You can't spell GEEK without EE
NOTE: Most of this humor is sexist and Politically Incorrect. This is just the way I like it. Humor is humor. If you're too stupid to grasp this concept, go see some other touchy-feely-goody-nicy page, like, oh, this. Otherwise, enjoy!
If you find that some humor is unattributed or misattributed, please
The Engineer's Song
(to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies)
Come and listen to a story bout a man named Jed,
A poor college kid barely kept his family fed,
But then one day he was talking with a recruiter,
He said "They'll pay ya big bucks if ya work on a computer,"
Unix that is ... CRT's ... Workstations;
Well the first thing ya know ol' Jed's an Engineer.
The kinfolk said "Jed move away from here",
They said "Arizona is the place ya ought to be",
So he bought some donuts and move to Ahwatukee,
Intel that is ... dry heat ... no amusement parks;
On his first day at work they stuck him in a cube,
Fed him more donuts and sat him at a tube,
They said "Your project's late but we know just what to do,
Instead of 40 hours, we'll work you fifty-two!",
OT that is ... Unpaid ... Mandatory;
The weeks rolled by and things were looking bad,
Some schedules slipped and some managers were mad,
They called another meeting and decided on a fix,
The answer was simple, "We'll work him sixty-six",
Tired that is ... Stressed Out ... No social life;
Months turned into years and his hair was turning gray,
Jed worked hard while his life slipped away,
Waiting to retire when he turned sixty-four,
Instead he got a call and they escorted him out the door,
Laid-off that is ... Debriefed ... Unemployed.
Presented to Mr. John DeLancie by El Diablo & Mindbender
Date: July 1993
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ship
Not a circuit was buzzing, not one microchip;
The phasers were hung in the armoury securely,
In hopes that no aliens would get up that early.
The crewmen were nestled all snug in their bunks
(Except for the few who were partying drunks);
And Picard in his nightshirt and Bev in her lace,
Had just settled down for a neat face-to-face...
When out in the halls there arose such a racket,
That we leapt from our beds, pulling on pant and jacket.
Away to the lifts we all shot like a gun,
Leapt into the cars and yelled loudly, "Deck One!"
The bridge Red-Alert lights, which flashed through the din,
Gave a lustre of Hades to objects within.
When, what, on the viewscreen, should our eyes behold,
But a weird kind of sleigh, and some guy who looked old.
But the glint in his eyes was so strange and askew
That we knew in a moment it had to be Q.
His sleigh grew much larger as closer he came.
Then he zapped on the bridge and addressed us by name:
"It's Riker! It's Data! It's Worf and Jean-Luc!
It's Geordi! And Wesley, the genetic fluke!
To the top of the bridge, to the top of the hall!
Now float away! Float away! Float away all!"
As leaves in the autumn are whisked off the street,
So the floor of the bridge came away from our feet,
And up to the ceiling our bodies they flew,
As the captain called out, "What the hell is this, Q?!"
The prankster just laughed and expanded his grin,
And, snapping his fingers, he vanished again.
As we took in our plight and were looking around,
The spell was removed, and we crashed to the ground.
Then Q, dressed in fur from his head to his toe,
Appeared once again, to continue the show.
"That's enough!" cried the captain,
"You'll stop this at once!"
And Riker said, Worf! Take aim at this dunce!"
"I'm deeply offended, an-Luc," replied Q,
"I just want to celebrate Christmas with you."
As we scoffed at his words, he produced a large sack.
He dumped out the contents and took a step back.
"I've brought gifts," he said, "just to show I'm sincere.
There's something delightful for everyone here."
He sat on the floor and dug into his pile,
And handed out gifts with his most charming smile:
"For Counsellor Troi, there's no need to explain.
Here's Tylenol-Beta for all of your pain.
For Worf I've some mints as his breath's not too great,
And for Geordi LaForge, an inflatable date.
For Wesley, some hormones, and Clearasil-Plus;
For Data, a joke book; for Riker, a truss.
For Beverly Crusher, there's sleek lingerie,
Then he sprang to his feet with that grin on his face
And, clapping his hands, disappeared into space.
But we heard him exclaim as he dwindled from sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!"
