The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the University of Copenhagen: "Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper using a barometer."
One student replied: "You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building."
This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student was failed. The student appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case. The arbiter judged that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics.
To resolve the problem it was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer that showed at least a minimal familiarity the basic principles of physics.
For five minutes the student sat in silence, forehead creased in thought. The arbiter reminded him that time was running out, to which the student replied that he had several extremely relevant answers, but couldn't make up his mind which to use.
On being advised to hurry up the student replied as follows:
"Firstly, you could take the barometer up to the roof of the skyscraper, drop it over the edge, and measure the time it takes to reach the ground. The height of the building can then be worked out from the formula H = 0.5g x t squared. But bad luck for the barometer."
"Or if the sun is shining, you could measure the height of the barometer, then set it on end and measure the length of its shadow. Then you measure the length of the skyscraper's shadow, and thereafter it is a simple matter of proportional arithmetic to work out the height of the skyscraper."
"But if you wanted to be highly scientific about it, you could tie a short piece of string to the barometer and swing it like a pendulum, first at ground level and then on the roof of the skyscraper. The height is worked out by the difference in the gravitational restoring force T =2 pi sq root (l/g)."
"Or if the skyscraper has an outside emergency staircase, it would be easier to walk up it and mark off the height of the skyscraper in barometer lengths, then add them up."
"If you merely wanted to be boring and orthodox about it, of course you could use the barometer to measure the air pressure on the roof of the skyscraper and on the ground, and convert the difference in millibars into feet to give the height of the building."
"But since we are constantly being exhorted to exercise independence of mind and apply scientific methods, undoubtedly the best way would be to knock on the janitor's door and say to him, 'If you would like a nice new barometer, I will give you this one if you tell me the height of this skyscraper'."
The student was Niels Bohr, the only person from Denmark to win the Nobel Prize for Physics.
A first-grade teacher, Ms Brooks was having trouble with one of her students.
The teacher asked, "Harry what is your problem?"
Harry answered, "I'm too smart for the first-grade. My sister is in the third -grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in the third-grade too!"
Ms Brooks had had enough. She took Harry to the principal's office.
While Harry waited in the outer office, the teacher explained the situation to the principal .
The principal told Ms Brooks he would give the boy a test and if he failed to answer any of his questions, he was to go back to the first-grade and behave.
Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.
Principal: "What is 3 x 3?"
Principal: "What is 6 x 6?"
And so it went with every question the principal thought a third-grader should know.
The principal looked at Ms Brooks and said, "I think Harry can go to the third-grade."
Ms Brooks replied, "Let me ask him some questions"
The principal and Harry both agreed.
Ms Brooks: "What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?
Ms Brooks: "What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?"
The principal wondered, why did she ask such a question?
Harry replied, "Pockets."
Ms Brooks: "What does a dog do that a man steps into?"
Ms Brooks: "What starts with a C and ends with a T, is hairy, oval, delicious and contains thin whitish liquid?"
The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer.
Harry: "Coconut." Harry was taking charge.
Ms Brooks: "What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?"
Ms Brooks: "What does a man do standing up, a woman do sitting down and a dog do on three legs?"
The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer.
Harry: "Shake hands."
Ms Brooks: "Now I will ask some "What am I" sort of questions, okay?
Ms Brooks: "You stick your poles inside me. You tie me down to get me up. I get wet before you do."
Ms Brooks: "A finger goes in me. You fiddle with me when you're bored. The best man always has me first."
The Principal was looking restless and a bit tense.
Harry: "Wedding ring."
Ms Brooks: "I come in many sizes. When I'm not well, I drip. When you blow me, you feel good."
Ms Brooks: "I have a stiff shaft. My tip penetrates. I come with a quiver."
Ms Brooks: "What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?"
The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, "Put Harry in the fifth-grade, I got the last ten questions wrong myself."
MORE IDIOTS IN THE USA
This week, all our office phones went dead and I had to contact the telephone repair people. They promised to be out between 8:00am and 7:00pm. When I asked if they could give me a smaller time window the pleasant gentleman asked, "Would you like us to call you before we come?" I replied that I didn't see how he would be able to do that since our phones weren't working. He also requested that we report future outages by email.......(Does YOUR email work without a telephone line?)
