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Ecuador's English Science Jokes


1. Two engineers and a bike

"Two engineers were standing in the park. One had a new bike. The other
said, "Nice bike. How much?" The first said , "It was free."

The other asked, "Wow, how did you get it for free?" The one with the bike
said," Yesterday a beautiful girl rode up on this bike, took off all her
clothes and told me I could have anything I wanted."

The other engineer said, "Good move! Her clothes wouldn't have fit you



2. Engineer, Physicist & Mathematician

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician have to build a fence around a flock of sheep, using as little material as possible.

The engineer forms the flock into a circular shape and constructs a fence around it.

The physicist builds a fence with an infinite diameter and pulls it together until it fits around the flock.

The mathematicians thinks for a while, then builds a fence around himself and defines himself as being outside.



3. Various solutions...

There are SEVERAL ways to solve a problem. For example, consider the following from "The Teaching of Elementary Science and Mathematics" by Alexander Calandra:

The process of creativity is a mysterious and interesting one. It is brilliantly described in the following story. A student refused to parrot back what he had been taught in class. When the student protested, I was asked to act as arbiter between the student and his professor.

I went to my colleague's office and 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 the barometer 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.' A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this.

I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question. I gave the student six minutes, with the warning that his answer should show some knowledge of physics. 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 S = 1/2a t(2), calculate the height of the building.' At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and I gave the student almost full credit.

In leaving my colleague's office, I recalled that the student had said he had other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were. 'Oh, yes. 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 a simple proportion, determine the height of the building.' Fine, I said. And the others? 'Yes. 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 this will give you the height of the building in barometer units. A very direct method.' 'Finally, there are many other ways of solving the problem. Probably not the best 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 I have a fine barometer. If you will tell me the height of this building, I will give you this barometer."



4. Macro & Mini...

Micro was a real-time operator and a dedicated multi-user. His broadband 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, and had parked his Motorola 68000 in the main drive (he had missed the 5100 bus that morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy wheels in his garden. He though to himself, "She looks user-friendly. I'll see if she'd like an update tonight." He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin 32 bit floating point processors, and inquired, "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 eat and maybe we could get offset later on." Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 milliseconds, then transmitted 8K, "I've been recently dumped myself and a new page is just what I need to refresh my disk packs. 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 bottle of Baudot. Mini was in conversational mode and expanded on ambiguous arguments while Micro gave occasional acknowledgments although, in reality, he was analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her entry point. He finally settled on the old line, "Would you like to see my benchmark subroutine?" but Mini was again one clock tick ahead. Suddenly, she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full functionality of her operating system. "Let's get BASIC, you RAM" she said. Micro was loaded by this stage, but his hardware policing module had a processor of its own and was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a hang-up that Micro had consulted his analyst about. "Core," was all he could say, as she prepared to log him off. Micro soon recovered, however, when she went down on the DEC and opened her device files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his fully packed root device and was 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 replied. "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!" she squealed. "That's too error prone and I can't abort because of my design philosophy." But Micro was locked in by this stage and could not be turned off. Mini stopped his thrashing 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 herself. "All they ever think of is hex!"



5. Man - Woman : A Chemical Analysis



ATOMIC MASS: Accepted at 53.6 kg, but known to vary from 40-200 kg

OCCURRENCES: Copious quantities in all urban areas

1. Surface usually covered in painted film
2. Boils at nothing; freezes w/o known reason
3. Melts if given special treatment
4. Bitter if incorrectly used
5. Found in various states from virgin metal to common ore
6. Yields if pressure applied in correct places

1. Has great affinity for gold, silver, and a range of precious stones
2. Absorbs great quantities of expensive substances
3. May explode spontaneously w/o prior warning and for no apparent reason
4. Insoluble in liquids, but actively increases greatly in saturation of alcohol
5. Most powerful money reducing agent known to man

1. Highly ornamental, especially in sports cars
2. Can be a great aid to relaxation
3. Very effective cleaning agent

1. Pure specimen turns rosy pink when discovered in the natural state
2. Turns green when placed beside a betta specimen

1. Highly dangerous except in experienced hands
2. Illegal to possess more than one, although several can be maintained at different locations as long as specimens do not come into direct contact with each other


DISCOVERER: Eve. Discovered by accident one day when she had a craving for ribs.

ATOMIC WEIGHT: Accepted as 170 lbs, known to vary from 98 to 360 lbs

OCCURRENCE: Large quantities in all populated areas. Highly concentrated deposits at all sporting events and areas known as "singles bars". Extremely low quantities can be found in any location where cleaning up is required. (See Women and Slave Labor)


1. Surface often covered with hair--bristly in some areas, soft in others.

2. Boils when inconvenienced, freezes when faced with Logic & Common Sense.

3. Melts if treated like a God.

4. Can cause headaches and severe body aches; handle with extreme caution.

5. Specimens can be found in various states ranging from deeply sensitive to extremely thick.

6. Becomes stubborn and unyielding when pressure is applied; yields only when subtlety, subterfuge, flattery are applied.


