Thursday, May 01, 2008
This is so goofy, you have to wonder whether it is really a crime:
Charles Ray Fuller must have been planning one big record company. The 21-year-old North Texas man was arrested last week for trying to cash a $360 billion check, saying he wanted to start a record business. Tellers at the Fort Worth bank were immediately suspicious — perhaps the 10 zeros on a personal check tipped them off.
This is forgery? Really? Isn't this like selling somebody a pet rock, or can of "sea breeze"? If I crayon two zeros on a $20 bill and offer it to settle a $2000 debt, can we really say that my offense is forgery?
Because that is what this guy did, more or less.
I saw this story and did a quick calculation: if they gave him $100 bills that were perfectly packed (i.e. no air), he would be receiving 4 cubic kilometers of bills. Wonder how he figured to get it all home?
If I crayon two zeros on a $20 bill and offer it to settle a $2000 debt, can we really say that my offense is forgery?
We are living in an age when an eight-year old kid can bring G.I. Joe's one-inch long plastic pistol to school and then be expelled for violating the zero tolerance policy on firearms...so, yes.
Many years ago my wife's brother from San Francisco came to have dinner with us at our home in Cranbury, NJ. He worked for Pacific Gas and Electric as a gas buyer and was on an east coast gas buying trip. During dinner he reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope containing a check for $500,000,000.00 as in five-hundred-million dollars. We were all flabbergasted that he would carry something like that so casually. His response was, "Who'd cash it if it were stolen?"
OK, I admit I'm an OCD nerd.
A solid 52ft 4.3379in by 52ft 4.3379in by 52ft 4.3379in mass of $100 bills is still an impressive sight, but it's not as impressive as a 1.5874km by 1.5874km by 1.5874km mass of bills.
The volume of $360,000,000,000 in $100 bills is roughly 4,065.1913 cubic meters, not "4 cubic kilometers"--4 cubic kilometers is 4,000,000,000 cubic meters. The math proceeds thusly: each $100 bill is 0.0689 cubic inches, so $360,000,000,000 in $100 bills is roughly 248,073,192 cubic inches, which is (since a cubic meter is roughly 61,024 cubic inches) roughly 4,065.1913 cubic meters: which IS NOT 4 cubic kilometers.