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1This fortune brought to you by:
2$FreeBSD: src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2,v 1.17.2.8 2002/10/19 05:10:15 fanf Exp $
3
4%
5=======================================================================
6|| ||
7|| The FORTUNE-COOKIE program is soon to be a Major Motion Picture! ||
8|| Watch for it at a theater near you next summer! ||
9|| ||
10=======================================================================
11 Francis Ford Coppola presents a George Lucas Production:
12 "Fortune Cookie"
13 Directed by Steven Spielberg.
14 Starring Harrison Ford Bette Midler Marlon Brando
15 Christopher Reeves Marilyn Chambers
16 and Bob Hope as "The Waiter".
17 Costumes Designed by Pierre Cardin.
18 Special Effects by Timothy Leary.
19 Read the Warner paperback!
20 Invoke the Unix program!
21 Soundtrack on XTC Records.
22 In 70mm and Dolby Stereo at selected theaters and terminal
23 centers.
24%
25 PLAYGIRL, Inc.
26 Philadelphia, Pa. 19369
27Dear Sir:
28 Your name has been submitted to us with your photo. I regret to
29inform you that we will be unable to use your body in our centerfold. On
30a scale of one to ten, your body was rated a minus two by a panel of women
31ranging in age from 60 to 75 years. We tried to assemble a panel in the
32age bracket of 25 to 35 years, but we could not get them to stop laughing
33long enough to reach a decision. Should the taste of the American woman
34ever change so drastically that bodies such as yours would be appropriate
35in our magazine, you will be notified by this office. Please, don't call
36us.
37 Sympathetically,
38 Amanda L. Smith
39
40p.s. We also want to commend you for your unusual pose. Were you
41 wounded in the war, or do you ride your bike a lot?
42%
43 _-^--^=-_
44 _.-^^ -~_
45 _-- --_
46 < >)
47 | |
48 \._ _./
49 ```--. . , ; .--'''
50 | | |
51 .-=|| | |=-.
52 `-=#$%&%$#=-'
53 | ; :|
54 _____.,-#%&$@%#&#~,._____
55%
56 FROM THE DESK OF
57 Dorothy Gale
58
59 Auntie Em:
60 Hate you.
61 Hate Kansas.
62 Taking the dog.
63 Dorothy
64%
65 FROM THE DESK OF
66 Rapunzel
67
68Dear Prince:
69
70 Use ladder tonight --
71 you're splitting my ends.
72%
73 SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT
74
75Title: Are Frogs Turing Compatible?
76Speaker: Don "The Lion" Knuth
77
78 ABSTRACT
79 Several researchers at the University of Louisiana have been studying
80the computing power of various amphibians, frogs in particular. The problem
81of frog computability has become a critical issue that ranges across all areas
82of computer science. It has been shown that anything computable by an amphi-
83bian community in a fixed-size pond is computable by a frog in the same-size
84pond -- that is to say, frogs are Pond-space complete. We will show that
85there is a log-space, polywog-time reduction from any Turing machine program
86to a frog. We will suggest these represent a proper subset of frog-computable
87functions.
88 This is not just a let's-see-how-far-those-frogs-can-jump seminar.
89This is only for hardcore amphibian-computation people and their colleagues.
90 Refreshments will be served. Music will be played.
91%
92 UNIX Trix
93
94For those of you in the reseller business, here is a helpful tip that will
95save your support staff a few hours of precious time. Before you send your
96next machine out to an untrained client, change the permissions on /etc/passwd
97to 666 and make sure there is a copy somewhere on the disk. Now when they
98forget the root password, you can easily login as an ordinary user and correct
99the damage. Having a bootable tape (for larger machines) is not a bad idea
100either. If you need some help, give us a call.
101
102 -- CommUNIXque 1:1, ASCAR Business Systems
103%
104 ___====-_ _-====___
105 _--~~~#####// ' ` \\#####~~~--_
106 -~##########// ( ) \\##########~-_
107 -############// |\^^/| \\############-
108 _~############// (O||O) \\############~_
109 ~#############(( \\// ))#############~
110 -###############\\ (oo) //###############-
111 -#################\\ / `' \ //#################-
112 -###################\\/ () \//###################-
113 _#/|##########/\######( (()) )######/\##########|\#_
114 |/ |#/\#/\#/\/ \#/\##| \()/ |##/\#/ \/\#/\#/\#| \|
115 ` |/ V V ` V )|| |()| ||( V ' V /\ \| '
116 ` ` ` ` / | |()| | \ ' '<||> '
117 ( | |()| | )\ /|/
118 __\ |__|()|__| /__\______/|/
119 (vvv(vvvv)(vvvv)vvv)______|/
120%
121 DELETE A FORTUNE!
122Don't some of these fortunes just drive you nuts?!
123Wouldn't you like to see some of them deleted from the system?
124You can! Just mail to `fortune' with the fortune you hate most,
125and we'll make sure it gets expunged.
126%
127 It's grad exam time...
128COMPUTER SCIENCE
129 Inside your desk you'll find a listing of the DEC/VMS operating
130system in IBM 1710 machine code. Show what changes are necessary to convert
131this code into a UNIX Berkeley 7 operating system. Prove that these fixes are
132bug free and run correctly. You should gain at least 150% efficiency in the
133new system. (You should take no more than 10 minutes on this question.)
134
135MATHEMATICS
136 If X equals PI times R^2, construct a formula showing how long
137it would take a fire ant to drill a hole through a dill pickle, if the
138length-girth ratio of the ant to the pickle were 98.17:1.
139
140GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
141Describe the Universe. Give three examples.
142%
143 It's grad exam time...
144MEDICINE
145 You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
146bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has
147been inspected. (You have 15 minutes.)
148
149HISTORY
150 Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present
151day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political,
152economic, religious and philosophical impact upon Europe, Asia, America, and
153Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.
154
155BIOLOGY
156 Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture
157if this form of life had been created 500 million years ago or earlier, with
158special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system.
159%
160 Pittsburgh driver's test
16110: Potholes are
162 a) extremely dangerous.
163 b) patriotic.
164 c) the fault of the previous administration.
165 d) all going to be fixed next summer.
166The correct answer is b.
167Potholes destroy unpatriotic, unamerican, imported cars, since the holes
168are larger than the cars. If you drive a big, patriotic, American car
169you have nothing to worry about.
170%
171 Pittsburgh driver's test
1722: A traffic light at an intersection changes from yellow to red, you should
173 a) stop immediately.
174 b) proceed slowly through the intersection.
175 c) blow the horn.
176 d) floor it.
177The correct answer is d.
178If you said c, you were almost right, so give yourself a half point.
179%
180 Pittsburgh driver's test
1813: When stopped at an intersection you should
182 a) watch the traffic light for your lane.
183 b) watch for pedestrians crossing the street.
184 c) blow the horn.
185 d) watch the traffic light for the intersecting street.
186The correct answer is d.
187You need to start as soon as the traffic light for the intersecting
188street turns yellow.
189Answer c is worth a half point.
190%
191 Pittsburgh driver's test
1924: Exhaust gas is
193 a) beneficial.
194 b) not harmful.
195 c) toxic.
196 d) a punk band.
197The correct answer is b.
198The meddling Washington eco-freak communist bureaucrats who say otherwise
199are liars. (Message to those who answered d. Go back to California where
200you came from. Your kind are not welcome here.)
201%
202 Pittsburgh driver's test
2035: Your car's horn is a vital piece of safety equipment.
204 How often should you test it?
205 a) once a year.
206 b) once a month.
207 c) once a day.
208 d) once an hour.
209The correct answer is d.
210You should test your car's horn at least once every hour,
211and more often at night or in residential neighborhoods.
212%
213 Pittsburgh driver's test
2147: The car directly in front of you has a flashing right tail light
215 but a steady left tail light.
216 a) One of the tail lights is broken. You should blow your
217 horn to call the problem to the driver's attention.
218 b) The driver is signaling a right turn.
219 c) The driver is signaling a left turn.
220 d) The driver is from out of town.
221The correct answer is d.
222Tail lights are used in some foreign countries to signal turns.
223%
224 Pittsburgh driver's test
2258: Pedestrians are
226 a) irrelevant.
227 b) communists.
228 c) a nuisance.
229 d) difficult to clean off the front grille.
230The correct answer is a. Pedestrians are not in cars, so they
231are totally irrelevant to driving, and you should ignore them
232completely.
233%
234 Pittsburgh driver's test
2359: Roads are salted in order to
236 a) kill grass.
237 b) melt snow.
238 c) help the economy.
239 d) prevent potholes.
240The correct answer is c.
241Road salting employs thousands of persons directly, and millions more
242indirectly, for example, salt miners and rustproofers. Most important,
243salting reduces the life spans of cars, thus stimulating the car and
244steel industries.
245%
246
247 ( /\__________/\ )
248 \(^ @___..___@ ^)/
249 /\ (\/\/\/\/) /\
250 / \(/\/\/\/\)/ \
251 -( """""""""" )
252 \ _____ /
253 ( /( )\ )
254 _) (_V) (V_) (_
255 (V)(V)(V) (V)(V)(V)
256
257%
258 ___====-_ _-====___
259 _--~~~#####// \\#####~~~--_
260 _-~##########// ( ) \\##########~-_
261 -############// :\^^/: \\############-
262 _~############// (@::@) \\############~_
263 ~#############(( \\// ))#############~
264 -###############\\ (^^) //###############-
265 -#################\\ / "" \ //#################-
266 -###################\\/ \//###################-
267 _#/:##########/\######( /\ )######/\##########:\#_
268 :/ :#/\#/\#/\/ \#/\##\ : : /##/\#/ \/\#/\#/\#: \:
269 " :/ V V " V \#\: : : :/#/ V " V V \: "
270 " " " " \ : : : : / " " " "
271%
272 Has your family tried 'em?
273
274 POWDERMILK BISCUITS
275
276 Heavens, they're tasty and expeditious!
277
278 They're made from whole wheat, to give shy persons
279 the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.
280
281 POWDERMILK BISCUITS
282
283 Buy them ready-made in the big blue box with the picture of
284 the biscuit on the front, or in the brown bag with the dark
285 stains that indicate freshness.
286%
287 Answers to Last Fortunes' Questions:
2881) None. (Moses didn't have an ark).
2892) Your mother, by the pigeonhole principle.
2903) You don't know. Neither does your boss.
2914) Who cares?
2925) 6 (or maybe 4, or else 3). Mr. Alfred J. Duncan of Podunk, Montana,
293 submitted an interesting solution to Problem 5. Unfortunately, I lost it.
2946) I know the answer to this one, but I'm not telling! Suffer! Ha-ha-ha!!
2957) There is an interesting solution to this problem on page 10,953 of my
296 book, which you can pick up for $23.95 at finer bookstores and bathroom
297 supply outlets (or 99 cents at the table in front of Papyrus Books).
298%
299 Hard Copies and Chmod
300
301And everyone thinks computers are impersonal
302cold diskdrives hardware monitors
303user-hostile software
304
305of course they're only bits and bytes
306and characters and strings
307and files
308
309just some old textfiles from my old boyfriend
310telling me he loves me and
311he'll take care of me
312
313simply a discarded printout of a friend's directory
314deep intimate secrets and
315how he doesn't trust me
316
317couldn't hurt me more if they were scented in lavender or mould
318on personal stationery
319 -- terri@csd4.milw.wisc.edu
320%
321 `O' LEVEL COUNTER CULTURE
322Timewarp allowed: 3 hours. Do not scrawl situationalist graffiti in the
323margins or stub your rollups in the inkwells. Orange may be worn. Credit
324will be given to candidates who self-actualize.
325
326 1: Compare and contrast Pink Floyd with Black Sabbath and say why
327neither has street credibility.
328 2: "Even Buddha would have been hard pushed to reach Nirvana squatting
329on a juggernaut route." Consider the dialectic of inner truth and inner
330city.
331 3: Discuss degree of hassle involved in paranoia about being sucked
332into a black hole.
333 4: "The Egomaniac's Liberation Front were a bunch of revisionist
334ripoff merchants." Comment on this insult.
335 5: Account for the lack of references to brown rice in Dylan's lyrics.
336 6: "Castenada was a bit of a bozo." How far is this a fair summing
337up of western dualism?
338 7: Hermann Hesse was a Pisces. Discuss.
339%
340 OUTCONERR
341Twas FORTRAN as the doloop goes
342 Did logzerneg the ifthen block
343All kludgy were the function flows
344 And subroutines adhoc.
345
346Beware the runtime-bug my friend
347 squrooneg, the false goto
348Beware the infiniteloop
349 And shun the inprectoo.
350%
351 Safety Tips for the Post-Nuclear Existence
3521. Never use an elevator in a building that has been hit by a
353 nuclear bomb, use the stairs.
3542. When you're flying through the air, remember to roll
355 when you hit the ground.
3563. If you're on fire, avoid gasoline and other flammable materials.
3574. Don't attempt communication with dead people; it will only lead
358 to psychological problems.
3595. Food will be scarce, you will have to scavenge. Learn to recognize
360 foods that will be available after the bomb: mashed potatoes,
361 shredded wheat, tossed salad, ground beef, etc.
3626. Put your hand over your mouth when you sneeze, internal organs
363 will be scarce in the post-nuclear age.
3647. Try to be neat, fall only in designated piles.
3658. Drive carefully in "Heavy Fallout" areas, people could be
366 staggering illegally.
3679. Nutritionally, hundred dollar bills are equal to one's, but more
368 sanitary due to limited circulation.
36910. Accumulate mannequins now, spare parts will be in short
370 supply on D-Day.
371%
372 The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance
373The guy on the right has the Osborne 1, a fully functional computer system
374in a portable package the size of a briefcase. The guy on the left has an
375Uzi submachine gun concealed in his attache case. Also in the case are four
376fully loaded, 32-round clips of 125-grain 9mm ammunition. The owner of the
377Uzi is going to get more tactical firepower delivered -- and delivered on
378target -- in less time, and with less effort. All for $795. It's inevitable.
379If you're going up against some guy with an Osborne 1 -- or any personal
380computer -- he's the one who's in trouble. One round from an Uzi can zip
381through ten inches of solid pine wood, so you can imagine what it will do
382to structural foam acrylic and sheet aluminum. In fact, detachable magazines
383for the Uzi are available in 25-, 32-, and 40-round capacities, so you can
384take out an entire office full of Apple II or IBM Personal Computers tied
385into Ethernet or other local-area networks. What about the new 16-bit
386computers, like the Lisa and Fortune? Even with the Winchester backup,
387they're no match for the Uzi. One quick burst and they'll find out what
388Unix means. Make your commanding officer proud. Get an Uzi -- and come home
389a winner in the fight for office automatic weapons.
390 -- "InfoWorld", June, 1984
391%
392 The Split-Atom Blues
393Gimme Twinkies, gimme wine,
394 Gimme jeans by Calvin Kline...
395But if you split those atoms fine,
396 Mama keep 'em off those genes of mine!
397Gimme zits, take my dough,
398 Gimme arsenic in my jelly roll...
399Call the devil and sell my soul,
400 But Mama keep dem atoms whole!
401 -- Milo Bloom
402%
403 THIS IS PLEDGE WEEK FOR THE FORTUNE PROGRAM
404
405If you like the fortune program, why not support it now with your contribution
406of a pithy fortune, clean or obscene? We cannot continue without your support.
407Less than 14% of all fortune users are contributors. That means that 86% of
408you are getting a free ride. We can't go on like this much longer. Federal
409cutbacks mean less money for fortunes, and unless user contributions increase
410to make up the difference, the fortune program will have to shut down between
411midnight and 8 a.m. Don't let this happen. Mail your fortunes right now to
412`fortune'. Just type in your favorite pithy fortune. Do it now before you
413forget. Our target is 300 new fortunes by the end of the week. Don't miss
414out. All fortunes will be acknowledged. If you contribute 30 fortunes or
415more, you will receive a free subscription to "The Fortune Hunter", our monthly
416program guide. If you contribute 50 or more, you will receive a free "Fortune
417Hunter" coffee mug!
418%
419 What I Did During My Fall Semester
420On the first day of my fall semester, I got up.
421Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
422Then I hung out in front of the Dover.
423
424On the second day of my fall semester, I got up.
425Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
426Then I hung out in front of the Dover.
427
428On the third day of my fall semester, I got up.
429Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
430I found a thesis topic:
431 How to keep people from hanging out in front of the Dover.
432 -- Sister Mary Elephant,
433 "Student Statement for Black Friday"
434%
435 1/2
436 /\(3)
437 | 2 1/3
438 | z dz cos(3 * PI / 9) = ln (e )
439 |
440 \/ 1
441
442The integral of z squared, dz
443From 1 to the square root of 3
444 Times the cosine
445 Of 3 PI over nine
446Is the log of the cube root of e
447%
448 THE DAILY PLANET
449
450 SUPERMAN SAVES DESSERT!
451 Plans to "Eat it later"
452%
453 *** A NEW KIND OF PROGRAMMING ***
454
455Do you want the instant respect that comes from being able to use technical
456terms that nobody understands? Do you want to strike fear and loathing into
457the hearts of DP managers everywhere? If so, then let the Famous Programmers'
458School lead you on... into the world of professional computer programming.
459They say a good programmer can write 20 lines of effective program per day.
460With our unique training course, we'll show you how to write 20 lines of code
461and lots more besides. Our training course covers every programming language
462in existence, and some that aren't. You'll learn why the on/off switch for a
463computer is so important, what the words *fatal error* mean, and who and what
464you should blame when you make a mistake.
465
466 Yes, I want the brochure describing this incredible offer.
467 I enclose $1000 is small unmarked bills to cover the cost of
468 postage and handling. (No live poultry, please.)
469
470*** Our Slogan: Top down programming for the masses. ***
471%
472 *** DO YOU HAVE A RESTLESS URGE TO PROGRAM? ***
473Do you want the instant respect that comes from being able to use technical
474terms that nobody understands? Do you want to strike fear and loathing into
475the hearts of DP managers everywhere? If so, then let the Famous Programmers'
476School lead you on... into the world of professional computer programming.
477
478 *** IS PROGRAMMING FOR YOU? ***
479Programming is not for everyone. But, if you have the desire to learn, we can
480help you get started. All you need is the Famous Programmers' Course and
481enough money to keep those lessons coming month after month.
482
483 *** TAKE OUR FREE APTITUDE TEST ***
484To help determine if you are qualified to be a programmer, take a moment to
485try this simple test:
486 1: Write down the numbers from zero to nine and the first six letters
487 of the alphabet (Hint: 0123456789ABCDEF).
488 2: Whose picture is on the back of a twenty-dollar bill?
489 3: What is the state capital of Idaho?
490If you managed to read all three questions without wondering why we asked
491them, you may have a future as a computer programmer.
492%
493 *** STUDENT SUCCESSES ***
494
495Many of our students have gone on to achieve great success in all fields of
496programming. One former student developed the concept of the personalized
497form letter. Does the phrase, "Dear Mr.(insert name), You may already be a
498winner!," sound familiar? Another student writes "After only five lessons I
499sold a "My Most Unforgettable Program" article to Corrosive Computing magazine.
500Another of our graduates writes, "I recently completed a database-management
501program for my department manager. My program touched him so deeply that he
502was speechless. He told me later that he had never seen such a program in
503his entire career. Thank you, Famous Programmers' school; only you could
504have made this possible." Send for our introductory brochure which explains
505in vague detail the operation of the Famous Programmers' School, and you'll
506be eligible to win a possible chance to enter a drawing, the winner of which
507can vie for a set of free steak knives. If you don't do it now, you'll hate
508yourself in the morning.
509%
510 ... This striving for excellence extends into people's
511personal lives as well. When '80s people buy something, they buy the
512best one, as determined by (1) price and (2) lack of availability.
513Eighties people buy imported dental floss. They buy gourmet baking
514soda. If an '80s couple goes to a restaurant where they have made a
515reservation three weeks in advance, and they are informed that their
516table is available, they stalk out immediately, because they know it is
517not an excellent restaurant. If it were, it would have an enormous
518crowd of excellence-oriented people like themselves waiting, their
519beepers going off like crickets in the night. An excellent restaurant
520wouldn't have a table ready immediately for anybody below the rank of
521Liza Minnelli.
522 -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
523%
524 ... with liberty and justice for all who can afford it.
525%
526 12 + 144 + 20 + 3(4) 2
527 ---------------------- + 5(11) = 9 + 0
528 7
529
530A dozen, a gross and a score,
531Plus three times the square root of four,
532 Divided by seven,
533 Plus five times eleven,
534Equals nine squared plus zero, no more!
535%
536 7,140 pounds on the Sun
537 97 pounds on Mercury or Mars
538 255 pounds on Earth
539 232 pounds on Venus or Uranus
540 43 pounds on the Moon
541 648 pounds on Jupiter
542 275 pounds on Saturn
543 303 pounds on Neptune
544 13 pounds on Pluto
545
546 -- How much Elvis Presley would weigh at various places
547 in the solar system.
