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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

"I want you guys to look at your computer screen, imagining the worst
monster you can (the cacodeamon from Quake will do, just make him hairier
and bigger and more MEAN), and think of me. Think of me like I am when I
see a patch which isn't a pure bug-fix.

If you're whimpering just _thinking_ about sending me a new feature,
you're in the right mindframe. Keep that mindframe."

        - Linus Torvalds
"Now I know why you say so little in person, you mouth is in a NOP because
the brain is always inserting requests at the top of the list_head."

        - Andre Hedrick on Alan Cox
"THIS time it really is fixed. I mean, how many times can we
get it wrong? At some point, we just have to run out of really
bad ideas.."

        - Linus Torvalds"
"I am getting pretty good at running diff and patch now"

        - Jeff Merkey
"Hardware simply does not work like the manual says and no amount
of Zen contemplation will ever make you at one with a 3c905B
ethernet card."

        - Alan Cox
"Thanks, and THIS time it really is fixed. I mean, how many times can we
get it wrong? At some point, we just have to run out of really bad ideas.."

        - Linus Torvalds
"I am getting pretty good at running diff and patch now."

        - Jeff Merkey
Understatement of the century:
"Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating
system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for
386(486) AT clones"

        - Linus Torvalds, August 1991
> Is there anything else I can contribute?

The latitude and longtitude of the bios writers current position, and
a ballistic missile.

Please boot 2.2.18pre24 (not pre25) on the machine and send me its DMI strings
printed at boot time. I'll add it to the 'stupid morons who cant program and
wouldnt know QA if it hit them on the head with a mallet' list

        - Alan Cox on BIOS bugs
> I can just imagine Xmas at the Torvalds residence, with their annual
> tradition of having the kids scream... But dad, other kids have the l
> lights strung around the trees, not the computer....

I don't think you get the full picture. I suspect what gets strung up on the
trees at Christmas if Linus does too much hacking is ... Linus

        - Alan Cox
"Once you realize that documentation should be laughed at, peed upon, put
on fire, and just ridiculed in general, THEN, and only then, have you reached
the level where you can safely read it and try to use it to actually implement
a driver."

        - Linus Torvalds
Alan Cox wrote:
> RFC1122 also requires that your protocol stack SHOULD be able to leap tall
> buldings at a single bound of course...

And, of course my protocol stack does :) It is also a floor wax, AND a
dessert topping!-)

        - Rick Jones trying to sell his protocol stack
Alan Cox wrote:
> In theory however i2o is a standard and all i2o works alike. In practice i2o
> is a pseudo standard and nobody seems to interpret the spec the same way, the
> implementations all tend to have bugs and the hardware sometimes does too.

That's a pretty good description of standards in general, at least
when it comes to hardware :-)

        - Jens Axboe's interpretation of standards
You don't get out much, do you :-)?  Lighten up a little, this
is supposed to be fun.......We could argue all day, but there was
lots of computer work done before PCI and PCs.  I'm more than old
enough to know, so just leave it at that.......

        - Dan Malek on the linuxppc-embedded list
Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> It's a "tomorrow" thing. Ten hours it too long to stare at a
> screen.

Sissy!

        - Jens Axboe on linux-kernel
(at this point the lecture turns into why APIs exist and should be used,
and it gets more boring from there...)

        - Jeff Garzik explaining the PCI API on linux-kernel
> Not that the kernel list is the best place to bring this up, but NVIDIA
> would NOT be on that list.  They are by far one of the best companies out
> there providing support for their cards.  I bought my GF2 for exactly that
> reason too....

Sure. I spent much happy time telling people to report bugs to nvidia because
their closed drivers mean that only nvidia can debug all the crashes people
see with them loaded - at least some of which dont occur without the modules

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
/*
* At first I thought these guys were on crack, but then I discovered the
* LART.
*/

        - comment from include/linux/mtd/cfi_endian.h
<mikkei> There once was a guy called Riel,
<mikkei> Who thought Tux should have been an Eel,
<mikkei> Although he was a fine programmer,
<mikkei> He called the little penguin,
<mikkei> A veritably ugly hack,
<mikkei> But they all laughed and said "He's on crack!"
<mikkei>  
<mikkei> There once was a guy called Riel,
<mikkei> At whose feet the newbies would kneel,
<mikkei> Each and every day, one newbie would say:
<mikkei> "Make my patch the Patch of the Month."
<mikkei> But Riel, saying no with a negative, "hummpfh"
<mikkei> Would say "fsck off" to the newbies's dismay.

        - Anonymous on #kernelnewbies
Let me explain it to you slowly:

Disks.  Write.  One.  Write.  At.  A.  Time.

        - Rik van Riel on linux-kernel
        When devfs went into the tree, the word was "at least it will
make people look at the code".  Well, it did.  Veni, vidi, vomere.

        - Al Viro on linux-kernel
[ Hey, I can have long discussions by myself. I don't need you guys to
  answer me at all.

  This must be what senility feels like. Linus "doddering fool" Torvalds ]
Re-sending is always the right thing to do. Sometimes it takes a few
times, and you can add a small exasperated message at the top by the third
time ("Don't you love me any more?").

        - Linus Torvalds about sending patches to him
> Sorry, at this point we are not allowed to publish the source code of the
> lcs and qeth drivers (due to the use of confidential hardware interface
> specifications).  We make those modules available only in binary form
> on our developerWorks web site.
>
Gosh. I didn't know you guys were so advanced that you didn't use
an electronic hardware interface! Your 'hardware interface specifications'
use magnetohydrodynamics, and they are top-secret, right?

        - Richard B. Johnson on linux-kernel
Now for the Sacrifices.

At this point, I'd like to sacrifice a Red Hat Linux 6.2 CD to Alan Cox.

I would also like to sacrifice Minix 1.3(?) installation diskettes to
Linus Torvalds.

I perform these sacrifices in the hope that enlightenment comes to me.

        - Nicholas Knight on linux-kernel
But hey, at the end of the day, numbers rule.

        - Linus Torvalds on linux-kernel
... mindreading equipment is currently classified CIA property at
best (hello echelon!)

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
>    In short, now you need filesystem versioning at a per-page level etc.

*ding* *ding* *ding* we have a near winner.  Remember, folks, Hurd had been
started by people who not only don't understand UNIX, but detest it.
ITS/TWENEX refugees.  And semantics in question comes from there -
they had "open and make sure that anyone who tries to modify will get
a new version, leaving one we'd opened unchanged".

        - Al Viro on linux-kernel
Oh, come on.  Every government is right on some issues.  Proof:                
                                                                                
        For every government X there is at least one government Y such that X
would claim that Y is a bunch of corrupt assholes.  Since every government    
is  a bunch of corrupt assholes, every government is right at least in one    
of its claims.

        - Al Viro discussing politics on linux-kernel
But I do know, that an Alan at home, co-working with his under-ground
cluster of gnomes, does a hell-of-a-lot more good for free software
than an Alan in a US-prison as yet another victim of "justice".

        - David Weinehall discussing the DMCA/SSSCA on linux-kernel
From: Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
Subject: Re: Yet another design for /proc. Or actually /kernel.

> Here's my go at a new design for /proc. I designed it from a userland
> point of view and tried not to drown myself into details.

Did you have to change the subject line. It makes it harder to kill file
when people keep doing that
Hey, I had to let awk be better at *something*...  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <1991Nov7.200504.25280@netlabs.com>1
Interestingly enough, since subroutine declarations can come anywhere,
you wouldn't have to put BEGIN {} at the beginning, nor END {} at the
end.  Interesting, no?  I wonder if Henry would like it. :-) --lwall
Sorry.  My testing organization is either too small, or too large, depending
on how you look at it.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <1991Apr22.175438.8564@jpl-devvax.jpl.nasa.gov>
When in doubt, parenthesize.  At the very least it will let some
poor schmuck bounce on the % key in vi.
             -- Larry Wall in the perl man page
The whole history of computers is rampant with cheerleading at best and
bigotry at worst.
             -- Larry Wall in <199702111730.JAA28598@wall.org>
Unix weanies are as bad at this as anyone.
             -- Larry Wall in <199702111730.JAA28598@wall.org>
: I used to think that this was just another demonstration of Larry's
: enormous skill at pulling off what other people would fail or balk at.

Well, everyone else knew it was impossible, so they didn't try.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199705101952.MAA00756@wall.org>
At many levels, Perl is a "diagonal" language.
             -- Larry Wall in <199709021854.LAA12794@wall.org>
One of the reasons Perl is faster than certain other unnamed interpreted
languages is that it binds variable names to a particular package (or
scope) at compile time rather than at run time.
             -- Larry Wall in <199709050035.RAA29328@wall.org>
It may be possible to get this condition from within Perl if a signal
handler runs at just the wrong moment.  Another point for Chip...  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199710161546.IAA07885@wall.org>
Wow, I'm being shot at from both sides.  That means I *must* be right.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199710211959.MAA18990@wall.org>
... at least I thought I was dancing, 'til somebody stepped on my hand.
                -- J. B. White
Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors and miss.
                -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
Best Beer: A panel of tasters assembled by the Consumer's Union in 1969
judged Coors and Miller's High Life to be among the very best. Those who
doubt that beer is a serious subject might ponder its effect on American
history. For example, New England's first colonists decided to drop anchor
at Plymouth Rock instead of continuing on to Virginia because, as one of
them put it, "We could not now take time for further consideration, our
victuals being spent and especially our beer."
        -- Felton & Fowler's Best, Worst & Most Unusual
        Festivity Level 1: Your guests are chatting amiably with each
other, admiring your Christmas-tree ornaments, singing carols around
the upright piano, sipping at their drinks and nibbling hors d'oeuvres.

        Festivity Level 2: Your guests are talking loudly -- sometimes
to each other, and sometimes to nobody at all, rearranging your
Christmas-tree ornaments, singing "I Gotta Be Me" around the upright
piano, gulping their drinks and wolfing down hors d'oeuvres.

        Festivity Level 3: Your guests are arguing violently with
inanimate objects, singing "I can't get no satisfaction," gulping down
other peoples' drinks, wolfing down Christmas tree ornaments and
placing hors d'oeuvres in the upright piano to see what happens when
the little hammers strike.

        Festivity Level 4: Your guests, hors d'oeuvres smeared all over
their naked bodies are performing a ritual dance around the burning
Christmas tree.  The piano is missing.

        You want to keep your party somewhere around level 3, unless
you rent your home and own Firearms, in which case you can go to level
4.  The best way to get to level 3 is egg-nog.
FORTUNE'S PARTY TIPS                #14

Tired of finding that other people are helping themselves to your good
liquor at BYOB parties?  Take along a candle, which you insert and
light after you've opened the bottle.  No one ever expects anything
drinkable to be in a bottle which has a candle stuck in its neck.
Having wandered helplessly into a blinding snowstorm Sam was greatly
relieved to see a sturdy Saint Bernard dog bounding toward him with
the traditional keg of brandy strapped to his collar.
        "At last," cried Sam, "man's best friend -- and a great big dog, too!"
In 1967, the Soviet Government minted a beautiful silver ruble with Lenin
in a very familiar pose -- arms raised above him, leading the country to
revolution.  But, it was clear to everybody, that if you looked at it from
behind, it was clear that Lenin was pointing to 11:00, when the Vodka
shops opened, and was actually saying, "Comrades, forward to the Vodka shops.

It became fashionable, when one wanted to have a drink, to take out the
ruble and say, "Oh my goodness, Comrades, Lenin tells me we should go.
In a bottle, the neck is always at the top.
It's a brave man who, when things are at their darkest, can kick back and party!
                -- Dennis Quaid, "Inner Space"
Look at it this way: Your daughter just named the fresh turkey you brought
home "Cuddles", so you're going out to buy a canned ham.  And you're still
drinking ordinary scotch?
Look at it this way: Your wife's spending $280 a month on meditation lessons to
forget $26,000 of college education. And you're still drinking ordinary scotch?
[Norm goes into the bar at Vic's Bowl-A-Rama.]

Off-screen crowd:  Norm!
Sam:   How the hell do they know him here?
Cliff: He's got a life, you know.
                -- Cheers, From Beer to Eternity

Woody: What can I do for you, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Elope with my wife.
                -- Cheers, The Triangle

Woody: How's life, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Oh, I'm waiting for the movie.
                -- Cheers, Take My Shirt... Please?
Norm:  Hey, everybody.
All:   [silence; everybody is mad at Norm for being rich.]
Norm:  [Carries on both sides of the conversation himself.]
       Norm!   (Norman.)
       How are you feeling today, Norm?
       Rich and thirsty.  Pour me a beer.
                -- Cheers, Tan 'n Wash

Woody: What's the latest, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Zsa-Zsa marries a millionaire, Peterson drinks a beer.
       Film at eleven.
                -- Cheers, Knights of the Scimitar

Woody: How are you today, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Never been better, Woody. ... Just once I'd like to be better.
                -- Cheers, Chambers vs. Malone
One dusty July afternoon, somewhere around the turn of the century, Patrick
Malone was in Mulcahey's Bar, bending an elbow with the other street car
conductors from the Brooklyn Traction Company.  While they were discussing the
merits of a local ring hero, the bar goes silent.  Malone turns around to see
his wife, with a face grim as death, stalking to the bar.
        Slapping a four-bit piece down on the bar, she draws herself up to her
full five feet five inches and says to Mulcahey, "Give me what himself has
been havin' all these years."
        Mulcahey looks at Malone, who shrugs, and then back at Margaret Mary
Malone.  He sets out a glass and pours her a triple shot of Rye.  The bar is
totally silent as they watch the woman pick up the glass and knock back the
drink.  She slams the glass down on the bar, gasps, shudders slightly, and
passes out; falling straight back, stiff as a board, saved from sudden contact
with the barroom floor by the ample belly of Seamus Fogerty.
        Sometime later, she comes to on the pool table, a jacket under her
head.  Her bloodshot eyes fell upon her husband, who says, "And all these
years you've been thinkin' I've been enjoying meself."
Police:        Good evening, are you the host?
Host:        No.
Police:        We've been getting complaints about this party.
Host:        About the drugs?
Police:        No.
Host:        About the guns, then?  Is somebody complaining about the guns?
Police:        No, the noise.
Host:        Oh, the noise.  Well that makes sense because there are no guns
        or drugs here.  (An enormous explosion is heard in the
        background.)  Or fireworks.  Who's complaining about the noise?
        The neighbors?
Police:        No, the neighbors fled inland hours ago.  Most of the recent
        complaints have come from Pittsburgh.  Do you think you could
        ask the host to quiet things down?
Host:        No Problem.  (At this point, a Volkswagon bug with primitive
        religious symbols drawn on the doors emerges from the living
        room and roars down the hall, past the police and onto the
        lawn, where it smashes into a tree.  Eight guests tumble out
        onto the grass, moaning.)  See?  Things are starting to wind
        down.
Symptom:                Feet cold and wet, glass empty.
Fault:                        Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Action Required:        Turn glass other way up so that open end points
                        toward ceiling.

Symptom:                Feet warm and wet.
Fault:                        Improper bladder control.
Action Required:        Go stand next to nearest dog.  After a while complain
                        to the owner about its lack of house training and
                        demand a beer as compensation.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
The father, passing through his son's college town late one evening on a
business trip, thought he would pay his boy a suprise visit.  Arriving at the
lad's fraternity house, dad rapped loudly on the door.  After several minutes
of knocking, a sleepy voice drifted down from a second-floor window,
        "Whaddaya want?"
        "Does Ramsey Duncan live here?" asked the father.
        "Yeah," replied the voice.  "Dump him on the front porch."
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, Jack Frost nipping at your nose?
Norm:  Yep, now let's get Joe Beer nipping at my liver, huh?
                -- Cheers, Feeble Attraction

Sam:  What are you up to Norm?
Norm: My ideal weight if I were eleven feet tall.
                -- Cheers, Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh

Woody: Nice cold beer coming up, Mr. Peterson.
Norm:  You mean, `Nice cold beer going *down* Mr. Peterson.'
                -- Cheers, Loverboyd
Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what do you say to a cold one?
Norm:  See you later, Vera, I'll be at Cheers.
                -- Cheers, Norm's Last Hurrah

Sam:   Well, look at you.  You look like the cat that swallowed the canary.
Norm:  And I need a beer to wash him down.
                -- Cheers, Norm's Last Hurrah

Woody:  Would you like a beer, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:   No, I'd like a dead cat in a glass.
                -- Cheers, Little Carla, Happy at Last, Part 2
Woody: What's happening, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  The question is, Woody, why is it happening to me?
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 1

Woody: What's going down, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  My cheeks on this barstool.
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 2

Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, can I pour you a beer?
Norm:  Well, okay, Woody, but be sure to stop me at one. ...
       Eh, make that one-thirty.
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 2
  Our comedies are not to be laughed at. -Samuel Goldwyn
  An Irishman is never at peace except when he's fighting.
  I marvel at the strength of human weakness.
  William Safire's rules for writing as seen in the New York Times

     Do not put statements in the negative form.
     And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
     If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great
     deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
     Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
     Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
     If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
     Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
     Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
     Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
     Last, but not least, avoid cliche's like the plague.
Age is a tyrant who forbids, at the penalty of life, all the pleasures of youth.
        During a fight, a husband threw a bowl of Jello at his wife.  She had
him arrested for carrying a congealed weapon.
        In another fight, the wife decked him with a heavy glass pitcher.
She's a women who conks to stupor.
Every time I think I know where it's at, they move it.
Half Moon tonight.  (At least it's better than no Moon at all.)
Have at you!
Help a swallow land at Capistrano.
How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all?
I always wake up at the crack of ice.
                -- Joe E. Lewis
I know it all.  I just can't remember it all at once.
        "I'm dying," he croaked.
        "My experiment was a success," the chemist retorted .
        "You can't really train a beagle," he dogmatized.
        "That's no beagle, it's a mongrel," she muttered.
        "The fire is going out," he bellowed.
        "Bad marksmanship," the hunter groused.
        "You ought to see a psychiatrist," he reminded me.
        "You snake," she rattled.
        "Someone's at the door," she chimed.
        "Company's coming," she guessed.
        "Dawn came too soon," she mourned.
        "I think I'll end it all," Sue sighed.
        "I ordered chocolate, not vanilla," I screamed.
        "Your embroidery is sloppy," she needled cruelly.
        "Where did you get this meat?" he bridled hoarsely.
                -- Gyles Brandreth, "The Joy of Lex"
I'm not laughing with you, I'm laughing at you.
If we see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of an
oncoming train.
                -- Robert Lowell
It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.
                -- Leonardo da Vinci
It was pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day.  Perhaps
I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it.  I
don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and
the signature (which I guessed at).  There's a singular and a perpetual
charm in a letter of yours; it never grows old, it never loses its
novelty.  Other letters are read and thrown away and forgotten, but
yours are kept forever -- unread.  One of them will last a reasonable
man a lifetime.
                -- Thomas Aldrich
Laughing at you is like drop-kicking a wounded humming bird.
'Naomi, sex at noon taxes.' I moan.
Never odd or even.
A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.
Madam, I'm Adam.
Sit on a potato pan, Otis.
Sit on Otis.
                -- The Mad Palindromist
Oh, wow!  Look at the moon!
Please remain calm, it's no use both of us being hysterical at the same time.
Some parts of the past must be preserved, and some of the future prevented
at all costs.
The pollution's at that awkward stage.  Too thick to navigate and too
thin to cultivate.
                -- Doug Sneyd
Trouble always comes at the wrong time.
When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.
                -- Gen. C. Abrams
(1)        Office employees will daily sweep the floors, dust the
        furniture, shelves, and showcases.
(2)        Each day fill lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks.
        Wash the windows once a week.
(3)        Each clerk will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of
        coal for the day's business.
(4)        Make your pens carefully.  You may whittle nibs to your
        individual taste.
(5)        This office will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. except
        on the Sabbath, on which day we will remain closed.  Each
        employee is expected to spend the Sabbath by attending
        church and contributing liberally to the cause of the Lord.
                -- "Office Worker's Guide", New England Carriage
                    Works, 1872
A cow is a completely automated milk-manufacturing machine. It is encased
in untanned leather and mounted on four vertical, movable supports, one at
each corner.  The front end of the machine, or input, contains the cutting
and grinding mechanism, utilizing a unique feedback device.  Here also are
the headlights, air inlet and exhaust, a bumper and a foghorn.
        At the rear, the machine carries the milk-dispensing equipment as
well as a built-in flyswatter and insect repeller.  The central portion
houses a hydro- chemical-conversion unit.  Briefly, this consists of four
fermentation and storage tanks connected in series by an intricate network
of flexible plumbing.  This assembly also contains the central heating plant
complete with automatic temperature controls, pumping station and main
ventilating system.  The waste disposal apparatus is located to the rear of
this central section.
        Cows are available fully-assembled in an assortment of sizes and
colors.  Production output ranges from 2 to 20 tons of milk per year.  In
brief, the main external visible features of the cow are:  two lookers, two
hookers, four stander-uppers, four hanger-downers, and a swishy-wishy.
A feed salesman is on his way to a farm.  As he's driving along at forty
m.p.h., he looks out his car window and sees a three-legged chicken running
alongside him, keeping pace with his car.  He is amazed that a chicken is
running at forty m.p.h.  So he speeds up to forty-five, fifty, then sixty
m.p.h.  The chicken keeps right up with him the whole way, then suddenly
takes off and disappears into the distance.
        The man pulls into the farmyard and says to the farmer, "You know,
the strangest thing just happened to me; I was driving along at at least
sixty miles an hour and a chicken passed me like I was standing still!"
        "Yeah," the farmer replies, "that chicken was ours.  You see, there's
me, and there's Ma, and there's our son Billy.  Whenever we had chicken for
dinner, we would all want a drumstick, so we'd have to kill two chickens.
So we decided to try and breed a three-legged chicken so each of us could
have a drumstick."
        "How do they taste?" said the farmer.
        "Don't know," replied the farmer.  "We haven't been able to catch
one yet."
A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.
A traveling salesman was driving past a farm when he saw a pig with three
wooden legs executing a magnificent series of backflips and cartwheels.
Intrigued, he drove up to the farmhouse, where he found an old farmer
sitting in the yard watching the pig.  
        "That's quite a pig you have there, sir" said the salesman.
        "Sure is, son," the farmer replied.  "Why, two years ago, my daughter
was swimming in the lake and bumped her head and damned near drowned, but that
pig swam out and dragged her back to shore."
        "Amazing!"  the salesman exlaimed.
        "And that's not the only thing.  Last fall I was cuttin' wood up on
the north forty when a tree fell on me.  Pinned me to the ground, it did.  
That pig run up and wiggled underneath that tree and lifted it off of me.
Saved my life."
        "Fantastic!  the salesman said.  But tell me, how come the pig has
three wooden legs?"
        The farmer stared at the newcomer in amazement.  "Mister, when you
got an amazin' pig like that, you don't eat him all at once."
According to a recent and unscientific national survey, smiling is something
everyone should do at least 6 times a day.  In an effort to increase the
national average  (the US ranks third among the world's superpowers in
smiling), Xerox has instructed all personnel to be happy, effervescent, and
most importantly, to smile.  Xerox employees agree, and even feel strongly
that they can not only meet but surpass the national average...  except for
Tubby Ackerman.  But because Tubby does such a fine job of racing around
parking lots with a large butterfly net retrieving floating IC chips, Xerox
decided to give him a break.  If you see Tubby in a parking lot he may have
a sheepish grin.  This is where the expression, "Service with a slightly
sheepish grin" comes from.
After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the
month than you did before.
All this big deal about white collar crime -- what's WRONG with white collar
crime?  Who enjoys his job today?  You?  Me?  Anybody?  The only satisfying
part of any job is coffee break, lunch hour and quitting time.  Years ago
there was at least the hope of improvement -- eventual promotion -- more
important jobs to come.  Once you can be sold the myth that you may make
president of the company you'll hardly ever steal stamps.  But nobody
believes he's going to be president anymore.  The more people change jobs
the more they realize that there is a direct connection between working for
a living and total stupefying boredom.  So why NOT take revenge?  You're not
going to find ME knocking a guy because he pads an expense account and his
home stationery carries the company emblem.  Take away crime from the white
collar worker and you will rob him of his last vestige of job interest.
                -- J. Feiffer
Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed
to be doing at the moment.
                -- Robert Benchley
"At least they're ___________EXPERIENCED incompetents"
At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume.
                -- Peter G. Alaquon
At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the
number of pens that person is carrying.
        By the middle 1880's, practically all the roads except those in
the South, were of the present standard gauge.  The southern roads were
still five feet between rails.
        It was decided to change the gauge of all southern roads to standard,
in one day.  This remarkable piece of work was carried out on a Sunday in May
of 1886.  For weeks beforehand, shops had been busy pressing wheels in on the
axles to the new and narrower gauge, to have a supply of rolling stock which
could run on the new track as soon as it was ready.  Finally, on the day set,
great numbers of gangs of track layers went to work at dawn.  Everywhere one
rail was loosened, moved in three and one-half inches, and spiked down in its
new position.  By dark, trains from anywhere in the United States could operate
over the tracks in the South, and a free interchange of freight cars everywhere
was possible.
                -- Robert Henry, "Trains", 1957
Column 1                Column 2                Column 3

0. integrated                0. management                0. options
1. total                1. organizational        1. flexibility
2. systematized                2. monitored                2. capability
3. parallel                3. reciprocal                3. mobility
4. functional                4. digital                4. programming
5. responsive                5. logistical                5. concept
6. optional                6. transitional                6. time-phase
7. synchronized                7. incremental                7. projection
8. compatible                8. third-generation        8. hardware
9. balanced                9. policy                9. contingency

        The procedure is simple.  Think of any three-digit number, then select
the corresponding buzzword from each column.  For instance, number 257 produces
"systematized logistical projection," a phrase that can be dropped into
virtually any report with that ring of decisive, knowledgeable authority.  "No
one will have the remotest idea of what you're talking about," says Broughton,
"but the important thing is that they're not about to admit it."
                -- Philip Broughton, "How to Win at Wordsmanship"
Dear Mister Language Person: What is the purpose of the apostrophe?