Author: Dave Barry
(used without permission)
Congratulations! You have purchased an extremely fine device that would give you thousands of years of trouble-free service, except that you will undoubtedly destroy it via some typically bonehead consumer manuever. Which is why we ask you to PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THIS OWNER'S MANUAL CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU UNPACK THE DEVICE. YOU ALREADY UNPACKED IT, DIDN'T YOU? YOU UNPACKED IT AND PLUGGED IT IN AND TURNED IT ON AND FIDDLED WITH THE KNOBS, AND NOW YOUR CHILD, THE SAME CHILD WHO ONCE SHOVED A POLISH SAUSAGE INTO YOUR VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDER AND SET IT TO "FAST FORWARD", THIS CHILD ALSO IS FIDDLING WITH THE KNOBS, RIGHT? WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST BREAK THESE DEVICES RIGHT AT THE FACTORY BEFORE WE SHIP THEM OUT, YOU KNOW THAT?
We're sorry. We just get a little crazy sometimes because we're always getting back "defective" merchandise where it turns out that the consumer inadvertently bathed the device in acid for six days. So, in writing these instructions, we naturally tend to assume that your skull is filled with dead insects, but we mean nothing by it. OK? Now let's talk about:
WARNING: DO NOT EVER AS LONG AS YOU LIVE THROW AWAY THE BOX OR ANY OF THE PIECES OF STYROFOAM, EVEN THE LITTLE ONES SHAPED LIKE PEANUTS. If you attempt to return the device to the store, and you are missing one single peanut, the store personnel will laugh in the chilling manner exhibited by Joseph Stalin after he enslaved Eastern Europe.
Besides the device, the box should contain:
IF ANYTHING IS DAMAGED OR MISSING: You IMMEDIATELY should turn to your spouse and say "Margaret, you know why this country can't make a car that can get all the way through the drive-through at Burger King without a major transmission overhaul? Because nobody cares, that's why."
WARNING: This is assuming your spouse's name is Margaret.
WARNING: WHEN YOU ARE LAYING THE PLUG ON THE FLOOR, DO NOT HOLD A SHARP OBJECT IN YOUR OTHER HAND AND TRIP OVER THE CORE AND POKE YOUR EYE OUT, AS THIS COULD VOID THE WARANTY.
INSTRUCTIONS: For results that can be the finest, it is our advising that: NEVER to hold these buttons two times!! Except the battery. Next Taking the (something) earth section may cause a large occurrence! However. If this is not a trouble, such rotation is a very maintainence action, as a kindly (something) viewpoint from Drawing B.
WARNING: IT MAY BE A VIOLATION OF SOME LAW THAT MRS. SHIRLEY PELTWATER HAS "SHOGUN" ON TAPE.
(From the Boston College Chemical Bulletin from at least 15 years ago)
Inspector Sherlock Ohms of Standard International Yard was driving across the Wheatstone Bridge in his '09 Maxwell, trying to remember Ava Gadro's number, so he could call her and data for the Policeman's Ball, when suddenly he blew a tire.
"Oh Nernst!" said Sherlock, "I don't have a tire ion with me, but luckily, ammonia short distance from the Ideal Gas Station, run by my friend Sol Vent, who at the moment is freon bail."
Just as Inspector Ohms emerged from the Ideal Gas Station, his tire all fixed, a rubber policeman whizzed by him with his Carnot Cycle going at full speed. Ohms knew he was deuteride by, but he wondered watt made him rush so. He shouted atom, but he was gone, His reaction was instantaneous as he whipped out after him. By radio activity, he learned that Mike Rofarad, Recipro City's top-rankine rookie, was chasing a suspected joule thief. Ohms chased him down Elect Road, around the Dextro Rotary, back over Salt Bridge and up into Farren Heights. He turned left at the Old Ball Mill, down past the Mono-clinic, the Palladium, where there was a mathematical convention, and all the way to the liquid junction at the Endothermic Street. They were almost across the city line when Sherlock's car swerved, and crashed into a van der Waal. The Raman effect ruined his differential, so he couldn't go beyond the limits in it. He quickly volted out of the wreck, and took up the chase on foot. He soon came across Mike, standing in a magnetic field, holding Ann Hydrate and Al Doll at bay.