I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature I had just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared the signature to the one I had just signed ON the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched.
I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: too many deer were being hit by cars and he didn't want them to cross there anymore.
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal" lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know? He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask."
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged co-worker of mine when she asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?"
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear co-worker who was leaving the company due to "downsizing," our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often." Not a word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the life of her she couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "It's open!" To which he replied, "I know - I already got that side."
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
A crocodile can't stick its tongue out.
A shrimp's heart is in its head.
People say, "Bless you" when you sneeze because when you sneeze, your heart stops for a millisecond.
In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand or attempted to do so.
It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
Between 1937 and 1945, Heinz produced a version of Alphabetti Spaghetti especially for the German market that consisted solely of little pasta swastikas.
On average, a human being will have sex more than 3,000 times and spend two weeks kissing in their lifetime.
More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.
Rats and horses can't vomit.
The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.
If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. If you keep your eyes open by force, they will pop out.
Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over one million descendants.
Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.
If the US government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on July 16, 1969, make it illegal for US citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials or their vehicles?
In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.
The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.
A duck's quack doesn't echo and no one knows why.
23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their buttocks.
In the course of an average lifetime you will, while sleeping, eat 70 assorted insects and 10 spiders.
Most lipstick contains fish scales.
Cat's urine glows under a black-light.
Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.
Butterflies taste with their feet.
In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.
On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.
On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.
Ninety percent of New York City cabbies are recently arrived immigrants.
Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.
It's possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs.
Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
A snail can sleep for three years.
No words in the English language rhyme with "MONTH" or "ORANGE".
Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
The electric chair was invented by a dentist.
All polar bears are left handed.
In ancient Egypt, priests plucked EVERY hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
"Go." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
If Barbie were lifesize, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall.
Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.
SAYINGS FROM FAMOUS PEOPLE
Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships.
Proudly showing off his new apartment to a couple of his friends late one night, the drunk led the way to his bedroom where there was a big brass gong.
"What's that big brass gong for?" one of the guests asked.
"That's the talking clock" the drunk replied.
"How does it work?" he asked.
"Watch," the man said, giving it an ear-shattering pound with a hammer.
Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed "For f#@k's sake you wanker, it's ten past three in the f#@king morning!
THE BLONDE TARGET
George W Bush and Tony Blair were at a White House dinner. One of the guests asked what they were discussing.
"We are making up the plans for World War III." said Bush.
"Wow!" exclaimed the guest. "And what are the plans?"
"We're going to kill 14 million Arabs and one blonde with big tits." answered Bush.
The guest looked very confused. "One blonde?" he said. "Why will you kill one blonde with big tits?"
Bush patted Blair on the shoulder and said, "What did I tell you? Nobody is going to ask about the Arabs."
A blonde decided to go horseback riding, even though she had no prior experience. She mounted the horse unassisted and the horse immediately sprang into action. It galloped along at a steady pace, but the blonde began to lose her grip and started to slide in the saddle.
In terror, she grabbed for the horse's mane, but could not seem to get a firm grip. She tried to throw her arms around the horse's neck, but she slid down the side of the horse. The horse galloped along, seemingly impervious to its slipping passenger.
Unfortunately the blonde's foot had become entangled in the stirrup. She was now at the mercy of the hooves and her head struck against the ground repeatedly. As her head was battered against the ground she was moments away from losing consciousness.
When to her great fortune........the store manager saw her predicament and switched off the horse.
A man was walking down the street when he found a tennis ball. He picked it up and put it in his pocket.
As he continued to walk, he met his neighbour who noticed the lump in his trousers.
"What's that?" said his neighbour.
The man replied, "Tennis ball."
The neighbour exclaimed, "Hell, that must be painful. I once had tennis elbow."
IN THE BAR
A man walked into a bar and exclaimed loudly to the barman, "All lawyers are assholes."
A drinker sitting at the end of the bar heard this, jumped up and yelled, "I deeply resent that remark!"