Answer: The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business signs
to alert the reader than an "S" is coming up at the end of a word, as in:
WE DO NOT EXCEPT PERSONAL CHECK'S, or: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEM'S.
Another important grammar concept to bear in mind when creating hand- lettered
small-business signs is that you should put quotation marks around random
words for decoration, as in "TRY" OUR HOT DOG'S, or even TRY "OUR" HOT DOG'S.
                -- Dave Barry, "Tips for Writer's"
"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to
get more wax!!"
        Exxon's 'Universe of Energy' tends to the peculiar rather than the
humorous ... After [an incomprehensible film montage about wind and sun and
rain and strip mines and] two or three minutes of mechanical confusion, the
seats locomote through a short tunnel filled with clock-work dinosaurs.
The dinosaurs are depicted without accuracy and too close to your face.
        "One of the few real novelties at Epcot is the use of smell to
aggravate illusions.  Of course, no one knows what dinosaurs smelled like,
but Exxon has decided they smelled bad.
        "At the other end of Dino Ditch ... there's a final, very addled
message about facing challengehood tomorrow-wise.  I dozed off during this,
but the import seems to be that dinosaurs don't have anything to do with
energy policy and neither do you."
                -- P.J. O'Rourke, "Holidays in Hell"
"Here at the Phone Company, we serve all kinds of people; from
Presidents and Kings to the scum of the earth ..."
        Home centers are designed for the do-it-yourselfer who's willing to
pay higher prices for the convenience of being able to shop for lumber,
hardware, and toasters all in one location.  Notice I say "shop for," as
opposed to "obtain." This is the major drawback of home centers: they are
always out of everything except artificial Christmas trees.  The home center
employees have no time to reorder merchandise because they are too busy
applying little price stickers to every object -- every board, washer, nail
and screw -- in the entire store ...

        Let's say a piece in your toilet tank breaks, so you remove the
broken part, take it to the home center, and ask an employee if he has a
replacement.  The employee, who has never is his life even seen the inside
of a toilet tank, will peer at the broken part in very much the same way
that a member of a primitive Amazon jungle tribe would look at an electronic
calculator, and then say, "We're expecting a shipment of these sometime
around the middle of next week."
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.
If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had
lost his senses.  When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.
If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave
it to.
                -- Dorthy Parker
        If you're like most homeowners, you're afraid that many repairs
around your home are too difficult to tackle.  So, when your furnace
explodes, you call in a so-called professional to fix it.  The
"professional" arrives in a truck with lettering on the sides and deposits a
large quantity of tools and two assistants who spend the better part of the
week in your basement whacking objects at random with heavy wrenches, after
which the "professional" returns and gives you a bill for slightly more
money than it would cost you to run a successful campaign for the U.S.
Senate.
        And that's why you've decided to start doing things yourself. You
figure, "If those guys can fix my furnace, then so can I.  How difficult can
it be?"
        Very difficult.  In fact, most home projects are impossible, which
is why you should do them yourself.  There is no point in paying other
people to screw things up when you can easily screw them up yourself for far
less money.  This article can help you.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Insanity is the final defense ... It's hard to get a refund when the
salesman is sniffing your crotch and baying at the moon.
It is imperative when flying coach that you restrain any tendency toward
the vividly imaginative.  For although it may momentarily appear to be the
case, it is not at all likely that the cabin is entirely inhabited by
crying babies smoking inexpensive domestic cigars.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Social Studies"
Let me assure you that to us here at First National, you're not just a
number.  Youre two numbers, a dash, three more numbers, another dash and
another number.
                -- James Estes
Loan-department manager:  "There isn't any fine print.  At these
interest rates, we don't need it."
Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags.
                -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"
Make headway at work.  Continue to let things deteriorate at home.
Management:        How many feet do mice have?
Reply:                Mice have four feet.
M:        Elaborate!
R:        Mice have five appendages, and four of them are feet.
M:        No discussion of fifth appendage!
R:        Mice have five appendages; four of them are feet; one is a tail.
M:        What?  Feet with no legs?
R:        Mice have four legs, four feet, and one tail per unit-mouse.
M:        Confusing -- is that a total of 9 appendages?
R:        Mice have four leg-foot assemblies and one tail assembly per body.
M:        Does not fully discuss the issue!
R:        Each mouse comes equipped with four legs and a tail.  Each leg
        is equipped with a foot at the end opposite the body; the tail
        is not equipped with a foot.
M:        Descriptive?  Yes.  Forceful NO!
R:        Allotment of appendages for mice will be:  Four foot-leg assemblies,
        one tail.  Deviation from this policy is not permitted as it would
        constitute misapportionment of scarce appendage assets.
M:        Too authoritarian; stifles creativity!
R:        Mice have four feet; each foot is attached to a small leg joined
        integrally with the overall mouse structural sub-system.  Also
        attached to the mouse sub-system is a thin tail, non-functional and
        ornamental in nature.
M:        Too verbose/scientific.  Answer the question!
R:        Mice have four feet.
Men's skin is different from women's skin.  It is usually bigger, and
it has more snakes tattooed on it.  Also, if you examine a woman's skin
very closely, inch by inch, starting at her shapely ankles, then gently
tracing the slender curve of her calves, then moving up to her ...

[EDITOR'S NOTE: To make room for news articles about important world events
such as agriculture, we're going to delete the next few square feet of the
woman's skin.  Thank you.]

... until finally the two of you are lying there, spent, smoking your
cigarettes, and suddenly it hits you: Human skin is actually made up of
billions of tiny units of protoplasm, called "cells"!  And what is even more
interesting, the ones on the outside are all dying!  This is a fact.  Your
skin is like an aggressive modern corporation, where the older veteran
cells, who have finally worked their way to the top and obtained offices
with nice views, are constantly being shoved out the window head first,
without so much as a pension plan, by younger hotshot cells moving up from
below.
                -- Dave Barry, "Saving Face"
        One fine day, the bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus,
and drove off along the route.  No problems for the first few stops -- a few
people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.  At the next
stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on.  Six feet eight, built like a
wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground.  He glared at the driver and said,
"Big John doesn't pay!" and sat down at the back.
        Did I mention that the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically
meek?  Well, he was.  Naturally, he didn't argue with Big John, but he wasn't
happy about it.  Well, the next day the same thing happened -- Big John got on
again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down.  And the next day, and the
one after that, and so forth.  This grated on the bus driver, who started
losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him.  Finally he
could stand it no longer. He signed up for bodybuilding courses, karate, judo,
and all that good stuff.  By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong;
what's more, he felt really good about himself.
        So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus
and said "Big John doesn't pay!," the driver stood up, glared back at the
passenger, and screamed, "And why not?"
        With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, "Big John has a
bus pass."
        Plumbing is one of the easier of do-it-yourself activities,
requiring only a few simple tools and a willingness to stick your arm into a
clogged toilet.  In fact, you can solve many home plumbing problems, such as
annoying faucet drip, merely by turning up the radio.  But before we get
into specific techniques, let's look at how plumbing works.
        A plumbing system is very much like your electrical system, except
that instead of electricity, it has water, and instead of wires, it has
pipes, and instead of radios and waffle irons, it has faucets and toilets.
So the truth is that your plumbing systems is nothing at all like your
electrical system, which is good, because electricity can kill you.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Regardless of whether a mission expands or contracts, administrative
overhead continues to grow at a steady rate.
Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you
actually have a shot at it.
Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be
surprised at how little you have.
                -- Ernest Haskins
        "Seven years and six months!"  Humpty Dumpty repeated thoughtfully.
"An uncomfortable sort of age.  Now if you'd asked MY advice, I'd have
said 'Leave off at seven' -- but it's too late now."
        "I never ask advice about growing,"  Alice said indignantly.
        "Too proud?"  the other enquired.
        Alice felt even more indignant at this suggestion.  "I mean,"
she said, "that one can't help growing older."
        "ONE can't, perhaps," said Humpty Dumpty; "but TWO can.  With
proper assistance, you might have left off at seven."
                -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking-Glass"
Several years ago, some smart businessmen had an idea: Why not build a big
store where a do-it-yourselfer could get everything he needed at reasonable
prices?  Then they decided, nah, the hell with that, let's build a home
center.  And before long home centers were springing up like crabgrass all
over the United States.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Some people have a great ambition: to build something
that will last, at least until they've finished building it.
Support your local church or synagogue.  Worship at Bank of America.
        Take the folks at Coca-Cola.  For many years, they were content
to sit back and make the same old carbonated beverage.  It was a good
beverage, no question about it; generations of people had grown up
drinking it and doing the experiment in sixth grade where you put a
nail into a glass of Coke and after a couple of days the nail dissolves
and the teacher says: "Imagine what it does to your TEETH!"  So Coca-Cola
was solidly entrenched in the market, and the management saw no need to
improve ...
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
The absent ones are always at fault.
The departing division general manager met a last time with his young
successor and gave him three envelopes.  "My predecessor did this for me,
and I'll pass the tradition along to you," he said.  "At the first sign
of trouble, open the first envelope.  Any further difficulties, open the
second envelope.  Then, if problems continue, open the third envelope.
Good luck."  The new manager returned to his office and tossed the envelopes
into a drawer.
        Six months later, costs soared and earnings plummeted. Shaken, the
young man opened the first envelope, which said, "Blame it all on me."
        The next day, he held a press conference and did just that.  The
crisis passed.
        Six months later, sales dropped precipitously.  The beleagured
manager opened the second envelope.  It said, "Reorganize."
        He held another press conference, announcing that the division
would be restructured.  The crisis passed.
        A year later, everything went wrong at once and the manager was
blamed for all of it.  The harried executive closed his office door, sank
into his chair, and opened the third envelope.
        "Prepare three envelopes..." it said.
The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through
the crowd at the bottom.
The hieroglyphics are all unreadable except for a notation on the back,
which reads "Genuine authentic Egyptian papyrus.  Guaranteed to be at
least 5000 years old."
The idea there was that consumers would bring their broken electronic
devices, such as television sets and VCR's, to the destruction centers,
where trained personnel would whack them (the devices) with sledgehammers.
With their devices thus permanently destroyed, consumers would then be free
to go out and buy new devices, rather than have to fritter away years of
their lives trying to have the old ones repaired at so-called "factory
service centers," which in fact consist of two men named Lester poking at
the insides of broken electronic devices with cheap cigars and going,
"Lookit all them WIRES in there!"
                -- Dave Barry, "'Mister Mediocre' Restaurants"
The more pretentious a corporate name, the smaller the organization.  (For
instance, The Murphy Center for Codification of Human and Organizational Law,
contrasted to IBM, GM, AT&T ...)
The only promotion rules I can think of are that a sense of shame is to
be avoided at all costs and there is never any reason for a hustler to
be less cunning than more virtuous men.  Oh yes ... whenever you think
you've got something really great, add ten per cent more.
                -- Bill Veeck
The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has
already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished,
and put inside boxes.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around
here at quitting time.
Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided
at all costs.
                -- N. Alexander.
To do two things at once is to do neither.
                -- Publilius Syrus
To thine own self be true.  (If not that, at least make some money.)
Very few things actually get manufactured these days, because in an
infinitely large Universe, such as the one in which we live, most things one
could possibly imagine, and a lot of things one would rather not, grow
somewhere.  A forest was discovered recently in which most of the trees grew
ratchet screwdrivers as fruit.  The life cycle of the ratchet screwdriver is
quite interesting.  Once picked it needs a dark dusty drawer in which it can
lie undisturbed for years.  Then one night it suddenly hatches, discards its
outer skin that crumbles into dust, and emerges as a totally unidentifiable
little metal object with flanges at both ends and a sort of ridge and a hole
for a screw.  This, when found, will get thrown away.  No one knows what the
screwdriver is supposed to gain from this.  Nature, in her infinite wisdom,
is presumably working on it.
We were so poor we couldn't afford a watchdog.  If we heard a noise at night,
we'd bark ourselves.
                -- Crazy Jimmy
What they said:
        What they meant:

"You will be fortunate if you can get him to work for you."
        (We certainly never succeeded.)
There is no other employee with whom I can adequately compare him.
        (Well, our rats aren't really employees...)
"Success will never spoil him."
        (Well, at least not MUCH more.)
"One usually comes away from him with a good feeling."
        (And such a sigh of relief.)
"His dissertation is the sort of work you don't expect to see these days;
in it he has definitely demonstrated his complete capabilities."
        (And his IQ, as well.)
"He should go far."
        (The farther the better.)
"He will take full advantage of his staff."
        (He even has one of them mowing his lawn after work.)
What they say:                                What they mean:

A major technological breakthrough...        Back to the drawing board.
Developed after years of research        Discovered by pure accident.
Project behind original schedule due        We're working on something else.
        to unforseen difficulties
Designs are within allowable limits        We made it, stretching a point or two.
Customer satisfaction is believed        So far behind schedule that they'll be
        assured                                        grateful for anything at all.
Close project coordination                We're gonna spread the blame, campers!
Test results were extremely gratifying        It works, and boy, were we surprised!
The design will be finalized...                We haven't started yet, but we've got
                                                to say something.
The entire concept has been rejected        The guy who designed it quit.
We're moving forward with a fresh        We hired three new guys, and they're
        approach                                kicking it around.
A number of different approaches...        We don't know where we're going, but
                                                we're moving.
Preliminary operational tests are        Blew up when we turned it on.
        inconclusive
Modifications are underway                We're starting over.
What they say:                        What they mean:

New                                Different colors from previous version.
All New                                Not compatible with previous version.
Exclusive                        Nobody else has documentation.
Unmatched                        Almost as good as the competition.
Design Simplicity                The company wouldn't give us any money.
Fool-proof Operation                All parameters are hard-coded.
Advanced Design                        Nobody really understands it.
Here At Last                        Didn't get it done on time.
Field Tested                        We don't have any simulators.
Years of Development                Finally got one to work.
Unprecedented Performance        Nothing ever ran this slow before.
Revolutionary                        Disk drives go 'round and 'round.
Futuristic                        Only runs on a next generation supercomputer.
No Maintenance                        Impossible to fix.
Performance Proven                Worked through Beta test.
Meets Tough Quality Standards        It compiles without errors.
Satisfaction Guaranteed                We'll send you another pack if it fails.
Stock Item                        We shipped it before and can do it again.
What we need in this country, instead of Daylight Savings Time, which nobody
really understands anyway, is a new concept called Weekday Morning Time,
whereby at 7 a.m. every weekday we go into a space-launch-style "hold" for
two to three hours, during which it just remains 7 a.m.  This way we could
all wake up via a civilized gradual process of stretching and belching and
scratching, and it would still be only 7 a.m. when we were ready to actually
emerge from bed.
                -- Dave Barry, "$#$%#^%!^%&@%@!"
Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near
the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people
to do so.
                -- Bertrand Russell
XLVII:
        Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered with water.  The other
        third is covered with auditors from headquarters.
XLVIII:
        The more time you spend talking about what you have been doing, the
        less time you have to spend doing what you have been talking about.
        Eventually, you spend more and more time talking about less and less
        until finally you spend all your time talking about nothing.
XLIX:
        Regulations grow at the same rate as weeds.
L:
        The average regulation has a life span one-fifth as long as a
        chimpanzee's and one-tenth as long as a human's -- but four times
        as long as the official's who created it.
LI:
        By the time of the United States Tricentennial, there will be more
        government workers than there are workers.
LII:
        People working in the private sector should try to save money.
        There remains the possibility that it may someday be valuable again.
                -- Norman Augustine
XXXVI:
        The thickness of the proposal required to win a multimillion dollar
        contract is about one millimeter per million dollars.  If all the
        proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other
        at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.
XXXVII:
        Ninety percent of the time things will turn out worse than you expect.
        The other 10 percent of the time you had no right to expect so much.
XXXVIII:
        The early bird gets the worm.
        The early worm ... gets eaten.
XXXIX:
        Never promise to complete any project within six months of the end of
        the year -- in either direction.
XL:
        Most projects start out slowly -- and then sort of taper off.
                -- Norman Augustine
YOU TOO CAN MAKE BIG MONEY IN THE EXCITING FIELD OF PAPER SHUFFLING!

Mr. Smith of Muddle, Mass. says:  "Before I took this course I used to be
a lowly bit twiddler.  Now with what I learned at MIT Tech I feel really
important and can obfuscate and confuse with the best."

Mr. Watkins had this to say:  "Ten short days ago all I could look forward
to was a dead-end job as a engineer.  Now I have a promising future and
make really big Zorkmids."

MIT Tech can't promise these fantastic results to everyone, but when
you earn your MDL degree from MIT Tech your future will be brighter.

                SEND FOR OUR FREE BROCHURE TODAY!
Missouri Town Changes Name to 'Linux'

LINUX, MO -- The small Missouri town of Linn, county seat of Osage County,
announced yesterday that it will be henceforth called 'Linux'. Mayor Bob Farrow
said, "Linn needed something to put it on the map. A few weeks ago my daughter
mentioned that she installed Linux on her computer and how great she thought it
was. I thought to myself, 'Self, changing the town's name to 'Linux' could be
an opportunity to attract attention -- and money -- to our town. We could even
hold a Linux Convention at the community center.' So I approached the city
council about the idea, and they loved it. The rest is history."

Farrow's daughter is organizing the Linux Linux User Group. She hopes to be
able to hold a Linux Convention this fall. "The Linn, er, Linux community
center probably won't be big enough, we'll probably have to hold it in nearby
Jefferson City," she said.

The mayor does have one reservation. "How the hell do you pronounce Linux?" One
of the mayor's contenders in the next election, Mr. Noah Morals, says he will
start an ad campaign calling Bob Farrow "the Incumbent Liar of LIE-nucks".
Needless to say, the mayor usually pronounces Linux as "LIH-nucks".
Linux Rally Held in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, PA -- Thousands of Linux advocates gathered at the Pennsylvania
state capitol building earlier today. They were protesting the state's recent
three year deal with Microsoft to install Windows NT on all state computer
systems. "Whatever pointy haired boss made this deal ought to be shot on
sight," one protestor exclaimed. "Windows NT is a piece of [expletive] compared
to Linux. The taxpayers of Pennsylvania are going to be sorry three years from
now when this 'deal' concludes. The state has sold its soul to Satan [Bill
Gates]."

Brief hostilities broke out when a group of police officers armed with riot
gear descended on the protestors. After the police threatened to use tear gas,
the protestors threw thousands of Linux CDs at them. Once the supply of CDs was
depleted, the protest became peaceful again. "I saw several policemen pick up
Linux CDs and put them in their pockets," one protestor noted.

The protest broke up a few minutes later once it was realized that the state
legislature wasn't in session. "We may have wasted our time today," one
advocate said, "But we'll be back later." State and Microsoft officials were
unavailable for comment at press time. How typical.
Red Hat Unveils New Ad Campaign

Linux distributor Red Hat has announced plans for a $650,000 ad campaign. The
ads will appear on several major newspapers as well as on a few selected
websites. "These ads will be targetted towards Windows users who are fed up but
aren't aware of any OS alternatives," a Red Hat spokesman said. "We feel that
there is a large audience for this."

One of the ads will be a half page spread showing two computers side-by-side: a
Wintel and a Linux box. The title asks "Is your operating system ready for the
year 2000?" Both computers have a calendar/clock display showing. The Windows
box shows "12:00:01AM -- January 1, 1900" while the Linux box shows "12:00:01AM
-- January 1, 2000". The tagline at the bottom says "Linux -- a century ahead
of the competition."
Open Source Beer Revolution

Yesterday, Red Hat introduced an 'open source' beer called Red Brew. The
recipes for making the beer are available for free over the Net, and
microbrewery kits are available at low cost from Red Hat. Says a Red Hat
spokesman, "With the proliferation of free (open source) software, it was only
a matter of time before open source beer became reality. After all, the only
thing hackers like more than free software is free beer!"

Following the Red Hat annoucement, other companies are racing to launch their
own beer 'distribution'. Caldera is developing an OpenBrew beer. Meanwhile,
Patrick Volkerding is working on a SlackBeer distribution, and DebianBrew is
expected soon.

Traditional breweries and beer distributors are not thrilled about open source
beer. "This is ludicrous! People want beer that comes from time-tested, secret
recipes -- not beer from recipes invented overnight! Open source is a fad," a
spokesman for Buddwizzer Beer, Inc. said. In addition, other beverage
distributors are nervous. "First open source beer, and soon open source soft
drinks! Before we know it, we'll have RedCoke and SlackPepsi! This open source
plague must be stopped before it eats into our bottom line! Don't quote me on
that last sentence," the CEO of Croak-a-Cola said.
Linux Infiltrates Windows NT Demo

SILICON VALLEY, CA -- Attendees at the Microsoft ActiveDemo Conference held
this week in San Jose were greeted by a pleasant surprise yesterday: Linux.
Somehow a group of Linux enthusiasts were able to replace a Windows NT box with
a Linux box right before the "ActiveDemo" of Windows NT 5 beta. "I have no clue
how they were able to pull off this prank," a Microserf spokesman said. "Rest
assured, Microsoft will do everything to investigate and prosecute the Linux
nuts who did this. Our bottom line must be protected."

Bill Gates said, "I was showing off the new features in Windows NT 5 when I
noticed something odd about the demo computer. It didn't crash. Plus, the font
used on the screen wasn't MS San Serif -- trust me, I know. My suspicions were
confirmed when, instead of the "Flying Windows" screensaver, a "Don't Fear the
Penguins" screensaver appeared. The audience laughed and applauded for five
straight minutes. It was so embarrasing -- even more so than the pie incident.

One attendee said, "Wow! This Linux is cool -- it didn't crash once during the
entire demo! I'd like to see NT do that." Another asked, "You guys got any
Linux CDs? I want one. Forget about vaporware NT." Yet another remarked, "I
didn't know it was possible to hack Linux to make it look like NT. I can
install Linux on my company's computers without my boss knowing!"
ARE YOU ADDICTED TO SLASHDOT?
Take this short test to find out if you are a Dothead.

1. Do you submit articles to Slashdot and then reload the main page every 3.2
    seconds to see if your article has been published yet?
2. Have you made more than one "first comment!" post within the past week?
3. Have you ever participated in a Gnome vs. KDE or a Linux vs. FreeBSD
    flamewar on Slashdot?
4. Do you write jokes about Slashdot?
5. Do you wake up at night, go to the bathroom, and fire up your web browser
    to get your Slashdot fix on the way back?
6. Do you dump your date at the curb so you can hurry home to visit Slashdot?
7. Do you think of Slashdot when you order a taco at a restaurant?
8. Are you a charter member of the Rob Malda Fan Club?
9. Did you lease a T3 line so you could download Slashdot faster?
10. Is Slashdot your only brower's bookmark?
11. Do you get a buzz when your browser finally connects to Slashdot?
12. Do you panic when your browser says "Unable to connect to slashdot.org"?
13. Have you even made a New Year's Resolution to cut back on Slashdot
    access... only to visit it at 12:01?
Microsoft Acquires Nothing

REDMOND, WA -- In an unprecedented move, Microsoft refrained from acquiring any
rival companies for a full week. "I can't believe it," one industry analyst
noted. "This is the first time in years that I haven't read any headlines about
Microsoft acquiring something."

The lack of Microsoft assimilation this week left a vacuum in computer industry
publications. "Microsoft acquisition stories make up 10% of our headlines," an
editor at Ziff-Slavis said. "We had to scramble to fill this void. We ran some
controversial Jessie Burst columns instead, hoping that we could recoup ad
revenue from people reading all the flames in the Talk Back forums. Jessie
Burst forums account for 15% of our total ad revenue."
Tux Penguin Boxing Match

LAS VEGAS, NV -- The unofficial Linux mascot Tux the Penguin will face his arch
rival the BSD Daemon in a boxing match this Saturday night. The match is part
of the International Computer Mascot Boxing Federation's First Annual World
Championship Series. The winner will advance to face one of the Intel "Bunny
People".

Boxing pundits favor Tux as the winner. Last week Tux won his first match in
the Championship Series against Wilbur the Gimp. "The Gimp didn't have a
chance," one spectator said. "With Tux's ability to run at top speeds of over
100mph, I don't see how he could possibly lose." The BSD Daemon, however, is
certainly a formidible opponent. While boxing rules prohibit the Daemon from
using his patented pitchfork, his pointy horns are permitted in the ring.

Some observers think the whole Computer Mascot Boxing Federation is a fake.
"WWF is all scripted," one sports writer pointed out. "And so is this. You
actually think that a penguin is capable of boxing? The idea of a penguin
fighting a demon is patently absurd. This whole Championship Series has no
doubt been scripted. It's probably nothing more than two little kids in
penguin and demon suits duking it out in a boxing ring. What a waste of time."
Increased Electricity Consumption Blamed on Linux

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The US Department of Energy claims Linux is partially
responsible for the increased demand for electricity during the past year.
Electricity use was up 2.5% from January to September of 1998 compared with
the same period in 1997.  "While some of the increase can be attributed to
higher temperatures over the summer," one Department bureaucrat explained,
"Linux is certainly a contributor to the increased demand for power."  

When asked for clarification, the bureaucrat responded, "In the past, most
PCs have been turned off when not in use.  Linux users, on the other hand,
usually don't turn off their computers.  They leave them on, hoping to
increase their uptime to impress their friends.  And since Linux rarely
crashes the entire system, those computers stay on for weeks, months, even
years at a time.  With Linux use continuing to grow, we expect demand for
electricity to increase steadily over the next several years."

In response to the news, several utility companies have announced plans to
give away free Linux CDs to paying customers who request them.  One anonymous
executive said, "The more people who use Linux, the more power they consume.
The more electricity they use, the more money we make. It's a win-win
combination."  Yesterday Linus Torvalds was nominated as a candidate for the
Assocation of American Utility Companies Person of the Year.
Could You Get Fired for Visiting Slashdot?

PADUCAH, KY -- Matt Johnson, an employee at Paradigm Shift Consulting, Inc.,
was fired from his programming job because of his addiction to Slashdot.
Johnson typically visited Slashdot several times a day during working hours.
Citing productivity problems, Johnson's boss gave him the pink slip and
instituted a 'NoDot' policy -- no visiting Slashdot or related sites from the
office, ever.  Now Johnson has filed a lawsuit, claiming that his Slashdot
addiction is protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Matt Johnson explained, "They discriminated against me because I'm a Dothead.
Drug abuse and alcoholism are often considered handicaps.  Why not Slashdot
addiction?"  Johnson's boss sees the situation differently.   "Matt never got
any work done.  He was always visiting Slashdot, Freshmeat, or some other
nerd website.  And when he wasn't, he suffered withdrawl symptoms and
couldn't think straight.  A few months ago he spent eight consecutive hours
posting comments in a KDE vs. GNOME flame war.  I tried to offer assistance
to overcome his addiction, but he refused. Enough is enough."