"Watts the meaning of this?" queried the inspector, and the Copper was quick to explain:
"Well, Sir, I stopped in at the Invar Bar, a local dyne and dance spot, for a couple of quartz of Lambert Beer when I noticed Ann Hydrate sitting alone at a two-place log table. I knew some joule thieves had made a radon Ethyl Benzene's country estate, and I spotted one of the Benzene rings on her along with a para Ethyl's earrings. Anode an explanation of this but before I could torque to her, she was into her coat of rust and out the door. True to the Kopp's Rule, I was quick to follow when I saw her get into her Mercury chrome 8. I knew I was infra tough chase. However, her engine started Fehling just beyond the city limits and I caught her. She had lead me to the missing joules and her accomplice, Al Doll, who was about to barium in a hollow, common log under the square roots in this deserted magnetic field."
"Son, you'll go on nights for this!" beamed Ohms. This, in effect, was a promotion, for in Recipro City, nitrates are much Mohr than those Faraday men.
I just saw on the local news that they finally constructed the Babbage Machine over in England, a "computer" that was designed nearly 100 years ago. So you can imagine everyone's shock when, as the crank was turned for the first time, the little paper tape printer used for recording results punched out:
MS-DOS Version 6.0
Author: Joe Mullich
Published by: AmericanWay Magazine
Wherein is related how that polygon of womanly virtue, young Polly Nomial (our heroine) is accosted by that notorious villain Curly Pi, and factored (Oh horror!).
Once upon a time (1/T) pretty Polly Nomial was strolling across a field of vectors when she came to the boundary of a singularly large matrix. Now Polly was convergent, and her mother had made it an absolute condition that she never enter such an array without her brackets on. Polly, however, who had changed her variables that morning and was feeling particularly badly behaved, ignored this condition on the basis that it was insufficient, and made her way amongst the complex elements. Rows and columns closed in from all sides. Tangents approached her surface. She became tensor and tensor. Quite suddenly, two branches of a hyperbola touched her at a single point. She oscillated violently, lost all sense of directrix, and went completely divergent. As she reached a turning point, she tripped over a square root that was protruding from the erf and plunged headlong down a steep gradient. When she rounded off once more, she found herself inverted, apparently alone, in a non-euclidean space.
She was being watched, however. That smooth operator Curly Pi was lurking innerproduct. As his eyes devoured her curvilinear coordinates, a singular expression crossed his face. He wondered, was she still convergent? He decided to integrate improperly at once. Hearing a common fraction behind her, polly rotated and saw Curly Pi approaching with his power series extrapolated. She could see at once by his degenerative conic and dissipative terms that he was bent on no good.
"Arcsinh!", she gasped.
"Ho ho", he said. "What a symmetric little asymptote you have. I can see your angles have a lot of secs"
"Oh sir", she protested, "keep away from me. I haven't got my brackets on"
"Calm yourself, my dear", said our suave operator, "Your fears are purely imaginary."
"I,I," she thought, "perhaps he's not normal, but homologous."
"What order are you?" the brute demanded. "Sevtenteen", replied Polly.
Curly leered. "I suppose you've never been operated on."
"Of course not," Polly replied quite properly, "I'm absolutely convergent."
"Come, come", said Curly Pi. "Let's off to a decimal place and I'll take you to the limit." "Never!", gasped Polly.
"Abscissa!", he swore, using the vilest oath he knew. His patience was gone. Coshing her over the head with a log until she was powerless, Curly removed her discontinuities. He stared at her significant places, and began smooting out her points of inflection. Poor Polly. The algorithmic method was now her only hope. She felt his hand tending to her asymptotic limit. Her convergence would soon be gone forever.
There was no mercy, for Curly was a heavyside operator. Curly's radius squared itself; Polly's loci quivered. He integrated by parts. He integrated by partial fractions. After he cofactored, he performed Runge- cutta on her. The complex beast even went all the way around and did a contour integration. Curly went on operating until he had satisfied her hypothesis, then exponentiated and became completely orthogonal.
