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 BABYL OPTIONS: -*- rmail -*- Version: 5 Labels: Note: This is the header of an rmail file. Note: If you are seeing it in rmail, Note: it means the file has no messages in it.  0, unseen,, *** EOOH *** Newsgroups: rec.humor,eunet.jokes Path: origin.ea.com!newshost.ea.com!barrnet.net!decwrl!ames!agate!howland.reston.ans.net!Germany.EU.net!EU.net!sun4nl!ruuinf!tijger.fys.ruu.nl!verhagen From: verhagen@fys.ruu.nl (Joachim Verhagen) Subject: science jokes (1/6) X-Nntp-Posting-Host: ruunat.fys.ruu.nl Message-ID: Sender: usenet@fys.ruu.nl (News system Tijgertje) Organization: Physics and Astronomy, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #3 (NOV) Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 12:10:20 GMT Lines: 855 Xref: origin.ea.com rec.humor:629 eunet.jokes:56 SCIENCE JOKES ver 6.2 jan 23, 1995 Collected by Joachim Verhagen (verhagen@fys.ruu.nl) Includes collection by Lars Olofsson (larso@wmute.trillium.se) of april 1994 Includes math jokes collection by Michael Cook (mlc@iberia.cca.rockwell.com) of june 1994 Includes collection by Chris Bradfield (ph2008@bris.ac.uk) of oktober 1994 Codes for subjects: M mathematics ; P physics ; C chemistry ; B biology ; E engineering A computer science. Contents =1. The mathematician, the physicist and the engineer (and other professions) =2. Mathematics =2.1 proofs =2.2 statistics and statisticans =2.3 mathematicians =2.4 poetry =2.5 quotes =3. physics =3.1 poetry =3.2 quotes =4. chemistry =4.1 poetry =5. miscellany =5.1 poetry =5.2 quotes =6. anecdotes about scientists =7. mnemonics =7.1 mnemonics =7.2 mathematics =7.3 computer science =7.4 physics =7.5 chemistry =7.6 biology and medicine =7.7 miscellany =8. pranks ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =1. THE MATHEMATICAN, THE PHYSICIST AND THE ENGINEER (AND OTHER PROFESSIONS) MPE________________________________________________________________________ jwest@jwest.ecen.okstate.edu: A mathmatician, a physicist, and an engineer were all given a red rubber ball and told to find the volume. The mathmatician carefully measured the diamaeter and evaluated a triple integral. The physicist filled a beaker with water, put the ball in the water, and measured the total displacement. The engineer looked up the model and serial numbers in his red-rubber-ball table. If it was my company: The engineer tried to look up the model and serial numbers, couldn't find them, so told his manager that it's just not going to work. MP_________________________________________________________________________ A mathematician and a physicist agree to a psychological experiment. The mathematician is put in a chair in a large empty room and a beautiful naked woman is placed on a bed at the other end of the room. The psychologist explains, "You are to remain in your chair. Every five minutes, I will move your chair to a position halfway between its current location and the woman on the bed." The mathematician looks at the psychologist in disgust. "What? I'm not going to go through this. You know I'll never reach the bed!" And he gets up and storms out. The psychologist makes a note on his clipboard and ushers the physicist in. He explains the situation, and the physicist's eyes light up and he starts drooling. The psychologist is a bit confused. "Don't you realize that you'll never reach her?" The physicist smiles and replied, "Of course! But I'll get close enough for all practical purposes!" MP_________________________________________________________________________ Dean, to the physics department. "Why do I always have to give you guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment and stuff. Why couldn't you be like the math department - all they need is money for pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets. Or even better, like the philosophy department. All they need are pencils and paper." MPE________________________________________________________________________ An engineer, physicist, and mathematician are all challenged with a problem: to fry an egg when there is a fire in the house. The engineer just grabs a huge bucket of water, runs over to the fire, and puts it out. The physicist thinks for a long while, and then measures a precise amount of water into a container. He takes it over to the fire, pours it on, and with the last drop the fire goes out. The mathematician pores over pencil and paper. After a few minutes he goes "Aha! A solution exists!" and goes back to frying the egg. Sequel: This time they are asked simply to fry an egg (no fire). The engineer just does it, kludging along; the physicist calculates carefully and produces a carefully cooked egg; and the mathematician lights a fire in the corner, and says "I have reduced it to the previous problem." PEA________________________________________________________________________ From: pascual@tid.es (Pascual de Juan Nuqez) Three men, a physican, a engineer and a computer scientist, are travelling in a car. Suddenly, the car starts to smoke and stops. The three atonished men try to solve the problem: - Physican says: This is obviously a classic problem of torque. It has been overloaded the elasticity limit of the main axis. - Engineer says : Let's be serious! The matter is that it has been burned the spark of the connecting rod to the dynamo of the radiator. I can easily repair it by hammering. - Computer scientist says : What if we get off the car, wait a minute, and then get in and try again? MEA________________________________________________________________________ An engineer, a mathematician, and a computer programmer are driving down the road when the car they are in gets a flat tire. The engineer says that they should buy a new car. The mathematician says they should sell the old tire and buy a new one. The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself. MPEA_______________________________________________________________________ Sender: karl@modi.diku.dk david@ittpub.nl (David P. Morgan): Several students were asked the following problem: Prove that all odd integers higher than 2 are prime. Well, the first student to try to do this was a math student. Hey says "Hmmm... Well, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, and by induction, we have that all the odd integers are prime." Of course, there are some jeers from some of his friends. The physics student then said, "I'm not sure of the validity of your proof, but I think I'll try to prove it by experiment." He continues, "Well, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... uh, 9 is an experimental error, 11 is prime, 13 is prime... Well, it seems that you're right." The third student to try it was the engineering student, who responded, "Well, actually, I'm not sure of your answer either. Let's see... 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ..., 9 is ..., well if you approximate, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime... Well, it does seem right." Not to be outdone, the computer science student comes along and says "Well, you two sort've got the right idea, but you'd end up taking too long doing it. I've just whipped up a program to REALLY go and prove it..." He goes over to his terminal and runs his program. Reading the output on the screen he says, "1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime...." Computer scientist using Unix: 3's a prime, 5's a prime, 7's a prime, segmentation fault Software tech support operator: Well, we haven't had any reports of composite odd numbers... do you have the latest version of ZFC? Logician: Hypothesis: All odd numbers are prime Proof: 1) If a proof exists, then the hypothesis must be true 2) The proof exists; you're reading it now. From 1 and 2 follows that all odd numbers are prime From: chrisman@ucdmath.ucdavis.edu (Mark Chrisman) Confused undergraduate: Yes, it's true. Proof: Let p be any prime number larger than 2. Then p is not divisible by 2, so p is odd. QED From: chris@labtam.labtam.oz.au (Chris Taylor) Wouldn't a modern physicist employ something like renormalization? 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... 9/3 is prime 11 is prime, 13 is prime, 15 is ... 15/3 is prime 17 is prime, 19 is prime, 21 is ... 21/3 is prime Quantum Physics: All numbers are equally prime and non-prime until observed. From: barry@numetrix.com (Barry Fruitman) English Major: 1 is prime, 2 is prime, 3 is prime, 4 is prime... Any fool could prove that the above is wrong... After all, no English major can count that high! ;-) P.S. And I should know...I've done^H^H^H^H spent time in the English army! biologist or accountant or doctor or ... Duh, what's a prime ? MBA________________________________________________________________________ A biologist, a statistician, a mathematician and a computer scientist are on a photo-safari in Africa. They drive out into the savannah in their jeep, stop and scour the horizon with their binoculars. The biologist: "Look! There's a herd of zebras! And there, in the middle: a white zebra! It's fantastic! There are white zebras! We'll be famous!" The statistician: "It's not significant. We only know there's one white zebra" The mathematician: "Actually, we know there exists a zebra which is white on one side" The computer scientist: "Oh no! A special case!" MPA________________________________________________________________________ A philosopher, a physicist, a mathematician and a computer scientist were travelling through Scotland when they saw a black sheep through the window of the train. "Aha," says the philosopher, "I see that Scottish sheep are black." "Hmm," says the physicist, "You mean that some Scottish sheep are black." "No," says the mathematician, "All we know is that there is at least one sheep in Scotland, and that at least one side of that one sheep is black!" "Oh, no!" shouts the computer scientist, "A special case!" Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were travelling on the same train when they passed the same field full of sheep. "Look at that solitary black sheep among all those white ones" said Watson to Holmes. "Yes Watson, the ratio of black sheep to white in that field is one black to three hundred and seventeen white" replied Holmes. "But how can you be so precise" said Watson, flabbergasted. "Elementary, my dear Watson" replied Holmes, "I counted all of the legs and divided by four!" MEA________________________________________________________________________ The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to get results. The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy problems in order to get results. The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at toy problems in order to get results. ME_________________________________________________________________________ From: levd@alien (Lev Desmarais) The difference between an Engineer and a Mathematician : The Engineer walks in her office and finds her trash can on fire. She gets the fire extinguisher and puts out the fire. The Mathematician walks in his office and finds his trash can on fire. He gets the fire extinguisher and puts out the fire. The following day : The Engineer walks in her office and finds the trash can on fire on top of her desk. She gets the fire extinguisher and put out the fire. The Mathematician walks in his office and finds the trash can on fire on top of his desk. He takes the trash can and puts it on the floor. He has reduced the problem to a previously solved state. Too solve it again would be redundant. MP_________________________________________________________________________ A physicist and a mathematician setting in a faculty lounge. Suddenly, the coffee machine catches on fire. The physicist grabs a bucket and leaps towards the sink, fills the bucket with water and puts out the fire. The second day, the same two sit in the same lounge. Again, the coffee machine catches on fire. This time, the mathematician stands up, gets a bucket, hands the bucket to the physicist, thus reducing the problem to a previously solved one. MPE________________________________________________________________________ An engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist are staying in three adjoining cabins at a decrepit old motel. First the engineer's coffee maker catches fire on the bathroom vanity. He smells the smoke, wakes up, unplugs it, throws it out the window, and goes back to sleep. Later that night the physicist smells smoke too. He wakes up and sees that a cigarette butt has set the trash can on fire. He says to himself, "Hmm. How does one put out a fire? One can reduce the temperature of the fuel below the flash point, isolate the burning material from oxygen, or both. This could be accomplished by applying water." So he picks up the trash can, puts it in the shower stall, turns on the water, and, when the fire is out, goes back to sleep. The mathematician, of course, has been watching all this out the window. So later, when he finds that his pipe ashes have set the bedsheet on fire, he is not in the least taken aback. He immediately sees that the problem reduces to one that has already been solved and goes back to sleep. MPE________________________________________________________________________ From: dhein@onramp.net An Engineer, a Physicist, and a Mathematician all go the same Conference. University budgets being what they are, they all stay in the same cheap hotel. Each room has the same floor plan, has the same cheap TV, the same cheap bed, and a small bathroom. Instead of a sprinkler system, the hotel has opted for Fire Buckets. The Engineer, Physicist, and Mathematician are all asleep in bed. At about 2AM, the Engineer wakes up because he smells smoke. He looks in the corner of the room and sees that the TV set is on fire! He dashes into the bathroom, fills the Fire Bucket to overflowing with water, and drenches the TV set. The fire goes out, and the Engineer goes back to sleep. A little while later, the Physicist wakes because he smells smoke. He looks in the corner and sees that the TV set is on fire. He grabs a handy envelope, estimates the BTU output of the fire, scribbles a quick calculation, then dashes into the bathroom and fills the Fire Bucket with just enough water to douse the flames. He puts the fire out and goes back to sleep. In a little while, the Mathematician wakes up to the smell of smoke. He looks in the corner and sees the TV on fire. He looks into the bathroom and sees the Fire Bucket. Having determined that a solution exists, he goes back to sleep. MPE________________________________________________________________________ A physicist, an engineer and a mathematician were all in a hotel sleeping when a fire broke out in their respective rooms. The physicist woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, pulled out his CRC, and began working out all sorts of fluid dynamics equations. After a couple minutes, he threw down his pencil, got a graduated cylinder out of his suitcase, and measured out a precise amount of water. He threw it on the fire, extinguishing it, with not a drop wasted, and went back to sleep. The engineer woke up, saw the fire, ran into the bathroom, turned on the faucets full-blast, flooding out the entire apartment, which put out the fire, and went back to sleep. The mathematician woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, began working through theorems, lemmas, hypotheses , you -name-it, and after a few minutes, put down his pencil triumphantly and exclaimed, "I have *proven* that I *can* put the fire out!" He then went back to sleep. MP_________________________________________________________________________ A mathematician and a physicist were asked the following question: Suppose you walked by a burning house and saw a hydrant and a hose not connected to the hydrant. What would you do? P: I would attach the hose to the hydrant, turn on the water, and put out the fire. M: I would attach the hose to the hydrant, turn on the water, and put out the fire. Then they were asked this question: Suppose you walked by a house and saw a hose connected to a hydrant. What would you do? P: I would keep walking, as there is no problem to solve. M: I would disconnect the hose from the hydrant and set the house on fire, reducing the problem to a previously solved form. E__________________________________________________________________________ The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?" The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want mustard with that?" MPCE_______________________________________________________________________ A lecturer tells some students to learn the phone-book by heart. The mathematicians are baffled: By heart? You kidding?' The physics-students ask: Why?' The engineers sigh: Do we have to?' The chemistry-students ask: Till next Monday?' The accounting-students (scribbling): Till tomorrow?' The laws-students answer: We already have.' The medicine-students ask: Should we start on the Yellow Pages?' MPE________________________________________________________________________ The engineer thinks of his equations as an approximation to reality. The physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations. The mathematician doesn't care. MPB________________________________________________________________________ Three men with degrees in mathmatics, physics and biology are locked up in dark rooms for research reasons. A week later the researchers open the a door, the biologist steps out and reports: Well, I sat around until I started to get bored, then I searched the room and found a tin which I smashed on the floor. There was food in it which I ate when I got hungry. That's it.' Then they free the man with the degree in physics and he says: I walked along the walls to get an image of the room's geometry, then I searched it. There was a metal cylinder at five feet into the room and two feet left of the door. It felt like a tin and I threw it at the left wall at the right angle and velocity for it to crack open.' Finally, the researchers open the third door and hear a faint voice out of the darkness: Let C be an open can.' M__________________________________________________________________________ A doctor, a lawyer and a mathematician were discussing the relative merits of having a wife or a mistress. The lawyer says: "For sure a mistress is better. If you have a wife and want a divorce, it causes all sorts of legal problems. The doctor says: "It's better to have a wife because the sense of security lowers your stress and is good for your health. The mathematician says: " You're both wrong. It's best to have both so that when the wife thinks you're with the mistress and the mistress thinks you're with your wife --- you can do some mathematics. MPB________________________________________________________________________ A Mathematician, a Biologist and a Physicist are sitting in a street cafe watching people going in and coming out of the house on the other side of the street. First they see two people going into the house. Time passes. After a while they notice three persons coming out of the house. The Physicist: "The measurement wasn't accurate.". The Biologists conclusion: "They have reproduced". The Mathematician: "If now exactly 1 person enters the house then it will be empty again." ME_________________________________________________________________________ There were two men trying to decide what to do for a living. They went to see a counselor, and he decided that they had good problem solving skills. He tried a test to narrow the area of specialty. He put each man in a room with a stove, a table, and a pot of water on the table. He said "Boil the water". Both men moved the pot from the table to the stove and turned on the burner to boil the water. Next, he put them into a room with a stove, a table, and a pot of water on the floor. Again, he said "Boil the water". The first man put the pot on the stove and turned on the burner. The counselor told him to be an Engineer, because he could solve each problem individually. The second man moved the pot from the floor to the table, and then moved the pot from the table to the stove and turned on the burner. The counselor told him to be a mathematician because he reduced the problem to a previously solved problem. E__________________________________________________________________________ Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One said, It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints.'' Another said, No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections.'' The last said, Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?'' MPE________________________________________________________________________ An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are shown a pasture with a herd of sheep, and told to put them inside the smallest possible amount of fence. The engineer is first. He herds the sheep into a circle and then puts the fence around them, declaring, "A circle will use the least fence for a given area, so this is the best solution." The physicist is next. She creates a circular fence of infinite radius around the sheep, and then draws the fence tight around the herd, declaring, "This will give the smallest circular fence around the herd." The mathematician is last. After giving the problem a little thought, he puts a small fence around himself and then declares, "I define myself to be on the outside!" MPE________________________________________________________________________ One day a farmer called up an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician and asked them to fence of the largest possible area with the least amount of fence. The engineer made the fence in a circle and proclaimed that he had the most efficient design. The physicist made a long, straight line and proclaimed 'We can assume the length is infinite...' and pointed out that fencing off half of the Earth was certainly a more efficient way to do it. The Mathematician just laughed at them. He built a tiny fence around himself and said 'I declare myself to be on the outside.' EC_________________________________________________________________________ Four men were sitting one day discussing how smart their dog's were. The first man was an Engineer, who said his dog could do math. His dog was named T-Square, and he told him to get some paper and draw a square, a circle, and a triangle, which the dog did with no sweat. The Accountant said that his dog was better. His dog, Slide Rule, was told to fetch a dozen cookies, bring them back, and divide them into piles of 3, which Slide Rule did with no problem. The Chemist said his dog was smarter, his dog named Measure, was told to get a quart of milk, and pour 7 ounces into a 10 ounce glass. The dog did this with no trouble at all, and all three men agreed that their dog's were equally smart. Then they turned to the Union Member and asked, what can your dog do? The Union Member called his dog, who was named Coffee Break, and said, "Show the fellows what you can do". Coffee Break went over and ate the cookies, drank the milk, shit on the paper, fucked the other dogs, and claimed he injured his back while doing so, filed a grievence report for unsafe working conditions, put in for Workmens Compensation, and left for home on sick leave. MP_________________________________________________________________________ A mathematician and a physicist are given the task of describing a room. They both go in, and spend hours meticulously writing down every detail, each turning in nearly a ream of paper. The next day, the room is changed, and they are again given the task. The physicist spends the better part of the day, but the mathematician, amazingly enough, leaves within a minute. he hands in a single sheet of paper with the following description: Put picture back on wall to return to previously solved state. ME_________________________________________________________________________ To tell a difference between a mathematician and an engineer, perform this experiment. Put an empty kettle in the middle of the kitchen floor and tell your subjects to boil some water. The engineer will fill the kettle with water, put it on the stove, and turn the flame on. The mathematician will do the same thing. Next, put the kettle already filled with water on the stove, and ask the subjects to boil the water. The engineer will turn the flame on. The mathematician will empty the kettle and put it in the middle of the kitchen floor... thereby reducing the problem to one that has already been solved! MPE________________________________________________________________________ So a mathematician, an engineer, and a physicist are out hunting together. They spy a deer(*) in the woods. The physicist calculates the velocity of the deer and the effect of gravity on the bullet, aims his rifle and fires. Alas, he misses; the bullet passes three feet behind the deer. The deer bolts some yards, but comes to a halt, still within sight of the trio. "Shame you missed," comments the engineer, "but of course with an ordinary gun, one would expect that." He then levels his special deer-hunting gun, which he rigged together from an ordinary rifle, a sextant, a compass, a barometer, and a bunch of flashing lights which don't do anything but impress onlookers, and fires. Alas, his bullet passes three feet in front of the deer, who by this time wises up and vanishes for good. "Well," says the physicist, "your contraption didn't get it either." "What do you mean?" pipes up the mathematician. "Between the two of you, that was a perfect shot!" (*) How they knew it was a deer: The physicist observed that it behaved in a deer-like manner, so it must be a deer. The mathematician asked the physicist what it was, thereby reducing it to a previously solved problem. The engineer was in the woods to hunt deer, therefore it was a deer. MPE________________________________________________________________________ A Mathematician (M) and an Engineer (E) attend a lecture by a Physicist. The topic concerns Kulza-Klein theories involving physical processes that occur in spaces with dimensions of 9, 12 and even higher. The M is sitting, clearly enjoying the lecture, while the E is frowning and looking generally confused and puzzled. By the end the E has a terrible headache. At the end, the M comments about the wonderful lecture. The E says "How do you understand this stuff?" M: "I just visualize the process." E: "How can you POSSIBLY visualize something that occurs in 9-dimensional space?" M: "Easy, first visualize it in N-dimensional space, then let N go to 9." MPE________________________________________________________________________ What is "pi"? Mathematician: Pi is the number expressing the relationship between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. Physicist: Pi is 3.1415927 plus or minus 0.000000005 Engineer: Pi is about 3. MPE________________________________________________________________________ When considering the behaviour of a howitzer: A mathematician will be able to calculate where the shell will land. A physicist will be able to explain how the shell gets there. An engineer will stand there and try to catch it. MPE________________________________________________________________________ There was a mad scientist ( a mad ...social... scientist ) who kidnapped three colleagues, an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician, and locked each of them in seperate cells with plenty of canned food and water but no can opener. A month later, returning, the mad scientist went to the engineer's cell and found it long empty. The engineer had constructed a can opener from pocket trash, used aluminum shavings and dried sugar to make an explosive, and escaped. The physicist had worked out the angle necessary to knock the lids off the tin cans by throwing them against the wall. She was developing a good pitching arm and a new quantum theory. The mathematician had stacked the unopened cans into a surprising solution to the kissing problem; his desiccated corpse was propped calmly against a wall, and this was inscribed on the floor in blood: Theorem: If I can't open these cans, I'll die. Proof: assume the opposite... MPCB_______________________________________________________________________ The USDA once wanted to make cows produce milk faster, to improve the dairy industry. So, they decided to consult the foremost biologists and recombinant DNA technicians to build them a better cow. They assembled this team of great scientists, and gave them unlimited funding. They requested rare chemicals, weird bacteria, tons of quarantine equipment, there was a horrible typhus epidemic they started by accident, and, 2 years later, they came back with the "new, improved cow." It had a milk production improvement of 2% over the original. They then tried with the greatest Nobel Prize winning chemists around. They worked for six months, and, after requisitioning tons of chemical equipment, and poisoning half the small town in Colorado where they were working with a toxic cloud from one of their experiments, they got a 5% improvement in milk output. The physicists tried for a year, and, after ten thousand cows were subjected to radiation therapy, they got a 1% improvement in output. Finally, in desperation, they turned to the mathematicians. The foremost mathematician of his time offered to help them with the problem. Upon hearing the problem, he told the delegation that they could come back in the morning and he would have solved the problem. In the morning, they came back, and he handed them a piece of paper with the computations for the new, 300% improved milk cow. The plans began: "A Proof of the Attainability of Increased Milk Output from Bovines: Consider a spherical cow......" MPCE_______________________________________________________________________ An assemblage of the most gifted minds in the world were all posed the following question: "What is 2 * 2 ?" The chemist says immediately circa 10 to the power 1. The engineer whips out his slide rule (so it's old) and shuffles it back and forth, and finally announces "3.99". The physicist consults his technical references, sets up the problem on his computer, and announces "it lies between 3.98 and 4.02". The mathematician cogitates for a while, oblivious to the rest of the world, then announces: "I don't what the answer is, but I can tell you, an answer exists!". Philosopher: "But what do you _mean_ by 2 * 2 ?" Logician: "Please define 2 * 2 more precisely." Accountant: Closes all the doors and windows, looks around carefully, then asks "What do you _want_ the answer to be?" Computer Hacker: Breaks into the NSA super-computer and gives the answer. MP_________________________________________________________________________ From: MARTIN.VIETOR@HEIDEBOX.HEIDE.DE (Translation to blame on Joachim) A mathematician, a physicist and a doctor were posed the questin 2*2. The physicist takes a notebook and starts scribbling. After 3 days of the most complex calculations he finds with use of the Earth radius, the gravitation constant : "Somewhere between pi and 2 times the square root of 3." The mathematican comes back after a week with dark rings under his eyes and proclaims: "Colleges, their is a solution." The doctor says simple :"4" The others answer: "Oh well you memorized it." MPA________________________________________________________________________ Philosopher: "Resolution of the continuum hypothesis will have profound implications to all of science." Physicist: "Not quite. Physics is well on its way without those mythical foundations'. Just give us serviceable mathematics." Computer Scientist: "Who cares? Everything in this Universe seems to be finite anyway. Besides, I'm too busy debugging my Pascal programs." Mathematician: "Forget all that! Just make your formulae as aesthetically pleasing as possible!" PE_________________________________________________________________________ From: "F. Ted Tschang" An economist, an engineer, and a physicist are marooned on a deserted island. One day they find a can of food washed up on the beach and contrive to open it. The engineer said: "let's hammer the can open between these rocks". The physicist said: "that's pretty crude. We can just use the force of gravity by dropping a rock on the can from that tall tree over there". The economist is somewhat disgusted at these deliberations, and says: "I've got a much more elegant solution. All we have to do is assume a can-opener." E__________________________________________________________________________ In some foreign country a priest, a lawyer and an engineer are about to be guillotined. The priest puts his head on the block, they pull the rope and nothing happens -- he declares that he's been saved by divine intervention -- so he's let go. The lawyer is put on the block, and again the rope doesn't release the blade, he claims he can't be executed twice for the same crime and he is set free too. They grab the engineer and shove his head into the guillotine, he looks up at the release mechanism and says, "Wait a minute, I see your problem......" MP_________________________________________________________________________ Einstein dies and goes to heaven only to be informed that his room is not yet ready. "I hope you will not mind waiting in a dormitory. We are very sorry, but it's the best we can do and you will have to share the room with others." he is told by the doorman (say his name is Pete). Einstein says that this is no problem at all and that there is no need to make such a great fuss. So Pete leads him to the dorm. They enter and Albert is introduced to all of the present inhabitants. "See, Here is your first room mate. He has an IQ of 180!" "Why that's wonderful!" Says Albert. "We can discuss mathematics!" "And here is your second room mate. His IQ is 150!" "Why that's wonderful!" Says Albert. "We can discuss physics!" "And here is your third room mate. His IQ is 100!" "That Wonderful! We can discuss the latest plays at the theater!" Just then another man moves out to capture Albert's hand and shake it. "I'm your last room mate and I'm sorry, but my IQ is only 80." Albert smiles back at him and says, "So, where to you think interest rates are headed?" MPE________________________________________________________________________ An engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist went to the races one Saturday and laid their money down. Commiserating in the bar after the race, the engineer says, "I don't understand why I lost all my money. I measured all the horses and calculated their strength and mechanical advantage and figured out how fast they could run..." The physicist interrupted him: "...but you didn't take individual variations into account. I did a statistical analysis of their previous performances and bet on the horses with the highest probability of winning..." "...so if you're so hot why are you broke?" asked the engineer. But before the argument can grow, the mathematician takes out his pipe and they get a glimpse of his well-fattened wallet. Obviously here was a man who knows something about horses. They both demanded to know his secret. "Well," he says, between puffs on the pipe, "first I assumed all the horses were identical and spherical..." MPE________________________________________________________________________ A group of scientists were doing an investigation into problem-solving techniques, and constructed an experiment involving a physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician. The experimental apparatus consisted of a water spigot and two identical pails, one of which was fastened to the ground ten feet from the spigot. Each of the subjects was given the second pail, empty, and told to fill the pail on the ground. The physicist was the first subject: he carried his pail to the spigot, filled it there, carried it full of water to the pail on the ground, and poured the water into it. Standing back, he declared, "There: I have solved the problem." The engineer and the mathematician each approached the problem similarly. Upon finishing, the engineer noted that the solution was exact, since the volumes of the pails were equal. The mathematician merely noted that he had proven that a solution exists. Now, the experimenters altered the parameters of the task a bit: the pail on the ground was still empty, but the subjects were presented with a pail that was already half-filled with water. The physicist immediately carried his pail over to the one on the ground, emptied the water into it, went back to the spigot, *filled* the pail, and finally emptied the entire contents into the pail on the ground, overflowing it and spilling some of the water. Upon finishing, he commented that the problem should have been better stated. The engineer, in turn, thought for some time before going into action. He then took his half-filled pail to the spigot, filled it to the brim, and filled the pail on the ground from it. Again he noted that the problem had an exact solution, which of course he had found. The mathematician thought for a long time before stirring. At last he stood up, emptied his pail onto the ground, and declared, "The problem has been reduced to one already solved." A__________________________________________________________________________ A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing about whose profession was the oldest. In the course of their arguments, they got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon the doctor said, "The medical profession is clearly the oldest, because Eve was made from Adam's rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply incredible surgical feat." The architect did not agree. He said, "But if you look at the Garden itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of that, the Garden and the world were created. So God must have been an architect." The computer scientist, who had listened to all of this said, "Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?" PCE________________________________________________________________________ From: chemistrwb@aol.com (ChemistRWB) A chemist, a physicist and an Engineer went on a camping trip, accompanied by a guide. The were brought to a cabin in the deep Canadian wilderness. Inside the cabin was a wood-burning stove, but it was set up on bricks about 60 cm above the floor of the cabin. The three scientists speculated about the function of the high placement of the stove. The chemist said, "Obviously, the guide has anticipated the convection currents of the heat an placed the stove in a raised position to maximize the heat flow in the semi-adiabatic system." The Physicist believed, "No, it's far simpler than that, the guide placed the stove higher so movement from the countertops to the stove would be minimized and energy conserved." The engineer believed he had the true answer, "Obviously, you fellows don't do much camping. The stove is place higher so we can bring in wood and put it under the stove to dry." The guide soon returned and all three scientists were eager to find out who was right. The guide replied, "Well, we was bringin' the dang thing up the river and part of the chimney pipe fell off the boat, so we had to put it up for the pipe to reach the ceiling." PS: If you know all the words in this essay, your English is better than 99% of native Americans. MPE________________________________________________________________________ From: grayd@is.dal.ca (James D. Gray) An Engineering Student, a Physics Student, and a Mathematics student were each given $150 dollars and were told to use that money to find out exactly how tall a particular hotel was. All three ran off, extremely keen on how to do this. The Physics student went out, purchased some stopwatches, a number of ball bearings, a calculator, and some friends. He had them all time the drop of ball bearings from the roof, and he then figured out the height from the time it took for the bearings to accelerate from rest until they impacted with the sidewalk. The Math student waited until the sun was going down, then she took out her protractor, plumb line, measuring tape,and scratch pad, measured the length of the shadow, found the angle the buildings roof made from the ground, and used trignometry to figure out the height of the building. These two students bumped into the Engineering student the next day, who was nursing a really bad hangover. When asked what he did to find the height of the building he replied: "Well, I walked up to the bell hop, gave him 10 bucks, asked him how tall the hotel was, and hit the bar inside for happy hour!" MPE________________________________________________________________________ An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt already heard. After some observations and rough calculations the engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing. A few minutes later the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily as he now has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper. This leaves the mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of humour from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -- Joachim Verhagen Email:J.C.D.Verhagen@fys.ruu.nl Department of molecular biofysics, University of Utrecht Utrecht, The Netherlands. 