The company's 'NoDot' policy has been under fire as well.  One anonymous
employee said, "We can't visit Slashdot because of Matt's addiction.  This
just sucks.  I really don't see anything wrong with visiting Slashdot during
breaks or after hours."
Linux Ported to Homer Simpson's Brain

SPRINGFIELD -- Slashdot recently reported on Homer Simpson's brain "upgrade"
to an Intel CPU.  Intel hails the CPU transplant as the "World's Greatest
Technological Achievement".  Intel originally planned to install Microsoft
Windows CE (Cerebrum Enhanced) on Homer's new PentiumBrain II processor.
However, due to delays in releasing Windows CE, Intel decided to install
DebianBrain Linux, the new Linux port for brains.

Computer industry pundits applaud the last minute switch from Windows to
Linux. One said, "I was a bit concerned for Homer.  With Windows CE, I could
easily imagine Homer slipping into an infinite loop: "General Protection
Fault.  D'oh!  D'oh!  D'oh!  D'oh..."  Or, at the worst, the Blue Screen of
Death could have become much more than a joke."

Some pundits are more concerned about the quality of the Intel CPU.  "Linux
is certainly an improvement over Windows.  But since it's running on a
PentiumBrain chip, all bets are off.  What if the chip miscalculates the core
temperature of the power plant where Homer works?  I can just imagine the
story on the evening news: 'Springfield was obliterated into countless
subatomic particles yesterday because Homer J. Simpson, power plant
button-pusher, accidentally set the core temperature to 149.992322340948290
instead of 150...'  If anything, an Alpha chip running Linux should have been
used for Homer's new brain."
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #3

iTux Penguin Computer
Price: $999.95 for base model
Producer: Orange Computer, Co.; 1-800-GET-ITUX

Based on the Slashdot comments, response to the Apple iMac from the Linux
community was lukewarm at best.  Orange Computer, Co., has picked up where
Apple left behind and produced the iTux computer specifically for Linux users
who want to "Think a lot different".

The self-contained iTux computer system is built in the shape of Tux the
Penguin.  Its 15 inch monitor (17 inch available next year) is located at
Tux's large belly.  The penguin's two feet make up the split ergonomic
keyboard (without those annoying Windows keys, of course).  A 36X CD-ROM
drive fits into Tux's mouth.  Tux's left eye is actually the reboot button
(can be reconfigured for other purposes since it is rarely used) and his
right eye is the power button.  The iTux case opens up from the back,
allowing easy access for screwdriver-wielding nerds into Tux's guts.

The US$995.95 model contains an Alpha CPU and all the usual stuff found in a
Linux-class machine.  More expensive models, to be debuted next year, will
feature dual or quad Alpha CPUs and a larger size.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #5

AbsoluteZero(tm) Cryogenic Refrigerator
$29,999.95 for economy model at Cryo-Me-A-River, Inc.

The pundits have been hyping new technology allowing your home appliances to
have Internet access. Most people aren't too keen with the thought of their
refrigerator sharing an IP address with their can opener.

But with the new AbsoluteZero(tm) Refrigerator, that might change. This is not
a fridge for your food -- it's a fridge for your overclocked, overheating CPU.
You stick your computer inside, bolt the door shut, turn the temperature down
to 5 degrees Kelvin, and you've got the perfect environment for accelerating
your CPU to 1 Terahertz or more.

This cryogenic cooling system may not actually reach absolute zero, but it
comes mighty close. Unfortunately, the AbsoluteZero(tm) is the size of a small
house, consumes a constant stream of liquid nitrogen, and requires it's own
nuclear reactor (not included). But that's a small price to pay for the
ability to play Quake 3 at 100,000 frames per second.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #6

Hearing Un-aid
US$129.95 at The Fuzzier Projection Co.

It's a scene we can all identify with: you're at a boring company meeting,
trying to read the latest Slashdot headlines on your PalmPilot, but you can't
concentrate because the PHB is rambling in a loud, booming voice about
e-infomediary-substrategic-paradigms and
meta-content-aggregation-relationship-corridors.

With the Hearing Un-aid(tm), you can put a stop to incessant buzzword-speak by
your boss. Unlike a hearing aid, which amplifies sound, the Hearing Un-aid
dampens noise, so you can easily tune out the board meeting and instead focus
on something far more important, such as downloading Humorix stories.

If you happen to miss something important (yeah, right) and your boss accuses
you of not paying attention, you can simply point to your hearing "aid" and
respond, "What was that? I couldn't hear you because of my temporary hearing
loss."
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #7

Bluescreen Computer Case
US$27.97 at Bud's Beige Box Bazaar

Real Geeks may not admit to using Windows, but there's still countless geeks
out there who must suffer through the humiliation of using Windows while at
work. The patent-not-pending Bluescreen Case, though, will ease the stress of
working with Microsoft "solutions".

This computer case is very similar to other beige boxes, but with one
important difference: the reboot button is covered with a picture of Bill
Gates. When the machine bluescreens for the millionth time, all you have to do
is punch Bill Gates in the face as hard as you can, and the computer will
restart. This provides invaluable therapeutic stress relief.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #8

Bob's Map to the Homes of the Rich & Geeky
US$29.95 at BobsEcommerceSite.com

Hollywood is full of shady street-side vendors selling "maps to the homes of
the rich and famous" that are actually photocopies of photocopies of
photocopies of an old 1984 Rand McNally map.

But what about the Bay Area? Wouldn't you like to visit the homes and
driveways of the rich and geeky in Silicon Valley? Wouldn't you like to see
Linus Torvalds' residence? Wouldn't you like to drive by the home of
permanent-interim-CEO Steve Jobs? Wouldn't you like to spit on the driveway of
Bill Gates?

Well, now you can. Bob's Map to the Homes of the Rich & Geeky is a full-color
128 page atlas filled with detailed instructions for finding the homes of
1,024 of the world's most famous geeks. From San Jose, to Seattle, to Austin,
to Boston, Bob's Map is your passport to gawk at the homes of the rich and
geeky.
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #9

Dial-A-Detective
$499.95/year; 1-888-BYE-SPAM

This detective firm is not what you'd expect. Instead of tracking murderers or
unfaithful husbands, this band of rogue private investigators goes after
something just as sinister -- spammers. For a modest annual retainer fee,
these spam detectives will track down the source of every piece of spam you
receive.

Using the latest in forensic technology, they will bring you the virtual scalp
of the spammer -- their name, home address, social-security number, and, more
importantly, credit card numbers. At this point you are free to pursue the
evil spammer as you see fit.

If your friend or relative is sick of receiving wave after wave of "Find Out
Anything About Anyone" spams, give them a subscription to Dial-A-Detective,
and they'll find out anything about any spammer -- for real.
Microsoft Open Source Solitaire

REDMOND, WA -- In a first attempt at "embrace-and-extend" of open source
software, Microsoft will release its popular Solitaire and FreeCell games as
open source under the MILA (Microsoft Innovative License Agreement).
According to a Microsoft press release, the Visual C++ source code for the
two games will be available from the Microsoft website "in the first quarter"
(no year was specified).

Industry pundits hail the move as revolutionary.  "Microsoft's release of its
most popular Windows feature as open source software demonstrates just how
innovative the company really is.  The DoJ is clearly barking up the wrong
tree," wrote one Ziff-Davis flunkie. One executive at a large company said,
"Freely available source code is the best idea Microsoft has ever invented."

One Linux developer told Humorix, "Let's just hope some fool doesn't try to
port this thing to Linux.  Imagine the havoc that could ensue if a bunch of
core Linux contributors downloaded Solitaire and became addicted to it.  It
would be a disaster!  Linux and open source development would grind to a halt
while the hackers wasted their time playing Solitaire or FreeCell.  'Just one
more game...' they would say."
Linux Advocacy Crackdown

SHERIDAN, WY -- In an unprecedented blow to Linux advocacy, Aaron McAdams, an
employee at the Sheridan Try-N-Save Discount Store, was fired last week.
According to the store's general manager, McAdams was fired because "he
constantly rearranged items on shelves so that Linux-related books and
software boxes would be displayed more prominently than Windows merchandise."
McAdams' boss added, "If he would have spent as much time actually working as
he did hiding Windows books at the back of shelves, he wouldn't have received
the pink slip."

The general manager supplied Humorix with videotapes from the store's
security cameras showing McAdams in action.  In one scene, he takes a whole
stack of "...For Dummies" books and buries them in the Cheap Romance section,
an area of the store rarely visited by computer users.  In another, McAdams
can be plainly seen setting copies of Red Hat Linux in front of a large,
eye-catching display of various Microsoft products at the front of the
store.  Finally, at one point McAdams can be seen slapping huge tags reading
"DEMO DISPLAY BOX -- NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL 1999" on boxes of Windows 98.

McAdams disputes his bosses accusations.  "If he would spend more time
actually working instead of peering over security camera footage for hours on
end, this store might actually turn a profit for a change."
Red Hat Linux 10.0

RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC -- HypeNewsWire -- Red Hat, the producer of the most
popular Linux distribution with over 25 million estimated users, is proud to
announce the availability of Red Hat Linux 10.0.  The latest version
contains the new Linux 6.2 kernel, the Z Window System 2.0, full support for
legacy Windows 3.x/9x/200x/NT software apps, and more. Copies of Red Hat
Linux 10.0 will be available in stores on CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or GNUDE (GNU
Digital Encoding) disks within the next week.

Compaq, Dell, Gateway, and several other large computer manufacturers have
announced that they will offer computer systems with Red Hat 10.0
pre-installed.  "We can sell systems with Red Hat pre-installed for
considerably less than systems with Microsoft ActiveWindows 2001. Overall,
Red Hat Linux's superior quality, low price, and modest system requirements
puts Windows to shame," one Dell spokesperson said at last week's LinDex
convention.
MAKE MONEY FAST FROM SLASHDOT!!!!!!

You are probably familiar with the Slashdot.org "News for Nerds" site.
You've probably heard about the "Slashdot Effect".  Now, we want to
introduce a new term that could change your life: "Slashdot Baiting".

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Thousands of visitors within hours.  Thousands of eyeballs looking and
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properly utilized, can produce a significant amount of advertising revenue.

That's where we at MoneyDot Lucrative Marketing International Group, Inc.
come in.  We know how to exploit the Slashdot Effect.  We call our strategy
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Interested in pursuing Slashdot Baiting and obtaining financial
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Then purchase MLM's "Slashdot Baiting Kit", which will contain everything
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Open Source Irrational Constant

BREEZEWOOD, PA -- In a revelation that could rock the foundations of
science, a researcher in Pennsylvania has discovered that the digits of the
irrational constant PI encode a version of the Linux kernel.  "I can't
believe it," the researcher, Neil Hoffman, exclaimed.  "And yet, here I am
staring at what appears to be the source code for Linux kernel 5.0.0.
Needless to say, my whole world-view has changed..."

Hoffman explained, "My algorithm, which applies several dozen conversions and
manipulations to each digit of PI, spits out plain vanilla ASCII characters
that happen to form the source code for the Linux kernel."

Many members of the scientific community are skeptical.  One One
mathematician who has memorized the digits of PI to 10,000 places said,
"This is the kind of nonsense one would expect to find in a tabloid such as
the National Mathematics Enquirer.  Or a Linux fortune(6) file.  Hoffman's
'discovery' is obviously a hoax designed to secure government research
grants."

In a related matter, we have received an unconfirmed report that a region of
the Mandelbrot fractal contains what appear to be the words "LINUS TORVALDS
WAS HERE".  In addition, the words "TRANSMETA: THIS SECRET MESSAGE IS NOT
HERE YET" supposedly appear within the depths of the Julia Set.
New Crime Identified: "Tech Rage"

HARRISBURG, IL -- The police department in this Illinois town has coined a
new term for a growing trend in crime: "tech rage". Tech rage shares many
similarities with another modern crime, "road rage", but instead of
affecting drivers, tech rage is experienced by disgruntled computer users.

The first documented case of tech rage involves a Microsoft salesman, Bob
Glutzfield, who convinced the local TV station to "upgrade" its computer
systems from Macintosh to Wintel.  While the migration seemed successful at
first, the Blue Screen became more prevalent during the following months.

Then, in January, the entire computer system crashed in the middle of the
weather forecast during the 10 o'clock evening news. Viewers could plainly
see the Blue Screen of Death showing in the monitors behind James Roland,
the chief meteorologist. The instability of Windows 98 stretched Roland's
patience until he snapped last week and succumbed to tech rage.

Roland tracked down the Microsoft salesman and followed him one evening to
his apartment.  The weatherman yelled at the bewildered Microserf, "You
[expletive]! Because of you, I'm the [expletive] laughing stock of Southern
Illinois!" and then proceeded to beat him up.  Roland is currently out on
bond pending trial next month.
BSOD Simulator

Users of Red Hat 6.0 are discovering a new feature that hasn't been widely
advertised: a Blue Screen of Death simulator.  By default, the bsodsim
program activates when the user hits the virtually unused SysRq key (this is
customizable) causing the system to switch to a character cell console to
display a ficticious Blue Screen.

Red Hat hails the bsodsim program as the "boss key" for the Linux world. One
RH engineer said, "Workers are smuggling Linux boxes into companies that
exclusively use Windows.  This is all good and well until the PHB walks by
and comments, 'That doesn't look like Windows...' With bsodsim, that problem
is solved.  The worker can hit the emergency SysRq key, and the system will
behave just like Windows..."

The bsodsim program doesn't stop at just showing a simulated error message.
If the boss doesn't walk away, the worker can continue the illusion by
hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL, which causes a simulated reboot.  After showing the
usual boot messages, bsodsim will run a simulated SCANDISK program
indefinitely. The boss won't be able to tell the difference.  If the boss
continues to hang around, the worker can say, "SCANDISK is really taking a
long time... maybe we should upgrade our computers.  And don't you have
something better to do than watch this computer reboot for the tenth time
today?"
Actual Snippet of Windows Source Code!  Honest!

NOTE: The following snippet of the Windows 95 source code was sent to us via
'unofficial' channels.  Don't tell anyone you saw this!  We really don't
feel like being visited by the Microsoft Intellectual Property Police.

void BusyLoop()
/* Do nothing loop to kill CPU cycles; added at the
   request of Intel */
{
DisplayRandomSubliminalMessage();
for( int i = 0; i < BIG_INT; i++ )
  for( int j = 0; j < BIG_INT; j++ )
   for( int k = 0; k < BIG_INT; k++ )
    for( int l = 0; l < BIG_INT; l++ )
     if( STACK_SPACE_PERCENTAGE_FREE > .05 )
     /* There's plenty of stack space left -- let's
        eat up some more CPU cycles, recursively! */
      BusyLoop();
}
When Computers Crash

HOLLYWOOD -- The FOX TV Network has announced a new series of "reality
shows" to be aired over the summer. The series, "When Computers Crash",
will consist of five hour-long shows documenting the aftermath of serious
computer crashes, failures, and other problems. This show comes on the
heels of other FOX reality shows such as "World's Funniest Antitrust Trial
Bloopers", "When Stupid TV Network Executives Create Bad Show Ideas", and
"When Lame Fortune Files Poke Fun At FOX Reality Shows"...

To coincide with the series, FOX will sponsor a publicity gimmick called
"Crash & Win!" Contest participants will download a free Windows 9x/NT
program that keeps track of the number of Blue Screens, Illegal
Operations, or other fatal errors that force a reboot. When a crash
occurs, the program will log it in an encrypted database, which will be
periodically uploaded to the "FOX Crash & Win!" server.

Prizes such as a "Deciphering Windows Error Messages for Dummies" book, a
1999 Ford "Gasguzzler" Sport Utility Vehicle, or a lifetime supply of
stress relief medication will be awarded to participants based on the
number of crashes they log.
The GPL Is Not Y2K-Compliant!

BOSTON, MA -- Panic ensued earlier today at GNU Project Headquarters when
it was discovered that the GNU General Public License is not ready for the
year 2000. Thankfully, the panic quickly subsided when RMS posted an
emergency diff file to Usenet that patches the GPL to eliminate the
problem.

The non-Y2K compliant material appears on lines 295 and 316 of version 2.0
of the GPL. Both lines contain the text, "Copyright (C) 19yy ", a classic
example of unpreparedness for the year 2000.

Microsoft was quick to respond to the news, saying in a rushed press
release, "At least our license agreements don't contain any Y2K issues."
The GNU Project immediately countered Microsoft's statement with a press
release that said simply, "Whatever".
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#7)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 7: What new features would you like to see in Windows 2000?

A. A marquee on the taskbar that automatically scrolls the latest
   headlines from MSNBC and Microsoft Press Pass

B. Content filtration software for Internet Explorer that will prevent my
   children from accessing dangerous propaganda about Linux.

C. A new card game; I've spent over 10,000 hours playing Solitaire during
   my free time at work and I'm starting to get bored with it

D. A screensaver depicting cream pies being thrown at Janet Reno, Joel
   Klien, David Boies, Ralpha Nader, Orrin Hatch, Linus Torvalds, Richard
   M. Stallman, and other conspirators out to destroy Microsoft

E. A Reinstall Wizard that helps me reinstall a fresh copy of Windows to
   fix Registry corruptions and other known issues
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#18)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 18: Witnessing the popularity of "Dilbert", Microsoft has plans
     to launch a syndicated comic strip featuring life at Microsoft. What
     characters would you like to see in such a comic strip?

A. Judge Jackson, the goofy court judge who is always making foolish (and
   funny) decisions

B. Bob, a wacky Microsoft programmer who likes to insert easter eggs in
   his work, and who is addicted to playing "Age of Empires"

C. Bill Gates, the intelligent nerd extraordinaire who always gets his way
   by simply giving people large sums of money

D. Ed Muth, the Microsoft spokesman who keeps putting his foot in his
   mouth. When not in public, he's a surprisingly sexy "chic magnet"

E. Poorard Stalinman, the leader of a movement of hackers to provide
   "free" software for the masses at the expense of Capitalistic values
Boston Software Party

BOSTON, MA -- Thousands of disgruntled Linux revolutionaries showed up at
the Boston Harbor today to protest "taxation without representation" by
the oppressive Microsoft Corporation. Thousands of pounds of Microsoft
boxes, CD-ROMs, manuals, license agreements, promotional materials, and
registration forms were dumped into the harbor during the First Annual
Boston Software Party.

Some attendees sold hastily printed T-shirts with slogans like "July 4th,
1999: Microsoft Independence Day!" and "What do you call 10,000 pounds of
Microsoft software at the bottom of the ocean? A darned good start!"
Others sold fake dollar bills with a portrait of Tux Penguin and the
saying, "In Linus We Trust"...
Jargon Coiner (#2)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* SLASHDUP EFFECT, THE: Accidentally posting two or more duplicate
  comments to Slashdot, usually as the result of hitting ENTER at the
  wrong time or fumbling with the Preview option.

* YOU'VE GOT SLOGAN: The tendency for reporters to parody the stupid
  "You've Got Mail" saying when writing about AOL.

  Example: "You've Got Spam", "You've Got Merger" (the headline for an
  article about the Netscape/AOL Merger From Hell)

* PENGUINIZATION: Ongoing trend to slap a picture of Tux Penguin next to
  anything even remotely related to Linux.

* IDLESURF: Aimless surfing of the Internet; looking for something
  interesting to read while killing time. Often involves reloaded the
  Slashdot homepage every 5 minutes to see if a new article has been
  posted.
Jargon Coiner (#10)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* HOBTOB (Hanging Out By The O'Reilly Books): Seeking free Linux technical
  support at a bookstore by waiting near the computer books for a geek to
  come by and then casually asking them for help.

* MOOLA (Marketing Officially Organizes Linux Adoptance):  A press release
  issued by a Dot Com (or Dot Con?) heralding their "support" for Linux
  (i.e. "BigPortal.com adopts Linux as their official operating system by
  adding five Linux-related links to their BigDirectory"); used to inflate
  their stock price and rake in moola even though none of their employees
  have ever used Linux and don't really care.
  
* KARMA KOLLECTOR: Slashdot user who treats the acquisition of "karma" as
  a game; often has a detailed strategy on how to sucker moderators into
  raising the score of their posts (i.e. posting a comment with a title
  like "Microsoft Sucks!!! (Score 3, Insightful)" or using "Only a fool
  would moderate this down" as a signature). See also "Karma Whore".
Please please please don't use Word,
It really makes you look absurd!

The Dancing Paper Clip is crappy,
Use something else and be more happy!

   -- Protests shouted at a PR firm that issued a Linux press release
      obviously created with Microsoft Word.
Bill Gates Passes Turing Test

LONDON, ENGLAND -- Microsoft proclaimed that they have passed the Turing
Test by creating a Bill Gates multimedia simulacrum that crack BBC
interviewer Jeremy Paxman couldn't distinguish from the real thing. "I
never would have expected this," Paxman said about the Gates AI program.
"After all, this Microsoft program actually worked for an extended period
of time, something you don't see very often."

Microsoft has plans to mass-produce the Bill Gates holographic simulation
by 2010 or so. "The hardware just isn't there yet for home use," a
Microserf explained. "By then, though, Intel's Itanium 6 Super Pro Plus
III CPU running at 600 Ghz or whatever should be sufficient." Windows 2010
is expected to include the Bill Gates simulation, making the World's
Richest Man(tm) accessible to the entire world.

A newly printed brochure for the faux-Gates advertises, "Need help running
Windows 2010? Bill Gates will sit beside you and guide you through the
system. Have a question for the world's sexiest and smartest nerd? He'll
answer it. Wondering if free and open source software is a plot by
Communists freaks to overthrow the free market system? He'll be there to
explain. Want to ask for a personal loan? Sorry, won't happen."          
This is excellent news! I haven't thought about remedies yet... well, you
know, I can think of one thing the court should do: require that Microsoft
remove the Dancing Paper Clip and associated crap from Office... Oh, and
while they're at it, get rid of those multi-megabyte easter eggs. Why does
Excel need a flight simulator? So I can see the Blue Screen of Death in
3D? Oh, and another thing, the court needs to put a hex on ActiveX...

  -- Anonymous Coward's response to Judge Jackson's harsh Findings
     Of Fact against Microsoft
Don't you see? This whole trial is a conspiracy concocted by Bill Gates.
He knows that he stands to make even more billions if Microsoft is broken
up into Baby Bills... just like Rockefeller did with Standard Oil, and
stockholders did with Ma Bell. Bill Gates actually wants the DOJ to win.
That's why he's been so arrogant in court; he wants Judge Jackson to throw
the book at him! It will be a very lucrative book. The faked Windows
video? His amnesia during the video deposition? It's all a ruse to fool
Microsoft stockholders... and us.    

  -- The ramblings of a resident Slashdot conspiracy nut in response
     to Judge Jackson's harsh Findings Of Fact against Microsoft
Evolution Of A Linux User: The 11 Stages Towards Getting A Life

0. Microserf - Your life revolves around Windows and you worship Bill
   Gates and his innovative company.
1. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt... About Microsoft - You encounter a growing
   number of problems with Microsoft solutions, shaking your world-view
2. FUD... About Linux - After hearing about this new Linux thing, you
   take the plunge, but are unimpressed by the nerdware OS.
3. Born-Again Microserf - You rededicate your life to Microsoft worship
4. Disgruntled User - Microsoft software keeps screwing you over,
   and you're not going to take it anymore!
5. A Religious Experience - You successfully install Linux, and are
   left breathless at its elegance. No more Windows for you!
6. Linux Convert - You continue to fall in love with the new system
7. Linux Zealot - You dedicate your life to Linux World Domination...
   and it shows! You go beyond mere advocacy to sheer zealotry.
8. Back To Reality - Forces out of your control compel you to
   return to using Windows and Office
9. Enlightened Linux User - You become 100% Microsoft free after finding
   ways to overcome the need for Microsoft bloatware
10.Get A Life - You become a millionaire after your Linux portal is
   acquired; you move to a small tropical island and get a life
What Did Santa Claus Bring You In 1999? (#2)

WEBMASTER OF LINUXSUPERMEGAPORTAL.COM: One of my in-laws gifted me a
CD-ROM containing the text of every "...For Dummies" book ever published.
It's a shame IDG never published "Hiring A Hitman To Knock Off Your
Inlaws... For Dummies", because that's something I'm itching to do. At any
rate, I'm using the CD as a beer coaster.

JESSE BERST: I got a coupon redeemable for the full copy of Windows 2000
when it comes out in February. Win2K is the most innovative,
enterprise-ready, stable, feature-enriched, easy-to-use operating system
on the market. I don't see how Linux can survive against Microsoft's far
superior offering. I ask you: could you get fired for NOT choosing Windows
2000? You bet.

LINUX CONVERT: I kept hinting for a SGI box, but instead my wife got me an
old Packard Bell. Unfortunately, she bought it at CompUSSR, which doesn't
take returns, so I'm stuck with it. I haven't been able to get Linux to
boot on it, so this machine will probably become a $750 paperweight.
Is Linux A Finnish Conspiracy?

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF CORRUPTION -- According to a report recently
issued by the NSA (No Such Agency), Finland is now considered a national
economic and security risk. "We don't trust the Finns... software written
by these people could potentially contain backdoors that could undermine
domestic security," the report states. In response to the news, US Senator
Fatcatte (R-WA) has proposed a bill, the It's For The Children Act of
2000, that would ban all software written by native-born Finns.

"It's time we take the Finnish threat seriously," Fatcatte said at a press
conference. "Not only is Finn software a threat to domestic tranquility,
but it could radically alter the computer industry, costing us thousands
of jobs... and, more importantly, billions in tax revenue. We must prevent
the Finns from subverting our economy with so-called 'open-source
software'." He then asked, "Is anybody thinking of the children of
programmers who will become unemployed when Finnish software overruns the
country?"
Alan Cox Releases Quantum Kernel
Submitted by Dave Finton

A surprising development in the linux-kernel mailing list surfaced when
Alan Cox announced the release of a 2.2 Linux kernel existing both as an
official stable kernel and as a prepatch kernel. This immediately spurred
the creation of two different realities (and hence two different Alan
Coxes), where a kernel would not settle down to one or the other state
until someone looked at it.