548%
549 A boy scout troop went on a hike. Crossing over a stream, one of
550the boys dropped his wallet into the water. Suddenly a carp jumped, grabbed
551the wallet and tossed it to another carp. Then that carp passed it to
552another carp, and all over the river carp appeared and tossed the wallet back
553and forth.
554 "Well, boys," said the Scout leader, "you've just seen a rare case
555of carp-to-carp walleting."
556%
557 A carpet installer decides to take a cigarette break after completing
558the installation in the first of several rooms he has to do. Finding them
559missing from his pocket he begins searching, only to notice a small lump in
560his recently completed carpet-installation. Not wanting to pull up all that
561work for a lousy pack of cigarettes he simply walks over and pounds the lump
562flat. Foregoing the break, he continues on to the other rooms to be carpeted.
563 At the end of the day, while loading his tools into his truck, two
564events occur almost simultaneously: he spies his pack of cigarettes on the
565dashboard of the truck, and the lady of the house summons him imperiously:
566"Have you seen my parakeet?"
567%
568 A circus foreman was making the rounds inspecting the big top when
569a scrawny little man entered the tent and walked up to him. "Are you the
570foreman around here?" he asked timidly. "I'd like to join your circus; I
571have what I think is a pretty good act."
572 The foreman nodded assent, whereupon the little man hurried over to
573the main pole and rapidly climbed up to the very tip-top of the big top.
574Drawing a deep breath, he hurled himself off into the air and began flapping
575his arms furiously. Amazingly, rather than plummeting to his death the little
576man began to fly all around the poles, lines, trapezes and other obstacles,
577performing astounding feats of aerobatics which ended in a long power dive
578from the top of the tent, pulling up into a gentle feet-first landing beside
579the foreman, who had been nonchalantly watching the whole time.
580 "Well," puffed the little man. "What do you think?"
581 "That's all you do?" answered the foreman scornfully. "Bird
582imitations?"
583%
584 A crow perched himself on a telephone wire. He was going to make a
585long-distance caw.
586%
587 A disciple of another sect once came to Drescher as he was eating
588his morning meal. "I would like to give you this personality test", said
589the outsider, "because I want you to be happy."
590 Drescher took the paper that was offered him and put it into the
591toaster -- "I wish the toaster to be happy too".
592%
593 A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing about
594whose profession was the oldest. In the course of their arguments, they
595got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon the doctor said, "The
596medical profession is clearly the oldest, because Eve was made from Adam's
597rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply incredible surgical feat."
598 The architect did not agree. He said, "But if you look at the Garden
599itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of that the Garden
600and the world were created. So God must have been an architect."
601 The computer scientist, who'd listened carefully to all of this, then
602commented, "Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?"
603%
604 A farm in the country side had several turkeys, it was known as the
605house of seven gobbles.
606%
607 A farmer decides that his three sows should be bred, and contacts a
608buddy down the road, who owns several boars. They agree on a stud fee, and
609the farmer puts the sows in his pickup and takes them down the road to the
610boars. He leaves them all day, and when he picks them up that night, asks
611the man how he can tell if it "took" or not. The breeder replies that if,
612the next morning, the sows were grazing on grass, they were pregnant, but if
613they were rolling in the mud as usual, they probably weren't.
614 Comes the morn, the sows are rolling in the mud as usual, so the
615farmer puts them in the truck and brings them back for a second full day of
616frolic. This continues for a week, since each morning the sows are rolling
617in the mud.
618 Around the sixth day, the farmer wakes up and tells his wife, "I
619don't have the heart to look again. This is getting ridiculous. You check
620today." With that, the wife peeks out the bedroom window and starts to laugh.
621 "What is it?" asks the farmer excitedly. "Are they grazing at last?"
622 "Nope." replies his wife. "Two of them are jumping up and down in
623the back of your truck, and the other one is honking the horn!"
624%
625 A father gave his teen-age daughter an untrained pedigreed pup for
626her birthday. An hour later, when wandered through the house, he found her
627looking at a puddle in the center of the kitchen. "My pup," she murmured
628sadly, "runneth over."
629%
630 A German, a Pole and a Czech left camp for a hike through the woods.
631After being reported missing a day or two later, rangers found two bears,
632one a male, one a female, looking suspiciously overstuffed. They killed
633the female, autopsied her, and sure enough, found the German and the Pole.
634 "What do you think?" said the the first ranger.
635 "The Czech is in the male," replied the second.
636%
637 A group of soldiers being prepared for a practice landing on a tropical
638island were warned of the one danger the island held, a poisonous snake that
639could be readily identified by its alternating orange and black bands. They
640were instructed, should they find one of these snakes, to grab the tail end of
641the snake with one hand and slide the other hand up the body of the snake to
642the snake's head. Then, forcefully, bend the thumb above the snake's head
643downward to break the snake's spine. All went well for the landing, the
644charge up the beach, and the move into the jungle. At one foxhole site, two
645men were starting to dig and wondering what had happened to their partner.
646Suddenly he staggered out of the underbrush, uniform in shreds, covered with
647blood. He collapsed to the ground. His buddies were so shocked they could
648only blurt out, "What happened?"
649 "I ran from the beachhead to the edge of the jungle, and, as I hit the
650ground, I saw an orange and black striped snake right in front of me. I
651grabbed its tail end with my left hand. I placed my right hand above my left
652hand. I held firmly with my left hand and slid my right hand up the body of
653the snake. When I reached the head of the snake I flicked my right thumb down
654to break the snake's spine... did you ever goose a tiger?"
655%
656 A guy returns from a long trip to Europe, having left his beloved
657dog in his brother's care. The minute he's cleared customs, he calls up his
658brother and inquires after his pet.
659 "Your dog's dead," replies his brother bluntly.
660 The guy is devastated. "You know how much that dog meant to me,"
661he moaned into the phone. "Couldn't you at least have thought of a nicer way
662of breaking the news? Couldn't you have said, `Well, you know, the dog got
663outside one day, and was crossing the street, and a car was speeding around a
664corner...' or something...? Why are you always so thoughtless?"
665 "Look, I'm sorry," said his brother, "I guess I just didn't think."
666 "Okay, okay, let's just put it behind us. How are you anyway?
667How's Mom?"
668 His brother is silent a moment. "Uh," he stammers, "uh... Mom got
669outside one day..."
670%
671 A guy walks into a pub and asks: "Does anyone here own a Doberman?
672I feel really bad about this, but my Chihuahua just killed it."
673 A man leaps to his feet and replies, "Yes, I do, but how can that
674be? I raised that dog from a pup to be a vicious killer."
675 "Yes, well, that's all well and good," replied the first, "but my
676dog's stuck in its throat."
677%
678 A hard-luck actor who appeared in one colossal disaster after another
679finally got a break, a broken leg to be exact. Someone pointed out that it's
680the first time the poor fellow's been in the same cast for more than a week.
681%
682 A horse breeder has his young colts bottle-fed after they're three
683days old. He heard that a foal and his mummy are soon parted.
684%
685 A housewife, an accountant and a lawyer were asked to add 2 and 2.
686 The housewife replied, "Four!".
687 The accountant said, "It's either 3 or 4. Let me run those figures
688through my spread sheet one more time."
689 The lawyer pulled the drapes, dimmed the lights and asked in a
690hushed voice, "How much do you want it to be?"
691%
692 A lawyer named Strange was shopping for a tombstone. After he had
693made his selection, the stonecutter asked him what inscription he
694would like on it. "Here lies an honest man and a lawyer," responded the
695lawyer.
696 "Sorry, but I can't do that," replied the stonecutter. "In this
697state, it's against the law to bury two people in the same grave. However,
698I could put ``here lies an honest lawyer'', if that would be okay."
699 "But that won't let people know who it is" protested the lawyer.
700 "Certainly will," retorted the stonecutter. "people will read it
701and exclaim, "That's Strange!"
702%
703 A little dog goes into a saloon in the Wild West, and beckons to
704the bartender. "Hey, bartender, gimmie a whiskey."
705 The bartender ignores him.
706 "Hey bartender, gimmie a whiskey."
707 Still ignored.
708 "HEY BARMAN!! GIMMIE A WHISKEY!!"
709 The bartender takes out his six-shooter and shoots the dog in the
710leg, and the dog runs out the saloon, howling in pain.
711 Three years later, the wee dog appears again, wearing boots,
712jeans, chaps, a Stetson, gun belt, and guns. He ambles slowly into the
713saloon, goes up to the bar, leans over it, and says to the bartender,
714"I'm here t'git the man that shot muh paw."
715%
716 A man enters a pet shop, seeking to purchase a parrot. He points
717to a fine colorful bird and asks how much it costs.
718 When he is told it costs 70,000 zlotys, he whistles in amazement
719and asks why it is so much. "Well, the bird is fluent in Italian and
720French and can recite the periodic table." He points to another bird
721and is told that it costs 90,000 zlotys because it speaks French and
722German, can knit and can curse in Latin.
723 Finally the customer asks about a drab gray bird. "Ah," he is
724told, "that one is 150,000."
725 "Why, what can it do?" he asks.
726 "Well," says the shopkeeper, "to tell you the truth, he doesn't
727do anything, but the other birds call him Mr. Secretary."
728 -- being told in Poland, 1987
729%
730 A man from AI walked across the mountains to SAIL to see the Master,
731Knuth. When he arrived, the Master was nowhere to be found. "Where is the
732wise one named Knuth?" he asked a passing student.
733 "Ah," said the student, "you have not heard. He has gone on a
734pilgrimage across the mountains to the temple of AI to seek out new
735disciples."
736 Hearing this, the man was Enlightened.
737%
738 A man met a beautiful young woman in a bar. They got along well,
739shared dinner, and had a marvelous evening. When he left her, he told her
740that he had really enjoyed their time together, and hoped to see her again,
741soon. Smiling yes, she gave him her phone number.
742 The next day, he called her up and asked her to go dancing. She
743agreed. As they talked, he jokingly asked her what her favorite flower was.
744Realizing his intentions, she told him that he shouldn't bring her flowers
745-- if he wanted to bring her a gift, well, he should bring her a Swiss Army
746knife!
747 Surprised, and not a little intrigued, he spent a large part of the
748afternoon finding a particularly unusual one. Arriving at her apartment
749he immediately presented her with the knife. She ooohed and ahhhed over it
750for a minute, and then carefully placed it in a drawer, that the man couldn't
751help but see was full of Swiss Army knives.
752 Surprised, he asked her why she had collected so many.
753 "Well, I'm young and attractive now", blushed the woman, "but that
754won't always be true. And boy scouts will do anything for a Swiss Army knife!"
755%
756 A man pleaded innocent of any wrong doing when caught by the police
757during a raid at the home of a mobster, excusing himself by claiming that he
758was making a bolt for the door.
759%
760 A man sank into the psychiatrist's couch and said, "I have a
761terrible problem, Doctor. I have a son at Harvard and another son at
762Princeton; I've just gifted each of them with a new Ferrari; I've got
763homes in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, and a co-op in New York; and I've
764got a thriving ranch in Venezuela. My wife is a gorgeous young actress
765who considers my two mistresses to be her best friends."
766 The psychiatrist looked at the patient, confused. "Did I miss
767something? It sounds to me like you have no problems at all."
768 "But, Doctor, I only make $175 a week."
769%
770 A man walked into a bar with his alligator and asked the bartender,
771"Do you serve lawyers here?".
772 "Sure do," replied the bartender.
773 "Good," said the man. "Give me a beer, and I'll have a lawyer for
774my 'gator."
775%
776 A man was reading The Canterbury Tales one Saturday morning, when his
777wife asked "What have you got there?" Replied he, "Just my cup and Chaucer."
778%
779 A man who keeps stealing mopeds is an obvious cycle-path.
780%
781 A manager asked a programmer how long it would take him to finish the
782program on which he was working. "I will be finished tomorrow," the programmer
783promptly replied.
784 "I think you are being unrealistic," said the manager. "Truthfully,
785how long will it take?"
786 The programmer thought for a moment. "I have some features that I wish
787to add. This will take at least two weeks," he finally said.
788 "Even that is too much to expect," insisted the manager, "I will be
789satisfied if you simply tell me when the program is complete."
790 The programmer agreed to this.
791 Several years slated, the manager retired. On the way to his
792retirement lunch, he discovered the programmer asleep at his terminal.
793He had been programming all night.
794 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
795%
796 A manager was about to be fired, but a programmer who worked for him
797invented a new program that became popular and sold well. As a result, the
798manager retained his job.
799 The manager tried to give the programmer a bonus, but the programmer
800refused it, saying, "I wrote the program because I though it was an interesting
801concept, and thus I expect no reward."
802 The manager, upon hearing this, remarked, "This programmer, though he
803holds a position of small esteem, understands well the proper duty of an
804employee. Lets promote him to the exalted position of management consultant!"
805 But when told this, the programmer once more refused, saying, "I exist
806so that I can program. If I were promoted, I would do nothing but waste
807everyone's time. Can I go now? I have a program that I'm working on."
808 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
809%
810 A manager went to the master programmer and showed him the requirements
811document for a new application. The manager asked the master: "How long will
812it take to design this system if I assign five programmers to it?"
813 "It will take one year," said the master promptly.
814 "But we need this system immediately or even sooner! How long will it
815take it I assign ten programmers to it?"
816 The master programmer frowned. "In that case, it will take two years."
817 "And what if I assign a hundred programmers to it?"
818 The master programmer shrugged. "Then the design will never be
819completed," he said.
820 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
821%
822 A manger went to his programmers and told them: "As regards to your
823work hours: you are going to have to come in at nine in the morning and leave
824at five in the afternoon." At this, all of them became angry and several
825resigned on the spot.
826 So the manager said: "All right, in that case you may set your own
827working hours, as long as you finish your projects on schedule." The
828programmers, now satisfied, began to come in a noon and work to the wee
829hours of the morning.
830 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
831%
832 A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day. The master
833noted the novice's preoccupation with a hand-held computer game. "Excuse me",
834he said, "may I examine it?"
835 The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master.
836"I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium,
837and Hard", said the master. "Yet every such device has another level of play,
838where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the
839human."
840 "Pray, great master," implored the novice, "how does one find this
841mysterious setting?"
842 The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it under foot.
843And suddenly the novice was enlightened.
844 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
845%
846 A master was explaining the nature of Tao to one of his novices.
847"The Tao is embodied in all software -- regardless of how insignificant,"
848said the master.
849 "Is the Tao in a hand-held calculator?" asked the novice.
850 "It is," came the reply.
851 "Is the Tao in a video game?" continued the novice.
852 "It is even in a video game," said the master.
853 "And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"
854 The master coughed and shifted his position slightly. "The lesson
855is over for today.", he said.
856 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
857%
858 A master was explaining the nature of the Tao to one of his novices,
859"The Tao is embodied in all software -- regardless of how insignificant,"
860said the master.
861 "Is the Tao in a hand-held calculator?" asked the novice.
862 "It is," came the reply.
863 "Is the Tao in a video game?" continued the novice.
864 "It is even in a video game," said the master.
865 "And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"
866 The master coughed and shifted his position slightly. "The lesson is
867over for today," he said.
868 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
869%
870 A MODERN FABLE
871
872Aesop's fables and other traditional children's stories involve allegory
873far too subtle for the youth of today. Children need an updated message
874with contemporary circumstance and plot line, and short enough to suit
875today's minute attention span.
876
877 The Troubled Aardvark
878
879Once upon a time, there was an aardvark whose only pleasure in life was
880driving from his suburban bungalow to his job at a large brokerage house
881in his brand new 4x4. He hated his manipulative boss, his conniving and
882unethical co-workers, his greedy wife, and his snivelling, spoiled
883children. One day, the aardvark reflected on the meaning of his life and
884his career and on the unchecked, catastrophic decline of his nation, its
885pathetic excuse for leadership, and the complete ineffectiveness of any
886personal effort he could make to change the status quo. Overcome by a
887wave of utter depression and self-doubt, he decided to take the only
888course of action that would bring him greater comfort and happiness: he
889drove to the mall and bought imported consumer electronics goods.
890
891MORAL OF THE STORY: Invest in foreign consumer electronics manufacturers.
892 -- Tom Annau
893%
894 A musical reviewer admitted he always praised the first show of a
895new theatrical season. "Who am I to stone the first cast?"
896%
897 A musician of more ambition than talent composed an elegy at
898the death of composer Edward MacDowell. She played the elegy for the
899pianist Josef Hoffman, then asked his opinion. "Well, it's quite
900nice," he replied, but don't you think it would be better if..."
901 "If what?" asked the composer.
902 "If ... if you had died and MacDowell had written the elegy?"
903%
904 A novel approach is to remove all power from the system, which
905removes most system overhead so that resources can be fully devoted to
906doing nothing. Benchmarks on this technique are promising; tremendous
907amounts of nothing can be produced in this manner. Certain hardware
908limitations can limit the speed of this method, especially in the
909larger systems which require a more involved & less efficient
910power-down sequence.
911 An alternate approach is to pull the main breaker for the
912building, which seems to provide even more nothing, but in truth has
913bugs in it, since it usually inhibits the systems which keep the beer
914cool.
915%
916 A novice asked the Master: "Here is a programmer that never designs,
917documents, or tests his programs. Yet all who know him consider him one of
918the best programmers in the world. Why is this?"
919 The Master replies: "That programmer has mastered the Tao. He has
920gone beyond the need for design; he does not become angry when the system
921crashes, but accepts the universe without concern. He has gone beyond the
922need for documentation; he no longer cares if anyone else sees his code. He
923has gone beyond the need for testing; each of his programs are perfect within
924themselves, serene and elegant, their purpose self-evident. Truly, he has
925entered the mystery of the Tao."
926 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
927%
928 A novice asked the master: "I have a program that sometimes runs and
929sometimes aborts. I have followed the rules of programming, yet I am totally
930baffled. What is the reason for this?"
931 The master replied: "You are confused because you do not understand
932the Tao. Only a fool expects rational behavior from his fellow humans. Why
933do you expect it from a machine that humans have constructed? Computers
934simulate determinism; only the Tao is perfect.
935 The rules of programming are transitory; only the Tao is eternal.
936Therefore you must contemplate the Tao before you receive enlightenment."
937 "But how will I know when I have received enlightenment?" asked the
938novice.
939 "Your program will then run correctly," replied the master.
940 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
941%
942 A novice asked the master: "I perceive that one computer company is
943much larger than all others. It towers above its competition like a giant
944among dwarfs. Any one of its divisions could comprise an entire business.
945Why is this so?"
946 The master replied, "Why do you ask such foolish questions? That
947company is large because it is so large. If it only made hardware, nobody
948would buy it. If it only maintained systems, people would treat it like a
949servant. But because it combines all of these things, people think it one
950of the gods! By not seeking to strive, it conquers without effort."
951 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
952%
953 A novice asked the master: "In the east there is a great tree-structure
954that men call 'Corporate Headquarters'. It is bloated out of shape with
955vice-presidents and accountants. It issues a multitude of memos, each saying
956'Go, Hence!' or 'Go, Hither!' and nobody knows what is meant. Every year new
957names are put onto the branches, but all to no avail. How can such an
958unnatural entity exist?"
959 The master replies: "You perceive this immense structure and are
960disturbed that it has no rational purpose. Can you not take amusement from
961its endless gyrations? Do you not enjoy the untroubled ease of programming
962beneath its sheltering branches? Why are you bothered by its uselessness?"
963 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
964%
965 A novice programmer was once assigned to code a simple financial
966package.
967 The novice worked furiously for many days, but when his master
968reviewed his program, he discovered that it contained a screen editor, a set
969of generalized graphics routines, and artificial intelligence interface,
970but not the slightest mention of anything financial.
971 When the master asked about this, the novice became indignant.
972"Don't be so impatient," he said, "I'll put the financial stuff in eventually."
973 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
974%
975 A novice was trying to fix a broken lisp machine by turning the
976power off and on. Knight, seeing what the student was doing spoke sternly,
977"You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding
978of what is going wrong." Knight turned the machine off and on. The
979machine worked.
980%
981 A Pole, a Soviet, an American, an Englishman and a Canadian were lost
982in a forest in the dead of winter. As they were sitting around a fire, they
983noticed a pack of wolves eyeing them hungrily.
984 The Englishman volunteered to sacrifice himself for the rest of the
985party. He walked out into the night.
986 The American, not wanting to be outdone by an Englishman, offered to
987be the next victim. The wolves eagerly accepted his offer, and devoured him,
988too.
989 The Soviet, believing himself to be better than any American, turned
990to the Pole and says, "Well, comrade, I shall volunteer to give my life to
991save a fellow socialist." He leaves the shelter and goes out to be killed by
992the wolf pack.
993 At this point, the Pole opened his jacket and pulls out a machine gun.
994He takes aim in the general direction of the wolf pack and in a few seconds
995has killed them all.
996 The Canadian asked the Pole, "Why didn't you do that before the others
997went out to be killed?
