new memories after the event that caused the amnesia. Basically your brain resets every five minutes, and you forget what happened five minutes ago. The most famous case of anterograde amnesia was of a man named Henry Molaison, but more widely known as H.M, whose brain surgery to cure seizures left him unable to create new memories.
He could remember things from his childhood, but not a piece of news he read five minutes ago. Oh and apparently Dory is the most accurate portrayal of anterograde amnesia in any movie. And you thought the movie was just about talking fish.
First Registered Trademark
See that little TM sign on things? It means that that item is a trademark, and it belongs to someone, either as a physical object or as an idea. It’s usually used for logos or designs or things like that. Anyway, the oldest trademark in the world comes from the United Kingdom, and belongs to Bass Brewery’s Red Triangle, who registered it in 1876.
They still use it, because you can hardly improve on a triangle in a primary color. The oldest US trademark still under use is a picture of Samson (the dude from the Bible) wrestling a lion. J.P. Tolman Company, now known as Samson Rope Technologies, trademarked it in 1884, and apparently liked Samson so much they just named their company after him.
You’ve probably never heard of Berkshire Hathaway. And why should you? It’s not like they’re one of the largest public companies in the world. Or have the most expensive stock in the world. Oh wait, they totally do. I bet now you’re listening. Formed by Oliver Chace in 1839 as Valley Falls Company in Rhode Island, the company came to the hands of Warren Buffet in 1962, after the original owner made him angry by offering him 25 cents fewer for buying back the company’s shares than had originally been proposed. Seriously. We’re not kidding. Buffett got pissed and bought out the entire (failing) company. Buffett still calls the purchase his greatest investment mistake ever, claiming that had he not made the purchase, he would’ve made around $200 billion had he invested the money in something else.
Why should you care about Berkshire Hathaway though? Well, the mega-company owns a few little companies you might know – Heinz, Geico and Dairy Queen. If you use it, Warren Buffett makes money off it.
Featured image collage : Picmonkey