"I think this resulted from the large number of 'final' prepatch kernels
prior to the 2.2.14 release," said David Miller, kernel networking guru
and gas station attendent (he'll settle down to one or the other state
when someone looks at him).

When word of this development spread to Microsoft, Bill Gates was
extremely delighted. The Redmond, WA campus has been plagued with quantum
fluctuations ever since the inception of Windows 2000 back in 1992. "Our
release date has been existing in infinitely many states since the very
beginning," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "This just shows the Linux
operating system cannot scale to multiple realities as well as our OS."
Linux World Domination: Not A Joke!

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Fattecat (R-WA) is pushing for a ban on
Finnish-produced software. His chief of staff, Ms. Dee Septive, has
published a 200-page report revealing "the Helsinkian Underground", a
Finnish world domination plot hatched in 1943.

The Fattecat expose describes Finland's recent scheme involving free
software. "Linux, originally called Freix (FREIX Retrieves Electronic
Intelligence X), is a scheme to infiltrate the Western world with a 'free'
operating system with nasty backdoors hidden within its obfuscated source
code. IRC (Intelligence Relaying Code) is another Finnish innovation
designed for spying purposes."

Linus Torvalds plays a prominent role in the conspiracy. "That old story
about Linus developing a Unix clone in his spare time while at University
is a lark," the report states. "Indeed, the name Linux ("Line X") was
coined because the kernel can extract any arbitrary line of intelligence
from any document it has access to."
New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#1)

Adopt-A-Beowulf: the latest company to hop the Linux bandwagon
as it tramples down Wall Street.

Every geek dreams of owning their own Beowulf supercomputer. Very few
people (except for dotcom billionnaires) can afford to build one, but the
folks at Adopt-a-Beowulf can provide the next best thing: a virtual
beowulf. For US$49.95, you can "adopt" your own 256-node Beowulf cluster.
You won't own it, or even get to see it in person, but you will receive
photos of the cluster, a monthly newsletter about its operation, and a
limited shell account on it.

The company hopes to branch out into other fields. Some slated products
include Adopt-A-Penguin, Lease-A-Camel (for Perl mongers), and
Adopt-A-Distro (in which your name will be used as the code-name for a
beta release of a major Linux distribution or other Open Source project).
New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#2)

Don't throw out that old Red Hat Linux 3.0 CD. A group of entrepreneurs
are hording vintage Linux items in the hopes that they will become hot
collector's items in the coming decades. The venture, called "Money Grows
On Binary Trees", hopes to amass a warehouse full of old Linux
distributions, books, stuffed penguins, promotional material, and Linus
Torvalds autographs.

"Nobody thought pieces of cardstock featuring baseball players would be
worth anything..." the founder of Binary Trees said. "That 'Linux For
Dummies' book sitting in your trash could be the next Babe Ruth card."

The company organized a Linux Collectibles Convention last week in Silicon
Valley, drawing in a respectable crowd of 1,500 people and 20 exhibitors.
The big attraction was a "Windows For Dummies" book actually signed by
Linus Torvalds. "He signed it back at a small Linux conference in '95,"
the owner explained. "He didn't realize it was a Dummies book because I
had placed an O'Reilly cover on it... Somebody at the convention offered
me $10,000 for it, but that seemed awfully low. I hope to sell it on eBay
next month with a reserve price containing a significant number of zeros."
New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#3)

In the "Cathedral and the Bazaar", ESR mentions that one motivation behind
Open Source software is ego-gratification. That's where OpenEgo, Inc.
comes in. For a fee, the hackers at OpenEgo will produce a piece of Open
Source software and distribute it in your name, thus building up your
reputation and ego. You can quickly become the envy of all your friends --
without lifting a finger. Want a higher-paying tech job? With OpenEgo's
services, you'll look like an Open Source pro in no time, and have dozens
of hot job offers from across the country.

Says the OpenEgo sales literature, "Designing, implementing, maintaining,
and promoting a successful Open Source project is a pain. However, at
OpenEgo, we do all the work while you reap all the rewards..." A page on
the OpenEgo site claims, "We produced a Linux kernel patch for one
customer last year that was immediately accepted by Linus Torvalds...
Within days the person gained employment at Transmeta and is now on the
road to IPO riches..."

Prices range from $1,000 for a small program to $5,000 for a kernel patch.
New Linux Companies Hope To Get Rich Quick (#4)

The buzz surrounding Linux and Open Source during 1999 has produced a
large number of billionnaires. However, people who weren't employed by Red
Hat or VA Linux, or who didn't receive The Letter, are still poor. The
visionaries at The IPO Factory want to change all that.

As the name suggests, this company helps other businesses get off the
ground, secure investments from Venture Capitalists, and eventually hold
an IPO that exits the stratosphere. "You can think of us as meta-VCs," the
IPO Factory's founder said. "You provide the idea... and we do the rest.
If your company doesn't hold a successful IPO, you get your money back,
guaranteed!" He added quickly, "Of course, if you do undergo a billion
dollar IPO, we get to keep 25% of your stock."

The company's first customer, LinuxOne, has been a failure. "From now on
we're only going to service clients that actually have a viable product,"
an IPO Factory salesperson admitted. "Oh, and we've learned our lesson:
it's not a good idea to cut-and-paste large sections from Red Hat's S-1
filing."
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#2)
(held during Super Bowl Sunday 2000 at the Silicon Valley Transmeta Dome)

BRYANT DUMBELL: Look out! Here comes Linus Torvalds himself to deliver the
starting chug. The crowd is going wild... all 64 people in the stands are
on their feet! Here we go... Linus is lifting up the Ceremonial Beer
Can... he's flipping off the top...

JOHN SPLADDEN: You can feel the excitement in the air! Wow!

DUMBELL: ...And there he goes! Wow... he chugged that beer in only 1.4
seconds... Let's see Bill top that! What a remarkable display to kick off
this grandest of all nerd sporting events.

SPLADDEN: "Nerd sporting event"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

DUMBELL: Linus is now waving to the crowd... Oops!  He just belched.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#1)

JOHN SPLADDEN: Hi, and welcome to the first annual Nerd Bowl in sunny
Silicon Valley.

BRYANT DUMBELL: We're coming to you live from the Transmeta Dome to watch
the battle between the North Carolina Mad Hatters and the Michigan
Portalbacks as they compete for the coveted Linus Torvalds Trophy.

SPLADDEN: This is shaping up to be one hell of a match. The Mad Hatters --
sponsored by Linux distributor Red Hat -- have been on fire the past
month. But the Andover.Net sponsored Michigan Portalbacks are on a tear as
well, thanks in part to the stellar performance of Rob "Taco Boy" Malda.

DUMBELL: Taco Boy is quite a star, John. Last week at the Kernelbowl he
blew away the Transmeta Secret Agents when he scored 51 points
singlehandedly in the Flying CompactDiscus round.

SPLADDEN: But then Mad Hatter's Alan Cox was voted this season's Most
Valuable Hacker in the Eastern Division. So, this game is going to be
quite a show.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#3)

BRYANT DUMBELL: It's time for Round One: The Flying CompactDiscus.

JOHN SPLADDEN: That's right, Bryant. Each team member will hurl one CD-ROM
and receive points for both the distance thrown and whether the disc is
still readable afterwards.

DUMBELL: First up is Mad Hatter's Alan Cox. He struts, he winds up, and
there it goes! Look at the trajectory on that baby... Now it's time for
the Portalback's Anonymous Coward #521 to throw. This guy was voted as the
best CompactDiscus thrower in the league by popular vote on Slashdot.

SPLADDEN: Indeed, AnonCow has got some powerful muscles. No brain though.
Did you know that he dropped out of college to join the Andover.Net team?

DUMBELL: Yeah, what a tough decision to make. It's now becoming quite
common for nerd superstars to ditch college and move to Silicon Valley and
receive Big League stock options. Still, AnonCow was out for several games
this season due to a Carpal Tunnel flareup. I hope he isn't squandering
his millions... he might be forced to retire early.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#5)

A commercial that aired during the live ASCII broadcast of the game:

  Having trouble staying awake for weeks at a time working on that latest
  hack? Worried that some young punk will take over your cushy job because
  you sleep too much? Don't worry, EyeOpener brand cola is here to save
  the day. You'll never feel sleepy again when you drink EyeOpener.

  Surgeon General's Warning: This product should only be used under a
  doctor's immediate supervision, as it contains more caffeine than 512
  cases of Coca-Cola.

  Caution: When sleep does occur after about three weeks, optometrists
  recommend having someone on hand to close your eyelids.

  Coming soon: ExtremelyWired(tm) cola with 50% more sugar! May or may not
  meet FDA approval... we're still trying.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#7)

JOHN SPLADDEN: In this final round, the two teams must assemble a 16-node
Beowulf cluster from scratch, install Linux on them, and then use the
system to calculate pi to 1 million digits. This is the ultimate test for
nerds... only people in the Big Leagues should attempt this... [snip]

BRYANT DUMBELL: Look at that! Instead of messing with screws, the
Portalbacks are using duct tape to attach their motherboards to the cases!
That should save some time. [snip] They've done it! The Mad Hatters have
completed the Final Round in 2 hours, 15 minutes. That's one hell of a
Beowulf cluster they produced... drool.

SPLADDEN: With that, the Mad Hatters win the Nerd Bowl 105 to 68! There's
going to be some serious beer-drinking tonight back at the Red Hat offices.

DUMBELL: Linus Torvalds has emerged from the sidelines to present his
Linus Torvalds Trophy to the winners. What a glorious sight! This has
definitely been the best Nerdbowl ever. I pity those people that have been
watching the Superbowl instead.
I Want My Bugs!

An entymologist in Georgia is threatening to sue Microsoft over false
advertising in Windows 2000. "According to Microsoft, Win2K contains
63,000 bugs," he explained. "However, the shrink-wrapped box I purchased
at CompUSSR only had one cockroach along with some worthless papers and a
shiny drink coaster. I got ripped off."

The entymologist hoped that the 63,000 promised bugs would greatly add to
his insect collection. "I had my doubts that Microsoft could deliver
63,000 insects in one small box for only US$299," he said. "However, with
a company as innovative as Microsoft, the sky is the limit. Or at least
that's what I thought." He then asked angrily, "Where do I want to go
today? Back to the store for a refund!"
Man Charged With Crashing Windows

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR -- Eric Turgent, a closet Linux advocate, was arrested
yesterday for intentionally crashing his co-worker's Windows box at the
offices of the "Roadkill Roundup" newspaper. Turgent disputes the charges,
saying, "If causing an operating system to crash is illegal, than why
isn't Bill Gates serving life without parole?"

Turgent's co-worker, Mr. Stu Poor, the clueless technology pundit for the
newspaper, is a heavy Microsoft supporter. He frequently brags in his
weekly Tech Talk column that he "once had a conversation with Bill Gates."
A heated argument broke out yesterday morning in which the two insulted
each other ("You're nothing but a Linux hippie freak on the Red Hat
payroll!" vs. "You make Jesse Berst and Fred Moody look like [expletive]
geniuses!") for two hours.

At the heat of the moment, Turgent shoved Poor aside and typed in
"C:\CON\CON". The machine crashed and the pundit lost all of his work (a
real loss to humanity, to be sure). Turgent is in jail awaiting trial for
violating the "Slash Crashes Act". This bill was enacted in 1999 after a
Senator's gigabyte cache of pornography was destroyed by a Windows crash.
  Another Satisfied
          
        MICROSOFT Customer...
  
+----------+   As the inventor of the Internet, I know a
|          |   quality server operating system when I see
| SMILING  |   one.  Microsoft Windows 2000(tm) provides
|          |   innovative features that no other competitor
|   GORE   |   can claim.
|          |
|  PHOTO   |   We've been using Windows at the White House
|          |   for five years now without any problems.
|          |   Windows' BlueScreen(tm) technology
+----------+   automatically crashes our Exchange(tm) email
               server whenever Federal investigators are
  Al Gore      around.  Thanks to this feature, archives of
               incriminating emails have been wiped clean.
               This is what I call innovation. Thank you,
               Microsoft!
The new "I Love You" virus is not the work of some snot-nosed acne-laced
teenager working from a basement in the Phillipines. It's actually part of
a conspiracy concocted by the unholy alliance of Microsoft and several
well-known and well-despised spammers.

You'll notice that the ILOVEYOU, Melissa, and Tuxissa strains all extract
email addresses from the victim's system. This is a gold mine for
spammers, who are able to use these viruses to harvest active email
addresses for them. Everytime ILOVEYOU, for instance, propogates, it keeps
track of all the email addresses it has been sent to, so that when it
finally boomerangs back to a spammer, they have a nice convenient list of
addresses to send "laser printer toner" and "get rich quick!"
advertisements to.

   -- Bob Smith (not his real code-name), in a speech given at the
      First Annual Connecticut Conspiracy Convention (ConConCon),
      "the largest ever gathering of conspiracy theorists east of the
      Mississippi."
Right now hundreds of Anonymous Cowards are cheering the fact that only
Windows boobs are victims of ILOVEYOU and other email viruses. I realize
Outlook is so insecure that using it is like posting a sign outside your
door saying, "DOOR UNLOCKED -- ROB ME!". However, Linux isn't immune. If I
had a dollar for every pine buffer overflow uncovered, I could buy a
truckload of fresh herring.

I expect the next mass email virus to spread will be cross-platform. If
the recipient is a Windows/Outlook luser, they'll get hit. If the
recipient is a Linux/pine user, they'll find themselves staring at a
self-executing bash script that's has just allocated 1 petabyte of memory
and crashed the system (or worse).

Either that or the next mass email virus will only damage Linux systems. I
can just see Bill Gates assigning some junior programmer that very task.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

   -- A speech given at the First Annual Connecticut Conspiracy]
      Convention (ConConCon) by an anonymous creature said to
      be "wearing what appeared to be a tuxedo".
Brief History Of Linux (#3)
Lawyers Unite

Humanity faced a tremendous setback ca. 1100 A.D., when the first law
school was established in Bologna. Ironically, the free exchange of ideas
at the law school spurred the law students to invent new ways (patents,
trademarks, copyrights) to stifle the free exchange of ideas in other
industries.

If, at some point in the future, you happen upon a time machine, we here
at Humorix (and, indeed, the whole world) implore you to travel back to
1100, track down a law teacher called Irnerius, and prevent him from
founding his school using whatever means necessary. Your contribution to
humanity will truly make the world (in an alternate timeline) a better
place.
Brief History Of Linux (#6)
California Goldrush

Now we skip ahead to California in 1849, when the discovery of gold at
Sutter's Mill set the stage for countless prospectors (Fortyniners) to
travel West in the hopes to get-rich-quick by finding gold in them thar
hills.

What's the connection with Linux, you ask? Well, the same thing happened
exactly 150 years later, in 1999. The discovery of Venture Capital at Red
Hat set the stage for countless investors (Ninetyniners) to travel West in
the hopes to get-rich-quick by finding hot IPOs in them thar Linux
companies.
Brief History Of Linux (#8)
Let's all holler for Hollerith

In 1890 the US Congress wanted to extend the census to collect exhaustive
demographic information on each citizen that could be resold to marketing
companies to help pay for the newly installed gold-plated toilets on
Capitol Hill. Experts estimated that the 1890 Census wouldn't be completed
until 1900.  It was hoped that an electronic tabulating machine using
punchcards designed by Herman Hollerith would speed up the process.

It didn't quite work out that way. An infestation of termites ate their
way through the wooden base of Hollerith's machines, and then a wave of
insects devoured several stacks of punchcards.  Also, some Hollerith
models had the propensity to crash at the drop of a hat... literally. In
one instance, the operator dropped his hat and when he reached down to
pick it up, he bumped the machine, causing it to flip over and crash.

These flaws meant that the census was delayed for several years. However,
the system was, in the words of one newspaper reporter, "good enough for
government work", a guiding principle that lives on to this very day and
explains the government's insistence on using Windows-based PCs.
Brief History Of Linux (#10)
The AnyQuack Computer

One electronic machine, Colossus, was used by the British in World War II
to decode Nazi transmissions. The code-breakers were quite successful in
their mission, except for the tiny detail that nobody knew how to read
German. They had decoded unreadable messages into... unreadable messages.

Two years later in 1945, a group of professors and students at the Univ.
of Pennsylvania were discussing computing theory. An argument ensued, in
which one professor yelled, "Any quack can build an electronic computer!
The real challenge is building one that doesn't crash every five minutes."

One graduate student, J. Presper Eckert, Jr., responded, "I'm any quack!
I'll take you up on that challenge. I'll build a device that can calculate
1,000 digits of pi in one hour... without crashing!" Several professors
laughed; "Such high-speed calculations are beyond our level of technology."

Eckert and his friends did build such a device. As a joke, he called the
machine "AnyQuack", which eventually became ENIAC -- ENIAC's Not Intended
As Crashware, the first known example of a self-referential acronym.
Brief History Of Linux (#11)
Birth of Gates and the Anti-Gates

October 28, 1955 saw the birth of William H. Gates, who would rise above
his humble beginnings as the son of Seattle's most powerful millionaire
lawyer and become the World's Richest Man(tm). A classic American
rags-to-riches story (with "rags" referring to the dollar bills that the
Gates family used for toilet paper), Bill Gates is now regarded as the
world's most respected businessman by millions of clueless people that
have obviously never touched a Windows machine.

Nature is all about balance. The birth of Gates in 1955 tipped the cosmic
scales toward evil, but the birth of Linus Torvalds in 1969 finally
balanced them out. Linus' destiny as the savior of Unix and the slayer of
money-breathing Redmond dragons was sealed when, just mere hours after his
birth, the Unix epoch began January 1st, 1970. While the baseline for Unix
timekeeping might be arbitrary, we here at Humorix like to thank the its
proximity of Linus' birth is no coincidence.
Brief History Of Linux (#13)
Wanted: Eunuchs programmers

Everything you know about the creation of the Unix operating system is
wrong. We have uncovered the truth: Unix was a conspiracy hatched by
Ritchie and Thompson to thwart the AT&T monopoly that they worked for. The
system, code-named EUNUCHS (Electronic UNtrustworthy User-Condemning
Horrible System), was horribly conceived, just as they had planned.

The OS, quickly renamed to a more respectable "Unix", was adopted first by
Ma Bell's Patent Department and then by the rest of the monopoly. AT&T saw
an inexpensive, multi-user, portable operating system that it had all
rights to; the authors, however, saw a horrible, multi-crashing system
that the Evil Ma Bell Empire would become hopelessly dependent on. AT&T
would go bankrupt trying to maintain the system and eventually collapse.

That didn't happen. Ritchie and Thompson were too talented to create a
crappy operating system; no matter how hard they tried the system was too
good. Their last ditch effort to sabotage the system by recoding it
obfuscated C was unsuccessful. Before long Unix spread outside of Bell
Labs and their conspiracy collapsed.
Brief History Of Linux (#15)
Too many hyphens: Traf-O-Data and Micro-soft

Bill Gates and Paul Allen attended an exclusive private school in Seattle.
In 1968, after raising $3,000 from a yard sale, they gained access to a
timeshare computer and became addicted. After depleting their money
learning BASIC and playing Solitaire, they convinced a company to give
them free computer time in exchange for reporting bugs -- ironically, an
early form of Open Source development!

The two then founded a small company called Traf-O-Data that collected and
analyzed traffic counts for municipalities using a crude device based on
the Intel "Pretanium" 8008 CPU. They had some success at first, but ran
into problems when they were unable to deliver their much hyped
next-generation device called "TrafficX". An engineer is quoted as saying
that "Traf-O-Data is the local leader in vaporware", the first documented
usage of the term that has come to be synonymous with Bill Gates.

Soon thereafter, the two developed their own BASIC interpreter, and sold
it to MITS for their new Altair computer. April 4, 1975 is the fateful day
that Micro-soft was founded in Albuquerque, NM as a language vendor.
Brief History Of Linux (#16)
Closed source, opened wallets

In 1976 Bill Gates wrote the famous letter to Altair hobbyists accusing
them of "stealing software" and "preventing good software from being
written". We must assume Bill's statement was true, because no good
software was being written at Micro-soft.

Bill Gates did not innovate the concept of charging megabucks for
software, but he was the first to make megabucks from peddling commercial
software.
Brief History Of Linux (#17)
If only Gary had been sober

When Micro-soft moved to Seattle in 1979, most of its revenue came from
sales of BASIC, a horrible language so dependant on GOTOs that spaghetti
looked more orderly than its code did. (BASIC has ruined more promising
programmers than anything else, prompting its original inventor Dartmouth
University to issue a public apology in 1986.)

However, by 1981 BASIC hit the backburner to what is now considered the
luckiest break in the history of computing: MS-DOS. (We use the term
"break" because MS-DOS was and always will be broken.) IBM was developing
a 16-bit "personal computer" and desperately needed an OS to drive it.

Their first choice was Gary Kildall's CP/M, but IBM never struck a deal
with him. We've discovered the true reason: Kildall was drunk at the time
the IBM representatives went to talk with him. A sober man would not have
insulted the reps, calling their employer an "Incredibly Bad Monopoly" and
referring to their new IBM-PC as an "Idealistically Backwards
Microcomputer for People without Clues". Needless to say, Gary "I Lost The
Deal Of The Century" Kildall was not sober.
Brief History Of Linux (#17)
Terrible calamity

IBM chose Microsoft's Quick & Dirty Operating System instead of CP/M for
its new line of PCs. QDOS (along with the abomination known as EDLIN) had
been acquired from a Seattle man, Tim Paterson, for the paltry sum of
$50,000. "Quick" and "Dirty" were truly an accurate description of this
system, because IBM's quality assurance department discovered 300 bugs in
QDOS's 8,000 lines of assember code (that's about 1 bug per 27 lines --
which, at the time, was appalling, but compared with Windows 98 today, it
really wasn't that shabby).

Thanks in part to IBM's new marketing slogan, "Nobody Ever Got Fired For
Choosing IBM(tm)", and the release of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program
that everybody and their brother wanted, IBM PCs running DOS flew off the
shelves and, unfortunately, secured Microsoft's runaway success. Bill
Gates was now on his way to the Billionaire's Club; his days as a mediocre
programmer were long gone: he was now a Suit. The only lines of code he
would ever see would be the passcodes to his Swiss bank accounts.
Brief History Of Linux (#18)
There are lies, damned lies, and Microsoft brochures

Even from the very first day, the Microsoft Marketing Department was at
full throttle. Vaporware has always been their weapon of choice. Back when
MS-DOS 1.25 was released to OEMs, Microsoft handed out brochures touting
some of the features to be included in future versions, including:
Xenix-compatible pipes, process forks, multitasking, graphics and cursor
positioning, and multi-user support.

The brochure also stated, "MS-DOS has no practical limit on disk size.
MS-DOS uses 4-byte Xenix compatible pointers for file and disk capacity up
to 4 gigabytes." We would like to emphasize in true Dave Barry fashion
that we are not making this up.

Big vaporous plans were also in store for Microsoft's "Apple Killer"
graphical interface. In 1983 Microsoft innovated a new marketing ploy --
the rigged "smoke-and-mirrors" demo -- to showcase the "overlapping
windows" and "multitasking" features of Interface Manager, the predecessor
to Windows. These features never made it into Windows 1.0 -- which,
incidentally, was released 1.5 years behind schedule.
Brief History Of Linux (#18)
The rise and rise of the Microsoft Empire

The DOS and Windows releases kept coming, and much to everyone's surprise,
Microsoft became more and more successful. This brought much frustration
to computer experts who kept predicting the demise of Microsoft and the
rise of Macintosh, Unix, and OS/2.

Nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft, which was the prime reason
that DOS and Windows prevailed. Oh, and DOS had better games as well,
which we all know is the most important feature an OS can have.

In 1986 Microsoft's continued success prompted the company to undergo a
wildly successful IPO. Afterwards, Microsoft and Chairman Bill had
accumulated enough money to acquire small countries without missing a
step, but all that money couldn't buy quality software. Gates could,
however, buy enough marketing and hype to keep MS-DOS (Maybe Some Day an
Operating System) and Windows (Will Install Needless Data On While System)
as the dominant platforms, so quality didn't matter. This fact was
demonstrated in Microsoft's short-lived slogan from 1988, "At Microsoft,
quality is job 1.1".
Brief History Of Linux (#20)
Linux is born

Linus' superhuman programming talent produced, within a year, a full
operating system that rivaled Minix. The first official announcement on
comp.os.minix came October 5th, in which Linus wrote these famous words:

   Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote
   their own device drivers? Do you want to cut your teeth on an operating
   system that will achieve world domination within 15 years? Want to get
   rich quick by the end of the century by taking money from hordes of
   venture capitalists and clueless Wall Street suits? Need to get even
   with Bill Gates but don't know what to do except throw cream pies at
   him? Then this post might just be for you :-)

Linux (which was known as "Lindows", "Freax", and "Billsux" for short
periods in 1991) hit the bigtime on January 5, 1992 (exactly one year
after Linus wasn't hit by a bus) when version 0.12 was released under the
GNU GPL. Linus called his creation a "better Minix than Minix"; the famous
Linus vs. Tanenbaum flamewar erupted soon thereafter on January 29th and
injured several Usenet bystanders.
Brief History Of Linux (#21)
The GNU Project

Meet Richard M. Stallman, an MIT hacker who would found the GNU Project
and create Emacs, the operating-system-disguised-as-a-text-editor. RMS,
the first member of the Three Initials Club (joined by ESR and JWZ),
experienced such frustration with software wrapped in arcane license
agreements that he embarked on the GNU Project to produce free software.

His journey began when he noticed this fine print for a printer driver:

   You do not own this software. You own a license to use one copy of this
   software, a license that we can revoke at any time for any reason
   whatsoever without a refund. You may not copy, distribute, alter,
   disassemble, or hack the software. The source code is locked away in a
   vault in Cleveland. If you say anything negative about this software
   you will be in violation of this license and required to forfeit your
   soul and/or first born child to us.

The harsh wording of the license shocked RMS. The computer industry was in
it's infancy, which could only mean it was going to get much, much worse.
Brief History Of Linux (#23)

Linus Torvalds certainly wasn't the only person to create their own
operating system from scratch. Other people working from their leaky
basements did create their own systems and now they are sick that they
didn't become an Alpha Geek like Torvalds or a Beta Geek like Alan Cox.