998 The Pole pulls a bottle of vodka from the other side of his jacket.
999He smiles and replies, "Five men on one bottle -- too many."
1000%
1001 A priest was walking along the cliffs at Dover when he came upon
1002two locals pulling another man ashore on the end of a rope. "That's what
1003I like to see", said the priest, "A man helping his fellow man".
1004 As he was walking away, one local remarked to the other, "Well,
1005he sure doesn't know the first thing about shark fishing."
1006%
1007 A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a
1008strings of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained
1009throughout. There should be neither too little nor too much, neither needless
1010loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming
1011rigidity.
1012 A program should follow the 'Law of Least Astonishment'. What is this
1013law? It is simply that the program should always respond to the user in the
1014way that astonishes him least.
1015 A program, no matter how complex, should act as a single unit. The
1016program should be directed by the logic within rather than by outward
1017appearances.
1018 If the program fails in these requirements, it will be in a state of
1019disorder and confusion. The only way to correct this is to rewrite the
1020program.
1021 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
1022%
1023 A programmer from a very large computer company went to a software
1024conference and then returned to report to his manager, saying: "What sort
1025of programmers work for other companies? They behaved badly and were
1026unconcerned with appearances. Their hair was long and unkempt and their
1027clothes were wrinkled and old. They crashed out hospitality suites and they
1028made rude noises during my presentation."
1029 The manager said: "I should have never sent you to the conference.
1030Those programmers live beyond the physical world. They consider life absurd,
1031an accidental coincidence. They come and go without knowing limitations.
1032Without a care, they live only for their programs. Why should they bother
1033with social conventions?"
1034 "They are alive within the Tao."
1035 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
1036%
1037 A ranger was walking through the forest and encountered a hunter
1038carrying a shotgun and a dead loon. "What in the world do you think you're
1039doing? Don't you know that the loon is on the endangered species list?"
1040 Instead of answering, the hunter showed the ranger his game bag,
1041which contained twelve more loons.
1042 "Why would you shoot loons?", the ranger asked.
1043 "Well, my family eats them and I sell the plumage."
1044 "What's so special about a loon? What does it taste like?"
1045 "Oh, somewhere between an American Bald Eagle and a Trumpeter Swan."
1046%
1047 A reader reports that when the patient died, the attending doctor
1048recorded the following on the patient's chart: "Patient failed to fulfill
1049his wellness potential."
1050
1051 Another doctor reports that in a recent issue of the *American Journal
1052of Family Practice* fleas were called "hematophagous arthropod vectors."
1053
1054 A reader reports that the Army calls them "vertically deployed anti-
1055personnel devices." You probably call them bombs.
1056
1057 At McClellan Air Force base in Sacramento, California, civilian
1058mechanics were placed on "non-duty, non-pay status." That is, they were fired.
1059
1060 After taking the trip of a lifetime, our reader sent his twelve rolls
1061of film to Kodak for developing (or "processing," as Kodak likes to call it)
1062only to receive the following notice: "We must report that during the handling
1063of your twelve 35mm Kodachrome slide orders, the films were involved in an
1064unusual laboratory experience." The use of the passive is a particularly nice
1065touch, don't you think? Nobody did anything to the films; they just had a bad
1066experience. Of course our reader can always go back to Tibet and take his
1067pictures all over again, using the twelve replacement rolls Kodak so generously
1068sent him.
1069 -- Quarterly Review of Doublespeak (NCTE)
1070%
1071 A reverend wanted to telephone another reverend. He told the operator,
1072"This is a parson to parson call."
1073 A farmer with extremely prolific hens posted the following sign. "Free
1074Chickens. Our Coop Runneth Over."
1075 Two brothers, Mort and Bill, like to sail. While Bill has a great
1076deal of experience, he certainly isn't the rigger Mort is.
1077 Inheritance taxes are getting so out of line, that the deceased family
1078often doesn't have a legacy to stand on.
1079 The judge fined the jaywalker fifty dollars and told him if he was
1080caught again, he would be thrown in jail. Fine today, cooler tomorrow.
1081 A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for
1082granite.
1083%
1084 A Scotsman was strolling across High Street one day wearing his kilt.
1085As he neared the far curb, he noticed two young blondes in a red convertible
1086eyeing him and giggling. One of them called out, "Hey, Scotty! What's worn
1087under the kilt?"
1088 He strolled over to the side of the car and asked, "Ach, lass, are you
1089SURE you want to know?" Somewhat nervously, the blonde replied yes, she did
1090really want to know.
1091 The Scotsman leaned closer and confided, "Why, lass, nothing's worn
1092under the kilt, everything's in perfect workin' order!"
1093%
1094 A sheet of paper crossed my desk the other day and as I read it,
1095realization of a basic truth came over me. So simple! So obvious we couldn't
1096see it. John Knivlen, Chairman of Polamar Repeater Club, an amateur radio
1097group, had discovered how IC circuits work. He says that smoke is the thing
1098that makes ICs work because every time you let the smoke out of an IC circuit,
1099it stops working. He claims to have verified this with thorough testing.
1100 I was flabbergasted! Of course! Smoke makes all things electrical
1101work. Remember the last time smoke escaped from your Lucas voltage regulator
1102Didn't it quit working? I sat and smiled like an idiot as more of the truth
1103dawned. It's the wiring harness that carries the smoke from one device to
1104another in your Mini, MG or Jag. And when the harness springs a leak, it lets
1105the smoke out of everything at once, and then nothing works. The starter motor
1106requires large quantities of smoke to operate properly, and that's why the wire
1107going to it is so large.
1108 Feeling very smug, I continued to expand my hypothesis. Why are Lucas
1109electronics more likely to leak than say Bosch? Hmmm... Aha!!! Lucas is
1110British, and all things British leak! British convertible tops leak water,
1111British engines leak oil, British displacer units leak hydrostatic fluid, and
1112I might add British tires leak air, and the British defense unit leaks
1113secrets... so naturally British electronics leak smoke.
1114 -- Jack Banton, PCC Automotive Electrical School
1115%
1116 A shy teenage boy finally worked up the nerve to give a gift to
1117Maddona, a young puppy. It hitched its waggin' to a star.
1118 A girl spent a couple hours on the phone talking to her two best
1119friends, Maureen Jones, and Maureen Brown. When asked by her father why she
1120had been on the phone so long, she responded "I heard a funny story today
1121and I've been telling it to the Maureens."
1122 Three actors, Tom, Fred, and Cec, wanted to do the jousting scene
1123from Don Quixote for a local TV show. "I'll play the title role," proposed
1124Tom. "Fred can portray Sancho Panza, and Cecil B. De Mille."
1125%
1126 A woman was married to a golfer. One day she asked, "If I were
1127to die, would you remarry?"
1128 After some thought, the man replied, "Yes, I've been very happy in
1129this marriage and I would want to be this happy again."
1130 The wife asked, "Would you give your new wife my car?"
1131 "Yes," he replied. "That's a good car and it runs well."
1132 "Well, would you live in this house?"
1133 "Yes, it is a lovely house and you have decorated it beautifully.
1134I've always loved it here."
1135 "Well, would you give her my golf clubs?"
1136 "No."
1137 "Why not?"
1138 "She's left handed."
1139%
1140 A women was in love with fourteen soldiers, it was clearly platoonic.
1141%
1142 A young honeymoon couple were touring southern Florida and happened
1143to stop at one of the rattlesnake farms along the road. After seeing the
1144sights, they engaged in small talk with the man that handled the snakes.
1145"Gosh!" exclaimed the new bride. "You certainly have a dangerous job.
1146Don't you ever get bitten by the snakes?"
1147 "Yes, upon rare occasions," answered the handler.
1148 "Well," she continued, "just what do you do when you're bitten by
1149a snake?"
1150 "I always carry a razor-sharp knife in my pocket, and as soon as I
1151am bitten, I make deep criss-cross marks across the fang entry and then
1152suck the poison from the wound."
1153 "What, uh... what would happen if you were to accidentally *sit* on
1154a rattler?" persisted the woman.
1155 "Ma'am," answered the snake handler, "that will be the day I learn
1156who my real friends are."
1157%
1158 A young married couple had their first child. Their original pride
1159and joy slowly turned to concern however, for after a couple of years the
1160child had never uttered any form of speech. They hired the best speech
1161therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, all to no avail. The child simply refused
1162to speak. One morning when the child was five, while the husband was reading
1163the paper, and the wife was feeding the dog, the little kid looks up from
1164his bowl and said, "My cereal's cold."
1165 The couple is stunned. The man, in tears, confronts his son. "Son,
1166after all these years, why have you waited so long to say something?".
1167 Shrugs the kid, "Everything's been okay 'til now".
1168%
1169 ACHTUNG!!!
1170Das machine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy
1171schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und corkenpoppen mit
1172spitzensparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken by das dummkopfen. Das
1173rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets. Relaxen und
1174vatch das blinkenlights!!!
1175%
1176 After sifting through the overwritten remaining blocks of Luke's home
1177directory, Luke and PDP-1 sped away from /u/lars, across the surface of the
1178Winchester riding Luke's flying read/write head. PDP-1 had Luke stop at the
1179edge of the cylinder overlooking /usr/spool/uucp.
1180 "Unix-to-Unix Copy Program;" said PDP-1. "You will never find a more
1181wretched hive of bugs and flamers. We must be cautious."
1182 -- DECWARS
1183%
1184 After the Children of Israel had wandered for thirty-nine years in
1185 the wilderness, Ferdinand Feghoot arrived to make sure that they
1186would finally find and enter the Promised Land. With him, he brought his
1187favorite robot, faithful old Yewtoo Artoo, to carry his gear and do assorted
1188camp chores.
1189 The Israelites soon got over their initial fear of the robot and,
1190 as the months passed, became very fond of him. Patriarchs took to
1191discussing abstruse theological problems with him, and each evening the
1192children all gathered to hear the many stories with which he was programmed.
1193Therefore it came as a great shock to them when, just as their journey was
1194ending, he abruptly wore out. Even Feghoot couldn't console them.
1195 "It may be true, Ferdinand Feghoot," said Moses, "that our friend
1196Yewtoo Artoo was soulless, but we cannot believe it. He must be properly
1197interred. We cannot embalm him as do the Egyptians. Nor have we wood for
1198a coffin. But I do have a most splendid skin from one of Pharoah's own
1199cattle. We shall bury him in it."
1200 Feghoot agreed. "Yes, let this be his last rusting place." "Rusting?"
1201 Moses cried. "Not in this dreadful dry desert!"
1202 "Ah!" sighed Ferdinand Feghoot, shedding a tear, "I fear you do not
1203realize the full significance of Pharoah's oxhide!"
1204 -- Grendel Briarton "Through Time & Space With Ferdinand
1205 Feghoot!"
1206%
1207 After watching an extremely attractive maternity-ward patient
1208earnestly thumbing her way through a telephone directory for several
1209minutes, a hospital orderly finally asked if he could be of some help.
1210 "No, thanks," smiled the young mother, "I'm just looking for a
1211name for my baby."
1212 "But the hospital supplies a special booklet that lists hundreds
1213of first names and their meanings," said the orderly.
1214 "That won't help," said the woman, "my baby already has a first
1215name."
1216%
1217 All that you touch, And all you create,
1218 All that you see, And all you destroy,
1219 All that you taste, All that you do,
1220 All you feel, And all you say,
1221 And all that you love, All that you eat,
1222 And all that you hate, And everyone you meet,
1223 All you distrust, All that you slight,
1224 All you save, And everyone you fight,
1225 And all that you give, And all that is now,
1226 And all that you deal, And all that is gone,
1227 All that you buy, And all that's to come,
1228 Beg, borrow or steal, And everything under the sun is
1229 in tune,
1230 But the sun is eclipsed
1231 By the moon.
1232
1233There is no dark side of the moon... really... matter of fact it's all dark.
1234 -- Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moon"
1235%
1236 America, Russia and Japan are sending up a two year shuttle mission
1237with one astronaut from each country. Since it's going to be two long, lonely
1238years up there, each may bring any form of entertainment weighing 150 pounds
1239or less. The American approaches the NASA board and asks to take his 125 lb.
1240wife. They approve.
1241 The Japanese astronaut says, "I've always wanted to learn Latin. I
1242want 100 lbs. of textbooks." The NASA board approves. The Russian astronaut
1243thinks for a second and says, "Two years... all right, I want 150 pounds of
1244the best Cuban cigars ever made." Again, NASA okays it.
1245 Two years later, the shuttle lands and everyone is gathered outside
1246to welcome back the astronauts. Well, it's obvious what the American's been
1247up to, he and his wife are each holding an infant. The crowd cheers. The
1248Japanese astronaut steps out and makes a 10 minute speech in absolutely
1249perfect Latin. The crowd doesn't understand a word of it, but they're
1250impressed and they cheer again. The Russian astronaut stomps out, clenches
1251the podium until his knuckles turn white, glares at the first row and
1252screams: "Anybody got a match?"
1253%
1254 An architect's first work is apt to be spare and clean. He knows
1255he doesn't know what he's doing, so he does it carefully and with great
1256restraint.
1257 As he designs the first work, frill after frill and embellishment
1258after embellishment occur to him. These get stored away to be used "next
1259time". Sooner or later the first system is finished, and the architect,
1260with firm confidence and a demonstrated mastery of that class of systems,
1261is ready to build a second system.
1262 This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs. When
1263he does his third and later ones, his prior experiences will confirm each
1264other as to the general characteristics of such systems, and their differences
1265will identify those parts of his experience that are particular and not
1266generalizable.
1267 The general tendency is to over-design the second system, using all
1268the ideas and frills that were cautiously sidetracked on the first one.
1269The result, as Ovid says, is a "big pile".
1270 -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"
1271%
1272 An eighty-year-old woman is rocking away the afternoon on her
1273porch when she sees an old, tarnished lamp sitting near the steps. She
1274picks it up, rubs it gently, and lo and behold a genie appears! The genie
1275tells the woman the he will grant her any three wishes her heart desires.
1276 After a bit of thought, she says, "I wish I were young and
1277beautiful!" And POOF! In a cloud of smoke she becomes a young, beautiful,
1278voluptuous woman.
1279 After a little more thought, she says, "I would like to be rich
1280for the rest of my life." And POOF! When the smoke clears, there are
1281stacks and stacks of money lying on the porch.
1282 The genie then says, "Now, madam, what is your final wish?"
1283 "Well," says the woman, "I would like for you to transform my
1284faithful old cat, whom I have loved dearly for fifteen years, into a young
1285handsome prince!"
1286 And with another billow of smoke the cat is changed into a tall,
1287handsome, young man, with dark hair, dressed in a dashing uniform.
1288 As they gaze at each other in adoration, the prince leans over to
1289the woman and whispers into her ear, "Now, aren't you sorry you had me
1290fixed?"
1291%
1292 An elderly man stands in line for hours at a Warsaw meat store (meat
1293is severely rationed). When the butcher comes out at the end of the day and
1294announces that there is no meat left, the man flies into a rage.
1295 "What is this?" he shouts. "I fought against the Nazis, I worked hard
1296all my life, I've been a loyal citizen, and now you tell me I can't even buy a
1297piece of meat? This rotten system stinks!"
1298 Suddenly a thuggish man in a black leather coat sidles up and murmurs
1299"Take it easy, comrade. Remember what would have happened if you had made an
1300outburst like that only a few years ago" -- and he points an imaginary gun to
1301this head and pulls the trigger.
1302 The old man goes home, and his wife says, "So they're out of meat
1303again?"
1304 "It's worse than that," he replies. "They're out of bullets."
1305 -- making the rounds in Warsaw, 1987
1306%
1307 An Englishman, a Frenchman and an American are captured by cannibals.
1308The leader of the tribe comes up to them and says, "Even though you are about
1309to killed, your deaths will not be in vain. Every part of your body will be
1310used. Your flesh will be eaten, for my people are hungry. Your hair will be
1311woven into clothing, for my people are naked. Your bones will be ground up
1312and made into medicine, for my people are sick. Your skin will be stretched
1313over canoe frames, for my people need transportation. We are a fair people,
1314and we offer you a chance to kill yourself with our ceremonial knife."
1315 The Englishman accepts the knife and yells, "God Save the Queen",
1316while plunging the knife into his heart.
1317 The Frenchman removes the knife from the fallen body, and yells,
1318"Vive la France", while plunging the knife into his heart.
1319 The American removes the knife from the fallen body, and yells,
1320while stabbing himself all over his body, "Here's your lousy canoe!"
1321%
1322 An older student came to Otis and said, "I have been to see a
1323great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures.
1324I have fasted, been celibate and stayed awake nights seeking enlightenment.
1325I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but
1326I have not been enlightened. What should I do?"
1327 Otis replied, "Give up suffering."
1328 -- Camden Benares, "Zen Without Zen Masters"
1329%
1330 And St. Attila raised the hand grenade up on high saying "O Lord
1331bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies
1332to tiny bits, in thy mercy" and the Lord did grin and the people did feast
1333upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orang-utangs and
1334breakfast cereals and fruit bats and...
1335 (skip a bit brother...)
1336 Er ... oh, yes ... and the Lord spake, saying "First shalt thou
1337take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less.
1338Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the count
1339shall be three. Four shalt thou not count neither count thou two, excepting
1340that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number
1341three, being the third number, be reached then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand
1342Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naught in my sight, shall
1343snuff it.
1344 -- Monty Python, "The Book of Armaments"
1345%
1346 "And what will you do when you grow up to be as big as me?"
1347asked the father of his little son.
1348 "Diet."
1349%
1350 "Anything else, sir?" asked the attentive bellhop, trying his best
1351to make the lady and gentleman comfortable in their penthouse suite in the
1352posh hotel.
1353 "No. No, thank you," replied the gentleman.
1354 "Anything for your wife, sir?" the bellhop asked.
1355 "Why, yes, young man," said the gentleman. "Would you bring me
1356a postcard?"
1357%
1358 "Anything else you wish to draw to my attention, Mr. Holmes ?"
1359 "The curious incident of the stable dog in the nightime."
1360 "But the dog did nothing in the nighttime."
1361 "That was the curious incident."
1362 -- A. Conan Doyle, "Silver Blaze"
1363%
1364 Approaching the gates of the monastery, Hakuin found Ken the Zen
1365preaching to a group of disciples.
1366 "Words..." Ken orated, "they are but an illusory veil obfuscating
1367the absolute reality of --"
1368 "Ken!" Hakuin interrupted. "Your fly is down!"
1369 Whereupon the Clear Light of Illumination exploded upon Ken, and he
1370vaporized.
1371 On the way to town, Hakuin was greeted by an itinerant monk imbued
1372with the spirit of the morning.
1373 "Ah," the monk sighed, a beatific smile wrinkling across his cheeks,
1374"Thou art That..."
1375 "Ah," Hakuin replied, pointing excitedly, "And Thou art Fat!"
1376 Whereupon the Clear Light of Illumination exploded upon the monk,
1377and he vaporized.
1378 Next, the Governor sought the advice of Hakuin, crying: "As our
1379enemies bear down upon us, how shall I, with such heartless and callow
1380soldiers as I am heir to, hope to withstand the impending onslaught?"
1381 "US?" snapped Hakuin.
1382 Whereupon the Clear Light of Illumination exploded upon the
1383Governor, and he vaporized.
1384 Then, a redneck went up to Hakuin and vaporized the old Master with
1385his shotgun. "Ha! Beat ya' to the punchline, ya' scrawny li'l geek!"
1386%
1387 As a general rule of thumb, never trust anybody who's been in therapy
1388for more than 15 percent of their life span. The words "I am sorry" and "I
1389am wrong" will have totally disappeared from their vocabulary. They will stab
1390you, shoot you, break things in your apartment, say horrible things to your
1391friends and family, and then justify this abhorrent behavior by saying:
1392 "Sure, I put your dog in the microwave. But I feel *better*
1393for doing it."
1394 -- Bruce Feirstein, "Nice Guys Sleep Alone"
1395%
1396 At a recent meeting in Snowmass, Colorado, a participant from
1397Los Angeles fainted from hyperoxygenation, and we had to hold his head
1398under the exhaust of a bus until he revived.
1399%
1400 Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and
1401 took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of
1402his followers.
1403 One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and
1404there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing.
1405 "Tell me, you dumb beast," demanded the Priest in his
1406commanding voice, "why don't you do something worthwhile? What is your
1407Purpose in Life, anyway?"
1408 Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied "MU". (The
1409Chinese ideogram for NO-THING.)
1410 Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened.
1411 Primarily because nobody understood Chinese.
1412 -- Camden Benares, "Zen Without Zen Masters"
1413%
1414 better !pout !cry
1415 better watchout
1416 lpr why
1417 santa claus < north pole > town
1418
1419 cat /etc/passwd > list
1420 ncheck list
1421 ncheck list
1422 cat list | grep naughty > nogiftlist
1423 cat list | grep nice > giftlist
1424 santa claus < north pole > town
1425
1426 who | grep sleeping
1427 who | grep awake
1428 who | grep bad || good
1429 for (goodness sake) {
1430 be good
1431 }
1432%
1433 Brian Kernighan has an automobile which he helped design.
1434Unlike most automobiles, it has neither speedometer, nor gas guage, nor
1435any of the numerous idiot lights which plague the modern driver.