When Polly returned that night to her point of origin, her mother noticed that she was no longer piecewise continuous, but had been truncated in several places. It was too late to differentiate now. As the months went by, Polly's denominator increased monotonically. Finally, she went to L'Hopital and generated a small but pathological function which left surds all over the place and drove Polly to deviation.
The moral of this sad story is this:
'If you want to keep your expressions convergent, never allow them a single degree of freedom.'
Once upon a time, in a kingdom not far from here, a king summoned two of his advisors for a test. He showed them both a shiny metal box with two slots in the top, a control knob, and a lever. "What do you think this is?"
One advisor, an engineer, answered first. "It is a toaster," he said. The king asked, "How would you design an embedded computer for it?" The engineer replied, "Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white to coal black. The program would use that darkness level as the index to a 16-element table of initial timer values. Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the timer with the initial value selected from the table. At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat and pop up the toast. Come back next week, and I'll show you a working prototype."
The second advisor, a computer scientist, immediately recognized the danger of such short-sighted thinking. He said, "Toasters don't just turn bread into toast, they are also used to warm frozen waffles. What you see before you is really a breakfast food cooker. As the subjects of your kingdom become more sophisticated, they will demand more capabilities. They will need a breakfast food cooker that can also cook sausage, fry bacon, and make scrambled eggs. A toaster that only makes toast will soon be obsolete. If we don't look to the future, we will have to completely redesign the toaster in just a few years."
"With this in mind, we can formulate a more intelligent solution to the problem. First, create a class of breakfast foods. Specialize this class into subclasses: grains, pork, and poultry. The specialization process should be repeated with grains divided into toast, muffins, pancakes, and waffles; pork divided into sausage, links, and bacon; and poultry divided into scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, and various omelet classes."
"The ham and cheese omelet class is worth special attention because it must inherit characteristics from the pork, dairy, and poultry classes. Thus, we see that the problem cannot be properly solved without multiple inheritance. At run time, the program must create the proper object and send a message to the object that says, 'Cook yourself.' The semantics of this message depend, of course, on the kind of object, so they have a different meaning to a piece of toast than to scrambled eggs."
"Reviewing the process so far, we see that the analysis phase has revealed that the primary requirement is to cook any kind of breakfast food. In the design phase, we have discovered some derived requirements. Specifically, we need an object-oriented language with multiple inheritance. Of course, users don't want the eggs to get cold while the bacon is frying, so concurrent processing is required, too."
"We must not forget the user interface. The lever that lowers the food lacks versatility, and the darkness knob is confusing. Users won't buy the product unless it has a user-friendly, graphical interface. When the breakfast cooker is plugged in, users should see a cowboy boot on the screen. Users click on it, and the message 'Booting UNIX v. 8.3' appears on the screen. (UNIX 8.3 should be out by the time the product gets to the market.) Users can pull down a menu and click on the foods they want to cook."
"Having made the wise decision of specifying the software first in the design phase, all that remains is to pick an adequate hardware platform for the implementation phase. An Intel 80486 with 16MB of memory, a 300MB hard disk, and a SVGA monitor should be sufficient. If you select a multitasking, object oriented language that supports multiple inheritance and has a built-in GUI, writing the program will be a snap. (Imagine the difficulty we would have had if we had foolishly allowed a hardware-first design strategy to lock us into a four-bit microcontroller!)."
The king had the computer scientist thrown in the moat, and they all lived happily ever after.
Micro was a real time operator and dedicated multi-user. His broad-band protocol made it easy for him to interface with numerous input/output devices, even if it meant time-sharing.
One evening he arrived home just as the sun was crashing. He had parked his Motorola 68040 in the main drive (he had missed the S-100 bus that morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy wheels in his garden. He thought to himself, "she looks user friendly. I'll see if she'd like an update tonight."
Mini was her name, and she was delightfully engineered with eyes like Cobol and a prime mainframe architecture that set Micro's peripherals networking all over the place.
He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin, 32-bit floating point processors and inquiring "how are you Honeywell?" "Yes, I am well", she responded, batting her optical fibers engagingly and smoothing her console over her curvilinear functions.
Micro settled for a straight line approximation. "I'm stand-alone tonight", he said, "how about computing a vector to my base address? I'll output a byte to nibble, and maybe we could get offset later on?".
Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 miliseconds then transmitted 0K, "I've been dumped myself recently, and a new page is just what I need to refresh my disks. I'll park my machine cycle in your background and meet you inside." She walked off, leaving Micro admiring her solenoids and thinking, "Wow, what a global variable, I wonder if she'd like my firmware?"
They sat down at the process table to a top of form feed of fiche and chips and a bucket of baudot. Mini was in a conversational mode and expanded on ambiguous arguments while Micro gave occasional acknowledgements. Although, in reality, he was analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her entry point. He finally settled on the old 'would you like to see my benchmark routing?' but Mini was again one step ahead.
Suddenly she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full functionality of her operating system software. "Let's get down to BASIC, you RAM", she said. Micro was loaded by this stage, but his hardware policing module had a processor of it's own and was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a hang-up that Micro had consulted his systems analyst about. "Core", was all he could say, as she prepared to log him off.
Micro soon recovered, however, when Mini went down on his DEC and opened her divide files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his fully packed root device and was just about to start pushing into her CPU stack, when she attempted an escape sequence.
"No, No!" she cried, "you're not shielded".
"Reset, baby", he replies, "I've been debugged".
"But I haven't got my current loop enabled, and I can't support child processes", she protested.
"Don't run away", he said, "I'll generate an interrupt".
"No that's too error prone, and I can't abort because of my design philosophy".
Micro was locked in by this stage though, and could not be turned off. But Mini soon stopped his trashing by introducing a voltage spike into his main supply, whereupon he fell over with a head crash and went to sleep.
"Computers", she thought as she compiled to herself, "all they ever think of is hex..."
by Eddy Current
One night when his charge was pretty high, Micro Farad decided to try and get a cute little joule to let him discharge. He picked up Millie Amp and took her for a ride on his megacycle. They rode across Wheatstone Bridge around by the sine wave and stopped in a magnetic field by a flowing current. Micro Farad, attracted by the characteristic curves of Millie, soon had his resistance at a minimum, and his field fully excited. He laid her on the ground potential, raised her frequency, lowered her capacitance, and pulled out his high voltage probe. He inserted it into her socket, connecting them in series, and began to short circuit her shunt. However, he forgot one basic rule: never flux without a weber!!
Fully excited, Millie Amp said, "Mho, Mho, give me Mho !" With his tube operating at maximum peak and her coil vibrating from the current flow, she soon reached her breakdown voltage. The excess current flow had gotten her so hot that Micro Farad was rapidly discharged and drained of every electron.
They fluxed all night, trying various connections and sockets until his bar magnet had lost all of its field strenght. Afterwards, Millie Amp tried self induction, and damaged her solenoid. With his battery fully drained, Micro Farad was unable to excite his generator so they ended up reversing polarity and blowing each other's fuses.
WATT A NIGHT ! ! !
Bell Labs Prove Existence of Dark Suckers
(Reprinted from the Bell Labs Newsletter)
For years it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light. However, recent information from Bell Labs has proven otherwise. Electric bulbs do not emit light, they suck dark. Thus they are now called dark suckers. The Dark Sucker Theory, according to a Bell Labs spokesman, proves the existence of dark, that dark has a mass heavier than that of light, and that dark travels faster than light.
The basis of the Dark Sucker Theory is that electric bulbs suck dark. Take for example the dark suckers in the room where you are. There is less dark in the immediate area of the dark suckers than there is elsewhere in the room. The larger the dark sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark suckers in a parking lot have a much greater capacity than the ones in this room. As 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 black spot on a full dark sucker. A candle is a primitive dark sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You will notice that, after the first use, the wick turns black representing all the dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, the tip will turn black because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle.
Unfortunately, these primitive dark suckers have a very limited range. There are, fortunately, portable dark suckers. The bulbs in these cannot handle all of the dark by themselves, and require the use of additional dark storage units. When the dark storage unit, referred to by some as a battery, is full it must either be emptied or replaced before the portable dark sucker can operate again.
Dark has mass. When dark goes into a dark sucker, friction from this mass generates heat. Thus it is not wise to touch an operating dark sucker. Candles present a special hazard because the dark must travel in the solid wick instead of through glass. This generates a large quantity of heat, which makes it inadvisable to touch an operating candle.