The first man looked at him and asked, "Are you a lawyer?"
The drinker retorted, "No, I'm an asshole!"
A man was leaving a café with his morning coffee when he noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery. A long black hearse was followed by a second long, black hearse.
About 50 feet behind the second hearse was a solitary man walking a pit bull terrier on a leash. Behind him was a queue of 200 men walking in single file.
The man couldn't contain his curiosity. He respectfully approached the man walking the dog.
He said. "I am so sorry for your loss, and I know now is a bad time to disturb you, but I've never seen a funeral like this. Whose funeral is it?"
The dog handler replied, "Well, that first hearse is for my wife."
The man asked, "What happened to her?"
The dog handler said, "My dog attacked and killed her."
The man enquired further, "Well, who is in the second hearse?"
The dog handler answered. "My mother-in-law. She was trying to help my wife when the dog turned on her."
The man paused for a thoughtful moment and suddenly asked, "Can I borrow your dog?"
The dog handler retorted, "Join the queue!"
DILBERT TYPE QUOTES
A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert Quotes" contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real life Dilbert type managers. Here are the finalists:
"As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks." (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond WA)
"What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter." (Lykes Lines Shipping)
"E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business." (Accounting Manager, Electric Boat Company)
"This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it." (Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)
"Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule."
"No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them." (R&D supervisor, 3M Corporation.)
"My boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25 page proposal that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her was damaged and she couldn't edit it. The disk I gave her was write-protected." (CEO, Dell Computers)
Quote from the boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)
My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me." (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)
"We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees." (Switching Supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)
We recently received a memo from senior management saying, "This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the memo mentioned above." (Microsoft, Legal Affairs Division)
One day my boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!" (New Business Manager, Hallmark Greeting Cards)
As director of communications, I was asked to prepare a memo reviewing our company's training programs and materials. In the body of the memo in one of the sentences, I mentioned the "pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals. The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I was called into the HR Director's office and told that the Executive Vice President wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I asked why, I was told that she wouldn't stand for perverts (paedophiles?) working in her company. Finally, he showed me her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired - and the word "pedagogical" in red. The HR Manager was fairly reasonable and once he looked the word up in his dictionary and made a copy of the definition to send back to her, he told me not to worry; he would take care of it. Two days later, a memo to the entire staff came out, directing us that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday newspaper could be used in any company memos. A month later, I resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday paper.
THE WORST LIE
One New York suburban guy left for work on September 11 2001 at about 6:00am to go to his office in the World Trade Centre.
When he got to Manhattan, he went to his lover's apartment in the village, turned his cellphone off and climbed into bed with her.
At about 10:00am while still lying next to his lover, he turned his cellphone on. A second later, it rang. He answered the phone and it was his wife.
She screamed at him, "Where are you? I've been trying to call you for an hour. I've been worried sick about you!"
He retorted, "Where do you think I am? I'm in my office!"
Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
You should not confuse your career with your life.
No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy.
Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.
Never lick a steak knife.
Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.
The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
If God, the perfect entity who created the entire universe with all of its glories, created Man after his own image, it follows that God has the same attributes as Man.
Therefore it also follows that God farts constantly, has snot up his nose, suffers from all the ailments that afflict the human race such as diarrhoea, vomiting, cancer and bad breath to name just a few.
These are taken from real resumes and cover letters and were printed in the July 21, 1997 issue of Fortune magazine.
01. I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet pogroms.
02. Am a perfectionist and rearely if if ever forget details.
03. Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.
04. Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions.
05. Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.
06. Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.
07. It's best for employers that I not work with people.
08. Let's meet, so you can 'ooh' and 'aah' over my experience.
09. I was working for my mom until she decided to move.
10. Martial status: single, Unmarried, Unengaged, Uninvolved, No commitments.
11. I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.
12. I am loyal to my employer at all costs....Please feel free to respond.
13. My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.
14. I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant.
15. Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.
16. Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.
