An experimental physicist performs an experiment involving two cats, and an inclined tin roof. The two cats are very nearly identical; same sex, age, weight, breed, eye and hair color. The physicist places both cats on the roof at the same height and lets them both go at the same time. One of the cats fell off the roof immediately; the other took a much longer time. What was the difference? The second cat has a larger mew.
Black holes occur when God divides by zero.
Q: What do you call a bug that walks in a circle?
A: A Centripede!
From James Brown quoting August 1993 IEEE Spectrum. The author credits the souce as "Absolute zero gravity" by Betsy Devine and Joel E. Cohen (Simon & Schuster, NY, 1992)
Although our desire to develop safe products should reflect our dedication to the ethics of our profession, an undoubted factor is the legal liability for faulty products.
While no products yet bear these warning labels, we fully expect them to be commonplace before the decade is out:
"WARNING!: This product attracts every other piece of matter in the universe, including products of other manufacturers, with a force proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them."
"HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE!: This product contains minute electrically charged particles moving at velocities in excess of five hundred million miles per hour."
"ADVISORY!: There is an extremely small but nonzero chance that, through a process known as 'tunneling,' this product may pontaneously disappear from its present location and reappear at any random place in the universe, including your neighbor's domicile. The manufacturer will not be responsible for any damages or inconvenience that may result."
"NOTE!: The most fundamental particles in the product are held together by a 'gluing' force about which little is currently known and whose adhesive power can therefore not be permanently guaranteed."
"ATTENTION!: Despite any other listing of product contents found hereon, the consumer is advised that, in actuality, this product consists of 99.999999999% empty space."
"IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS!: The entire physical universe, including this product, may one day collapse back into an infinitesimally small space. Should another universe subsequently re-emerge, the existence of this product in that universe cannot be guaranteed."
"WARNING!: This is a 100% matter product. In the unlikely event that this merchandise should contact anti-matter in any form, a catastrophic explosion will result."
A grandchild's guide to using Grandpa's computer (by Gene_Ziegler@Cornell.edu)
Bits Bytes Chips Clocks
Bits in bytes on chips in box.
Bytes with bits and chips with clocks.
Chips in box on ether-docks.
Chips with bits come. Chips with bytes come.
Chips with bits and bytes and clocks come.
Look, sir. Look, sir. read the book, sir.
Let's do tricks with bits and bytes, sir.
Let's do tricks with chips and clocks, sir.
First, I'll make a quick trick bit stack.
Then I'll make a quick trick byte stack.
You can make a quick trick chip stack.
You can make a quick trick clock stack.
And here's a new trick on the scene.
Bits in bytes for your machine.
Bytes in words to fill your screen.
Now we come to ticks and tocks, sir.
Try to say this by the clock, sir.
Clocks on chips tick.
Clocks on chips tock.
Eight byte bits tick.
Eight bit bytes tock.
Clocks on chips with eight bit bytes tick.
Chips with clocks and eight byte bits tock.
Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say....
If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!
If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gona crash.
You can't say this? What a shame, sir!
We'll find you another game, sir.
If the label on the cable on the table at your house
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
and your screen is all distorted by the side-effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gunna hang!
When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
and the microcode instructions cause unecessary risc,
then you have to flash your memory
and you'll want to RAM your
quickly turn off your computer and be sure to tell your mom!
(God bless you Dr. Seuss wherever you are!)
31 Signs That Technology Has Taken Over Your Life (by Joe Mullich, AmericanWay Magazine, 11/15/94)
1. Your stationery is more cluttered than Warren Beatty's address book. The letterhead lists a fax number, e-mail addresses for two on-lineservices, and your Internet address, which spreads across the breadth of the letterhead and continues to the back. In essence, you have conceded that the first page of any letter you write IS letterhead.
2. You have never sat through an entire movie without having at least one device on your body beep or buzz.
3. You need to fill out a form that must be typewritten, but you can't because there isn't one typewriter in your house -- only computers with laser printers.
4. You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends," but you forget to send your father a birthday card.
5. You disdain people who use low baud rates.
6. When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson talking with customers -- and you butt in to correct him and spend the next twenty minutes answering the customers' questions, while the salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.
