Just for the Amusement

Laws of the Universe
Paradox, Self-Reference, Circularity, and Recurrence

Take the image on the left, slide A to the northeast, and cut off the small triangles to form the shape on the right. Both rectangles have a total area of 110, so what happened to the area of the small triangles?

1) Pick a number from 1-9 2) Subtract 5 (if you get a negative number, drop the minus sign) 3) Multiply by 3 4) Square the number 5) Add the digits (i.e. 64=6+4=10) 6) If the number is less than 5, add five, otherwise subtract 4 7) Multiply by 2 8) Subtract 6 9) Map the digit to a letter in the alphabet 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc... 10) Pick a name of a country that begins with that letter 11) Take the second letter in the country name and think of a mammal that begins with that letter 12) Think of the color of that mammal You have a grey elephant from Denmark!
1. Pick a number from 2 to 9. It can be 2, 9 or any number in between. 2. Take that number you've chose, and multiply by 9. 3. That should give you a 2 digit number. Take those 2 digits and add them together. 4. Take the resulting number and subtract 5 from it. 5. Take that number and correspond it to the alphabet, numbering the letters. A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on. 6. Take your letter and think of a country that begins with that letter. 7. Take the last letter in the name of that country and think of an animal. 8. Now, take the last letter in the name of that animal and think of a color. 9. Just remember, that there are no orange kangaroos in Denmark!
The numerical format of yesterday's date (11-19-1999) had all odd digits. This won't occur again until 1-1-3111. The next all even date will be 2-2-2000. This hasn't happened since 8-28-888! We are living in momentous times.
Read the following sentence: FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIF-IC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS. Now read through the above sentence counting aloud the "F"s as you find them (1...2...etc). Count them ONLY ONCE: Do not go back and count them again!!!. ANSWER: There are six F's in the sentence. One of average intelligence finds three of them. If you spotted four, you're above average. If you got five, you can turn your nose at most anybody. If you caught six, you are a genius. There is no catch. Many people forget the "OF"'s. The human brain tends to see them as V's and not F's.
It seems that ancient religious leaders, besides dispensing divine wisdom, were also knowledgeable about computer programming. One day, a great contest was held to test their skills. After days and days of fierce competition, only two leaders remained for the last day's event, Jesus and Mohammed. The judge described the software application required for the final test, and gave the signal to start writing their programs. The two contestants feverishly typed away on their keyboards. routines, sub-routines, applets and applications flew across their screens at incredible speeds. Intricate graphics began forming on their monitors. The clock showed that the contest would soon be finished. Suddenly, a bolt of lightening flashed and the power went out. After a moment it came back on, just in time for the clock to indicate that the last competition was over. The judge asked the two contestants to reveal their finished software. Mohammed angrily said that he'd lost it all in the power outage. The judge turned to the other competitor. Jesus smiled, clicked a mouse and a dazzling application appeared on his screen. After just a few moments, the judge was clearly impressed and declared Jesus the victor. When asked why the decision was made, the judge pointed out the unique characteristic that set the winner apart from all the other leaders: Jesus Saves.
IQ Test Score evaluation: 21 Correct - Genius 17 Correct - Above Normal 15 Correct - Normal 8 Correct - Nincompoop 6 Correct - Moron 3 Correct - Idiot 1. Do they have a 4th of July in England? 2. How many birthdays does the average man have? 3. Some months have 31 days; how many have 28? 4. A woman gives a beggar 50 cents; the woman is the beggar's sister, but the beggar is not the woman's brother. How come? 5. Why can't a man living in the USA be buried in Canada? 6. How many outs are there in an inning? 7. Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow's sister? Why? 8. Two men play five games of checkers. Each man wins the same number of games. There are not ties. Explain this. 9. Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer? 10. A man builds a house rectangular in shape. All sides have southern exposure. A big bear walks by, what color is the bear? Why? 11. If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have? 12. I have two US coins totaling 55 cents. One is not a nickel. What are the coins? 13. If you have only one match and you walked into a room where there was an oil burner, a kerosene lamp, and a wood burning stove, which one would you light first? 14. How far can a dog run into the woods? 15. A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half- hour. How long would the pills last? 16. A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left? 17. How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the ark? 18. A clerk in the butcher shop is 5' 10'' tall. What does he weigh? 19. How many two-cent stamps are there in a dozen? 20. What was the President's name in 1950? 1. Yes 2. One 3. All of them (12) 4. The beggar is her sister. 5. He can't be buried if he isn't dead. 6. 6 7. No - because he is dead. 8. They aren't playing each other. 9. 70 10. White. The house is at the North Pole so it is a polar bear. 11. 2 12. 50 cent piece and a nickel. (The other one is a nickel) 13. The match. 14. Half way. Then he is running out of the woods. 15. 1 Hour 16. 9 17. None - Noah took them on the ark. 18. Meat 19. 12 20. Bill Clinton