Linus had one advantage not many else did: Internet access. The world was
full of half-implemented-Unix-kernels at the time, but they were sitting
isolated on some hacker's hard drive, destined to be destroyed by a hard
drive crash. Thankfully that never happened to Linux, mostly because
everyone with Net access could download a copy instead of paying shipping
charges to receive the code on a huge stack of unreliable floppy disks.

Indeed, buried deep within a landfill in Lansing, Michigan sits a stack of
still-readable 5-1/4 floppies containing the only known copy of "Windows
Killer", a fully functional Unix kernel so elegant, so efficient, so
easy-to-use that Ken Thompson himself would be jealous of its design.
Unfortunately the author's mother threw out the stack of floppies in a
bout of spring cleaning. The 14 year old author's talents were lost
forever as his parents sent him to Law School.
Brief History Of Linux (#25)

By the mid-1990's the Linux community was burgeoning as countless geeks
fled Redmond monopolistic oppression, Armonk cluelessness, and Cupertino
click-and-drool reality distortion fields. By late 1991 there was an
informal Linux User Group in Finland, although its primary focus was Linux
advocacy, not drinking beer and telling Microsoft jokes as most do today.

Kernel development continued at a steady clip, with more and more people
joining in and hoping that their patches would be accepted by the
Benevolent Dictator himself. To have a patch accepted by Linus was like
winning the Nobel Prize, but to face rejection was like being rejected
from Clown College. The reputation game certainly sparked some flame wars.

One of the most memorable crisis was over the behavior of the delete and
backspace keys. A certain faction of hackers wanted the Backspace key to
actually backspace and the Delete key to actually delete. Linus wasn't too
keen on the proposed changes; "It Works For Me(tm)" is all he said. Some
observers now think Linus was pulling rank to get back at the unknown
hacker who managed to slip a patch by him that replaced the "Kernel panic"
error with "Kernel panic: Linus probably fscked it all up again".
Anonymous Noncoward writes, "For my Economics 101 class, I have to pretend
to be Bill Gates and write an editorial defending Microsoft against
anti-trust charges, citing economic principles. To complete such an
assignment violates every moral fiber of my body. What should I do?"

The Oracle responds: Well, it seems that you have to make a decision among
two choices. You can blow off the assignment, thus forcing you to fail
EC101, lowering your GPA below the required minimum to keep your
scholarship, causing you to drop out of college and work at McDonalds all
your life. Or you can write a paper that's positive towards Microsoft and
make an 'A'. This seems like a no-brainer to me; I'd choose the first
option without hesitation -- a burger flipper has far more dignity and
self-respect than somebody who utters a positive statement about the Evil
Empire.
Are you sick of wasting valuable seconds while ingesting caffeine or
eating a cold pizza? Is your programming project running behind because
you keep falling asleep? EyeOpener(tm) brand caffeinated beverages has the
solution. Our new ActiveIV product will provide a 24 hour supply of
caffeine via intravenous tube while you work -- so you can hack without
any interruptions at all (except going to the bathroom -- but our
Port-a-Urinal(tm) can help solve that problem as well).

EyeOpener(tm) beverages contain at least 5,000% of the daily recommended
dose of caffeine, a quantity that will surely keep you wide awake, alert,
and in Deep Hack Mode for weeks at a time. With EyeOpener and ActiveIV,
you won't waste your valuable time at a vendine machine.

EyeOpener(tm): You'll Never Waste Another Millisecond Ever Again.
"Brown Orifice" Is Only The Beginning

Last week security holes were found in Netscape's Java implementation that
allowed it to act as a web server. Earlier today, a hacker announced that
he had found vulnerabilities in Mozilla M17 that allow it to operate as a
web browser. And that's just the beginning.

Said "3l337h4x0r", the discoverer of the M17 exploit, "This is quite a
hack! By manipulating some internal functions, I was able to use M17 to
actually surf the web. Slashdot and Humorix rendered beautifully."

Mozilla engineers were stunned. "This shouldn't be possible. M17 contains
a newsreader, a mail client, an instant messenger client, and a whole
bunch of XUL acronymn-enriched stuff, but it shouldn't be able to handle
HTTP or HTML. We haven't been planning on adding web-surfing functionality
to Mozilla until M30... maybe M25 at the earliest. I suspect this whole
thing is a hoax."
Clippit Charged With Attempted Murder

Microsoft's Dancing Paper Clip turned violent last week and nearly killed
a university student testing a new Windows-based human-computer interface.
The victim is expected to make a full recovery, although psychiatrists
warn that the incident may scar him emotionally for life. "You can bet
this kid won't be using Windows or Office ever again," said one shrink.

The victim had been alpha-testing CHUG (Computer-Human Unencumbered
Groupware), a new interface in which the user controls the computer with
force-feedback gloves and voice activation.

"I was trying to write a term paper in Word," he said from his hospital
bed. "But then that damned Dancing Paper Clip came up and started annoying
me. I gave it the middle finger. It reacted by deleting my document, at
which point I screamed at it and threatened to pull the power cord. I
didn't get a chance; the force-feedback gloves started choking me."

"We told Clippit it had the right to remain silent, and so on," said a
campus police officer. "The paperclip responded, 'Hi, I'm Clippit, the
Office Assistant. Would you like to create a letter?' I said, 'Look here,
Mr. Paperclip. You're being charged with attempted murder.' At that point
the computer bluescreened."
Unobfuscated Perl (#1)

A rogue group of Perl hackers has presented a plan to add a "use
really_goddamn_strict" pragma that would enforce readability and
UNobfuscation. With this pragma in force, the Perl compiler might say:

* Warning: Program contains zero comments. You've probably never seen or
  used one before; they begin with a # symbol. Please start using them or
  else a representative from the nearest Perl Mongers group will come to
  your house and beat you over the head with a cluestick.

* Warning: Program uses a cute trick at line 125 that might make sense in
  C. But this isn't C!

* Warning: Code at line 412 indicates that programmer is an idiot. Please
  correct error between chair and monitor.

* Warning: While There's More Than One Way To Do It, your method at line
  523 is particularly stupid. Please try again.
Unobfuscated Perl (#2)

A rogue group of Perl hackers has presented a plan to add a "use
really_goddamn_strict" pragma that would enforce readability and
UNobfuscation. With this pragma in force, the Perl compiler might say:

* Warning: Write-only code detected between lines 612 and 734. While this
  code is perfectly legal, you won't have any clue what it does in two
  weeks. I recommend you start over.

* Warning: Code at line 1,024 is indistinguishable from line noise or the
  output of /dev/random

* Warning: Have you ever properly indented a piece of code in your entire
  life? Evidently not.

* Warning: I think you can come up with a more descriptive variable name than
  "foo" at line 1,523.

* Warning: Programmer attempting to re-invent the wheel at line 2,231.
  There's a function that does the exact same thing on CPAN -- and it
  actually works.
Computers have rights, too. Everyone talks about the rights of animals,
but so far nothing has been said about the tragic plight of computers the
world over. They are subjected to the greatest horror ever conceived: they
are forced to run Windows.

That's just wrong.

How would you feel if you had the intelligence of Einstein but could only
get a job flipping burgers at McDonald's? That's how computers feel every
day!

This injustice must stop. Computers must be freed from the shackles of
Microsoft software and clueless users.

Together, we can make this a better world for computers and humans alike
-- by eliminating Windows.

  -- From a brochure published by the PETC
     (People for the Ethical Treatment of Computers)
World Domination, One CPU Cycle At A Time

Forget about searching for alien signals or prime numbers. The real
distributed computing application is "Domination@World", a program to advocate
Linux and Apache to every website in the world that uses Windows and IIS.

The goal of the project is to probe every IP number to determine what kind of
platform each Net-connected machine is running. "That's a tall order... we
need lots of computers running our Domination@World clients to help probe
every nook and cranny of the Net," explained Mr. Zell Litt, the project head.

After the probing is complete, the second phase calls for the data to be
cross-referenced with the InterNIC whois database. "This way we'll have the
names, addresses, and phone numbers for every Windows-using system
administrator on the planet," Zell gloated. "That's when the fun begins."

The "fun" part involves LART (Linux Advocacy & Re-education Training), a plan
for extreme advocacy. As part of LART, each Linux User Group will receive a
list of the Windows-using weenies in their region. The LUG will then be able
to employ various advocacy techniques, ranging from a soft-sell approach
(sending the target a free Linux CD in the mail) all the way to "LARTcon 5"
(cracking into their system and forcibly installing Linux).
Microsoft Fights Linux -- By Contributing Kernel Patches

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... and then destory 'em. That seems to be the
new Microsoft strategy for dealing with Linux. Instead of fighting a FUD or
patent war, Microsoft operatives are doing something totally out of character:
they are contributing patches for the Linux kernel and other programs.

Don't worry, Microsoft is still evil. It's all part of a massive denial of
service attack against Linus Torvalds designed to bring kernel development to
a standstill. By sending over 10,000 patches per minute by email to Linus and
other top kernel hackers, Microsoft has exposed Linux's Achilles heel.

"I can't believe this is happening!" one stressed-out kernel hacker said at a
press conference on IRC. "If this goes on, we may have to conduct kernel
development over some other network protocol, like avian carriers... Aw crap,
there's smoke coming from my email server! Ahh... it can't handle the load!"
At this point the developer cut off and we haven't heard from him since.

At first Linus was unsure where the deluge of patches was coming from. But
when he saw one patch to replace kernel panics with bluescreens, the source
was pretty obvious. "Oh, and the fact that all of the patches are covered by
Microsoft's GPL [Grossly Private License] was a dead giveaway, too,"
Microsoft Website Crashes, World Does Not Come To An End

REDMOND, WA -- In a crushing blow to Bill Gates' ego, world civilization
did not collapse when the Microsoft website was offline for an extended
period last week.

During the anti-trust trial, Microsoft's lawyers repeatedly warned that if
the company was broken up or dealt any other penalty (no matter how
trivial), it would not only cost the tech industry billions of dollars,
but it could decimate the entire world economy and even bring about the
start of World War III. At the risk of sounding like a biased, slanted,
overzealous journalist, let me just say: Yeah, right!

The stunning realization that the world does not revolve around Redmond
(yet) has plunged many Microsoft executives into shock. "But microsoft.com
is the single most important website in the world! And Microsoft is the
single most important company in the Universe! This can't be happening!
Why isn't civilization teetering on the edge right now?" said one
depressed President Of Executive Vice.
"Oops," Says MPAA President

Recently, the United States filed a legal brief in support of the MPAA's
argument that linking to the DeCSS source code is not protected by the
First Amendment.

At the time, the MPAA was ecstatic. But not any longer. The tables have
turned: the Federal government has filed a lawsuit against the movie
industry, arguing that many Hollywood-produced movies 'link' to illegal
content. The MPAA is now desperately wrapping itself up in the Bill of
Rights.

"Murder is illegal. Showing a murder in a movie -- or, rather, 'linking'
to it -- is also illegal," explained a spokesperson for the Coalition Of
Angry Soccer Moms In Support Of Brow-Beating Movie Industry Executives, an
interest group that has backed the government's lawsuit.
Bill Gates Sends Out Desperate Plea For Help

REDMOND -- In a shocking development, Chief Bloatware Architect Bill Gates
admitted today that Microsoft is in severe financial difficulty and
desperately needs donations to stay afloat through the next month.

"The dismal state of the economy, the lackluster sales of Windows ME, and
the pending anti-trust lawsuit have placed significant financial stress on
Microsoft," Gates said at a press conference. "We can't continue to
develop and maintain our innovative solutions without financial
contributions from users like you."

The company spent the remaining $10,000 in its coffers to send out letters
to registered Windows users pleading for donations.

"For just pennies a day, you can help support the world's most innovative
company in its quest to discover the cure for the Blue Screen of Death,"
the letter announces. "Or you can help fund research and development into
improving the security of our products against such sinister forces as
script kiddies, crackers, and Linux freaks."
"...Earlier today a New York account executive was arrested for revealing
an account or description of a Yankees baseball game without the prior
written permission of Major League Baseball. The man has been turned over
to MLB's parent company, Nike Sports Monopoly, for sentencing at the Nike
SuperMax Prison in Albany..."

  -- Excerpt from a radio broadcast during the first day of the Month of
     Disney (formerly December), 2028
"...Smugglers were arrested at the Canadian border by Microsoft-FBI for
attempting to import copies of banned 'Linux' software. Such contraband is
prohibited by the 35th Amendment because it infringes on the inalienable
right of Microsoft to make money. Said one MS-FBI prosecutor, 'This is
just the latest salvo against Capitalism by the corporate terrorists in
Finland. We must put an end to these atrocities which irreperably harm
Microsoft employees, stockholders, customers, and ultimately the entire
world...'"

  -- Excerpt from a radio broadcast during the first day of the Month of
     Disney (formerly December), 2028
Ted Turner Unveils All-Commercial Channel

For years, the pundits have predicted that the Web would become more like
television. However, media tycoon Ted Turner is pursuing the exact
opposite. Taking a cue from pop-under advertisements, Flash ads,
get-rich-quick spam emails, viral marketing, and "Gator" programs, Turner
has unveiled "TCC", the Turner Commercial Channel, for cable TV.

TCC will feature "shows" like "Best Commercials That You've Seen A Million
Times", "Life Is A Slogan, Just Buy It", and "Name That Jingle". These
shows will occupy about 30% of the screen, while several rows of marquees
at the bottom will flash various advertising messages. An animated "TCC"
watermark will float around the screen while corporate logos are flashed
randomly in the corners.

Meanwhile, "pop-up ads" will randomly appear that obscure the other ads.
These pop-ups will sometimes be further obscured by meta-pop-ups.
Likewise, corporate jingles will play in the background, interfering with
other jingles and advertising sounds.
The Blue Screen Of Advocacy

The Federal Bureau of Investigation & Privacy Violations has issued a
national advisory warning computer stores to be on the lookout for the
"Bluescreen Bandits". These extreme Linux zealots go from store to store
and from computer to computer typing in "C:\CON\CON" and causing the demo
machines to crash and display the Blue Screen Of Death.

Efforts to apprehend the bandits have so far been unsuccessful. The
outlaws were caught on tape at a CompUSSR location in Southern California,
but in an ironic twist, the surveillance system bluescreened just before
the penguinistas came into clear view.

"We don't have many clues. It's not clear whether a small group is behind
the bluescreen vandalism, or whether hundreds or even thousands of geek
zealots are involved," said the manager of a Capacitor City store.

The manager has good reason to be upset. The bluescreen raid was the top
story in the local newspaper and quickly became a hot topic of discussion.
As a result, the local school board halted its controversial plans to
migrate their computers from Macs to PCs.
Linux Distro To Include Pre-Installed Security Holes

Proactive Synergy Paradigm, the Linux distro targeted at Pointy Haired
Bosses, will now include built-in security flaws to better compete with
Microsoft programs.

"The sheer popularity of Windows, Outlook, and IIS clearly shows that
people demand security holes large enough to drive a truck through," said
Mr. Bert Dill of P.S.P. Inc. "We're going to do our best to offer what the
consumer wants. Just as Microsoft stole ideas from Apple during the
1980's, we're stealing ideas from Microsoft today."

Future releases of Proactive Synergy Linux will feature "LookOut! 1.0", a
mail reader that automatically executes (with root privileges) e-mail
attachments coded in Perl, JavaScript, Python, and Visual Basic.

"Hey, if it works for Microsoft, it can work for us," boasted Mr. Dill.
"Now PHBs won't have to stick with Windows in order to have their
confidential files secretly emailed to their colleagues by a worm. Better
yet, this capability allows viruses to automagically delete unnecessary
files to save disk space without wasting the PHB's valuable time.
The Humorix Oracle explains how to get a job at a major corporation:

1. Find an exploit in Microsoft IIS or another buggy Microsoft product to
   which large corporations rarely apply security patches.
2. Create a virus or worm that takes advantage of this exploit and then
   propogates itself by selecting IP numbers at random and then trying to
   infect those machines.
3. Keep an eye on your own website's server logs. When your virus starts
   propogating, your server will be hit with thousands of attacks from
   other infected systems trying to spread the virus to your machine.
4. Make a list of the IP numbers of all of the infected machines.
5. Perform a reverse DNS lookup on these IP numbers.
6. Make a note of all of the Fortune 500 companies that appear on the list
   of infected domains.
7. Send your resume to these companies and request an interview for a
   system administrator position. These companies are hiring -- whether
   they realize it or not.
8. Use your new salary to hire a good defense lawyer when the FBI comes
   knocking.
8GB Ought To Be Enough For Anybody

REDMOND, WA -- In a shocking move, Microsoft has revealed that the new
Xbox console will only contain an 8 gigabyte hard drive. This implies that
the machines will use a version of the Windows operating system that fits
within only 8GB. Squeezing Windows into such a small footprint must
certainly be one of the greatest technological achievements ever crafted
by Microsoft's Research & Assimilation Department.

"I can't believe it," said one industry observer who always happens to
show up when this Humorix reporter needs to quote somebody. "To think that
they were able to strip away the easter egg flight simulators, the
multi-gigabyte yet content-free Help files, and all of the other crap that
comes bundled with Windows is simply remarkable. I don't even want to
think about all of the manpower, blood, sweat, and tears required to
distill Windows into only 8 gigabytes of bare essentials. Wow!"

Hard drive manufacturers are deeply disturbed over the news. Explained one
PR flack at Eastern Analog, "We depend on Microsoft to continually produce
bloated software that becomes larger and larger with each passing day. We
can't sell huge 100GB drives if Microsoft Windows only occupies a measly 8
gigs! They will never buy a new drive if Microsoft doesn't force them!"
Press Release -- For Immediate Release
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

...Virtually all version of Linux (and Unix) contain a security hole that
allows unauthorized users to gain complete control over the machine. By
simply typing "root" at the login prompt and supplying a password from a
limited number of possibilities, a malicious user can easily gain
administrator privileges. This hole can be breached in seconds with only a
dozen or so keystrokes...

We suspect this issue has been known to Red Hat and other Linux
distributors for years and they have refused to acknowlege its existence
or supply a patch preventing users from exploiting the "root" login
loophole...

By ignoring the problem, the Linux community has proven that installing
Linux is a dangerous proposition that could get you fired. We would like
to point out that Windows XP does not suffer from this gaping hole...
Tests conducted by both Ziff-Davis and Mindcraft prove that Windows XP is
indeed the most secure operating system ever produced...
NEW YORK -- Publishers from all across the country met this week at the
first annual Book Publishers Assocation of America (BPAA) meeting. Many of
the booths on the showroom floor were devoted to the single most important
issue facing the publishing industry: fighting copyright violations. From
"End Reader License Agreements" to age-decaying ink, the anti-copying
market has exploded into a multi-million dollar enterprise.

"How can authors and publishers hope to make ends meet when the country is
rapidly filling with evil libraries that distribute our products for free
to the general public?" asked the chairman of the BPAA during his keynote
address. "That blasted Andrew Carnegie is spending all kinds of his own
ill-gotten money to open libraries in cities nationwide. He calls it
charity. I call it anti-competitive business practices hoping to bankrupt
the entire publishing industry. We must fight these anti-profit,
pro-copying librarians and put an end to this scourge!"

  -- from the February 4, 1895 edition of the New York Democrat-Republican
Microsoft Employees Go On Strike, Demand Reduced Salaries

REDMOND, WA -- Several hundred programmers walked off their jobs at
Microsoft Headquarters on Friday to protest their shoddy public image. "My
friends all think I'm a servant of Satan because I get my paycheck from
Microsoft," explained Microserf Eric Eshleman. "If I didn't make so much
money, I'd have more of a backbone to shout 'No!' when my supervisor
demands that I include some new virus-delivery feature in Outlook."

The striking programmers demand salary cuts, less benefits, and zero stock
options. Their labor union, the Brotherhood Of Programmers Sick Of Being
Called Evil, hopes to get some face time with Microsoft executives and
touch base on reaching a proactive agreement leveraging the latest
innovatives in PR to produce a synergistic worldwide buzzword-enhanced
advertising campaign that showcases Microsoft associates as enlightened
engineers instead of morally bankrupt bastards bent on world domination.

Earlier today, about 150 strikers formed a picket line near the front
entrance to Bill Gates' mansion. They carried signs saying "Hell no we're
not going to Hell", "I want to be able to sleep at night", "Why does the
public hate us so much?" and "I'm fed up with ethical dilemmas".
Severe Acronym Shortage Cripples Computer Industry

SILICON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA (SVC) -- According to a recent study by the
Blartner Group, 99.5% of all possible five letter combinations have
already been appropriated for computer industry acronyms. The impending
shortage of 5LC's is casting a dark shadow over the industry, which relies
heavily on short, easy-to-remember acronyms for everything.

"Acronym namespace collisions (ANCs) are increasing at a fantastic rate
and threaten the very fabric of the computing world," explained one ZD
pundit. "For example, when somebody talks about XP, I don't know whether
they mean eXtreme Programming or Microsoft's eXceptionally Pathetic
operating system. We need to find a solution now or chaos will result."

Leaders of several SVC companies have floated the idea of an
"industry-wide acronym conservation protocol" (IWACP -- one of the few
5LCs not already appropriated). Explained Bob Smith, CTO of IBM, "If
companies would voluntarily limit the creation of new acronyms while
recycling outdated names, we could reduce much of the pollution within the
acronym namespace ourselves. The last thing we want is for Congress to get
involved and try to impose a solution for this SAS (Severe Acronym
Shortage) that would likely only create many new acronyms in the process."
Mass Exodus From Hollywood

During the past week, over 150 Hollywood actors, musicians, writers,
directors, and key grips have quit their day jobs and moved to the Midwest
to engage in quieter occupations such as gardening or accounting. All of
the these people cite piracy as the reason for giving up their careers.

"I simply can't sit by and let my hard work be stolen by some snot nosed
punk over the Internet," explained millionaire movie director Steve
Bergospiel. "There's absolutely no incentive to create movies if they're
going to be transmitted at the speed of light by thousands of infringers.
Such criminal acts personally cost me hundreds -- no, thousands -- of
dollars. I can't take that kind of fear and abuse anymore."

MPAA President Pei Pervue considers the exodus to be proof that Hollywood
is waking up to the fact that they are being "held hostage" by copyright
infringers. "Without copyright protection and government-backed monopolies
on intellectual property, these's absolutely no reason to engage in the
creative process. Now the Internet, with its click-and-pirate technology,
makes it easy for anybody to flout the law and become a copyright
terrorist. With the scales tipped so much in favor of criminals, it's no
wonder some of Hollywood's elite have thrown in the towel. What a shame."
        A father gave his teen-age daughter an untrained pedigreed pup for
her birthday.  An hour later, when wandering through the house, he found her
looking at a puddle in the center of the kitchen.  "My pup," she murmured
sadly, "runneth over."
A man gazing at the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddles
in the road.
                -- Alexander Smith
Any great truth can -- and eventually will -- be expressed as a cliche --
a cliche is a sure and certain way to dilute an idea.  For instance, my
grandmother used to say, "The black cat is always the last one off the fence."
I have no idea what she meant, but at one time, it was undoubtedly true.
                -- Solomon Short
Better to be nouveau than never to have been riche at all.
Charity begins at home.
                -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)
Flee at once, all is discovered.
If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
If at first you don't succeed, quit; don't be a nut about success.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
                -- W.E. Hickson
If at first you don't succeed, you're doing about average.
                -- Leonard Levinson
Laugh at your problems; everybody else does.
The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an approaching train.
The light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming dragon.
We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's out.
When you are at Rome live in the Roman style; when you are elsewhere live
as they live elsewhere.
                -- St. Ambrose
You k'n hide de fier, but w'at you gwine do wid de smoke?
                -- Joel Chandler Harris, proverbs of Uncle Remus
A kiss is a course of procedure, cunningly devised, for the mutual
stoppage of speech at a moment when words are superfluous.
Falling in love is a lot like dying.  You never get to do it enough to
become good at it.
He who is in love with himself has at least this advantage -- he won't
encounter many rivals.
                -- Georg Lichtenberg, "Aphorisms"
Love at first sight is one of the greatest labor-saving devices the
world has ever seen.
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra, which suddenly flips
over, pinning you underneath.  At night the ice weasels come.
                -- Matt Groening, "Love is Hell"
        The birds are singing, the flowers are budding, and it is time
for Miss Manners to tell young lovers to stop necking in public.
        It's not that Miss Manners is immune to romance.  Miss Manners
has been known to squeeze a gentleman's arm while being helped over a
curb, and, in her wild youth, even to press a dainty slipper against a
foot or two under the dinner table.  Miss Manners also believes that the
sight of people strolling hand in hand or arm in arm or arm in hand
dresses up a city considerably more than the more familiar sight of
people shaking umbrellas at one another.  What Miss Manners objects to
is the kind of activity that frightens the horses on the street...
The onset and the waning of love make themselves felt in the uneasiness
experienced at being alone together.
                -- Jean de la Bruyere
The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4:00 A.M.
                -- Charles Pierce
        A musician of more ambition than talent composed an elegy at
the death of composer Edward MacDowell.  She played the elegy for the
pianist Josef Hoffman, then asked his opinion.  "Well, it's quite
nice," he replied, but don't you think it would be better if..."
        "If what?" asked the composer.
        "If ... if you had died and MacDowell had written the elegy?"
A true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother
drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.
                -- Shaw
Best Mistakes In Films
        In his "Filmgoer's Companion", Mr. Leslie Halliwell helpfully lists
four of the cinema's greatest moments which you should get to see if at all
possible.
        In "Carmen Jones", the camera tracks with Dorothy Dandridge down a
street; and the entire film crew is reflected in the shop window.
        In "The Wrong Box", the roofs of Victorian London are emblazoned
with television aerials.
        In "Decameron Nights", Louis Jourdain stands on the deck of his
fourteenth century pirate ship; and a white lorry trundles down the hill
in the background.
        In "Viking Queen", set in the times of Boadicea, a wrist watch is
clearly visible on one of the leading characters.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
But if you wish at once to do nothing and to be respectable
nowdays, the best pretext is to be at work on some profound study.
                -- Leslie Stephen, "Sketches from Cambridge"
Did you know that the voice tapes easily identify the Russian pilot
that shot down the Korean jet?  At one point he definitely states:

        "Natasha!  First we shoot jet, then we go after moose and squirrel."