7. You use the phrase "digital compression" in a conversation without thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say it.
8. You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase "digital compression." Everyone understands what you mean, and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don't have to explain it.
9. You know Bill Gates' e-mail address, but you have to look up your own security number.
10. You stop saying "phone number" and replace it with "voice number," since we all know the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.
11. You sign Christmas cards by putting :-) next to your signature.
12. Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke symbols that are far more clever than :-).
13. You back up your data every day.
14. Your wife asks you to pick up some minipads for her at the store and you return with a rest for your mouse.
15. You think jokes about being unable to program a VCR are stupid.
16. On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.
17. The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely enters your mind.
18. You are able to argue persuasively the Ross Perot phrase "electronic town hall" makes more sense than the term "information superhighway," but you don't because, after all, the man still uses hand-drawn pie charts.
19. You go to computer trade shows and map out your path of the exhibit hall in advance. But you cannot give someone directions to your house without looking up the street names.
20. You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.
21. You become upset when a person calls you on the phone to sell you something, but you think it's okay for a computer to call and demand that you start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive more information about the product it is selling.
22. You know without a doubt that disks come in five-and-a-quarter- and three-and-a-half-inch sizes.
23. Al Gore strikes you as an "intriguing" fellow.
24. You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know where they are.
25. While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia surgeries, you compare mouse-induced index-finger strain with a nine-year-old.
26. You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure enough to say "I don't know" when someone asks you a technology question instead of feeling compelled to make something up.
27. You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.
28. You have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.
29. You have ended friendships because of irreconcilably different opinions about which is better -- the track ball or the track 'pad.'
30. You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don't use a laptop.
31. You email this message to your friends over the net. You'd never get around to showing it to them in person or reading it to them on the phone.
Selections from Salon Magazine's "Error Messages in Haiku form" contest, Feb. 10, 1998
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
I'm sorry, there's -- um --
insufficient -- what's-it-called?
The term eludes me ...
Printer not ready.
Could be a fatal error.
Have a pen handy?
A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
Errors have occurred.
We won't tell you where or why.
This site has been moved.
We'd tell you where, but then we'd
have to delete you.
The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.
Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down
A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.
There is a chasm
of carbon and silicon
the software can't bridge
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that
To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy
No keyboard present
Hit F1 to continue
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
Bill Gates dies in a car accident. He finds himself in
purgatory, being sized up by God. "Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this
call; I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell. After all, you
enormously helped society by putting a computer in almost every home in
Bill replied, " Well, what's the difference between the two?"
God said, "I'm willing to let you visit both places briefly, if it will help your decision."
"Fine, but where should I go first?"
"I'll leave that up to you."
"Okay then," said Bill, "Let's try Hell first."
So Bill went to Hell. It was a beautiful, clean, sandy beach with clear waters and lots of beautiful women running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking about. The sun was shining, the
temperature perfect. He was very pleased.
"This is great!" he told God. "If this is hell, I REALLY want to see heaven!"
"Fine," said God, and off they went. Heaven was a place high in the clouds, with angels drifting about, playing harps and singing. It was nice, but not as enticing as Hell.
Bill thought for a quick minute, and rendered his decision. "Hmmmm. I think I'd prefer Hell," he told God.
"Fine," retorted God, "as you desire." So Bill Gates went to Hell.
Two weeks later, God decided to check on the late billionaire to see how he was doing in Hell. When he got there, he found Bill, shackled to a wall, screaming amongst hot flames in dark caves, being burned and tortured by demons.
"How's everything going?" he asked Bill. Bill responded, with his voice filled with anguish and disappointment, "this is awful! This is nothing like the Hell I visited two weeks ago! I can't believe this is happening! What happened to that other place, with the beaches, the beautiful women playing in the water????!
"That was the SCREENSAVER," replied God.
There is some "story" that went around to the effect that Marilyn Monroe told Einstein "With your brains and my looks, just think what our kids would be like" and Einstein replied' But what if itís the other way around?"
The Feynman method to solving problems:
1. Write down the problem
2. Think real hard
3. Write down the solution