Question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Pat Buchanan: To steal a job from a decent, hard-working American. Louis Farrakhan: The road, you will see, represents the black man. The chicken crossed the "black man" in order to trample him and keep him down. Bill Gates: I have just released the new Chicken 2000, which will both cross roads AND balance your checkbook, though when it divides 3 by 2 it gets 1.4999999999. The Bible: And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the Chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing. Machiavelli: The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The ends of crossing the road justify whatever motive there was. Freud: The fact that you thought that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity. L.A. Police Department: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out. Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take. Richard M. Nixon: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did not cross the road. Saddam Hussein: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it. Saddam Hussein #2: It is the Mother of all Chickens. Dr. Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes! The chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed it, I've not been told! Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken nature. Martin Luther King, Jr.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question. Joseph Stalin: I don't care. Catch it. I need its eggs to make my omelette. Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and, therefore, synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being. John Locke: Because he was exercising his natural right to liberty. Albert Camus: It doesn't matter; the chicken's actions have no meaning except to him. Mulder: It was a government conspiracy. Scully: It was a simple bio-mechanical reflex that is commonly found in chickens. Darwin: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads. Darwin #2: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees. Oliver Stone: The question is not "Why did the chicken cross the road?" but is rather "Who was crossing the road at the same time whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?" Jerry Seinfeld: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, "What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place anyway?" The Pope: That is only for God to know. Immanuel Kant: The chicken, being an autonomous being, chose to cross the road of his own free will. Grandpa: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us. M.C.Escher: That depends on which plane of reality the chicken was on at the time. George Orwell: Because the government had fooled him into thinking that he was crossing the road of his own free will, when he was really only serving their interests. Colonel Sanders: I missed one? Plato: For the greater good. Aristotle: To actualize its potential. Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability. Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you. B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences, which had pervaded its sensorium from birth, had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own freewill. Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road. Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference. Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road? The Sphinx: You tell me. Emily Dickenson: Because it could not stop for death. Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn't cross the road; it transcended it. Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain. O.J.: It didn't. I was playing golf with it at the time.
Theorem: women are evil. Proof: A girlfriend is the product of time and money. girlfriend = time * money A girlfriend is a woman woman = time * money Time is money. woman = money^2 Money is the root of all evil. woman = sqrt(evil)^2 = evil
Mathematical Proof Something that every engineer and scientist should know: Thesis: Engineers and scientists will never make as much money as business executives. Now a rigorous mathematical proof that explains why this is true: Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power Postulate 2: Time is Money Proof: As every engineer knows, Work ------- = Power Time Since Knowledge = Power, and Time = Money, we have Work -------- = Knowledge Money Solving for Money, we get: Work --------------- = Money Knowledge Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity regardless of the Work done Conclusion: The LESS you Know, the more MONEY you make Suddenly, the answers to several mysteries have been revealed! Additionally, if work ---------- = money, and "money is the root of all evil" then knowledge work _ ___________ ---------- = \ / evil knowledge \/ therefore if I only know one thing (i.e. for knowledge = 1), it is that work is the root of all evil.
Here's a little something to keep your brain busy... Allegedly, this is one of the questions for potential Microsoft employees. Reportedly, one guy solved it by writing a C program, although that took him 37 minutes to develop (compiled and ran on the 1st try though). Another guy solved it in three minutes. A group of 50 at Motorola, couldn't figure it out at all. See how long it takes you. Here we go... "U2" has a concert that starts in 17 minutes and they must all cross a bridge to get there. All four men begin on the same side of the bridge. You must help them across to the other side. It is night. There is one flashlight. A maximum of two people can cross at one time. Any party who crosses, either 1 or 2 people, must have the flashlight with them. The flashlight must be walked back and forth, it cannot be thrown, etc. Each band member walks at a different speed. A pair must walk together at the rate of the slower man's pace: *Bono: 1 minute to cross *Edge: 2 minutes to cross *Adam: 5 minutes to cross *Larry: 10 minutes to cross Fro example: if Bono and Larry walk across first, 10 minutes have elapsed when they get to the other side of the bridge. If Larry then returns with the flashlight, a total of 20 minutes have passed and you have failed the mission. Notes: There is no trick behind this. It is the simple movement of resources in the appropriate order. There are two known answers to this problem. This is based on a question Microsoft gives to all prospective employees. Microsoft expects you to answer this question in under 5 minutes. 1 and 2 go over 2 1 comes back 1 5 and 10 go over 10 2 comes back 2 1 and 2 go over 2