1. Is repelled by concentrated quantities of precious and semi-precious metals and stones (See Jewelry Store). However, is attracted to small quantities of these when viewed worn against the skin of a woman. It is believed woman's skin combines with the aforementioned to create a highly magnetic attraction for this element.

2. May explode spontaneously if wallet is opened.

3. Requires copious quantities of substances known as attention, reassurance, and stroking.

4. When saturated with Alcohol will be fairly inert and will repel most other elements.

5. Is repelled by most household appliances and common household cleansers.

6. Is repelled by small children clothed in diapers, particularly those of the malodorous variety.

7. Is rendered non-functional when confronted with the items in #5 & #6.

8. Is neutral to common courtesy and fairness.

9. Is impervious to embarrassment.

10. Most powerful embittering and aggravating agent known to woman.



6. The Physics of Santa

1) Flying Reindeer

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) Children

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. 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 rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes, assuming there's at least one good child in each.

3) Timing

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he logically travels east to west. This works out to 822.6 visits per second, so for each Christion 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, we know to be false, but for 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 assorted pit stops for relief, feeding, etc. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. In comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second. A convential reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) Weight

Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh's payload is 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. on land, convential reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see above) could pull 10 times the normal amount, Santa would need 214,000 reindeer. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, to 353,430 tons.

5) Speed

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 means ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.


If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.


This inquiry is based on the premise that there is only one Santa Claus. The calculations work out more realistically if you assume some form of parallel processing. A thousand Santas (1 kilosanta) or a million (a megasanta) or more, working in parallel, could perform the same number of visits in the same allotted time with less advanced technology (and fewer vaporized reindeer).

One Other Point...

Who does the air traffic control for a megasanta? A million sleighs and 12 million reindeer occupy a significant amount of airspace. If we assume that each reindeer team, sleigh and Santa needs no more than 5 feet vertical airspace (which, given that known species of reindeer with antlers are quite nearly five feet tall, leaves very little room for error), then a megasanta requires almost 947 miles of vertical airspace. This also disregards the fact that each Santa must make frequent landings. The airspace at chimney level will be in high demand and disproportionately crowded, particularly as Christmas-celebrating households tend to be densely clustered in the same geographic areas. It seems likely that a megasanta, while perhaps avoiding vaporized reindeer, would suffer huge casualties from in-air collisions.

From Patty Miranda, University of San Francisco Office of Admission

University of San Francisco Public Affairs



7. Non-conventional Physics theory contest


When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.


#1 If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.

#2 Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it out.

#3 Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate ideas at a faster rate.

#4 The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as a figure skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.


#1 Birds take off at sunrise. On the opposite side of the world, they are landing at sunset. This causes the earth to spin on its axis.

#2 The reason hot-rod owners raise the backs of their cars is that it's easier to go faster when you're always going downhill. Besides, they get better gas mileage that way.

#3 The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."



8. Wife 1.0 Upgrade

Last year a friend of mine upgraded from Girlfriend 4.0 to Wife 1.0 and found that it's a memory hog leaving few system resources for other applications. He is also now noticing that Wife 1.0 is also spawning Child-Processes which are further consuming valuable resources. No mention of this particular phenomenon was included in the product documentation, though other users have informed me that this is to be expected due to the nature of the application.

Not only that, Wife 1.0 installs itself so that it is always launched at system initialization where it can monitor all other system activity. Some applications such as PokerNite 10.3, Bachelor Party 2.5, and Pubnite 7.0 are no longer able to run in the system at all, causing the system to lockup when launched (even though these apps worked fine before). Wife 1.0 provides no installation options.

Thus, the installation of undesired plug-ins such as Mother-in-law 55.8 and the Brother-in-law Beta is unavoidable. Also, system performance seems to diminish with each passing day.

Some features my friend would like to see in the upcoming Wife 2.0:

- A "Don't Remind Me Again" button.

- Minimize button.

- An install shield feature that allows Wife 2.0 to be installed with the option of uninstalling at any time without loss of Cache and other system resources.

- An option to run the network driver in "promiscuous mode" which would allow the system's Hardware Probe feature to be much more useful.

I myself wish I had decided to avoid all of the headaches associated with Wife 1.0 by sticking with Girlfriend 3.0. Even here, however, I had found many problems. Apparently you cannot install girlfriend 4.0 on top of Girlfriend 3.0. You must uninstall Girlfriend 3.0 first, otherwise the two versions of Girlfriend will have conflicts over shared use of the I/O port. Other users have told me that this is a long-standing problem that I should have been aware of.

To make matters worse, the uninstall program for Girlfriend 3.0 doesn't work very well, leaving undesirable traces of the application in the system. Another identified problem is that all versions of Girlfriend continually popup annoying little messages about the advantages of upgrading to Wife 1.0.

****** BUG WARNING ******

All users should be aware that Wife 1.0 has an undocumented bug. If you try to install Mistress 1.1 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before doing the uninstall itself. Then for some reason Mistress 1.1 won't install at all, claiming insufficient resources. To avoid the aforementioned bug, try installing Mistress 1.1 on a different system and never run any file transfer applications (such as Laplink) between the two systems.