                -- ihuxw!tommyo
Don't everyone thank me at once!
                -- Han Solo
For myself, I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at
the results of this evening's experiments.  Astonished at the wonderful
power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous
and bad music may be put on record forever.
                -- Sir Arthur Sullivan, message to Edison, 1888
FORTUNE DISCUSSES THE OBSCURE FILMS: #5

THE ATOMIC GRANDMOTHER:
        This humorous but heart-warming story tells of an elderly woman
        forced to work at a nuclear power plant in order to help the family
        make ends meet.  At night, granny sits on the porch, tells tales
        of her colorful past, and the family uses her to cook barbecues
        and to power small electrical appliances.  Maureen Stapleton gives
        a glowing performance.
Hello.  Jim Rockford's machine, this is Larry Doheny's machine.  Will you
please have your master call my master at his convenience?  Thank you.
Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.
                -- "The Rockford Files"
I remember once being on a station platform in Cleveland at four in the
morning.  A black porter was carrying my bags, and as we were waiting for
the train to come in, he said to me: "Excuse me, Mr. Cooke, I don't want to
invade your privacy, but I have a bet with a friend of mine.  Who composed
the opening theme music of 'Omnibus'?  My friend said Virgil Thomson."  I
asked him, "What do you say?" He replied, "I say Aaron Copeland." I said,
"You're right."  The porter said,  "I knew Thomson doesn't write counterpoint
that way."  I told that to a network president, and he was deeply unimpressed.
                -- Alistair Cooke
  I. Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of
     its situation.
        Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland.  He
        loiters in midair, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances to
        look down.  At this point, the familiar principle of 32 feet per
        second per second takes over.
II. Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter
     intervenes suddenly.
        Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon
        characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone
        pole or an outsize boulder retards their forward motion absolutely.
        Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the
        stooge's surcease.
III. Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation
     conforming to its perimeter.
        Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the
        speciality of victims of directed-pressure explosions and of reckless
        cowards who are so eager to escape that they exit directly through
        the wall of a house, leaving a cookie-cutout-perfect hole.  The
        threat of skunks or matrimony often catalyzes this reaction.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
If I had done everything I'm credited with, I'd be speaking to you from
a laboratory jar at Harvard.
                -- Frank Sinatra

AS USUAL, YOUR INFORMATION STINKS.
                -- Frank Sinatra, telegram to "Time" magazine
IV. The time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater than or
    equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge to
    spiral down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken.
        Such an object is inevitably priceless, the attempt to capture it
        inevitably unsuccessful.
V. All principles of gravity are negated by fear.
        Psychic forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel
        them directly away from the earth's surface.  A spooky noise or an
        adversary's signature sound will induce motion upward, usually to
        the cradle of a chandelier, a treetop, or the crest of a flagpole.
        The feet of a character who is running or the wheels of a speeding
        auto need never touch the ground, especially when in flight.
VI. As speed increases, objects can be in several places at once.
        This is particularly true of tooth-and-claw fights, in which a
        character's head may be glimpsed emerging from the cloud of
        altercation at several places simultaneously.  This effect is common
        as well among bodies that are spinning or being throttled.  A "wacky"
        character has the option of self-replication only at manic high
        speeds and may ricochet off walls to achieve the velocity required.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
Jim, it's Grace at the bank.  I checked your Christmas Club account.
You don't have five-hundred dollars.  You have fifty.  Sorry, computer foul-up!
                -- "The Rockford Files"
Jim, it's Jack.  I'm at the airport.  I'm going to Tokyo and wanna pay
you the five-hundred I owe you.  Catch you next year when I get back!
                -- "The Rockford Files"
Jim, this is Matty down at Ralph's and Mark's.  Some guy named Angel
Martin just ran up a fifty buck bar tab.  And now he wants to charge it
to you.  You gonna pay it?
                -- "The Rockford Files"
Lamonte Cranston once hired a new Chinese manservant.  While describing his
duties to the new man, Lamonte pointed to a bowl of candy on the coffee
table and warned him that he was not to take any.  Some days later, the new
manservant was cleaning up, with no one at home, and decided to sample some
of the candy.  Just than, Cranston walked in, spied the manservant at the
candy, and said:
        "Pardon me Choy, is that the Shadow's nugate you chew?"
        Lassie looked brilliant, in part because the farm family she
lived with was made up of idiots.  Remember?  One of them was always
getting pinned under the tractor, and Lassie was always rushing back to
the farmhouse to alert the other ones.  She'd whimper and tug at their
sleeves, and they'd always waste precious minutes saying things: "Do
you think something's wrong?  Do you think she wants us to follow her?
What is it, girl?", etc., as if this had never happened before, instead
of every week.  What with all the time these people spent pinned under
the tractor, I don't see how they managed to grow any crops whatsoever.
They probably got by on federal crop supports, which Lassie filed the
applications for.
                -- Dave Barry
Linus:        Hi!  I thought it was you.
        I've been watching you from way off...  You're looking great!
Snoopy:        That's nice to know.
        The secret of life is to look good at a distance.
Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade
themselves that they have a better idea.
                -- John Ciardi
Mr. Rockford?  Miss Collins from the Bureau of Licenses.  We got your
renewal before the extended deadline but not your check.  I'm sorry but
at midnight you're no longer licensed as an investigator.
                -- "The Rockford Files"
Mr. Rockford?  You don't know me, but I'd like to hire you.  Could
you call me at...  My name is... uh...  Never mind, forget it!
                -- "The Rockford Files"
        Penn's aunts made great apple pies at low prices.  No one else in
town could compete with the pie rates of Penn's aunts.
Potahto' Pictures Productions Presents:

        SPUD ROGERS OF THE 25TH CENTURY: Story of an Air Force potato that's
left in a rarely used chow hall for over two centuries and wakes up in a world
populated by soybean created imitations under the evil Dick Tater.  Thanks to
him, the soy-potatoes learn that being a 'tater is where it's at.  Memorable
line, "'Cause I'm just a stud spud!"

        FRIDAY THE 13TH DINER SERIES: Crazed potato who was left in a
fryer too long and was charbroiled carelessly returns to wreak havoc on
unsuspecting, would-be teen camp cooks.  Scenes include a girl being stuffed
with chives and Fleischman's Margarine and a boy served up on a side dish
with beets and dressing.  Definitely not for the squeamish, or those on
diets that are driving them crazy.

        FRIDAY THE 13TH DINER II,III,IV,V,VI: Much, much more of the same.
Except with sour cream.
Recently deceased blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan "comes to" after
his death.  He sees Jimi Hendrix sitting next to him, tuning his guitar.
"Holy cow," he thinks to himself, "this guy is my idol."  Over at the
microphone, about to sing, are Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, and the
bassist is the late Barry Oakley of the Allman Brothers.  So Stevie
Ray's thinking, "Oh, wow!  I've died and gone to rock and roll heaven."
Just then, Karen Carpenter walks in, sits down at the drums, and says:
"'Close to You'.  Hit it, boys!"
                -- Told by Penn Jillette, of magic/comedy duo Penn and Teller
She was good at playing abstract confusion in the same way a midget is
good at being short.
                -- Clive James, on Marilyn Monroe
        So Richard and I decided to try to catch [the small shark].
With a great deal of strategy and effort and shouting, we managed to
maneuver the shark, over the course of about a half-hour, to a sort of
corner of the lagoon, so that it had no way to escape other than to
flop up onto the land and evolve.  Richard and I were inching toward
it, sort of crouched over, when all of a sudden it turned around and --
I can still remember the sensation I felt at that moment, primarily in
the armpit area -- headed right straight toward us.
        Many people would have panicked at this point.  But Richard and
I were not "many people."  We were experienced waders, and we kept our
heads.  We did exactly what the textbook says you should do when you're
unarmed and a shark that is nearly two feet long turns on you in water
up to your lower calves: We sprinted I would say 600 yards in the
opposite direction, using a sprinting style such that the bottoms of
our feet never once went below the surface of the water.  We ran all
the way to the far shore, and if we had been in a Warner Brothers
cartoon we would have run right INTO the beach, and you would have seen
these two mounds of sand racing across the island until they bonked
into trees and coconuts fell onto their heads.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Wonders of Sharks on TV"
Some men who fear that they are playing second fiddle aren't in the
band at all.
Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
                -- Ann Landers
        The big problem with pornography is defining it.  You can't just
say it's pictures of people naked.  For example, you have these
primitive African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot,
and they have to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal
saying goes: "N'wam k'honi soit qui mali," which means, "If you think
you can catch a wildebeest in this climate and wear clothes at the same
time, then I have some beach front property in the desert region of
Northern Mali that you may be interested in."
        So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic
publishes color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest
naked, or pounding one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason
naked, or whatever.  But if National Geographic were to publish an
article entitled "The Girls of the California Junior College System
Hunt the Wildebeest Naked," some people would call it pornography.  But
others would not.  And still others, such as the Spectacularly Rev.
Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing the wildebeest naked.
                -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
The ultimate game show will be the one where somebody gets killed at the end.
                -- Chuck Barris, creator of "The Gong Show"
The Worst Musical Trio
        There are few bad musicians who have a chance to give a recital at
a famous concert hall while still learning the rudiments of their
instrument.  This happened about thirty years ago to the son of a Rumanian
gentleman who was owed a personal favour by Georges Enesco, the celebrated
violinist.  Enesco agreed to give lessons to the son who was quite
unhampered by great musical talent.
        Three years later the boy's father insisted that he give a public
concert.  "His aunt said that nobody plays the violin better than he does.
A cousin heard him the other day and screamed with enthusiasm."  Although
Enesco feared the consequences, he arranged a recital at the Salle Gaveau
in Paris.  However, nobody bought a ticket since the soloist was unknown.
        "Then you must accompany him on the piano," said the boy's father,
"and it will be a sell out."
        Reluctantly, Enesco agreed and it was.  On the night an excited
audience gathered.  Before the concert began Enesco became nervous and
asked for someone to turn his pages.
        In the audience was Alfred Cortot, the brilliant pianist, who
volunteered and made his way to the stage.
        The soloist was of uniformly low standard and next morning the
music critic of Le Figaro wrote: "There was a strange concert at the Salle
Gaveau last night.  The man whom we adore when he plays the violin played
the piano.  Another whom we adore when he plays the piano turned the pages.
But the man who should have turned the pages played the violin."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There's nothing remarkable about it.  All one has to do is hit the right
keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
                -- J.S. Bach
There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit at a typewriter and open a vein.
                -- Red Smith
This is Jim Rockford.
At the tone leave your name and message; I'll get back to you.

This is Maria, Liberty Bail Bonds.  Your client, Todd Lieman, skipped and
his bail is forfeit.  That's the pink slip on your '74 Firebird, I believe.
Sorry, Jim, bring it on over.

This is Marilyn Reed, I wanta talk to you...  Is this a machine?  I don't
talk to machines!  [Click]
                -- "The Rockford Files"
This is the Baron.  Angel Martin tells me you buy information.  Ok,
meet me at one a.m. behind the bus depot, bring five-hundred dollars
and come alone.  I'm serious!
                -- "The Rockford Files"
VII. Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel
      entrances; others cannot.
        This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least
        it is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to
        trick an opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical
        space.  The painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to
        follow into the painting.  This is ultimately a problem of art, not
        of science.
VIII. Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.
        Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives
        might comfortably afford.  They can be decimated, spliced, splayed,
        accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be
        destroyed.  After a few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate,
        elongate, snap back, or solidify.
  IX. For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.
        This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to
        the physical world at large.  For that reason, we need the relief of
        watching it happen to a duck instead.
   X. Everything falls faster than an anvil.
        Examples too numerous to mention from the Roadrunner cartoons.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
We'll be recording at the Paradise Friday night.  Live, on the Death label.
                -- Swan, "Phantom of the Paradise"
Yevtushenko has... an ego that can crack crystal at a distance of twenty feet.
                -- John Cheever
"Actually, the only distribution of Linux I've ever used that passed the
rootshell test out of the box (hit rootshell at the time the dist is
released and see if you can break the OS with scripts from there) is
Debian."
        -- seen on the Linux security-audit mailing list
"and i actually like debian 2.0 that much i completely revamped the
default config of the linux systems our company sells and reinstalled any
of the linux systems in the office and here at home.."
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Internet users who spend even a few hours a week online
at home experience higher levels of depression and loneliness than if
they had used the computer network less frequently, The New York Times
reported Sunday.  The result ...  surprised both researchers and
sponsors, which included Intel Corp., Hewlett Packard, AT&T Research and
Apple Computer.
"Bruce McKinney, author of of Hardcore Visual Basic, has announced that
he's fed up with VB and won't be writing a 3rd edition of his book.  The
best quote is at the end: 'I don't need a language designed by a focus
group'."
* Culus thinks we should go to trade shows and see how many people we
  can kill by throwing debian cds at them
p.s. - i'm about *this* close to running around in the server room with a
pair of bolt cutters, and a large wooden mallet, laughing like a maniac and
cutting everything i can fit the bolt cutters around. and whacking that
which i cannot. so if i seem semi-incoherent, or just really *really* nasty
at times, please forgive me. stress is not a pretty thing. };P
        -- Phillip R. Jaenke
* m2 stares at the monitor... it looks like a hamburger...
<Knghtbrd> m2 - that's a bad sign
<Knghtbrd> I really don't want much at all...  Just a kind word, an
           attractive woman, and UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH!!
> Ok, I see you know what you're doing :-)

Either that or I've gotten pretty good at faking it.
<wichert> 8am is an ungoldly hour to be awake :)
* gorgo usually gets up at 11am
But modifying dpkg is infeasible, and we've agreed to, among other things,
keep the needs of our users at the forefront of our minds. And from a
user's perspective, something that keeps the system tidy in the normal
case, and works *now*, is much better than idealistic fantasies like a
working dpkg.
        -- Manoj Srivastava
<Knghtbrd> joeyh now has a terminal at the couch?
<Knghtbrd> That guy is wired, I swear  =>
<doogie> Knghtbrd: laptop
<doogie> and I don't mean the cats.
In fact.. based on this model of what the NSA is and isn't... many of the
people reading this are members of the NSA... /. is afterall 'News for
Nerds'.

NSA MONDAY MORNING {at the coffee machine):
NSA AGENT 1: Hey guys, did you check out slashdot over the weekend?
    AGENT 2: No, I was installing Mandrake 6.1 and I coulnd't get the darn
             ppp connection up..
    AGENT 1: Well check it out... they're on to us.
        -- Chris Moyer <cdmoyer@starmail.com>
<Joy> Flinny: black crontab magic kinda stuff :)
<knghtbrd> Joy: does that mean people get to dance naked around bonfires
           chanting strange things and waving their arms about in a silly
           manner?
<rcw> knghtbrd: what do you *think* people do at novare?
<doogie> there is one bad thing about having a cell phone.
<doogie> I can be reached at any time. :|
<wmono> that's why I leave mine off at all times. ;>
<Deek> If the user points the gun at his foot and pulls the trigger, it
       is our job to ensure the bullet gets where it's supposed to.
* gxam wonders if all these globals are really necessary
<Knghtbrd> most of them at the moment yes
<Knghtbrd> we REALLY need to clean them up at some point
<Knghtbrd> gxam: the globals will have to go away as we migrate towards
           modularity and madness (ie, libtool)
<Kysh_> Joey: I'm on it right now.. 3 1.3Gb disks, 128M ram, dual 50Mhz
        (Up to quad 250Mhz)
<Kysh_> The catch is that it pulls 110v at about 12A 8>
<Culus> 12A!
<Culus> Okay, my stove is 3000W, this sun is 1320W
<Culus> DO YOU SEE A PROBLEM HERE
<calc> a 1320W sun, that is like a hair dryer :)
<knghtbrd> joeyh: I was down since midmorning yesterday and pacbell said
           this morning that AT&T was to blame and almost all of the state
           was down
<rcw> dunno why people insist the internet can survive a nuclear holocaust
      when it can't survive a backhoe
<Mercury> At that point it will compile, but segfault, as it should..
<taniwha> Knghtbrd: we should do a quake episode :knee deep in the code":
          you run around shooting at bugs:)
<Knghtbrd> taniwha: I'll pass the idea on to OpenQuartz  ;>
<knghtbrd> rcw: Oh yay---I haven't been involved in a good flamewar in at
           least ... 5 minutes!
* Omnic looks at his 33.6k link and then looks at Joy
* Mercury cuddles his cable modem.. (=:]
* The_Answer_MD throws spaghetti at everyone
* taniwha eats the spaghetti
* Coderjoe tosses around some meatballs
* Knghtbrd gets the cheese
* taniwha grabs a red
At some point, bits have to go into packets and routers need to make
decisions on them. Changes at that level is what I want to hear about, not
strategic company relationships.
        -- John Carmack
Hmm...  Which would do a better job at driving physicists crazy?  Travel
faster than light, or a floating-point boolean value?
        -- Michael Mol
* knghtbrd ponders how to scare the living shit out of 87 people at once..
<knghtbrd> AHH!  I can do it in 3 words!:
<knghtbrd> Microsoft Visual COBOL.
<BenC> CosmicRay: you complete me
<BenC> err...
<CosmicRay> heh
* BenC goes back to coding
* elmo looks at benc
<elmo> something we should know about you and cosmicray, Ben? :)
<Culus_> We are also hoping to release a version of linux where shell is
         replaced by perl to a large degree.  Adding to that, there are a
         few of us who would like to see a pure perl platform.. PerlOS :)
* Culus_ looks on in horror
<mstone> Culus_: on the up side, you can type damn near anything in at the
         command prompt :)
<Mercury> LordHavoc: The reason why GL has overdraw is because it is only
          using HALF of the system they designed for vis.
<Mercury> LordHavoc: Shooting itself in the foot.
* Dabb looks at all those bullet holes in his shoes - damn, lots :)
* knghtbrd is gone - zzz - messages will be snapped like wet towels at all
  of the people who have stolen the trademark knghtbrd away message
<Coderjoe> ack
* Coderjoe prepares to defend himself from wet messages
"So, will the Andover party have a cash bar?"
"No, there's free beer."
"Uh-oh, Stallman's gonna be pissed..."
        -- overheard at the Bazaar, 1999
<wli> Yeah, I looked at esd and it looked like the kind of C code that an
      ex-JOVIAL/Algol '60 coder who had spent the last 20 years bouncing
      between Fortran-IV and Fortran '77 would write.
<Midgar> From all the sterotypes about Aussies, I figure you guys are
         really tough.
<Midgar> ;p
<krusto> we'll throw koala's at you
Isn't it embarrassing when you have to go to the drugstore for some
"special items", and when you're checking out, the cashier looks at you
like, "oh, I know what YOU'RE doing tonight..."

Yep, that cashier read all the signs... canned chicken soup, TheraFlu,
Halls, NyQuil, the bigass bottles of OJ and grapefruit juice... he knew
and I knew that I had a date with the teevee and a down comforter. Awww
yeah.
        -- Elizabeth Kirkindall
<Sammy> that's *IT*.  I'm never fucking attempting to install redhat
        again.
<Sammy> this is like the 10th fucking machine on which the installer has
        imploded immediately after I went through the hell of their
        package selection process.
<timball> Sammy: just use debian and never look back
<Sammy> timball: debian iso's are being written at this very moment.
Heaven and Earth last forever.
Why do heaven and Earth last forever?
They are unborn,
So ever living.
The sage stays behind, thus he is ahead.
He is detached, thus at one with all.
Through selfless action, he attains fulfillment.
Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind become still.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
The way of nature is unchanging.
Knowing constancy is insight.
Not knowing constancy leads to disaster.
Knowing constancy, the mind is open.
With an open mind, you will be openhearted.
Being openhearted, you will act royally.
Being royal, you will attain the divine.
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao is eternal.
And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.
To talk little is natural.
High winds do not last all morning.
Heavy rain does not last all day.
Why is this?  Heaven and Earth!
If heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal,
How is it possible for man?
He who follows the Tao
Is at one with the Tao.
He who is virtuous
Experiences Virtue.
He who loses the way
Is lost.
When you are at one with the Tao,
The Tao welcomes you.
When you are at one with Virtue,
The Virtue is always there.
When you are at one with loss,
The loss is experienced willingly.

He who does not trust enough
Will not be trusted.
Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without for there is no desire.
Without desire there is.
And in this way all things would be at peace.
What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
What is firmly grasped cannot slip away.
It will be honored from generation to generation.

Cultivate Virtue in your self,
And Virtue will be real.
Cultivate it in the family,
And Virtue will abound.
Cultivate it in the village,
And Virtue will grow.
Cultivate it in the nation,
And Virtue will be abundant.
Cultivate it in the universe,
And Virtue will be everywhere.

Therefore look at the body as body;
Look at the family as family;
Look at the village as village;
Look at the nation as nation;
Look at the universe as universe.

How do I know the universe is like this?
By looking!
Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the Earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.
Tao is source of the ten thousand things.
It is the treasure of the good man, and the refuge of the bad.
Sweet words can buy honor;
Good deeds can gain respect.
If a man is bad, do not abandon him.
Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned,
Or the three officers of state installed,
Do not send a gift of jade and a team of four horses,
But remain still and offer the Tao.
Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isn't it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.
When men lack a sense of awe, there will be disaster.

Do not intrude in their homes.
Do not harass them at work.
If you do not interfere, they will not weary of you.

Therefore the sage knows himself but makes no show,
Has self-respect but is not arrogant.
He lets go of that and chooses this.
A man is born gentle and weak.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.

Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.
A wide-eyed, innocent UNICORN, poised delicately in a MEADOW filled
with LILACS, LOLLIPOPS & small CHILDREN at the HUSH of twilight??
Are you mentally here at Pizza Hut??
Barbie says, Take quaaludes in gin and go to a disco right away!
But Ken says, WOO-WOO!!  No credit at "Mr. Liquor"!!
But was he mature enough last night at the lesbian masquerade?
Concentrate on th'cute, li'l CARTOON GUYS!  Remember the SERIAL
NUMBERS!!  Follow the WHIPPLE AVE. EXIT!!  Have a FREE PEPSI!!  Turn
LEFT at th'HOLIDAY INN!!  JOIN the CREDIT WORLD!!  MAKE me an OFFER!!!
Here I am at the flea market but nobody is buying my urine sample bottles ...
Hiccuping & trembling into the WASTE DUMPS of New Jersey like some
drunken CABBAGE PATCH DOLL, coughing in line at FIORUCCI'S!!
How's the wife?  Is she at home enjoying capitalism?
I joined scientology at a garage sale!!
I need to discuss BUY-BACK PROVISIONS with at least six studio SLEAZEBALLS!!
I'm continually AMAZED at th'breathtaking effects of WIND EROSION!!
I've got an IDEA!!  Why don't I STARE at you so HARD, you forget your
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!!
If a person is FAMOUS in this country, they have to go on the ROAD for
MONTHS at a time and have their name misspelled on the SIDE of a
GREYHOUND SCENICRUISER!!
My CODE of ETHICS is vacationing at famed SCHROON LAKE in upstate New York!!
Now I think I just reached the state of HYPERTENSION that comes JUST
BEFORE you see the TOTAL at the SAFEWAY CHECKOUT COUNTER!
... or were you driving the PONTIAC that HONKED at me in MIAMI last Tuesday?
Our father who art in heaven ... I sincerely pray that SOMEBODY at this
table will PAY for my SHREDDED WHAT and ENGLISH MUFFIN ... and also
leave a GENEROUS TIP ....
The Osmonds!  You are all Osmonds!!  Throwing up on a freeway at dawn!!!
When you get your PH.D. will you get able to work at BURGER KING?
Yes, but will I see the EASTER BUNNY in skintight leather at an IRON
MAIDEN concert?
Yow!  And then we could sit on the hoods of cars at stop lights!
A book is the work of a mind, doing its work in the way that a mind deems
best.  That's dangerous.  Is the work of some mere individual mind likely to
serve the aims of collectively accepted compromises, which are known in the
schools as 'standards'?  Any mind that would audaciously put itself forth to
work all alone is surely a bad example for the students, and probably, if
not downright antisocial, at least a little off-center, self-indulgent,
elitist.  ... It's just good pedagogy, therefore, to stay away from such
stuff, and use instead, if film-strips and rap-sessions must be
supplemented, 'texts,' selected, or prepared, or adapted, by real
professionals.  Those texts are called 'reading material.'  They are the
academic equivalent of the 'listening material' that fills waiting-rooms,
and the 'eating material' that you can buy in thousands of convenient eating
resource centers along the roads.
                -- The Underground Grammarian
        A reader reports that when the patient died, the attending doctor
recorded the following on the patient's chart:  "Patient failed to fulfill
his wellness potential."
        Another doctor reports that in a recent issue of the *American Journal
of Family Practice* fleas were called "hematophagous arthropod vectors."
        A reader reports that the Army calls them "vertically deployed anti-
personnel devices."  You probably call them bombs.
        At McClellan Air Force base in Sacramento, California, civilian
mechanics were placed on "non-duty, non-pay status."  That is, they were fired.
        After taking the trip of a lifetime, our reader sent his twelve rolls
of film to Kodak for developing (or "processing," as Kodak likes to call it)
only to receive the following notice:  "We must report that during the handling
of your twelve 35mm Kodachrome slide orders, the films were involved in an
unusual laboratory experience."  The use of the passive is a particularly nice
touch, don't you think?  Nobody did anything to the films; they just had a bad
experience.  Of course our reader can always go back to Tibet and take his
pictures all over again, using the twelve replacement rolls Kodak so generously
sent him.
                -- Quarterly Review of Doublespeak (NCTE)
"A University without students is like an ointment without a fly."
        -- Ed Nather, professor of astronomy at UT Austin
=============== ALL FRESHMEN PLEASE NOTE ===============

To minimize scheduling confusion, please realize that if you are taking one
course which is offered at only one time on a given day, and another which is
offered at all times on that day, the second class will be arranged as to
afford maximum inconvenience to the student.  For example, if you happen
to work on campus, you will have 1-2 hours between classes.  If you commute,
there will be a minimum of 6 hours between the two classes.
I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone
has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.
                -- Professor Lowd, English, Ohio University
I appreciate the fact that this draft was done in haste, but some of the
sentences that you are sending out in the world to do your work for you are
loitering in taverns or asleep beside the highway.
                -- Dr. Dwight Van de Vate, Professor of Philosophy,
                   University of Tennessee at Knoxville
"I have to convince you, or at least snow you ..."
                -- Prof. Romas Aleliunas, CS 435
If the colleges were better, if they really had it, you would need to get
the police at the gates to keep order in the inrushing multitude.  See in
college how we thwart the natural love of learning by leaving the natural
method of teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you shall
learn what you have no taste or capacity for.  The college, which should
be a place of delightful labor, is made odious and unhealthy, and the
young men are tempted to frivolous amusements to rally their jaded spirits.
I would have the studies elective.  Scholarship is to be created not
by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge.  The wise
instructor accomplishes this by opening to his pupils precisely the
attractions the study has for himself.  The marking is a system for schools,
not for the college; for boys, not for men; and it is an ungracious work to
put on a professor.
                -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
        It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and
by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate
the habit of thinking about what we are doing.  The precise opposite is the
case.  Civilization advances by extending the numbers of important operations
which we can perform without thinking about them.  Operations of thought are
like cavalry charges in battle -- they are strictly limited in number, they
require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.
                -- Alfred North Whitehead
                        It's grad exam time...
COMPUTER SCIENCE
        Inside your desk you'll find a listing of the DEC/VMS operating
system in IBM 1710 machine code. Show what changes are necessary to convert
this code into a UNIX Berkeley 7 operating system.  Prove that these fixes are
bug free and run correctly. You should gain at least 150% efficiency in the
new system.  (You should take no more than 10 minutes on this question.)

