Neat solution

28th April 2006 at 01:00
Last week's conference on the NEET group (not in education, employment or training) was addressed by Sir Robert Smith, the businessman who heads the task group charged with telling us all what should be done about them.

Naturally, Sir Robert's mind turned to innovative solutions. Education systems are supposed to produce people who will find them, as he noted. But who has the best? Nobody could agree.

So there was an Englishman, an American, a German and a Scot and the task they were given, to find out who was most innovative, was to measure the height of a tower block using a barometer.

The Englishman let the barometer drop out of a window to calculate the height as it fell to the ground.

The German took the pressure at the top and bottom of the building, and calculated the difference.

The American strapped the barometer to a clipboard and stopped every fifth person in the street, asked them to estimate how high the building was and took the mean of every answer.

The Scot's strategy was to seek out the jannie and say: "If you can tell me how tall this building is, I'll give you a barometer."

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