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Old 17-03-2006, 00:42   #1
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Jokes For The Scientific Mind

Here's a joke thread for the scientist in them. Enjoy!!
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Old 17-03-2006, 00:44   #2
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Mechanics

Lorries *C
A fellow was following a truck in heavy traffic. Every block or so, when they were stopped at a stop light, the driver of the truck would jump out of the cab with a big stick and bang on the side of the cargo bay. He'd then jump back into the cab in time to drive away when the signal changed.
The first fellow observed this for several miles, until he could stand it no longer. The next time the truck driver jumped out with the stick, the first fellow jumped out and ran up to him. "I'm sorry to bother you," he said, over the din of the banging, "but I am very curious; could you tell me what you are doing?"
Without breaking rhythm, the truck driver replied, "Sure, Mac. Ya see, this here's a six-ton truck but I've got eight tons of canaries aboard, so I've gotta keep two ton of them flying all the time so I don't break an axle".

Newton's Laws of Spam
Newton's 1st Law of Spam: A slab of spam at rest will remain at rest unless it decides to get up and move...
Newton's 2nd Law of Spam: A slab of spam in motion will remain in motion because everyone moves out of the way when they see it coming.
Newton's 3rd Law of Spam: For every action involving a slab of spam there is an equal and opposite reaction. ex. - Eat spam, Hurl spam.

Barometer joke
My friend once saw a question like this on his physics final: How would you use a baramoter to find the height of a building.
1. Find someone who knows how tall the building is, and trade him the barometer for the information.< teacher rejects: not a property characteristic of the barometer>
2. Measure the height of the barometer. Scale the side of the building, measuring its height in barometer-units.< rejected: uses no basic scientific principles>
3. Drop the barometer from the top of the building. Measure the time until it hits the street. Correcting for the mass/surface ratio of the instrument, use basic acceleration equation to find the height.< rejected: barometer is no longer a barometer>
4. Tie string to top of barometer. Lower from roof to almost ground. Swing. Period of pendulum can be used to find distance from barometer's Center of Gravity to top of building. Add displacement from CG to bottom of barometer; this is height.< rejected: does not incorporate barometer's intended function>
5. Take the barometer outside on a sunny day, measure its shadow and the buildings shadow.< rejected: cloudy today>
6. Sell the barometer. Purchase a tape measure long enough to measure the height of the building.< rejected: this is not a business course.>
7. Give the barometer as a prize to the one who comes up with the most accurate measurement of the building's height.< rejected: you have to return the barometer after you finish.>
8. Measure the barometric pressure at the top and bottom of the building. Plug these into the equation in the book and spit out the answer.< accepted: Finally, what the teacher wanted.>
Oh! You want that *boring* stuff from the beginning of the term! What is something this simple doing on the final? Anyone who doesn't know that has already dropped. I assumed you wanted us to *think*!
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Old 17-03-2006, 19:42   #3
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I guess you put me in my place
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Old 17-03-2006, 19:44   #4
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:cubalibre
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Old 17-03-2006, 19:48   #5
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A neutrino walks into a bar and asks the Bartenders for a pint. The electron says, How much do I owe you? The Bartender replies, For you, no charge!
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Old 17-03-2006, 19:53   #6
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Rene Descartes is sitting in a bar, doing what he does best, philosophising. he's had a few pints of ale over the course of the evening, and it's now last call. The bartender asks him if he wants another drink. Descartes says, "I think not," and promptly vanishes.
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Old 17-03-2006, 19:54   #7
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Gravity

IT'S NOT JUST A GOOD IDEA; IT'S THE LAW!

We can defeat gravity.
The problem is the paperwork involved.

Heavy Boots
About 1983, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science/engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes.

He was trying to show how things don't always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon.

My jaw dropped a little. I blurted "What?!" Looking around the room, I saw that only my friend Mark and one other student looked confused by the TA's statement.

The other 17 people just looked at me like "What's your problem?"
"But a pen would fall if you dropped it on the Moon, just more slowly." I protested.
"No it wouldn't." the TA explained calmly, "because you're too far away from the Earth's gravity."
Think. Think. Aha! "You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn't you?" I countered, "why didn't they float away?" "Because they were wearing heavy boots." he responded, as if this made perfect sense (remember, this is a Philosophy TA who's had plenty of logic classes).

By then I realized that we were each living in totally different worlds, and did not speak each others language, so I gave up. As we left the room, my friend Mark was raging. "My God! How can all those people be so stupid?"