17. Note: Please don't misconstrue my 14 jobs as 'job-hopping'. I have never quit a job.
18. Marital status: often. Children: various.
19. The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.
20. Finished eighth in my class of ten.
21. References: none. I've left a path of destruction behind me.
These quotes were taken from actual performance evaluations
01. Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
02. I would not allow this employee to breed.
03. This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't be.
04. This young lady has delusions of adequacy.
05. Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.
06. When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.
07. He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
08. This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
09. This employee should go far and the sooner he starts, the better.
These are actual lines from military performance appraisals
01. Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.
02. A room temperature IQ.
03. Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together.
04. A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus
05. A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.
06. Bright as Alaska in December.
07. Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
08. He's so dense, light bends around him.
09. If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
10. It's hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.
11. Takes him 11/2 hours to watch 60 minutes.
12. The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.
RULES FOR BANDS
Never start a trio with a married couple.
Your manager's not helping you. Fire him/her.
Before you sign a record deal, look up the word "recoupable" in the dictionary.
No one cares who you've opened for.
A string section does not make your songs sound any more "important".
If your band has gone through more than 4 bass players, it's time to break up.
When you talk on stage you are never funny.
If you sound like another band, don't act like you're unfamiliar with their music ("Oh, does Rage Against The Machine also do rap-rock with political lyrics?")
Asking a crowd how they're doing is just amplified small talk. Don't do it.
Don't say your video's being played if it's only on the Austin Music Network.
When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract ever. Mention artistic freedom" and "a guaranteed 3 record deal".
When you get dropped, insist that it was the worst contract ever and you asked to be let go.
Never name a song after your band.
Never name your band after a song.
When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to perform one of them, begin looking for a new drummer IMMEDIATELY.
Never enter a "battle of the bands" contest. If you do you're already a loser.
Learn to recognise scary word pairings: "rock opera", "white rapper", "blues jam", "swing band", "open mike", etc.
Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but not both.
Listen, either break it to your parents or we will: it's rock 'n' roll, not a soccer game. They've got to stop coming to your shows.
It's not a "showcase". It's a gig that doesn't pay.
No one cares that you have a web site.
Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to your feet.
Don't hire a publicist.
Playing in Portsmouth and Nashua doesn't mean you're on tour.
Don't join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In fact, don't join a cover band.
Although they come in different styles and colours, electric guitars all sound the same. Why do you keep changing them between songs?
Don't stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That's what girlfriends/boyfriends are for.
If you use a smoke machine, your music stinks.
We can tell the difference between a professionally produced album cover and one you made with the iMac your mum got for Christmas.
Remember: if blues solos are so difficult, why can so many 16 year olds play them?
If you ever take a publicity photo, destroy it. You may never know where or when it will turn up.
Cut your hair, but do not shave your head.
Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat.
Rock oxymorons: "major label interest", "demo deal"," blues genius", "$500 guarantee", and "Fastball's second hit".
Three things that are never coming back - gongs, headbands and playing slide guitar with a beer bottle.
WORLD CUP HUMOUR
A soccer fanatic was lucky to gain entry into the packed grandstand for the World Cup final. Every seat was taken, but suddenly he spied a vacant seat. He asked the man in the adjacent seat whether he could sit in it.
The man replied, "Yes, you are welcome to sit there."
After a few minutes the new arrival commented to the man, "It's amazing that somebody has paid so much for a grandstand seat at the World Cup final and not used it."
The man replied, "Well actually I bought the seat for my wife. For the past forty years, my wife and I have attended every World Cup final match. Unfortunately she passed away."
The new arrival was horrified and exclaimed, "That's awful! But couldn't you have given such a valuable ticket to one of your friends?"
The man replied, "None of them could come - they're all at the funeral right now!"
MORE WORLD CUP HUMOUR
The champion goalie had suffered the worst day of his career in the World Cup final, having let six goals into the net and caused his team to lose this crucial event.
He was so depressed and despondent on his way out of the stadium that he decided to commit suicide. He threw himself in front of an oncoming bus, but unfortunately the bus passed underneath him.
At age 3, success is not peeing in your pants.
At age 12, success is having friends.
At age 20, success is having sex.
At age 35, success is making money.
At age 60, success is having sex.
At age 70, success is having friends.
At age 80, success is not peeing in your pants.