If I couldn't laugh, I'd cry
Table of contents for this page
You might be a Nuclear Engineer if...
(submitted by Morgan Brown)
- you joined a debating club so you could be the moderator
- your idea of a day off is to go fission
- you would rather have zircon jewelry than diamond
- you misunderstood when the pet store owner said rabbits made good breeders
- you thought your mother had said 'Spare the rod and spoil the pile'
- you know the difference amongst AEC, AECL and AECB
- you get excited because your compost pile is giving
off decay heat
Genre: There once was an Engineer, a Mathematician, ...
(submitted by Piero Pianarosa)
- 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 fries with
- Engineers think that equations approximate the real world.
Scientists think that the real world approximates equations.
Mathematicians are unable to make the connection...
- 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."
- 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
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,
"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!"
- 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
the same crime, 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 . . . ."
- An engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist went to the races one
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..."
- As an experiment, an engineer, a physicist, and a
mathematician are placed in separate rooms and left with a can of food, but no
can opener. A day later, the rooms are opened, one-by-one. In the first room,
the engineer is snoring, with a battered, opened and emptied can. When asked,
he explains that when he got hungry, he beat the can to its failure point. In
the second room, the physicist is seen mouthing equations, with a can popped
open beside him. When asked, he explains that when he got hungry, he examined
the stress points of the can, applied pressure, and "pop!" In the third room,
the mathematician is found sweating, and mumbling to himself, "Assume the can
is open, assume the can is open..."
A Thermodynamics Problem:
A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate
students. It had one question: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic?
Support your answer with a proof."
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant.
One student, however wrote the following: First, we postulate that if souls exist,
then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have
a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls
leaving? I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will
not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, lets look
at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions
state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since
there are more than one of these religions and people don't belong to more than
one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell. With birth
and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase
exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law
states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same,
the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. So, if hell
is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the
temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose. Of
course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell,
then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over. (It was not
revealed what grade the student got.)
(submitted by Charles W. Baetsen)
20 Worst Things To Hear At A Nuclear Power Plant
(submitted by Janet Nurnberg)
- Fission shmission, relax, I'll increase the water level after my
- Was that "Open valve A and close valve B" or was it the other way
- This whole plant will be running under Win95 tomorrow.
- HEY! Is smoke coming out of the core normal?
- Who forgot to pay the water bill?
- We got 12 seconds to WHAT????
- Meet your new plan superintendent: Bozo the clown.
- A leak? Can't you fix it with duct tape or something?
- Oh yeah! 50 bucks says I can make it blow.
- It's Russian technology.
- Move over Three Mile Island - here we come !!!
- Sniff, sniff.... you smell that?
- I used to work at Chernobyl.
- All the way to the RIGHT, not LEFT you dummy!
- It's your turn to wax the core.
- How come all the big shots are leaving?
- Is that a 60 minute film crew out there?
- Is this part really necessary?
- OF COURSE I went to high school. Didn't finish it, though.
- Look at the good news: we are going to find out
whether people actually glow in the dark.
If driving were like operating a nuclear power plant
(submitted by Charles W. Baetsen)
- You must have a state trooper in the car with you on a routine basis.
- If the speed limit is 55 mph, your cruise control can be set no higher than
53 mph. (actual limit based on road designed for 70 mph, downgraded by conservative
legislature to 55. Also, the technical specification limit is 53 due to accuracy
of instrument to avoid hitting 55 due to calibration error).
- Your written operating procedure would limit you to 51 mph (administrative limit) so you wouldn't inadvertently exceed the Tech Spec limit.
- If you actually reached 53 mph, the car engine would automatically shut off. (You would be expected to manually cut off the engine at 52 to avoid the automatic trip).
- When your engine stopped, you would have to apply both sets of brakes. (You would be required to have two independent brake systems, not counting the emergency brake. You would also have an anchor and chain attached to your bumper you could throw out in case none of the above worked).
- Once the car stopped you would be required to immediately call the highway patrol on your cell telephone and tell them you "tripped". Within 30 days, you would have to send in a formal report explaining what happened, why, and what you have done to assure it never happens again. The highway patrol would decide if they wanted to write a ticket, although you never exceeded 55.
- The Highway patrol would post your report in a public place where Ralph Nader would read it and proclaim to the world that you were a speed demon. He would use it to support the claim that cars cannot be driven safely.
- If a school bus was also on the road, the state governor would have it evacuated because the fumes from your gas tank might cause the kids to be burnt. (Note: there has been no damage to the gas tank, there has been no spill, but one of his advisors heard that Ford Pintos (you drive a Chevy) have a tendency to explode in a wreck).