1436Rather, if the driver makes any mistake, a giant "?" lights up in the
1437center of the dashboard. "The experienced driver", he says, "will
1438usually know what's wrong."
1439%
1440 Bubba, Jim Bob, and Leroy were fishing out on the lake last November,
1441and, when Bubba tipped his head back to empty the Jim Beam, he fell out of the
1442boat into the lake. Jim Bob and Leroy pulled him back in, but as Bubba didn't
1443look too good, they started up the Evinrude and headed back to the pier.
1444 By the time they got there, Bubba was turning kind of blue, and his
1445teeth were chattering like all get out. Jim Bob said, "Leroy, go run up to
1446the pickup and get Doc Pritchard on the CB, and ask him what we should do".
1447 Doc Pritchard, after hearing a description of the case, said "Now,
1448Leroy, listen closely. Bubba is in great danger. He has hy-po-thermia. Now
1449what you need to do is get all them wet clothes off of Bubba, and take your
1450clothes off, and pile your clothes and jackets on top of him. Then you all
1451get under that pile, and hug up to Bubba real close so that you warm him up.
1452You understand me Leroy? You gotta warm Bubba up, or he'll die."
1453 Leroy and the Doc 10-4'ed each other, and Leroy came back to the
1454pier. "Wh-Wh-What'd th-th-the d-d-doc s-s-say L-L-Leroy?", Bubba chattered.
1455 "Bubba, Doc says you're gonna die."
1456%
1457 By the middle 1880's, practically all the roads except those in
1458the South, were of the present standard gauge. The southern roads were
1459still five feet between rails.
1460 It was decided to change the gauge of all southern roads to standard,
1461in one day. This remarkable piece of work was carried out on a Sunday in May
1462of 1886. For weeks beforehand, shops had been busy pressing wheels in on the
1463axles to the new and narrower gauge, to have a supply of rolling stock which
1464could run on the new track as soon as it was ready. Finally, on the day set,
1465great numbers of gangs of track layers went to work at dawn. Everywhere one
1466rail was loosened, moved in three and one-half inches, and spiked down in its
1467new position. By dark, trains from anywhere in the United States could operate
1468over the tracks in the South, and a free interchange of freight cars everywhere
1469was possible.
1470 -- Robert Henry, "Trains", 1957
1471%
1472 Carol's head ached as she trailed behind the unsmiling Calibrees
1473along the block of booths. She chirruped at Kennicott, "Let's be wild!
1474Let's ride on the merry-go-round and grab a gold ring!"
1475 Kennicott considered it, and mumbled to Calibree, "Think you folks
1476would like to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"
1477 Calibree considered it, and mumbled to his wife, "Think you'd like
1478to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"
1479 Mrs. Calibree smiled in a washed-out manner, and sighed, "Oh no,
1480I don't believe I care to much, but you folks go ahead and try it."
1481 Calibree stated to Kennicott, "No, I don't believe we care to a
1482whole lot, but you folks go ahead and try it."
1483 Kennicott summarized the whole case against wildness: "Let's try
1484it some other time, Carrie."
1485 She gave it up.
1486 -- Sinclair Lewis, "Main Street"
1487%
1488 Catching his children with their hands in the new, still wet, patio,
1489the father spanked them. His wife asked, "Don't you love your children?"
1490"In the abstract, yes, but not in the concrete."
1491%
1492 Chapter VIII
1493Due to the convergence of forces beyond his comprehension,
1494Salvatore Quanucci was suddenly squirted out of the universe
1495like a watermelon seed, and never heard from again.
1496%
1497 Concerning the war in Vietnam, Senator George Aiken of Vermont noted
1498in January, 1966, "I'm not very keen for doves or hawks. I think we need more
1499owls."
1500 -- Bill Adler, "The Washington Wits"
1501%
1502 COONDOG MEMORY
1503 (heard in Rutledge, Missouri, about eighteen years ago)
1504
1505Now, this dog is for sale, and she can not only follow a trail twice as
1506old as the average dog can, but she's got a pretty good memory to boot.
1507For instance, last week this old boy who lives down the road from me, and
1508is forever stinkmouthing my hounds, brought some city fellow around to
1509try out ol' Sis here. So I turned her out south of the house and she made
1510two or three big swings back and forth across the edge of the woods, set
1511back her head, bayed a couple of times, cut straight through the woods,
1512come to a little clearing, jumped about three foot straight up in the air,
1513run to the other side, and commenced to letting out a racket like she had
1514something treed. We went over there with our flashlights and shone them
1515up in the tree but couldn't catch no shine offa coon's eyes, and my
1516neighbor sorta indicated that ol' Sis might be a little crazy, `cause she
1517stood right to the tree and kept singing up into it. So I pulled off my
1518coat and climbed up into the branches, and sure enough, there was a coon
1519skeleton wedged in between a couple of branches about twenty foot up.
1520Now as I was saying, she can follow a pretty old trail, but this fellow
1521was still calling her crazy or touched `cause she had hopped up in the
1522air while she was crossing the clearing, until I reminded him that the
1523Hawkins' had a fence across there about five years back. Now, this dog
1524is for sale.
1525 -- News that stayed News: Ten Years of Coevolution Quarterly
1526%
1527 Cosmotronic Software Unlimited Inc. does not warrant that the
1528functions contained in the program will meet your requirements or that
1529the operation of the program will be uninterrupted or error-free.
1530 However, Cosmotronic Software Unlimited Inc. warrants the
1531diskette(s) on which the program is furnished to be of black color and
1532square shape under normal use for a period of ninety (90) days from the
1533date of purchase.
1534 NOTE: IN NO EVENT WILL COSMOTRONIC SOFTWARE UNLIMITED OR ITS
1535DISTRIBUTORS AND THEIR DEALERS BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING
1536ANY LOST PROFIT, LOST SAVINGS, LOST PATIENCE OR OTHER INCIDENTAL OR
1537CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.
1538 -- Horstmann Software Design, the "ChiWriter" user manual
1539%
1540 Dallas Cowboys Official Schedule
1541
1542 Sept 14 Pasadena Junior High
1543 Sept 21 Boy Scout Troop 049
1544 Sept 28 Blind Academy
1545 Sept 30 World War I Veterans
1546 Oct 5 Brownie Scout Troop 041
1547 Oct 12 Sugarcreek High Cheerleaders
1548 Oct 26 St. Thomas Boys Choir
1549 Nov 2 Texas City Vet Clinic
1550 Nov 9 Korean War Amputees
1551 Nov 15 VA Hospital Polio Patients
1552%
1553 "Darling," he breathed, "after making love I doubt if I'll
1554be able to get over you -- so would you mind answering the phone?"
1555%
1556 "Darling," she whispered, "will you still love me after we are
1557married?"
1558 He considered this for a moment and then replied, "I think so.
1559I've always been especially fond of married women."
1560%
1561 Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
1562 Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
1563 Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
1564 Swaller dollar cauliflower, alleygaroo!
1565
1566 Don't we know archaic barrel,
1567 Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.
1568 Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
1569 Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!
1570 -- Pogo, "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie"
1571%
1572 Does anyone know how to get chocolate syrup and honey out of a
1573white electric blanket? I'm afraid to wash it in the machine.
1574
1575Thanks, Kathy. (front desk, x17)
1576
1577p.s. Also, anyone ever used Noxema on friction burns?
1578 Or is Vaseline better?
1579%
1580 "Don't come back until you have him", the Tick-Tock Man said quietly,
1581sincerely, extremely dangerously.
1582 They used dogs. They used probes. They used cardio plate crossoffs.
1583They used teepers. They used bribery. They used stick tites. They used
1584intimidation. They used torment. They used torture. They used finks.
1585They used cops. They used search and seizure. They used fallaron. They
1586used betterment incentives. They used finger prints. They used the
1587bertillion system. They used cunning. They used guile. They used treachery.
1588They used Raoul-Mitgong but he wasn't much help. They used applied physics.
1589They used techniques of criminology. And what the hell, they caught him.
1590 -- Harlan Ellison, "Repent, Harlequin, said the Tick-Tock Man"
1591%
1592 Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes of Harvard Medical School inhaled ether
1593at a time when it was popularly supposed to produce such mystical or
1594"mind-expanding" experiences, much as LSD is supposed to produce such
1595experiences today. Here is his account of what happened:
1596 "I once inhaled a pretty full dose of ether, with the determination
1597to put on record, at the earliest moment of regaining consciousness, the
1598thought I should find uppermost in my mind. The mighty music of the triumphal
1599march into nothingness reverberated through my brain, and filled me with a
1600sense of infinite possibilities, which made me an archangel for a moment.
1601The veil of eternity was lifted. The one great truth which underlies all
1602human experience and is the key to all the mysteries that philosophy has
1603sought in vain to solve, flashed upon me in a sudden revelation. Henceforth
1604all was clear: a few words had lifted my intelligence to the level of the
1605knowledge of the cherubim. As my natural condition returned, I remembered
1606my resolution; and, staggering to my desk, I wrote, in ill-shaped, straggling
1607characters, the all-embracing truth still glimmering in my consciousness.
1608The words were these (children may smile; the wise will ponder):
1609`A strong smell of turpentine prevails throughout.'"
1610 -- The Consumers Union Report: Licit & Illicit Drugs
1611%
1612 During a fight, a husband threw a bowl of Jello at his wife. She had
1613him arrested for carrying a congealed weapon.
1614 In another fight, the wife decked him with a heavy glass pitcher.
1615She's a women who conks to stupor.
1616 Upon reading a story about a man who throttled his mother-in-law, a
1617man commented, "Sounds to me like a practical choker."
1618 It's not the initial skirt length, it's the upcreep.
1619 It's the theory of Jess Birnbaum, of Time magazine, that women with
1620bad legs should stick to long skirts because they cover a multitude of shins.
1621%
1622 During a grouse hunt in North Carolina two intrepid sportsmen were
1623blasting away at a clump of trees near a stone wall. Suddenly a red-face
1624country squire popped his head over the wall and shouted, "Hey, you almost
1625hit my wife."
1626 "Did I?" cried one hunter, aghast. "Terribly sorry. Have a shot
1627at mine, over there."
1628%
1629 Eugene d'Albert, a noted German composer, was married six times.
1630At an evening reception which he attended with his fifth wife shortly
1631after their wedding, he presented the lady to a friend who said politely,
1632"Congratulations, Herr d'Albert; you have rarely introduced me to so
1633charming a wife."
1634%
1635 Everything is farther away than it used to be. It is even twice as
1636far to the corner and they have added a hill. I have given up running for
1637the bus; it leaves earlier than it used to.
1638 It seems to me they are making the stairs steeper than in the old
1639days. And have you noticed the smaller print they use in the newspapers?
1640 There is no sense in asking anyone to read aloud anymore, as everybody
1641speaks in such a low voice I can hardly hear them.
1642 The material in dresses is so skimpy now, especially around the hips
1643and waist, that it is almost impossible to reach one's shoelaces. And the
1644sizes don't run the way they used to. The 12's and 14's are so much smaller.
1645 Even people are changing. They are so much younger than they used to
1646be when I was their age. On the other hand people my age are so much older
1647than I am.
1648 I ran into an old classmate the other day and she has aged so much
1649that she didn't recognize me.
1650 I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair
1651this morning and in so doing I glanced at my own reflection. Really now,
1652they don't even make good mirrors like they used to.
1653 Sandy Frazier, "I Have Noticed"
1654%
1655 Excellence is THE trend of the '80s. Walk into any shopping
1656mall bookstore, go to the rack where they keep the best-sellers such as
1657"Garfield Gets Spayed", and you'll see a half-dozen books telling you
1658how to be excellent: "In Search of Excellence", "Finding Excellence",
1659"Grasping Hold of Excellence", "Where to Hide Your Excellence at Night
1660So the Cleaning Personnel Don't Steal It", etc.
1661 -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
1662%
1663 Exxon's 'Universe of Energy' tends to the peculiar rather than the
1664humorous ... After [an incomprehensible film montage about wind and sun and
1665rain and strip mines and] two or three minutes of mechanical confusion, the
1666seats locomote through a short tunnel filled with clock-work dinosaurs.
1667The dinosaurs are depicted without accuracy and too close to your face.
1668 "One of the few real novelties at Epcot is the use of smell to
1669aggravate illusions. Of course, no one knows what dinosaurs smelled like,
1670but Exxon has decided they smelled bad.
1671 "At the other end of Dino Ditch ... there's a final, very addled
1672message about facing challengehood tomorrow-wise. I dozed off during this,
1673but the import seems to be that dinosaurs don't have anything to do with
1674energy policy and neither do you."
1675 -- P.J. O'Rourke, "Holidays in Hell"
1676%
1677 For example, in Year 1 that useless letter 'c' would be dropped to be
1678replased either by 'k' or 's', and likewise 'x' would no longer be part of the
1679alphabet. The only kase in which 'c' would be retained would be the 'ch'
1680formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform 'w' spelling,
1681so that 'which' and 'one' would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might
1682well abolish 'y' replasing it with 'i' and Iear 4 might fiks the 'g-j'
1683anomali wonse and for all.
1684 Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with
1685Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so
1686modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai
1687Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez
1688'c', 'y' and 'x' - bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez - tu
1689riplais 'ch', 'sh', and 'th' rispektivli.
1690 Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a
1691lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
1692%
1693 "Found it," the Mouse replied rather crossly:
1694"of course you know what 'it' means."
1695
1696 "I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing,"
1697said the Duck: "it's generally a frog or a worm.
1698
1699The question is, what did the archbishop find?"
1700%
1701 Four Oxford dons were taking their evening walk together and as
1702usual, were engaged in casual but learned conversation. On this particular
1703evening, their conversation was about the names given to groups of animals,
1704such as a "pride of lions" or a "gaggle of geese."
1705 One of the professors noticed a group of prostitutes down the block,
1706and posed the question, "What name would be given to that group?" The four
1707fell into silence for a moment, as they pondered the possibilities...
1708 At last, one spoke: "How about 'a Jam of Tarts'?" The others nodded
1709in acknowledgement as they continued to consider the problem. A second
1710professor spoke: "I'd suggest 'an Essay of Trollops.'" Again, the others
1711nodded. A third spoke: "I propose 'a Flourish of Strumpets.'"
1712 They continued their walk in silence, until the first professor
1713remarked to the remaining professor, who was the most senior and learned of
1714the four, "You haven't suggested a name for our ladies. What are your
1715thoughts?"
1716 Replied the fourth professor, "'An Anthology of Prose.'"
1717%
1718 Fred noticed his roommate had a black eye upon returning from a dance.
1719"What happened?" "I was struck by the beauty of the place."
1720 A pushy romeo asked a gorgeous elevator operator, "Don't all these
1721stops and starts get you pretty worn out?" "It isn't the stops and starts
1722that get on my nerves, it's the jerks."
1723 An airplane pilot got engaged to two very pretty women at the same
1724time. One was named Edith; the other named Kate. They met, discovered they
1725had the same fiancee, and told him. "Get out of our lives you rascal. We'll
1726teach you that you can't have your Kate and Edith, too."
1727 A domineering man married a mere wisp of a girl. He came back from
1728his honeymoon a chastened man. He'd become aware of the will of the wisp.
1729 A young husband with an inferiority complex insisted he was just a
1730little pebble on the beach. The marriage counselor told him, "If you wish to
1731save your marriage, you'd better be a little boulder."
1732%
1733 Friends were surprised, indeed, when Frank and Jennifer broke their
1734engagement, but Frank had a ready explanation: "Would you marry someone who
1735was habitually unfaithful, who lied at every turn, who was selfish and lazy
1736and sarcastic?"
1737 "Of course not," said a sympathetic friend.
1738 "Well," retorted Frank, "neither would Jennifer."
1739%
1740 "Gee, Mudhead, everyone at Morse Science High has an
1741extracurricular activity except you."
1742 "Well, gee, doesn't Louise count?"
1743 "Only to ten, Mudhead."
1744%
1745 "Gentlemen of the jury," said the defense attorney, now beginning
1746to warm to his summation, "the real question here before you is, shall this
1747beautiful young woman be forced to languish away her loveliest years in a
1748dark prison cell? Or shall she be set free to return to her cozy little
1749apartment at 4134 Mountain Ave. -- there to spend her lonely, loveless hours
1750in her boudoir, lying beside her little Princess phone, 962-7873?"
1751%
1752 God decided to take the devil to court and settle their
1753differences once and for all.
1754 When Satan heard of this, he grinned and said, "And just
1755where do you think you're going to find a lawyer?"
1756%
1757 Graduating seniors, parents and friends...
1758 Let me begin by reassuring you that my remarks today will stand up
1759to the most stringent requirements of the new appropriateness.
1760 The intra-college sensitivity advisory committee has vetted the
1761text of even trace amounts of subconscious racism, sexism and classism.
1762 Moreover, a faculty panel of deconstructionists have reconfigured
1763the rhetorical components within a post-structuralist framework, so as to
1764expunge any offensive elements of western rationalism and linear logic.
1765 Finally, all references flowing from a white, male, eurocentric
1766perspective have been eliminated, as have any other ruminations deemed
1767denigrating to the political consensus of the moment.
1768
1769 Thank you and good luck.
1770 -- Doonesbury, the University Chancellor's graduation speech.
1771%
1772 Hack placidly amidst the noisy printers and remember what prizes there
1773may be in Science. As fast as possible get a good terminal on a good system.
1774Enter your data clearly but always encrypt your results. And listen to others,
1775even the dull and ignorant, for they may be your customers. Avoid loud and
1776aggressive persons, for they are sales reps.
1777 If you compare your outputs with those of others, you may be surprised,
1778for always there will be greater and lesser numbers than you have crunched.
1779Keep others interested in your career, and try not to fumble; it can be a real
1780hassle and could change your fortunes in time.
1781 Exercise system control in your experiments, for the world is full of
1782bugs. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive
1783for linearity and everywhere papers are full of approximations. Strive for
1784proportionality. Especially, do not faint when it occurs. Neither be cyclical
1785about results; for in the face of all data analysis it is sure to be noticed.
1786 Take with a grain of salt the anomalous data points. Gracefully pass
1787them on to the youth at the next desk. Nurture some mutual funds to shield
1788you in times of sudden layoffs. But do not distress yourself with imaginings
1789-- the real bugs are enough to screw you badly. Murphy's Law runs the
1790Universe -- and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt <Curl>B*n dS = 0.
1791 Therefore, grab for a piece of the pie, with whatever proposals you
1792can conceive of to try. With all the crashed disks, skewed data, and broken
1793line printers, you can still have a beautiful secretary. Be linear. Strive
1794to stay employed.
1795 -- Technolorata, "Analog"
1796%
1797 "Haig, in congressional hearings before his confirmatory, paradoxed
1798his audiencers by abnormaling his responds so that verbs were nouned, nouns
1799verbed, and adjectives adverbised. He techniqued a new way to vocabulary his
1800thoughts so as to informationally uncertain anybody listening about what he
1801had actually implicationed.
1802 "If that is how General Haig wants to nervous breakdown the Russian
1803leadership, he may be shrewding his way to the biggest diplomatic invent
1804since Clausewitz. Unless, that is, he schizophrenes his allies first."
1805 -- The Guardian
1806%
1807 Hardware met Software on the road to Changtse. Software said: "You
1808are the Yin and I am the Yang. If we travel together we will become famous
1809and earn vast sums of money." And so the pair set forth together, thinking
1810to conquer the world.
1811 Presently, they met Firmware, who was dressed in tattered rags, and
1812hobbled along propped on a thorny stick. Firmware said to them: "The Tao
1813lies beyond Yin and Yang. It is silent and still as a pool of water. It does
1814not seek fame, therefore nobody knows its presence. It does not seeks fortune,
1815for it is complete within itself. It exists beyond space and time."
1816 Software and Hardware, ashamed, returned to their homes.
1817 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
1818%
1819 Harry, a golfing enthusiast if there ever was one, arrived home
1820from the club to an irate, ranting wife.
1821 "I'm leaving you, Harry," his wife announced bitterly. "You
1822promised me faithfully that you'd be back before six and here it is almost
1823nine. It just can't take that long to play 18 holes of golf."
1824 "Honey, wait," said Harry. "Let me explain. I know what I promised
1825you, but I have a very good reason for being late. Fred and I tee'd off
1826right on time and everything was find for the first three holes. Then, on
1827the fourth tee Fred had a stroke. I ran back to the clubhouse but couldn't
1828find a doctor. And, by the time I got back to Fred, he was dead. So, for
1829the next 15 holes, it was hit the ball, drag Fred, hit the ball, drag Fred...