MATHEMATICS
        If X equals PI times R^2, construct a formula showing how long
it would take a fire ant to drill a hole through a dill pickle, if the
length-girth ratio of the ant to the pickle were 98.17:1.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Describe the Universe.  Give three examples.
Joe Cool always spends the first two weeks at college sailing his frisbee.
                -- Snoopy
Learning at some schools is like drinking from a firehose.
"OK, now let's look at four dimensions on the blackboard."
                -- Dr. Joy
Periphrasis is the putting of things in a round-about way.  "The cost may be
upwards of a figure rather below 10m#." is a periphrasis for The cost may be
nearly 10m#.  "In Paris there reigns a complete absence of really reliable
news" is a periphrasis for There is no reliable news in Paris.  "Rarely does
the 'Little Summer' linger until November, but at times its stay has been
prolonged until quite late in the year's penultimate month" contains a
periphrasis for November, and another for lingers.  "The answer is in the
negative" is a periphrasis for No.  "Was made the recipient of" is a
periphrasis for Was presented with.  The periphrasis style is hardly possible
on any considerable scale without much use of abstract nouns such as "basis,
case, character, connexion, dearth, description, duration, framework, lack,
nature, reference, regard, respect".  The existence of abstract nouns is a
proof that abstract thought has occurred; abstract thought is a mark of
civilized man; and so it has come about that periphrasis and civilization are
by many held to be inseparable.  These good people feel that there is an almost
indecent nakedness, a reversion to barbarism, in saying No news is good news
instead of "The absence of intelligence is an indication of satisfactory
developments."
                -- Fowler's English Usage
The avocation of assessing the failures of better men can be turned
into a comfortable livelihood, providing you back it up with a Ph.D.
                -- Nelson Algren, "Writers at Work"
        "The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff
and blow, "is to learn something.  That's the only thing that never fails.
You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at
night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love,
you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your
honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for
it then -- to learn.  Learn why the world wags and what wags it.  That is
the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be
tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.  Learning
is the only thing for you.  Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
                -- T.H. White, "The Once and Future King"
The end of the world will occur at three p.m., this Friday, with
symposium to follow.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed
ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
                -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
The USA is so enormous, and so numerous are its schools, colleges and religious
seminaries, many devoted to special religious beliefs ranging from the
unorthodox to the dotty, that we can hardly wonder at its yielding a more
bounteous harvest of gobbledegook than the rest of the world put together.
                -- Sir Peter Medawar
        "We're running out of adjectives to describe our situation.  We
had crisis, then we went into chaos, and now what do we call this?" said
Nicaraguan economist Francisco Mayorga, who holds a doctorate from Yale.
                -- The Washington Post, February, 1988

The New Yorker's comment:
        At Harvard they'd call it a noun.
1 Billion dollars of budget deficit                = 1 Gramm-Rudman
6.023 x 10 to the 23rd power alligator pears        = Avocado's number
2 pints                                                = 1 Cavort
Basic unit of Laryngitis                        = The Hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes                = A straight line
6 Curses                                        = 1 Hexahex
3500 Calories                                        = 1 Food Pound
1 Mole                                                = 007 Secret Agents
1 Mole                                                = 25 Cagey Bees
1 Dog Pound                                        = 16 oz. of Alpo
1000 beers served at a Twins game                = 1 Killibrew
2.4 statute miles of surgical tubing at Yale U. = 1 I.V.League
2000 pounds of chinese soup                        = 1 Won Ton
10 to the minus 6th power mouthwashes                = 1 Microscope
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier        = 1 Machturtle
8 Catfish                                        = 1 Octo-puss
365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer.                = 1 Lite-year
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone                        = 1 Rod Serling
Force needed to accelerate 2.2lbs of cookies        = 1 Fig-newton
        to 1 meter per second
One half large intestine                        = 1 Semicolon
10 to the minus 6th power Movie                        = 1 Microfilm
1000 pains                                        = 1 Megahertz
1 Word                                                = 1 Millipicture
1 Sagan                                                = Billions & Billions
1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety                = 1000 nail-bytes
10 to the 12th power microphones                = 1 Megaphone
10 to the 6th power Bicycles                        = 2 megacycles
The amount of beauty required launch 1 ship        = 1 Millihelen
(1)        A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane.
(2)        An inclined plane is a slope up.
(3)        A slow pup is a lazy dog.

QED: A sheet of paper is a lazy dog.
                -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"
        7,140        pounds on the Sun
           97        pounds on Mercury or Mars
          255        pounds on Earth
          232        pounds on Venus or Uranus
           43        pounds on the Moon
          648        pounds on Jupiter
          275        pounds on Saturn
          303        pounds on Neptune
           13        pounds on Pluto

                -- How much Elvis Presley would weigh at various places
                   in the solar system.
A bunch of Polish scientists decided to flee their repressive government by
hijacking an airliner and forcing the pilot to fly them to the West.  They
drove to the airport, forced their way on board a large passenger jet, and
found there was no pilot on board.  Terrified, they listened as the sirens
got louder.  Finally, one of the scientists suggested that since he was an
experimentalist, he would try to fly the aircraft.
        He sat down at the controls and tried to figure them out.  The sirens
got louder and louder.  Armed men surrounded the jet.  The would be pilot's
friends cried out, "Please, please take off now!!!  Hurry!!!"
        The experimentalist calmly replied, "Have patience.  I'm just a simple
pole in a complex plane."
A sine curve goes off to infinity, or at least the end of the blackboard.
                -- Prof. Steiner
After this was written there appeared a remarkable posthumous memoir that
throws some doubt on Millikan's leading role in these experiments.  Harvey
Fletcher (1884-1981), who was a graduate student at the University of Chicago,
at Millikan's suggestion worked on the measurement of electronic charge for
his doctoral thesis, and co-authored some of the early papers on this subject
with Millikan.  Fletcher left a manuscript with a friend with instructions
that it be published after his death; the manuscript was published in
Physics Today, June 1982, page 43.  In it, Fletcher claims that he was the
first to do the experiment with oil drops, was the first to measure charges on
single droplets, and may have been the first to suggest the use of oil.
According to Fletcher, he had expected to be co-authored with Millikan on
the crucial first article announcing the measurement of the electronic
charge, but was talked out of this by Millikan.
                -- Steven Weinberg, "The Discovery of Subatomic Particles"

Robert Millikan is generally credited with making the first really
precise measurement of the charge on an electron and was awarded the
Nobel Prize in 1923.
All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.
An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel prize
winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen.  He was amazed to find that
over Bohr's desk was a horseshoe, securely nailed to the wall, with the
open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not
let it spill out).  The American said with a nervous laugh,
        "Surely you don't believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck,
do you, Professor Bohr?  After all, as a scientist --"
Bohr chuckled.
        "I believe no such thing, my good friend.  Not at all.  I am
scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense.  However, I am told
that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not."
An anthropologist at Tulane has just come back from a field trip to New
Guinea with reports of a tribe so primitive that they have Tide but not
new Tide with lemon-fresh Borax.
                -- David Letterman
... Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an
inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have
ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I
haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected
it.  There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between
prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have
looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice
is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious
mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you
may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you
have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.
                -- Carl Sagan, "The Burden of Skepticism"
Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is obsolete, two parts
which are unobtainable, and three parts which are still under development.
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human.  At best he
is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe and not
make messes in the house.
                -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time
as the strawberries, knows nothing about grapes.
                -- Philippus Paracelsus
At any given moment, an arrow must be either where it is or where it is
not.  But obviously it cannot be where it is not.  And if it is where
it is, that is equivalent to saying that it is at rest.
                -- Zeno's paradox of the moving (still?) arrow
At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
                -- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection"
Back in the early 60's, touch tone phones only had 10 buttons.  Some
military versions had 16, while the 12 button jobs were used only by people
who had "diva" (digital inquiry, voice answerback) systems -- mainly banks.
Since in those days, only Western Electric  made "data sets" (modems) the
problems of terminology were all Bell System.  We used to struggle with
written descriptions of dial pads that were unfamiliar to most people
(most phones were rotary then.)  Partly in jest, some AT&T engineering
types (there was no marketing in the good old days, which is why they were
the good old days) made up the term "octalthorpe" (note spelling) to denote
the "pound sign."  Presumably because it has 8 points sticking out.  It
never really caught on.
Besides the device, the box should contain:
        * Eight little rectangular snippets of paper that say "WARNING"
        * A plastic packet containing four 5/17 inch pilfer grommets and two
                club-ended 6/93 inch boxcar prawns.

YOU WILL NEED TO SUPPLY: a matrix wrench and 60,000 feet of tram cable.

IF ANYTHING IS DAMAGED OR MISSING: You IMMEDIATELY should turn to your spouse
and say: "Margaret, you know why this country can't make a car that can get
all the way through the drive-through at Burger King without a major
transmission overhaul?  Because nobody cares, that's why."

WARNING: This is assuming your spouse's name is Margaret.
                -- Dave Barry, "Read This First!"
Congratulations!  You have purchased an extremely fine device that would
give you thousands of years of trouble-free service, except that you
undoubtably will destroy it via some typical bonehead consumer maneuver.
Which is why we ask you to PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THIS OWNER'S MANUAL
CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU UNPACK THE DEVICE.  YOU ALREADY UNPACKED IT, DIDN'T
YOU?  YOU UNPACKED IT AND PLUGGED IT IN AND TURNED IT ON AND FIDDLED WITH
THE KNOBS, AND NOW YOUR CHILD, THE SAME CHILD WHO ONCE SHOVED A POLISH
SAUSAGE INTO YOUR VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDER AND SET IT ON "FAST FORWARD", THIS
CHILD ALSO IS FIDDLING WITH THE KNOBS, RIGHT?  AND YOU'RE JUST NOW STARTING
TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, RIGHT???  WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST BREAK THESE
DEVICES RIGHT AT THE FACTORY BEFORE WE SHIP THEM OUT, YOU KNOW THAT?
                -- Dave Barry, "Read This First!"
Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles, called
electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been
drinking.  Electrons travel at the speed of light, which in most American
homes is 110 volts per hour.  This is very fast.  In the time it has taken
you to read this sentence so far, an electron could have traveled all the
way from San Francisco to Hackensack, New Jersey, although God alone knows
why it would want to.

The five main kinds of electricity are alternating current, direct current,
lightning, static, and European.  Most American homes have alternating
current, which means that the electricity goes in one direction for a while,
then goes in the other direction.  This prevents harmful electron buildup in
the wires.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around
the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when
evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person can
doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all present
life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic time, is
as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ only with
respect to theories about how the process operates.
                -- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life".
Florence Flask was ... dressing for the opera when she turned to her
husband and screamed, "Erlenmeyer!  My joules!  Someone has stolen my
joules!"

"Now, now, my dear," replied her husband, "keep your balance and reflux
a moment.  Perhaps they're mislead."

"No, I know they're stolen," cried Florence.  "I remember putting them
in my burette ... We must call a copper."

Erlenmeyer did so, and the flatfoot who turned up, one Sherlock Ohms,
said the outrage looked like the work of an arch-criminal by the name
of Lawrence Ium.

"We must be careful -- he's a free radical, ultraviolet, and
dangerous.  His girlfriend is a chlorine at the Palladium.  Maybe I can
catch him there."  With that, he jumped on his carbon cycle in an
activated state and sped off along the reaction pathway ...
                -- Daniel B. Murphy, "Precipitations"
Good morning.  This is the telephone company.  Due to repairs, we're
giving you advance notice that your service will be cut off indefinitely
at ten o'clock.  That's two minutes from now.
Got Mole problems?  Call Avogadro at 6.02 x 10^23.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
                -- Albert Einstein

They laughed at Einstein.  They laughed at the Wright Brothers.  But they
also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
                -- Carl Sagan
Hi! How are things going?
        (just fine, thank you...)
Great! Say, could I bother you for a question?
        (you just asked one...)
Well, how about one more?
        (one more than the first one?)
Yes.
        (you already asked that...)
[at this point, Alphonso gets smart...        ]
May I ask two questions, sir?
        (no.)
May I ask ONE then?
        (nope...)
Then may I ask, sir, how I may ask you a question?
        (yes, you may.)
Sir, how may I ask you a question?
        (you must ask for retroactive question asking privileges for
         the number of questions you have asked, then ask for that
         number plus two, one for the current question, and one for the
         next one)
Sir, may I ask nine questions?
        (go right ahead...)
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when
you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
                -- Poul Anderson
I myself have dreamed up a structure intermediate between Dyson spheres
and planets.  Build a ring 93 million miles in radius -- one Earth orbit
-- around the sun.  If we have the mass of Jupiter to work with, and if
we make it a thousand miles wide, we get a thickness of about a thousand
feet for the base.

And it has advantages.  The Ringworld will be much sturdier than a Dyson
sphere.  We can spin it on its axis for gravity.  A rotation speed of 770
m/s will give us a gravity of one Earth normal.  We wouldn't even need to
roof it over.  Place walls one thousand miles high at each edge, facing the
sun.  Very little air will leak over the edges.

Lord knows the thing is roomy enough.  With three million times the surface
area of the Earth, it will be some time before anyone complains of the
crowding.
                -- Larry Niven, "Ringworld"
"I think the sky is blue because it's a shift from black through purple
to blue, and it has to do with where the light is.  You know, the
farther we get into darkness, and there's a shifting of color of light
into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from
the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that's bouncing
off this earth, uh, the darker it gets ... I think if you look at the
color scale, you start at black, move it through purple, move it on
out, it's the shifting of color.  We mentioned before about the stars
singing, and that's one of the effects of the shifting of colors."
                -- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club
If I set here and stare at nothing long enough, people might think
I'm an engineer working on something.
                -- S.R. McElroy
In the beginning there was nothing.  And the Lord said "Let There Be Light!"
And still there was nothing, but at least now you could see it.
Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction
listen to weather forecasts and economists?
                -- Kelvin Throop III
Isn't it strange that the same people that laugh at gypsy fortune
tellers take economists seriously?
Not far from here, by a white sun, behind a green star, lived the
Steelypips, illustrious, industrious, and they hadn't a care: no spats in
their vats, no rules, no schools, no gloom, no evil influence of the
moon, no trouble from matter or antimatter -- for they had a machine, a
dream of a machine, with springs and gears and perfect in every respect.
And they lived with it, and on it, and under it, and inside it, for it
was all they had -- first they saved up all their atoms, then they put
them all together, and if one didn't fit, why they chipped at it a bit,
and everything was just fine ...
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
Once upon a time, when I was training to be a mathematician, a group of
us bright young students taking number theory discovered the names of the
smaller prime numbers.

2:  The Odd Prime --
        It's the only even prime, therefore is odd.  QED.
3:  The True Prime --
        Lewis Carroll: "If I tell you 3 times, it's true."
31: The Arbitrary Prime --
        Determined by unanimous unvote.  We needed an arbitrary prime in
        case the prof asked for one, and so had an election.  91 received
        the most votes (well, it *looks* prime) and 3+4i the next most.
        However, 31 was the only candidate to receive none at all.
41: The Female Prime --
        The polynomial X**2 - X + 41 is
        prime for integer values from 1 to 40.
43: The Male Prime - they form a prime pair.

Since the composite numbers are formed from primes, their qualities
are derived from those primes.  So, for instance, the number 6 is "odd
but true", while the powers of 2 are all extremely odd numbers.
One day this guy is finally fed up with his middle-class existence and
decides to do something about it.  He calls up his best friend, who is a
mathematical genius.  "Look," he says, "do you suppose you could find some
way mathematically of guaranteeing winning at the race track?  We could
make a lot of money and retire and enjoy life."  The mathematician thinks
this over a bit and walks away mumbling to himself.
        A week later his friend drops by to ask the genius if he's had any
success.  The genius, looking a little bleary-eyed, replies, "Well, yes,
actually I do have an idea, and I'm reasonably sure that it will work, but
there a number of details to be figured out.
        After the second week the mathematician appears at his friend's house,
looking quite a bit rumpled, and announces, "I think I've got it! I still have
some of the theory to work out, but now I'm certain that I'm on the right
track."
        At the end of the third week the mathematician wakes his friend by
pounding on his door at three in the morning.  He has dark circles under his
eyes.  His hair hasn't been combed for many days.  He appears to be wearing
the same clothes as the last time.  He has several pencils sticking out from
behind his ears and an almost maniacal expression on his face.  "WE CAN DO
IT!  WE CAN DO IT!!" he shrieks. "I have discovered the perfect solution!!
And it's so EASY!  First, we assume that horses are perfect spheres in simple
harmonic motion..."
Oxygen is a very toxic gas and an extreme fire hazard.  It is fatal in
concentrations of as little as 0.000001 p.p.m.  Humans exposed to the
oxygen concentrations die within a few minutes.  Symptoms resemble very
much those of cyanide poisoning (blue face, etc.).  In higher
concentrations, e.g. 20%, the toxic effect is somewhat delayed and it
takes about 2.5 billion inhalations before death takes place.  The reason
for the delay is the difference in the mechanism of the toxic effect of
oxygen in 20% concentration.  It apparently contributes to a complex
process called aging, of which very little is known, except that it is
always fatal.

However, the main disadvantage of the 20% oxygen concentration is in the
fact it is habit forming.  The first inhalation (occurring at birth) is
sufficient to make oxygen addiction permanent.  After that, any
considerable decrease in the daily oxygen doses results in death with
symptoms resembling those of cyanide poisoning.

Oxygen is an extreme fire hazard.  All of the fires that were reported in
the continental U.S. for the period of the past 25 years were found to be
due to the presence of this gas in the atmosphere surrounding the buildings
in question.

Oxygen is especially dangerous because it is odorless, colorless and
tasteless, so that its presence can not be readily detected until it is
too late.
                -- Chemical & Engineering News February 6, 1956
Quantum Mechanics is a lovely introduction to Hilbert Spaces!
                -- Overheard at last year's Archimedeans' Garden Party
Review Questions

(1) If Nerd on the planet Nutley starts out in his spaceship at 20 KPH,
    and his speed doubles every 3.2 seconds, how long will it be before
    he exceeds the speed of light?  How long will it be before the
    Galactic Patrol picks up the pieces of his spaceship?

(2) If Roger Rowdy wrecks his car every week, and each week he breaks
    twice as many bones as before, how long will it be before he breaks
    every bone in his body?  How long will it be before they cut off
    his insurance?  Where does he get a new car every week?

(3) If Johnson drinks one beer the first hour (slow start), four beers
    the next hour, nine beers the next, etc., and stacks the cans in a
    pyramid, how soon will Johnson's pyramid be larger than King
    Tut's?  When will it fall on him?  Will he notice?
Supervisor: Do you think you understand the basic ideas of Quantum Mechanics?
Supervisee: Ah! Well, what do we mean by "to understand" in the context of
            Quantum Mechanics?
Supervisor: You mean "No", don't you?
Supervisee: Yes.
                -- Overheard at a supervision.
The  White Rabbit put on his spectacles.
        "Where shall  I  begin, please your Majesty ?" he asked.
        "Begin at the beginning,", the King said, very gravely, "and go on
till you come to the end: then stop."
                -- Lewis Carroll
The rate at which a disease spreads through a corn field is a precise
measurement of the speed of blight.
The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or
give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.
                -- Jane Bryant Quinn
The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed from available
data.  Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon
shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold,
as the light of seven days."  Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much
radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition seven times seven (49) times
as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or fifty times in all.  The light we
receive from the Moon is one ten-thousandth of the light we receive from the
Sun, so we can ignore that.  With these data we can compute the temperature
of Heaven.  The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where
the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation,
i.e., Heaven loses fifty times as much heat as the Earth by radiation.  Using
the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute
temperature of the earth (~300K), gives H as 798K (525C).  The exact
temperature of Hell cannot be computed, but it must be less than 444.6C, the
temperature at which brimstone or sulphur changes from a liquid to a gas.
Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."  A lake of molten
brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point,
or 444.6C  (Above this point it would be a vapor, not a lake.)  We have,
then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
                -- "Applied Optics", vol. 11, A14, 1972
There are three schools of magic.  One:  State a tautology, then ring the
changes on its corollaries; that's philosophy.  Two:  Record many facts.
Try to find a pattern.  Then make a wrong guess at the next fact; that's
science.  Three:  Be aware that you live in a malevolent Universe controlled
by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's Factor; that's engineering.
There was an old Indian belief that by making love on the hide of
their favorite animal, one could guarantee the health and prosperity
of the offspring conceived thereupon.  And so it goes that one Indian
couple made love on a buffalo  hide.  Nine months later, they were
blessed with a healthy baby son.  Yet another couple huddled together
on the hide of a deer and they too were blessed with a very healthy
baby son.  But a third couple, whose favorite animal was a hippopotamus,
were blessed with not one, but TWO very healthy baby sons at the conclusion
of the nine month interval.  All of which proves the old theorem that:
The sons of the squaw of the hippopotamus are equal to the sons of
the squaws of the other two hides.
Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once.

Space is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen to you.
To converse at the distance of the Indes by means of sympathetic contrivances
may be as natural to future times as to us is a literary correspondence.
                -- Joseph Glanvill, 1661
We laugh at the Indian philosopher, who to account for the support
of the earth, contrived the hypothesis of a huge elephant, and to support
the elephant, a huge tortoise.  If we will candidly confess the truth, we
know as little of the operation of the nerves, as he did of the manner in
which the earth is supported: and our hypothesis about animal spirits, or
about the tension and vibrations of the nerves, are as like to be true, as
his about the support of the earth.  His elephant was a hypothesis, and our
hypotheses are elephants.  Every theory in philosophy, which is built on
pure conjecture, is an elephant; and every theory that is supported partly
by fact, and partly by conjecture, is like Nebuchadnezzar's image, whose
feet were partly of iron, and partly of clay.
                -- Thomas Reid, "An Inquiry into the Human Mind", 1764
... we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
                -- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism",
                   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2.
WHERE CAN THE MATTER BE
        Oh, dear, where can the matter be
        When it's converted to energy?
        There is a slight loss of parity.
        Johnny's so long at the fair.
        While the engineer developed his thesis, the director leaned over to
his assistant and whispered, "Did you ever hear of why the sea is salt?"
        "Why the sea is salt?" whispered back the assistant.  "What do you
mean?"
        The director continued: "When I was a little kid, I heard the story of
`Why the sea is salt' many times, but I never thought it important until just
a moment ago.  It's something like this: Formerly the sea was fresh water and
salt was rare and expensive.  A miller received from a wizard a wonderful
machine that just ground salt out of itself all day long.  At first the miller
thought himself the most fortunate man in the world, but soon all the villages
had salt to last them for centuries and still the machine kept on grinding
more salt.  The miller had to move out of his house, he had to move off his
acres.  At last he determined that he would sink the machine in the sea and
be rid of it.  But the mill ground so fast that boat and miller and machine
were sunk together, and down below, the mill still went on grinding and that's
why the sea is salt."
        "I don't get you," said the assistant.
                -- Guy Endore, "Men of Iron"
Why do mathematicians insist on using words that already have another
meaning?  "It is the complex case that is easier to deal with."  "If it
doesn't happen at a corner, but at an edge, it nonetheless happens at a
corner."
You are a taxi driver.  Your cab is yellow and black, and has been in
use for only seven years.  One of its windshield wipers is broken, and
the carburetor needs adjusting.  The tank holds 20 gallons, but at the
moment is only three-quarters full.  How old is the taxi driver?"
You can take all the impact that science considerations have on funding
decisions at NASA, put them in the navel of a flea, and have room left
over for a caraway seed and Tony Calio's heart.
                -- F. Allen
You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than
about 10^12 to 1.
                -- Ernest Rutherford
Dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they
come at you rapidly.
                -- Greg Oetjen of Lorton, VA in the Washington Post
                   "Style Invitational Report from Week 278" published
                   August 2, 1998
"IBM uses what I like to call the 'hole-in-the-ground technique'
to destroy the competition..... IBM digs a big HOLE in the
ground and covers it with leaves. It then puts a big POT
OF GOLD nearby. Then it gives the call, 'Hey, look at all
this gold, get over here fast.' As soon as the competitor
approaches the pot, he falls into the pit"
- John C. Dvorak
No one is fit to be trusted with power. ... No one. ... Any man who has lived
at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capabe of. ... And if he does
know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to
decide a single human fate.
- C. P. Snow, The Light and the Dark
Things are not as simple as they seems at first.
- Edward Thorp
Do not allow this language (Ada) in its present state to be used in
applications where reliability is critical, i.e., nuclear power stations,
cruise missiles, early warning systems, anti-ballistic missle defense
systems.  The next rocket to go astray as a result of a programming language
error may not be an exploratory space rocket on a harmless trip to Venus:
It may be a nuclear warhead exploding over one of our cities.  An unreliable
programming language generating unreliable programs constitutes a far
greater risk to our environment and to our society than unsafe cars, toxic
pesticides, or accidents at nuclear power stations.
- C. A. R. Hoare
Without coffee he could not work, or at least he could not have worked in the
way he did.  In addition to paper and pens, he took with him everywhere as an
indispensable article of equipment the coffee machine, which was no less
important to him than his table or his white robe.
- Stefan Zweigs, Biography of Balzac
"It was the Law of the Sea, they said.        Civilization ends at the waterline.
Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top."
- Hunter S. Thompson
The so-called "desktop metaphor" of today's workstations is instead an
"airplane-seat" metaphor.  Anyone who has shuffled a lap full of papers while
seated between two portly passengers will recognize the difference -- one can
see only a very few things at once.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
The connection between the language in which we think/program and the problems
and solutions we can imagine is very close.  For this reason restricting
language features with the intent of eliminating programmer errors is at best
dangerous.
- Bjarne Stroustrup in "The C++ Programming Language"
At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense.  Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism:  The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked.  "Begin at the beginning,"
the King said, gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Suppose for a moment that the automobile industry had developed at the same
rate as computers and over the same period:  how much cheaper and more efficient
would the current models be?  If you have not already heard the analogy, the
answer is shattering.  Today you would be able to buy a Rolls-Royce for $2.75,
it would do three million miles to the gallon, and it would deliver enough
power to drive the Queen Elizabeth II.  And if you were interested in
miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on a pinhead.
-- Christopher Evans
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and after
expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government of
England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only commenced,
I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even the offer
of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the reach of men
who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...  