0, unseen,, *** EOOH *** Newsgroups: rec.humor,eunet.jokes Path: origin.ea.com!newshost.ea.com!barrnet.net!decwrl!ames!agate!newsxfer.itd.umich.edu!gatech!swrinde!cs.utexas.edu!news.sprintlink.net!EU.net!sun4nl!ruuinf!tijger.fys.ruu.nl!verhagen From: verhagen@fys.ruu.nl (Joachim Verhagen) Subject: science jokes (3/6) X-Nntp-Posting-Host: ruunat.fys.ruu.nl Message-ID: Sender: usenet@fys.ruu.nl (News system Tijgertje) Organization: Physics and Astronomy, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #3 (NOV) Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 12:12:18 GMT Lines: 1345 Xref: origin.ea.com rec.humor:630 eunet.jokes:57 M__________________________________________________________________________ The law of the excluded middle either rules or does not rule, O.K.? M__________________________________________________________________________ Is the square root of ab absurd? M__________________________________________________________________________ Algebra is x-sighting. Vectors can be 'arrowing. I'm partial to fractions. I like angles ... to a degree. I could go on and on about sequences. Translations are shifty. Complex numbers are unreal. I feel positive about integers. On average, people are mean. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: c1prasad@watson.ibm.com (prasad) Klein bottle for rent -- inquire within. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: jusinkko@mail.freenet.hut.fi (jukka sinkko) In the topologic hell the beer is packed in Klein's bottles. M__________________________________________________________________________ Why did the chicken cross the road? Pierre de Fermat: I just don't have room here to give the full explanation. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: mstueben@pen.k12.va.us (Michael A. Stueben) THIRTEEN MISUNDERSTANDINGS IN THE HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS In the interest of historical accuracy let it be known that ... 1) Fibonacci's daughter was not named "Bunny." 2) Michael Rolle was not Danish, and did not call his daughter "Tootsie." 3) William Horner was not called "Little-Jack" by his friends. 4) The "G" in G. Peano does not stand for "grand." 5) Rene Descartes' middle name is not "push." 6) Isaac Barrow's middle name is not "wheel." 7) There is no such place as the University of Wis-cosine, and if there was, the motto of their mathematics department would not be "Secant ye shall find." 8) Although Euler is pronounced oil-er, it does not follow that Euclid is pronounced oi-clid. 9) Franklin D. Roosevelt never said "The only thing we have to sphere is sphere itself." 10) Fibonacci is not a shortened form of the Italian name that is actually spelled: F i bb ooo nnnnn aaaaaaaa ccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. 11) It is true that August Mobius was a difficult and opinionated man. But he was not so rigid that he could only see one side to every question. 12) It is true that Johannes Kepler had an uphill struggle in explaining his theory of elliptical orbits to the other astronomers of his time. And it is also true that his first attempt was a failure. But it is not true that after his lecture the first three questions he was asked were "What is elliptical?" What is an orbit?" and "What is a planet? 13) It is true that primitive societies use only rough approximations for the known constants of mathematics. For example, the northern tribes of Alaska consider the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle to be 3. But it is not true that the value of 3 is called Eskimo pi. Incidentally, the survival of these tribes is dependent upon government assistance, which is not always forthcoming. For example, the Canadian firm of Tait and Sons sold a stock of defective compasses to the government at half-price, and the government passed them onto the northern natives. Hence the saying among these peoples: "He who has a Tait's is lost." M__________________________________________________________________________ The History of 2 + 2 = 5 by Houston Euler "First and above all he was a logician. At least thirty-five years of the half-century or so of his existence had been devoted exclusively to proving that two and two always equal four, except in unusual cases, where they equal three or five, as the case may be." -- Jacques Futrelle, "The Problem of Cell 13" Most mathematicians are familiar with -- or have at least seen references in the literature to -- the equation 2 + 2 = 4. However, the less well known equation 2 + 2 = 5 also has a rich, complex history behind it. Like any other complex quantitiy, this history has a real part and an imaginary part; we shall deal exclusively with the latter here. Many cultures, in their early mathematical development, discovered the equation 2 + 2 = 5. For example, consider the Bolb tribe, descended from the Incas of South America. The Bolbs counted by tying knots in ropes. They quickly realized that when a 2-knot rope is put together with another 2-knot rope, a 5-knot rope results. Recent findings indicate that the Pythagorean Brotherhood discovered a proof that 2 + 2 = 5, but the proof never got written up. Contrary to what one might expect, the proof's nonappearance was not caused by a cover-up such as the Pythagoreans attempted with the irrationality of the square root of two. Rather, they simply could not pay for the necessary scribe service. They had lost their grant money due to the protests of an oxen-rights activist who objected to the Brotherhood's method of celebrating the discovery of theorems. Thus it was that only the equation 2 + 2 = 4 was used in Euclid's "Elements," and nothing more was heard of 2 + 2 = 5 for several centuries. Around A.D. 1200 Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci) discovered that a few weeks after putting 2 male rabbits plus 2 female rabbits in the same cage, he ended up with considerably more than 4 rabbits. Fearing that too strong a challenge to the value 4 given in Euclid would meet with opposition, Leonardo conservatively stated, "2 + 2 is more like 5 than 4." Even this cautious rendition of his data was roundly condemned and earned Leonardo the nickname "Blockhead." By the way, his practice of underestimating the number of rabbits persisted; his celebrated model of rabbit populations had each birth consisting of only two babies, a gross underestimate if ever there was one. Some 400 years later, the thread was picked up once more, this time by the French mathematicians. Descartes announced, "I think 2 + 2 = 5; therefore it does." However, others objected that his argument was somewhat less than totally rigorous. Apparently, Fermat had a more rigorous proof which was to appear as part of a book, but it and other material were cut by the editor so that the book could be printed with wider margins. Between the fact that no definitive proof of 2 + 2 = 5 was available and the excitement of the development of calculus, by 1700 mathematicians had again lost interest in the equation. In fact, the only known 18th-century reference to 2 + 2 = 5 is due to the philosopher Bishop Berkeley who, upon discovering it in an old manuscript, wryly commented, "Well, now I know where all the departed quantities went to -- the right-hand side of this equation." That witticism so impressed California intellectuals that they named a university town after him. But in the early to middle 1800's, 2 + 2 began to take on great significance. Riemann developed an arithmetic in which 2 + 2 = 5, paralleling the Euclidean 2 + 2 = 4 arithmetic. Moreover, during this period Gauss produced an arithmetic in which 2 + 2 = 3. Naturally, there ensued decades of great confusion as to the actual value of 2 + 2. Because of changing opinions on this topic, Kempe's proof in 1880 of the 4-color theorem was deemed 11 years later to yield, instead, the 5-color theorem. Dedekind entered the debate with an article entitled "Was ist und was soll 2 + 2?" Frege thought he had settled the question while preparing a condensed version of his "Begriffsschrift." This condensation, entitled "Die Kleine Begriffsschrift (The Short Schrift)," contained what he considered to be a definitive proof of 2 + 2 = 5. But then Frege received a letter from Bertrand Russell, reminding him that in "Grundbeefen der Mathematik" Frege had proved that 2 + 2 = 4. This contradiction so discouraged Frege that he abandoned mathematics altogether and went into university administration. Faced with this profound and bewildering foundational question of the value of 2 + 2, mathematicians followed the reasonable course of action: they just ignored the whole thing. And so everyone reverted to 2 + 2 = 4 with nothing being done with its rival equation during the 20th century. There had been rumors that Bourbaki was planning to devote a volume to 2 + 2 = 5 (the first forty pages taken up by the symbolic expression for the number five), but those rumor remained unconfirmed. Recently, though, there have been reported computer-assisted proofs that 2 + 2 = 5, typically involving computers belonging to utility companies. Perhaps the 21st century will see yet another revival of this historic equation. M__________________________________________________________________________ THE STORY OF BABEL: In the beginning there was only one kind of Mathematician, created by the Great Mathematical Spirit form the Book: the Topologist. And they grew to large numbers and prospered. One day they looked up in the heavens and desired to reach up as far as the eye could see. So they set out in building a Mathematical edifice that was to reach up as far as "up" went. Further and further up they went ... until one night the edifice collapsed under the weight of paradox. The following morning saw only rubble where there once was a huge structure reaching to the heavens. One by one, the Mathematicians climbed out from under the rubble. It was a miracle that nobody was killed; but when they began to speak to one another, SUPRISE of all surprises! they could not understand each other. They all spoke different languages. They all fought amongst themselves and each went about their own way. To this day the Topologists remain the original Mathematicians. - adapted from an American Indian legend of the Mound Of Babel ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =2.1 PROOFS: PROOFS THAT P (attributed to Hartry Field) Davidson's proof that p: Let us make the following bold conjecture: p Wallace's proof that p: Davidson has made the following bold conjecture: p Grunbaum: As I have asserted again and again in previous publications, p. Morgenbesser: If not p, what? q maybe? Putnam: Some philosophers have argued that not-p, on the grounds that q. It would be an interesting exercise to count all the fallacies in this "argument". (It's really awful, isn't it?) Therefore p. Rawls: It would be a nice to have a deductive argument that p from self-evident premises. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide one. So I will have to rest content with the following intuitive considerations in its support: p. Unger: Suppose it were the case that not-p. It would follow from this that someone knows that q. But on my view, no one knows anything whatsoever. Therefore p. (Unger beieves that the louder you say this argument the more persuasive it becomes.) Katz: I have seventeen arguments for the claim that p, and I know of only four for the claim that not-p. Therefore p. Lewis: Most people find the claim that not p completely obvious and when I assert p they give me an incredulous stare. But the fact that they find not-p obvious is no argument that it is true; and I do not know how to refute an incredulous stare. Therefore p. Fodor: My argument for p is based on three premises: (1) q (2) r and (3) p >From these, the claim that p deductively follows. Some people may find the third premise controversial, but it is clear that if we replaced that premise by any other reasonable premise, the argument would go through just as well. Sellars's proof that p: Unfortunately, limitations of space prevent it from being included here, but important parts of the proof can be found in each of the articles in the attached bibliography. Earman: There are solutions to the field equations of general relativity in which space-time has the structure of a four-dimensional klein bottle and in which there is no matter. In each such space-time, the claim that not-p is false. Therefore p. Kripke: OUTLINE OF A "PROOF" THAT P [footnote] Saul Kripke Some philosophers have argued that not-p. But none of them seems to me to have made a convincing argument against the intuitive view that this is not the case. Therefore, p. [footnote]. This outline was prepared hastily--at the editor's insistence---from a taped transcript of a lecture. Since I was not even given the opportunity to revise the first draft before publication, I cannot be held responsible for any lacunae in the (published version of the) argument, or for any fallacious or garbled inferences resulting from faulty preparation of the typescript. Also, the argument now seems to me to have problems which I did not know when I wrote it, but which I can't discuss here, and which are completely unrelated to any criticisms that have appeared in the literature (or that I have seen in manuscript); all such criticisms misconstrue the argument. It will be noted that the present version of the argument seems to presuppose the (intuitionistically unacceptable) law of double negation. But the argument can easily be reformulated in a way that avoids employing such an inference rule. I hope to expand on these matters further in a separate monograph. Routley and Meyer: If (q & not-q) is true, then there is a model for p. Therefore p. M__________________________________________________________________________ Theorem : All positive integers are equal. Proof : Sufficient to show that for any two positive integers, A and B, A = B. Further, it is sufficient to show that for all N > 0, if A and B (positive integers) satisfy (MAX(A, B) = N) then A = B. Proceed by induction. If N = 1, then A and B, being positive integers, must both be 1. So A = B. Assume that the theorem is true for some value k. Take A and B with MAX(A, B) = k+1. Then MAX((A-1), (B-1)) = k. And hence (A-1) = (B-1). Consequently, A = B. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: Benjamin.J.Tilly@dartmouth.edu (Benjamin J. Tilly) Theorem : All numbers are equal to zero. Proof: Suppose that a=b. Then a = b a^2 = ab a^2 - b^2 = ab - b^2 (a + b)(a - b) = b(a - b) a + b = b a = 0 M__________________________________________________________________________ From: Michael_Ketzlick@h2.maus.de (Michael Ketzlick) Theorem : 3=4 Proof: Suppose: a + b = c This can also be written as: 4a - 3a + 4b - 3b = 4c - 3c After reorganising: 4a + 4b - 4c = 3a + 3b - 3c Take the constants out of the brackets: 4 * (a+b-c) = 3 * (a+b-c) Remove the same term left and right: 4 = 3 M__________________________________________________________________________ From: Benjamin.J.Tilly@dartmouth.edu (Benjamin J. Tilly) Theorem: 1$ = 1c. Proof: And another that gives you a sense of money disappearing... 1$= 100c = (10c)^2 = (0.1$)^2 = 0.01$= 1c Here$ means dollars and c means cents. This one is scary in that I have seen PhD's in math who were unable to see what was wrong with this one. Actually I am crossposting this to sci.physics because I think that the latter makes a very nice introduction to the importance of keeping track of your dimensions... M__________________________________________________________________________ From: clubok@physics11 (Kenneth S. Clubok) Theorem: 1 = -1 . Proof: 1 -1 -- = -- -1 1 1 -1 sqrt[ -- ] = sqrt[ -- ] -1 1 sqrt[1] sqrt[-1] ------- = ------- sqrt[-1] sqrt[1] 1=-1 (by cross-multiplication) And here's my personal favorite: Use integration by parts to find the anti-derivative of 1/x. One can get the amusing result that 0=1. (Until you realize you have to put in the limits.) M__________________________________________________________________________ From: jreimer@aol.com (JReimer) Theorem: 1 = -1 Proof: 1 = sqrt(1) = sqrt(-1 * -1) = sqrt(-1) * sqrt(-1) = 1^ = -1 Also one can disprove the axiom that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. 1 = sqrt(1) -1 = sqrt(1) therefore 1 = -1 M__________________________________________________________________________ From: kdq@marsupial.jpl.nasa.gov (Kevin D. Quitt) Theorem: 4 = 5 Proof: 16 - 36 = 25 - 45 4^2 - 9*4 = 5^2 - 9*5 4^2 - 9*4 + 81/4 = 5^2 - 9*5 + 81/4 (4 - 9/2)^2 = (5 - 9/2)^2 4 - 9/2 = 5 - 9/2 4 = 5 M__________________________________________________________________________ baez@guitar.ucr.edu (john baez) writes: Theorem: 1 + 1 = 2 Proof: n(2n - 2) = n(2n - 2) n(2n - 2) - n(2n - 2) = 0 (n - n)(2n - 2) = 0 2n(n - n) - 2(n - n) = 0 2n - 2 = 0 2n = 2 n + n = 2 or setting n = 1 1 + 1 = 2 M__________________________________________________________________________ From: magidin@uclink.berkeley.edu (Arturo Viso Magidin) Theorem: In any finite set of women, if one has blue eyes then they all have blue eyes. Proof. Induction on the number of elements. if n= or n=1 it is immediate. Assume it is true for k Consider a group with k+1 women, and without loss of generality assume the first one has blue eyes. I will represent one with blue eyes with a '*' and one with unknown eye color as @. You have the set of women: {*,@,...,@} with k+1 elements. Consider the subset made up of the first k. This subset is a set of k women, of which one has blue eyes. By the induction hypothesis, all of them have blue eyes. We have then: {*,...,*,@}, with k+1 elements. Now consider the subset of the last k women. This is a set of k women, of which one has blue eyes (the next-to-last element of the set), hence they all have blue eyes, in particular the k+1-th woman has blue eyes. Hence all k+1 women have blue eyes. By induction, it follows that in any finite set of women, if one has blue eyes they all have blue eyes. QED M__________________________________________________________________________ From: Zorro Theorem: All positive integers are interesting. Proof: Assume the contrary. Then there is a lowest non-interesting positive integer. But, hey, that's pretty interesting! A contradiction. QED I heard this one from G. B. Thomas, but I don't know whether it is due to him. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: daniel@hagar.ph.utexas.edu (James Daniel) Aren't multi-valued functions fun? Once you realize what's going on, though, you can make them into silly proofs pretty much without thinking. Here's one I just made up: Object: to prove that i < 0 ( that is, sqrt(-1) < 0 ) Well, ( .5 + sqrt(3/4)*i )^3 = (-1)^3 (most would assert this to be a false statement -- mostly cuz they'll get the math wrong. It's a true statement. It's the next statement that is false.) which means that .5 + sqrt(3/4)*i = -1 So then 1 + sqrt(3)*i = -2 sqrt(3)*i = -1 i = -1/sqrt(3) Therefore i is a negative number. QED. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: julison@cco.caltech.edu (Julian C. Jamison) Theorem: All numbers are equal. Proof: Choose arbitrary a and b, and let t = a + b. Then a + b = t (a + b)(a - b) = t(a - b) a^2 - b^2 = ta - tb a^2 - ta = b^2 - tb a^2 - ta + (t^2)/4 = b^2 - tb + (t^2)/4 (a - t/2)^2 = (b - t/2)^2 a - t/2 = b - t/2 a = b So all numbers are the same, and math is pointless. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: pfc@math.ufl.edu (P. Fritz Cronheim) This one is from Jerry King's _Art of Mathematics_ 16/64=1/4 by cancelling the 6's. Here the result is true, but the method is not. Do the ends justify the means? :)_ M__________________________________________________________________________ Methods of Mathematical Proof This is from _A Random Walk in Science_ (by Joel E. Cohen?): To illustrate the various methods of proof we give an example of a logical system. THE PEJORATIVE CALCULUS Lemma 1. All horses are the same colour. (Proof by induction) Proof. It is obvious that one horse is the same colour. Let us assume the proposition P(k) that k horses are the same colour and use this to imply that k+1 horses are the same colour. Given the set of k+1 horses, we remove one horse; then the remaining k horses are the same colour, by hypothesis. We remove another horse and replace the first; the k horses, by hypothesis, are again the same colour. We repeat this until by exhaustion the k+1 sets of k horses have been shown to be the same colour. It follows that since every horse is the same colour as every other horse, P(k) entails P(k+1). But since we have shown P(1) to be true, P is true for all succeeding values of k, that is, all horses are the same colour. Theorem 1. Every horse has an infinite number of legs. (Proof by intimidation.) Proof. Horses have an even number of legs. Behind they have two legs and in front they have fore legs. This makes six legs, which is cer- tainly an odd number of legs for a horse. But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity. Therefore horses have an infinite num- ber of legs. Now to show that this is general, suppose that somewhere there is a horse with a finite number of legs. But that is a horse of another colour, and by the lemma that does not exist. Corollary 1. Everything is the same colour. Proof. The proof of lemma 1 does not depend at all on the nature of the object under consideration. The predicate of the antecedent of the uni- versally-quantified conditional 'For all x, if x is a horse, then x is the same colour,' namely 'is a horse' may be generalized to 'is anything' without affecting the validity of the proof; hence, 'for all x, if x is anything, x is the same colour.' Corollary 2. Everything is white. Proof. If a sentential formula in x is logically true, then any parti- cular substitution instance of it is a true sentence. In particular then: 'for all x, if x is an elephant, then x is the same colour' is true. Now it is manifestly axiomatic that white elephants exist (for proof by blatant assertion consult Mark Twain 'The Stolen White Ele- phant'). Therefore all elephants are white. By corollary 1 everything is white. Theorem 2. Alexander the Great did not exist and he had an infinite number of limbs. Proof. We prove this theorem in two parts. First we note the obvious fact that historians always tell the truth (for historians always take a stand, and therefore they cannot lie). Hence we have the historically true sentence, 'If Alexander the Great existed, then he rode a black horse Bucephalus.' But we know by corollary 2 everything is white; hence Alexander could not have ridden a black horse. Since the conse- quent of the conditional is false, in order for the whole statement to be true the antecedent must be false. Hence Alexander the Great did not exist. We have also the historically true statement that Alexander was warned by an oracle that he would meet death if he crossed a certain river. He had two legs; and 'forewarned is four-armed.' This gives him six limbs, an even number, which is certainly an odd number of limbs for a man. Now the only number which is even and odd is infinity; hence Alexander had an infinite number of limbs. We have thus proved that Alexander the Great did not exist and that he had an infinite number of limbs. M__________________________________________________________________________ Theorem: a cat has nine tails. Proof: No cat has eight tails. A cat has one tail more than no cat. Therefore, a cat has nine tails. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: rmaimon@husc9.Harvard.EDU (Ron Maimon) Theorem: All dogs have nine legs. Proof: would you agree that no dog has five legs? would you agree that _a_ dog has four legs more then _no_ dog? 4 + 5 = ? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =2.2 STATISTICS AND STATISTICANS: M__________________________________________________________________________ Did you hear the one about the statistician? Probably.... M__________________________________________________________________________ Statistics means never having to say you're certain. [With apologies to Erich Segal] M__________________________________________________________________________ In earlier times, they had no statistics, and so they had to fall back on lies. - STEPHEN LEACOCK M__________________________________________________________________________ "The group was alarmed to find that if you are a labourer, cleaner or dock worker, you are twice as likely to die than a member of the professional classes" [The Sunday Times 31st August 1980] M__________________________________________________________________________ From: ph2008@mail.bris.ac.uk (CJ. Bradfield) Statistics is the art of never having to say you're wrong. Variance is what any two staticticians are at. (Not that I particularly dislike statisticians... I hate all mathematicians!!) [sorry mum!] M__________________________________________________________________________ 97.3% of all statistics are made up. M__________________________________________________________________________ it's like the tale of the roadside merchant who was asked to explain how he could sell rabbit sandwiches so cheap. "Well" he explained, "I have to put some horse-meat in too. But I mix them 50:50. One horse, one rabbit." [DARREL HUFF, How to lie with statistics] M__________________________________________________________________________ Are statisticians normal? M__________________________________________________________________________ Did you know that the great majority of people have more than the average number of legs? [It's obvious really; amongst the 57 million people in Britain there are probably 5,000 people who have only got one leg. Therefore the average number of legs is (5000 * 1) + (56,995,000 * 2) ---------------------------------- = 1.9999123...... 57,000,000 Since most people have 2 legs....... ] M__________________________________________________________________________ A statistician is a person who draws a mathematically precise line from an unwarranted asumption to a foregone conclusion. M__________________________________________________________________________ A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he will say that on the average he feels fine. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Statisticians do it continuously but discretely. Statisticians do it when it counts. Statisticians do it with 95% confidence. Statisticians do it with large numbers. Statisticians do it with only a 5% chance of being rejected. Statisticians do it with two-tail T tests. Statisticians do it. After all, it's only normal. Statisticians probably do it. M__________________________________________________________________________ THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF STATISTICAL INFERENCE 1. Thou shalt not hunt statistical inference with a shotgun. 2. Thou shalt not enter the valley of the methods of inference without an experimental design. 3. Thou shalt not make statistical inference in the absence of a model. 4. Thou shalt honour the assumptions of thy model. 5. Thy shalt not adulterate thy model to obtain significant results. 6. Thy shalt not covet thy colleagues' data. 7. Thy shalt not bear false witness against thy control group. 8. Thou shalt not worship the 0.05 significance level. 9. Thy shalt not apply large sample approximation in vain. 10. Thou shalt not infer causal relationships from statistical significance. M__________________________________________________________________________ From: Mathematics Magazine, December 1990. Subject: Statisticians ( Excerpted from "Quotes, Damned Quotes" by John Bibby ) If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of ten it will. (Paul Harvey News, 1979) Give us a copper Guv'' said the beggar to the Treasury statistician, when he waylaid him in Parliament square. I haven't eaten for three days.'' Ah,'' said the statistician, and how does that compare with the same period last year?'' (Russell Lewis) I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic.'' (Winston Churchill) You haven't told me yet,'' said Lady Nuttal, what it is your fiance does for a living.'' He's a statistician,'' replied Lamia, with an annoying sense of being on the defensive. Lady Nuttal was obviously taken aback. It had not occurred to her that statisticians entered into normal social relationships. The species, she would have surmised, was perpetuated in some collateral manner, like mules. But Aunt Sara, it's a very interesting profession,'' said Lamia warmly. I don't doubt it,'' said her aunt, who obviously doubted it very much. To express anything important in mere figures is so plainly impossible that there must be endless scope for well-paid advice on the how to do it. But don't you think that life with a statistician would be rather, shall we say, humdrum?'' Lamia was silent. She felt reluctant to discuss the surprising depth of emotional possibility which she had discovered below Edward's numerical veneer. It's not the figures themselves,'' she said finally. It's what you do with them that matters.'' (K.A.C. Manderville, The undoing of Lamia Gurdleneck) M__________________________________________________________________________ People who do very unusual jobs: the man who counts then number of people at public gatherings. You've probably seen his headlines, "Two million flock to see Pope.", "200 arrested as police find ounce of cannabis.", "Britain #3 billion in debt". You probably wondered who was responsible for producing such well rounded-up figures. What you didn't know was that it was all the work of one man, Rounder-Up to the media, John Wheeler. But how is he able to go on turning out such spot-on statistics? How can he be so accurate all the time? "We can't" admits Wheeler blithely. "Frankly, after the first million we stop counting, and round it up to the next million. I don't know if you've ever counted a papal flock, but, not only do they look a bit the same, they also don't keep still, what with all the bowing and crossing themselves." "The only way you could do it accurately is by taking an aerial photograph of the crowd and handing it to the computer to work out. But then you'd get a headline saying "1,678,163 [sic] flock to see Pope, not including 35,467 who couldn't see him", and, believe me, nobody wants that sort of headline." The art of big figures, avers Wheeler, lies in psychology, not statistics. The public like a figure it can admire. It likes millionaires, and million-sellers, and centuries at cricket, so Wheeler's international agency gives them the figures it wants, which involves not only rounding up but rounding down. "In the old days people used to deal with crowds on the Isle of Wight principle -- you know, they'd say that every day the population of the world increased by the number of people who could stand upright on the Isle of Wight, or the rain-forests were being decreased by an area the size of Rutland. This meant nothing. Most people had never been to the Isle of Wight for a start, and even if they had, they only had a vision of lots of Chinese standing in the grounds of the Cowes Yacht Club. And the Rutland comparison was so useless that they were driven to abolish Rutland to get rid of it. "No, what people want is a few good millions. A hundred million, if possible. One of our inventions was street value, for instance. In the old days they used to say that police had discovered drugs in a quantity large enough to get all of Rutland stoned for a fortnight. *We* started saying that the drugs had a street value of #10 million. Absolutely meaningless, but people understand it better." Sometimes they do get the figures spot on. "250,000 flock to see Royal two", was one of his recent headlines, and although the 250,000 was a rounded-up figure, the two was quite correct. in his palatial office he sits surrounded by relics of past headlines - a million-year-old fossil, a #500,000 Manet, a photograph of the Sultan of Brunei's #10,000,000 house - but pride of place goes to a pair of shoes framed on the wall. "Why the shoes? Because they cost me #39.99. They serve as a reminder of mankind's other great urge, to have stupid odd figures. Strange, isn't it? They want mass demos of exactly half a million, but they also want their gramophone records to go round at thirty-three-and-a-third, forty-five and seventy-eight rpm. We have stayed in business by remembering that below a certain level people want oddity. They don't a rocket costing #299 million and 99p, and they don't want a radio costing exactly #50." How does he explain the times when the figures clash - when, for example, the organisers of a demo claim 250,000 but the police put it nearer 100,000? "We provide both sets of figures; the figures the organisers want, and the figures the police want. The public believe both. If we gave the true figure, about 167,890, nobody would believe it because it doesn't sound believable." John Wheeler's name has never become well-known, as he is a shy figure, but his firm has an annual turnover of #3 million and his eye for the right figure has made him a rich man. His greatest pleasure, however, comes from the people he meets in the counting game. "Exactly two billion, to be precise." MILES KINGTON writing in The Observer, 3 November 1986 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =2.3 MATHEMATICANS From: Hugh Robinson Okay, here's mine. I am told that it's true, but... A certain well-known pure mathematician had a wife who, while intelligent, was not into mathematics. However, by continued practice, she learnt to distinguish between the conversations of algebraists and analysts. So when he had guests to dinner who were talking about mathematics, if they were analysts, she would introduce at a suitable pause in the conversation: "But what happens at the boundary?" Whereas, if they were algebraists, she would say: "But do the roots lie in the field?" By this means she was always able to impress his visitors by her knowledge of mathematics. (No, don't write and ask for the punchline. That's all.) M__________________________________________________________________________ Three men are in a hot-air balloon. Soon, they find themselves lost in a canyon somewhere. One of the three men says, "I've got an idea. We can call for help in this canyon and the echo will carry our voices far." So he leans over the basket and yells out, "Helllloooooo! Where are we?" (They hear the echo several times.) 