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The One-Track Mind of Scientists/Engineers

已有 1562 次阅读 2020-3-21 18:47 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

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The One-Track Mind of Scientists/Engineers

There is a story often told about Isaac Newton and it goes like this: He owns two dogs, one large, one small. In order to let them go in and out of his house freely he opened two holes on the side of his house: one large, and one small. Then one ordinary person pointed out to him that the small dog could use the large hole just as well. There is no need for the small hole.

Recently, because of the coronavirus situation in the US people are advised not to go out and mingle with people. Many younger friends of ours all call us and help us with grocery shopping. So I reminded my wife that when we reimburse our friend by adding up our share from the bill she should also figure in the portion of total sales taxes we should reimburse our friend because the tax is calculated based on the whole purchase, hers and ours combined. This seems to be a bother until I thought of a clever solution: whoever shop for us should go through the cash register with her stuff first in one bill and separately in another bill for our stuff that she is buying for us. This way what we should reimburse our friend will be automatic and correct. She look at me incredulously, sarcastically, and said “what do you think we have been doing?”




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