Dark is also heavier than light. If you swim deeper and deeper you notice that it slowly gets darker and darker. When you reach a depth of aproximately 80 meters, you are in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the water and the lighter light floats to the top. The immense power of dark can be utilized to humankind's advantage. Dark which has settled to the bottoms of lakes can be pushed through turbines to generate electricity. In this way dark can be forced into the oceans where it can be safely stored.
Prior to the invention of the turbine it was much more difficult to get dark from rivers and lakes to the oceans. The Indians recognized this problem and tried to solve it. When on a river in a canoe traveling in the same direction as the flow of dark, Indians paddled slowly, so as not to stop the flow of dark. When they traveled against the flow of dark they paddled quickly to help push the dark along its way.
Finally, it becomes clear that dark is faster than light. If you stand in an illuminated room in fromt of a closed, dark closet you notice that, as you slowly open the closet door, light slowly enters the closet. However the dark moves so quickly that you are not able to see the dark leave the closet.
In conclusion, scientists from the Bell Labs have noted that dark suckers make our lives easier and more enjoyable. So the next time you look at an electric bulb remember that its function is actually that of a dark sucker.
Author: Robert Rolf
This is the story of Lexi Con (Lex for short).
Lex was feeling bored with life. He had tried everything, the first in/first out technique, using a re-enterant driver, he had even tried bottom up degeneration. So he decided to go to a baudy little place he knew, which was frequented by Kernels and other types of executive.
Lex shortly arrived at ADA's place. He entered the bar and ordered a short (beer might cause him to make too many shift lefts to the small node if he didn't overflow first) and sat down at a hash table.
After a while Lex spied the supervisor. Ada purported to be of a new generation but she looked as if she should have been archived years ago. Ada wandered over wiggling her peripherals as she came. He wondered if her upper quartiles were mainly silicon chips. "Core" he said, his stack was in danger of popping up.
"Hello" she said, she was obviously a monadic operator.
Lex decided to pay her a two's compliment, "that's a nice two you've got there."
"Would you like to return to my place for a byte?" she enquired.
Lex parsed her externals and decided it might be a new experience, "OK" he acknowledged. If he could improve his input/output control he might achieve a reasonable down time. They returned to her address.
"I must go in first to see if my husband Mark is here," she said.
"But won't he be working?" asked Lex.
"He's a redundant character" she replied and entered to do some Mark sensing.
She beckoned him in. In the corner was a strange bird. "That's an odd parity?" he said.
But she said nothing and took him in a deadly embrace. She squeezed him so hard he thought he might reach his breakpoint. She ran her digits over his external variables. He could feel his mantissa was about to achieve double length working. He wondered whether he might have an abnormal termination.
He pushed her away, "I must go for a soft dump first," he said, "where's the job control terminal?"
"Later," she said and pulled him towards her, "do you practice recursive entry?" she asked. So he placed his most significant digit on her entry point only to find she had some virtual hardware. She was a transputer! He uttered the vilest primitive he knew.
He pushed Ada away and left at a fast data rate. Just as well he hadn't tried an overlay on the testbed.
Driving home he went through an asynchronous system trap and was terminated by the police. The PCs approached him, "I've just been accosted by a transputer" he told them. They thought he was simplex.
"Maybe he was bi-directional, sir" said PC Chad.
"No way," said Lex "he was completely duplex."
"That was probably Cathode Ray," said the PC, "you may well have contracted a virus."
Subsequently Lex found his hard drive had been replaced by a floppy.
Last night, I was walking home from the grocery store and I noticed that the traffic was backed up as if an accident was blocking the road.
Sure enough, the Metro #73 had managed to skid on the slushy street as it was trying to turn a corner and had scored a direct hit on a steel traffic light pole. This was a one-vehicle accident, so it was obvious who was at fault for it. (In addition, the street was only _slushy_; as someone who learned to drive in the Rockies it always amazes me how much trouble a piddling snowfall can cause some people. But I digress.)
