A prominent Wall Street tycoon, Carmine Intervocalic, wanted to hire
an MIT Computer Science graduate student to program the ultimate
financial advisor expert system. It turned out that MIT was too
expensive, so instead Carmine got an undergraduate in applied math
from the University of California at Hollywood. After months of
programming and millions of dollars of research, the programming was
finally done, and Carmine proudly called up his new toy. Instantly
on the screen appeared:
-> Bank Street Advisor: Ready. Enter command.
Carmine (who learned his programming from TV movie spy thrillers)
-> Request: Bank Street Advisor, compute the secret to success in the
The response was instantaneous. Crackling on the neon green of the
screen was one ominous flashing word: 'working.' Carmine was nervous.
He paced around. Nothing was happening. Waited some more. Hum. Still
nothing happening. Waited still more; nothing. To take his mind off of
the wait, Carmine did some business work: Evicting widows and orphans
and so forth. Well, to make a long story short (too late already), days
passed and, still, all that's on the screen is "working." The program
was sucking in data at a hideous rate, but still no answer. Carmine was
frazzled, and his stocks are plummeting; he was forced to sell! sell!
sell! Carmine is almost broke when finally the answer came up:
-> Bank Street Writer: Answer computed. Hit space bar.
-> Buy Low. Sell high.
Carmine was not amused (probably neither are you). In desperation, he
-> Request: Bank Street Advisor, I need financial advice. What is the
best financial advice you can give me? How can I stop losing money?
The answer was fast in appearing:
-> Sell the computer.
Carmine was plucking out his hair in a frenzy. But he realized that
all he has to do was phrase his requests correctly.
-> Request: How can I predict which stocks will go up in value?
Curiously, the answer doesn't take long:
-> Make predictions while floating submerged in fizzy apple juice.
Carmine tried it, and it worked. "It works?" his advisors ask. "Yeah,
it works. What, haven't you heard of 'in-cider trading?'"
Cameras that make great holiday gifts
Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.