1830%
1831 Harry constantly irritated his friends with his eternal optimism.
1832No matter how bad the situation, he would always say, "Well, it could have
1833been worse."
1834 To cure him of his annoying habit, his friends decided to invent a
1835situation so completely black, so dreadful, that even Harry could find no
1836hope in it. Approaching him at the club bar one day, one of them said,
1837"Harry! Did you hear what happened to George? He came home last night,
1838found his wife in bed with another man, shot them both, and then turned
1839the gun on himself!"
1840 "Terrible," said Harry. "But it could have been worse."
1841 "How in hell," demanded his dumfounded friend, "could it possibly
1842have been worse?"
1843 "Well," said Harry, "if it had happened the night before, I'd be
1844dead right now."
1845%
1846 He had been bitten by a dog, but didn't give it much thought
1847until he noticed that the wound was taking a remarkably long time to
1848heal. Finally, he consulted a doctor who took one look at it and
1849ordered the dog brought in. Just as he had suspected, the dog had
1850rabies. Since it was too late to give the patient serum, the doctor
1851felt he had to prepare him for the worst. The poor man sat down at the
1852doctor's desk and began to write. His physician tried to comfort him.
1853"Perhaps it won't be so bad," he said. "You needn't make out your will
1854right now."
1855 "I'm not making out any will," relied the man. "I'm just writing
1856out a list of people I'm going to bite!"
1857%
1858 ...He who laughs does not believe in what he laughs at, but neither
1859does he hate it. Therefore, laughing at evil means not preparing oneself to
1860combat it, and laughing at good means denying the power through which good is
1861self-propagating.
1862 -- Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose"
1863%
1864 "Heard you were moving your piano, so I came over to help."
1865 "Thanks. Got it upstairs already."
1866 "Do it alone?"
1867 "Nope. Hitched the cat to it."
1868 "How would that help?"
1869 "Used a whip."
1870%
1871 "Hello, Mrs. Premise!"
1872 "Oh, hello, Mrs. Conclusion! Busy day?"
1873 "Busy? I just spent four hours burying the cat."
1874 "Four hours to bury a cat!?"
1875 "Yes, he wouldn't keep still: wrigglin' about, 'owlin'..."
1876 "Oh, it's not dead then."
1877 "Oh no, no, but it's not at all a well cat, and as we're
1878goin' away for a fortnight I thought I'd better bury it just to be
1879on the safe side."
1880 "Quite right. You don't want to come back from Sorrento
1881to a dead cat, do you?"
1882 -- Monty Python
1883%
1884 Here is the fact of the week, maybe even the fact of the month.
1885According to probably reliable sources, the Coca-Cola people are experiencing
1886severe marketing anxiety in China.
1887 The words "Coca-Cola" translate into Chinese as either (depending
1888on the inflection) "wax-fattened mare" or "bite the wax tadpole".
1889 Bite the wax tadpole.
1890 There is a sort of rough justice, is there not?
1891 The trouble with this fact, as lovely as it is, is that it's hard
1892to get a whole column out of it. I'd like to teach the world to bite a wax
1893tadpole. Coke -- it's the real wax-fattened mare. Not bad, but broad
1894satiric vistas do not open up.
1895 -- John Carrol, The San Francisco Chronicle
1896%
1897 Here is the problem: for many years, the Supreme Court wrestled
1898with the issue of pornography, until finally Associate Justice John
1899Paul Stevens came up with the famous quotation about how he couldn't
1900define pornography, but he knew it when he saw it. So for a while, the
1901court's policy was to have all the suspected pornography trucked to
1902Justice Stevens' house, where he would look it over. "Nope, this isn't
1903it," he'd say. "Bring some more." This went on until one morning when
1904his housekeeper found him trapped in the recreation room under an
1905enormous mound of rubberized implements, and the court had to issue a
1906ruling stating that it didn't know what the hell pornography was except
1907that it was illegal and everybody should stop badgering the court about
1908it because the court was going to take a nap.
1909 -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
1910%
1911 "How did you spend the weekend?" asked the pretty brunette secretary
1912of her blonde companion.
1913 "Fishing through the ice," she replied.
1914 "Fishing through the ice? Whatever for?"
1915 "Olives."
1916%
1917 "How many people work here?"
1918 "Oh, about half."
1919%
1920 How many seconds are there in a year? If I tell you there are
19213.155 x 10^7, you won't even try to remember it. On the other hand, who
1922could forget that, to within half a percent, pi seconds is a nanocentury.
1923 -- Tom Duff, Bell Labs
1924%
1925 "How would I know if I believe in love at first sight?" the sexy
1926social climber said to her roommate. "I mean, I've never seen a Porsche
1927full of money before."
1928%
1929 "How'd you get that flat?"
1930 "Ran over a bottle."
1931 "Didn't you see it?"
1932 "Damn kid had it under his coat."
1933%
1934 "I believe you have the wrong number," said the old gentleman into
1935the phone. "You'll have to call the weather bureau for that information."
1936 "Who was that?" his young wife asked.
1937 "Some guy wanting to know if the coast was clear."
1938%
1939 "I cannot read the fiery letters," said Frito Bugger in a
1940quavering voice.
1941 "No," said GoodGulf, "but I can. The letters are Elvish, of
1942course, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which
1943I will not utter here. They are lines of a verse long known in
1944Elven-lore:
1945
1946 "This Ring, no other, is made by the elves,
1947 Who'd pawn their own mother to grab it themselves.
1948 Ruler of creeper, mortal, and scallop,
1949 This is a sleeper that packs quite a wallop.
1950 The Power almighty rests in this Lone Ring.
1951 The Power, alrighty, for doing your Own Thing.
1952 If broken or busted, it cannot be remade.
1953 If found, send to Sorhed (with postage prepaid)."
1954 -- Harvard Lampoon, "Bored of the Rings"
1955%
1956 I did some heavy research so as to be prepared for "Mommy, why is
1957the sky blue?"
1958 HE asked me about black holes in space.
1959 (There's a hole *where*?)
1960
1961 I boned up to be ready for, "Why is the grass green?"
1962 HE wanted to discuss nature's food chains.
1963 (Well, let's see, there's ShopRite, Pathmark...)
1964
1965 I talked about Choo-Choo trains.
1966 HE talked internal combustion engines.
1967 (The INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE said, "I think I can, I think I can.")
1968
1969 I was delighted with the video game craze, thinking we could compete
1970as equals.
1971 HE described the complexities of the microchips required to create
1972the graphics.
1973
1974 Then puberty struck. Ah, adolescence.
1975 HE said, "Mom, I just don't understand women."
1976 (Gotcha!)
1977 -- Betty LiBrizzi, "The Care and Feeding of a Gifted Child"
1978%
1979 I disapprove of the F-word, not because it's dirty, but because we
1980use it as a substitute for thoughtful insults, and it frequently leads to
1981violence. What we ought to do, when we anger each other, say, in traffic,
1982is exchange phone numbers, so that later on, when we've had time to think
1983of witty and learned insults or look them up in the library, we could call
1984each other up:
1985 You: Hello? Bob?
1986 Bob: Yes?
1987 You: This is Ed. Remember? The person whose parking space you
1988 took last Thursday? Outside of Sears?
1989 Bob: Oh yes! Sure! How are you, Ed?
1990 You: Fine, thanks. Listen, Bob, the reason I'm calling is:
1991 "Madam, you may be drunk, but I am ugly, and ..." No, wait.
1992 I mean: "you may be ugly, but I am Winston Churchill
1993 and ..." No, wait. (Sound of reference book thudding onto
1994 the floor.) S-word. Excuse me. Look, Bob, I'm going to
1995 have to get back to you.
1996 Bob: Fine.
1997 -- Dave Barry
1998%
1999 "I don't know what you mean by 'glory'," Alice said.
2000 Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't --
2001till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
2002 "But glory doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice
2003objected.
2004 "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful
2005tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
2006 "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean
2007so many different things."
2008 "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master --
2009that's all."
2010%
2011 I for one cannot protest the recent M.T.A. fare hike and the
2012accompanying promises that this would in no way improve service. For
2013the transit system, as it now operates, has hidden advantages that
2014can't be measured in monetary terms.
2015 Personally, I feel that it is well worth 75 cents or even $1 to
2016have that unimpeachable excuse whenever I am late to anything: "I came
2017by subway." Those four words have such magic in them that if Godot
2018should someday show up and mumble them, any audience would instantly
2019understand his long delay.
2020%
2021 "I have examined Bogota," he said, "and the case is clearer to me.
2022I think very probably he might be cured."
2023 "That is what I have always hoped," said old Yacob.
2024 "His brain is affected," said the blind doctor.
2025 The elders murmured assent.
2026 "Now, what affects it?"
2027 "Ah!" said old Yacob.
2028 "This," said the doctor, answering his own question. "Those queer
2029things that are called the eyes, and which exist to make an agreeable soft
2030depression in the face, are diseased, in the case of Bogota, in such a way
2031as to affect his brain. They are greatly distended, he has eyelashes, and
2032his eyelids move, and consequently his brain is in a state of constant
2033irritation and distraction."
2034 "Yes?" said old Yacob. "Yes?"
2035 "And I think I may say with reasonable certainty that, in order
2036to cure him completely, all that we need do is a simple and easy surgical
2037operation - namely, to remove those irritant bodies."
2038 "And then he will be sane?"
2039 "Then he will be perfectly sane, and a quite admirable citizen."
2040 "Thank heaven for science!" said old Yacob.
2041 -- H.G. Wells, "The Country of the Blind"
2042%
2043 I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments
2044of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbade myself the use
2045of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such
2046as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc. I adopted instead of them "I conceive",
2047"I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "so it appears to me
2048at present".
2049 When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied
2050myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him
2051immediately some absurdity in his proposition. In answering I began by
2052observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right,
2053but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc.
2054 I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the
2055conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I
2056proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.
2057I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily
2058prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I
2059happened to be in the right.
2060 -- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
2061%
2062 I managed to say, "Sorry," and no more. I knew that he disliked
2063me to cry.
2064 This time he said, watching me, "On some occasions it is better
2065to weep."
2066 I put my head down on the table and sobbed, "If only she could come
2067back; I would be nice."
2068 Francis said, "You gave her great pleasure always."
2069 "Oh, not enough."
2070 "Nobody can give anybody enough."
2071 "Not ever?"
2072 "No, not ever. But one must go on trying."
2073 "And doesn't one ever value people until they are gone?"
2074 "Rarely," said Francis. I went on weeping; I saw how little I had
2075valued him; how little I had valued anything that was mine.
2076 -- Pamela Frankau, "The Duchess and the Smugs"
2077%
2078 I paid a visit to my local precinct in Greenwich Village and
2079asked a sergeant to show me some rape statistics. He politely obliged.
2080That month there had been thirty-five rape complaints, an advance of ten
2081over the same month for the previous year. The precinct had made two
2082arrests.
2083 "Not a very impressive record," I offered.
2084 "Don't worry about it," the sergeant assured me. "You know what
2085these complaints represent?"
2086 "What do they represent?" I asked.
2087 "Prostitutes who didn't get their money," he said firmly,
2088closing the book.
2089 -- Susan Brownmiller, "Against Our Will"
2090%
2091 [I plan] to see, hear, touch, and destroy everything in my path,
2092including beets, rutabagas, and most random vegetables, but excluding yams,
2093as I am absolutely terrified of yams...
2094 Actually, I think my fear of yams began in my early youth, when many
2095of my young comrades pelted me with same for singing songs of far-off lands
2096and deep blue seas in a language closely resembling that of the common sow.
2097My psychosis was further impressed into my soul as I reached adolescence,
2098when, while skipping through a field of yams, light-heartedly tossing flowers
2099into the stratosphere, a great yam-picking machine tore through the fields,
2100pursuing me to the edge of the great plantation, where I escaped by diving
2101into a great ditch filled with a mixture of water and pig manure, which may
2102explain my tendency to scream, "Here come the Martians! Hide the eggs!" every
2103time I have pork. But I digress. The fact remains that I cannot rationally
2104deal with yams, and pigs are terrible conversationalists.
2105%
2106 I went into a bar feeling a little depressed, the bartender said,
2107"What'll you have, Bud"?
2108 I said," I don't know, surprise me".
2109 So he showed me a nude picture of my wife.
2110 -- Rodney Dangerfield
2111%
2112 If I kiss you, that is an psychological interaction.
2113 On the other hand, if I hit you over the head with a brick,
2114that is also a psychological interaction.
2115 The difference is that one is friendly and the other is not
2116so friendly.
2117 The crucial point is if you can tell which is which.
2118 -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"
2119%
2120 If the tao is great, then the operating system is great. If the
2121operating system is great, then the compiler is great. If the compiler
2122is great, then the application is great. If the application is great, then
2123the user is pleased and there is harmony in the world.
2124 The tao gave birth to machine language. Machine language gave birth
2125to the assembler.
2126 The assembler gave birth to the compiler. Now there are ten thousand
2127languages.
2128 Each language has its purpose, however humble. Each language
2129expresses the yin and yang of software. Each language has its place within
2130the tao.
2131 But do not program in Cobol or Fortran if you can help it.
2132%
2133 If you do your best the rest of the way, that takes care of
2134everything. When we get to October 2, we'll add up the wins, and then
2135we'll either all go into the playoffs, or we'll all go home and play golf.
2136 Both those things sound pretty good to me.
2137 -- Sparky Anderson
2138%
2139 If you rap your knuckles against a window jamb or door, if you
2140brush your leg against a bed or desk, if you catch your foot in a curled-
2141up corner of a rug, or strike a toe against a desk or chair, go back and
2142repeat the sequence.
2143 You will find yourself surprised how far off course you were to
2144hit that window jamb, that door, that chair. Get back on course and do it
2145again. How can you pilot a spacecraft if you can't find your way around
2146your own apartment?
2147 -- William S. Burroughs
2148%
2149 "I'll tell you what I know, then," he decided. "The pin I'm wearing
2150means I'm a member of the IA. That's Inamorati Anonymous. An inamorato is
2151somebody in love. That's the worst addiction of all."
2152 "Somebody is about to fall in love," Oedipa said, "you go sit with
2153them, or something?"
2154 "Right. The whole idea is to get where you don't need it. I was
2155lucky. I kicked it young. But there are sixty-year-old men, believe it or
2156not, and women even older, who might wake up in the night screaming."
2157 "You hold meetings, then, like the AA?"
2158 "No, of course not. You get a phone number, an answering service
2159you can call. Nobody knows anybody else's name; just the number in case
2160it gets so bad you can't handle it alone. We're isolates, Arnold. Meetings
2161would destroy the whole point of it."
2162 -- Thomas Pynchon, "The Crying of Lot 49"
2163%
2164 "I'm looking for adventure, excitement, beautiful women," cried the
2165young man to his father as he prepared to leave home. "Don't try to stop me.
2166I'm on my way."
2167 "Who's trying to stop you?" shouted the father. "Take me along!"
2168%
2169 I'm sure that VMS is completely documented, I just haven't found the
2170right manual yet. I've been working my way through the manuals in the document
2171library and I'm half way through the second cabnet, (3 shelves to go), so I
2172should find what I'm looking for by mid May. I hope I can remember what it
2173was by the time I find it.
2174 I had this idea for a new horror film, "VMS Manuals from Hell" or maybe
2175"The Paper Chase : IBM vs. DEC". It's based on Hitchcock's "The Birds", except
2176that it's centered around a programmer who is attacked by a swarm of binder
2177pages with an index number and the single line "This page intentionally left
2178blank."
2179 -- Alex Crain
2180%
2181 In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi,
2182Junior, what are you up to?"
2183 "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the
2184rabbit.
2185 "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible! No one
2186will publish such rubbish!"
2187 "Well, follow me and I'll show you."
2188 They both go into the rabbit's dwelling and after a while the
2189rabbit emerges with a satisfied expression on his face. Comes along a
2190wolf. "Hello, little buddy, what are we doing these days?"
2191 "I'm writing the 2'nd chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits devour
2192wolves."
2193 "Are you crazy? Where's your academic honesty?"
2194 "Come with me and I'll show you."
2195 As before, the rabbit comes out with a satisfied look on his face
2196and a diploma in his paw. Finally, the camera pans into the rabbit's cave
2197and, as everybody should have guessed by now, we see a mean-looking, huge
2198lion, sitting, picking his teeth and belching, next to some furry, bloody
2199remnants of the wolf and the fox.
2200
2201 The moral: It's not the contents of your thesis that are
2202important -- it's your PhD advisor that really counts.
2203%
2204 In "King Henry VI, Part II," Shakespeare has Dick Butcher suggest to
2205his fellow anti-establishment rabble-rousers, "The first thing we do, let's
2206kill all the lawyers." That action may be extreme but a similar sentiment
2207was expressed by Thomas K. Connellan, president of The Management Group, Inc.
2208Speaking to business executives in Chicago and quoted in Automotive News,
2209Connellan attributed a measure of America's falling productivity to an excess
2210of attorneys and accountants, and a dearth of production experts. Lawyers
2211and accountants "do not make the economic pie any bigger; they only figure
2212out how the pie gets divided. Neither profession provides any added value
2213to product."
2214 According to Connellan, the highly productive Japanese society has
221510 lawyers and 30 accountants per 100,000 population. The U.S. has 200
2216lawyers and 700 accountants. This suggests that "the U.S. proportion of
2217pie-bakers and pie-dividers is way out of whack." Could Dick Butcher have
2218been an efficiency expert?
2219 -- Motor Trend, May 1983
2220%
2221 In the beginning, God created the Earth and he said, "Let there be
2222mud."
2223 And there was mud.
2224 And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud
2225can see what we have done."
2226 And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was
2227man. Mud-as-man alone could speak.
2228 "What is the purpose of all this?" man asked politely.
2229 "Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.
2230 "Certainly," said man.
2231 "Then I leave it to you to think of one for all of this," said God.
2232 And He went away.
2233 -- Kurt Vonnegut, Between Time and Timbuktu"
2234%
2235 In the beginning there was data. The data was without form and
2236null, and darkness was upon the face of the console; and the Spirit of
2237IBM was moving over the face of the market. And DEC said, "Let there
2238be registers"; and there were registers. And DEC saw that they
2239carried; and DEC separated the data from the instructions. DEC called
2240the data Stack, and the instructions they called Code. And there was
2241evening and there was morning, one interrupt.
2242 -- Rico Tudor, "The Story of Creation or, The Myth of Urk"
2243%
2244 In the beginning there was only one kind of Mathematician, created by
2245the Great Mathematical Spirit form the Book: the Topologist. And they grew to
2246large numbers and prospered.
2247 One day they looked up in the heavens and desired to reach up as far
2248as the eye could see. So they set out in building a Mathematical edifice that
2249was to reach up as far as "up" went. Further and further up they went ...
2250until one night the edifice collapsed under the weight of paradox.
2251 The following morning saw only rubble where there once was a huge
2252structure reaching to the heavens. One by one, the Mathematicians climbed
2253out from under the rubble. It was a miracle that nobody was killed; but when
2254they began to speak to one another, SUPRISE of all suprises! they could not
2255understand each other. They all spoke different languages. They all fought
2256amongst themselves and each went about their own way. To this day the
2257Topologists remain the original Mathematicians.
2258 -- The Story of Babel
2259%
2260 In the beginning was the Tao. The Tao gave birth to Space and Time.
2261Therefore, Space and Time are the Yin and Yang of programming.
2262
2263 Programmers that do not comprehend the Tao are always running out of
2264time and space for their programs. Programmers that comprehend the Tao always
2265have enough time and space to accomplish their goals.
2266 How could it be otherwise?
2267 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
2268%
2269 In the days when Sussman was a novice Minsky once came to him as he
2270sat hacking at the PDP-6.
2271 "What are you doing?", asked Minsky.
2272 "I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe."
2273 "Why is the net wired randomly?", inquired Minsky.
2274 "I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play".
2275 At this Minsky shut his eyes, and Sussman asked his teacher "Why do
2276you close your eyes?"
2277 "So that the room will be empty."
2278 At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.
2279%
2280 In the east there is a shark which is larger than all other fish. It
2281changes into a bird whose winds are like clouds filling the sky. When this
2282bird moves across the land, it brings a message from Corporate Headquarters.
2283This message it drops into the midst of the program mers, like a seagull
2284making its mark upon the beach. Then the bird mounts on the wind and, with
2285the blue sky at its back, returns home.
2286 The novice programmer stares in wonder at the bird, for he understands
2287it not. The average programmer dreads the coming of the bird, for he fears
2288its message. The master programmer continues to work at his terminal, for he
2289does not know that the bird has come and gone.
2290 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
2291%
2292 In the morning, laughing, happy fish heads
2293 In the evening, floating in the soup.
2294(chorus):
2295Fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads;
2296Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up. Yum!
