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Downingtown, PA
·Verizon FiOS

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Humor, From EDN

Three men were sentenced to be executed by guillotine; a priest, a Muslim, and an engineer.

first was the priest and he asked that he face upwards so he could look at Heaven and his Creator. his wish was granted and the blade fell, but stopped 1/2 inch from his neck. the executioner said since the guillotine spared him, so was his life and he was allowed to leave.

next was the Muslim and he asked that he also be allowed to face upwards to look to Allah before his death. again the guillotine stopped just short and his life was spared as well.

the engineer was last and he too asked to face upwards given what happened with the first two. as he lay there, he looked up at the mechanism and said, "Aha, i see the problem!".
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

Milford, NH
Old as the hills but always funny - because it is so true.


Milford, NH
·FirstLight Fiber
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2 edits

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reply to SparkChaser
I was trying to find the origin of that joke, it goes back at least to the mid 70's. I stumbled upon some engineer joke sites, the Internet is wonderful.

Merry Christmas

»www.grahamnasby.com/misc/enginee ··· es.shtml

»www.eetimes.com/electronics-blog ··· g-jokes-

»www.inflection-point.com/jokes.p ··· okes.php

My favorite engineer joke is whether or not hell is exothermic. I don't care it isn't true:
I still like it - in the face of reality.
»www.snopes.com/college/exam/hell ··· hell.asp

Subject: Is Hell exothermic?
The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are 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 how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that 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 of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. 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.

2. 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.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you; and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."



... of ideas
Ottawa, ON

1 edit
reply to SparkChaser
This is a true story. Dirac and his wife once came to visit S.N. Bose.

Bose had a really tiny car and he was sitting beside the driver while Dirac and wife sat in the back.

The engineering and physics students of Bose really wanted to travel with them so they could talk to Dirac (mainly about Einstein). Dirac's wife was concerned how many more people could fit in that car.

Bose said there was really no problem because of "Bose-Einstein statistics" ... boson ... boson ...

P.S. boson means please sit down in Bangla.

making really tiny tech things

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reply to SparkChaser
Well, since it's Christmas Eve:

Santa -- An Engineering Perspective

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second --- 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them--- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

IV. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance --- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.

The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Wallingford, PA
reply to SparkChaser
I have a friend who is a mechanical engineer. His favorite saying is "You can always tell an engineer but you just can't tell 'em much!"
The more people I meet, the better I like my dogs.