cold fjord writes: The Guardian reports, "After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was struggling to pay the $100m it owed New Zealand for a range of imported dairy products. In a meeting with Russian officials to thrash out payment terms, Jim Bolger, then New Zealand prime minister, was "absolutely stunned" to be offered the military hardware in lieu of money... Dryden Spring, who was also present at the meeting, said the offer had been made by Alexander Shokhin, then deputy prime minister of Russia. "The Russians were trying to come up with lines of credit before Shokhin mentioned there were other funding arrangements," Lind told Guardian Australia. "He pointed out that MiG jets were highly desirable and that they also had surplus tanks to offer. Jim Bolger had to explain that he wasn't in the market for second-hand tanks." Perhaps most remarkably, Shokhin then offered a nuclear submarine to wipe out Russia's buttery debt. Noting that New Zealand was a staunchly non-nuclear-powered country, he suggested hooking the vessel up to the national grid and using it as a power plant for a coastal city."
Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without
giant listings; we would find it hard to use them.
-- D.M. Ritchie