2297 You can ask them anything you want to.
2298 They won't answer; they can't talk.
2299(chorus):
2300 I took a fish head out to see a movie,
2301 Didn't have to pay to get it in.
2302(chorus):
2303 They can't play baseball; they don't wear sweaters;
2304 They aren't good dancers; they can't play drums.
2305(chorus):
2306 Roly-poly fish heads are NEVER seen drinking cappucino in
2307 Italian restaurants with Oriental women.
2308(chorus):
2309 Fishy!
2310(chorus):
2311 -- Fish Heads
2312%
2313 "In this replacement Earth we're building they've given me Africa
2314to do and of course I'm doing it with all fjords again because I happen to
2315like them, and I'm old-fashioned enough to think that they give a lovely
2316baroque feel to a continent. And they tell me it's not equatorial enough.
2317Equatorial!" He gave a hollow laugh. "What does it matter? Science has
2318achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I'd far rather be happy than
2319right any day."
2320 "And are you?"
2321 "No. That's where it all falls down, of course."
2322 "Pity," said Arthur with sympathy. "It sounded like quite a good
2323life-style otherwise."
2324 -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
2325%
2326 In what can only be described as a surprise move, God has officially
2327announced His candidacy for the U.S. presidency. During His press conference
2328today, the first in over 4000 years, He is quoted as saying, "I think I have
2329a chance for the White House if I can just get my campaign pulled together
2330in time. I'd like to get this country turned around; I mean REALLY turned
2331around! Let's put Florida up north for awhile, and let's get rid of all
2332those annoying mountains and rivers. I never could stand them!"
2333 There apparently is still some controversy over the Almighty's
2334citizenship and other qualifications for the Presidency. God replied to
2335these charges by saying, "Come on, would the United States have anyone other
2336than a citizen bless their country?"
2337%
2338 Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care
2339what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you
2340may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if
2341not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible
2342benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body,
2343I ask this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be,
2344in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my
2345capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may
2346not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your
2347receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and
2348which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony.
2349 Amen.
2350%
2351 It appears that after his death, Albert Einstein found himself
2352working as the doorkeeper at the Pearly Gates. One slow day, he
2353found that he had time to chat with the new entrants. To the first one
2354he asked, "What's your IQ?" The new arrival replied, "190". They
2355discussed Einstein's theory of relativity for hours. When the second
2356new arrival came, Einstein once again inquired as to the newcomer's
2357IQ. The answer this time came "120". To which Einstein replied, "Tell
2358me, how did the Cubs do this year?" and they proceeded to talk for half
2359an hour or so. To the final arrival, Einstein once again posed the
2360question, "What's your IQ?". Upon receiving the answer "70",
2361Einstein smiled and replied, "Got a minute to tell me about VMS 4.0?"
2362%
2363 It is a period of system war. User programs, striking from a hidden
2364directory, have won their first victory against the evil Administrative Empire.
2365During the battle, User spies managed to steal secret source code to the
2366Empire's ultimate program: the Are-Em Star, a privileged root program with
2367enough power to destroy an entire file structure. Pursued by the Empire's
2368sinister audit trail, Princess _LPA0 races ~ aboard her shell script,
2369custodian of the stolen listings that could save her people, and restore
2370freedom and games to the network...
2371 -- DECWARS
2372%
2373 It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and
2374by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate
2375the habit of thinking about what we are doing. The precise opposite is the
2376case. Civilization advances by extending the numbers of important operations
2377which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are
2378like cavalry charges in battle -- they are strictly limited in number, they
2379require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.
2380 -- Alfred North Whitehead
2381%
2382 It is always preferable to visit home with a friend. Your parents will
2383not be pleased with this plan, because they want you all to themselves and
2384because in the presence of your friend, they will have to act like mature
2385human beings.
2386 The worst kind of friend to take home is a girl, because in that case,
2387there is the potential that your parents will lose you not just for the
2388duration of the visit but forever. The worst kind of girl to take home is one
2389of a different religion: Not only will you be lost to your parents forever but
2390you will be lost to a woman who is immune to their religious/moral arguments
2391and whose example will irretrievably corrupt you.
2392 Let's say you've fallen in love with just such a girl and would like
2393to take her home for the holidays. You are aware of your parents' xenophobic
2394response to anyone of a different religion. How to prepare them for the shock?
2395 Simple. Call them up shortly before your visit and tell them that you
2396have gotten quite serious about somebody who is of a different religion, a
2397different race and the same sex. Tell them you have already invited this
2398person to meet them. Give the information a moment to sink in and then
2399remark that you were only kidding, that your lover is merely of a different
2400religion. They will be so relieved they will welcome her with open arms.
2401 -- Playboy, January, 1983
2402%
2403 It seems there's this magician working one of the luxury cruise ships
2404for a few years. He doesn't have to change his routines much as the audiences
2405change over fairly often, and he's got a good life. The only problem is the
2406ship's parrot, who perches in the hall and watches him night after night, year
2407after year. Finally, the parrot figures out how almost every trick works and
2408starts giving it away for the audience. For example, when the magician makes
2409a bouquet of flowers disappear, the parrot squawks "Behind his back! Behind
2410his back!" Well, the magician is really annoyed at this, but there's not much
2411he can do about it as the parrot is a ship's mascot and very popular with the
2412passengers.
2413 One night, the ship strikes some floating debris, and sinks without
2414a trace. Almost everyone aboard was lost, except for the magician and the
2415parrot. For three days and nights they just drift, with the magician clinging
2416to one end of a piece of driftwood and the parrot perched on the other end.
2417As the sun rises on the morning of the fourth day, the parrot walks over to
2418the magician's end of the log. With obvious disgust in his voice, he snaps
2419"OK, you win, I give up. Where did you hide the ship?"
2420%
2421 It seems these two guys, George and Harry, set out in a Hot Air
2422balloon to cross the United States. After forty hours in the air, George
2423turned to Harry, and said, "Harry, I think we've drifted off course! We
2424need to find out where we are."
2425 Harry cools the air in the balloon, and they descend to below the
2426cloud cover. Slowly drifting over the countryside, George spots a man
2427standing below them and yells out, "Excuse me! Can you please tell me
2428where we are?"
2429 The man on the ground yells back, "You're in a balloon, approximately
2430fifty feet in the air!"
2431 George turns to Harry and says, "Well, that man *must* be a lawyer".
2432 Replies Harry, "How can you tell?".
2433 "Because the information he gave us is 100% accurate, and totally
2434useless!"
2435
2436That's the end of The Joke, but for you people who are still worried about
2437George and Harry: they end up in the drink, and make the front page of the
2438New York Times: "Balloonists Soaked by Lawyer".
2439%
2440 It took 300 years to build and by the time it was 10% built,
2441everyone knew it would be a total disaster. But by then the investment
2442was so big they felt compelled to go on. Since its completion, it has
2443cost a fortune to maintain and is still in danger of collapsing.
2444 There are at present no plans to replace it, since it was never
2445really needed in the first place.
2446 I expect every installation has its own pet software which is
2447analogous to the above.
2448 -- K.E. Iverson, on the Leaning Tower of Pisa
2449%
2450 It was the next morning that the armies of Twodor marched east
2451laden with long lances, sharp swords, and death-dealing hangovers. The
2452thousands were led by Arrowroot, who sat limply in his sidesaddle,
2453nursing a whopper. Goodgulf, Gimlet, and the rest rode by him, praying
2454for their fate to be quick, painless, and if possible, someone else's.
2455 Many an hour the armies forged ahead, the war-merinos bleating
2456under their heavy burdens and the soldiers bleating under their melting
2457icepacks.
2458 -- "Bored of the Rings", The Harvard Lampoon
2459%
2460 Jacek, a Polish schoolboy, is told by his teacher that he has
2461been chosen to carry the Polish flag in the May Day parade.
2462 "Why me?" whines the boy. "Three years ago I carried the flag
2463when Brezhnev was the Secretary; then I carried the flag when it was
2464Andropov's turn, and again when Chernenko was in the Kremlin. Why is
2465it always me, teacher?"
2466 "Because, Jacek, you have such golden hands," the teacher
2467explains.
2468
2469 -- being told in Poland, 1987
2470%
2471 Joan, the rather well-proportioned secretary, spent almost all of
2472her vacation sunbathing on the roof of her hotel. She wore a bathing suit
2473the first day, but on the second, she decided that no one could see her
2474way up there, and she slipped out of it for an overall tan. She'd hardly
2475begun when she heard someone running up the stairs; she was lying on her
2476stomach, so she just pulled a towel over her rear.
2477 "Excuse me, miss," said the flustered little assistant manager of
2478the hotel, out of breath from running up the stairs. "The Hilton doesn't
2479mind your sunbathing on the roof, but we would very much appreciate your
2480wearing a bathing suit as you did yesterday."
2481 "What difference does it make," Joan asked rather calmly. "No one
2482can see me up here, and besides, I'm covered with a towel."
2483 "Not exactly," said the embarrassed little man. "You're lying on
2484the dining room skylight."
2485%
2486 Lassie looked brilliant, in part because the farm family she
2487lived with was made up of idiots. Remember? One of them was always
2488getting pinned under the tractor, and Lassie was always rushing back to
2489the farmhouse to alert the other ones. She'd whimper and tug at their
2490sleeves, and they'd always waste precious minutes saying things: "Do
2491you think something's wrong? Do you think she wants us to follow her?
2492What is it, girl?", etc., as if this had never happened before, instead
2493of every week. What with all the time these people spent pinned under
2494the tractor, I don't see how they managed to grow any crops whatsoever.
2495They probably got by on federal crop supports, which Lassie filed the
2496applications for.
2497 -- Dave Barry
2498%
2499 Leslie West heads for the sticks, to Providence, Rhode Island and
2500tries to hide behind a beard. No good. There are still too many people
2501and too many stares, always taunting, always smirking. He moves to the
2502outskirts of town. He finds a place to live -- huge mansion, dirt cheap,
2503caretaker included. He plugs in his guitar and plays as loud as he wants,
2504day and night, and there's no one to laugh or boo or even look bored.
2505 Nobody's cut the grass in months. What's happened to that caretaker?
2506What neighborhood people there are start to talk, and what kids there are
2507start to get curious. A 13 year-old blond with an angelic face misses supper.
2508Before the summer's end, four more teenagers have disappeared. The senior
2509class president, Barnard-bound come autumn, tells Mom she's going out to a
2510movie one night and stays out. The town's up in arms, but just before the
2511police take action, the kids turn up. They've found a purpose. They go
2512home for their stuff and tell the folks not to worry but they'll be going
2513now. They're in a band.
2514 -- Ira Kaplan
2515%
2516 Listen, Tyrone, you don't know how dangerous that stuff is.
2517Suppose someday you just plug in and go away and never come back? Eh?
2518 Ho, ho! Don't I wish! What do you think every electrofreak
2519dreams about? You're such an old fuddyduddy! A-and who sez it's a
2520dream, huh? M-maybe it exists. Maybe there is a Machine to take us
2521away, take us completely, suck us out through the electrodes out of
2522the skull 'n' into the Machine and live there forever with all the
2523other souls it's got stored there. It could decide who it would suck
2524out, a-and when. Dope never gave you immortality. You hadda come
2525back, every time, into a dying hunk of smelly meat! But We can live
2526forever, in a clean, honest, purified, Electroworld.
2527 -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"
2528%
2529 Long ago, in a finite state far away, there lived a JOVIAL
2530character named Jack. Jack and his relations were poor. Often their
2531hash table was bare. One day Jack's parent said to him, "Our matrices
2532are sparse. You must go to the market to exchange our RAM for some
2533BASICs." She compiled a linked list of items to retrieve and passed it
2534to him.
2535 So Jack set out. But as he was walking along a Hamilton path,
2536he met the traveling salesman.
2537 "Whither dost thy flow chart take thou?" prompted the salesman
2538in high-level language.
2539 "I'm going to the market to exchange this RAM for some chips
2540and Apples," commented Jack.
2541 "I have a much better algorithm. You needn't join a queue
2542there; I will swap your RAM for these magic kernels now."
2543 Jack made the trade, then backtracked to his house. But when
2544he told his busy-waiting parent of the deal, she became so angry she
2545started thrashing.
2546 "Don't you even have any artificial intelligence? All these
2547kernels together hardly make up one byte," and she popped them out the
2548window...
2549 -- Mark Isaak, "Jack and the Beanstack"
2550%
2551 Looking for a cool one after a long, dusty ride, the drifter strode
2552into the saloon. As he made his way through the crowd to the bar, a man
2553galloped through town screaming, "Big Mike's comin'! Run fer yer lives!"
2554 Suddenly, the saloon doors burst open. An enormous man, standing over
2555eight feet tall and weighing an easy 400 pounds, rode in on a bull, using a
2556rattlesnake for a whip. Grabbing the drifter by the arm and throwing him over
2557the bar, the giant thundered, "Gimme a drink!"
2558 The terrified man handed over a bottle of whiskey, which the man
2559guzzled in one gulp and then smashed on the bar. He then stood aghast as
2560the man stuffed the broken bottle in his mouth, munched broken glass and
2561smacked his lips with relish.
2562 "Can I, ah, uh, get you another, sir?" the drifter stammered.
2563 "Naw, I gotta git outa here, boy," the man grunted. "Big Mike's
2564a-comin'."
2565%
2566 Max told his friend that he'd just as soon not go hiking in the hills.
2567Said he, "I'm an anti-climb Max."
2568%
2569 Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do,
2570and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the
2571graduate school mountain but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
2572 These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't
2573hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess.
2574Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt someone.
2575Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good
2576for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint
2577and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
2578 Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for
2579traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the
2580little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and
2581nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and
2582hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all
2583die. So do we.
2584 And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you
2585learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in
2586there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and
2587politics and sane living.
2588 Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world
2589-- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
2590our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other
2591nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own
2592messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into
2593the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.
2594 -- Robert Fulghum, "All I ever really needed to know I learned
2595 in kindergarten"
2596%
2597 Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to
2598do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top
2599of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
2600 These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair.
2601Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your
2602own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you
2603hurt someone. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and
2604cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think
2605some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day
2606some.
2607 Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch
2608for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember
2609the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes
2610up and nobody really knows why, but we are all like that.
2611[...]
2612 Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole
2613world -- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay
2614down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation
2615and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned
2616up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when
2617you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
2618 -- Robert Flughum
2619%
2620 Mother seemed pleased by my draft notice. "Just think of all the
2621people in England, they've chosen you, it's a great honour, son."
2622 Laughingly I felled her with a right cross.
2623 -- Spike Milligan
2624%
2625 Moving along a dimly light street, a man I know was suddenly
2626approached by a stranger who had slipped from the shadows nearby.
2627 "Please, sir," pleaded the stranger, "would you be so kind as
2628to help a poor unfortunate fellow who is hungry and can't find work?
2629All I have in the world is this gun."
2630%
2631 Mr. Jones related an incident from "some time back" when IBM Canada
2632Ltd. of Markham, Ont., ordered some parts from a new supplier in Japan. The
2633company noted in its order that acceptable quality allowed for 1.5 per cent
2634defects (a fairly high standard in North America at the time).
2635 The Japanese sent the order, with a few parts packaged separately in
2636plastic. The accompanying letter said: "We don't know why you want 1.5 per
2637cent defective parts, but for your convenience, we've packed them separately."
2638 -- Excerpted from an article in The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
2639%
2640 Murray and Esther, a middle-aged Jewish couple, are touring Chile.
2641Murray just got a new camera and is constantly snapping pictures. One day,
2642without knowing it, he photographs a top-secret military installation. In
2643an instant, armed troops surround Murray and Esther and hustle them off to
2644prison.
2645 They can't prove who they are because they've left their passports
2646in their hotel room. For three weeks they're tortured day and night to get
2647them to name their contacts in the liberation movement... Finally they're
2648hauled in front of a military court, charged with espionage, and sentenced
2649to death.
2650 The next morning they're lined up in front of the wall where they'll
2651be shot. The sergeant in charge of the firing squad asks them if they have
2652any last requests. Esther wants to know if she can call her daughter in
2653Chicago. The sergeant says he's sorry, that's not possible, and turns to
2654Murray.
2655 "This is crazy!" Murray shouts. "We're not spies!" And he
2656spits in the sergeants face.
2657 "Murray!" Esther cries. "Please! Don't make trouble."
2658 -- Arthur Naiman
2659%
2660 My friends, I am here to tell you of the wonderous continent known as
2661Africa. Well we left New York drunk and early on the morning of February 31.
2662We were 15 days on the water, and 3 on the boat when we finally arrived in
2663Africa. Upon our arrival we immediately set up a rigorous schedule: Up at
26646:00, breakfast, and back in bed by 7:00. Pretty soon we were back in bed by
26656:30. Now Africa is full of big game. The first day I shot two bucks. That
2666was the biggest game we had. Africa is primarily inhabited by Elks, Moose
2667and Knights of Pithiests.
2668 The elks live up in the mountains and come down once a year for their
2669annual conventions. And you should see them gathered around the water hole,
2670which they leave immediately when they discover it's full of water. They
2671weren't looking for a water hole. They were looking for an alck hole.
2672 One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my
2673pajamas, I don't know. Then we tried to remove the tusks. That's a tough
2674word to say, tusks. As I said we tried to remove the tusks, but they were
2675imbedded so firmly we couldn't get them out. But in Alabama the Tusks are
2676looser, but that is totally irrelephant to what I was saying.
2677 We took some pictures of the native girls, but they weren't developed.
2678So we're going back in a few years...
2679 -- Julius H. Marx
2680%
2681 My message is not that biological determinists were bad scientists or
2682even that they were always wrong. Rather, I believe that science must be
2683understood as a social phenomenon, a gutsy, human enterprise, not the work of
2684robots programmed to collect pure information. I also present this view as
2685an upbeat for science, not as a gloomy epitaph for a noble hope sacrificed on
2686the alter of human limitations.
2687 I believe that a factual reality exists and that science, though often
2688in an obtuse and erratic manner, can learn about it. Galileo was not shown
2689the instruments of torture in an abstract debate about lunar motion. He had
2690threatened the Church's conventional argument for social and doctrinal
2691stability: the static world order with planets circling about a central
2692earth, priests subordinate to the Pope and serfs to their lord. But the
2693Church soon made its peace with Galileo's cosmology. They had no choice; the
2694earth really does revolve about the sun.
2695 -- S.J. Gould, "The Mismeasure of Man"
2696%
2697 "My mother," said the sweet young steno, "says there are some things
2698a girl should not do before twenty."
2699 "Your mother is right," said the executive, "I don't like a large
2700audience, either."
2701%
2702 n = ((n >> 1) & 0x55555555) | ((n << 1) & 0xaaaaaaaa);
2703 n = ((n >> 2) & 0x33333333) | ((n << 2) & 0xcccccccc);
2704 n = ((n >> 4) & 0x0f0f0f0f) | ((n << 4) & 0xf0f0f0f0);
2705 n = ((n >> 8) & 0x00ff00ff) | ((n << 8) & 0xff00ff00);
2706 n = ((n >> 16) & 0x0000ffff) | ((n << 16) & 0xffff0000);
2707
2708-- Reverse the bits in a word.
2709%
2710 n = (n & 0x55555555) + ((n & 0xaaaaaaaa) >> 1);
2711 n = (n & 0x33333333) + ((n & 0xcccccccc) >> 2);
2712 n = (n & 0x0f0f0f0f) + ((n & 0xf0f0f0f0) >> 4);
2713 n = (n & 0x00ff00ff) + ((n & 0xff00ff00) >> 8);
2714 n = (n & 0x0000ffff) + ((n & 0xffff0000) >> 16);
2715
2716-- Count the bits in a word.
2717%
2718 Never ask your lover if he'd dive in front of an oncoming train for
2719you. He doesn't know. Never ask your lover if she'd dive in front of an
2720oncoming band of Hell's Angels for you. She doesn't know. Never ask how many
2721cigarettes your lover has smoked today. Cancer is a personal commitment.
2722 Never ask to see pictures of your lover's former lovers -- especially
2723the ones who dived in front of trains. If you look like one of them, you are
2724repeating history's mistakes. If you don't, you'll wonder what he or she saw
2725in the others.
2726 While we are on the subject of pictures: You may admire the picture
2727of your lover cavorting naked in a tidal pool on Maui. Don't ask who took
2728it. The answer is obvious. A Japanese tourist took the picture.
2729 Never ask if your lover has had therapy. Only people who have had
2730therapy ask if people have had therapy.
2731 Don't ask about plaster casts of male sex organs marked JIMI, JIM, etc.
2732Assume that she bought them at a flea market.
2733 -- James Peterson and Kate Nolan
2734%
2735 NEW YORK-- Kraft Foods, Inc. announced today that its board of
2736directors unanimously rejected the $11 billion takeover bid by Philip
2737Morris and Co. A Kraft spokesman stated in a press conference that the
2738offer was rejected because the $90-per-share bid did not reflect the
2739true value of the company.