I tried to be understanding. "Mark, they knew this stuff at one time, but it's not part of their basic view of the world, so they've forgotten it. Most people could probably make the same mistake." To prove my point, we went back to our dorm room and began randomly selecting names from the campus phone book.

We called about 30 people and asked each this question: 1. If you're standing on the Moon holding a pen, and you let go, will it a) float away, b) float where it is, or c) fall to the ground?
About 47 percent got this question correct.

Of the ones who got it wrong, we asked the obvious follow-up question: 2. You've seen films of the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, why didn't they fall off?

About 20 percent of the people changed their answer to the first question when they heard this one! But the most amazing part was that about half of them confidently answered, "Because they were wearing heavy boots."

I say, science education must be at an all time peak !!!
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Old 17-03-2006, 20:17   #8
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Gravity Part 2

Buttered Toast and Cats

Q. This question was posed to the Usenet Oracle: If you drop a buttered piece of bread, it will fall on the floor butter-side down. If a cat is dropped from a window or other high and towering place, it will land on it's feet. But what if you attach a buttered piece of bread, butter-side up to a cat's back and toss them both out the window? Will the cat land on it's feet? Or will the butter splat on the ground?

A. And in response, thus spake the Oracle: Even if you are too lazy to do the experiment yourself you should be able to deduce the obvious result. The laws of butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of feline aerodynamics demand that the cat can not smash it's furry back. If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox.

Therefore it simply does not fall. That's right you clever mortal (well, as clever as a mortal can get), you have discovered the secret of antigravity! A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a height where the forces of cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing lift, or removing some of the cat's limbs, allowing descent.

Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of several hundred tabbies.

The one obvious danger is, of course, if the cats manage to eat the bread off their backs they will instantly plummet. Of course the cats will land on their feet, but this usually doesn't do them much good, since right after they make their graceful landing several tons of red-hot starship and pissed off aliens crash on top of them.

And now a few words on solving the problem of creating a ship using the aforementioned anti-gravity device. One could power a ship by means of cats held in suspended animation (say, about -190 degrees Celsius) with buttered bread strapped to their backs, thus avoiding the possibility of collisions due to tempermental felines. More importantly, how do you steer, once the cats are all held in stasis?

I offer a modest proposal: We all know that wearing a white shirt at an Italian restaurant is a guaranteed way to take a trip to the laudromat. Plaster the outside of your ship with white shirts.

Place four nozzles symmetrically around the ship, which is, of course, saucer shaped. Fire tomato sauce out in proportion to the directions you want to go. The ship, drawn by the shirts, will automatically follow the sauce.

If you use t-shirts, you won't go as fast as you would by using, say, expensive dress shirts. This does not work as well in deep gravity wells, since the tomato sauce (now falling down a black hole, perhaps) will drag the ship with it, despite the counter force of the anti-gravity cat/butter machine.

Your only hope at that point is to jettison enormous quantities of Tide. This will create the well-known Gravitational Tidal Force.
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Old 17-03-2006, 20:17   #9
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In past positions I had to hire a number of people. As a part of the interview process for one of these positions, I was asked an interesting question. Philosophical in nature, so I will put it here.
You have two job applicants. Both are equally qualified, but for one fact. One, will consistantly lie, while the other is incapable of ltelling a lie. The first applicant comes into your office. What is the first question you will ask?
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Old 17-03-2006, 20:38   #10
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Remember, you are trying only to determine which applicant is a lier and which one is honest.
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Old 17-03-2006, 21:04   #11
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I don't know how to deal with that?

I haven't dealt with hiring people. Except for a couple of occassions.

Mostly training them and firing them!!
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Old 17-03-2006, 21:08   #12
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The question is this: After explaining the basis for the question to the applicant you simply ask "Who will the other applicant say is the liar?"
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Old 17-03-2006, 21:10   #13
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The question would be "Are you telling the truth?"
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Old 17-03-2006, 21:24   #14
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DUH!!!
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Old 17-03-2006, 21:45   #15
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Hammerfelt, that was my answer 30 years ago when my father gave me that challenge, but it is incorrect because the liar will have to say no, as will the truthful candidate. By asking what the other person will say, the liar is forced to say that the truthfull man will admit to being the liar, while the truthfull man will say that the liar will implicate him. Fortunately I remembered it 20 years later.
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