- Also, when you stopped for gas, you would have to
report (in the same manner) if you found your tire pressure or oil level low,
a burned out headlight, excessive wear in your brake pads, low windshield
wiper fluid or worn blades. (And you would have to check all of the above each
time you filled up.) And, if the automaker found a defect requiring a recall,
he would call you on your cell phone and you would have to pull over on the
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
(submitted by Walter Keyes)
- KINDERGARTEN TEACHER To get to the other side.
- PLATO For the greater good.
- ARISTOTLE It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.
- KARL MARX It was a historical inevitability.
- TIMOTHY LEARY Because that's the only trip the establishment would
let it take.
- SADDAM HUSSEIN This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were
quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.
- RONALD REAGAN I forget.
- CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
- HIPPOCRATES Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas.
- ANDERSEN CONSULTING Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road
was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with
significant challenges to create and develop the competencies
required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering
relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical
distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration
Model(PIM), Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies,
knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes and
technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management
framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road
analysts and best chickens along with Andersen consultants with deep skills in the
transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to
leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to
enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals
of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an
enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median
processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an
impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and
built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the
chicken's mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the
creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the
chicken change to become more successful.
- LOUIS FARRAKHAN The road, you see, represents the black man. The
chicken 'crossed' the black man in order to trample him and keep him down.
- MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. I envision a world where all chickens will be
free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.
- MOSES And God came down from the Heavens, and He said unto the
chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the chicken crossed the road, and there
was much rejoicing.
- FOX MULDER You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many
more chickens have to cross the road before you believe it?
- RICHARD M. NIXON The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the
chicken did NOT cross the road.
- MACHIAVELLI The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares
why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.
- JERRY SEINFELD Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't
anyone ever think to ask, What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all
over the place, anyway?"
- FREUD The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed
the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.
- BILL GATES I have just released the new Chicken Office 2000, which
will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important
documents, and balance your checkbook.
- OLIVER STONE The question is not, "Why did the chicken cross the
road?" Rather, it is, "Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we
overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?"
- DARWIN Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally
selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to crossroads.
- EINSTEIN Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved
beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
- BUDDHA Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.
- RALPH WALDO EMERSON The chicken did not cross the road.
It transcended it.
- ERNEST HEMINGWAY To die. In the rain.
- COLONEL SANDERS I missed one?
- CLINTON I did not, and I repeat, I did not have
sexual relations with the chicken.
Dilbert's Theorem on Salary
Dilbert's Theorem on Salary states that engineers and scientists can
never earn as much salary as business executives and sales people.
This theorem can now be supported by a mathematical equation that is
based on the following two postulates:
Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
Postulate 2: Time is Money
As every engineer knows: Work / Time = Power
Since Knowledge =
Power, and Time = Money,
we have: Work / Money =
Solving for Money, we get: Work / Knowledge =
Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity
regardless of the amount of Work done.
CONCLUSION: The Less you Know, the More you Make.
(submitted by Mike Becke)
A true (?) story about physics and barometers.
Sir Ernest Rutherford, President of the Royal Academy, and recipient of
the Nobel Prize in Physics, related the following story: "Some time ago
I received a call from a colleague. He was about to give a student a zero
for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed a
perfect score. The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter,
and I was selected. read the examination question: "Show how it is possible to determine
the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer."
The student had answered: "Take the barometer to the top of the
building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to the street, and then bring it up,
measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height
of the building." The student really had a strong case for full credit since he had really
answered the question completely and correctly! On the other hand, if
full credit were given, it could well contribute to a high grade in his
physics course and certify competence in physics, but the answer did not
confirm this. I suggested that the student have another try. I gave the
student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the
answer should show some knowledge of physics.
At the end of five minutes, he hadn't written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he
said he had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best
one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go
on. In the next minute, he dashed off his answer which read: "Take the
barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the
roof. Drop the barometer, timing its fall with a stopwatch. Then, using the formula
x=0.5*a*t^2, calculate the height of the building."
At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded,
and gave the student almost full credit. While leaving my colleague's
office, I recalled that the student had said that he had other answers to the
problem, so I asked him what they were.
"Well," said the student, "there are many ways of getting the height of
a tall building with the aid of a barometer. For example, you could take
the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the
barometer, the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building,
and by the use of simple proportion, determine the height of the
"Fine," I said, "and others?"
"Yes," said the student, "there is a very basic measurement method you
will like. In this method, you take the barometer and begin to walk up
the stairs. As you climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the
barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and his
will give you the height of the building in barometer units."
"A very direct method."
"Of course. If you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the
barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine
the value of g [gravity] at the street level and at the top of the
building. From the difference between the two values of g, the height of
the building, in principle, can be calculated."