Ode to a Spell CheckerOde to a Spell Checker I have a spelling checker - It came with my PC. It plane lee marks four my revue Miss steaks aye can knot sea. Eye ran this poem threw it, Your sure reel glad two no. Its vary polished in it's weigh, My checker tolled me sew. A checker is a bless sing, It freeze yew lodes of thyme. It helps me right awl stiles two reed, And aides me when aye rime. To rite with care is quite a feet Of witch won should be proud. And wee mussed dew the best wee can, Sew flaws are naught aloud. And now bee cause my spelling Is checked with such grate flare, Their are know faults with in my cite, Of nun eye am a wear. Each frays come posed up on my screen Eye trussed to bee a joule The checker poured o'er every word To cheque sum spelling rule. That's why aye brake in two averse By righting wants too pleas. Sow now ewe sea why aye dew prays Such soft wear for pea seas
NEW STUDY REVEALS BREAD HAZARDS DEATH in a Breadbox! or, Beware -- Bread on the Rise! A recent Cincinnati Enquirer headline read, "Smell of baked bread may be health hazard." The article went on to describe the dangers of the smell of baking bread. The main danger, apparently, is that the organic components of this aroma may break down ozone (I'm not making this stuff up). I was horrified. When are we going to do something about bread-induced global warming? Sure, we attack tobacco companies, but when is the government going to go after Big Bread? Well, I've done a little research, and what I've discovered should make anyone think twice.... 1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users. 2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests. 3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations. 4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread. 5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month! 6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis. 7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days. 8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts. 9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it logically follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person. 10. Newborn babies can choke on bread. 11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute. 12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling. In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions: 1. No sale of bread to minors. 2. No advertising of bread within 1000 feet of a school. 3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread. 4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage. 5. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete with celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers. 6. A $4.2 zillion fine on the three biggest bread manufacturers.
At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon." In response to Bill's comments, General issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics: l. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day. 2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car. 3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this. 4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine. 5. Only one person at a time could use the car unless you bought "CarNT," but then you would have to buy more seats. 6. Macintosh would make a car that was by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive- but would run on only five percent of the roads. 7. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light. 8. New seats would force everyone to have the same sized butt. 9. The airbag system would ask "are you sure" before deploying. 10. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna. 11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department. 12. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car. 13. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
One day a farmer called up an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician and asked them to fence of the largest possible area with the least amount of fence. The engineer made the fence in a circle and proclaimed that he had the most efficient design. The physicist made a long, straight line and proclaimed "We can assume the length is infinite..." and pointed out that fencing off half of the Earth was certainly a more efficient way to do it. The Mathematician just laughed at them. He built a tiny fence around himself and said "I declare myself to be on the outside."
How to prove it. Guide for lecturers. Proof by vigorous handwaving: Works well in a classroom or seminar setting. Proof by forward reference: Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author, which is often not as forthcoming as at first. Proof by funding: How could three different government agencies be wrong? Proof by example: The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it contains most of the ideas of the general proof. Proof by omission: "The reader may easily supply the details" "The other 253 cases are analogous" Proof by deferral: "We'll prove this later in the course". Proof by picture: A more convincing form of proof by example. Combines well with proof by omission. Proof by intimidation: "Trivial." Proof by cumbersome notation: Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special symbols. Proof by exhaustion: An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is useful. Proof by obfuscation: A long plotless sequence of true and/or meaningless syntactically related statements. Proof by wishful citation: The author cites the negation, converse, or generalization of a theorem from the literature to support his claims. Proof by eminent authority: "I saw Karp in the elevator and he said it was probably NP- complete." Proof by personal communication: "Eight-dimensional colored cycle stripping is NP-complete [Karp, personal communication]." Proof by reduction to the wrong problem: "To see that infinite-dimensional colored cycle stripping is decidable, we reduce