15 minutes later, they hear this echoing voice: "Helllloooooo! You're lost!!" One of the men says, "That must have been a mathematician." Puzzled, one of the other men asks, "Why do you say that?" The reply: "For three reasons. (1) he took a long time to answer, (2) he was absolutely correct, and (3) his answer was absolutely useless." M__________________________________________________________________________ A small, 14-seat plane is circling for a landing in Atlanta. It's totally fogged in, zero visibility, and suddenly there's a small electrical fire in the cockpit which disables all of the instruments and the radio. The pilot continues circling, totally lost, when suddenly he finds himself flying next to a tall office building. He rolls down the window (this particular airplane happens to have roll-down windows) and yells to a person inside the building, "Where are we?" The person responds "In an airplane!" The pilot then banks sharply to the right, circles twice, and makes a perfect landing at Atlanta International. As the passengers emerge, shaken but unhurt, one of them says to the pilot, "I'm certainly glad you were able to land safely, but I don't understand how the response you got was any use." "Simple," responded the pilot. "I got an answer that was completely accurate and totally irrelevant to my problem, so I knew it had to be the IBM building." M__________________________________________________________________________ Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) M__________________________________________________________________________ Old mathematicians never die; they just lose some of their functions. M__________________________________________________________________________ Two male mathematicians are in a bar. The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of math. The first mathematician goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the second calls over the waitress. He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer one third x cubed. She repeats one thir -- dex cue'? He repeats one third x cubed'. Her: one thir dex cuebd'? Yes, that's right, he says. So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself, one thir dex cuebd...'. The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something about basic math. He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first laughingly agrees. The second man calls over the waitress and asks what is the integral of x squared?'. The waitress says one third x cubed' and while walking away, turns back and says over her shoulder plus a constant'! M__________________________________________________________________________ Some famous mathematician was to give a keynote speech at a conference. Asked for an advance summary, he said he would present a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem -- but they should keep it under their hats. When he arrived, though, he spoke on a much more prosaic topic. Afterwards the conference organizers asked why he said he'd talk about the theorem and then didn't. He replied this was his standard practice, just in case he was killed on the way to the conference. M__________________________________________________________________________ How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One, who gives it to six Californians, thereby reducing it to an earlier riddle. -- from a button I bought at Nancy Lebowitz's table at Boskone Q: How many topologists does it take to change a light bulb? A: It really doesn't matter, since they'd rather knot. From:BRIAN6@VAXC.MDX.AC.UK (who has a lightbulb collection) Q: How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: None. It's left to the reader as an exercise. A: Just one, once you've managed to present the problem in terms he/she is familiar with. In earlier work, Wiener [1] has shown that one mathematician can change a light bulb. If k mathematicians can change a light bulb, and if one more simply watches them do it, then k+1 mathematicians will have changed the light bulb. Therefore, by induction, for all n in the positive integers, n mathematicians can change a light bulb. Bibliography: [1] Weiner, Matthew P., <11485@ucbvax>, "Re: YALBJ", 1986 Q: How many statisticians does it take to change a lightbulb ? A: This should be determined using a nonparametric procedure, since statisticians are NOT NORMAL. A: Walt Pirie to hold the bulb and one psychologist, one economist, one sociologist and one anthroplogist to pull away the ladder. A: One -- plus or minus three (small sample size). (Notes: Someone has been asking this as a bonus question on statistics exam papers for quite a while. Judging from some of his own students' exam answers, it depends on whether the lightbulb is negatively or positively screwed.) Q: How many light bulbs does it take to change a light bulb? A: One, if it knows its own Goedel number. (Could somebody please explain this one to me ! I think it's something to do with the maths/logic theories of Kurt Goedel, about it being impossible to prove things.) M__________________________________________________________________________ "A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems" -- P. Erdos M__________________________________________________________________________ Moebius always does it on the same side. Statisticians probably do it Algebraists do it in groups. (Logicians do it) or [not (logicians do it)]. From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Logicians do it consistently and completely. Mathematicians do it associatively. Mathematicians do it commutatively. Mathematicians do it constantly. Mathematicians do it continuously. Mathematicians do it discretely. Mathematicians do it exponentially. Mathematicians do it forever if they can do one and can do one more. Mathematicians do it functionally. Mathematicians do it homologically. Mathematicians do it in fields. Mathematicians do it in groups. Mathematicians do it in imaginary planes. Mathematicians do it in numbers. Mathematicians do it in theory. Mathematicians do it on smooth contours. Mathematicians do it over and under the curves. Mathematicians do it parallel and perpendicular. Mathematicians do it partially. Mathematicians do it rationally. Mathematicians do it reflexively. Mathematicians do it symmetrically. Mathematicians do it to prove themselves. Mathematicians do it to their limits. Mathematicians do it totally. Mathematicians do it transcendentally. Mathematicians do it transitively. Mathematicians do it variably. Mathematicians do it with Nobel's wife. Mathematicians do it with a Minkowski sausage. Mathematicians do it with imaginary parts. Mathematicians do it with linear pairs. Mathematicians do it with odd functions. Mathematicians do it with prime roots. Mathematicians do it with relations. Mathematicians do it with rings. Mathematicians do it with their real parts. Mathematicians do it without limit. Mathematicians do over an open unmeasurable interval. Mathematicians have to prove they did it. Set theorists do it with cardinals. M__________________________________________________________________________ A mathematician is a person who says that, when 3 people are supposed to be in a room but 5 came out, 2 have to go in so the room gets empty... M__________________________________________________________________________ My geometry teacher was sometimes acute, and sometimes obtuse, but always, he was right. MP_________________________________________________________________________ From: lyon@netcom.com (Lyman Lyon) Physics professor is walking across campus, runs into Math Professor. Physics professor has been doing an experiment, and has worked out an emphirical equation that seems to explain his data, and asks the Math professor to look at it. A week later, they meet again, and the Math professor says the equation is invalid. By then, the Physics professor has used his equation to predict the results of further experiments, and he is getting excellent results, so he askes the Math professor to look again. Another week goes by, and they meet once more. The Math professor tells the Physics professor the equation does work, "But only in the trivial case where the numbers are real and positive." M__________________________________________________________________________ From: gw@molly.informatik.Uni-Koeln.DE (Georg Wambach) What is the difference between an applied mathematician and a pure mathematician? Suppose a mathematician parks his car, locks it with his key and walks away. After walking about 50 yards the mathematician realizes that he has dropped his key somewhere along the way. What does he do? If he is an applied mathematician he walks back to the car along the path he has previously traveled looking for his key. If he is a pure mathematician he walks to the other end of the parking lot where there is better light and looks for his key there. I told this joke to my brother (he is a "pure"). He answers: "But we have not dropped our keys!" Hence, I suggest a slight modification: Suppose a _tax_payer_ parks his car, locks it with his key and walks away. After walking about 50 yards the tax payer realizes that he has dropped his key somewhere along the way. He asked a mathematician to help him. What does the mathematician do? (...) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =2.4 POETRY M__________________________________________________________________________ From: chrisman@ucdmath.ucdavis.edu (Mark Chrisman) "Aleph-0 bottles of beer on the wall, Aleph-0 bottles of beer; Take one down, pass it around, Aleph-0 bottles of beer on the wall! Aleph-0 bottles of beer on the wall..." M__________________________________________________________________________ One and one make two, But if one and one should marry, Isn't it queer- Within a year There's two and one to carry. M__________________________________________________________________________ Geometry keeps you in shape. Decimals make a point. Einstein was ahead of his time. Lobachevski was out of line. M__________________________________________________________________________ "IF" (School Maths version) =========================== If you can solve a literal equation And rationalise denominator surds, Do grouping factors (with a transformation) And state the factor theorem in words; If you can plot the graph of any function And do a long division (with gaps), Or square binomials without compunction Or work cube roos with logs without mishaps. If you possess a sound and clear-cut notion Of interest sums with P and I unknown; If you can find the speed of trains in motion, Given some lengths and "passing-times" alone; If you can play with R (both big and little) And feel at home with l (or h) and Pi, And learn by cancellation how to whittle Your fractions down till they delight the eye. If you can recognise the segment angles Both at the centre and circumference; If you can spot equivalent triangles And Friend Pythagoras (his power's immmense); If you can see that equiangularity And congruence are two things and not one, You may pick up a mark or two in charity And, what is more, you may squeeze through, my son. [Times Educational Supplement 19th July 1947] M__________________________________________________________________________ This poem was written by Jon Saxton (an author of math textbooks). ((12 + 144 + 20 + (3 * 4^(1/2))) / 7) + (5 * 11) = 9^2 + 0 Or for those who have trouble with the poem: A Dozen, a Gross and a Score, plus three times the square root of four, divided by seven, plus five times eleven, equals nine squared and not a bit more. M__________________________________________________________________________ 'Tis a favorite project of mine A new value of pi to assign. I would fix it at 3 For it's simpler, you see, Than 3 point 1 4 1 5 9. ("The Lure of the Limerick" by W.S. Baring-Gould, p.5. Attributed to Harvey L. Carter). M__________________________________________________________________________ If inside a circle a line Hits the center and goes spine to spine And the line's length is "d" the circumference will be d times 3.14159 M__________________________________________________________________________ If (1+x) (real close to 1) Is raised to the power of 1 Over x, you will find Here's the value defined: 2.718281... M__________________________________________________________________________ Here's a limerick I picked up off the net a few years back - looks better on paper. 3_ \/3 / | 2 3 X pi 3_ | z dz X cos(--------) = ln (\/e ) | 9 / 1 Which, of course, translates to: Integral z-squared dz from 1 to the cube root of 3 times the cosine of three pi over 9 equals log of the cube root of 'e'. And it's correct, too. M__________________________________________________________________________ Not a joke, but a humorous ditty I heard from some guys in an engineering fraternity (to the best of my recollection): I'll do it phonetically: ee to the ex dee ex, ee to the why dee why, sine x, cosine x, natural log of y, derivative on the left derivative on the right integrate, integrate, fight! fight! fight! M__________________________________________________________________________ Other cheers: E to the x dx dy radical transcendental pi secant cosine tangent sine 3.14159 2.71828 come on folks let's integrate!! M__________________________________________________________________________ E to the i dx dy E to y dy cosine secant log of pi disintegrate em RPI !!! M__________________________________________________________________________ square root, tangent hyperbolic sine, 3.14159 e to the x, dy, dx, sliderule, slipstick, TECH TECH TECH! M__________________________________________________________________________ e to the u, du/dx e to the x dx cosine, secant, tangent, sine, 3.14159 integral, radical, u dv, slipstick, slide rule, MIT! M__________________________________________________________________________ E to the X D-Y, D-X E to the X D-X. Cosine, Secant, Tangent, Sine 3.14159 E-I, Radical, Pi Fight'em, Fight'em, WPI! Go Worcester Polytechnic Institute!!!!!! M__________________________________________________________________________ Hiawatha Designs an Experiment Hiawatha, mighty hunter, He could shoot ten arrows upward, Shoot them with such strength and swiftness That the last had left the bow-string Ere the first to earth descended. This was commonly regarded As a feat of skill and cunning. Several sarcastic spirits Pointed out to him, however, That it might be much more useful If he sometimes hit the target. "Why not shoot a little straighter And employ a smaller sample?" Hiawatha, who at college Majored in applied statistics, Consequently felt entitled To instruct his fellow man In any subject whatsoever, Waxed exceedingly indignant, Talked about the law of errors, Talked about truncated normals, Talked of loss of information, Talked about his lack of bias, Pointed out that (in the long run) Independent observations, Even though they missed the target, Had an average point of impact Very near the spot he aimed at, With the possible exception of a set of measure zero. "This," they said, "was rather doubtful; Anyway it didn't matter. What resulted in the long run: Either he must hit the target Much more often than at present, Or himself would have to pay for All the arrows he had wasted." Hiawatha, in a temper, Quoted parts of R. A. Fisher, Quoted Yates and quoted Finney, Quoted reams of Oscar Kempthorne, Quoted Anderson and Bancroft (practically in extenso) Trying to impress upon them That what actually mattered Was to estimate the error. Several of them admitted: "Such a thing might have its uses; Still," they said, "he would do better If he shot a little straighter." Hiawatha, to convince them, Organized a shooting contest. Laid out in the proper manner Of designs experimental Recommended in the textbooks, Mainly used for tasting tea (but sometimes used in other cases) Used factorial arrangements And the theory of Galois, Got a nicely balanced layout And successfully confounded Second order interactions. All the other tribal marksmen, Ignorant benighted creatures Of experimental setups, Used their time of preparation Putting in a lot of practice Merely shooting at the target. Thus it happened in the contest That their scores were most impressive With one solitary exception. This, I hate to have to say it, Was the score of Hiawatha, Who as usual shot his arrows, Shot them with great strength and swiftness, Managing to be unbiased, Not however with a salvo Managing to hit the target. "There!" they said to Hiawatha, "That is what we all expected." Hiawatha, nothing daunted, Called for pen and called for paper. But analysis of variance Finally produced the figures Showing beyond all peradventure, Everybody else was biased. And the variance components Did not differ from each other's, Or from Hiawatha's. (This last point it might be mentioned, Would have been much more convincing If he hadn't been compelled to Estimate his own components From experimental plots on Which the values all were missing.) Still they couldn't understand it, So they couldn't raise objections. (Which is what so often happens with analysis of variance.) All the same his fellow tribesmen, Ignorant benighted heathens, Took away his bow and arrows, Said that though my Hiawatha Was a brilliant statistician, He was useless as a bowman. As for variance components Several of the more outspoken Make primeval observations Hurtful of the finer feelings Even of the statistician. In a corner of the forest Sits alone my Hiawatha Permanently cogitating On the normal law of errors. Wondering in idle moments If perhaps increased precision Might perhaps be sometimes better Even at the cost of bias, If one could thereby now and then Register upon a target. W. E. Mientka, "Professor Leo Moser -- Reflections of a Visit" American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 79, Number 6 (June-July, 1972) M__________________________________________________________________________ A mathematician named Klein Thought the Mobius Band was divine. Said he, "If you glue The edges of two You get a weird bottle like mine." M__________________________________________________________________________ A challenge for many long ages Had baffled the savants and sages. Yet at last came the light: Seems old Fermat was right-- To the margin add 200 pages. -- Paul Chernoff M__________________________________________________________________________ _There Once Was a Breathy Baboon_ by Sir Arthur Eddington There once was a breathy baboon Who always breathed down a bassoon, For he said, "It appears That in billions of years I shall certainly hit on a tune." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =2.5 QUOTES M__________________________________________________________________________ From: ph2008@mail.bris.ac.uk (CJ. Bradfield) A few of my favourite quotes about mathematics: "A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there" - Charles Darwin M__________________________________________________________________________ "A person who can, within a year, solve x^2 - 92y^2 = 1 is a mathematician." -- Brahmagupta M__________________________________________________________________________ Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe and not make messes in the house. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love" M__________________________________________________________________________ Sex is the mathematics urge sublimated. -- M. C. Reed. M__________________________________________________________________________ "The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell." -- St. Augustine P.S. Augustine did really say that, but in his time there was no difference between mathematicans and astrologists. Astrologists told the future, which was diabolic. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -- Joachim Verhagen Email:J.C.D.Verhagen@fys.ruu.nl Department of molecular biofysics, University of Utrecht Utrecht, The Netherlands.  0, unseen,, *** EOOH *** Newsgroups: rec.humor,eunet.jokes Path: origin.ea.com!newshost.ea.com!barrnet.net!nntp-sc.barrnet.net!news.fujitsu.com!amdahl.com!amd!decwrl!spool.mu.edu!uwm.edu!cs.utexas.edu!news.sprintlink.net!EU.net!sun4nl!ruuinf!tijger.fys.ruu.nl!verhagen From: verhagen@fys.ruu.nl (Joachim Verhagen) Subject: science jokes (4/6) X-Nntp-Posting-Host: ruunat.fys.ruu.nl Message-ID: Sender: usenet@fys.ruu.nl (News system Tijgertje) Organization: Physics and Astronomy, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #3 (NOV) Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 12:13:11 GMT Lines: 1660 Xref: origin.ea.com rec.humor:537 eunet.jokes:42 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =3. PHYSICS MP_________________________________________________________________________ From: shhong@chiak.kaist.ac.kr (Hong Seongho) Theoretical Physics is a science locally isomorphic to Mathematics. P__________________________________________________________________________ On the heater lies a tile. The teacher asks: "Why does the the tile warmer at the side that lies at the far side of the heater?". The student stammers :"Eh, maybe because of the heat conduction and so?" Teacher: "No, because I just turned it around." P__________________________________________________________________________ Formula: "Energy equals milk chocolate square" P__________________________________________________________________________ benker@cae.wisc.edu Two atoms were walking down the street. One turns to the other and says, "Oh, no! I think I'm an ion!" The other responds, "Are you sure?!?" "Yes, I'm positive!" P__________________________________________________________________________ A hydrogen atom came running into a police station asking for help.... Hydrogen atom: Someone just stole my electron!! Policeman: Are you sure? Hydrogen atom: Yes, I'm positive From: freya@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Smile) policeman: Oh, I thought you were just being negative again. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: dsmillie@superior.carleton.ca (David Smillie) Two sodium atoms are flying around a cyclotron. Suddenly the first atom said to the second, Hey, I think I've just lost an electron.' Are you sure?' asked the second atom. Yeah,' said the first, I'm positive.' Of course, the _real_ joke is that neither sodium atom could have been flying around the cyclotron in the first place, unless they were _already_ ionized. (collapses to the floor, gasping for breath and chuckling hysterically while everyone else in the room edges nervously away) P__________________________________________________________________________ From: harper@kauri.vuw.ac.nz (John Harper) every couple has its moment, especially P__________________________________________________________________________ From: zdxc0d@amoco.com (David Crowson) Physicists at Harwell have discovered the heaviest element known to science, named Administratum. The new element has no protons or electrons, and has an atomic number of zero. However, it does have one neutron, eight assistant neutrons, ten executive neutrons, 35 vice neutrons and 258 assistant vice neutrons. Administratum has an atomic mass of 311=, since the neutron is only detectable half of the time. Its 312 particles are held together by a force which involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles, called morons. Since it has no electrons, Administratum is completely inert. Nevertheless, its presence can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. One experiment, which should have lasted only a few days, is still running after 2= years due to the addition of just one milligramme of Administratum. It is weakly active, and has a normal half-life of approximately six months. After this time, it does not actually decay, but undergoes a metamorphosis in which assistant neutrons, executive neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. This almost invariably leads to an increase in atomic weight, hence it is self-sustaining. Although it occurs widely, Administratum tends to concentrate around large corporations, research laboratories and government departments. It can especially be found in recently re-organised sites, and there is reason to believe that it is heavily involved in the processes of deforestation and global warming. It should be remembered that Administratum is known to be toxic at all concentrations, and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed to accumulate. Numerous attempts have been made to determine how Administratum can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising. From: tornberg@netcom.com (Neal E. Tornberg) Research at other laboratories indicates that Administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations and universities and can usually be found in the newest, best appointed and best maintained buildings. From: Benjamin.J.Tilly@dartmouth.edu (Benjamin J. Tilly) One major problem is that proximity to this substance tends to make the process of getting anything done (such as getting grant money) more time-consuming, which makes the experiments in question extremely time-consuming. P__________________________________________________________________________ Ivan Ivanovich, great russian Scientist does an experiment. He wants to know how fast a thermometer falls down. He takes a thermometer and a light, a candle light. He drops both from the 3rd floor and recognices that they are reaching the ground at the same time. Ivan Ivanovich, great russian scientific writes in his book: A theomometer falls with the speed of light. P__________________________________________________________________________ dasher@netcom.com (Anton Sherwood) writes: Somewhere there must be a list of ways to measure the height of a building. A student is sitting his Physics exam, and quite an important one at that---maybe his final degree paper or his Oxford Entrance. Anyway, one of the questions on the paper was to the effect of: Q: How could one measure the height of a building using a barometer?'' Being a wit, in the exam this chap puts: A: Drop the barometer from the top of the building and time its descent. Using the formula s = ut + a(t^2)/2' and knowing a' which is g' we can calculate the height of the building with reasonable accuracy.'' He then goes on to describe in more detail the method he would use. The examiners were a little concerned. Here was one of their star students giving an answer they hadn't at all expected. So they decided to call him in and give him an oral test to decide whether or not to allow the answer which they did admit was perfectly valid. So they called him in and told him he had 15 minutes to make his case. For ten minutes he said nothing but scribbled away furiously. After these ten minutes the atmosphere was getting a little tense---this was meant to be an oral after all, and his degree (or whatever) depended on it. When they pointed this out to him he said that he was just trying to get his thoughts in order as there were so many possible solutions. Here are some of the ones he came up with: 1: What you wanted me to do, of course, was measure air pressure at the top and bottom of the building, and from the difference and knowing the pressure exerted by a column of air of unit height I should be able to calculate the height of the building. But I thought that would be terribly inaccurate and the answer I gave in the exam and the following ones are all potentially more accurate. 2: Measure the length of shadow cast by the bulding and by the barometer on a sunny day. Knowing the actual height of the barometer one can compute the height of the building. 3: Tie the barometer to the end of a long bit of string and lower the barometer from the top of the building to the ground. Measure the amount of string payed out and you have the height of the building.'' He then gave several more but ended with: The best method by far, though, would be to go to the building's janitor and say If I give you this shiny new scientific barometer will you tell me how high this building is?' '' The student passed his exam. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: nbuchana@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca (Norm) I don't know if there is a list, but I can think of a way that only requires two people, a stopwatch, and an object to drop. You have one person stand at the top of the building with an object to drop (something that will be slowed little by air resistance--you will have to correct for this if the building is fairly tall). The person on the ground can then signal the person on top to drop the object and then time the fall. The height of the building will then be (neglecting air resistance): height = .5 (9.8) t^2 (in meters of course) Problem solved. It is not the only way to do it obviously but I think it is an interesting way. From: Phil Gustafson The just-released book, "Expert C Programming (Deep C Secrets)", Peter van der Linden, SunSoft/Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-177429-8, lists twenty-one (21) more or less useful ways to measure the height of a building with a barometer. (10) Use the barometer as a paperweight while examining the building plans. From: ljz@panix.com (Lloyd Zusman) Uh ... I may be off base here, but my understanding of the original poster's question was that he or she was looking for some sort of canonical list of responses to the question, "How does one measure the height of a building with a barometer?" There is an apocryphal story about a science professor who asked this question, looking for the "measure the air pressure at the top, etc. ..." solution. But some smart-ass student offered one or more other alternatives, such as ... Drop the barometer from the top floor and measure the time it takes to hit the ground. Offer the barometer to the building owner in return for him telling you the height (already mentioned in this thread). Tie a long cable to the barometer and lower it from the top of the building to the ground, and then measure the length of the cable. etc. etc. I know there are quite a few other answers, too ... can anyone think of any more? From: gt4495c@prism.gatech.edu (Giannhs) Use a barometer to reflect a laser beam from the top and measure the travel time. Track the shadow of the building posisioning a barometer on the ground every hour. Create an explosion on the top and measure the time for the pressure depression indicated on the barometer. From: peter@cara.demon.co.uk (Peter Ceresole) I think it would be simpler to let down a lightly weighted fishing line, mark it, reel it back and measure it at leisure. For fun, how about using sound; fire a starting pistol at the bottom, time the difference of arrival at the top. About a second for the Empire State building, and of course it'd have to be a damn great gun to carry over the howl and screech of downtown Gotham. Also, the detonation might get confused with the sounds of routine crack dealing below. From: dehall@hellcat.ecn.uoknor.edu (David Hall) In response to some question regarding "correct" methods of obtaining an answer, one of my proffs rattled off the following anecdote: Three students are given a barometer and told to determine the height of the clocktower (building at OU). The first student goes to the clock tower and takes two pressure readings; one at the top of the tower and one at the bottom of the tower. Then, based on the pressure differential derrives the correct height. The second student grabs a stopwatch and the barometer and climbs to the top of the tower. He throws the barometer off and times how long it takes to hit the ground. He too derrives the correct height. The third student takes the baromter to the Physical Plant (folks who do all maintanence around here) and says to the janitor, "Hey, I'll give you this cool barometer if you let me see the blueprints to the clocktower." All three students get A's. And then there is trigonometry, gravity force differentials, laser rangefinding.....and the list goes on. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: c1prasad@watson.ibm.com (prasad) Entropy isn't what it used to be... P__________________________________________________________________________ Why did the cat fall off the roof? Because he lost his mu. (mew=sound cats make, mu=coeff of friction) P__________________________________________________________________________ Brownian motion = Jogging girl scout P__________________________________________________________________________ From: mstueben@tjhsst.vak12ed.edu (Michael A. Stueben) Question: What is more useful: the sun or the moon? Answer: The moon, because the moon shines at night when you want the light, whereas the sun shines during the day when you don't need it. P__________________________________________________________________________ Philosophers have long wondered why socks have this habit of getting lost, and why humans always end up with large collections of unmatched odd socks. One school of thought says that socks are very antisocial creatures, and have a deep sense of rivalry. In particular, two socks of the same design have feelings of loathing towards each other and hence it is nearly impossible to pair them (e.g. a blue sock will usually be found nestling up to a black one, rather than its fellow blue sock). On the other hand, quantum theorists explain it all by a generalised exclusion principle --- it is impossible for two socks to be in the same eigen-state, and when it's in danger of happening, one of the socks has to vanish. Indeed the Uncertainty Principle also comes in --- the only time you know where a sock is, is when you're wearing it, and hence unable to be sure exactly how fast it's moving. The moment you stop moving and look at your sock, it then starts falling to pieces, changing colour, or otherwise becoming indeterminate. Either way, socks may possess Colour and Strangeness, but they seem to lack Charm. P__________________________________________________________________________ The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center was known as SLAC, until the big earthquake, when it became known as SPLAC. SPLAC? Stanford Piecewise Linear Accelerator. P__________________________________________________________________________ THE SEX LIFE OF AN ELECTRON (with unhappy ending) One night when his charge was at full capacity, Micro Farad decided to get a cute little coil to discharge him. He picked up Millie Amp and took her for a ride on his megacycle. They rode across the wheat stone bridge, around the sine wave, and into the magnetic field next to the flowing current. Micro Farad, attracted by Millie's characteristic curve, soon had her field fully excited. He laid her on the ground potential, raised her frequency, lowered her resistance, and pulled out his high voltage probe. He inserted it in parallel and began to short circuit her shunt. Fully excited, Millie cried out, "ohm, ohm, give me mho". With his tube at maximum output and her coil vibrating from the current flow, her shunt soon reached maximum heat. The excessive current had shorted her shunt, and Micro's capacity was rapidly discharged, and every electron was drained off. They fluxed all night, tried various connections and hookings until his bar magnet had lost all of its strength, and he could no longer generate enough voltage to sustain his collapsing field. With his battery fully discharged, Micro was unable to excite his tickler, so they ended up reversing polarity and blowing each other's fuses. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: Marcel Melters THE SEX LIFE OF AN ELECTRON ( with happy ending) One night when his charge was pretty high, Micro Farad went to see if he could find a cute little coil to let him discharge. He picked up Milli Amp, and took her for a ride on his Megacycle. They rode accross the wheatstone bridge, along the sine wave and stopped at a magnetic field flowing with current. Micro Farad soon had her resistance at a minimum level. They laid against ground level. Micro Farad then inserted his probe in Milli Amps socket. Mho, Mho, give me Mho, she said. They fluxed all night, trying out various connections. Afterwards Milli Amp tried self-induction and damaged her probe. After this, they went home and oscillated happily ever after. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: schmid@isi.ee.ethz.ch (Hanspeter Schmid) At the physics exam: 'Describe the universe (max. 200 words) and give three examples.' From: garyg@warren.mentorg.com (Gary Gendel) Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction. My physics final came at the time when there was a debate whether to allow calculators in the exams. The Physics department was the first to decide in favor of allowing them, the 3 hour exam had one question: Describe the universe, if Planck's constant were equal to 1. P__________________________________________________________________________ Three Laws of Thermodynamics (paraphrased): First Law: You can't get anything without working for it. Second Law: The most you can accomplish by work is to break even. Third Law: You can't break even. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: John Vinson <74222.2372@CompuServe.COM> The modern statement of the three laws of thermodynamics: 1. You can't win. 2. You can't even break even. 3. You can't get out of the game. P__________________________________________________________________________ A promising PhD candidate was presenting his thesis at his final examination. He proceeded with a derivation and ended up with something like: F = -MA He was embarrassed, his supervising professor was embarrassed, and the rest of the committee was embarrassed. The student coughed nervously and said "I seem to have made a slight error back there somewhere." One of the mathematicians on the committee replied dryly, "Either that or an odd number of them!" P__________________________________________________________________________ From: nbuchana@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca (Norm) A probability is a desperate attempt of chaos to become stable. P__________________________________________________________________________ Heisenberg might have slept here. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: seashore@pirinen.demon.co.uk (Anetta Meriranta Pirinen) Schroedinger's Vet: Specializing in gassed cats and monkeys with Carpal-tunnel syndrome. P__________________________________________________________________________ A Physicist is explaining a picture: "Of course, these are false colours, the red is really yellow, the green is really blue and the white is really brown." P__________________________________________________________________________ Donald Nichols (DoN.): --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero --- P__________________________________________________________________________ HEAVEN IS HOTTER THAN HELL The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that ... The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute temperature of the earth (300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C. -- From "Applied Optics" vol. 11, A14, 1972 P__________________________________________________________________________ From: sirius@wam.umd.edu (The Human Neutrino = Linda Harden) IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS? 1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen. 2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census)rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each. 3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west(which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour. 4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal anoint, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth. 5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake.The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim)would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now. From: hjiwa@nor.chevron.com Canonical List Of Holiday Humor Rebuttal: (Jim Mantle, Waterloo Maple Software) Come on, ya gotta believe! I mean, if you can handle flying furry animals, then it's only a small step to the rest. For example; 1) As admitted, it is possible that a flying reindeer can be found. I would agree that it would be quite an unusual find, but they might exist. 2) You've relied on cascading assumptions. For example, you have assumed a uniform distribution of children across homes. Toronto/Yorkville, or Toronto/Cabbagetown, or other yuppie neighbourhoods, have probably less than the average (and don't forget the DINK and SINK homes (Double Income No Kids, Single Income No Kids)), while the families with 748 starving children that they keep showing on Vision TV while trying to pick my pocket would skew that 15% of homes down a few percent. 3) You've also assumed that each home that has kids would have at least one good kid. What if anti-selection applies, and homes with good kids tend to have more than their share of good kids, and other homes have nothing except terrorists in diapers? Let's drop that number of homes down a few more percent. 4) Santa would have to Fedex a number of packages ahead of time, since he would not be able to fly into Air Force Bases, or into tower-controlled areas near airports. He's get shot at over certain sections of the Middle East, and the no-fly zones in Iraq, so he'd probably use DHL there. Subtract some more homes. 5) I just barely passed Physics and only read Stephen Hawking's book once, but I recall that there is some Einsteinian Theory that says time does strange things as you move faster. In fact, when you go faster than the speed of light time runs backward, if you do a straight line projection, connect the dots and just ignore any singularity you might find right at the speed of light. And don't say you can't go faster than the speed of light because I've seen it done on TV. Jean-Luc doesn't have reindeer but he does have matter-antimatter warp engines and a holodeck and that's good enough for me. So Santa could go faster than light, visit all the good children which are not uniformly distributed by either concentration in each home or by number of children per household, and get home before he left so he can digest all those stale cookies and warm milk yech. 6) Aha, you say, Jean-Luc has matter-antimatter warp engines, Santa only has reindeer, where does he get the power to move that fast! You calculated the answer! The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy. Per second. Each. This is an ample supply of energy for the maneuvering, acceleration, etc, that would be required of the loaded sleigh. The reindeer don't evaporate or incinerate because of this energy, they accelerate. What do you think they have antlers for, fighting over females? Think of antlers as furry solar array panels. 7) If that's not enough, watch the news on the 24th at 11 o'clock. NORAD (which may be one of the few government agencies with more than 3 initials in it's name and therefore it must be more trustworthy than the rest) tracks Santa every year and I've seen the radar shots of him approaching my house from the direction of the North Pole. They haven't bombarded him yet, so they must believe too, right? Yet another rebuttal to the rebuttal: Several key points are overlooked by this callous, amateurish "study." 1) Flying reindeer: As is widely known (due to the excellent historical documentary "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the flying reindeer are not a previously unknown species of reindeer, but were in fact given the power of flight due to eating magic acorns. As is conclusively proven in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (a no punches pulled look at life in Santa's village), this ability has bred true in subsequent generations of reindeer, obviously the magic acorns imprinted their power on a dominant gene sequence within the reindeer DNA strand. 2) Number of households: This figure overlooks two key facts. First of all, the first major schism in the Church split the Eastern Churches, centered in Byzantium, from the Western, which remained centered in Rome. This occurred prior to the Gregorian correction to the Julian calendar. The Eastern churches (currently called Orthodox Churches) do not recognize the Gregorian correction for liturgical events, and their Christmas is as a result several days after the Western Churches'. Santa gets two shots at delivering toys. Secondly, the figure of 3.5 children per household is based on the gross demographic average, which includes households with no children at all. The number of children per household, when figured as an average for households with children, would therefore have to be adjusted upward. Also, the largest single Christian denomination is Roman Catholic, who, as we all know, breed like rabbits. If you don't believe me, ask my four brothers and two sisters, they'll back me up. Due to the predominance of Catholics within Christian households, the total number of households containing Christian children would have to be adjusted downward to reflect the overloading of Catholics beyond a standard deviation from the median. Also, the assertion that each home would contain at least one good child would be reasonable enough if there were in fact an even 3.5 children per household. However, since the number of children per household is distributed integrally, there are a significant number (on the order of several million) of one child Christian households. Even though only children are notoriously spoiled and therefore disproportionately inclined towards being naughty, since it's the holidays we'll be generous and give them a fifty-fifty chance of being nice. This removes one half of the single child households from Santa's delivery schedule, which has already been reduced by the removal of the Orthodox households from the first delivery run. 3) Santa's delivery run (speed, payload, etc.): These all suffer from the dubious supposition that there is only one Santa Claus. The name "Santa" is obviously either Spanish or Italian, two ethnic groups which are both overwhelmingly Catholic. The last name Claus suggests a joint German/Italian background. His beginnings, battling the Burgermeister Meisterburger, suggest he grew up in Bavaria (also predominantly Catholic). The Kaiser style helmets of the Burgermeister's guards, coupled with the relative isolation of the village, suggest that his youth was at the very beginning of Prussian influence in Germany. Thus, Santa and Mrs. Claus have been together for well over one hundred years. If you think that after a hundred years of living at the North Pole with nights six months long that they remain childless, you either don't know Catholics or are unaware of the failure rate of the rhythm method. There have therefore been over five generations of Clauses, breeding like Catholics for over one hundred years. Since they are Catholic, their exponential population increase would obviously have a gain higher than the world population as a whole. There have therefore been more than enough new Santas to overcome the population increase of the world. So in fact, Santa has an easier time of it now than he did when he first started out. Santa dead, indeed; some people will twist any statistic to "prove" their cynical theory. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: billyfish@aol.com (BillyFish) One day in class, Richard Feynman was talking about angular momentum. He described rotation matrices and mentioned that they did not commute. He said that Sir William Hamilton discovered noncommutivity one night when he was taking a walk in his garden with Lady Hamilton. As they sat down on a bench, there was a moment of passion. It was then that he discovered that AB did not equal BA. P__________________________________________________________________________ There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a "hottest part" implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible. -- Richard Davisson P__________________________________________________________________________ The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology. P__________________________________________________________________________ Anything that doesen't matter has no mass. P__________________________________________________________________________ THE FOUR LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS 1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't get out of the game. 4. THE LAW OF ENTROPY: The perversity of the universe tends towards a maximum. P__________________________________________________________________________ From tellen@mtg.mt.com Thu Nov 24 15:19:01 1994 From: "Jean-Maurice Tellenbach" The second world war is the best demonstration of relativity... The high energy density variations of vacuum are mainly produced within brains. The Physicist : "The positron will be dramatically modified by meeting an electron" The President : "You said ... position and ... election ??" P__________________________________________________________________________ From: mj@redbud (MJ Kahn) Q: How many general relativists does it take to change a light bulb. A: Two. One holds the bulb, while the other rotates the universe. From:BRIAN6@VAXC.MDX.AC.UK (cannonical lightbulb collection) Q: How many quantum physicists does it take to change a lightbulb ? A: One. Two to do it, and one to renormalise the wave function. (Explanation - Renormalising the wave function is something that has to be done to a lot of quantum physics calculations to stop the answer being infinity and makes the answer always come out as one.) Q: How many quantum mechanicians does it take to change a light bulb? A: They can't. If they know where the socket is, they cannot locate the new bulb. Q: How many Heisenbergs does it take to change a light bulb? A: If you know the number, you don't know where the light bulb is. Q: How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb? A: None, astronomers prefer the dark. Q: How many radio astronomers does it take to change a light bulb. A: None. They are not interested in that short wave stuff. The Dark Sucker Theory (courtesy of rec.humor.d) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For years, it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light, but recent information has proved otherwise. Electric bulbs don't emit light; they suck dark. Thus, we call these bulbs Dark Suckers. The Dark Sucker Theory and the existence of dark suckers prove that dark has mass and is heavier than light. First, the basis of the Dark Sucker Theory is that electric bulbs suck dark. For example, take the Dark Sucker in the room you are in. There is much less dark right next to it than there is elsewhere. The larger the Dark Sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark Suckers in the parking lot have a much greater capacity to suck dark than the ones in this room. So with all things, Dark Suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the dark spot on a full Dark Sucker. The dark which has been absorbed is then transmitted by pylons along to power plants where the machinery uses fossil fuel to destroy it. A candle is a primitive Dark Sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You can see that after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the dark that has been sucked into it. If you put a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, it will turn black. This is because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. One of the disadvantages of these primitive Dark Suckers is their limited range. There are also portable Dark Suckers. In these, the bulbs can't handle all the dark by themselves and must be aided by a Dark Storage Unit. When the Dark Storage Unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before the portable Dark Sucker can operate again. Dark has mass. When dark goes into a Dark Sucker, friction from the mass generates heat. Thus, it is not wise to touch an operating Dark Sucker. Candles present a special problem as the mass must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat and therefore it's not wise to touch an operating candle. This is easily proven for lightbulbs too. When you compress a gas, it gets hot, right? So the light bulb gets hot because of all the dark being squished into the wires. Also, dark is heavier than light. If you were to swim just below the surface of the lake, you would see a lot of light. If you were to slowly swim deeper and deeper, you would notice it getting darker and darker. When you get really deep, you would be in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats at the top. The is why it is called light. Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to stand in a lit room in front of a closed, dark closet, and slowly opened the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet. But since dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the closet. So next time you see an electric bulb, remember that it is not a light emitter but a Dark Sucker. The following line doesn't quite fit into the theory but almost does : - Ever seen the blue glow in vacuum tubes? That's because electrons are blue. P__________________________________________________________________________ Polymer physicists are into chains. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Dyslexic Particle Physicists do it with hadrons. Particle physicists do it energetically. Physicists do it a quantum at a time. Physicists do it at two places in the universe at one time. Physicists do it attractively. Physicists do it energetically. Physicists do it in black holes. Physicists do it in waves. Physicists do it like Einstein. Physicists do it magnetically. Physicists do it on accelerated frames. Physicists do it particularly. Physicists do it repulsively. Physicists do it strangely. Physicists do it up and down, with charming color, but strange! Physicists do it with Tensors. Physicists do it with black bodies Physicists do it with charm. Physicists do it with large expensive machinery. Physicists do it with rigid bodies. Physicists do it with the help of an absolute Bohr (ouch!). Physicists do it with their vectors. Physicists do it with uniform harmonic motion. Physicists get a big bang. Physics majors do it at the speed of light. Plasma physicists do it with everything stripped off. Astronomers do it all night. Astronomers do it in the dark. Astronomers do it under the stars. Astronomers do it while gazing at Uranus. Astronomers do it with Uranus. Astronomers do it with long tubes. Astronomers do it with stars. Electron microscopists do it 100,000 times. Rocket scientists do it with higher thrust. Quantum mechanics do it in leaps. Spectroscopists do it until it hertz. Spectroscopists do it with frequency and intensity. P__________________________________________________________________________ Why did the chicken cross the road? Zeno of Elea: To prove it could never reach the other side. Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast. Newton: 1) Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road. 2) It was pushed on the road. 3) It was pushed on the road by another chicken, which went away from the road. 4) It was attracted to a chicken on the other side of the road. Wolfgang Pauli: There already was a chicken on this side of the road. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =3.1 POETRY P__________________________________________________________________________ robertk@xmission.com (robertk): There once was a fellow named Fisk Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk. So fast was his action That by the Fitzgerald Contraction His rapier soon was reduced to a disk. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: slw1@ellis.uchicago.edu (SluT) There was a young fellow named Fisk Whose stroke was exceedingly brisk By relative action The Lorenz contraction Had reduced his dong to a disk. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: blc@solomon.technet.sg (Brian Cohen) A mathematician named Hall had a hexahedronical ball. The cube of its weight, times his pecker plus eight is his phonenumber. Give him a call! P__________________________________________________________________________ robertk@xmission.com (robertk) writes: There once was a fellow named Blight Whose speed was much faster than light. He sat off one day In a relative way and returned on the previous night. We've heard of that fellow named Blight, And his trip on that fabulous night, But his increasing mass Would have soon proved so vast He'd have been a most *singular* sight! P__________________________________________________________________________ From: jim.henry@ftl.mese.com (Jim Henry) A quantum mechanic's vacation Had his colleagues in dire consternation. For while studies had shown That his speed was well known, His position was pure speculation. (Not sure who wrote that one.) I saw an old fellow of Sirius, I thought I was merely delirious. But he ate me with zeal, I'm convinced he was real That zealous old gourmand of Sirius. (I wrote that one.) P__________________________________________________________________________ From: Ken & Jo Walton (Magellan@kenjo.demon.co.uk) There was a young lady called Bright Who could travel much faster than light. She set out one day In a relative way And returned on the previous night. P__________________________________________________________________________ Relativity Said Einstein, "I have an equation," "Which some might call Rabelaisian:" "Let P be viginity," "Approaching infinity," "And let U be a constant, persuasion." "Now, if P over U be inverted," "And the squareroot of U be inserted," "X times over P," "The result, Q.E.D." "Is a relative." Einstein asserted. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =3.2 Quotes P__________________________________________________________________________ A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms. - George Wald P__________________________________________________________________________ All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- E. Rutherford P__________________________________________________________________________ On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." -- Wolfgang Pauli P__________________________________________________________________________ "One thing they don't tell you about doing experimental physics is that sometimes you must work under adverse conditions ... like a state of sheer terror." -- W. K. Hartmann P__________________________________________________________________________ From: aephraim@physics5 (Aephraim M. Steinberg) To this day, lab directors keep a physics lecture on hand [to disperse rabble-rousers]. Let us pray we never need to use it." -- Lederman P__________________________________________________________________________ p.austin@info.curtin.edu.au (Peter Austin) "Very strange people, physicists - in my experience the ones who aren't dead are in some way very ill" -Mr Standish "The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul" by Douglas Adams P__________________________________________________________________________ From: sichase@csa5.lbl.gov (SCOTT I CHASE) Physics is not a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money. -Leon Lederman P__________________________________________________________________________ From: aephraim@physics5 (Aephraim M. Steinberg) WHY must I treat the measuring device classically?? What will happen to me if I don't??" - Eugene Wigner P__________________________________________________________________________ From: c1prasad@watson.ibm.com (prasad) What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. - Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875 P__________________________________________________________________________ Fermi was asked what characteristics physics Nobelists had in common. He answered, "I cannot think of a single one, not even intelligence." (Phys Today, Oct 1994, pg70) ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Colin_Douthwaite@equinox.gen.nz (Colin Douthwaite) Here are some more Einstein quotes: When asked how World War III would be fought, Einstein replied that he didn't know. But he knew how World War IV would be fought: With sticks and stones! "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing. If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber. Einstein, Albert (1879-1955) * Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. _Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium_ (1941) ch. 13 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =4. CHEMISTRY C__________________________________________________________________________ Acid -- better living through chemistry. C__________________________________________________________________________ All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it. -- Richard P. Feynman CP_________________________________________________________________________ Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist! C__________________________________________________________________________ methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutamin- ylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamylglycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolyl- phenylalanylvalylthreonylleucylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamylglu- taminylserylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamylalanyl- glycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucylprolylphenylala- nylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylprolylthreonylisoleucylgluta- minylasparaginylalanylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylalanylalanylalanylgly- cylvalylthreonylprolylalanylglutaminylcysteinylphenylalanylglutamylmethionyl- leucylalanylleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleu- cylprolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginylleucylva- lylphenylalanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartylglutamylphenylalanyltyro- sylalanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamyllysylvalylglycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleu- cylvalylalanylaspartylvalylprolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphe- nylalanylarginylglutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvalylala- nylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolylprolylaspartylalanylas- partylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalanylseryltyrosyl- glycylarginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycyl- valylthreonylglycylalanylglutamylasparaginylarginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleu- cylasparaginylhistidylleucylvalylalanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparagi- nylalanylalanylprolylprolylleucylglutaminylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylse- rylalanylprolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanyl- glycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleucylvalylly- sylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginylisoleucylglutamylpro- lylglutamyllysylmethionylleucylalanylalanylleucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalyl- glutaminylprolylmethionyllysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine, n.: The chemical name for tryptophan synthetase A protein, a 1,913-letter enzyme with 267 amino acids. -- Mrs. Bryne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and C__________________________________________________________________________ Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams C__________________________________________________________________________ Chemicals: Noxious substances from which modern foods are made. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: tphillips@biosci.mbp.missouri.edu (Thomas E. Phillips) Q:How many atoms in a guacamole? A:Avocado's number. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: ericd@jubal.mdli.com (Eric Desch) Remember, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Chemical engineers do it in packed beds. Chemists do it in test tubes. Chemists do it in the fume hood. Chemists do it periodically on table. Chemists do it reactively. Chemists like to experiment. Electrochemists have greater potential. From: skreyn@netcom.com (Veggie Boy = Sean K Reynolds) Polymer chemists do it in chains. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: CLD@msc.com PhD | / \ | | \ / | PhD Para - Doc's (can draw ortho - doc's as well) HiHoAg hi ho silver!!! From: dan.arico@wdn.com (Dan Arico) CH3- _ _ _ _ - CH3 / \/ \/ \/ \ | | | | | \ _/ \ _/ \ _/ \ _/ / \ / \ / \ / \ | | | | | CH3- \ _/ \ _/ \ _/ \ _/- CH3 Tetramethylchickenwire From: bkd@christa.unh.edu (Brian K Dann) o o o H3C-CH2-CH2-O-/|\/|\/|\ | | | / \/ \/ \ A propyl people ether! From: dan.arico@wdn.com (Dan Arico) Fe - Fe / \ Fe Fe \ / Fe - Fe Ferous Wheel From: sppp@hippo.ru.ac.za (Peter Piacenza) PhD | PhD / \ / | O | \ / Orthodox (ortho - Doc's) -------- MD I / \ | O | Metaphysicians \ /\ -------------- MD O O ---I---I-----O-C3H7 Propylpeople ether I I ------------------ /\ /\ / \ \ 4 | / \ | O |__4 \ / Metaphor (meta - 4) From: nuke@netcom.com (Bill Newcomb) O-R-NMe2 | | / \ /\ / \/ \ I O a 1-I-1-ORN-flying-propyl people ether | (*stolen from A. Shusterman, with enhancements) --|-- | / \ C__________________________________________________________________________ From: a481@mindlink.bc.ca (J.D. Frazer) What is this: NaCl(aq) NaCl(aq) C C C C C C C Answer: (In a sing-song voice) "Saline, saline, over the seven C's" C__________________________________________________________________________ From: tomm@netcom.com (Tom Murray) chemical formula: HIJKLMNO What is it? It's the formula for water. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: jay.freedman@pacsibm.org (Jay Freedman) These were printed on bumper stickers and given out at an American Chemical Society meeting 10 or 12 years ago: It takes alkynes to make a world. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: jay.freedman@pacsibm.org (Jay Freedman) Old chemists never die, they just fail to react. From: bill.considine@execnet.com (BILL CONSIDINE) DeLuxe 1.1 #9385 Old chemists never die they just reach equilibrium From: wmaya@csupomona.edu (Walter Maya) Old chemists never die, they just smell that way. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: bgnosis@isca.uiowa.edu (Billy Gnosis) What do you get when you cross buckminsterfullerene, helicase, and ATP? Screwballs." C__________________________________________________________________________ From: lozinski@csugrad.cs.vt.edu (Joe Cool) Man - A Chemical Analysis Element : Man Symbol : Ah (short for Arsehole) Quantitative : Accepted at 7 inches, wavy brown hair, 6' 0" in length, though some isotopes can be as short as 4 inches. Discoverer : Eve Occurance : Found following duel element Wo, often in high concentration near a perfect Wo specimen. Physical properties : 1) Obnoxious when mixed with C*H*-OH (any alcohol). 2) Tends to fall into very low energy state directly after reaction with Wo (Snore ... zzzzz). 3) Gains considerable mass as specimen ages, loses reactive nature. 4) Rarely found in pure form after 14th year. 5) Often damaged as a direct result of unlucky reaction with polluted form of the Wo commom ore. Chemical properties : 1) All forms desire reaction with Wo, even when no further reaction is possible. 2) May react with several Wo isotopes in short period under extremely favorable conditions. 3) Usually willing to react with what ever is available. 4) Reaction Rates range from aborted/non-existant to Pre-interaction effects (which tend to turn the specimen bright red. 5) Reaction styles vary from extremely slow, calm and wet to violent/bloody. Storage : Best results apparently near 18 for high reaction rate, 25-35 for favorable reaction style. Uses : Heavy boxes, top shelves, long walks late at night, free dinners for Wo... Tests : Pure specimen will rarely reveal purity, while reacted specimens broadcast information on many wavelengths. Caution : Tends to react extremely violently when other Man interferes with reaction to a particular Wo specimen. Otherwise very maleable under correct conditions. Woman - A Chemical Analysis Element : Woman Symbol : WO Atomic Weight : Accepted as 118, but known to vary 105-175. Discoverer : Adam Occurance : Copious quantities in all Urban areas, with slighlty lower concentrations in Suburban and Rural areas. Subject to seasonal fluctuations. Physical Properties : 1) Surface usually covered with painted film. 2) Boils at nothing, freezes without reason. 3) Melts if given special treatment. 4) Bitter if used incorrectly. Can cause headaches. Handle with care! 5) Found in various states; ranging from virgin metal to common ore. 6) Yields to pressure applied to correct points. Chemical Properties : 1) Has great affinity for Gold, Silver, Platinum and many of the Precious Stones. 2) Absorbs great quantities of expensive substances. 3) May explode spontaneously if left alone on dates. 4) Insoluble in liquids, but there is increased activity when saturated in alcohol to a certain point. 5) Repels cheap material. Neutral to common sense. 6) Most powerful money reducing agent known to Man. Uses : Highly ornamental, especially in sports cars. Can greatly improve relaxation levels. Can warm and comfort under some circumstances. Can cool things down when it's too hot. Tests : Pure specimen turns rosy pink when discovered in natural state. Turns green when placed beside a better specimen. Caution : 1) Highly dangerous except in experienced hands. Use extreme care when handling. 2) Illegal to possess more than one. C__________________________________________________________________________ There is the joke about the homeopath who forgot to take his medicine and died of an overdose. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: peabody@wam.umd.edu (Doctor Soran) Go skiing in Tellurium, Colorado Stanley Cupric's "Full Metal Jacket" The Uranium Songs: "I Get a Kick out of U" (Cole Porter) "I Can't Stay Away from U" (Gloria Estefan) Movie: "I Was a Teenage Werewolfram" Miscellaneus: The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania along with the Cobaltic States of Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Finland June 6, 1944 was the radon Normandy. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: bgnosis@isca.uiowa.edu (Billy Gnosis) Q:What does what does the Lone Ranger say to his horse? A:HIOAg, away! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: ts@uwasa.fi (Timo Salmi) Free radicals have revolutionized chemistry. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: kkociba@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Keith J Kociba) Chemists are the *cleanest* people you'll ever meet... they wash their hands even *before* they go to the restroom! