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What FRPGs can teach us about gold

"Look at games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Dungeons and Dragons, or the original Final Fantasy. In those games, gold is the money, and you often get gold not by doing an honest day's work, but by running around and beating people up and taking their gold. In other words, the entire world of modern fantasy role-playing is a subtle joke on gold's unsuitability as a medium of exchange." -Noah Smith (via Making Light)

Gold Christmas Tree

Reuters:

The tree-like ornament is made of 88 pounds of pure gold, standing about 7.9 ft high ... It is decorated with pure gold plate silhouette cutouts of 50 popular Disney characters and draped with ribbons made of gold leaf. The price tag? A mere $4.2 million.

Olympic gold medals contain only 1% gold; would cost $25,000 if pure

The amount of gold in an Olympic gold medal has fallen to 1.34 percent, thanks to gold prices that recently peaked at $1,895 an ounce. At current prices, a pure 400g medal would cost about $25,000 to make, with a total bill of about $50m for the games.

"The last time the Olympic Games handed out solid gold medals was a hundred years ago at the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm, Sweden," writes gold brokers Dillon Gage. "Gold medals were in fact only gold for eight years. The 1904 Olympics in St. Louis introduced the gold medal as the prize for first place."

The 2012 gold is 92.5 percent silver, 1.34 percent gold, and 6.16 copper, with IOC rules specifying that it must contain 550 grams of high-quality silver and 6 grams of gold. The resulting medallion is worth about $500. For the silver medal, the gold is replaced with more copper, for a $260 bill of materials.

The bronze medal is 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent tin. Valued at about $3, you might be able to trade one for a bag of chips in Olympic park if you skip the fish.

Tory Lord tells peers about a weird Internet scam at great length

On February 16th, Lord David James of Blackheath (a Conservative life peer) spoke for 11 minutes in the UK House of Lords about a supposed $15 trillion federal reserve conspiracy that involved more gold than has ever been mined. It turned out he had fallen for a widespread scam.

“Mr. Riyadi has sent me a remarkable document dated February 2006,” Lord James continued, “in which the American Government have called him to a meeting with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” That meeting, he said, “was witnessed by Mr Alan Greenspan, who signed for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of which he was chairman, as well as chairman of the real Federal Reserve in Washington. It is signed by Mr Timothy Geithner as a witness on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF sent two witnesses, the other being Mr Yusuke Horiguchi.”

“These gentlemen have signed as witnesses,” he continued, “to the effect that this deal is a proper deal. There are a lot of other signatures on the document. I do not have a photocopy; I have an original version of the contract.

“Under the contract, the American Treasury has apparently got the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to offer to buy out the bonds issued to Mr Riyadi to replace the cash which has been taken from him over the previous 10 years. It is giving him $500 million as a cash payment to buy out worthless bonds. That is all in the agreement and it is very remarkable.”

Riyadi, as the tale continues, supposedly had 750,000 tons of gold backing the $15 trillion the United States took from him to prop up the U.S. dollar.

The World Gold Council, however, estimates the only 165,000 tons of gold have been mined in the history of the world.

British Lord fell for $15 trillion federal reserve scam

Gold headphone amp with Swarovski crystal

NuForce's uDAC-2 Signature Gold Edition 24bit/96kHz USB digital audio converter is for the discerning music enthusiast interested in connecting their computer to a stereo system or headphones. It will unlock the audio potential of their digital music files. The exterior gold plating classes up ions in the surrounding air, allowing a smooth and confusion-free journey for your electrons. It is also "adorned" with a Swarovski crystal, an understatement that veils the crystal's true technical purpose, which is to diffract the quantum-genetic memory of the universe to restore the missing data in your collection of shitty 192kbps MP3s. The NuForce uDAC-2 is cryogenically-enhanced and costs $400. NuForce Introduces a Lustrous Gold-Plated Digital Audio Converter for the Most Discerning Headphone Enthusiasts [NuForce]