it to the halting problem." Proof by reference to inaccessible literature: The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found in a privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian Philological Society, 1883. Proof by importance: A large body of useful consequences all follow from the proposition in question. Proof by accumulated evidence: Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample. Proof by cosmology: The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or meaningless. Popular for proofs of the existence of God. Proof by mutual reference: In reference A, Theorem 5 is said to follow from Theorem 3 in reference B, which is shown to follow from Corollary 6.2 in reference C, which is an easy consequence of Theorem 5 in reference A. Proof by metaproof: A method is given to construct the desired proof. The correctness of the method is proved by any of these techniques. Proof by vehement assertion: It is useful to have some kind of authority relation to the audience. Proof by ghost reference: Nothing even remotely resembling the cited theorem appears in the reference given. Proof by semantic shift: Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed for the statement of the result. Proof by appeal to intuition: Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.
Dictionary of Definitions of Terms Commonly Used in Math. lectures. The following is a guide to terms which are commonly used but rarely defined. In the search for proper definitions for these terms we found no authoritative, nor even recognized, source. Thus, we followed the advice of mathematicians handed down from time immortal: "Wing It." CLEARLY: I don't want to write down all the "in- between" steps. TRIVIAL: If I have to show you how to do this, you're in the wrong class. OBVIOUSLY: I hope you weren't sleeping when we discussed this earlier, because I refuse to repeat it. RECALL: I shouldn't have to tell you this, but for those of you who erase your memory tapes after every test... WLOG (Without Loss Of Generality): I'm not about to do all the possible cases, so I'll do one and let you figure out the rest. IT CAN EASILY BE SHOWN: Even you, in your finite wisdom, should be able to prove this without me holding your hand. CHECK or CHECK FOR YOURSELF: This is the boring part of the proof, so you can do it on your own time. SKETCH OF A PROOF: I couldn't verify all the details, so I'll break it down into the parts I couldn't prove. HINT: The hardest of several possible ways to do a proof. BRUTE FORCE (AND IGNORANCE): Four special cases, three counting arguments, two long inductions, "and a partridge in a pair tree." SOFT PROOF: One third less filling (of the page) than your regular proof, but it requires two extra years of course work just to understand the terms. ELEGANT PROOF: Requires no previous knowledge of the subject matter and is less than ten lines long. SIMILARLY: At least one line of the proof of this case is the same as before. CANONICAL FORM: 4 out of 5 mathematicians surveyed recommended this as the final form for their students who choose to finish. TFAE (The Following Are Equivalent): If I say this it means that, and if I say that it means the other thing, and if I say the other thing... BY A PREVIOUS THEOREM: I don't remember how it goes (come to think of it I'm not really sure we did this at all), but if I stated it right (or at all), then the rest of this follows. TWO LINE PROOF: I'll leave out everything but the conclusion, you can't question 'em if you can't see 'em. BRIEFLY: I'm running out of time, so I'll just write and talk faster. LET'S TALK THROUGH IT: I don't want to write it on the board lest I make a mistake. PROCEED FORMALLY: Manipulate symbols by the rules without any hint of their true meaning (popular in pure math courses). QUANTIFY: I can't find anything wrong with your proof except that it won't work if x is a moon of Jupiter (Popular in applied math courses). PROOF OMITTED: Trust me, It's true.
Q: Why do mathematicians often confuse Christmas and Halloween? A: Because OCT 31 = DEC 25.
DEFINITION: AlGoreithm (n: al-gor-ith-m): Any method of calculation performed repeatedly until a desired result is produced.
One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost." God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this, let's say we have a man-making contest." To which the scientist replied, "OK, great!" But God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam." The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"
This Saturday's Florida-Florida State game should be interesting. Each coach has said that, if the scoreboard shows an unfavorable result at the end of the fourth quarter, he'll demand a manual recount of all of the points. If the recount doesn't put his team ahead, a court injunction would be sought against the referee declaring a winner. One coach said that if his team is seemingly comes out behind, and if his team has scored more field goals, he may demand that field goals should count as 20 points each, instead of 3, since this would better reflect the possible intent of his team's fans. That coach said that such an interpretation of the amount of points for a field goal should be considered valid, since the rule books are so confusing and vague. He said that the pre-existing rules which predetermine the valuation of points and the length of the game violate his team's Constitutional right to win a game if it's the will of his teams' fans. He also said that it would be wrong if his team loses the game, as it may be the result of his own play book, which has confusing diagrams with X's, O's, and arrows that point in unusual directions. Even though he wrote the playbook and it was reviewed and approved by others, this should not be considered to alter the fact that the game must be determined by the fact that his team should win, despite what may wrongfully appear to be an adverse result. Not to be outdone, the other coach said that if the ending numbers on the scoreboard show a loss for his team, and if his team has outscored his opponent in at least one of the quarters, he