Anyway, right after I walked passed the scene of the accident, the driver's window opened and a mostly-eaten apple sailed out of it. I was wondering what on earth was going on, when I looked up and noticed a message scrolling across the green dot-matrix display that normally displays the route number and destination:
bus error (core dumped)
Ethyl and Grignard met at the H bar - a popular spot for continuous operators to hang out. Ethyl noticed Grignard as soon as he transported himself in. At first their attraction was only Van der Waals, but after Grignard bought Ethyl some ethanol the conversation became quite friendly.
The couple fell deeper into the potential well of love. Grignard felt his rigid rotor gain a quanta and he knew it was time to operate on Ethyl. "Would you commute with me, Ethyl? My Mercedes Benzyl is parked right outside." Ethyl was excited about the opportunity to hybridize with the best molecule in the bar and left without hesitation.
The reaction proceeded at a fast rate, and Grignard was quick to distill the small talk down to the synthesis that was at hand. He exposed his nucleophile and asked Ethyl to remove her protecting group. Ethyl was taken aback by this lowering of the energy barrier. "Shouldn't we take precautions against side reactions?" Grignard laughed - he knew the conditions were right and no unwanted products would be formed.
Ethyl removed her protecting group and exposed her lone pairs. Grignard, who to this point was in a ground state, realized the potential and entered an excited state. The transition shocked Ethyl, who moaned, "I've never seen such a long alkyl group before." Grignard smiled with pride, but in his mind he worried whether or not his long chain would cause steric hindrances. Ethyl and Grignard maneuvered near each other without any hydrophobic tendencies. Ethyl's feelings were basic: she wanted maximum overlap.
Grignard backside attacked ethyl, taking advantage of her fully exposed carbo-cation. "Ooh," Ethyl said, "no solvent molecule has ever done that to me before. All they ever did was deprotinate me - I was left all alone feeling rather negative."
Grignard added himself to her, but he never equilibrated and was forced to reverse his reaction.
"Don't tease me with your carbo-anion ... Complete the mechanism." When Grignard backside attacked for the second time, he could feel the hyper- conjugation taking place. Grignard maneuvered her lone pairs and pushed his electrons deep into her conjugated pi system. Ethyl shrieked at the thought of this un-natural anti-bonding configuration, but Grignard explained that what they were doing was symmetry allowed. Afterall, this was a hetero- lytic reaction.
Now that the initialization step was complete, the long series of propagation steps started. Ethyl started feeling rather radical, and her new reactivity caused Grignard to vibrate faster. Grignard could begin to feel a coupling between his vibration and rotation. Obviously he was dealing with no simple basis set, for she was currently fully orthogonal. Grignard whispered to Ethyl, "You better watch out because I'm going to normalize you." Ethyl reminded Grignard that she can't be diagonalized like any other molecule, and her wavefunction was too complicated for even the most sophisticated algorithm to elucidate.
They were both happy until Grignard asked Ethyl if she'd mind if he had her spectra taken. The thought of being probed by an electromagnetic field horrified her. If that wasn't all, the spectra would likely be published in one of those chemistry magazines ... and her pi system and lone pairs would be exposed for all to see.
Ethyl entered a new resonance structure, shifted a negative charge to her carboxyl group, and made further conjugation by Grignard unfavorable. To make matters worse, Grignard forgot Ethyl's IUPAC name! Ethyl put her protecting group back on and kicked Grignard out of her beaker.
As Grignard walked back to his Benzyl he realized that he was a little dehydrated. The night was still young, so he convected himself back to the H Bar, where he continued to operate frictionlessly on other hermitian functions.
Author: Dave Barry
(used without permission)
Today's scientific question is:
What in the world is electricity and where does it go after it leaves the toaster?Here is a simple experiment that will teach you an important electrical lesson: On a cool dry day, scuff your feet along a carpet, then reach your hand into a friend's mouth and touch one of his dental fillings. Did you notice how your friend twitched violently and cried out in pain? This teaches one that electricity can be a very powerful force, but we must never use it to hurt others unless we need to learn an important lesson about electricity.
It also illustrates how an electrical circuit works. When you scuffed your feet, you picked up batches of "electrons", which are very small objects that carpet manufacturers weave into carpet so that they will attract dirt. The electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger, where they form a spark that leaps to your friend's filling, then travel down to his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing the circuit.
