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Ripples #43

Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck

 

Ripples art--smallNew Way to Make Pools Green:
Fill Them Up with Apple’s Billions! Ripples has just finished reading Steve Jobs, the authorized biography of the recently deceased, near-legendary figure with whom Apple Inc. is most closely associated. The business Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded in 1976 (on April Fool’s Day) is now considered to be the world’s most valuable company in terms of money.

Writer Walter Isaacson’s book is a riveting study of a fascinating and extremely complex entrepreneurial genius — and Ripples recommends it highly. Of course, the book hardly needs recommendations; it sold an amazing 679,000 copies in its first week on the market.

The point here? Ripples was amused to read that someone had recently gone to the trouble of calculating the following statistic: If the reported $110 billion in Apple’s cash reserves was converted into one-dollar bills, they would fill approximately 50 Olympic swimming pools.

Apparently, that arcane and useless (albeit impressive) fact was not enough for some members of the geek community. The Web site geekosystem.com, in a feature titled “More Things Apple Could Do with Its 110 Billion Dollars and Olympic-Sized Swimming Pools,” reveals the following:

With its $110 billion in cash reserves, Apple could:

Actually construct about 220,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools to put stuff in
Fill about 1,950 Olympic-sized swimming pools with pennies
Fill about 11 and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools with caviar
Fill about 1,096 Olympic-sized swimming pools with actual McIntosh apples
Fill about 2,501 Olympic-sized swimming pools with … Scrooge McDuck Plushes [dolls of Donald’s penny-pinching, money-counting, very rich uncle]
Fill about zero Olympic-size swimming pools with Steve Jobs dolls, because no one is allowed to make them.

And here is your “Apple’s cash reserves and Olympic-sized swimming pool word problem that none of us could figure out” word problem of the day:

What is the least number of swimming pools Apple could build so that the remaining cash (in dollar bills) fits into them? ... assuming Olympic-sized swimming pools cost about $500,000 and 2,190,177,157 dollar bills will fit in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The furthest we could get on this is that this probably involves a quadratic equation, but none of us have taken a math class in years. Anyone who can figure this out will be awarded approximately 3 well-earned propers, one from each of us.

Since Ripples can barely solve that most famous of all mathematical problems, 1+1=X, we’ll leave the quadratic equations to others. We’ll also avoid thinking about what an Olympic swimming pool filled with caviar would look and smell like.
Instead, we’ll encourage our more brainiac readers to try to come up with the right answer to the question — and the first person to do so will receive one additional proper from Ripples (depending on what a “proper” is; does anyone out there know?). Good luck.

 

Built into Deserted Quarry, Shanghai
Hotel to Feature 19-Story Waterfall

The Shimao Intercontinental Hotel, currently under construction in the Songjiang District of Shanghai, China, will eventually be a five-star, 380-room luxury property that caters to fans of extreme sports — at least those who can afford to pay $320 and up per night for a room.

If that weren’t unusual enough, the hotel is being built inside the curved wall of an abandoned, partly flooded quarry; rather than drain the site, the plan is to add more water to create an artificial lake. And if that weren’t enough to make the Shimao stand out, it will – according to the computer-generated renderings of the project – boast a 19-story-high waterfall rushing down its façade and emptying into the lake.

All the above details come from a report on the unique project by the technology e-newsletter “Gizmag.”

Images: To see a number of computer-generated renderings, click here. Be sure to scroll all the way down.

 

USA Swimming Okays Hand Signals
After Campaign by Deaf Swimmer

According to azcentral.com, deaf Olympic hopeful Marcus Titus has convinced USA Swimming to honor its own policy of accommodating swimmers who are deaf and hearing-impaired. Titus has been unable to hear since birth.

The 25-year-old Tucson, Ariz., swimmer launched an online social media campaign to allow hand signals at the start of Olympic trials, after USA Swimming ruled against their use. The organization’s original decision, noted azcentral.com, “stemmed from FINA, swimming's international federation, not planning to use hand signals at the London Olympics.”

The article quoted Eric Hansen, Titus’ coach in Tucson, as saying, “I understand USA Swimming wanting to make trials exactly the way Olympics are going to be. The IOC [International Olympic Committee] is the group that has it wrong. They will look really bad if they don't follow suit. It's a human rights issue."

Regarding USA Swimming’s reversal of course on the issue, Frank Busch, the organization’s national team director, noted, “What we thought was the right thing to do was the wrong thing. It was an oversight. As soon as he [Titus] said something, we got it corrected." Ironically, Busch also once coached Titus.

Titus is expected to be an especially strong contender in the trials for the 100-meter breaststroke — but even the slightest delay getting off the starting blocks due to his deafness could put him at a disadvantage. It’s unclear how this issue will play out at the London Olympic Games.

Video: To learn more about Marcus Titus and hear him speak about his love of swimming, click here.

 

Limbless French Athlete Plans
Audacious Worldwide Swim

The above headline may seem like a bad joke, but it is not intended to be funny at all.

According to an article on foxnews.com, Frenchman Philippe Croizon plans to swim a number of open-ocean segments that connect the world’s continents. He has already traversed the English Channel, and his next undertaking will be between Asia and Oceana (from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea). Other planned segments include a Red Sea crossing between Asia and Africa; one between North America and Asia via the Bering Strait; and one between Africa and Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar.

In 1994, Croizon was changing a TV antenna on the roof when he was electrocuted — a horrific accident that led to the amputation of all four of his limbs. The now 44-year-old endurance athlete is able to swim with the help of “prosthetic limbs and fins attached to the stumps of his legs,” foxnews.com says.

Explains Croizon about the amazing feat he intends to accomplish (together with Arnaud Chassery, a friend of his):

"We are going to symbolically link the five continents, two little people like us, two little men, we're going to be able to build a bridge between the continents," Croizon said, according to the International Business Times. "That means that we're going to bring them together. Which means no one is very far from each other. So even if we have different political opinions, or skin colors, or even with our disabilities, we all live on the same planet. And that's the clear message we want to send."

Video: To watch Philippe Croizon discussing his plans, click here.

 

Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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