Friday 3 October 2008

Why Hollywood stars should stick to acting

It's funny being on holiday, removing yourself from everything and deliberately avoiding the news, and then returning home to find things largely the same as they were. Sorry for the lack of posts and podcasts, I have been travelling back to Australia through Japan and Korea - stay tuned for a podcast from the trip.

One of the things that has not changed is our own Russell Crowe. He may have played a maths genius in A Beautiful Mind, but his maths skills don't say much for his Aussie education.

We all have our theories on what is causing the current financial meltdown - my theory is it's the Australian cricket team (see this story for why).

But Crowe has an interesting solution - give America's entire population of 300 million $US1 million each.

His thinking was that a $300 million outlay would only be a fraction of the $US700 billion bailout package that President Bush proposed (read that carefully and you will spot the mistake).

Crowe told Jay Leno, "So, here's the thing: They're looking for $700 billion, right? Which is a good chunk of change... But I was thinking if they wanna stimulate the economy, get people spending, let people look after their ... mortgage. I think you take the first 300 million Americans, if that's the population at this point in time, give everyone a million bucks.''

The problem is that the Crowe Plan actually only gives $1 to each American, not $1 million, and if the Crowe Plan to instantly make each American a millionaire went ahead, it would cost $300 trillion - more than the US annual gross domestic product. The Iraq War only cost $3 trillion.

Crowe clearly didn't do his method acting for A Beautiful Mind.

Funnily enough, he could be correct if he was using the Long scale where one billion is actually one million million (not one thousand million). Most of the English speaking world uses the short scale, but much of the world uses the long scale - so perhaps we can forgive him. Even NASA has mucked up unit conversions, loosing a Mars orbiter in 1999.

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