AMAZING ELECTRONIC FACT: If you scuffed your feet long enough without touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger would explode! But this is nothing to worry about unless you have carpeting.
Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers, etc. for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in. Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a kite in a lightning storm and received a serious electrical shock. This proved that lightning was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in incomprehensible maxims, such as, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.
After Franklin came a herd of Electrical Pioneers whose names have become part of our electrical terminology: Myron Volt, Mary Louise Amp, James Watt, Bob Transformer, etc. These pioneers conducted many important electrical experiments. Among them, Galvani discovered (this is the truth) that when he attached two different kinds of metal to the leg of a frog, an electrical current developed and the frog's leg kicked, even though it was no longer attached to the frog, which was dead anyway. Galvani's discovery led to enormous advances in the field of amphibian medicine. Today, skilled veterinary surgeons can take a frog that has been seriously injured or killed, implant pieces of metal in its muscles, and watch it hop back into the pond -- almost.
But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who was a brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal education and lived in New Jersey. Edison's first major invention in 1877 was the phonograph, which could soon be found in thousand of American homes, where it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented. But Edison's greatest achievement came in 1879 when he invented the electric company. Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit: the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again.
This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact, the last year any new electricity was generated was 1937.
Today, thanks to men like Edison and Franklin, and frogs like Galvani's, we receive almost unlimited benefits from electricity. For example, in the past decade scientists have developed the laser, an electronic appliance so powerful that it can vaporize a bulldozer 2000 yards away, yet so precise that doctors can use it to perform delicate operations to the human eyeball, provided they remember to change the power setting from "Bulldozer" to"Eyeball."
The proud father brought home a backyard swing set for his children and immediately started to assemble it with all the neighborhood children anxiously waiting to play on it. After several hours of reading the directions, attempting to fit bolt A into slot B, etc., he finally gave up and called upon an old handyman working in a neighboring yard.
The old-timer came over, threw the directions away, and in a short while had the set completely assembled.
"It's beyond me," said the father, "how you got it together without even reading instructions."
"To tell the truth," replied the old-timer, "I can't read, and when you can't read, you've got to think."
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the shack,
not a meter was stirring, not even on the rack,
the finals were hung by the chimmney with care,
in hopes that St. Nick would tune them right there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of moonbounce danced in their heads;
and Mama with her handheld, and I with a trap,
had just settled our brains with a high voltage zap.
...When out on the tower, there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bench to see what was the matter.
away to the window I flew like a high tension flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
gave the glow of tubes of days long ago.
when what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, with mobile amateur gear;
With a little old ham, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, it must be St. Nick.
more rapid than McElroy, his keying it came
and he listened and he tuned and called them by name;
"Now Dasher! now Damper! now Phasor and DX'en,
on Common! on Coupled! on Donor and Blitzen!
to the top of the shack, to the top of the wall!
now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry days before the field day do fly,
when they meet with the forecast and never comply,
so up on the shack top the signals they flew,
with the sleigh full of gear, and St. Nicholas too.
...and then in a band opening I heard on the roof,
antenna work by a ham on the hoof,
as I drew in my head and was tuning around,
down the feedline came St. Nicholas with a bound.
He was all tangled in coax, from his head to his foot
and his checksheets were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
a bundle of gear he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a contester opening a six pack.
His handheld-how it crackled! the signals would vary!
His equipment made noises, his qso was quite merry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a mho
and the beard of his chin was white as slow scan snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a round little belly,
that shook when he laughed, like the roll of a tele.
He was chubby and plump, a right old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
a wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know i had not to qr-zed.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and tuned all the finals, then turned with a jerk,
and keying his finger aside of his nose
and giving a nod, up the feedline he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, his handheld gave a whistle,
and away they all flew, like the down of a thistle.
but I heard him exclaim ere he faded out of sight;
"Happy Christmas to All
..... and to All
..... a Good Night"
Sheez... Of the dozen Solid-and-Dependable(tm) links given here back in 1997, zero, none, null work as of 2003. Ok, fine... I nixed them all save the one I still enjoy (mostly because it put food on my table for a while):