would take the position that the rest of the game was unfair as a statistical anomaly. In that case, only one of the quarters would actually reflect the true manner in which the game was played. He will demand a redetermination based on a random sampling of the quarters, by having a double- coin flip to determine which quarter was the "true" quarter. The score from that sample quarter would then be multiplied by 4 to get a statistical projection of the game's score, which would then be considered to be the truest representation of the result of the game. Of course, if the coin flips choose the wrong quarter, this would obviously reflect bias by the referee, and a court order would be sought to keep flipping the coins until the desired result is achieved. Also concerned is the University of Miami. They are taking the position that the rules should be altered to give both Florida and Florida State a loss in that game, to insure that Miami will come out ahead of both of the other teams in the polls. Should Miami not come out on top, they insist on using local vote tabulation rules under which ballots that may be marked for the opposition can be counted for them if local election officials consider that this would better reflect the true intention of the voters, which, obviously, is to make Miami the winner. One of these teams has also been consulted by voting experts from Wisconsin. Under policies adopted by one party in that State, it is an acceptable practice to bribe low-income voters with cigarettes in order to get them to vote for the desired team. The media is another factor in the race. In the UF-FSU game, both the AP and VNS have stated that they will announce the winner of the game at half-time. They are taking the position that the second half is irrelevant. They believe the most important issue is to determine the winner before anyone else does, even if their determination is based on faulty data. They believe the winner should be stated when they feel the game should end, even though they were told that the game, located in Tallahassee, in the panhandle of Florida, is in the Central time zone and thus ends later than some games played in the Eastern time zone. As the winner of that game should have a good chance of playing in the national championship game in January, there is a December deadline for the teams to be ranked. However, each coach has stated that he'll fight out his position in state courts, federal courts, the Florida legislature, and before the U.S. Congress, until his team is given the victory -- even if it means the winner will not be decided until next July, and a national champion is inaugurated in January without them. After all, isn't this how such matters are decided in Florida? - Steve Wrathell, following the 2000 Presidential election
Is Hell Endothermic or Exothermic? A retiring Physical Chemistry professor was setting his last exam, for a graduate course in statistical thermodynamics. Being a bit bored with it all, and with a well kept sense of humor, he set a single question on the sheet: "Is Hell endothermic or exothermic? Support your answer with a proof." He had little idea what to expect, or how to grade the result, but decided to reward any student was able to come up with a reasonable and consistent reply. One "A" was awarded. Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. The top student, however, wrote the following: First, we postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass. If they do then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are the souls moving into hell and at what rate are they leaving? I think we can safely say that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there are more then one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell. With birth rates 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 volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of mass of souls to volume needs to stay the same. There are two possible conditions. One, 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 exponentially until all hell breaks loose. Conversely, 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, condition two. We can solve this question with the 1990 postulation of Theresa LeClair, the girl who lived across the hall from me in first year residence. Since I have still not been able to obtain a date with her, condition two has not been met, and thus it can be concluded that condition one is true, and hell is exothermic.
Sell yourself the American way Extracts from an essay written by an applicant to an American college Tuesday November 2, 1999 I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and god-like trombone playing. I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty Minute Brownies in 20 minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love and an outlaw in Peru. I solve fourth order non-linear differential equations for fun. I'm callipygian. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello... I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail... Last summer I toured New Jersey with a travelling centrifugal force demonstration... My deft floral arrangement have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago, I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bull-fights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri-Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. I brew remarkable beers using only tap water and tapioca pudding. I have been caller number nine and have won the concert tickets. I bat 400. I have had stints as a stand-up comedian. I am dextiambrous and lysdexic. My favorite number is pi; my lucky number is i. I understand fugacity and its applications to chemical equilibrium. But I have not yet been to college.
I don't usually pass on sad news like this, but sometimes we need to pause and remember what life is all about. There was a great loss recently. Larry LaPrise, who wrote the song "Hokey Pokey," died this week at age 83. It was extremely difficult for the family to keep him in the casket. They'd put his left leg in and .....well, you know the rest . . . .