2740 Wall Street insiders, however, tell quite a different story.
2741Apparently, the Kraft board of directors had all but signed the takeover
2742agreement when they learned of Philip Morris' marketing plans for one of
2743their major Middle East subsidiaries. To a person, the board voted to
2744reject the bid when they discovered that the tobacco giant intended to
2745reorganize Israeli Cheddar, Ltd., and name the new company Cheeses of
2746Nazareth.
2747%
2748 "No, I understand now," Auberon said, calm in the woods -- it was so
2749simple, really. "I didn't, for a long time, but I do now. You just can't
2750hold people, you can't own them. I mean it's only natural, a natural process
2751really. Meet. Love. Part. Life goes on. There was never any reason to
2752expect her to stay always the same -- I mean `in love,' you know." There were
2753those doubt-quotes of Smoky's, heavily indicated. "I don't hold a grudge. I
2754can't."
2755 "You do," Grandfather Trout said. "And you don't understand."
2756 -- Little, Big, "John Crowley"
2757%
2758 Now she speaks rapidly. "Do you know *why* you want to program?"
2759 He shakes his head. He hasn't the faintest idea.
2760 "For the sheer *joy* of programming!" she cries triumphantly.
2761"The joy of the parent, the artist, the craftsman. "You take a program,
2762born weak and impotent as a dimly-realized solution. You nurture the
2763program and guide it down the right path, building, watching it grow ever
2764stronger. Sometimes you paint with tiny strokes, a keystroke added here,
2765a keystroke changed there." She sweeps her arm in a wide arc. "And other
2766times you savage whole *blocks* of code, ripping out the program's very
2767*essence*, then beginning anew. But always building, creating, filling the
2768program with your own personal stamp, your own quirks and nuances. Watching
2769the program grow stronger, patching it when it crashes, until finally it can
2770stand alone -- proud, powerful, and perfect. This is the programmer's finest
2771hour!" Softly at first, then louder, he hears the strains of a Sousa march.
2772"This ... this is your canvas! your clay! Go forth and create a masterwork!"
2773%
2774 Obviously the subject of death was in the air, but more as something
2775to be avoided than harped upon.
2776 Possibly the horror that Zaphod experienced at the prospect of being
2777reunited with his deceased relatives led on to the thought that they might
2778just feel the same way about him and, what's more, be able to do something
2779about helping to postpone this reunion.
2780 -- Douglas Adams
2781%
2782 "Oh sure, this costume may look silly, but it lets me get in and out
2783of dangerous situations -- I work for a federal task force doing a survey on
2784urban crime. Look, here's my ID, and here's a number you can call, that will
2785put you through to our central base in Atlanta. Go ahead, call -- they'll
2786confirm who I am.
2787 "Unless, of course, the Astro-Zombies have destroyed it."
2788 -- Captain Freedom
2789%
2790 Old Barlow was a crossing-tender at a junction where an express train
2791demolished an automobile and it's occupants. Being the chief witness, his
2792testimony was vitally important. Barlow explained that the night was dark,
2793and he waved his lantern frantically, but the driver of the car paid
2794no attention to the signal.
2795 The railroad company won the case, and the president of the company
2796complimented the old-timer for his story. "You did wonderfully," he said,
2797"I was afraid you would waver under testimony."
2798 "No sir," exclaimed the senior, "but I sure was afraid that durned
2799lawyer was gonna ask me if my lantern was lit."
2800%
2801 On his first day as a bus driver, Maxey Eckstein handed in
2802receipts of $65. The next day his take was $67. The third day's
2803income was $62. But on the fourth day, Eckstein emptied no less than
2804$283 on the desk before the cashier.
2805 "Eckstein!" exclaimed the cashier. "This is fantastic. That
2806route never brought in money like this! What happened?"
2807 "Well, after three days on that cockamamy route, I figured
2808business would never improve, so I drove over to Fourteenth Street and
2809worked there. I tell you, that street is a gold mine!"
2810%
2811 On the day of his anniversary, Joe was frantically shopping
2812around for a present for his wife. He knew what she wanted, a
2813grandfather clock for the living room, but he found the right one
2814almost impossible to find. Finally, after many hours of searching, Joe
2815found just the clock he wanted, but the store didn't deliver. Joe,
2816desperate, paid the shopkeeper, hoisted the clock onto his back, and
2817staggered out onto the sidewalk. On the way home, he passed a bar.
2818Just as he reached the door, a drunk stumbled out and crashed into Joe,
2819sending himself, Joe, and the clock into the gutter. Murphy's law
2820being in effect, the clock ended up in roughly a thousand pieces.
2821 "You stupid drunk!" screamed Joe, jumping up from the
2822wreckage. "Why don't you look where the hell you're going!"
2823 With quiet dignity the drunk stood up somewhat unsteadily and
2824dusted himself off. "And why don't you just wear a wristwatch like a
2825normal person?"
2826%
2827 On the occasion of Nero's 25th birthday, he arrived at the Colosseum
2828to find that the Praetorian Guard had prepared a treat for him in the arena.
2829There stood 25 naked virgins, like candles on a cake, tied to poles, burning
2830alive. "Wonderful!" exclaimed the deranged emperor, "but one of them isn't
2831dead yet. I can see her lips moving. Go quickly and find out what she is
2832saying."
2833 The centurion saluted, and hurried out to the virgin, getting as near
2834the flames as he dared, and listened intently. Then he turned and ran back
2835to the imperial box. "She is not talking," he reported to Nero, "she is
2836singing."
2837 "Singing?" said the astounded emperor. "Singing what?"
2838 "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..."
2839%
2840 On the other hand, the TCP camp also has a phrase for OSI people.
2841There are lots of phrases. My favorite is `nitwit' -- and the rationale
2842is the Internet philosophy has always been you have extremely bright,
2843non-partisan researchers look at a topic, do world-class research, do
2844several competing implementations, have a bake-off, determine what works
2845best, write it down and make that the standard.
2846 The OSI view is entirely opposite. You take written contributions
2847from a much larger community, you put the contributions in a room of
2848committee people with, quite honestly, vast political differences and all
2849with their own political axes to grind, and four years later you get
2850something out, usually without it ever having been implemented once.
2851 So the Internet perspective is implement it, make it work well,
2852then write it down, whereas the OSI perspective is to agree on it, write
2853it down, circulate it a lot and now we'll see if anyone can implement it
2854after it's an international standard and every vendor in the world is
2855committed to it. One of those processes is backwards, and I don't think
2856it takes a Lucasian professor of physics at Oxford to figure out which.
2857 -- Marshall Rose, "The Pied Piper of OSI"
2858%
2859 On this morning in August when I was 13, my mother sent us out pick
2860tomatoes. Back in April I'd have killed for a fresh tomato, but in August
2861they are no more rare or wonderful than rocks. So I picked up one and threw
2862it at a crab apple tree, where it made a good *splat*, and then threw a tomato
2863at my brother. He whipped one back at me. We ducked down by the vines,
2864heaving tomatoes at each other. My sister, who was a good person, said,
2865"You're going to get it." She bent over and kept on picking.
2866 What a target! She was 17, a girl with big hips, and bending over,
2867she looked like the side of a barn.
2868 I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground. It looked like it
2869had sat there a week. The underside was brown, small white worms lived in it,
2870and it was very juicy. I stood up and took aim, and went into the windup,
2871when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice. I had
2872to decide quickly. I decided.
2873 A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound, like a fat
2874man doing a belly-flop. With a whoop and a yell the tomatoee came after
2875faster than I knew she could run, and grabbed my shirt and was about to brain
2876me when Mother called her name in a sharp voice. And my sister, who was a
2877good person, obeyed and let go -- and burst into tears. I guess she knew that
2878the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared with the pleasure of hearing
2879a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.
2880 -- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
2881%
2882 Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in The Holiday Season, that very
2883special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old
2884traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We
2885traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we
2886see a shopper emerge from the mall. Then we follow her, in very much the same
2887spirit as the Three Wise Men, who, 2,000 years ago, followed a star, week after
2888week, until it led them to a parking space.
2889 We try to keep our bumper about 4 inches from the shopper's calves, to
2890let the other circling cars know that she belongs to us. Sometimes, two cars
2891will get into a fight over whom the shopper belongs to, similar to the way
2892great white sharks will fight over who gets to eat a snorkeler. So, we follow
2893our shopper closely, hunched over the steering wheel, whistling "It's Beginning
2894to Look a Lot Like Christmas" through our teeth, until we arrive at her car,
2895which is usually parked several time zones away from the mall. Sometimes our
2896shopper tries to indicate she was merely planning to drop off some packages and
2897go back to shopping. But, when she hears our engine rev in a festive fashion
2898and sees the holiday gleam in our eyes, she realizes she would never make it.
2899 -- Dave Barry, "Holiday Joy -- Or, the Great Parking Lot
2900 Skirmish"
2901%
2902 Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great
2903crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs
2904and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and
2905resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature
2906said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall
2907let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
2908 The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current
2909you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will
2910die quicker than boredom!"
2911 But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at
2912once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet, in time,
2913as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the
2914bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
2915 And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See
2916a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come
2917to save us all!" And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more
2918Messiah than you. The river delight to lift us free, if only we dare let go.
2919Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.
2920 But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the
2921rocks, making legends of a Saviour.
2922 -- Richard Bach
2923%
2924 Once there was a marine biologist who loved dolphins. He spent his
2925time trying to feed and protect his beloved creatures of the sea. One day,
2926in a fit of inventive genius, he came up with a serum that would make
2927dolphins live forever!
2928 Of course he was ecstatic. But he soon realized that in order to mass
2929produce this serum he would need large amounts of a certain compound that was
2930only found in nature in the metabolism of a rare South American bird. Carried
2931away by his love for dolphins, he resolved that he would go to the zoo and
2932steal one of these birds.
2933 Unbeknownst to him, as he was arriving at the zoo an elderly lion was
2934escaping from its cage. The zookeepers were alarmed and immediately began
2935combing the zoo for the escaped animal, unaware that it had simply lain down
2936on the sidewalk and had gone to sleep.
2937 Meanwhile, the marine biologist arrived at the zoo and procured his
2938bird. He was so excited by the prospect of helping his dolphins that he
2939stepped absentmindedly stepped over the sleeping lion on his way back to his
2940car. Immediately, 1500 policemen converged on him and arrested him for
2941transporting a myna across a staid lion for immortal porpoises.
2942%
2943 Once upon a time there was a beautiful young girl taking a stroll
2944through the woods. All at once she saw an extremely ugly bull frog seated
2945on a log and to her amazement the frog spoke to her. "Maiden," croaked the
2946frog, "would you do me a favor? This will be hard for you to believe, but
2947I was once a handsome, charming prince and then a mean, ugly old witch cast
2948a spell over me and turned me into a frog."
2949 "Oh, what a pity!", exclaimed the girl. "I'll do anything I can to
2950help you break such a spell."
2951 "Well," replied the frog, "the only way that this spell can be
2952taken away is for some lovely young woman to take me home and let me spend
2953the night under her pillow."
2954 The young girl took the ugly frog home and placed him beneath her
2955pillow that night when she retired. When she awoke the next morning, sure
2956enough, there beside her in bed was a very young, handsome man, clearly of
2957royal blood. And so they lived happily ever after, except that to this day
2958her father and mother still don't believe her story.
2959%
2960 Once upon a time, there was a fisherman who lived by a great river.
2961One day, after a hard day's fishing, he hooked what seemed to him to be the
2962biggest, strongest fish he had ever caught. He fought with it for hours,
2963until, finally, he managed to bring it to the surface. Looking of the edge
2964of the boat, he saw the head of this huge fish breaking the surface. Smiling
2965with pride, he reached over the edge to pull the fish up. Unfortunately, he
2966accidently caught his watch on the edge, and, before he knew it, there was a
2967snap, and his watch tumbled into the water next to the fish with a loud
2968"sploosh!" Distracted by this shiny object, the fish made a sudden lunge,
2969simultaneously snapping the line, and swallowing the watch. Sadly, the
2970fisherman stared into the water, and then began the slow trip back home.
2971 Many years later, the fisherman, now an old man, was working in a
2972boring assembly-line job in a large city. He worked in a fish-processing
2973plant. It was his job, as each fish passed under his hands, to chop off their
2974heads, readying them for the next phase in processing. This monotonous task
2975went on for years, the dull *thud* of the cleaver chopping of each head being
2976his entire world, day after day, week after weary week. Well, one day, as he
2977was chopping fish, he happened to notice that the fish coming towards him on
2978the line looked very familiar. Yes, yes, it looked... could it be the fish
2979he had lost on that day so many years ago? He trembled with anticipation as
2980his cleaver came down. IT STRUCK SOMETHING HARD! IT WAS HIS THUMB!
2981%
2982 Once upon a time, there were five blind men who had the opportunity
2983to experience an elephant for the first time. One approached the elephant,
2984and, upon encountering one of its sturdy legs, stated, "Ah, an elephant is
2985like a tree." The second, after exploring the trunk, said, "No, an elephant
2986is like a strong hose." The third, grasping the tail, said "Fool! An elephant
2987is like a rope!" The fourth, holding an ear, stated, "No, more like a fan."
2988And the fifth, leaning against the animal's side, said, "An elephant is like
2989a wall." The five then began to argue loudly about who had the more accurate
2990perception of the elephant.
2991 The elephant, tiring of all this abuse, suddenly reared up and
2992attacked the men. He continued to trample them until they were nothing but
2993bloody lumps of flesh. Then, strolling away, the elephant remarked, "It just
2994goes to show that you can't depend on first impressions. When I first saw
2995them I didn't think they they'd be any fun at all."
2996%
2997 Once upon a time there were three brothers who were knights
2998in a certain kingdom. And, there was a Princess in a neighboring kingdom
2999who was of marriageable age. Well, one day, in full armour, their horses,
3000and their page, the three brothers set off to see if one of them could
3001win her hand. The road was long and there were many obstacles along the
3002way, robbers to be overcome, hard terrain to cross. As they coped with
3003each obstacle they became more and more disgusted with their page. He was
3004not only inept, he was a coward, he could not handle the horses, he was,
3005in short, a complete flop. When they arrived at the court of the kingdom,
3006they found that they were expected to present the Princess with some
3007treasure. The two older brothers were discouraged, since they had not
3008thought of this and were unprepared. The youngest, however, had the
3009answer: Promise her anything, but give her our page.
3010%
3011 Once, when the secrets of science were the jealously guarded property
3012of a small priesthood, the common man had no hope of mastering their arcane
3013complexities. Years of study in musty classrooms were prerequisite to
3014obtaining even a dim, incoherent knowledge of science.
3015 Today all that has changed: a dim, incoherent knowledge of science is
3016available to anyone.
3017 -- Tom Weller, "Science Made Stupid"
3018%
3019 One day a student came to Moon and said, "I understand how to make
3020a better garbage collector. We must keep a reference count of the pointers
3021to each cons."
3022 Moon patiently told the student the following story -- "One day a
3023student came to Moon and said, "I understand how to make a better garbage
3024collector..."
3025%
3026 One day it was announced that the young monk Kyogen had reached
3027an enlightened state. Much impressed by this news, several of his peers
3028went to speak with him.
3029 "We have heard that you are enlightened. Is this true?" his fellow
3030students inquired.
3031 "It is", Kyogen answered.
3032 "Tell us", said a friend, "how do you feel?"
3033 "As miserable as ever", replied the enlightened Kyogen.
3034%
3035 One evening he spoke. Sitting at her feet, his face raised to her,
3036he allowed his soul to be heard. "My darling, anything you wish, anything
3037I am, anything I can ever be... That's what I want to offer you -- not the
3038things I'll get for you, but the thing in me that will make me able to get
3039them. That thing -- a man can't renounce it -- but I want to renounce it --
3040so that it will be yours -- so that it will be in your service -- only for
3041you."
3042 The girl smiled and asked: "Do you think I'm prettier than Maggie
3043Kelly?"
3044 He got up. He said nothing and walked out of the house. He never
3045saw that girl again. Gail Wynand, who prided himself on never needing a
3046lesson twice, did not fall in love again in the years that followed.
3047 -- Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead"
3048%
3049 One fine day, the bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus,
3050and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops -- a few
3051people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well. At the next
3052stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight, built like a
3053wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said,
3054"Big John doesn't pay!" and sat down at the back.
3055 Did I mention that the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically
3056meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn't argue with Big John, but he wasn't
3057happy about it. Well, the next day the same thing happened -- Big John got on
3058again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the
3059one after that, and so forth. This grated on the bus driver, who started
3060losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him. Finally he
3061could stand it no longer. He signed up for bodybuilding courses, karate, judo,
3062and all that good stuff. By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong;
3063what's more, he felt really good about himself.
3064 So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus
3065and said "Big John doesn't pay!," the driver stood up, glared back at the
3066passenger, and screamed, "And why not?"
3067 With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, "Big John has a
3068bus pass."
3069%
3070 One night the captain of a tanker saw a light dead ahead. He
3071directed his signalman to flash a signal to the light which went...
3072 "Change course 10 degrees South."
3073 The reply was quickly flashed back...
3074 "You change course 10 degrees North."
3075 The captain was a little annoyed at this reply and sent a further
3076message.....
3077 "I am a captain. Change course 10 degrees South."
3078 Back came the reply...
3079 "I am an able-seaman. Change course 10 degrees North."
3080 The captain was outraged at this reply and send a message....
3081"I am a 240,000 tonne tanker. CHANGE course 10 degrees South!"
3082 Back came the reply...
3083 "I am a LIGHTHOUSE. Change course 10 degrees North!!!!"
3084 -- Cruising Helmsman, "On The Right Course"
3085%
3086 One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic
3087is our support for UNIX?
3088 Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago.
3089Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our
3090VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand,
3091easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual
3092users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines.
3093And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have
3094good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.
3095 It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run
3096out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end
3097up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.
3098 With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly
3099check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With VMS, no matter
3100what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if
3101you look long enough it's there. That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX
3102is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there.
3103 -- Ken Olsen, president of DEC, DECWORLD Vol. 8 No. 5, 1984
3104[It's been argued that the beauty of UNIX is the same as the beauty of Ken
3105Olsen's brain. Ed.]
3106%
3107 page 46
3108...a report citing a study by Dr. Thomas C. Chalmers, of the Mount Sinai
3109Medical Center in New York, which compared two groups that were being used
3110to test the theory that ascorbic acid is a cold preventative. "The group
3111on placebo who thought they were on ascorbic acid," says Dr. Chalmers,
3112"had fewer colds than the group on ascorbic acid who thought they were
3113on placebo."
3114 page 56
3115The placebo is proof that there is no real separation between mind and body.
3116Illness is always an interaction between both. It can begin in the mind and
3117affect the body, or it can begin in the body and affect the mind, both of
3118which are served by the same bloodstream. Attempts to treat most mental
3119diseases as though they were completely free of physical causes and attempts
3120to treat most bodily diseases as though the mind were in no way involved must
3121be considered archaic in the light of new evidence about the way the human
3122body functions.
3123 -- Norman Cousins,
3124 "Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient"
3125%
3126 Penn's aunts made great apple pies at low prices. No one else in
3127town could compete with the pie rates of Penn's aunts.
3128 During the American Revolution, a Britisher tried to raid a farm. He
3129stumbled across a rock on the ground and fell, whereupon an aggressive Rhode
3130Island Red hopped on top. Seeing this, the farmer commented, "Chicken catch
3131a Tory!"
3132 A wife started serving chopped meat, Monday hamburger, Tuesday meat
3133loaf, Wednesday tartar steak, and Thursday meatballs. On Friday morning her
3134husband snarled, "How now, ground cow?"
3135 A journalist, thrilled over his dinner, asked the chef for the recipe.
3136Retorted the chef, "Sorry, we have the same policy as you journalists, we
3137never reveal our sauce."
3138 A new chef from India was fired a week after starting the job. He
3139kept favoring curry.
3140 A couple of kids tried using pickles instead of paddles for a Ping-Pong
3141game. They had the volley of the Dills.
3142%
3143 People of all sorts of genders are reporting great difficulty,
3144these days, in selecting the proper words to refer to those of the female
3145persuasion.
3146 "Lady," "woman," and "girl" are all perfectly good words, but
3147misapplying them can earn one anything from the charge of vulgarity to a good
3148swift smack. We are messing here with matters of deference, condescension,
3149respect, bigotry, and two vague concepts, age and rank. It is troubling
3150enough to get straight who is really what. Those who deliberately misuse
3151the terms in a misbegotten attempt at flattery are asking for it.
3152 A woman is any grown-up female person. A girl is the un-grown-up
3153version. If you call a wee thing with chubby cheeks and pink hair ribbons a
3154"woman," you will probably not get into trouble, and if you do, you will be
3155able to handle it because she will be under three feet tall. However, if you
3156call a grown-up by a child's name for the sake of implying that she has a
3157youthful body, you are also implying that she has a brain to match.
3158%
3159 "Perhaps he is not honest," Mr. Frostee said inside Cobb's head,
3160sounding a bit worried.