"On this same tack, you could take the barometer to the top of the
building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to just above the street,
and then swing it as a pendulum. You could then calculate the height of
the building by the period of the precession".
"Finally," he concluded, "there are many other ways of solving the
problem." "Probably the best," he said, "is to take the barometer to the basement
and knock on the superintendent's door. When the superintendent
answers, you speak to him as follows: 'Mr. Superintendent, here is a fine
barometer. If you will tell me the height of the building, I will give
you this barometer."
At this point, I asked the student if he really did not know the
conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, but said
that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to
teach him how to think.
The name of the student was Neils Bohr."
(submitted by S. Mohammad R. Nejat)
Top 50 Oxymorons
(submitted by George Bereznai)
- 50. Act naturally
- 49. Found missing
- 48. Resident alien
- 47. Advanced BASIC
- 46. Genuine imitation
- 45. Airline Food
- 44. Good grief
- 43. Same difference
- 42. Almost exactly
- 41. Government organization
- 40. Sanitary landfill
- 39. Alone together
- 38. Legally drunk
- 37. Silent scream
- 36. British fashion
- 35. Living dead
- 34. Small crowd
- 33. Business ethics
- 32. Soft rock
- 30. Military Intelligence
- 29. Software documentation
- 28. New York culture
- 27. New classic
- 26. Sweet sorrow
- 25. Childproof
- 24. "Now, then ..."
- 23. Synthetic natural gas
- 22. Christian Science
- 21. Passive aggression
- 20. Taped live
- 19. Clearly misunderstood
- 18. Peace force
- 17. Extinct Life
- 16. Temporary tax increase
- 14. Plastic glasses
- 13. Terribly pleased
- 12. Computer security
- 11. Political science
- 10. Tight slacks
- 9. Definite maybe
- 8. Pretty ugly
- 7. Twelve ounce pound cake
- 6. Diet ice cream
- 5. Rap music
- 4. Working vacation
- 3. Exact estimate
- 2. Friendly Fire
And the Number one top OXY-Moron,
- 1. Microsoft Works
(submitted by Dalton Molson)
- Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter: Eskimo Pi
- 2000 pounds of Chinese soup: Won ton
- 1 millionth of a mouthwash: 1 microscope
- Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 bananosecond
- Weight an evangelist carries with God: 1 billigram
- Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour: Knot-furlong
- 365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer because it's less filling: 1 lite
- 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone: 1 Rod Serling
- Half of a large intestine: 1 semicolon
- 1000 aches: 1 megahurtz
- Basic unit of laryngitis: 1 hoarsepower
- Shortest distance between two jokes: A straight line (think about it for
- 1 million microphones: 1 megaphone
- 2 million bicycles: 2 megacycles
- 365.25 days: 1 unicycle
- 10 cards: 1 decacards
- 1000 grams of wet socks: 1 literhosen
- 1 millionth of a fish: 1 microfiche
- 10 rations: 1 decoration
- 100 rations: 1 C-ration
- 2 monograms: 1 diagram
- 8 nickels: 2 paradigms
- 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital:
1 I.V. League
- 100 Senators: Not 1 decision
New Element Discovered
The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by physicists
at Yale's Research Center. The element, tentatively named administratium, has
no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does
have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons 75 vice- neutrons and 11 assistant
vice-neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are
held together in a nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange
of meson-like particles called morons.
Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected
chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According
to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium caused a reaction to take
over four days to complete, when it would normally occur in less than one second.
Administratium has a normal life of approximately three years, at which time
it does not actually decay but, instead, undergoes a reorganization in which
assistant neutrons, vice-neutrons and assistant vice-neutrons exchange places.
Some studies have shown that the atomic weight usually increases after each
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, universities and hospitals and can actually be
found in the newest, best maintained buildings.
Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of
concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed
to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be
controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.
(submitted by Dan Meneley, Bill Snook, Jeremy Whitlock ...)
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of
him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty pickle
jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter. He
then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles, and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles of course rolled into the open areas
between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They
agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course
the sand filled up everything else. He then asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded unanimously - "yes."
The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded
to pour their entire contents into the jar-effectively
filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now" said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want
you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the
important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children-things
that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still
"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,
your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff." "If you put
the sand in the jar first" He continued "there is no room for the
pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend
all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the
things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical
to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check ups.
Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean
the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal."
"Take care of the rocks first-the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
The professor smile. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that
no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."
(submitted by Rob Boychuk)
- There are only 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't. (submitted by Dan Meneley)
Things that make no sense to me
- Why is abbreviation such a long word?
- Why isn't phonics spelled with an 'f'?
- Why doesn't palindrome spell the same forwards and backwards?
(where DO these silly thoughts come from anyway?)
Funny engineering sound tracks