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: a94petbe@ida.his.se (Peter Bengtsson) Chemistry is really funny, there are even people who laugh at Nitrogen(I)Oxide. (You will have to know some chemistry to understand this :-) From: cgra@se.alcbel.be (Chris Gray) Or Nitrogen Triiodide??? C__________________________________________________________________________ From: wmoon@jupiter.uucp (Woo Moon) Q:What's the difference between a hormone and a vitamin? A:You can't make a vitamin.... (take your time..) C__________________________________________________________________________ From: "Lev A. Gorenstein" Anyway, I think this is a good idea. Here's my contribution. These are "crazy phrases" from some works on several Moscow city and regional high-school chemistry olympiads (I've been a member of the Organizing Committee for them for a number of years and I really miss this now). By the way, if anybody knows about similar things here in the US (and Indiana in particular) - I will be gratefull. Unfortunately, all of these citations are in Russian (obviously ;-) and, what is much worse, most of them are unexpected (for their authors) puns, which are impossible (at least for me) to translate (some of these puns were just great, all the Orginizing Committee was rolling on the floor in tears ;-). I found only several phrases allowing translation (not best pearls, unfortunately...): [For the question: "Why H2S is a poison for us?"] : "H2S reacts with the iron in hemoglobin, forming an insoluble FeS, thus causing the oxygen deficiency" (there were some variants like Fe2S, Fe2S3, Fe2S2... But - isn't it a good idea, especially taking into account that it was in the work of a 13 years old guy?) [for the question: "Why lead compounds are poisons for us?"] : a) "Lead ions make sugar in the blood poisoned" b) "After Pb2+ gets in the stomach, since there is the Cl- in the stomach juice, the reaction Pb2+ + 2Cl- ---> PbCl2 (s) occurs, and the unsoluble PbCl2 precipitates into the stomach, thus distorting food digestion" "Also the produced hydrogen is a gas with nasty smell" [At the end of the work] : "Damn, done!" "When AgNO3 reacts with NH4Cl, there forms the precipitate kind of white and Ag salt" (Everywhere I tried to translate it equivalently to it's Russian prototype, saving the grammar mistakes and style ;-) [For the problem "Find mistakes in the following procedure of preparation of diluted H2SO4: .... "] : a) For preparation of diluted (strictly - solution) sulfuric acid one must not use concentrated H2SO4. b) There is no such thing as "volumetric flask" c) The mixture of ice and table salt DOESN'T EXIST! "Ice and NaCl mixture? Crap! The ice would momentarily melt because of NaCl!" "To the sulfuric acid one must add water, but not water to sulfuric acid" [The following was on the VERY weak work (it happened that the teacher said to pupils : "You won't get a good grade unless you go to the olympiads" and sometimes there was just a bunch of people who were not interested in chemistry and had came only "to be marked good" in teacher's eyes). They were starving there, because they were unable to solve any problem, they couldn't leave because of a teacher, and they had to entertain themselves. But how? Probably the oldest way to entertain oneself is to write something nasty to somebody else (also proved by recent anonymous posting about grad. schools ;-). Ok, enough theory, I explained the joke, you may start laughing here :-) Okh, one more explanation: "pud" is an old Russian wieght unit, equals 16 kg: "Don't have enough sake to find the mass % without calculator. That is why: It's better eat a "pud" of shit, Than solve your chemistry, damn it!" (this was rhymed! We thought about making this verse an unofficial slogan of our Committee ;-) Will check in my books about any funny chem. experiments. Regards to all, would like to see other responces. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: gardner@sun.lclark.edu (Gillian Gardner) It's not original; I've seen them posted here before, but: Why do chemists like nitrates so much? They're cheaper than day rates. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: jpauer@mtu.edu (JAMES PAUER) First law of Laboratorics: Hot glass and cold glass look alike! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: jpark@eis.calstate.edu (John Park) From: flatter@rose-hulman.edu (Neil Flatter) What does one do with a dead body? Barium They should have seen the doctor first, he'd Curium. Perhaps with a housplant, a Germanium. And if they stole it, the police would Cesium. Locked up for life, in Irons. They would go crazy in jail, a Silicon. Maybe their into plastic surgery. What does the surgeon do for low cheeks, Lithium. To large gashes? Sodium. Tooth in water glass is a one molar soln. Like BaNa2, name IOAg. I O Silver. Rabbit like paired electrons on an ether, ether bunny. And your aunt Ester and her husband Al K Hall. From: nuke@netcom.com (Bill Newcomb) With music by Al D. Hyde and the Ace Tones... Where does one put the dishes? Zinc What does one do if one can't zwim? Zinc Name BaNa2. banana Draw a 1,4 compound of benzene with two dice. Name it. Paradice Also done w/ MD for paramedic Done as 1,2 w/ DDS for orthodontist. 1,3 and physics, metaphysics. Draw benzene with a Mercedes symbol single bonded to the uppermost carbon. Name it. Mercedes benzene. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: bill.considine@execnet.com (BILL CONSIDINE) From C&E News (1/9/95 p.48): What's a cation afraid of? A dogion! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: naight@MCS.COM (Nathan Parker) Remember that without t Chemistry, Nothing would exist! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: lanzi@inland.com OK. What do you get when you combine [insert a person] with O2? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =4.1 POETRY C__________________________________________________________________________ David Smillie: Little Willie was a chemist. Little Willie is no more. For what he thought was H2O, Was H2SO4. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: hjiwa@nor.chevron.com Canonical List Of Holiday Humor From: grandish@kits.sfu.ca (Gavin Lee Grandish) Chemistry Christmas Carols 1. The Chemistry Teacher's Coming To Town 2. I'm Dreaming Of A White Precipitate 3. Silent Labs 4. Deck The Labs 5. The Twelve Days Of Chemistry 6. Test Tubes Bubbling 7. O Little Melting Particle 8. We Wish You A Happy Halogen 9. Chemistry Wonderland 10. I Saw Teacher Kissing Santa Chlorine 11. O Come All Ye Gases 12. We Three Students Of Chemistry Are 13. Iron The Red Atom Molecule 14. Lab Reports 15. Silver nitrate 1. The Chemistry Teacher's Coming to Town You better not weigh You better not heat You better not react I'm telling you now The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town. He's collecting data He's checking it twice He's gonna find out The heat of melting ice The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town. He sees you when you're decanting He knows when you titrate He knows when you are safe or not So wear goggles for goodness sake. Oh, you better not filter And drink your filtrate You better not be careless and spill your precipitate. The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town. 2. I'm Dreaming of a White Precipitate I'm dreaming of a white precipitate just like the ones I used to make Where the colors are vivid and the chemist is livid to see impurities in the snow. I'm dreaming of a white precipitate with every chemistry test I write May your equations be balanced and right and may all your reactions be bright. 3. Silent Labs Silent labs, difficult labs All with math, all with graphs Observations of colors and smells Calculations and graph curves like bells Memories of tests that have past Oh, how long will chemistry last? Silent labs, difficult labs All with math, all with graphs Lots of equations that need balancing Gas pressure problems that make my head ring Santa Chlorine's on his way Oh, Please Santa bring me an 'A'. 4. Deck the Labs Deck the labs with rubber tubing Fa la la la la, la la la la. Use your funnel and your filter Fa la la la la, la la la la. Don we now our goggles and aprons Fa la la la la, la la la la. Before we go to our lab stations Fa la la la la, la la la la. Fill the beakers with solutions Fa la la la la, la la la la. Mix solutions for reactions Fa la la la la, la la la la. Watch we now for observations Fa la la la la, la la la la. So we can collect our data Fa la la la la, la la la la. 5. The Twelve Days of Chemistry On the first day of chemistry My teacher gave to me A candle from Chem Study. (second day) two asbestos pads (third day) three little beakers (fourth day) four work sheets (fifth day) five golden moles (sixth day) six flaming test tubes (seventh day) seven unknown samples (eighth day) eight homework problems (ninth day) nine grams of salt (tenth day) a ten page test (eleventh day) eleven molecules (twelfth day) a twelve point quiz 6. Test Tubes Bubbling (to the tune of "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire") Test tubes bubbling in a water bath Strong smells nipping at ypur nose. Tiny molecules with their atoms all aglow Will find it hard to be inert tonight. They know that Chlorine's on its way He's loaded lots of little electrons on his sleigh And every student's slide rule is on the sly To see if the teacher really can multiply. And so I offer you this simple phrase To chemistry students in this room Although it's been said many times, many ways Merry molecules to you. 7. O Little Melting Particle (to the tune of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem") Para Dichloro Benzene how do you melt so well? The plateau of your cooling curve is really something swell. We think the heat of fusion of water is so nice Give up fourteen hundred cals per mole and what you get is ice. 8. We Wish You a Happy Halogen We wish you a happy halogen We wish you a happy halogen We wish you a happy halogen To react with a metal. Good acid we bring to you and your base. We wish you a merry molecule and a happy halogen. 9. Chemistry Wonderland Gases explode, are you listenin' In your rest tube, silver glistens A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight Walking in a chemistry wonderland. Gone away, is the buoyancy Here to stay, is the density A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight Walking in a chemistry wonderland. In the beaker we will make lead carbonate and decide if what's left is nitrate My partner asks "Do we measure it in moles or grams?" and I'll say, "Does it matter in the end?" Later on, as we calculate the amount, of our nitrate We'll face unafraid, the precipitates that we made walking in a chemistry wonderland. 10. I Saw Teacher Kissing Santa Chlorine I saw teacher kissing Santa Chlorine under the chemistree last night They didn't sneak me down the periodic chart to take a peek At all the atoms reacting in their beakers; it was neat. And I saw teacher kissing Santa Chlorine under the chemistree so bright Oh what a reaction there would have been if the principal had walked in With teacher kissing Santa Chlorine last night. 11. O Come All Ye Gases O Come all yea gases diatomic wonders O come yea, o come yea calls Avogadro. O come yea in moles 6 x 10 to the 23rd O molar mass and molecules O volume, pressure and temperature O molar volume of gases at S.T.P. 12. We Three Students Of Chemistry Are We three students of chemistry are taking tests that we think are hard Stoichiometry, volumes and densities worrying all the time. O room of wonder room of fright Room of thermites blinding light: With your energies please don't burn us Help us get our labs all right. 13. Iron the Red Atom Molecule (to the tune of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer") There was Cobalt and Argon and Carbon and Fluorine Silver and Boron and Neon and Bromine But do you recall the most famous element of all? Iron the red atom molecule had a very shiny orbital And if you ever saw him You'd enjoy his magnetic glow All of the other molecules used to laugh and call him Ferrum They never let poor Iron join in any reaction games. Then one inert Chemistry eve Santa came to say Iron with your orbital so bright won't you catalyze the reaction tonight? Then how the atoms reacted and combined in twos and threes Iron the red atom molecule you'll go down in Chemistry! 14. Lab Reports (to the tune of "Jingle Bells") Dashing through the lab with a tan page lab report Taking all those tests and laughing at them all Bells for fire drills ring making spirits bright What fun it is to laugh and sing a chemistry song tonight. Oh, lab report, lab reports, reacting all the way Oh what fun it is to study for a chemistry test today, Hey! Chemistry test, chemistry test isn't it a blast Oh what fun it is to take a chemistry test and pass. 15. Silver Nitrate (to the tune of "Silver Bells") Silver nitrate, silver nitrate it's chemistry time in the lab Ding-a-ling, with a copper ring soon it will be chemistry day. Take your nitrate, in solution Add your copper with style In the beaker there's a feeling of reactions silver forming, blue solution Bringing ooh's ah's and wows now the data procesing begins. Get the mass, change to moles what is the ratio with copper? Write an equation, balance it we're glad it's Chemistry Day. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -- Joachim Verhagen Email:J.C.D.Verhagen@fys.ruu.nl Department of molecular biofysics, University of Utrecht Utrecht, The Netherlands.  0, unseen,, *** EOOH *** Newsgroups: rec.humor,eunet.jokes Path: origin.ea.com!newshost.ea.com!barrnet.net!nntp-sc.barrnet.net!news.fujitsu.com!amdahl.com!amd!decwrl!spool.mu.edu!uwm.edu!hookup!news.sprintlink.net!EU.net!sun4nl!ruuinf!tijger.fys.ruu.nl!verhagen From: verhagen@fys.ruu.nl (Joachim Verhagen) Subject: science jokes (5/6) X-Nntp-Posting-Host: ruunat.fys.ruu.nl Message-ID: Sender: usenet@fys.ruu.nl (News system Tijgertje) Organization: Physics and Astronomy, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #3 (NOV) Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 12:18:43 GMT Lines: 1686 Xref: origin.ea.com rec.humor:538 eunet.jokes:43 =5. MISCELLANY MPA________________________________________________________________________ Problem: To Catch a Lion in the Sahara Desert. (Hunting lions in Africa was originally published as "A contribution to the mathematical theory of big game hunting" in the American Mathematical Monthly in 1938 by "H. Petard, of Princeton NJ" [actually the late Ralph Boas]. It has been reprinted several times. 1. Mathematical Methods 1.1 The Hilbert (axiomatic) method We place a locked cage onto a given point in the desert. After that we introduce the following logical system: Axiom 1: The set of lions in the Sahara is not empty. Axiom 2: If there exists a lion in the Sahara, then there exists a lion in the cage. Procedure: If P is a theorem, and if the following is holds: "P implies Q", then Q is a theorem. Theorem 1: There exists a lion in the cage. 1.2 The geometrical inversion method We place a spherical cage in the desert, enter it and lock it from inside. Case 1: The lion is inside the cage. This case is trivial. Case 2: The lion is outside the cage. We then perform an inversion with respect to the cage. Then the lion is inside the cage, and we are outside. Warning: With this method, it is important not to stand in the middle of the cage, as one will disappear in the infinite. 1.3 The projective geometry method Without loss of generality, we can view the desert as a plane surface. We project the surface onto a line and afterwards the line onto an interior point of the cage. Thereby the lion is mapped onto that same point. 1.4 The Bolzano-Weierstrass method Divide the desert by a line running from north to south. The lion is then either in the eastern or in the western part. Let's assume it is in the eastern part. Divide this part by a line running from east to west. The lion is either in the northern or in the southern part. Let's assume it is in the northern part. We can continue this process arbitrarily and thereby constructing with each step an increasingly narrow fence around the selected area. The diameter of the chosen partitions converges to zero so that the lion is caged into a fence of arbitrarily small diameter. Warning: With this method take care that the beautifull skin of the lion is not damaged. 1.5 The set theoretical method We observe that the desert is a separable space. It therefore contains an enumerable dense set of points which constitutes a sequence with the lion as its limit. With a cage on our backs, we jump from point to point of this sequence an so approach the lion as near as we like. 1.6 The Peano method In the usual way construct a curve containing every point in the desert. It has been proven [1] that such a curve can be traversed in arbitrarily short time. Now we traverse the curve, carrying a spear, in a time less than what it takes the lion to move a distance equal to its own length. 1.7 A topological method We observe that the lion possesses the topological gender of a torus. We embed the desert in a four dimensional space. Then it is possible to apply a deformation [2] of such a kind that the lion when returning to the three dimensional space is all tied up in itself. It is then completely helpless. 1.8 The Cauchy method We examine a lion-valued function f(z). Be \zeta the cage. Consider the integral 1 [ f(z) ------- I --------- dz 2 \pi i ] z - \zeta C where C represents the boundary of the desert. Its value is f(zeta), i.e. there is a lion in the cage [3]. 1.9 The Wiener-Tauber method We obtain a tame lion, L_0, from the class L(-\infinity,\infinity), whose fourier transform vanishes nowhere. We put this lion somewhere in the desert. L_0 then converges toward our cage. According to the general Wiener-Tauner theorem [4] every other lion L will converge toward the same cage. (Alternatively we can approximate L arbitrarily close by translating L_0 through the desert [5].) From: chohn@vub.ac.be (Ohn Christian) 1.10 The Mathematical Induction method Consider, for each n, the following statement: P(n) : 'It is possible to catch n lions in the desert.' Of course, P(n) is true for large enough n, because the lions are then so tightly packed together that it is easy to catch them. But now, P(n) implies P(n-1) ('cause if you catch some lions, you can always release one of them). Hence, P(1) is true. 1.11 The Banachsche or iterative method Let f be a contraction of the Sahara in it with contraction point x_0. On this point we put the cage. By successive iteration W(n+1)= f(W(n)), n=,1,2,..... (W(0)=Sahara) the Sahara will be contracted to X_0. In this way the lion will get in the cage. 2 Theoretical Physics Methods 2.1 The Dirac method We assert that wild lions can ipso facto not be observed in the Sahara desert. Therefore, if there are any lions at all in the desert, they are tame. We leave catching a tame lion as an exercise to the reader. 2.2 The Schroedinger method At every instant there is a non-zero probability of the lion being in the cage. Sit and wait. 2.3 The Quantum Measurement Method We assume that the sex of the lion is _ab initio_ indeterminate. The wave function for the lion is hence a superposition of the gender eigenstate for a lion and that for a lioness. We lay these eigenstates out flat on the ground and orthogonal to each other. Since the (male) lion has a distinctive mane, the measurement of sex can safely be made from a distance, using binoculars. The lion then collapses into one of the eigenstates, which is rolled up and placed inside the cage. 2.4 The nuclear physics method Insert a tame lion into the cage and apply a Majorana exchange operator [6] on it and a wild lion. As a variant let us assume that we would like to catch (for argument's sake) a male lion. We insert a tame female lion into the cage and apply the Heisenberg exchange operator [7], exchanging spins. 2.5 The Newton method Cage and lion attract each other with the gravitation force. We neglect the friction. This way the lion will arive sooner or later in the cage. 2.6 The Special relativistic method One moves over the desert with light velocity. The relativistic length contraction makes the lion flat as paper. One takes it, rolls it up and puts a rubber band around the lion. 2.8 The general relativistic method All over the desert we distribute lion bait containing large amounts of the companion star of Sirius. After enough of the bait has been eaten we send a beam of light through the desert. This will curl around the lion so it gets all confused and can be approached without danger. 2.9 The Heisenberg method Position and Velocity from a moving lion can not be measure at the same time. As moving lions have no physical meaningfull position in the desert, one can not catch them. The lion hunt can therefore be limited to resting lions. The catching of a resting, not moving lion is left as an exercise for the reader. 3 Experimental Physics Methods 3.1 The thermodynamics method We construct a semi-permeable membrane which lets everything but lions pass through. This we drag across the desert. 3.2 The atomic fission method We irradiate the desert with slow neutrons. The lion becomes radioactive and starts to disintegrate. Once the disintegration process is progressed far enough the lion will be unable to resist. 3.3 The magneto-optical method We plant a large, lense shaped field with cat mint (nepeta cataria) such that its axis is parallel to the direction of the horizontal component of the earth's magnetic field. We put the cage in one of the field's foci . Throughout the desert we distribute large amounts of magnetized spinach (spinacia oleracea) which has, as everybody knows, a high iron content. The spinach is eaten by vegetarian desert inhabitants which in turn are eaten by the lions. Afterwards the lions are oriented parallel to the earth's magnetic field and the resulting lion beam is focussed on the cage by the cat mint lense. [1] After Hilbert, cf. E. W. Hobson, "The Theory of Functions of a Real Variable and the Theory of Fourier's Series" (1927), vol. 1, pp 456-457 [2] H. Seifert and W. Threlfall, "Lehrbuch der Topologie" (1934), pp 2-3 [3] According to the Picard theorem (W. F. Osgood, Lehrbuch der Funktionentheorie, vol 1 (1928), p 178) it is possible to catch every lion except for at most one. [4] N. Wiener, "The Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications" (1933), pp 73-74 [5] N. Wiener, ibid, p 89 [6] cf e.g. H. A. Bethe and R. F. Bacher, "Reviews of Modern Physics", 8 (1936), pp 82-229, esp. pp 106-107 [7] ibid 4 Contributions from Computer Science. 4.1 The search method We assume that the lion is most likely to be found in the direction to the north of the point where we are standing. Therefore the REAL problem we have is that of speed, since we are only using a PC to solve the problem. 4.2 The parallel search method. By using parallelism we will be able to search in the direction to the north much faster than earlier. 4.3 The Monte-Carlo method. We pick a random number indexing the space we search. By excluding neighboring points in the search, we can drastically reduce the number of points we need to consider. The lion will according to probability appear sooner or later. 4.4 The practical approach. We see a rabbit very close to us. Since it is already dead, it is particularly easy to catch. We therefore catch it and call it a lion. 4.5 The common language approach. If only everyone used ADA/Common Lisp/Prolog, this problem would be trivial to solve. 4.6 The standard approach. We know what a Lion is from ISO 4711/X.123. Since CCITT have specified a Lion to be a particular option of a cat we will have to wait for a harmonized standard to appear. $20,000,000 have been funded for initial investigations into this standard development. 4.7 Linear search. Stand in the top left hand corner of the Sahara Desert. Take one step east. Repeat until you have found the lion, or you reach the right hand edge. If you reach the right hand edge, take one step southwards, and proceed towards the left hand edge. When you finally reach the lion, put it the cage. If the lion should happen to eat you before you manage to get it in the cage, press the reset button, and try again. 4.8 The Dijkstra approach: The way the problem reached me was: catch a wild lion in the Sahara Desert. Another way of stating the problem is: Axiom 1: Sahara elem deserts Axiom 2: Lion elem Sahara Axiom 3: NOT(Lion elem cage) We observe the following invariant: P1: C(L) v not(C(L)) where C(L) means: the value of "L" is in the cage. Establishing C initially is trivially accomplished with the statement ;cage := {} Note 0: This is easily implemented by opening the door to the cage and shaking out any lions that happen to be there initially. (End of note 0.) The obvious program structure is then: ;cage:={} ;do NOT (C(L)) -> ;"approach lion under invariance of P1" ;if P(L) -> ;"insert lion in cage" [] not P(L) -> ;skip ;fi ;od where P(L) means: the value of L is within arm's reach. Note 1: Axiom 2 ensures that the loop terminates. (End of note 1.) Exercise 0: Refine the step "Approach lion under invariance of P1". (End of exercise 0.) Note 2: The program is robust in the sense that it will lead to abortion if the value of L is "lioness". (End of note 2.) Remark 0: This may be a new sense of the word "robust" for you. (End of remark 0.) Note 3: From observation we can see that the above program leads to the desired goal. It goes without saying that we therefore do not have to run it. (End of note 3.) (End of approach.) For other articles, see also: A Random Walk in Science - R.L. Weber and E. Mendoza More Random Walks In Science - R.L. Weber and E. Mendoza In Mathematical Circles (2 volumes) - Howard Eves Mathematical Circles Revisited - Howard Eves Mathematical Circles Squared - Howard Eves Fantasia Mathematica - Clifton Fadiman The Mathematical Magpi - Clifton Fadiman Seven Years of Manifold - Jaworski The Best of the Journal of Irreproducible Results - George H. Scheer Mathematics Made Difficult - Linderholm A Stress-Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown - Robert Baker The Worm-Runners Digest Knuth's April 1984 CACM article on The Space Complexity of Songs Stolfi and ?? SIGACT article on Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis MPA________________________________________________________________________ From: mstueben@pen.k12.va.us (Michael A. Stueben) & From: sm@wf-hh.sh.sub.de (Stefan Mohr) ASSIGNMENT: Obtain an elephant from Africa. PHYSICIST: Starting on the west coast, he searches north- to-south and south-to-north slowly moving east. He inspects all gray animals keeping the first one that weighs the same as a known adult elephant plus-or-minus 500 pounds. MATHEMATICIAN: Starting in the center he moves in an elliptical spiral (with major axis oriented north-to-south) removing all non-elephants keeping whatever is left. EXPERIENCED MATHEMATICAN: Same as unexperienced mathematican, except that he first tries to proof there is at least one unabiguous elephant before he starts with the search. MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR: Same as experienced mathematican, except that he leaves the actual searching and catching of the elephant to his students. COMPUTER SCIENTIST: First he notes that there are two kinds of elephants (African and Indian) and requests more detailed specifications as to which elephant is desired to be captured. Then he searches east-to-west and west- to-east starting from the southern tip and moving north. He stops only when encountering and capturing an animal whose description matches the American Zoological Society's classification of the type of elephant he is seeking. EXPERIENCED COMPUTER SCIENTIST: Same as inexperienced computer scientist, except that he places a known elephant in Cairo to guarantee that the algorithm terminates. ( The way I teach the insertion sort is to first locate the smallest element and then to swap it into first place. Why? So that the insertion algorithm must terminate before reaching the non-existent zeroth position. I like to tell this joke just before I teach the insertion sort. -Michael A. Stueben) ASSEMBLER PROGRAMMER: Same as experienced computer scientist, except that he prefers to do it on his hand and knees. SQL PROGRAMMER: Uses the following expression: SELECT elephant FROM Africa. ECONOMIST: He hunts no elephants, but believes that the elephants would deliver themselves if payed enough. STATISTICAN: hunts the first animal he sees n times and calls it elephant. ECONOMICAL ADVISER: He hunts no elephants and has never hunted anything at all. You can hire them by the hour to give good advice. SYSTEM ANALYSER: Is theoretically capable of calculating the the correlation between hat size and hit quote, if somebody would tell them what an elephant is. ___________________________________________________________________________ A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it. PCB________________________________________________________________________ If it moves it is biology, if it stinks it is chemistry and if it does not work it is physics. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: labonnes@csc.albany.edu (S. LaBonne) POSITIVE, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice. -Bierce --------------------------------units and dimensions------------- 2 monograms 1 diagram 8 nickles 2 paradigms 2 wharves 1 paradox 10E5 bicycles 2 megacycles 1 unit of suspense in an Agatha Christie novel 1 whod unit fbecker@dtic.dla.mil (Francoise Becker) writes: 10**12 microphones = 1 megaphone 3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent 10**21 picolos = 1 gigolo 1 milli-Helen = the amount of beauty required to launch 1 ship From: weitzen@temp10.physics.uiuc.edu (Scott Weitzenhoffer) From: BUTTHEAD@TRASHCAN.ESCAPE.DE (Matthias Grohmann) 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds = 10 meal-units in Italy ___________________________________________________________________________ PROOF METHODS WIPE-METHOD: One wipes the blackboard, immediately after writing. (write to the right, wipe to the left.) METHOD OF EXACT DESCRIPTION: Let p be a point q, that we will call r. PREHISTORIC METHOD: Somebody has once proven this. AUTHORITY BELIEVE METHOD: That must be right. It stands in Forster. AUTHORITY CRITICAL METHOD: That must be wrong. It stands in Jaenich. COGNITION PHILOSOPHY, METHOD 1: I recognized the problem! COGNITION PHILOSOPHY, METHOD 2: I believe, I recognized the probelm! PACIFISTIC METHOD: Thus, before we fight about it, let's just believe it COMMUNICATIVE METHOD: Does anybody of you know it? KAPITALISTIC METHOD: The profit is maximal, if we do not proof anything, because that costs the leasts pieces of chalk. COMMUNISTIC METHOD: We proof it together. Everybody writes a line and the result is government property. NUMERICAL METHOD: Roughly rounded, it is correct. SMART GUYS METHOD: We do not proof that now. Anyway, it is to complicated for the physicists. TIMELESS METHOD: We proof so long till nobody knows wether the proof is ended or not. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: tsvetova@femto.cs.umn.edu (Maksim B. Tsvetovatyy) In a high-level math class a prof gave a final with one question: "Write a suitable final exam for this class (also supply a key)". A student simply repeated the question and added "If this final exam is good anough for prof. , it's good enough for me" B__________________________________________________________________________ "Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division." ___________________________________________________________________________ From:BRIAN6@VAXC.MDX.AC.UK (who has a lightbulb collection) Q: How many scientists does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. They use them as controls in double blind trials. Q: How many academics does it take to change a lightbulb ? A: None. That's what research students are for. A: Five: One to write the grant proposal, one to do the mathematical modelling, one to type the research paper, one to submit the paper for publishing, and one to hire a student to do the work. Q: How many academics does it take to change a lightbulb ? A: None. That's what research students are for. A: Five: One to write the grant proposal, one to do the mathematical modelling, one to type the research paper, one to submit the paper for publishing, and one to hire a student to do the work. Q: How many laboratory heads (senior researchers, etc.) does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Five; one to change the lightbulb, the other four to stand around arguing whether he/she is taking the right approach. Q: How many research technicians does it take to change a lightbulb? A: One, but it'll probably take him/her three or four tries to get it right. Q: How many post-doctoral fellows does it take to change a lightbulb? A: One, but it'll probably take three or four tries to get it right because he/she will probably give it to the technician to do. Q: How many graduate students does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Only one, but it may take upwards of five years for him to get it done. A: It all depends on the size of the grant. A: Two and a professor to take credit. A: 1/100. A graduate student needs to change 100 lightbulbs a day. A: I don't know, but make my stipend tax-free, give my advisor a$100,000 grant of the taxpayer's money, and I'm sure he can tell me how to do the work for him so he can take the credit for answering this incredibly vital question. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Scientists do it experimentally. Scientists do it with plenty of research. Scientists discovered it. Graduates do it by degrees. Professors do it by the book. Professors do it with class. Professors forget to do it. Research professors do it only if they get grants. Researchers are still looking for it. Researchers do it with control. B__________________________________________________________________________ Q: How many company biotechnologists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Four; one to write the proposal, one to design the bulb-changer, one to design the bulb-fetcher, and one to design the bulb. Q: How many freelance biotechnologists does it take to change a light bulb? A: One; he designs the bulb to crawl up the wall, unscrew the old one and screw itself in. Q: How many evolutionists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Only one, but it takes eight million years. B__________________________________________________________________________ From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Biologists do it with clones. Molecular biologists do it with hot probes. Zoologists do it with animals. Genetists do it with sick genes. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Chris Morton (mortoncp@nextwork.rose-hulman.edu) do it collection Geographers do it globally. Geologists are great explorers. Geologists do it eruptively, with glow, and always smoke afterwards. Geologists do it in folded beds. Geologists do it to get their rocks off. Geologists know how to make the bedrock. B__________________________________________________________________________ Do molecular biologists wear designer genes? ___________________________________________________________________________ Why did the chicken cross the road? Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees. Rene Descartes: It had sufficient reason to believe it was dreaming anyway. B__________________________________________________________________________ From: David Smillie: A little neurological put down: You've only got two neurons--and one of them's inhibitory. B__________________________________________________________________________ Drew's Law of Highway Biology: The first bug to hit a clean windshield lands directly in front of your eyes. B__________________________________________________________________________ Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require harder thinking. -- Jerome Lettvin ___________________________________________________________________________ From: lozinski@netcom.com (Joe Cool) MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY FOR THE LAYMAN Artery------------------------The study of fine paintings. Barium------------------------What you do when CPR fails. Cesarean Section--------------A district in Rome. Colic-------------------------A sheep dog. Coma--------------------------A punctuation mark. Congenital--------------------Friendly. Dilate------------------------To live long. Fester------------------------Quicker. GI Series---------------------Baseball game between teams of soldiers. Grippe------------------------A suitcase. Hangnail----------------------A coat hook. Medical staff-----------------A doctor's cane. Minor operation---------------Coal digging. Morbid------------------------A higher offer. Nitrate-----------------------Lower than the day rate. Node--------------------------Was aware of. Organic-----------------------Church musician. Outpatient--------------------Person who has fainted. Post-operative----------------A letter carrier. Protein-----------------------In favor of young people. Secretion---------------------Hiding anything. Serology----------------------Study of English knighthood. Tablet-------------------------A small table. Tumor-------------------------An extra pair. Urine-------------------------Opposite of you're out. Varicose veins----------------Veins which are very close together. Benign------------------------What you be after you be eight. ___________________________________________________________________________ Fourth Law of Applied Terror: The night before the English History mid-term, your Biology instructor will assign 200 pages on planaria. Corollary: Every instructor assumes that you have nothing else to do except study for that instructor's course. ___________________________________________________________________________ ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE (Zeno's Paradox) Proof that Achilles cannot overtake a tortoise which has a lead. By the time that Achilles has reached the tortoise's point of departure the tortoise has retreated. Achilles then has to cover that extra distance but finds the tortoise has retreated farther. He covers that only to find that the tortoise is not there. And so on and so forth. So Achilles never reaches the tortoise. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: jcf@world.std.com (Joseph C Fineman) According to the late R. P. Feynman, an easy rule for telling which was is up is the following: point the index finger of your right hand in the direction of motion of the bus, and the thumb in the direction of motion of exiting passengers. The middle finger will point *up*. In Britain, use the left hand. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: c1prasad@watson.ibm.com (prasad) "That must be wonderful! I don't understand it at all." ___________________________________________________________________________ From: RVFT60@email.sps.mot.com (Mike Scott) The chief of a poor American Indian tribe .. no paved roads, no electricity, no indoor plumbing .. scrimped and saved and finally was able to send his eldest son to college. The lad did well, working hard for four years and finally graduating with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Arriving home after graduation, the boy was treated to a welcoming party, complete with plenty of refreshments. Shortly after he retired to sleep, the son was awakened by a call of nature. Exiting the hut, he proceeded down the road to the outhouse, only to stumble and fall because of the lack of lights. The next day, the son decided to put his education to work. He sat down, did the calculations, and prepared construction drawings for a lighting system for the outhouse, complete with lights for the path leading thereto. It was constructed and was an immediate success. This chief's son will go down in history as the first indian to wire a head for a reservation. From: oxton@skopen.dseg.ti.com (Gail Oxton) Even earlier in history, the introduction of electricity to English castles produced the first knight lights. From: dhawkins@meaddata.com (Dan Hawkins) As I recall that job was done by Sir Bud of Light. ___________________________________________________________________________ It may be that human life is "the galaxy's way of evolving a brain." This will come as a surprise to pessimists who, contemplating humankind's destructive tendencies, may be wondering if life isn't the galaxy's way of eliminating certain planets. ___________________________________________________________________________ I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ___________________________________________________________________________ When skating on thin ice, allow others to take the lead. There is no disgrace in learning from others, particularly when doing so avoids putting yourself in jeopardy. ___________________________________________________________________________ The upgrade path to the most powerful and satisfying computer: * Pocket calculator * Commodore Pet / Apple II / TRS 80 / Commodore 64 / Timex Sinclair (Choose any of the above) * IBM PC * Apple Macintosh * Fastest workstation of the time (HP, DEC, IBM, SGI: your choice) * Minicomputer (HP, DEC, IBM, SGI: your choice) * Mainframe (IBM, Cray, DEC: your choice) And then you reach the pinnacle of modern computing facilities: ********************************************************* ******* G R A D U A T E S T U D E N T S ******** ********************************************************* Yes, you just sit back and do all of your computing through lowly graduate students. Imagine the advantages: * Multi-processing, with as many processes as you have students. You can easily add more power by promising more desperate undergrads that they can indeed escape college through your guidance. Special student units can even handle several tasks *on*their*own*! * Full voice recognition interface. Never touch a keyboard or mouse again. Just mumble commands and they *will* be understood (or else!). * No hardware upgrades and no installation required. Every student comes complete with all hardware necessary. Never again fry a chip or \$10,000 board by improper installation! Just sit that sniveling student at a desk, give it writing utensils (making sure to point out which is the dangerous end) and off it goes. * Low maintenance. Remember when that hard disk crashed in your Beta 9900, causing all of your work to go the great bit bucket in the sky? This won't happen with grad. students. All that is required is that you give them a good *whack!* upside the head when they are acting up, and they will run good as new. * Abuse module. Imagine yelling expletives at your computer. Doesn't work too well, because your machine just sits there and ignores you. Through the grad student abuse module you can put the fear of god in them, and get results to boot! * Built-in lifetime. Remember that awful feeling two years after you bought your GigaPlutz mainframe when the new faculty member on the block sneered at you because his FeelyWup workstation could compute rings around your dinosaur? This doesn't happen with grad. students. When they start wearing and losing productivity, simply give them the PhD and boot them out onto the street to fend for themselves. Out of sight, out of mind! * Cheap fuel: students run on Coca Cola (or the high-octane equivalent -- Jolt Cola) and typically consume hot spicy chinese dishes, cheap taco substitutes, or completely synthetic macaroni replacements. It is entirely unnecessary to plug the student into the wall socket (although this does get them going a little faster from time to time). * Expansion options. If your grad. students don't seem to be performing too well, consider adding a handy system manager or software engineer upgrade. These guys are guaranteed to require even less than a student, and typically establish permanent residence in the computer room. You'll never know they are around! (Which you certainly can't say for an AXZ3000-69 150gigahertz space-heater sitting on your desk with its ten noisy fans....) [Note however that the engineering department still hasn't worked out some of the idiosyncratic bugs in these expansion options, such as incessant muttering at nobody in particular, occasionaly screaming at your grad. students, and posting ridiculous messages on world-wide bulletin boards.] So forget your Babbage Engines and abacuses (abaci?) and PortaBooks and DEK 666-3D's and all that other silicon garbage. The wave of the future is in wetware, so invest in graduate students today! You'll never go back! ___________________________________________________________________________ Why is the number 10 afraid of seven? -- because seven ate nine. ___________________________________________________________________________ Three mathematicians and a physicist walk into a bar. You'd think the second one would have ducked. (Ha, that quack's me up!) ___________________________________________________________________________ "The world is everywhere dense with idiots." - LFS ___________________________________________________________________________ From: north@hgl.signaal.nl (S.North) In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi, junior, what are you up to?" "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the rabbit. "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible!" "Well, follow me and I'll show you." They both go into the rabbit's dwelling and after a while the rabbit emerges with a satisfied expression on his face. Along comes a wolf. "Hello, what are we doing these days?" "I'm writing the second chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits devour wolves." "Are you crazy? Where is your academic honesty?" "Come with me and I'll show you." ...... As before, the rabbit comes out with a satisfied look on his face and this time he has a diploma in his paw. The camera pans back and into the rabbit's cave and, as everybody should have guessed by now, we see an enourmous mean-looking lion sitting next to the bloody and furry remains of the wolf and the fox. The moral of this story is: It's not the contents of your thesis that are important -- it's your PhD advisor that counts. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: mnsotn@picard.cs.wisc.edu (Christopher Bovitz) 132 THINGS (NOT) TO DO AT OR FOR YOUR THESIS DEFENSE (in no particular order) Written by Peter Dutton, Jim Lalopoulos, Alison Berube, and Jeff Cohen, grad students extrordiannaire (#1 - 101). Appended by Chris Bovitz, grad student grandioso (#102-131). (#132 from Mary C. Liles). 1) "Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the singing of our National Anthem..." 2) Charge 25 cents a cup for coffee. 3) "Charge the mound" when a professor beans you with a high fast question. 4) Interpretive dance. 5) "Musical accompaniment provided by..." 6) Stage your own death/suicide. 7) Lead the specators in a Wave. 8) Have a sing-a-long. 9) "You call THAT a question? How the hell did they make you a professor?" 10) "Ladies and Gentlemen, as I dim the lights, please hold hands and concentrate so that we may channel the spirit of Lord Kelvin..." 11) Have bodyguards outside the room to "discourage" certain professors from sitting in. 12) Puppet show. 13) Group prayer. 14) Animal sacrifice to the god of the Underworld. 15) Sell T-shirts to recoup the cost of copying, binding, etc. 16) "I'm sorry, I can't hear you - there's a banana in my ear!" 17) Imitate Groucho Marx. 18) Mime. 19) Hold a Tupperware party. 20) Have a bikini-clad model be in charge of changing the overheads. 21) "Everybody rhumba!!" 22) "And it would have worked if it weren't for those meddling kids..." 23) Charge a cover and check for ID. 24) "In protest of our government's systematic and brutal oppression of minorities..." 25) "Anybody else as drunk as I am?" 26) Smoke machines, dramatic lighting, pyrotechnics... 27) Use a Super Soaker to point at people. 28) Surreptitioulsy fill the room with laughing gas. 29) Door prizes and a raffle. 30) "Please phrase your question in the form of an answer..." 31) "And now, a word from our sponsor..." 32) Present your entire talk in iambic pentameter. 33) Whine piteously, beg, cry... 34) Switch halfway through your talk to Pig Latin. Or Finnish Pig Latin. 35) The Emperor's New Slides ("only fools can't see the writing...") 36) Table dance (you or an exotic dancer). 37) Fashion show. 38) "Yo, a smooth shout out to my homies..." 39) "I'd like to thank the Academy..." 40) Minstrel show (blackface, etc.). 41) Previews, cartoons, and the Jimmy Fund. 42) Pass the collection basket. 43) Two-drink minimum. 44) Black tie only. 45) "Which reminds me of a story - A Black guy, a Chinese guy, and a Jew walked into a bar..." 46) Incite a revolt. 47) Hire the Goodyear Blimp to circle the building. 48) Release a flock of doves. 49) Defense by proxy. 50) "And now a reading from the Book of Mormon..." 51) Leave Jehovah's Witness pamphlets scattered about. 52) "There will be a short quiz after my presentation..." 53) "Professor Robinson, will you marry me?" 54) Bring your pet boa. 55) Tell ghost stories. 56) Do a "show and tell". 57) Food fight. 58) Challenge a professor to a duel. Slapping him with a glove is optional. 59) Halftime show. 60) "Duck, duck, duck, duck... GOOSE!" 61) "OK - which one of you farted?" 62) Rimshot. 63) Sell those big foam "We're number #1 (sic)" hands. 64) Pass out souvenier matchbooks. 65) 3-ring defense. 66) "Tag - you're it!" 67) Circulate a vicious rumor that the Dead will be opening, making sure that it gets on the radio stations, and escape during all the commotion. 68) Post signs: "Due to a computer error at the Registrar's Office, the original room is not available, and the defense has been relocated to (Made-up non-existent room number)" 69) Hang a pinata over the table and have a strolling mariachi band. 70) Make each professor remove an item of clothing for each question he asks. 71) Rent a billboard on the highway proclaiming "Thanks for passing me Professors X,Y, and Z" - BEFORE your defense happens. 72) Have a make-your-own-sundae table. 73) Make committee members wear silly hats. 74) Simulate your experiment with a virtual reality system for the spectators. 75) Do a soft-shoe routine. 76) Throw a masquerade defense, complete with bobbing for apples and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. 77) Use a Greek Chorus to highlight important points. 78) "The responsorial psalm can be found on page 124 of the thesis..." 79) Tap dance. 80) Vaudeville. 81) "I'm sorry Professor Smith, I didn't say 'SIMON SAYS any questions?'. You're out." 82) Flex and show off those massive pecs. 83) Dress in top hat and tails. 84) Hold a pre-defense pep rally, complete with cheerleaders, pep band, and a bonfire. 85) Detonate a small nuclear device in the room. Or threaten to. 86) Shadow puppets. 87) Show slides of your last vacation. 88) Put your overheads on a film strip. Designate a professor to be in charge of turning the strip when the tape recording beeps. 89) Same as #88, but instead of a tape recorder, go around the room making a different person read the pre-written text for each picture. 90) "OK, everybody - heads down on the desk until you show me you can behave." 91) Call your advisor "sweetie". 92) Have everyone pose for a group photo. 93) Instant replay. 94) Laugh maniacally. 95) Talk with your mouth full. 96) Start speaking in tongues. 97) Explode. 98) Implode. 99) Spontaneously combust. 100) Answer every question with a question. 101) Moon everyone in the room after you are done. 102) Rearrange the chairs into a peace symbol. 103) Refer to yourself in the third person, like Julius Caesar did. 104) Mention your professor as "my helper." 105) Say that you'd like to thank a few people. Pull out the White Pages. Start reading. 106) Advertise it as "pot luck". 107) Talk in Klingonese. 108) Dress like your favorite character from "Star Trek". 109) Ask imaginary helpers to change transparencies; fly off the handle when they don't. 110) Wear a trenchcoat. And nothing else. 111) Dress in a Wild West style. 112) Go dressed in scuba gear. Use the oxygen tank. 113) Preface with the story of your life. 114) Wear a swimsuit from the opposite sex: man - wear a bikini, woman - wear trunks. 115) Have bodyguards on your sides as you talk. The bigger, the better. Have a questioner thrown out "as an example." 116) Have someone wheel in a big cake with you in it. Jump out and begin. 117) Perform your defense as a Greek tragedy, kill yourself offstage when you're done. 118) Half way through, break down. Go to your professor, curl up on his or her lap and call him or her "Mommy". Suck your thumb. 119) Suddenly develop Turret's Syndrome. 120) Suddenly develop the China Syndrome. 121) "This defense has been sponsored by the fine people at (your favorite corporation)..." 122) Secede from the U.S. Give yourself political asylum. 123) Talk in Canadianese - add an "eh" after every sentence. 124) When a professor asks you a question, argue with your imaginary twin over the final answer. 125) Videotape it ahead of time, and get someone set it up to show. Come in the back and sit there. When your tape is done, ask for questions. In person. 126) Have every person pick a "CB" handle. Enforce their usage. Talk in CB lingo. End every statement with "good buddy." End every question with "over." 127) Provide party favors. Noisy ones. 128) Frequently ask if anyone has to go to the potty. 129) Mention that you have to hurry because "Hard Copy" is on in 15 minutes. 130) Dress like your school mascot. 131) Urge your committee that if they like your defense enough to tell two friends, and then they'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on... 132) Show up in drag accompanied by the Drag Queens you met at last night's performance and proclaim your thesis presentation will instead discuss: "Blue Eyeshadow: Our Friend Or Foe?" From: smitch@alcor.concordia.ca (Sidney N. Mitchell) 132) Plead the fifth ammendment if you can't answer a question. 133) Keep your back to the committee during the presentation and defense phases. 134) Answer only questions that begin with sir and end with sir. (tell your committe this beforehand). 135) Limit the number of questions that you will allow, and then when the limit is almost reached, go into aerobics terminology... four more...three more...two more..and...rest. 136) Ignore the committee and say "I think that young man/lady at the back has a question". 137) Have your parents call your committee members repeatedly the week before your defense to tell them how expensive it is putting a child through graduate school etc. 138) At the defense, have your parents sit directly behind your committee. 139) Burp, pass gas, scratch (anywhere repeatedly), and pick your nose. E__________________________________________________________________________ From: nelsonbe@ucsu.Colorado.EDU (NELSON BRIAN EDWARD) TEN REASONS TO DATE AN ENGINEER 10. Why not? 9. They are user friendly 8. No need to call a handy man 7. Learn how to use the other buttons on your calculator 6. Homework help without the guilt 5. They will make lots of money 4. Not all of them wear dark blue jeans 3. They know how to push the right buttons 2. They understand heat-transfer 1. They are used to pulling all nighters ___________________________________________________________________________ THE SECOND BOOK OF VECTOR There dwelt in the land of Brit certain high priests who served in the temples of Elektron, which is an invisible god who darteth around in ever-decreasing circles but never into his own nucleus. And the priests of Elektron were devout men, serving no other god but he. And Elektron looked with favour upon them and rewarded them each according to his worth with divers strange gifts. To some he gave power to converse with those from afar off and to others he brought visions of strange happenings in distant lands; yeah, even of the United States cavalry in glorious Technicolor. And to certain other of his high priests Elektron gave powers of levitation, so that they walked with their feet ever- so-slightly off the ground; these dwelt in glass temples called, in the native tongue, Researchlabs or Funnifarms, which were set apart from the common people and to which entrance was denied to all, saving only those having scrips of authority from their chief priest. And these priests were called by the common people Egbonces which meaneth he who knoweth the square root of minus one. And the Egbonces were cunning at fashioning curious devices from boot-latchets and wax so that the populace were astonished and continually cried out, saying, behold, these are great wonders but of what use be they? Yet other high priests of Elektron were followers of the prophet Babbage and these were set in authority over divers machines that brought much benefit to the common people; some computed the numbers of the tribes and the taxes that each man should pay; others controlled the paycheks of these that laboured, so that each man received less than his hire, while others suggested that the inter-city chariots were tardy in arrival. And Elektron taught the high priests to feed the engines with curious symbols engraven upon tablets that they might print out likenesses of the sex-goddess Bardot devoid of her apparel, which gave satisfaction to many. And these priests likewise withdrew the hems of their garments from the common populace and, by conversing in the alien tongues of Fortran and Algol, preserved their mysteries jealously. At this time the skies were filled with heavier-than-air machines of many nations which flew with the noise of emasculated hornets and carried the peoples to and fro, even unto the ends of the earth. These machines were under the auspices of the god Hijak. And certain of the nations had air machines which could drop unpleasantness on the land beneath to discomfort the people; but certain other nations who were poor and backward and, as the saying goeth, not with it, did not possess these amenities. Thus it came to pass that the acquisition of such machines was regarded by all as an outward and visible sign that the possessor nation was emerging from savage practices and an example to others. And certain rich merchants searched diligently and redeemed many heavier-than-air machines; some from the knocker's yard; some which fell from the back of an hangar and yet others which were dislodged privily from the Science Museum. And they purposed to sell these to the heathen for many shekels of gold and at great profit. So it came to pass that the merchants sent envoys to a far country, even to the kingdom of Tsetse-Tsetse. And the envoys said unto the king of Tsetse-Tsetse, O king live for ever but put not thy money upon it. And the king answered saying, What meanest thou? Then did the envoys reply saying, Surely thou knowest that they neighbour the king of Beri- Beri hath cast covetous eyes upon thy lands and they maidens? If only thou hadst an Air Force it would cause thine adversary to wind his neck in. Then did the king beat his breast crying, Wo is me! And the envoys made reply saying Not so, O king, for it so happeneth that we can supply thee with a squadron of Bleriot Mk.Is. And thus it came to pass the king bought from the envoys for much fine gold and slept peacefully with his wives that night. Then did the envoys depart and journeyed to the neighbouring land that is called Beri-Beri. And they said to the king of Beri-Beri, O king live for ever but begin not the reading of any long novels. And the king said What meanest thou? Whereupon the envoys replied saying, Knowest thou not that they neighbour the king of Tsetse-Tsetse hath secretly purchased war-birds and purposeth to ravage thy country? At this the king went as pale as was possible and the end of the matter was that he became Commodore of a squadron of Cabbage White Mk. VIIs. And it came to pass that in Brit the god Elektron gave unto his high priests the power to fashion magick bowls which could divine the presence and movements of heavier-than-air machines even at great distances. Yeah, and not only this, for by gazing into the bowl, vessels having their business in great waters could be made to broach each other with greater certainty. And on land its magick powers enabled the Fuzz to put the finger upon all charioteers who, like their forbear Jehu, drove furiously. And the name of this new wonder was radar, which, being translated, meaneth that which worketh by suction and mirrors. And the rich merchants came unto the high priests of radar and said unto them. Lo, we have heard much of the wonders that they god Elektron hath taught thee and it seemeth that we can do a deal with profit to all. Make for us great numbers of these magick bowls, we pray thee, that we may sell them to the nations for their greater safety. Do this and we will pay thee many shekels of gold; moreover, we will pull down thy temples to the greater glory of Elektron, wherein thou shalt find all the instruments that they heart desirest. And we will clothe thee in white raiment and give thee charge over many. What sayest thou? And the high priest conferred privily and agreed among themselves that they were on to a good thing. So it came to pass that the merchants caused mighty temples to be built wherein the god Elektron might be served, both by day and night; and the high priests, for their part, devised magick bowls with ever greater cunning and these the merchants sold to whoever was in the market place. Thus it came about that both the king of Tsetse-Tsetse and the king of Beri-Beri were persuaded to buy the magick bowls with which to keep vigil each upon the other. Yeah, both primary and secondary radar had they in plenty and certain inhabitants of the two countries were trained to interpret the signs and portents which appeared upon these bowls whenever an heavier- than-air machine was drawing nigh. And behold, it came to pass that upon a certain night there was a watchman in the kingdom of Tsetse-Tsetse who was an exceeding dim lamp; moreover, when interpreting the symbols on the magick bowl, he was, as the saying is, unable to tell Squawk from Clutter. And this watchman, fearful of what he supposed he saw upon the face of the bowl, said unto himself The enemy is upon us, and thereupon smote the Panick Button. Hereupon the Bleriot Mk.Is rose (all excepting one which had broken its elastick band) and brought destruction to the sleeping land of Beri-Beri. But the Cabbage Whites, being forewarned by their magick bowls, were already riding the heavens and bringing affliction upon their neighbours. And, by morning, both countries were bathed in blood. And in the temples of Elektron there was great commotion, for the hot lines were glowing red and the artificial moons which the high priests had raised were overburdened with coloured images of the slaughter, for the delectation of the common people. And when all was accomplished, overseers from the United Nations came and wagged their heads and voted Tsetse-Tsetse and Beri-Beri into their assemblies in recognition of their emergence. V. B__________________________________________________________________________ From: johnston@mhc.uiuc.edu (SJANNA JOHNSTON) Biology exam: Create life . Justify your answer. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: ted_swift@qm.sri.com (Ted Swift) "Bring me into the company of those who seek the truth, and deliver me from those who have found it." ___________________________________________________________________________ From: sjt@xun8.sr.bham.ac.uk (James Tappin) "If all else fails--read the instructions!" ___________________________________________________________________________ From: peekstok@u.washington.edu (Anna Peekstok) PROBLEM SOLVING P R O C E S S YES ============================= NO +-----------|| Does the Darn Thing work? ||-----------+ | ============================= | V V +----------+ +---------+ +---------+ | Don't | NO | Does | +-------+ YES | Did you | | mess | +---| anyone |<------| YOU |<---------| mess | | with it! | | | know? | | MORON | | with it | +----------+ | +---------+ +-------+ +---------+ | V | YES | NO | +------+ +-----------+ | | | HIDE | V V | | IT | +--------+ +-----------+ | +------+ | YOU | YES | WILL THEY | | | +------->| POOR |<------------| CATCH YOU?| | | | |BASTARD!| +-----------+ | | | |________| | NO | | | | | | | | V V | | | +---------------+ +-----------+ | | | NO | CAN YOU BLAME | |DESTROY THE| | | +------| SOMEONE ELSE? | | EVIDENCE | | | +---------------+ +-----------+ | | | YES | | | v | | | ============================ | | +---->|| N O ||<---------+ +------------>|| P R O B L E M || ============================ __________________________________________________________________________ MURPHY'S LAWS THE PRIME AXIOM: In any field of scientific endeavor, anything that can go wrong, will. 2. If the possibility exists of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong is the one that will do the most damage. 3. Everything will go wrong at one time. 3.1 That time is always when you least expect it. 4. If nothing can go wrong, something will. 5. Nothing is as easy as it looks. 6. Everything takes longer than you think. 7. Left to themselves, things always go from bad to worse. 8. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. 9. Given the most inappropriate time for something to go wrong, that's when it will occur. 10. Mother Nature is a bitch. 10.1 The universe is not indifferent to intelligence, it is actively hostile to it. 11. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. 12. If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection. 13. Never make anything simple and efficient when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful. 14. If it doesn't fit, use a bigger hammer. 15. In an instrument or device characterized by a number of plus-or-minus errors, the total error will be the sum of all the errors adding in the same direction. 16. In any given calculation, the fault will never be placed if more than one person is involved. 16.1 In any given discovery, the credit will never be properly placed if more than one person is involved. 17. All warranty and guarantee clauses become invalid upon payment of the final invoice. ___________________________________________________________________________ GLASSER'S COROLLARY If, of the seven hours you spend at work, six hours and fifty-five minutes are spent working at your desk, and the rest of the time you throw the bull with your cubicle-mate, the time at which your supervisor will walk in and ask what you're doing can be determined to within five minutes. ___________________________________________________________________________ ZYMURGY'S SEVENTH EXCEPTION TO MURPHY'S LAWS When it rains, it pours. ___________________________________________________________________________ JENKINSON'S LAW It won't work. ___________________________________________________________________________ O'TOOLE'S COMMENTARY ON MURPHY'S LAWS Murphy was an optimist. E__________________________________________________________________________ LAWS RELATING TO DESIGN: 1. In any given price estimate, the cost of the equipment will exceed estimated expenditure by a factor of 3. 2. Dimensions will always be expressed in the least useable terms. For example, velocity will be expressed in furlongs/fortnight. 3. If the breadbox trial model functions perfectly, the finished product will not percolate. 4. In a mathematical calculation, any error that can creep in, will. It will be in the direction that will do the most damage to the calculation. 5. In any collection of data, the figures that are obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, contain the errors. 6. The probability of a dimension or value being omitted from a drawing is directly proportional to its importance. 7. In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's. 8. Information necessitating a change in design will be conveyed to the designer after, and only after, the plans are complete. 9. In simple cases, presenting one obvious right way vs. one obvious wrong way, it is often wiser to choose the wrong way so as to expedite subsequent revisions. 10. The more innocuous a modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more plans will have to be redrawn. E__________________________________________________________________________ LAWS RELATING TO ASSEMBLY: 1. If a project requires n components, there will be n-1 components available. 2. Interchangeable parts won't. 3. Components that must not and cannot be assembled improperly will be. 4. The most delicate component will be dropped. 5. The construction and operation manual will be discarded with the packing material. The garbage truck will have picked it up five minutes before the mad dash to the rubbish can. 6. The necessity of making a major design change increases as the assembly and wiring of the unit approach completion. 7. THE LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITATION: A dropped tool will land where it will do the most damage. 8. A component selected at random from a group having a 99% reliability will be a member of the 1% group. 9. Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally toward maximum difficulty of assembly. 10. The availability of a component is inversely proportional to the need for that component. 11. If a particular resistance is needed, that value will not be available. Furthermore, it cannot be developed with any series or parallel combination. 12. After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench. E__________________________________________________________________________ LAWS RELATING TO WIRING, TEST, AND OPERATION: 1. Any wire cut to length will be too short. 2. Milliammeters will be connected across the power source, voltmeters in series with it. 3. The probability of an error in the schematic is directly proportional to the trouble it can cause. 4. Identical units tested under identical conditions will not be identical on the final test after being buried under other components and wiring. 5. A self starting oscillator won't. 6. A crystal oscillator will oscillate at the wrong frequency -- if it oscillates at all. 7. A p-n-p transistor will be found to be an n-p-n. 8. A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. 9. If a circuit cannot fail, it will. 10. A transistor protected by a fast-acting fuse will protect the fuse by blowing first. 11. Probability of failure of a component is inversely proportional to the ease of repair or replacement. 12. A KEY RULE OF STARFLEET OPERATIONS: Some idiot has left open the number two impulse vent.(Check the position of all switches, knobs, and dials before turning on a piece of equipment. Both you and the equipment will live longer.) E__________________________________________________________________________ LAWS CONCERNING TROUBLE SHOOTING: 1. After the 24th cabinet-to-chassis screw has been removed to replace the under chassis fuse, it will be observed that the line cord plug has become disengaged from the a.c. receptacle. 2. After the 24th cabinet-to-chassis screw has been replaced, the driver tube will be found under the schematic on the bench. 3. The bleeder resistor will quit discharging the filter capacitors as the operator reaches into the power supply enclosure. ___________________________________________________________________________ ALLEN'S AXIOM When all else fails, read the directions. ___________________________________________________________________________ GUNNERSEN'S LAW The probability of a given event is inversely proportional to it's desirability. ___________________________________________________________________________ MESKIMEN'S LAW There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over. ___________________________________________________________________________ JONES'S LAW The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame it on. ___________________________________________________________________________ LORD FALKLAND'S RULE When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision. ___________________________________________________________________________ GUMMIDGE'S LAW The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to the number of statements understood by the general public. ___________________________________________________________________________ SATTINGER'S LAW It works better if you plug it in. ___________________________________________________________________________ THE LAW OF THE PERVERSITY OF NATURE You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter. B__________________________________________________________________________ THE HARVARD LAW Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will do as it damn well pleases. ___________________________________________________________________________ ZYMURGY'S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING SYSTEM DYNAMICS Once you open a can of worms, the only way you can recan them is to use a larger can. (Old worms never die; they just worm their way into larger cans.) ___________________________________________________________________________ OSBORN'S LAW Variables won't, constants aren't. ___________________________________________________________________________ THE SNAFU EQUATIONS 1. Given any problem containing N equations, there will be N+1 unknowns. 2. The object or bit of information most needed will be least available. 3. The device requiring service or adjustment will be least accessible. 4. In any human eneavor, once you have exhausted all possibilities and failed, there will be one solution, simple, obvious, and highly visible to everyone else. 5. Badness comes in waves. ___________________________________________________________________________ NOTEBOOK OF LAZARUS LONG (Robert A. Heinlein) Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it. If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion. Most 'scientists' are bottle washers and button sorters. The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects require merely scholarship. Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so. Natural laws have no pity. Climate is what we expect. Weather is what we get. A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. ___________________________________________________________________________ 1) Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account." 2) Morton's Law: "If rats are experimented upon, they will develop cancer." 3) Epstein's Axiom: "With extremely few exceptions, nothing is worth the trouble." 4) Mathis' Rule: "It is bad luck to be superstitious." 5) Laura's Law: "No child throws up in the bathroom." 6) "If there is a opinion, facts will be found to support it." -- Judy Sproles. 7) "Rich folks get more strokes." -- Greg Beil. 8) "If A = B and B = C, then A = C except where void or prohibited by law". -- Roy Santoro. 9) Preudhomme's Law of Window Cleaning: "It's on the other side." -- Doug Preudhomme 10) "Anything that happens enough times to irritate you will happen at least once more." -- Tom Parkins 11) Slick's Three Laws of the Universe: "(1) Nothing in the known universe travels faster than a bad check. (2) A quarter-ounce of chocolate = four pounds of fat. (3) There are two types of dirt: the dark kind, which is attracted to light objects, and the light kind, which is attracted to dark objects." -- Ely Slick 12) The two laws of Frisbee: "(1) The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc straining to land under a car, just out of reach (this force is technically termed 'car suck'); (2) Never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than 'Watch this!'" 13) (Sam) Goldwyn's Law: "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on." 14)(Murray) Gell-Mann's Law: "Whatever isn't forbidden is required; thus, if there's no reason why something shouldn't exist, then it must exist." 