Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As per my last post, there are few things I enjoy as much as the glittery baubles that are out there clogging up the tubes, each seemingly with the sole purpose of keeping me from having a fully productive day. Like raking all those leaves that mysteriously appear in my yard each fall. (sigh)
This morning, however, I came across a Digg post that was special because it wasn’t just great for procrastination, but because it helped me further refine the taxonomy of jokes that amuse me and those that don’t. -(And sure, joke-quality is mostly subjective, but it’s all about me, me, me around here, isn’t it?) - So, in the category of academic jokes that I actually get, I found one loser and one winner. The first:
-- An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says "You're all idiots", and pours two beers.
Ha ha! Or not. Anyway, the second joke, still in the same academic category, made me giggle like a little girl. Go figure.
-- A sheep rancher invites an engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist to a competitive bidding for building his corral.
The engineer is the first to present his solution: he looks at the white board with a picture of sheep scattered around a field, and draws a square that encompasses them all, saying that the fence walls would be of a uniform length and that making orthogonal cuts is the most natural thing with power tools.
The mathematician presents his solution next: he goes up to the white board and draws a circle around all the sheep, saying that the circle gives the most interior area for the least circumferential length.
The physicist then goes up to the white board to present his solution. He draws a little circle off to the side that doesn't encompass a single sheep. The rancher, the engineer, and the mathematician are all puzzled, and look at him wondering what he's up to, demanding that he explain himself.
"That," said the physicist, pointing to the interior of the little circle, "is the outside."
Now that’s good stuff. And as always, while it’s unlikely that these interweb amusemants are helping me towards my ostensible goal of self actualization, they certainly are more amusing than going outside and raking all those damn leaves. Blech.
* P.S. Oh yeah, and randgruppenhumor translates as 'fringe group humor'. -Again, go figure.