Ode to Calculus

Taylor L. Gillispie

Oh true and valient champion of sums both vast and slight
Oh cause of pupils' anguished cries into the dead of night
Bring near your coiling integral to our repentant souls
And vanquish mocking insolence of polynomials
Through Riemann's aggregations may flood our vacant page
His query soon is answered by this omniscient sage
Whose variables are many but methods still are few
Through plethoric curves and contours cloud our mortal view
Through series and through sequence you plunge into the void
Of realms in third dimension be they sphere or hyperboloid
Boundless or restricted you unearth the extremes
Of functions flat and corpulent hopeless as it seems
At fundamental theorems where lesser maths might cringe
You build a firm foundation where postulates may hinge
And to calculate a missile's parabolic solo flight
You merely differentiate and name its changing height
Gradients and tangents spring from your noble breast
To form the thorny concepts we scholars must digest
As we run the parlous gauntlet entitled Education
And never use your wisdom once fixed in our vocation

Test Day

Taylor L. Gillispie

I have some tragic news today
It's by the doctor's order:
He says I must stay far away
From math of every quarter

My temperature is known to rise
When I must integrate
And each time Newton's Law applies 
My chest takes on a weight

Directional derivatives 
Give me a bumpy rash
And ratio and root tests
Make my nervous system crash

From Taylor polynomials
My tonsils start to swell
At functions with 3 variables
I lose my sense of smell

Be the coordinates spherical
Cartesian, or polar
With my gnashing it's a miracle
If I don't chip a molar

The formulas for tangent planes
And arc length make me sneeze
Trigonometric aches and pains
Have brought me to my knees

My head, at quadric features,
Begins to pulse and throb
I don't see how my teacher
Possibly survives his job

And so, at my conclusion
I'm sure you all can guess
That without a blood transfusion
I cannot take my test

This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the
newsletter of the Australian equivalent of the Workers' Compensation board.
  This is a true story. Had this guy died, he'd have received a Darwin Award for sure....

  Dear Sir:

    I am writing in response to your request for additional
  information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put "poor
  planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller
  explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.
  I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I
  was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When
  I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which,
  when weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500 lbs.
  Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a
  barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building
  on the sixth floor.

      Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung
  the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied
  the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks.

       You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I
  weigh 135 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so
  suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.
  Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the
  vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding
  downward at an equal, impressive speed.

        This explained the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the
  broken collar bone, as listed in section 3 of the accident report form.

        Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping
  until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the
     Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind
  and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning
  to experience a great deal of pain.
        At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of
  bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.
  Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed approximately
  50lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine, I began a
  rapid descent, down the side of the building.
       In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up.

     This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and
  several lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my luck
  began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me
  enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into
  the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

      I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of
  bricks, in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and
  presence of mind and let go of the rope and I lay there watching the
  empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me.

      This explains the two broken legs.
       I hope this answers your inquiry

In a certain mythical community, politicians never tell the truth, and non-politicians
always tell the truth.  A stranger meets three natives and asks the first of them,
"Are you a politician?"  The first native answers the question.  The second native
then reports that the first native denied being a politician.  The third native
says that the first native is a politician.  

How many of these natives are politicians?

Of three prisoners in a certain jail, one had normal vision, the second had only
one eye, and the third was totally blind.  The jailor told the prisoners that
from three white hats and two red hats he would select three and put them on the
prisoners' heads.  None could see what color hat he wore.  The jailor offered
freedom to the prisoner with normal vision if he could tell what color hat he wore.
To prevent a lucky guess, the jailor threatened exectution for any incorrect
answer.  The first prisoner could not tell what hat he wore.  Next the jailor
made the same offer to the one-eyed prisoner.  The second prisoner could not tell
what hat he wore either.  The jailor did not bother making the offer to the blind
prisoner, but he agreed to extend the same terms to him when he made the request.
The blind prisoner said "I clearly see that my hat is _____!"

What color hat was the blind man wearing?