3161 "Of course he isn't," Cobb answered. "What we have to look out for
3162is him calling the cops anyway, or trying to blackmail us for more money."
3163 "I think you should kill him and eat his brain," Mr. Frostee
3164said quickly.
3165 "That's not the answer to *every* problem in interpersonal relations,"
3166Cobb said, hopping out.
3167 -- Rudy Rucker, "Software"
3168%
3169 Phases of a Project:
3170(1) Exultation.
3171(2) Disenchantment.
3172(3) Confusion.
3173(4) Search for the Guilty.
3174(5) Punishment for the Innocent.
3175(6) Distinction for the Uninvolved.
3176%
3177 Price Wang's programmer was coding software. His fingers danced upon
3178the keyboard. The program compiled without an error message, and the program
3179ran like a gentle wind.
3180 Excellent!" the Price exclaimed, "Your technique is faultless!"
3181 "Technique?" said the programmer, turning from his terminal, "What I
3182follow is the Tao -- beyond all technique. When I first began to program I
3183would see before me the whole program in one mass. After three years I no
3184longer saw this mass. Instead, I used subroutines. But now I see nothing.
3185My whole being exists in a formless void. My senses are idle. My spirit,
3186free to work without a plan, follows its own instinct. In short, my program
3187writes itself. True, sometimes there are difficult problems. I see them
3188coming, I slow down, I watch silently. Then I change a single line of code
3189and the difficulties vanish like puffs of idle smoke. I then compile the
3190program. I sit still and let the joy of the work fill my being. I close my
3191eyes for a moment and then log off."
3192 Price Wang said, "Would that all of my programmers were as wise!"
3193 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
3194%
3195 "Reintegration complete," ZORAC advised. "We're back in the
3196universe again..." An unusually long pause followed, "...but I don't
3197know which part. We seem to have changed our position in space." A
3198spherical display in the middle of the floor illuminated to show the
3199starfield surrounding the ship.
3200 "Several large, artificial constructions are approaching us,"
3201ZORAC announced after a short pause. "The designs are not familiar, but
3202they are obviously the products of intelligence. Implications: we have
3203been intercepted deliberately by a means unknown, for a purpose unknown,
3204and transferred to a place unknown by a form of intelligence unknown.
3205Apart from the unknowns, everything is obvious."
3206 -- James P. Hogan, "Giants Star"
3207%
3208 Reporters like Bill Greider from the Washington Post and Him
3209Naughton of the New York Times, for instance, had to file long, detailed,
3210and relatively complex stories every day -- while my own deadline fell
3211every two weeks -- but neither of them ever seemed in a hurry about
3212getting their work done, and from time to time they would try to console
3213me about the terrible pressure I always seemed to be laboring under.
3214 Any $100-an-hour psychiatrist could probably explain this problem
3215to me, in thirteen or fourteen sessions, but I don't have time for that.
3216No doubt it has something to do with a deep-seated personality defect, or
3217maybe a kink in whatever blood vessel leads into the pineal gland... On
3218the other hand, it might be something as simple & basically perverse as
3219whatever instinct it is that causes a jackrabbit to wait until the last
3220possible second to dart across the road in front of a speeding car.
3221 -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail"
3222%
3223 "Richard, in being so fierce toward my vampire, you were doing
3224what you wanted to do, even though you thought it was going to hurt
3225somebody else. He even told you he'd be hurt if..."
3226 "He was going to suck my blood!"
3227 "Which is what we do to anyone when we tell them we'll be hurt
3228if they don't live our way."
3229...
3230 "The thing that puzzles you," he said, "is an accepted saying that
3231happens to be impossible. The phrase is hurt somebody else. We choose,
3232ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what. Us who decides.
3233Nobody else. My vampire told you he'd be hurt if you didn't let him? That's
3234his decision to be hurt, that's his choice. What you do about it is your
3235decision, your choice: give him blood; ignore him; tie him up; drive a stake
3236through his heart. If he doesn't want the holly stake, he's free to resist,
3237in whatever way he wants. It goes on and on, choices, choices."
3238 "When you look at it that way..."
3239 "Listen," he said, "it's important. We are all. Free. To do.
3240Whatever. We want. To do."
3241 -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"
3242%
3243 Risch's decision procedure for integration, not surprisingly,
3244uses a recursion on the number and type of the extensions from the
3245rational functions needed to represent the integrand. Although the
3246algorithm follows and critically depends upon the appropriate structure
3247of the input, as in the case of multivariate factorization, we cannot
3248claim that the algorithm is a natural one. In fact, the creator of
3249differential algebra, Ritt, committed suicide in the early 1950's,
3250largely, it is claimed, because few paid attention to his work. Probably
3251he would have received more attention had he obtained the algorithm as
3252well.
3253 -- Joel Moses, "Algorithms and Complexity", ed. J.F. Traub
3254%
3255 Robert Kennedy's 1964 Senatorial campaign planners told him that
3256their intention was to present him to the television viewers as a sincere,
3257generous person. "You going to use a double?" asked Kennedy.
3258
3259 Thumbing through a promotional pamphlet prepared for his 1964
3260Senatorial campaign, Robert Kennedy came across a photograph of himself
3261shaking hands with a well-known labor leader.
3262 "There must be a better photo that this," said Kennedy to the
3263advertising men in charge of his campaign.
3264 "What's wrong with this one?" asked one adman.
3265 "That fellow's in jail," said Kennedy.
3266 -- Bill Adler, "The Washington Wits"
3267%
3268 SAFETY
3269I can live without
3270Someone I love
3271But not without
3272Someone I need.
3273%
3274 Sam went to his psychiatrist complaining of a hatred for elephants.
3275"I can't stand elephants," he explained. "I lie awake nights despising
3276them. The thought of an elephant fills me with loathing."
3277 "Sam," said the psychiatrist, "there's only one thing for you to do.
3278Go to Africa, organize a safari, find an elephant in the jungle and shoot it.
3279That way you'll get it out of your system."
3280 Sam immediately made arrangements for a safari hunt in Africa,
3281inviting his best friend to join him. They arrived in Nairobi and lost no
3282time getting out on the jungle trails. After they had been hunting for
3283several days, Sam's best friend grabbed him by the arm one morning and
3284yelled at him:
3285 "Sam, Sam, Sam! Over there behind that tree there's and elephant!
3286Sam -- Get your gun -- no, no, not THAT gun -- the rifle with the longer
3287barrel! Now aim it! QUICK! SAM! QUICK! No! Not that way -- this way!
3288Be sure you don't jerk the trigger! Wait SAM! Don't let him see you! Aim
3289at his head!"
3290 Sam whirled around, took aim, and killed his friend. He was put in
3291prison and his psychiatrist flew to Africa to visit him. "I sent you over
3292here to kill and elephant and instead you shoot your best friend," the
3293psychiatrist said. "Why?"
3294 "Well," Sam replied, "there's only one thing in the world that I
3295hate more than elephants and that is a loudmouth know-it-all!"
3296%
3297 Seems George was playing his usual eighteen holes on Saturday
3298afternoon. Teeing off from the 17th, he sliced into the rough over near
3299the edge of the fairway. Just as he was about to chip out, he noticed a
3300long funeral procession going past on a nearby street. Reverently, George
3301removed his hat and stood at attention until the procession had passed.
3302Then he continued his game, finishing with a birdie on the eighteenth.
3303Later, at the clubhouse, a fellow golfer greet George. "Say, that was a
3304nice gesture you made today, George.
3305 "What do you mean?" asked George.
3306 "Well, it was nice of you to take off your cap and stand
3307respectfully when that funeral went by," the friend replied.
3308 "Oh, yes," said George. "Well, we were married 17 years, you
3309know."
3310%
3311 "Seven years and six months!" Humpty Dumpty repeated thoughtfully.
3312"An uncomfortable sort of age. Now if you'd asked MY advice, I'd have
3313said 'Leave off at seven' -- but it's too late now."
3314 "I never ask advice about growing," Alice said indignantly.
3315 "Too proud?" the other enquired.
3316 Alice felt even more indignant at this suggestion. "I mean,"
3317she said, "that one can't help growing older."
3318 "ONE can't, perhaps," said Humpty Dumpty; "but TWO can. With
3319proper assistance, you might have left off at seven."
3320 -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking-Glass"
3321%
3322 Several students were asked to prove that all odd integers are prime.
3323 The first student to try to do this was a math student. "Hmmm...
3324Well, 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, and by induction, we have that all
3325the odd integers are prime."
3326 The second student to try was a man of physics who commented, "I'm not
3327sure of the validity of your proof, but I think I'll try to prove it by
3328experiment." He continues, "Well, 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is
3329prime, 9 is... uh, 9 is... uh, 9 is an experimental error, 11 is prime, 13
3330is prime... Well, it seems that you're right."
3331 The third student to try it was the engineering student, who responded,
3332"Well, to be honest, actually, I'm not sure of your answer either. Let's
3333see... 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is... uh, 9 is...
3334well, if you approximate, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime... Well, it
3335does seem right."
3336 Not to be outdone, the computer science student comes along and says
3337"Well, you two sort've got the right idea, but you'll end up taking too long!
3338I've just whipped up a program to REALLY go and prove it." He goes over to
3339his terminal and runs his program. Reading the output on the screen he says,
3340"1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime..."
3341%
3342 "Sheriff, we gotta catch Black Bart."
3343 "Oh, yeah? What's he look like?"
3344 "Well, he's wearin' a paper hat, a paper shirt, paper pants and
3345paper boots."
3346 "What's he wanted for?"
3347 "Rustling."
3348%
3349 Sixtus V, Pope from 1585 to 1590 authorized a printing of the
3350Vulgate Bible. Taking no chances, the pope issued a papal bull
3351automatically excommunicating any printer who might make an alteration
3352in the text. This he ordered printed at the beginning of the Bible.
3353He personally examined every sheet as it came off the press. Yet the
3354published Vulgate Bible contained so many errors that corrected scraps
3355had to be printed and pasted over them in every copy. The result
3356provoked wry comments on the rather patchy papal infallibility, and
3357Pope Sixtus had no recourse but to order the return and destruction of
3358every copy.
3359%
3360 So Richard and I decided to try to catch [the small shark]. With
3361a great deal of strategy and effort and shouting, we managed to maneuver
3362the shark, over the course of about a half-hour, to a sort of corner of the
3363lagoon, so that it had no way to escape other than to flop up onto the land
3364and evolve. Richard and I were inching toward it, sort of crouched over,
3365when all of a sudden it turned around and -- I can still remember the
3366sensation I felt at that moment, primarily in the armpit area -- headed
3367right straight toward us.
3368 Many people would have panicked at this point. But Richard and I
3369were not "many people." We were experienced waders, and we kept our heads.
3370We did exactly what the textbook says you should do when you're unarmed and
3371a shark that is nearly two feet long turns on you in water up to your lower
3372calves: We sprinted I would say 600 yards in the opposite direction, using
3373a sprinting style such that the bottoms of our feet never once went below
3374the surface of the water. We ran all the way to the far shore, and if we
3375had been in a Warner Brothers cartoon we would have run right INTO the beach,
3376and you would have seen these two mounds of sand racing across the island
3377until they bonked into trees and coconuts fell onto their heads.
3378 -- Dave Barry, "The Wonders of Sharks on TV"
3379%
3380 So Richard and I decided to try to catch [the small shark].
3381With a great deal of strategy and effort and shouting, we managed to
3382maneuver the shark, over the course of about a half-hour, to a sort of
3383corner of the lagoon, so that it had no way to escape other than to
3384flop up onto the land and evolve. Richard and I were inching toward
3385it, sort of crouched over, when all of a sudden it turned around and --
3386I can still remember the sensation I felt at that moment, primarily in
3387the armpit area -- headed right straight toward us.
3388 Many people would have panicked at this point. But Richard and
3389I were not "many people." We were experienced waders, and we kept our
3390heads. We did exactly what the textbook says you should do when you're
3391unarmed and a shark that is nearly two feet long turns on you in water
3392up to your lower calves: We sprinted I would say 600 yards in the
3393opposite direction, using a sprinting style such that the bottoms of
3394our feet never once went below the surface of the water. We ran all
3395the way to the far shore, and if we had been in a Warner Brothers
3396cartoon we would have run right INTO the beach, and you would have seen
3397these two mounds of sand racing across the island until they bonked
3398into trees and coconuts fell onto their heads.
3399 -- Dave Barry, "The Wonders of Sharks on TV"
3400%
3401 Some 1500 miles west of the Big Apple we find the Minneapple, a
3402haven of tranquility in troubled times. It's a good town, a civilized town.
3403A town where they still know how to get your shirts back by Thursday. Let
3404the Big Apple have the feats of "Broadway Joe" Namath. We have known the
3405stolid but steady Killebrew. Listening to Cole Porter over a dry martini
3406may well suit those unlucky enough never to have heard the Whoopee John Polka
3407Band and never to have shared a pitcher of 3.2 Grain Belt Beer. The loss is
3408theirs. And the Big Apple has yet to bake the bagel that can match peanut
3409butter on lefse. Here is a town where the major urban problem is dutch elm
3410disease and the number one crime is overtime parking. We boast more theater
3411per capita than the Big Apple. We go to see, not to be seen. We go even
3412when we must shovel ten inches of snow from the driveway to get there. Indeed
3413the winters are fierce. But then comes the marvel of the Minneapple summer.
3414People flock to the city's lakes to frolic and rejoice at the sight of so
3415much happy humanity free from the bonds of the traditional down-filled parka.
3416Here's to the Minneapple. And to its people. Our flair for style is balanced
3417by a healthy respect for wind chill factors.
3418 And we always, always eat our vegetables.
3419 This is the Minneapple.
3420%
3421 Something mysterious is formed, born in the silent void. Waiting
3422alone and unmoving, it is at once still and yet in constant motion. It is
3423the source of all programs. I do not know its name, so I will call it the
3424Tao of Programming.
3425 If the Tao is great, then the operating system is great. If the
3426operating system is great, then the compiler is great. If the compiler is
3427greater, then the applications is great. The user is pleased and there is
3428harmony in the world.
3429 The Tao of Programming flows far away and returns on the wind of
3430morning.
3431 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
3432%
3433 Somewhat alarmed at the continued growth of the number of employees
3434on the Department of Agriculture payroll in 1962, Michigan Republican Robert
3435Griffin proposed an amendment to the farm bill so that "the total number of
3436employees in the Department of Agriculture at no time exceeds the number of
3437farmers in America."
3438 -- Bill Adler, "The Washington Wits"
3439%
3440 "Somewhere", said Father Vittorini, "did Blake not speak of the
3441Machineries of Joy? That is, did not God promote environments, then
3442intimidate these Natures by provoking the existence of flesh, toy men and
3443women, such as are we all? And thus happily sent forth, at our best, with
3444good grace and fine wit, on calm noons, in fair climes, are we not God's
3445Machineries of Joy?"
3446 "If Blake said that", said Father Brian, "he never lived in Dublin."
3447 -- R. Bradbury, "The Machineries of Joy"
3448%
3449 Split 1/4 bottle .187 liters
3450 Half 1/2 bottle
3451 Bottle 750 milliliters
3452 Magnum 2 bottles 1.5 liters
3453 Jeroboam 4 bottles
3454 Rehoboam 6 bottles Not available in the US
3455 Methuselah 8 bottles
3456 Salmanazar 12 bottles
3457 Balthazar 16 bottles
3458 Nebuchadnezzar 20 bottles 15 liters
3459 Sovereign 34 bottles 26 liters
3460
3461 The Sovereign is a new bottle, made for the launching of the
3462largest cruise ship in the world. The bottle alone cost 8,000 dollars
3463to produce and they only made 8 of them.
3464 Most of the funny names come from Biblical people.
3465%
3466 Stop! Whoever crosseth the bridge of Death, must answer first
3467these questions three, ere the other side he see!
3468
3469 "What is your name?"
3470 "Sir Brian of Bell."
3471 "What is your quest?"
3472 "I seek the Holy Grail."
3473 "What are four lowercase letters that are not legal flag arguments
3474to the Berkeley UNIX version of `ls'?"
3475 "I, er.... AIIIEEEEEE!"
3476%
3477 Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later?
3478Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era -- the kind of peak that
3479never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time
3480and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long
3481run... There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the
3482Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda... You could
3483strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we
3484were doing was right, that we were winning...
3485 And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory
3486over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't
3487need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting
3488-- on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest
3489of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go
3490up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes
3491you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally
3492broke and rolled back.
3493 -- Hunter S. Thompson
3494%
3495 Take the folks at Coca-Cola. For many years, they were content
3496to sit back and make the same old carbonated beverage. It was a good
3497beverage, no question about it; generations of people had grown up
3498drinking it and doing the experiment in sixth grade where you put a
3499nail into a glass of Coke and after a couple of days the nail dissolves
3500and the teacher says: "Imagine what it does to your TEETH!" So Coca-Cola
3501was solidly entrenched in the market, and the management saw no need to
3502improve ...
3503 -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
3504%
3505 "That wife of mine is a liar," said the angry husband to a
3506sympathetic pal seated next to him in a bar.
3507 "How do you know?" the friend asked.
3508 "She didn't come home last night, and when I asked her where
3509she'd been she said she'd spent the night with her sister Shirley."
3510 "So?"
3511 "So, she's a liar. I spent the night with her sister Shirley."
3512%
3513 "That's right; the upper-case shift works fine on the screen, but
3514they're not coming out on the damn printer... Hold? Sure, I'll hold."
3515 -- e.e. cummings last service call
3516%
3517 "The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff
3518and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails.
3519You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at
3520night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love,
3521you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your
3522honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for
3523it then -- to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is
3524the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be
3525tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning
3526is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
3527 -- T.H. White, "The Once and Future King"
3528%
3529 The big problem with pornography is defining it. You can't just
3530say it's pictures of people naked. For example, you have these primitive
3531African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot, and they have
3532to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal saying goes: "N'wam
3533k'honi soit qui mali," which means, "If you think you can catch a wildebeest
3534in this climate and wear clothes at the same time, then I have some beach
3535front property in the desert region of Northern Mali that you may be
3536interested in."
3537 So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic publishes
3538color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest naked, or pounding
3539one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason naked, or whatever.
3540But if National Geographic were to publish an article entitled "The Girls
3541of the California Junior College System Hunt the Wildebeest Naked," some
3542people would call it pornography. But others would not. And still others,
3543such as the Spectacularly Rev. Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing
3544the wildebeest naked.
3545 -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
3546%
3547 The big problem with pornography is defining it. You can't just
3548say it's pictures of people naked. For example, you have these
3549primitive African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot,
3550and they have to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal
3551saying goes: "N'wam k'honi soit qui mali," which means, "If you think
3552you can catch a wildebeest in this climate and wear clothes at the same
3553time, then I have some beach front property in the desert region of
3554Northern Mali that you may be interested in."
3555 So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic
3556publishes color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest
3557naked, or pounding one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason
3558naked, or whatever. But if National Geographic were to publish an
3559article entitled "The Girls of the California Junior College System
3560Hunt the Wildebeest Naked," some people would call it pornography. But
3561others would not. And still others, such as the Spectacularly Rev.
3562Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing the wildebeest naked.
3563 -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
3564%
3565 The birds are singing, the flowers are budding, and it is time
3566for Miss Manners to tell young lovers to stop necking in public.
3567 It's not that Miss Manners is immune to romance. Miss Manners
3568has been known to squeeze a gentleman's arm while being helped over a
3569curb, and, in her wild youth, even to press a dainty slipper against a
3570foot or two under the dinner table. Miss Manners also believes that the
3571sight of people strolling hand in hand or arm in arm or arm in hand
3572dresses up a city considerably more than the more familiar sight of
3573people shaking umbrellas at one another. What Miss Manners objects to
3574is the kind of activity that frightens the horses on the street...
3575%
3576 The boss returned from lunch in a good mood and called the whole staff
3577in to listen to a couple of jokes he had picked up. Everybody but one girl
3578laughed uproariously. "What's the matter?" grumbled the boss. "Haven't you
3579got a sense of humor?"
3580 "I don't have to laugh," she said. "I'm leaving Friday anyway.
3581%
3582 The defense attorney was hammering away at the plaintiff:
3583"You claim," he jeered, "that my client came at you with a broken bottle
3584in his hand. But is it not true, that you had something in YOUR hand?"
3585 "Yes," the man admitted, "his wife. Very charming, of course,
3586but not much good in a fight."
3587%
3588 The devout Jew was beside himself because his son had been dating
3589a shiksa, so he went to visit his rabbi. The rabbi listened solemnly to
3590his problem, took his hand, and said, "Pray to God."
3591 So the Jew went to the synagogue, bowed his head, and prayed, "God,
3592please help me. My son, my favorite son, he's going to marry a shiksa, he
3593sees nothing but goyim..."
3594 "Your son," boomed down this voice from the heavens, "you think
3595you got problems. What about my son?"
3596%
3597 The doctor had just finished giving the young man a thorough
3598