15) (Mark) Twain's Rule: "Only kings, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'." 16) "Bodies in motion tend to remain in motion. Bodies at rest tend to remain in bed." -- Dave Tewksbury 17) Hurewitz's Memory Principle: "The chance of forgetting something is directly proportional to....to....." -- Lane Hurewitz 18) Corry's Law: "Paper is always strongest at the perforations." -- Carolyn M. Corry E__________________________________________________________________________ From: schiec@jec3210-17.its.rpi.edu (Christopher L. Schierer) I was going to be an engineer.... Aerospace but it just didn't fly. Aeronautical but I couldn't keep my head above water. Bio-Medical but I was rejected. Chemical but the job really stunk. Civil but I couldn't make the grade. Computer but I got stuck in a loop. Electrical but it was all current events. Genetic but I only wore Levis. Industrial but I couldn't get off the floor. Management but I wasn't a team player. Materials but I didn't have the fiber. Mechanical but I got shafted. Metallurgical but I couldn't get the lead out. Nuclear but I didn't have the glow. Power but it went to my head. E__________________________________________________________________________ From: sapient@pearwood.demon.co.uk (Barny Shergold) Top 20 Engineers' Terminologies Okay here's three more : 1. IT IS TECHNICALLY IMPOSSIBLE - I don't feel like doing it. 2. IT DEPENDS... - Abandon all hope of a useful answer. 3. THE DATA BITS ARE FLEXED THROUGH A COLLECTIMIZER WHICH STRIPS THE FLOW- GATE ARRAYS INTO VIRTUAL MESSAGE ELEMENTS - I don't know. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: kring@physik.uni-kl.de (Thomas Kettenring) Geologists are amazing. They know hundreds of words for different sorts of dirt and hundreds of words for things it does when left alone for a few million years. ___________________________________________________________________________ The misnaming of fields of study is so common as to lead to what might be general systems laws. For example, Frank Harary once suggested the law that any field that had the word "science" in its name was guaranteed thereby not to be a science. He would cite as examples Military Science, Library Science, Political Science, Homemaking Science, Social Science, and Computer Science. Discuss the generality of this law, and possible reasons for its predictive power. -- Gerald Weinberg, "An Introduction to General Systems Thinking." ___________________________________________________________________________ Sarah Plummer wrote: I was also told this about happening at my college. We'll see how many schools have had the same story repeated there. 8) In one of the houses in which all the lacrosse/fortball players live they have a file of papers for classes so people don't have to write them, they can just take a paper previously written and change the name and hand it in. Well, there was one paper for a class which someone had written and gotten a B on. But on the corner of the front page was a little drawing of a whale. The next year a brother" took the class (we don't have frats on campus. This is as close as we get) and when he had to do the paper he just xeroxed the paper and got a B on it as well. Then the next time the class was offered another brother took the paper and xeroxed it, but whited out the whale so the prof wouldn't suspect that it was the same paper etc. Well, he got a C on it. When he asked the prof why he got a C on it, when all the other people who copied the paper got a B on it and he got a C and it was the same paper, the prof said I liked the whale." From: rhawkins@iastate.edu (R E HAWKINS) Or from my father. A student questioned his 0 on a test. "But these are the same answers as Tran, and he got hundred percent." "Tran had a different test." E__________________________________________________________________________ From: pischke@ecf.toronto.edu (PISCHKE DAVID) Engineering is the art of moulding materials we do not fully understand into shapes we cannot fully analyse and preventing the public from realising the full extent of our ignorance." ___________________________________________________________________________ RULES FOR RESEARCH: =================== In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is a great deal of difference. FINAGLE'S LAWS: 1. No matter what result is anticipated, there is always someone willing to fake it. 2. No matter what the result, there is always someone eager to misinterpret it. 3. No matter what happens, there is always someone who believes it happened according to his pet theory. FINAGLE'S CREED Science is Truth; don't be misled by facts. THE FINAGLE FACTOR (Sometimes called the SWAG(Scientific Wild-Assed Guess) Constant) That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to, or subtracted from the answer which you got, yields the answer you should have gotten. [note] Items such as 'Finagle's Constant' and the more subtle 'Bougerre Factor' are loosely grouped, in mathematics, under constant variables, or, if you prefer, variable constants. Finagle's Constant, a multiplier of the zero-order term, may be characterized as changing the universe to fit the equation. The Bougerre (pronounced 'bugger') Factor is characterized as changing the equation to fit the universe. It is also known as the 'Soothing Factor'; mathematically similar to the damping factor, it has the characteristic of dropping the subject under discussion to zero importance. A combination of the two, the Diddle Coefficient, is characterized as changing things so that universe and equation appear to fit without requiring a change in either. FINAGLE'S COROLLARY On a seasonally adjusted basis, there are only six months in a year. If mathematically you end up with the wrong answer, try multiplying by the page number. IGGY'S RULE OF SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES All scientific discoveries are first recorded on napkins or tablecloths. Engineering advances are drawn inside matchbook covers. Keep supplies of them handy at all times. RULES OF THE LAB 1. When you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly. 2. Experiments must be reproduceable, they should fail the same way each time. 3. First draw your curves, then plot your data. 4. Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined. 5. A record of data is essential, it shows you were working. 6. To study a subject best, understand it thoroughly before you start. 7. To do a lab really well, have your report done well in advance. 8. If you can't get the answer in the usual manner, start at the answer and derive the question. 9. If that doesn't work, start at both ends and try to find a common middle. 10. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing. 11. Do not believe in miracles---rely on them. 12. Team work is essential. It allows you to blame someone else. 13. All unmarked beakers contain fast-acting, extremely toxic poisons. 14. Any delicate and expensive piece of glassware will break before any use can be made of it.(Law of Spontaneous Fission) From: c1prasad@watson.ibm.com (prasad) Never replicate a successful experiment -Fett's law. [cf CF] From: Koos.denOudsten@phil.ruu.nl Discovery: A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a couple of hours in the library. FURTHER HINTS ON WRITE-UPS: 1. In any collection of data, the figures that most closely confirm the theory are wrong. 2. No one you ask for help will see the mistakes either. 3. Any nagging intruder who stops by with unsought advice will see them immediately. 4. If an experiment works, you must be using the wrong equipment. 5. An experiment may be considered successful if no more than half the data must be discarded to agree with the theory. 6. No experiment is ever a complete failure. It can serve as a bad example. 7. Always leave room, when writing a report, to add an explanation if it doesn't work (Rule of the Way Out). From: jac@ds8.scri.fsu.edu (Jim Carr) Raw data is like raw sewage, it requires some processing before it can be spread around. The opposite is true of theories. ___________________________________________________________________________ RULES FOR WRITING AN ARTICLE: ============================= From: chris@labtam.labtam.oz.au (Chris Taylor) Here is an old collection that I rediscovered recently. A brief guide to Scientific literature ====================================== Phrase Translation ------------------------------------------------ It has been long known I haven't bothered to check the referances It is known I believe It is believed I think It is generally believed My collegues and I think There has been some discussion Nobody agrees with me It can be shown Take my word for it It is proven It agrees with something mathematical Of great theoretical importance I find it interesting Of great practical importance This justifies my employment Of great historical importance This ought to make me famous Some samples were chosen for study The others didn't make sense Typical results are shown The best results are shown Correct within order of magnitude Wrong The values were obtained empirically The values were obtained by accident The results are inconclusive The results seem to disprove my hypothesis Additional work is required Someone else can work out the details It might be argued that I have a good answer to this objection The investigations proved rewarding My grant has been renewed THE REFEREE'S CREED: What I don't understand I despise, what I despise I reject. From an unknown but astute source: Every new scientist must learn early that it is never good taste to designate the sum of two quantities in the form: 1 + 1 = 2 (1) Anyone who has made a study o f advanced mathematics is aware that: 1 = ln e 1 = sin^2 x + cos^2 x \inf 2 = sum 1/2^n n= Therefore eq. (1) can be expressed more scientifically as: \inf ln e + sin^2 x + cos^2 x = sum 1/2^n (2) n= This may be further simplified by use of the relations: 1 = cosh y sqrt(1 - tanh^2 y) e = lim (1+1/z)^z z-> inf Equation (2) may therefore be rewritten as: inf cosh y sqrt(1 - tanh^2 y) ln[ lim (1+1/z)^z ] + sin^2 x + cos^2 x = SUM ____________________________ z-> inf n= 2^n (3) At this point it should be obvious that eq. (3) is much clearer and more easily onderstood than eq. (1). Other methods of a similar nature could be used to clarify eq. (1), but these are easily divined once the reader grasps the underlying principles. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -- Joachim Verhagen Email:J.C.D.Verhagen@fys.ruu.nl Department of molecular biofysics, University of Utrecht Utrecht, The Netherlands.  0, unseen,, *** EOOH *** Newsgroups: rec.humor,eunet.jokes Path: origin.ea.com!newshost.ea.com!barrnet.net!nntp-sc.barrnet.net!news.fujitsu.com!amdahl.com!amd!decwrl!spool.mu.edu!agate!newsxfer.itd.umich.edu!gatech!udel!news.sprintlink.net!EU.net!sun4nl!ruuinf!tijger.fys.ruu.nl!verhagen From: verhagen@fys.ruu.nl (Joachim Verhagen) Subject: science jokes (6/6) X-Nntp-Posting-Host: ruunat.fys.ruu.nl Message-ID: Sender: usenet@fys.ruu.nl (News system Tijgertje) Organization: Physics and Astronomy, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #3 (NOV) Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 12:19:39 GMT Lines: 1391 Xref: origin.ea.com rec.humor:539 eunet.jokes:44 =5.1 POETRY E__________________________________________________________________________ From: NANCY_GILL@bdt.COM (Nancy Gill) The Condemned When the earth was created, the powers above, Gave each man a job to work at and love. He made doctors and lawyers and plumbers and then, He made carpenters, singers, and confidence men. And when each had a job to work as he should, He looked them all over and saw it was good. He then sat down to rest for a day, When a horrible groan chanced to come his way. The Lord then looked down and his eyes opened wide, For a motley collection of bums stood outside. "And what do you want?" the creator asked them, "Help us," they cried out, "A job for us men". "We have no profession," they cried in dismay, "And even the jails have turned us away". Said the Lord, "I've seen many things without worth, But here I find gathered the scum of the earth!" The Lord was perplexed, and then he was mad, For the jobs were all gone, there was none to be had. Then he spoke aloud in a deep angry tone, "Forever and ever ye mongrels shall roam, Ye shall freeze in the summer and sweat when it's cold, Ye shall work on equipment that's dirty and old, Ye shall crawl under raised floors, and there cables lay, Ye shall be called out at midnight and work through the day, Ye shall work on all holidays, and not make your worth, Ye shall be blamed for all downtime that occurs on the earth, Ye shall watch all the glory go to software and sales, Ye shall be blamed by them both if the system then fails. Ye shall be paid nothing out of sorrow and tears, Ye shall be forever cursed, and called FIELD ENGINEERS!" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =5.2 Quotes From: andy@henry.jpl.nasa.gov (Andy Boden) "...it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are -- if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." - R.P. Feynman ___________________________________________________________________________ From:Matthew Austern matt@physics.berkeley.edu: Never express yourself more clearly than you think. ---N. Bohr ___________________________________________________________________________ From: sichase@csa5.lbl.gov (SCOTT I CHASE) The question seems to be of such a character that if I should come to life after my death and some mathematician were to tell me that it had been definitely settled, I think I would immediately drop dead again." - Vandiver ___________________________________________________________________________ From: drory@buphyk.bu.edu (Alon Drory) Furious activity is no substitute for understanding -- H. H. Williams ___________________________________________________________________________ If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton In the sciences, we are now uniquely privileged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson In computer science, we stand on each other's feet. -- Brian K. Reid PB_________________________________________________________________________ From: gt4495c@prism.gatech.edu (Giannhs) Physics-envy is the curse of biology. -- Joel Cohen ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Dr. Stuart Savory savory.pad@sni.de / savory.pad@sni-usa.com "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?". -- A.Einstein ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Paul D. Shocklee (pds1@cornell.edu) "When in doubt, cause as much confusion as you can, and, with luck, there'll always be a loophole." - Richard Mueller ___________________________________________________________________________ From: locker@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Jon Locker) It is one Thing, to show a Man that he is in an Error, and another, to put him in possession of Truth." - John Locke ___________________________________________________________________________ From: bouche2@server.uwindsor.ca (Boucher David) It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes ___________________________________________________________________________ From: mdc@math.canterbury.ac.nz (El Technicolour) Quote: "The symbols are so illuminating that the fact that the text is incomprehensible doesn't much matter" - A.N. Prior ___________________________________________________________________________ You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford ___________________________________________________________________________ If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability. -- Vannevar Bush ___________________________________________________________________________ As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. -- Albert Einstein ___________________________________________________________________________ Mathematics contains much that will neither hurt one if one does not know it nor help one if one does know it. - J.B. Mencken ___________________________________________________________________________ CLARKE'S LAWS Arthur C. Clarke (1917-) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. _Profiles of the Future_ (1962; rev. 1973) Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination'' Clarke's First Law On which he commented: Perhaps the adjective elderly'' requires definition. In physics, mathematics, and astronautics it means over thirty; in the other disciplines, senile decay is sometimes postponed to the forties. There are, of course, glorious exceptions; but as every researcher just out of college knows, scientists of over fifty are good for nothing but board meetings, and should at all costs be kept out of the laboratory! _Profiles of the Future_ (1962; rev. 1973) Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination'' But the only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. _Profiles of the Future_ (1962; rev. 1973) Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination'' Clarke's Second Law Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. _Profiles of the Future_ (1962; rev. 1973) Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination'' Clarke's Third Law Clarke adds: As three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there. A post with the first law'' invariably gets followed up with one mentioning this: When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion--the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right. Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) _Fantasy & Science Fiction_ 1977 [magazine] In answer to Clarke's First Law ___________________________________________________________________________ What used to be called a prejudice is now called a null hypothesis. - AWF Edwards, Nature, 9th March 1971 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =6. ANECDOTES ABOUT SCIENTISTS (I'm not sure if the following one is a true story or not) The great logician Bertrand Russell (or was it A.N. Whitehead?) once claimed that he could prove anything if given that 1+1=1. So one day, some smarty-pants asked him, "Ok. Prove that you're the Pope." He thought for a while and proclaimed, "I am one. The Pope is one. Therefore, the Pope and I are one." [NOTE: The following is from merritt@Gendev.slc.paramax.com (Merritt). The story about 1+1=1 causing ridiculous consequences was, I believe, originally the product of a conversation at the Trinity High Table. It is recorded in Sir Harold Jeffreys' Scientific Inference, in a note to chapter one. Jeffreys remarks that the fact that everything followed from a single contradiction had been noticed by Aristotle (I doubt this way of putting it is quite correct, but that is beside the point). He goes on to say that McTaggart denied the consequence: "if 2+2=5, how can you prove that I am the pope?" Hardy is supposed to have replied: "if 2+2=5, 4=5; subtract 3; then 1=2; but McTaggart and the pope are two; therefore McTaggart and the pope are one." When I consider this story, I am astonished at how much more brilliant some people are than I (quite independent of the fallacies in the argument). Since McTaggart, Hardy, Whitehead, and Russell (the last two of whom were credited with a variant of Hardy's argument in your post) were all fellows of Trinity and Jeffreys (their exact contemporary) was a fellow of St. Johns, I suspect that (whatever the truth of Jeffreys' story) it is very unlikely that Whitehead or Russell had anything to do with it. The extraordinary point to me about the story is that Hardy was able to snap this argument out between mouthfuls, so to speak, and he was not even a logician at all. This is probably why it came in some people's minds to be attributed to one or other of the famous Trinity logicians. ___________________________________________________________________________ The following problem can be solved either the easy way or the hard way. Two trains 200 miles apart are moving toward each other; each one is going at a speed of 50 miles per hour. A fly starting on the front of one of them flies back and forth between them at a rate of 75 miles per hour. It does this until the trains collide and crush the fly to death. What is the total distance the fly has flown? The fly actually hits each train an infinite number of times before it gets crushed, and one could solve the problem the hard way with pencil and paper by summing an infinite series of distances. The easy way is as follows: Since the trains are 200 miles apart and each train is going 50 miles an hour, it takes 2 hours for the trains to collide. Therefore the fly was flying for two hours. Since the fly was flying at a rate of 75 miles per hour, the fly must have flown 150 miles. That's all there is to it. When this problem was posed to John von Neumann, he immediately replied, "150 miles." "It is very strange," said the poser, "but nearly everyone tries to sum the infinite series." "What do you mean, strange?" asked Von Neumann. "That's how I did it!" ___________________________________________________________________________ Von Neumann and Norbert Weiner were both the subject of many dotty professor stories. Von Neumann supposedly had the habit of simply writing answers to homework assignments on the board (the method of solution being, of course, obvious) when he was asked how to solve problems. One time one of his students tried to get more helpful information by asking if there was another way to solve the problem. Von Neumann looked blank for a moment, thought, and then answered, "Yes". Weiner was in fact very absent minded. The following story is told about him: When they moved from Cambridge to Newton his wife, knowing that he would be absolutely useless on the move, packed him off to MIT while she directed the move. Since she was certain that he would forget that they had moved and where they had moved to, she wrote down the new address on a piece of paper, and gave it to him. Naturally, in the course of the day, an insight occurred to him. He reached in his pocket, found a piece of paper on which he furiously scribbled some notes, thought it over, decided there was a fallacy in his idea, and threw the piece of paper away. At the end of the day he went home (to the old address in Cambridge, of course). When he got there he realized that they had moved, that he had no idea where they had moved to, and that the piece of paper with the address was long gone. Fortunately inspiration struck. There was a young girl on the street and he conceived the idea of asking her where he had moved to, saying, "Excuse me, perhaps you know me. I'm Norbert Weiner and we've just moved. Would you know where we've moved to?" To which the young girl replied, "Yes daddy, mommy thought you would forget." The capper to the story is that I asked his daughter (the girl in the story) about the truth of the story, many years later. She said that it wasn't quite true -- that he never forgot who his children were! The rest of it, however, was pretty close to what actually happened... ___________________________________________________________________________ The french scientist Ampere was on his way to an important meeting at the Academy in Paris. In the carriage he got a brilliant idea which he immediately wrote down ... on the wand of the carriage: dH=ipdl/r^2. As he arrived he payed the driver and ran into the building to tell everyone. Then he found out his notes were on the carriage and he had to hunt through the streets of Paris to find his notes on wheels. ___________________________________________________________________________ During a class of calculus my lecturer suddenly checked himself and stared intently at the table in front of him for a while. Then he looked up at us and explained that he thought he had brought six piles of papers with him, but "no matter how he counted" there was only five on the table. Then he became silent for a while again and then told the following story: "When I was young in Poland I met the great mathematician Waclaw Sierpinski. He was old already then and rather absent-minded. Once he had to move to a new place for some reason. His wife didn't trust him very much, so when they stood down on the street with all their things, she said: - Now, you stand here and watch our ten trunks, while I go and get a taxi. She left and left him there, eyes somewhat glazed and humming absently. Some minutes later she returned, presumably having called for a taxi. Says Mr. Sierpinski (possibly with a glint in his eye): - I thought you said there were ten trunks, but I've only counted to nine. - No, they're TEN! - No, count them: 0, 1, 2, ..." ___________________________________________________________________________ Albert Einstein, who fancied himself as a violinist, was rehearsing a Haydn string quartet. When he failed for the fourth time to get his entry in the second movement, the cellist looked up and said, "The problem with you, Albert, is that you simply can't count." ___________________________________________________________________________ From: Colin_Douthwaite@equinox.gen.nz (Colin Douthwaite) Einstein was attending a music salon in Germany before the second world war, with the violinist S. Suzuki. Two Japanese women played a German piece of music and a woman in the audience excaimed: "How wonderful! It sounds so German!" Einstein responded: "Madam, people are all the same." This is a story I heard as a freshman at the University of Utah when Dr. Henry Eyring was still teaching chemistry there. Many years before he and Dr. Einstein were colleagues. As they walked together they noted an unusual plant growing along a garden walk. Dr. Eyring asked Dr. Einstein if he knew what the plant was. Einstein did not, and together they consulted a gardner. The gardner indicated the plant was green beans and forever afterwards Eyring said Einstein didn't know beans . I heard this second hand and I don't know if the story has ever been published... ___________________________________________________________________________ From: mstueben@tjhsst.vak12ed.edu (Michael A. Stueben) The English mathematician John Wallis (1616-1703) was a friend of Isaac Newton. According to his diary, Newton once bragged to Wallis about his little dog Diamond. "My dog Diamond knows some mathematics. Today he proved two theorems before lunch." "Your dog must be a genius," said Wallis. "Oh I wouldn't go that far," replied Newton. "The first theorem had an error and the second had a pathological exception." ___________________________________________________________________________ Professor Dirac, a famous Applied Mathematician-Physicist, had a horse shoe over his desk. One day a student asked if he really believed that a horse shoe brought luck. Professor Dirac replied, "I understand that it brings you luck if you believe in it or not." ___________________________________________________________________________ The following is supposedly a true story about Russell. It isn't really a math joke since it makes fun of the British hierarchy, but it's funny anyway.... Around the time when Cold War started, Bertrand Russell was giving a lecture on politics in England. Being a leftist in a conservative women's club, he was not received well at all: the ladies came up to him and started attacking him with whatever they could get their hands on. The guard, being an English gentleman, did not want to be rough to the ladies and yet needed to save Russell from them. He said, "But he is a great mathematician!" The ladies ignored him. The guard said again, "But he is a great philosopher!" The ladies ignore him again. In desperation, finally, he said, "But his brother is an earl!" Bert was saved. ___________________________________________________________________________ Another "true" story, kinda like the aforementioned urban legend: Enrico Fermi, while studying in college, was bored by his math classes. He walked up to the professor and said, "My classes are too easy!" The professor looked at him, and said, "Well, I'm sure you'll find this interesting." Then the professor copied 9 problems from a book to a paper and gave the paper to Fermi. A month later, the professor ran into Fermi, "So how are you doing with the problems I gave you?" "Oh, they are very hard. I only managed to solve 6 of them." The professor was visibly shocked, "What!? But those are unsolved problems!" ___________________________________________________________________________ When Boltzman gave a lecture on ideal gasses, he casually mentioned complicated calculations, which didn't give him any trouble. His students could not follow the fast mathematics and asked him to do the calculations on the blackboard. Boltzman apologized and promised to do better next time. The next lesson he began: "Gentlemen, if we combine Boyle's law with Charles's law we get the equation pv= p\sub 0 v\sub 0 (1 + a t). Now it is clear that \sub a S \sup b = f(x) dx x (a), then is pv=RT and \sub V S f(x,y,z) dV = 0. It is so simple as one and one is two. At this moment he remembered his promise and dutyfully wrote 1 + 1 = 2. Then he continued with the complicated calculations from his bare mind. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7. MNEMONICS =7.1 MNEMONICS ___________________________________________________________________________ From:alfa@werple.apana.org.au (Glenn Durden): Its a bit of a nasty word to spell though. From (I think) OMNI magazine a few years back: Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Mans Only Nemesis - Insufficient Cerebral Storage. From: poodge@econBerkeley.EDU (Sam Quigley) How about a mnemonic for remembering how to spell "mnemonic?" My Nasty Editor Might Occaisonally Not Interpret Commas +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7.2 MATHEMATICS M__________________________________________________________________________ Pi: From: mshapiro@netlink.nix.com (Michael Shapiro) writes: Now I will a rhyme construct By chosen words the young instruct. Cunningly devised endeavor, Con it and remember ever. Widths of circle here you see. Sketched out in strange obscurity. From: stephan@artn.iit.edu (Stephan Meyers) Sir, I send a rhyme excelling In sacred truth and rigid spelling Numerical sprites elucidate for me the lexicon's full weight. If nature gain, who can complain tho' Doc Johnson fulminate. From: c1prasad@watson.ibm.com (prasad) Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling In mystic force and magic spelling; Celestial sprites elucidate All my own striving can't relate. From: gsc@cairo.anu.edu.au (Sean Case) Now I, even I, would celebrate in rhymes inept, the great immortal Syracusan rivall'd nevermore who in his wondrous lore passed on before left men his guidance how to circles mensurate. Americans can spell "rivall'd" as "rivaled", which works a lot better. From: thomas@melchior.frmug.fr.net (Thomas Quinot) For PI, we have in France : Que j'aime a faire apprendre un nombre utile aux sages Immortel Archimede, artiste, ingenieur Qui de ton jugement peut priser la valeur ? Pour moi ton probleme eut de pareils avantages. bhuntley@tsegw.tse.com (Brian Huntley) writes: How I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy chapters 3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8 involving quantum mechanics. 9 7 9 M__________________________________________________________________________ Here are some phrases used to remember SIN, COS, and TAN. (SIN = Opposite/Hypotenuse, COS = Adjacent/H, TAN = O/A). From: dannyb@panix.com (danny burstein): Soh-Kah-Toa Sine=opposite/hypotenuse, etc. From: stephan@artn.iit.edu (Stephan Meyers) Some officers add curly auburn hair to offer attraction From: kcousins@awadi.com.au (Kevin Cousins) Sydney Opera House: Costs are higher than originally anticipated. From: ahcson@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Tree Pig) how about Oscar Had A Hit Of Acid? write the first letter of each word along with the letters SCT like : S OH (sine = opposite/hypotenuse) C AH (cosine = adjacent/hypotenuse) T OA (tangent = opposite/adjacent) From: pdundas@bfsec.bt.co.uk (Paul Dundas) Two Old Angels Skipped Over Heaven Carrying A Harp From: pyotr@chinook.halcyon.com (Peter D. Hampe) Oscar Had A Heap Of Apples - you just have to remember the sine, cosine, tangent progression on your own. From: Andrew Rogers (rogers@sasuga.hi.com): Saddle Our Horses, Canter Away Happily, To Other Adventures. From: cs92dy@cen.ex.ac.uk sin/cos etc. Silly old Henry, caught Albert Hugging/Humping two old Aunts. From: heath@pi.cs.fsu.edu (Taliver B Heath) Oscar had a hairy old ass. SOHCAHTOA (sock-a-toe-a) The Cat Sat On An Orange And Howled Hard Some Old Hulks Carry A Huge Tub Of Ale Silly Old Hitler Caused Awful Headaches To Our Airmen Some Old Hag Cracked All Her Teeth On Asparagus Some Old Hairy Camels Are Hairier Than Others Are Silly Old Harry Caught A Herring Trawling Off America SOPHY, CADHY, TOAD From: raistlin@mentor.cc.purdue.edu (Paul) For remembering the sign of trig functions in the quadrants: All Suckers Take Calculus: in quadrants one through four C | A ---|--- T | S All=sin, cos, and tan are all posative Suckers=sine posative (others negative) Take=tangent posative (others negative) Calculus=cosine posative (others negative) M__________________________________________________________________________ Weber Tracy L (tweber@cc.brynmawr.edu): "Please excuse my dear aunt Sally" or "PEMDAS" Default operator precedence () ^ * / + - From: g4klx@g4klx.demon.co.uk (Jonathan Naylor) I was taught a longer version at school: "Brackets of my dear aunt Sally" Which nicely included the fact that brackets and "of" were higher in precedence that * / + -. Being a bunch of nasty snivelling (sp?) ten year olds, we changed it to "Bollocks of my dear aunt Sally". For our American readers, Bollocks == Gonads. Not biologically correct but who cares ? From: magyar@hss.caltech.edu (Ted Turocy) Please excuse my dear aunt Sally parentheses exponents multiplication division addition subtraction +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7.3 COMPUTER SCIENCE A__________________________________________________________________________ From: jbaldwin@teleport.com (Jim Baldwin) For the order of declarations in Pascal: Let's Cook Textured Vegetable Protein For: Labels, Constants, Types, Variables, Procedures A__________________________________________________________________________ From: tomv@vismag.limmat.net.ch (Thomas Voirol) Two stupid ones: CAFE - the positive (or unsigned) first nibble in EBCDIC numbers DB - the negative e.g. C3 = +3 F8 = 8 (unsigned) D9 = -9 33 45 7C = +33'457 (packed decimal) A__________________________________________________________________________ From: fanf@moggy.inmos.co.uk (Anthony Finch) PCMCIA: People Can't Remember Computer Industry Acronyms damn! no, that's wrong -- it should be "Memorise". It must be true... (even though it's not a mnemonic) From: khm@skom.se (Karl-Henry Martinsson) Or, as Brendan McGuire (Executive Director of PCMCIA) said: President Clinton Makes Cornbread In Arkansas A__________________________________________________________________________ From: bigbear@garlic.com Computing: You don't go to the STORE to get VD. The 360 instructions for which the second operand, instead of the first, is the recipient of the data. (STORE and cVD- convert to decimal) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7.4 PHYSICS P__________________________________________________________________________ slavins@psy.man.ac.uk (Simon Slavin) writes: And the planet one (which I got from Robert A. Heinlein): Mother very thoughtfully made a jam sandwich under no protest. for: Mercurius, Venus, thoughfully = Terra = Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturnus, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. From: snowhare@xmission.com (Snowhare) Mike Bandy wrote on 20 Jul 1994 09:33:13 -0400: Most Volcanoes Erupt Mouldy Jam Sandwiches Under Normal Pressure Many Viscious Earth Monsters Just Sat Under Nellies Porch From: dolf@echo.tds.philips.nl (Dolf Grunbauer) Planets in the solar system. My Very Excellant Memory Just Stores Up Nine Planets. From: badger@phylo.life.uiuc.edu (Jonathan Badger) My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas Actually, currently, I guess it is Pizzas Nine... From: jeff.zeitlin@execnet.com (Jeff Zeitlin) Planets of the Solar System, in order: My Very Extravagant Mother Just Sent Us Nine Parrots. When Pluto comes closer to the sun than Neptune: ... Just Sent Us Pine Nuts. From: kirrilyr@union3.su.swin.edu.au (Kirrily Robert - SINN Editor) Many Very Early Mornings Julie Sits Up Naming Planets peters@nms.otc.com.au (Peter Samuel) wrote: My favourite is for remembering the planets in our solar system: Most Volcanoes Erupt Mouldy Jam Sandwiches Under Normal Pressure From: ted_swift@qm.sri.com (Ted Swift) Matilda Visits Every Thursday, Just Stays Until Noon, Period. From: tomv@vismag.limmat.net.ch (Thomas Voirol) A German one: Mein Mercury my Vater Venus father Erklaert Earth explains Mir Mars (to) me Jeden Jupiter every Sonntag Saturn sunday Unsere Uranus our Neuen Neptune new Plaene Pluto plans This will help you remember the sequence of sol's planets. If you speak German, that is... P__________________________________________________________________________ From: eng20216@leonis.nus.sg (CHEW JOO SIANG) How bout the one for the colours of the rainbow - Virgin In Bed Gives You Orgasmic Release For : violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. From: dtrg@st-andrews.ac.uk (David Thomas Richard Given) Rip Off Your Goolies Before I Vomit From: pdundas@bfsec.bt.co.uk (Paul Dundas) Richard of York gave battle in vain From: drory@buphyk.bu.edu (Alon Drory) Or the one I picked up from an Asimov essay: Read Out Your Good Book In Verse He also said that since Violet was just a fancy-schmancy word for purple, more populistic minded people could also Read Out Your Good Book In Prose From: avg@sprintlink.net (Vadim Antonov) Russian for spectrum colors: Kazhdyi Okhotnik Zhelayet Znat' Gde Sidit Fazan every hunter wants to_know where sits a_fazan (a kind of bird) Krasnyi Oranzhevyi Zhyoltyi Zelenyi Goluboy Siniy Fioletvyi Red Orange Yellow Green Lt_Blue Blue Violet From: ingvar@ki.se (Ingvar Mattsson) Or ROY G BIV, for the same colours in the opposite direction. From: mchndnd@marie.physik.tu-berlin.de (Neil Dobson) Or ROY G BIV, for the same colours in the opposite direction. Roy G. Biv, Roy G. Biv, He's the colour quaddie That the spectrum gives. Lois McMaster Bujold. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: sjt@xun8.sr.bham.ac.uk (James Tappin) From: cummings@u.washington.edu (Mike Cummings) Stellar spectral classes: Oh be a fine girl, kiss me right now - SMACK For: 0, B, A, G, G, K, M, R, N. From: lou@xilinx.com (Lou Sanchez-Chopitea) Oh be a fine girl, kiss me right now sweetheart From: cummings@u.washington.edu (Mike Cummings) Oh Big And Ferocious Gorilla, Kill My Roommate Next Saturday! Only Boring Astronomers Find Gratification Knowing Mnemonics. From: lrmead@whale.st.usm.edu (Lawrence R. Mead) On bad afternoons fermented grapes keep Mrs. Richard Nixon smiling. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: garret@mrao.cam.ac.uk (Garret Cotter) And while we are on the topic of color, how about the one for recalling spectrographic notation: Sober Physicists Don't Find Giraffes Hiding In Kitchens. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: rjc@mail.ast.cam.ac.uk (Robert Cumming) I used to remember Newton's First Law by singing it (sotto voce, _of course_) to the tune of the Birdie Song: Every body continues in its state of rest Or of uniform motion Until compelled by some external force to change that state of rest Or of uniform motion P__________________________________________________________________________ From: claybake@cae.wisc.edu (Peter Jon Claybaker) Q: What's new (nu)? A: mu / rho It's the only way I can rememeber the relationship between absolute and kinematic viscosity. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: mje@pookie.pass.wayne.edu (Michael J. Edelman) Another favorite, learned late in life, for electronics types: Eli the Ice man. It's for remembering whether current leads voltage or lags it in reactive circuits. In inductive ('L') circuits, voltage ('E') leads current ('I'), hence 'E L I'. In capacitive ('C') circuits, it's the other way, so 'I C E'. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7.5 CHEMISTRY C__________________________________________________________________________ From: lawson@pax.llnl.gov (William S. Lawson) From: DPierce@world.std.com (Richard D Pierce) How about Feynman's mnemonic for the third period of the periodic table: "NeNa, M'gAl, SiPS Chlorine"? H H He Li Be B C N O F Ne Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar From: cummings@u.washington.edu (Mike Cummings) Let me offer this one, see if it's any better. A High School teacher taught me, "H! HeLiBebCNOFNeNaMgAlSiPSiCl!" Not much help, huh? Here's a pronunciation key: "H!" (Just make a loud H, then pause, looking as if you're about to pounce. Nice dramatic effect that gets the listener's attention.) "Heh-Lee-Beb-K'Noff-" (Easy so far) "N'Nahm" (That's N(schwa) - Nahm[rhymes with bomb]) "Gall-Sip-Sickle" From: mjh22@mrao.cam.ac.uk (Martin Hardcastle) OK, _my_ high school teacher had the following: "Hell! Here're Little Beatniks Brandishing Countless Numbers Of Flick kNives." H He Li Be B C N O F er, Ne "Naughty Maggie Always Sips Pure Sweet Claret" N Mg Al Si P S Cl He couldn't remember any more after that, so nor can I. From: kirrilyr@union3.su.swin.edu.au (Kirrily Robert - SINN Editor) "Hi Helen, Little Betty Boron Can Not Often Find Neddy. Naughty Meg Always SiPS Chlorine in Kenny's Car" From: harper@kauri.vuw.ac.nz (John Harper) And in chemistry we eventually learnt to pronounce the following, though each line seems harder than the one before: HHeLiBeBCNOF NeNaMgAlSiPSCl AKCaScTiVCrMnFeCoNiCuZnGaGeAsSeBr (this was before they changed it to ArKCa...) KrRbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPdAgCdInSnSbTeI but I must admit I didn't find the rare earths memorable this way. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: matthew@tadtec.co.uk (Matthew Sweet) In article verhagen@fys.ruu.nl (Joachim Verhagen) writes: > We got german, french and russian in this thread. Time for a dutch one. > > The electro-negativity of Metals: > Karolientje NAaktgeboren MaG ALleen op ZoN en FEestdagen SNoepen. > Caroline nakedborn may only on sun- and Holliday eat sweets. > (=real dutch family name) > > ProBeer Haar te Kussen(=Cu) achter(Ag) de Platina AUto. > Try her to kiss behind the platina car. But in english: Please Send Little Charlie McKie A Zebra If The Horse Can't Munch Sweet Green Plants Potassium, Sodium, Lithium, Calcium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Zinc, Iron, ?Tin? Hydrogen Copper, ?Mercury?, Silver, Gold, Platinum +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7.6 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE ___________________________________________________________________________ Cranial nerves: From: sterner@upenn5.hep.upenn.edu (Kevin Sterner) On Old Olympus's Towering Top, A Finn And German Viewed Some Hops From: mje@pookie.pass.wayne.edu (Michael J. Edelman) On Old Olympus' towering top, a fat-assed german veiwed a hop. From: john.tant@exchange.com (John Tant) The 12 cranial nerves, On Old Olympus, Terry Tried Abducting Fanny After Giving Vegas Some Help Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel a girl's vagina- ah, heaven! From: spbcajk@ucl.ac.uk (Mr Andrew John Kale) Oh, Oh, Oh To Touch A Fair Virgin's Glistening Vagina And Hymen for the twelve cranial nerves: Olfactory, Optic, Oculomotor, Trochlear, Trigeminal, Auditory, Facial, Vestibulocochlear, Glossopharyngeal, Vagus, Accessory, Hypoglossal ___________________________________________________________________________ From: abw@bu.edu (Al Wesolowsky) Anatomy, for the bones of the wrist: "Never lower Tillie's pants. Grandmother might come home." Navicular Lunate Triquetral Pisiform Greater Multangular Lesser Multangular Capitate Hamate From: spbcajk@ucl.ac.uk (Mr Andrew John Kale) I was always taught this as : Scabby Lucy Tried Peeing Having Copulated Twenty Times Scaphoid Lunate Triquetral Pisiform Hamate Capitate ... and two others I've forgotten (it was a long time ago!) B__________________________________________________________________________ From: dpbsmith@world.std.com (Daniel P. B. Smith) Biology: Kings play cards on fairly good soft velvet. (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, Variety). From: gjb@evolving.com (Gregory Bloom) Then there's the ever-popular 'King Phillip Cuts Open Five Green Snakes' for Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species From: alderc@aol.com (Alder Castanoli) King Philip Came Over From Germany Speedily From: joev@garden.WPI.EDU (Joseph W. Vigneau): Ian Young wrote: King Phillip Came Over For George's Sword From: joev@garden.WPI.EDU (Joseph W. Vigneau): King Phillip Came Over For Good Sex From: scs@eskimo.com (Steve Summit) King Philip can only farm green spinach. From Charlie Gibbs (Charlie_Gibbs@mindlink.bc.ca): King Phillip Came Over for a Glass of Scotch From: ab401@freenet.carleton.ca (Paul Tomblin) King Phillip: Come Out For God's Sake. (From Colin Fletcher, "The Man Who Walked Through Time" - a book about a walk down the length of the Grand Canyon) From: sichase@csa5.lbl.gov (SCOTT I CHASE) King Phillip Came Over From Germany, Stoned on Gin, Rum, and Vodka. This gives you subspecies classifications as well (variety, etc.) From: badger@phylo.life.uiuc.edu (Jonathan Badger) Kraft Parmesian Cheese On Fingers Gets Sticky B__________________________________________________________________________ From: Peter Berger All Chaperones Must Previously Have Had Sex. Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Primata, Hominidae, Homo, Sapiens. Man's taxonomy. B__________________________________________________________________________ From: sclatter@littlewing.Eng.Sun.COM (Sarah Clatterbuck) Then there's my personal fave, because I made it up: "Lazy zebras ponder dire disasters." leptotene zygotene polytene diplotene diakinesis I think the spellings may be wrong. They're the five sub-phases of the prophase of mitosis (cell division). +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =7.7 MISCELLANY ___________________________________________________________________________ From: cbutler@bnr.ca (Chris Butler) writes: I remember one for the metric system: "King Hector Doesn't Usually Drink Cold Milk" for Kilo 1000 Hecto 100 Deca 10 Units 1 Deci 0.1 Centi 0.01 Milli 0.001 From: jsandler@encore.com (Jeff Sandler) My math teacher, who taught us a similar one, must have been more..um... sadist. "Kill Hector Dead , Dear Cousin Milli." ___________________________________________________________________________ From: davek@microware.com (Dave Kimble) MUSIC: order of sharps: Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle order of flats: Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father ___________________________________________________________________________ Richard F. Drushel wrote: Every good boy does fine = line notes, treble clef, bottom to top From: harper@kauri.vuw.ac.nz (John Harper) Every good boy deserves food though girls quoted it as: Every good boy deserves flogging. E__________________________________________________________________________ From: jmpierce@medea.gp.usm.edu (Jim M. Pierce) Color codes resistors: 'Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly, Get Some Now.' black brown red yellow green blue violet grey white gold silver GSN stands for the plus or minus bit... 5 percent, 10 percent, and 20 percent. i.e. 100 ohms, plus or minus 5 percent. From: jac@ds8.scri.fsu.edu (Jim Carr) Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly, for Gold or Silver. From: tonyg@kcbbs.gen.nz (Tony Garnock-Jones) : Yes, but I always get stuck trying to remember is "bad" black or is : "boys"? I always forget without difficulty. Blue and the two g's I can : remember no problem. BlAck -> BAd BrOwn -> BOys BlUe -> BUt The second letter of each B-word is the _third_ letter of the word it stands for :-) Neat pattern... From: rcsacw@rwc.urc.tue.nl (Christ van Willegen) Black bastards Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly. (offending, but easier to remember black, brown) From: wingo@apple.com (Tony Wingo) This alternative version solves that problem: Blackie Brown rapes our young girls but violet gives willingly. From: woodman@bnr.ca (Dave Woodman) "Billy Brown Revives On Your Gin, But Values Good Whisky." From: jlowrey@skat.usc.edu (Fritz Lowrey) Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts, But Vodka Goes Well Grant Edwards wrote: Better Be Ready, Or Your Great Big Venture Goes West. (goes west = fails, dies) From: eeyimkn@unicorn.nott.ac.uk (M. Knell) My eternal favourite (and the one that nobody's mentioned yet): Black Beetles Running On Your Garden Bring Very Good Weather From: thomas@melchior.frmug.fr.net (Thomas Quinot) French version : Ne Mangez Rien Ou Jeunez, Voila Bien Votre Grande Betise. ___________________________________________________________________________ From Charlie_Gibbs@mindlink.bc.ca: There's no red port wine left. (navigation light colours) ___________________________________________________________________________ From: bigbear@garlic.com Geology: Terrible Giants Can Find Alligators Or Quaint Tigers Conveniently Digestible. Hardness scale for minerals: Talc, Gypsum, Calcite, Flourite, Apatite, Orthoclase feldspar, Quartz, Topaz, Corundum, Diamond. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: dpbsmith@world.std.com (Daniel P. B. Smith) Geology: "Come on, see daring men play polo." (Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Permian, Pennsylvanian). "Phooey! Even old men play polo, right?" (Palaeocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Recent). From: john.tant@exchange.com (John Tant) Campbell's Onion Soup Does Make People Puke. ___________________________________________________________________________ From: jeff.zeitlin@execnet.com (Jeff Zeitlin) From navigation, for converting between True, Magnetic, and Compass directi applying variation and deviation: True virgins make dull company Or backwards: can dead men vote twice +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ =8. PRANKS C__________________________________________________________________________ by Alan Meiss, ameiss@gn.ecn.purdue.edu Wherein the author relates the Tale of the Exploding Pen. Everyone who's taken high school chemistry probably has some entertaining stories of experiments not included in the syllabus, myself included. A friend and I did a great deal of spontaneous research in our class involving myriad flame tests and chemical combinations "Mother Nature never intended." I recall one time when the teacher left the room, and my friend dashed into the storeroom in the back to see what he could filch. He returned with a heaping handful of silver nitrate powder, which isn't exactly recommended handling procedure for this chemical. When rapid discomfort made him dispose of this material, the rest of us observed to our amazement that his entire hand had turned silver. By the end of the day it had turned purple. But all this, of course, is peripheral to the Tale of the Exploding Pen. One day in Chemistry class we were using calcium metal, which reacts with water to give off hydrogen gas and heat. This was definitely Nifty, and I saved several pieces. It became a source of amusement to drop it in a puddle of water and watch it bubble and sputter, then quickly hand it to someone during a quiet class to provoke an alarmed bellow (the stuff got pretty hot). By the afternoon I had one piece left, which I, based on thought processes that now entirely elude me, stored, along with some water, in my pen, one of those Bic Biros with the large white barrel and detachable endcap. It soon slipped my mind that I'd done this, and I went on my way to Biology class. Midway through class, we were wrapping up an experiment, with the teacher giving a lecture and the class taking notes. I was standing in the back of the room, writing down final data from our petri dishes of E. Coli, when my pen exploded. It was very loud, louder than a firecracker, and I looked up to see every face in the class staring at me and the remnant of my pen with great alarm. The resulting silence was finally broken when someone muttered "his pen exploded!" I tried to play it cool, giving my pen as cursory an inspection as possible, as if this were a frequent occurence of little concern, and returned to an extroadinarily studious job of note-taking. The teacher just smiled and continued the lecture in a bit; I guess he was used to this sort of thing. We had some other interesting experiences in this biology course, including the development of Live Chicken Bowling, and the concealment of chickens in people's personal belongings. In one class I remember, one of the kids wadded up paper towels into a foot-wide ball, and for reasons I don't fathom arrived at the decision to set it on fire when the teacher left the room. Too late it occcurred to him that a large ball of fire is fairly conspicuous in a classroom setting, so he stuffed it into the lab drawer beside his desk just before the teacher returned. The sudden earnest interest in the lecture he tried to demonstrate was not enough to distract from the smoke rising from his desk, however, and he got in a significant amount of trouble. But let me return once again to Chemistry class. In all, it was a fairly boring class, and we even had to pursue non- flammable entertainment. I programmed a Blackjack game on my pocket computer, and we would pass it around the class for all to play. A lively betting pool would sometimes start when the score got high. One day we managed to play a full game of Risk in the back of the room during lecture. Some of us would spend a half an hour at a stretch duplicating Muppet noises from Sesame Street episodes: "Tiiiick Tooooock BrrrrrrrRING! Yupyupyupyup". Others would interupt any rare quiet moments by yanking leg hairs from other guys wearing shorts. None of this infantilism, however, can compare to the mayhem related to me by one of my roommates that went on in his own high school chemistry class. He had a particularly anarchic chem class that seemed to involve an impressive amount of pyrotechnics. On one occassion, someone threw a fist-sized chunk of potassium metal in a sink full of water, which destroyed it (both sink and water) with a great shower of sparks. Another time his classmates covered an entire desktop with infamous nitrogren tri-iodide, an unstable compound made from ammonia and iodine that explodes when touched, leaving purple stains. They detonated it by throwing a paper airplane, blowing the top off the desk. In an act of tremendous stupidity, they filled an entire liter beaker with the gray incendiary material from sparklers, and when some fool tossed in a match, the resulting column of fire burned holes in both the table and ceiling. In an extra-curriculur adventure, they piled a mound of thermite they'd prepared in class on a particularly despised person's driveway. When ignited, it blasted a foot wide hole through the concrete and down to the dirt. Their most notable "achievement", however, was placing in someone's locker in a dish of water a large chunk of some unknown material that gives off noxious odors when moist. He said that the resulting nauseating stench spread through the entire school. One girl barfed in mid-sprint to the bathroom, and the school had to evacuate the building and cancel classes for the rest of the day. In an entire semester of Chemistry class, his only remotely educational experience was learning to make soap, and he had to repeat the subject here at Purdue, minus the pyrotechnics. PCB________________________________________________________________________ From: junep@bu.edu (June Peckingham) I recall those days of high school science pranks well. (although our chem teacher was much to smart to ever leave sodium of potassium where we could find it). -Earth Science - learning to burn skin with a magnifying glass. Also learned that chalk, when heated with a magnifying glass, will explode. -Biology - Actively participated in an experiment to kill the mutant fish that lived in the aquarium. We tried everything - soda, windex, acid. These guys were tough. The other high point of bio was having a frog pee down my friend's arm, cool. -Chemistry - In a neighboring school one of the hooligans superglued everything in the classroom. The teacher was infuriated. When he went to sit down he found that his chair was also stuck in place. He did succeed in moving it, only by removing the four floor tiles it was glued to. My high school chem teacher was too scary to try anything fun on. I did manage to light a table on fire though. -Physics - Our physics teacher was cool. He let us form a line into the hall and use the power of the Van de Graph generator to shock passers by. hehe. We also got to chop a large block of wood off his stomach to demonstrate inertia. He taught us the 'to every force there is an equal and opposite..' by throwing himself against a wall while wearing roller skates. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: arildj@edb.tih.no (Arild Jensen) A friend of mine got a hold of a large chunck of potassium metal which he brought to a party. He managed to dare another guy to make it explode. The other guy wasn't of the brightest type, and he didn't believe it would explode in contact with water. Anyhow, stupid as he was, he went to the bathroom and thew it into the toilet. Nothing happened, so he went back out again, saying to my friend "Hey, nothing happe...." BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!! The whole bathroom was covered with smoke, and the toilet-seat was completely ruined, cracked and everything. The guy who held the party had to use the neighbors bathroom the following week, until his own one got repaired. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: pkukla@silver.ucs.indiana.edu (Peter Kukla) When I was in High School, one of my classmates was having a serious problem with people stealing his lunch. Every day it disappeared from his locker (don't recall whether his lock was broken off or what.) Complaining to the principal did no good, so he went to his father, a pharmacist. His father gave him some substance (Silver Nitrate) which didn't discolor the food, but which turned your skin black or purple when you came in contact with it. This guy liberally coated his food with it, and waited. I was fortunate enough to see the results. Another classmate, who had ostensibly gone to the bathroom, returned to the math class, hiding his hands and face as best he could. It didn't work - his dyed skin was obvious. A cohort of his didn't even bother to return to class, he just fled the school for the day. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: meyerar@scooby.beloit.edu (Arden Meyer) When I was in High School, my chemistry teacher had the privilege of scaring most of the freshman chem class. He had a wooden cutting block set out on the bench at the front of the class, with a large butcher's knife. After everyone took their seats, he produced an apple, two 200 mL beakers containing clear fluid, an empty 500 mL beaker, and an eye dropper. He proceeded to cut the apple in half, and then place the knife back in a locked drawer (he didn't trust us!). With the dropper, he squirted some of liquid A onto one half of the apple, and we all saw it eat away at the apple rather quickly. Then, after rinsing the dropper, he squirted some of liquid B onto the remaining half of the apple, which also ate it away. He then poured liquid A and liquid B into the 500 mL beaker, and swirled the mixture for a few moments (about twenty seconds). He then downed the whole thing in one big swallow! As it turned out, liquid A was hydrocloric acid, and liquid B was sodium hydroxide. They were both of the same molarity, and so when mixed, they produced salt water. The most interesting happening of this was the next year, when a young lady passed out as the teacher swallowed his drink... ## if you have the stupidity to try this, make sure you know alot about chemistry and that you get the concentrations right!!! ## C__________________________________________________________________________ From: glyle@marie.seas.ucla.edu (George Lyle (233789)) Not quite a prank, but dang funny: While I was in a high school chem class, the teacher was showing how to properly heat a test tube with a Bunsen burner. He said "never point the mouth of the tube toward you like this (pointing tube at his head)" Always point the test tube away from your body (turns test tube away). At that instant, the alcohol/acid solution in the tube shot out and ignited, flaming a 5 foot periodic table on the wall. Half of class broke out laughing while other half was frozen in seats. Teacher grabs fire bottle and puts out fire. Teacher never gave that demo in the same way again! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: tomcheng@soda.berkeley.edu (Thomas T. Cheng) We must have had the same chem teacher or something. The exact same thing happened in our class, except it was our homework that caught on fire. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: michaec@beaufort.sfu.ca (Strider Coyle) This happened to me, except the *bottom* of the tube blew off and lit my binder on fire. P__________________________________________________________________________ From: isoner@clt.fx.net (Isoner) My science teacher gave a demonstration on electric current by makeing circits in beakers of salt water. Then he dropped it so that half of it was in a beaker and the other half was out. Theoreticaly he should have been able to pick it up with no problem because it was not completeing a circut. would have been safe, except he was leaning against the metal plumbing. He almost put a dent in the chalk board. Later in the year he used the gas lines in the class rooms to blow bubbles and them ignite them with a match. There is still a scorch mark uon the celing. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: Trish or CJ When I was in high school I pulled off this particular prank. This one guy in the class was always pissing me off, so I conspired to make a fool of him in front of the class. The next day during chem lab, we were informed that we would be using concentrated sulfuric acid, which is clear. Anyway, during the lab, I took the beaker full of sulfuric acid (and this is the kind of stuff that burns through flesh) and hid it behind a desk. I then filled an identical beaker full of steaming-hot, but not burning-hot water. I used a wax pencil to write on the outside. 'Concentrated Sulfuric Acid'. Then I walked over to this guy that was pissing me off and got his attention. I took a medicine dropper, filled it with the stuff (which he thought was acid) and shot it all over his face. It was hot water, so he thought he was burning! He started screaming, 'Cj threw acid on me!!!' And promptly began thrashing and shrieking. Everyone stared at me. Then I held the beaker aloft, threw my head back and drank the whole thing. The teacher nearly dropped dead on the spot. The rest you can just imagine. --CJ Calo C__________________________________________________________________________ From: rcousine@malibu.sfu.ca (Ryan John Cousineau) My High School science courses were similarly interesting. We had a Science 10 teacher who wasn't usually much for science. As a demonstration, he dropped a blob of sodium into a pan of water. Very impressive. Especially when, with a "pop" the sodium exploded in front of the teacher. He did the demo for the next block with a much smaller piece of sodium... Another good one was our Chem 12 teacher, who left some disgusting, viscous black mixture on his lab table at the front of the class. We were all busy at our desks, when all of a sudden there was a huge, loud "POP!" and the sucker exploded! Blew black goo up to the ceiling, over the front desks, down to the floor. The stuff on the ceiling never did come off, and some of the students would no longer sit in the front row. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: gandalf@gibeah.connected.com (Gandalf the Grey) Ammonium tri-iodide is an extremely fun chemical. But you have to be careful. My chem prof played a really cool joke on this really annoying bastard in my class. Real pop-off, and he deserved it. You simply fix iodine crystals (expensive) and ammonia (roughtly as much as the crystals can dissolve into). While it is liquid, it's reasonably safe. Don't use more than a drop on anything, since it will explode once it's dry, and can be dangerous. However, when placed on a countertop in a very small amount, the first person to touch it gets quite a surprise and a stain on their skin and doesn't come off easily. Hilarious actually. I've only made it once, though. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: eapu160@rigel.oac.uci.edu (Mr. Wizard) I know that this doesn't really count as a "prank", but once in high school chem we were doing potassium experiments, and there were 36 students (so there were 37 people including the teacher). Each student has 20 test tubes full of water and into each one he or she places a small amount of potassium (the experiment was supposed to test the production of hydrogen.) After the experiment, each person puts the test tubes into a central trash can (for those of you slow in math, that's 740 test tubes EACH ONE of which is pumping out hydrogen.) Later on we were doing tests with glowing splints, and the teacher said "don't put a burning splint into the trash can" (for obvious reasons) Well, one girl thought that a glowing splint (not burning) would be ok. All I can say is that the column of red flame was more spectacular than any movie nuclear blast! In fact, to this day (6 years later), there is still a very large burn mark on the ceiling of that classroom. Another one with the same teacher was another potassium mishap. Since potassium cannot be stored in water, it is stored in a sort of oil. Well, he took a golf-ball size chunk and held it in is hand as he cut it. Un- fortunately, the oil was slippery and the chunk fell into the beaker. Well, what happened was that the beaker EXPLODED and impaled the teacher with several bits of glass (he was in hospital for a day or two) and the desk was strewn with a hundred or so pock-marks. However, one real prank was with the SAME teacher was in order to keep sanity and good behaviour in class, he would keep 2 squirt guns with him. One with water, and the other with SILVER NITRATE SOLUTION. (this stuff looks just like water but it turns skin BLACK on contact) He shot about 4 people during the year, but only one girl (the same one with the hydrogen) got the silver nitrate (on the FACE!!!). Finally, this was one I did in college. My first year in the dorms, I would keep a bottle of root beer which someone would continually drink without my knowing. After I couldn't stand it anymore, I went to a friend in the chem dept. and asked him for an acid/base indicator that turns base pink (I forget what the indicator was), and put a bit in my root beer bottle. The plan was that human urine is somewhat base, so when the culprit drank my root beer, he began to pee pink. Needless to say, about 12 hours later, this guy thought he was gonna die! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: daudo@bcars201.bnr.ca (Dau Do) Yeah, these stories remind me about my science teacher. He's used to wear a prescripted sunglass so that no one knew that he's sleeping while students were writing test. Anyway, after one of the experiments that used acids, one guy in my class pour the acid on his desk. He didn't know and took off his glass put on the wet spot. When he put it on again, his skin burned left a red circular around his eyes ... ___________________________________________________________________________ From: lister@dbreath.uucp (Lister) Well I am a Medical Technologist, and through the years in the field we have pulled some good jokes. One of the funny ones I can remember is a day when I was working in Hematology. One of the other techs, that was working in Chemistry, was this real whining hypochondriac. Well he came over to me telling me that he felt really sick and was wondering if I would run A CBC and Differential on him. So I drew his blood and labeled it and it to hematology and ran it.. It was normal as normal could be, but I decided to have a bit of fun. Earlier in the day a known CLL patient had been in and gave some blood, so I took one of the extra tubes, poured it into a new tube and labeled it with this techs info (making sure to make a mark as to not confuse the real sample up). Well I ran the CLL pt. blood and made a smear, then I went over to him and said "you had better take a look at this". He came over and looked at the results and then looked at the smear, and went a bit pale and said that I must have mixed it up, with somebody else. So I gave him the falsely labeled tube and he ran it himself getting the same results. You should have seen his face I thought he was gonna Die right there! Anyway I let him suffer for about 2 min. or so then gave him the real results and from the look on his face I though I was gonna die! C__________________________________________________________________________ From: lwric1@MFS04.cc.monash.edu.au (LUKE RICHARDS) My Yr 12 chemistry teacher (young guy, had only been teaching for about three or four years) told us about the time when he was at College doing his dip ed, and he was working with sodium. He was pouring the kerosine off the oil and down the sink, and there was one chip of sodium left at the bottom of the tin he was emptying (unfortunately for him). Well, it fell out, and because someone had been using the sink before him there was water in there. The sodium ignited, flared and set the kerosine on fire which then raced along the length of the sink and down the plughole with one almighty explosion. He said he had to have a haircut that night because he lost his fringe and both his eyebrows. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: gapv64@cent.gla.ac.uk (Brian Ewins) Yet another exploding light metal story.... A friend of mine was recently doing a PhD in Chemistry in the building next door to where I am writing this... anyway, his project seemed to involve increasingly more dangerous chemicals for no good reason. Normally, you sign out all chemicals, and they're all accounted for at the end of the day. But, towards the end of his PhD, he opened one of his cupboards to discover a jar of Sodium that he'd got, never used, and the paperwork (it turned out) for it had since been lost. This was *2 Kg* of sodium in a big lump. Sodiums not very dense, that's a big f**ker. Anyhow, the fate of this lost lump was to accompany some of the students out to a lake in the park, where they threw it...still in its jar (that they managed to get this far at all is kinda surprising because they were all completely blootered at the time). And then, in a masterpiece of forward planning, they got out the airgun :o) ... 'cos they were all drunk, and the jar (now floating on the lake) was fairly thick, it took quite a few shots to break. Surprisingly, the thing didn't explode...it just sat there burning. (obviously only the surface of the lump was reacting, but even so...) So they all sat down, cracked open some more beers, and watched the sodium light up the night. Cool. C__________________________________________________________________________ From: What follows is not an invented joke, but a true story, although I may have embellished it a little over many years of telling. "Sister Karen" was a nun and a Chemistry teacher who had come to work on her Master's degree with my now retired colleague Prof Herbert Meislich , who happens to be Jewish. Her first task was to monobrominate a ketone. She added her Br2, and started the stirrer as instructed....nothing happened ..... STILL no decolorisation...... after some time she is getting worried, and asks another student, who told her - "See that man over there - that's Prof McKelvie, ask him" A slightly out of breath nun comes up to me - "Prof McKelvie? My reaction won't work !" My evil mind was thinking WHICH of her reactions was not working, but that's another st story. ) Anyway, I could have told her that bromination is dependent on making the enol, and this is promoted ny acid, so that the HBr produced will aid enolisation and all will be well. BUT - that morning I'd found on the floor a Star of David that had fallen off some Jewish girl's neck, and I'd been looking for the owner... INSPIRATION! - the problem is that you've had the wrong theoretical training ! Just a moment ....I tied the Star of David around her apparatus, added a few drops of hydrochloric acid just to help things along, and announced that NOW it would work in five minutes ! It took four minutes and 50 seconds by my watch. "SEE?!" She had the brains and a good Irish sense of humour to realise she was being "had", and I explained that it was her Organic Chemistry that was being deficient, not theology...... (Aftermath - two Jewish girls came down from upstairs and wanted to borrow the gold chain so that THEIR reactions would work better........) Neil McKelvie +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ -- Joachim Verhagen Email:J.C.D.Verhagen@fys.ruu.nl Department of molecular biofysics, University of Utrecht Utrecht, The Netherlands.
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Cogito ergo spud (I think therefore I yam).