Money Business
A rope over the top of a fence has the same length on each side.
It weighs one third of a pound per foot.  On one end hangs a
monkey holding a banana, and on the other end a weight equal to
the weight of the monkey.  The banana weighs two ounces per
inch.  The rope is as long (in feet) as the age of the monkey
(in years), and the weight of the monkey (in ounces) is the same
as the age of the monkey's mother.  The combined ages of the
monkey and its mother are thirty years.  One half the weight of
the monkey, plus the weight of the banana, is one fourth as much
as the weight of the weight and the weight of the rope.  The
monkey's mother is half as old as the monkey will be when it is
three times as old as its mother was when she was half as old as
the monkey will be when it is as old as its mother will be when
she is four times as old as the monkey was when it was twice as 
old as its mother was when she was one third as old as the 
monkey was when it was as old as its mother was when she was 
three times as old as the monkey was when it was one fourth as
old as it is now.  

How long is the banana?

Suppose you are in the land of knights and knaves.  Knights always
tell the truth, and knaves always lie.  You are on your way
to the king's castle when you come to a fork in the road.
A native is standing there, but you don't know whether he is a knight or a knave.
What single question can you ask him to determine which road to take?

On a Septic Tank Truck sign: 
"We're #1 in the #2 business." 

Pizza Shop Slogan: 
"7 days without pizza makes one weak." 

On a Plastic Surgeon's Office door: 
"Hello. Can we pick your nose?" 

At a Towing company: 
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows." 

On an Electrician's truck: 
"Let us remove your shorts." 

In a Nonsmoking Area: 
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action." 

On a Maternity Room door: 
"Push. Push. Push." 

At an Optometrist's Office 
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place." 

On a Taxidermist's window: 
"We really know our stuff." 

In a Podiatrist's office: 
"Time wounds all heels." 

At a Car Dealership: 
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment." 

Outside a Muffler Shop: 
"No appointment necessary. We hear you coming." 

At the Electric Company: 
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.  However, if you don't, you will be." 

At a Propane Filling Station, 
"Tank heaven for little grills." 

At a Chicago Radiator Shop: 
"Best place in town to take a leak."

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long
weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy cold winter. Because
both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules.
It was decided the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his
wife would follow him the next day. Upon arriving as planned, the husband
checked into the hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send
his wife an email back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left
off one letter in her address and sent the email without noticing
his error.

In the mean time, in Houston, a widow had just returned from her
husband's funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been 
"called home to glory" following a heart attack. The widow checked her 
email, expecting messages from family and friends. Upon reading the 
first message, she fainted and fell to the floor. The widow's son rushed 
into the room, found his mother on the floor and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
From: Your Departed Husband
Subject: I've arrived!

I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everythinghas
been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing
you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here

At Heathrow Airport today, an individual, later discovered to be a
University Math Department Professor, was arrested trying to board a
flight while in possession of a compass, a protractor, and a graphical calculator.  

Authorities believe he is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra Movement.

He is being charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.

Teaching Math in America

Teaching Math in the 50s: 
  A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.
  His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.  What is his profit?

Teaching Math in the 60s: 
  A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. 
  His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80.  What is his profit?

Teaching Math in the 70s: 
  A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money.  
  The cardinality of set "M" is 100.  Each element is worth one dollar.  
  Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M." 
  The set "C," the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M." 
  Represent the set "C" as subset of set "M" and answer the following question: 
  What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

Teaching Math in the 80s: 
  A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. 
  His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20.  
  Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in the 90s: 
  By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20.  
  What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation 
  after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels "feel" as 
  the logger cut down the trees?  There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in the 00s: 
  A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120.  
  How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60? 
  ( Extra Credit 1: Will the volume of sales keep him in business long enough for 
  the top executives to loot his pension fund before the share holders discover anything's wrong? 
  Extra Credit 2: Which southern state has the best bankruptcy laws that will enable the 
  CEO to maintain his luxury house and trust funds. )

Teaching Math in 2010: 
  El hachero vende un camion carga por $100.  La cuesta de production es........ 

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced her 
altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, 
can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I 
don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air 
balloon approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above 
sea level. You are 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 
degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "Everything you told me is technically 
correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and I'm still 
lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "You don't know where you are or where you're going. 
You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made 
a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve 
your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we 
met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. 
After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. 

Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they 
were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. They had tried everything and 
everyone else to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the 
retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past. The engineer reluctantly 
took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he 
marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, 
"This is where your problem is". That part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. 

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded 
an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded:

  One chalk mark $1.00
  Knowing where to put it $49,999.00

One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. 
He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. 
Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. 
He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. 
He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. 
He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. 
He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. 
His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. 
He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. 
While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property 
He had on earth, His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave 
through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human 
race and leader of the column of progress.   I am far within the mark when I 
say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; 
all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, 
have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

-- James Allan Francis

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), "A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling"

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", 
and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained 
would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that 
"which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with 
"i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "gj" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double
konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. 
Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now 
jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius 
xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

Euler was the most prolific mathematician of all time; his known writings would fill 60 to 80 books. 
Once in the court of Catherine the Great, the atheistic French philosopher Diderot was rambling on 
and boring the court. Suddenly, Euler stepped forward and said,
    "Sir, x=(a+bn)/n; therefore, God exists. Your reply?" 
Diderot knew nothing about mathematics; Euler, everything.   Because it sounded like sense, 
Diderot remained silent.  The court then realized he was ignorant of even simple mathematics 
and laughed him all the way back to France.  

What a to-do to die today at a minute or two to two,
A thing distinctly hard to say but harder still to do.
For they'll beat a tattoo at a quarter to two:
A rat-ta tat-tat ta tat-tat ta to-to.
And the dragon will come when he hears the drum
At a minute or two to two today, at a minute or two to two.

--Lewis Carroll

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

-- Frederick M. Lehman via insane asylum patient, from Jewish poem Akdamut

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled
"Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered
into the English language.

In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his
wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb.  Hence we have "the rule of thumb"

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England,
when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your
pints and quarts, and settle down."  It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language.
Could it be that "I do" is the longest?

When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts" and you put your two cents in ...
what happens to the other penny?

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
Suppose you have a balance scale, and a dozen tennis balls that look identical. Eleven of the tennis balls have identical weights, but the other ball has a different weight. Show that it is possible, by using the balance scale three times, to locate the differing tennis ball AND to indicate whether it is heavier or lighter than the others.

Let me repeat to you an incident that occurred to a famous Yemenite-monarch: Assad
Abu Carib, king of Yemen, while resting one day in the spacious balcony of his palace,
dreamed that he had met seven young maids walking along a path at a certain point
overcome with fatigue and thirst, they stopped under the burning desert sun. Just then
there rose up a beautiful princess who offered the pilgrims a pitcher of water. The kind
princess quenched their thirst, and they continued on their journey reinvigorated.

When he awoke, Assad Abu-Carib was so impressed by this inexplicable dream that
he decided to call for a famous astrologer, named Sanib, to consult him on the meaning of
this vision that he - a just and powerful king - had seen in the world of image and
fantasy. The astrologer Sanib said, 'Sir, the seven young maids walking along the path
were the divine arts and the human sciences: Painting, Music, Sculpture, Architecture,
Rhetoric, Dialectics, and Philosophy. The kind princess who came to their aid was the
great and prodigious science of Mathematics.' 'Without the help of mathematics,' the
wise man continued, 'the arts could not advance and all the sciences would perish.'

-- from "The Man Who counted" by Malba Tahan

How Many Christians Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?
Church/Bible Humor

Programming Jargon: "Duck"

A feature added for no other reason than to draw management attention and be removed, thus avoiding unnecessary changes in other aspects of the product.

This started as a piece of Interplay corporate lore. It was well known that producers had to make a change to everything that was done. The assumption was that subconsciously they felt that if they didn't, they weren't adding value.

The artist working on the queen animations for Battle Chess was aware of this tendency, and came up with an innovative solution. He did the animations for the queen the way that he felt would be best, with one addition: he gave the queen a pet duck. He animated this duck through all of the queen's animations, had it flapping around the corners. He also took great care to make sure that it never overlapped the "actual" animation.

Eventually, it came time for the producer to review the animation set for the queen. The producer sat down and watched all of the animations. When they were done, he turned to the artist and said, "That looks great. Just one thing - get rid of the duck."

What's the difference between Gabriel's horn and a vuvuzela?

Gabriel's horn has infinite surface area and finite volume, while a vuvuzela has finite surface area and infinite volume.

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class:

"In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn't a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."