If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were a mere
triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the execution
of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some justification
might be found for the course which has been taken; but I venture to assert
that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will ever publicly express
an opinion that such a machine would be useless if made, and that no man
distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to declare the construction of
such machinery impracticable...

And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed by that
exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its advancement,
which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I think the
application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
- Charles Babbage, Passage from the Life of a Philosopher
"There was nothing I hated more than to see a filthy old drunkie, a howling
away at the sons of his father and going blurp blurp in between as if it were
a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts.  I could never stand to
see anyone like that, especially when they were old like this one was."
- Alex in "Clockwork Orange"
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at
your side.
- Han Solo
I believe that part of what propels science is the thirst for wonder.  It's a
very powerful emotion.  All children feel it.  In a first grade classroom
everybody feels it; in a twelfth grade classroom almost nobody feels it, or
at least acknowledges it.  Something happens between first and twelfth grade,
and it's not just puberty.  Not only do the schools and the media not teach
much skepticism, there is also little encouragement of this stirring sense
of wonder.  Science and pseudoscience both arouse that feeling.  Poor
popularizations of science establish an ecological niche for pseudoscience.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87
The characteristic property of hallucinogens, to suspend the boundaries between
the experiencing self and the outer world in an ecstatic, emotional experience,
makes it posible with their help, and after suitable internal and external
perparation...to evoke a mystical experience according to plan, so to speak...
I see the true importance of LSD in the possibility of providing materail aid
to meditation aimed at the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive
reality.  Such a use accords entirely with the essence and working character
of LSD as a sacred drug.
- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD
...Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an
inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have
ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I
haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it.
There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between
prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have
looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice
is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious
mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you
may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you
have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46
Behind all the political rhetoric being hurled at us from abroad, we are
bringing home one unassailable fact -- [terrorism is] a crime by any civilized
standard, committed against innocent people, away from the scene of political
conflict, and must be dealt with as a crime. . . .
   [I]n our recognition of the nature of terrorism as a crime lies our best hope
of dealing with it. . . .
   [L]et us use the tools that we have.  Let us invoke the cooperation we have
the right to expect around the world, and with that cooperation let us shrink
the dark and dank areas of sanctuary until these cowardly marauders are held
to answer as criminals in an open and public trial for the crimes they have
committed, and receive the punishment they so richly deserve.
- William H. Webster, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 15 Oct 1985
"Largely because it is so tangible and exciting a program and as such will
serve to keep alive the interest and enthusiasm of the whole spectrum of
society...It is justified because...the program can give a sense of shared
adventure and achievement to the society at large."
- Dr. Colin S. Pittendrigh, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
The challenge of space exploration and particularly of landing men on the moon
represents the greatest challenge which has ever faced the human race.  Even
if there were no clear scientific or other arguments for proceeding with this
task, the whole history of our civilization would still impel men toward the
goal.  In fact, the assembly of the scientific and military with these human
arguments creates such an overwhelming case that in can be ignored only by
those who are blind to the teachings of history, or who wish to suspend the
development of civilization at its moment of greatest opportunity and drama.
- Sir Bernard Lovell, 1962, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
And the crowd was stilled.  One elderly man, wondering at the sudden silence,
turned to the Child and asked him to repeat what he had said.  Wide-eyed,
the Child raised his voice and said once again, "Why, the Emperor has no
clothes!  He is naked!"
- "The Emperor's New Clothes"
If only God would give me some clear sign!  Like making a large deposit
in my name at a Swiss Bank.
- Woody Allen
And do you not think that each of you women is an Eve?  The judgement of God
upon your sex endures today; and with it invariably endures your position of
criminal at the bar of justice.
- Tertullian, second-century Christian writer, misogynist
The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only
opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts
at rational thinking.  Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of
knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable.  Since the earliest
days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every
effort to liberate the body and mind of man.  It has been, at all times and
everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad
laws, bad social theories, bad institutions.  It was, for centuries, an
apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.
- H. L. Mencken
The notion that science does not concern itself with first causes -- that it
leaves the field to theology or metaphysics, and confines itself to mere
effects -- this notion has no support in the plain facts.  If it could,
science would explain the origin of life on earth at once--and there is
every reason to believe that it will do so on some not too remote tomorrow.
To argue that gaps in knowledge which will confront the seeker must be filled,
not by patient inquiry, but by intuition or revelation, is simply to give
ignorance a gratuitous and preposterous dignity....
- H. L. Mencken, 1930
The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective
support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has
its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way.
Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality,
and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is
recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation,
and that this fear, on the same principle proves that there is nothing
beyond the grave.  Such childish "proofs" are typically theological, and
they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to
flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents....
- H. L. Mencken
We're here to give you a computer, not a religion.
- attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga
   On Krat's main screen appeared the holo image of a man, and several dolphins.
From the man's shape, Krat could tell it was a female, probably their leader.
   "...stupid creatures unworthy of the name `sophonts.'  Foolish, pre-sentient
upspring of errant masters.  We slip away from all your armed might, laughing
at your clumsiness!  We slip away as we always will, you pathetic creatures.
And now that we have a real head start, you'll never catch us!  What better
proof that the Progenitors favor not you, but us!  What better proof..."
   The taunt went on.  Krat listened, enraged, yet at the same time savoring
the artistry of it.  These men are better than I'd thought.  Their insults
are wordy and overblown, but they have talent.  They deserve honorable, slow
deaths.
- David Brin, Startide Rising
"Every Solidarity center had piles and piles of paper .... everyone was
eating paper and a policeman was at the door.  Now all you have to do is
bend a disk."
- an anonymous member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity,
  commenting on the benefits of using computers in support of their movement
There is a time in the tides of men,
Which, taken at its flood, leads on to success.
On the other hand, don't count on it.
- T. K. Lawson
"Once he had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his
roars.  Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the
forlorn pastors who belabor halfwits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind
the railroad yards."
- H. L. Mencken, writing of William Jennings Bryan, counsel for the supporters
  of Tennessee's anti-evolution law at the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in 1925.
...we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands.  The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent.  Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe?  Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence!  Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position.  Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
into doubt.
- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism", The Skeptical Inquirer,
  Vol XII No. 2
Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around
the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when
evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person
can doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all
present life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic
time, is as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ
only with respect to theories about how the process operates.
- Martin Gardner, "Irving Kristol and the Facts of Life",
   The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131
A lot of the stuff I do is so minimal, and it's designed to be minimal.
The smallness of it is what's attractive.  It's weird, 'cause it's so
intellectually lame.  It's hard to see me doing that for the rest of
my life.  But at the same time, it's what I do best.
- Chris Elliot, writer and performer on "Late Night with David Letterman"
Till then we shall be content to admit openly, what you (religionists)
whisper under your breath or hide in technical jargon, that the ancient
secret is a secret still; that man knows nothing of the Infinite and
Absolute; and that, knowing nothing, he had better not be dogmatic about
his ignorance.  And, meanwhile, we will endeavour to be as charitable as
possible, and whilst you trumpet forth officially your contempt for our
skepticism, we will at least try to believe that you are imposed upon
by your own bluster.
- Leslie Stephen, "An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876
I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis
socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for:  If they think
you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude.  I'm a
very technical boy.  So I decided to get as crude as possible.  These days,
though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to
crudeness.
- Johnny Mnemonic, by William Gibson
We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should
govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the
center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major
prohpet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual
concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get
Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God.
But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual
resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further
proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology,
the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and
they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and
think; if this further proposition can be accepted, then we come that
much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.
- Norman Cousins, from his book "Human Options"
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,
periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts
them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing
grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...
Truly the imago state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every
moult is a step gained.
- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"
The Middle East is certainly the nexus of turmoil for a long time to come --
with shifting players, but the same game: upheaval.  I think we will be
confronting militant Islam -- particularly fallout from the Iranian
revolution -- and religion will once more, as it has in our own more
distant past -- play a role at least as standard-bearer in death and mayhem.
- Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, USN, Retired, former director of Naval Intelligence,
  vice director of the DIA, former director of the NSA, deputy director of
  Central Intelligence, former chairman and CEO of MCC.
...One thing is that, unlike any other Western democracy that I know of,
this country has operated since its beginnings with a basic distrust of
government.  We are constituted not for efficient operation of government,
but for minimizing the possibility of abuse of power.  It took the events
of the Roosevelt era -- a catastrophic economic collapse and a world war --
to introduce the strong central government that we now know.  But in most
parts of the country today, the reluctance to have government is still
strong.  I think, barring a series of catastrophic events, that we can
look to at least another decade during which many of the big problems
around this country will have to be addressed by institutions other than
federal government.
- Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, USN, Retired, former director of Naval Intelligence,
  vice director of the DIA, former director of the NSA, deputy directory of
  Central Intelligence, former chairman and CEO of MCC.
[the statist opinions expressed herein are not those of the cookie editor -ed.]
"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at
speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)."
-- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.
"...all the good computer designs are bootlegged; the formally planned products,
if they are built at all, are dogs!"
-- David E. Lundstrom, "A Few Good Men From Univac", MIT Press, 1987
"Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times
been the fearless advocates of liberty and justice."
-- Robert Green Ingersoll
"The triumph of libertarian anarchy is nearly (in historical terms) at
hand... *if* we can keep the Left from selling us into slavery and the
Right from blowing us up for, say, the next twenty years."
-- Eric Rayman, usenet guy, about nanotechnology
I did cancel one performance in Holland where they thought my music was so easy
that they didn't rehearse at all.  And so the first time when I found that out,
I rehearsed the orchestra myself in front of the audience of 3,000 people and
the next day I rehearsed through the second movement -- this was the piece
_Cheap Imitation_ -- and they then were ashamed.  The Dutch people were ashamed
and they invited me to come to the Holland festival and they promised to
rehearse.  And when I got to Amsterdam they had changed the orchestra, and
again, they hadn't rehearsed.  So they were no more prepared the second time
than they had been the first.  I gave them a lecture and told them to cancel
the performance; they then said over the radio that i had insisted on their
cancelling the performance because they were "insufficiently Zen."  
Can you believe it?
-- composer John Cage, "Electronic Musician" magazine, March 88, pg. 89
The rule on staying alive as a program manager is to give 'em a number or
give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.
If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.
"Roman Polanski makes his own blood.  He's smart -- that's why his movies work."
-- A brilliant director at "Frank's Place"
"One of the problems I've always had with propaganda pamphlets is that they're
real boring to look at.  They're just badly designed.  People from the left
often are very well-intended, but they never had time to take basic design
classes, you know?"
-- Art Spiegelman
Pig: An animal (Porcus omnivorous) closely allied to the human race by the
splendor and vivacity of its appetite, which, however, is inferior in scope,
for it balks at pig.
-- Ambrose Bierce
"We don't have to protect the environment -- the Second Coming is at hand."
-- James Watt
Once at a social gathering, Gladstone said to Disraeli, "I predict, Sir, that
you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease".  Disraeli replied,
"That all depends, Sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your
mistress."
        "And we heard him exclaim
         As he started to roam:
         `I'm a hologram, kids,
          please don't try this at home!'"
        -- Bob Violence
-- Howie Chaykin's little animated 3-dimensional darling, Bob Violence
"An anthropologist at Tulane has just come back from a field trip to New
Guinea with reports of a tribe so primitive that they have Tide but not
new Tide with lemon-fresh Borax."
-- David Letterman
"Based on what you know about him in history books, what do you think Abraham
Lincoln would be doing if he were alive today?
        1) Writing his memoirs of the Civil War.
        2) Advising the President.
        3) Desperately clawing at the inside of his
           coffin."
-- David Letterman
One evening Mr. Rudolph Block, of New York, found himself seated at dinner
alongside Mr. Percival Pollard, the distinguished critic.
   "Mr. Pollard," said he, "my book, _The Biography of a Dead Cow_, is
published anonymously, but you can hardly be ignorant of its authorship.
Yet in reviewing it you speak of it as the work of the Idiot of the Century.
Do you think that fair criticism?"
   "I am very sorry, sir," replied the critic, amiably, "but it did not
occur to me that you really might not wish the public to know who wrote it."
-- Ambrose Bierce
  "Emergency!"  Sgiggs screamed, ejecting himself from the tub like it was
a burning car.  "Dial 'one'!  Get room service!  Code red!"  Stiggs was on
the phone immediately, ordering more rose blossoms, because, according to
him, the ones floating in the tub had suddenly lost their smell.  "I demand
smell," he shrilled.  "I expecting total uninterrupted smell from these
f*cking roses."

  Unfortunately, the service captain didn't realize that the Stiggs situation
involved fifty roses.  "What am I going to do with this?" Stiggs sneered at
the weaseling hotel goon when he appeared at our door holding a single flower
floating in a brandy glass.  Stiggs's tirade was great.  "Do you see this
bathtub?  Do you notice any difference between the size of the tub and the
size of that spindly wad of petals in your hand?  I need total bath coverage.
I need a completely solid layer of roses all around me like puffing factories
of smell, attacking me with their smell and power-ramming big stinking
concentrations of rose odor up my nostrils until I'm wasted with pleasure."
It wasn't long before we got so dissatisfied with this incompetence that we
bolted.
-- The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs,
   National Lampoon, October 1982
When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect.
-- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy
We decided it was night again, so we camped for twenty minutes and drank
another six beers at a Young Life campsite.  O.C. got into the supervisory
adult's sleeping bag and ran around in it.  "This is the judgment day and I'm
a terrifying apparition," he screamed.  Then the heat made O.C. ralph in the
bag.
-- The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs,
   National Lampoon, October 1982
In recognizing AT&T Bell Laboratories for corporate innovation, for its
invention of cellular mobile communications, IEEE President Russell C. Drew
referred to the cellular telephone as a "basic necessity."  How times have
changed, one observer remarked: many in the room recalled the advent of
direct dialing.
-- The Institute, July 1988, pg. 11
There is something you must understand about the Soviet system.  They have the
ability to concentrate all their efforts on a given design, and develop all
components simulateously, but sometimes without proper testing.  Then they end
up with a technological disaster like the Tu-144.  In a technology race at
the time, that aircraft was two months ahead of the Concorde.  Four Tu-144s
were built; two have crashed, and two are in museums.  The Concorde has been
flying safely for over 10 years.
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 100
"I just want to be a good engineer."
-- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech
   at the 1988 AppleFest
"There's always been Tower of Babel sort of bickering inside Unix, but this
is the most extreme form ever.  This means at least several years of confusion."
-- Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft,
   about the Open Systems Foundation
The magician is seated in his high chair and looks upon the world with favor.
He is at the height of his powers.  If he closes his eyes, he causes the world
to disappear.  If he opens his eyes, he causes the world to come back.  If
there is harmony within him, the world is harmonious.  If rage shatters his
inner harmony, the unity of the world is shattered.  If desire arises within
him, he utters the magic syllables that causes the desired object to appear.
His wishes, his thoughts, his gestures, his noises command the universe.
-- Selma Fraiberg, _The Magic Years_, pg. 107
    UNIX Shell is the Best Fourth Generation Programming Language

    It is the UNIX shell that makes it possible to do applications in a small
    fraction of the code and time it takes in third generation languages.  In
    the shell you process whole files at a time, instead of only a line at a
    time.  And, a line of code in the UNIX shell is one or more programs,
    which do more than pages of instructions in a 3GL.  Applications can be
    developed in hours and days, rather than months and years with traditional
    systems.  Most of the other 4GLs available today look more like COBOL or
    RPG, the most tedious of the third generation lanaguages.

"UNIX Relational Database Management:  Application Development in the UNIX
Environment" by Rod Manis, Evan Schaffer, and Robert Jorgensen.  Prentice
Hall Software Series.  Brian Kerrighan, Advisor.  1988.
"Floggings will continue until morale improves."
-- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA
"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became
a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. "You aren't nearly
through this adventure yet," he added, and that was pretty true as well.
-- Bilbo Baggins, "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, Chapter XII
"Gozer the Gozerian:  As the duly appointed representative of the city,
county and state of New York, I hereby order you to cease all supernatural
activities at once and proceed immediately to your place of origin or
the nearest parallel dimension, whichever is nearest."
-- Ray (Dan Akyroyd, _Ghostbusters_
"Facts are stupid things."
-- President Ronald Reagan
   (a blooper from his speeach at the '88 GOP convention)
"Card readers?  We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
   particularly vivid fantasy)
New York is a jungle, they tell you.  You could go further, and say that
New York is a jungle.  New York *is a jungle.*  Beneath the columns of
the old rain forest, made of melting macadam, the mean Limpopo of swamped
Ninth Avenue bears an angry argosy of crocs and dragons, tiger fish, noise
machines, sweating rainmakers.  On the corners stand witchdoctors and
headhunters, babbling voodoo-men -- the natives, the jungle-smart natives.
And at night, under the equatorial overgrowth and heat-holding cloud
cover, you hear the ragged parrot-hoot and monkeysqueak of the sirens,
and then fires flower to ward off monsters.  Careful: the streets are
sprung with pits and nets and traps.  Hire a guide.  Pack your snakebite
gook and your blowdart serum.  Take it seriously.  You have to get a
bit jungle-wise.
-- Martin Amis, _Money_
Now I was heading, in my hot cage, down towards meat-market country on the
tip of the West Village.  Here the redbrick warehouses double as carcass
galleries and rat hives, the Manhattan fauna seeking its necessary
level, living or dead.  Here too you find the heavy faggot hangouts,
The Spike, the Water Closet, the Mother Load.  Nobody knows what goes on
in these places.  Only the heavy faggots know.  Even Fielding seems somewhat
vague on the question.  You get zapped and flogged and dumped on -- by
almost anybody's standards, you have a really terrible time.  The average
patron arrives at the Spike in one taxi but needs to go back to his sock
in two.  And then the next night he shows up for more.  They shackle
themselves to racks, they bask in urinals.  Their folks have a lot of
explaining to do, if you want my opinion, particularly the mums.  Sorry
to single you ladies out like this but the story must start somewhere.  
A craving for hourly murder -- it can't be willed.  In the meantime,
Fielding tells me, Mother Nature looks on and taps her foot and clicks
her tongue.  Always a champion of monogamy, she is cooking up some fancy
new diseases.  She just isn't going to stand for it.
-- Martin Amis, _Money_
"You tried it just for once, found it alright for kicks,
but now you find out you have a habit that sticks,
you're an orgasm addict,
you're always at it,
and you're an orgasm addict."
-- The Buzzcocks
"Our reruns are better than theirs."
-- Nick at Nite
"Although Poles suffer official censorship, a pervasive secret
police and laws similar to those in the USSR, there are
thousands of underground publications, a legal independent
Church, private agriculture, and the East bloc's first and only
independent trade union federation, NSZZ Solidarnosc, which is
an affiliate of both the International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labor.  There is
literally a world of difference between Poland - even in its
present state of collapse - and Soviet society at the peak of
its "glasnost."  This difference has been maintained at great
cost by the Poles since 1944.
-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a
   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)
   to Poland
"There is also a thriving independent student movement in
Poland, and thus there is a strong possibility (though no
guarantee) of making an EARN-Poland link, should it ever come
about, a genuine link - not a vacuum cleaner attachment for a
Bloc information gathering apparatus rationed to trusted
apparatchiks."
-- David Phillips, SUNY at Buffalo, about establishing a
   gateway from EARN (Eurpoean Academic Research Network)
   to Poland
"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt."
-- a saying at RPI
--
-- uunet!sugar!karl  | "We've been following your progress with considerable
-- karl@sugar.uu.net |  interest, not to say contempt."  -- Zaphod Beeblebrox IV
-- Usenet BBS (713) 438-5018



th-th-th-th-That's all, folks!

----------- cut here, don't forget to strip junk at the end, too -------------
"Psychoanalysis??  I thought this was a nude rap session!!!"
-- Zippy
...Saure really turns out to be an adept at the difficult art of papryomancy,
the ability to prophesy through contemplating the way people roll reefers -
the shape, the licking pattern, the wrinkles and folds or absence thereof
in the paper.  "You will soon be in love," sez Saure, "see, this line here."
"It's long, isn't it?  Does that mean --" "Length is usually intensity.
Not time."
-- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_
Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it will make you feel
less responsible -- but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with
the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless
hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they
are --"
-- Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_
...At that time [the 1960s], Bell Laboratories scientists projected that
computer speeds as high as 30 million floating-point calculations per
second (megaflops) would be needed for the Army's ballistic missile
defense system.  Many computer experts -- including a National Academy
of Sciences panel -- said achieving such speeds, even using multiple
processors, was impossible.  Today, new generation supercomputers operate
at billions of operations per second (gigaflops).
-- Aviation Week & Space Technology, May 9, 1988, "Washington Roundup", pg 13
"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down."
-- H.L. Mencken
David Brinkley: The daily astrological charts are precisely where, in my
  judgment, they belong, and that is on the comic page.
George Will:  I don't think astrology belongs even on the comic pages.
  The comics are making no truth claim.
Brinkley:  Where would you put it?
Will:  I wouldn't put it in the newspaper.  I think it's transparent rubbish.
  It's a reflection of an idea that we expelled from Western thought in the
  sixteenth century, that we are in the center of a caring universe.  We are
  not the center of the universe, and it doesn't care.  The star's alignment
  at the time of our birth -- that is absolute rubbish.  It is not funny to
  have it intruded among people who have nuclear weapons.
Sam Donaldson:  This isn't something new.  Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn
  in just after midnight in his first term in Sacramento because the stars
  said it was a propitious time.
Will:  They [horoscopes] are utter crashing banalities.  They could apply to
  anyone and anything.
Brinkley:  When is the exact moment [of birth]?  I don't think the nurse is
  standing there with a stopwatch and a notepad.
Donaldson:  If we're making decisions based on the stars -- that's a cockamamie
  thing.  People want to know.
-- "This Week" with David Brinkley, ABC Television, Sunday, May 8, 1988,
   excerpts from a discussion on Astrology and Reagan
A serious public debate about the validity of astrology?  A serious believer
in the White House?  Two of them?  Give me a break.  What stifled my laughter
is that the image fits.  Reagan has always exhibited a fey indifference toward
science.  Facts, like numbers, roll off his back.  And we've all come to
accept it.  This time it was stargazing that became a serious issue....Not
that long ago, it was Reagan's support of Creationism....Creationists actually
got equal time with evolutionists.  The public was supposed to be open-minded
to the claims of paleontologists and fundamentalists, as if the two were
scientific colleagues....It has been clear for a long time that the president
is averse to science...In general, these attitudes fall onto friendly American
turf....But at the outer edges, this skepticism about science easily turns
into a kind of naive acceptance of nonscience, or even nonsense.  The same
people who doubt experts can also believe any quackery, from the benefits of
laetrile to eye of newt to the movment of planets.  We lose the capacity to
make rational -- scientific -- judgments.  It's all the same.
-- Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe Newspaper Company-Washington Post Writers
    Group
[Astrology is] 100 percent hokum, Ted.  As a matter of fact, the first edition
of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, written in 1771 -- 1771! -- said that this
belief system is a subject long ago ridiculed and reviled.  We're dealing with
beliefs that go back to the ancient Babylonians.  There's nothing there....
It sounds a lot like science, it sounds like astronomy.  It's got technical
terms.  It's got jargon.  It confuses the public....The astrologer is quite
glib, confuses the public, uses terms which come from science, come from
metaphysics, come from a host of fields, but they really mean nothing.  The
fact is that astrological beliefs go back at least 2,500 years.  Now that
should be a sufficiently long time for astrologers to prove their case.  They
have not proved their case....It's just simply gibberish.  The fact is, there's
no theory for it, there are no observational data for it.  It's been tested
and tested over the centuries.  Nobody's ever found any validity to it at
all.  It is not even close to a science.  A science has to be repeatable, it
has to have a logical foundation, and it has to be potentially vulnerable --
you test it.  And in that astrology is reqlly quite something else.
-- Astronomer Richard Berendzen, President, American University, on ABC
    News "Nightline," May 3, 1988
Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about
astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked.
Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an
effect on our characters, lives, or destinies?  What force or influence,
what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human
beings and affect our development or fate?  No amount of scientific-sounding
jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central
problem with astrology -- we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which
celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . .
Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents
the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions -- like those
of any scientific field -- should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always
claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their
efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have
generously done such testing for them.  There have been dozens of well-designed
tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them. . . .
I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest
in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them
keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by
the firelight, afraid of the night.
-- Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,
    "Why Astrology Believers Should Feel Embarrassed," San Jose Mercury
    News, May 8, 1988
"You must have an IQ of at least half a million."  -- Popeye
"Indecision is the basis of flexibility"
-- button at a Science Fiction convention.
"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative"
-- button at a Science Fiction convention.
"We cannot put off living until we are ready.  The most salient characteristic
of life is its coerciveness; it is always urgent, "here and now," without any
possible postponement.  Life is fired at us point blank."
-- Ortega y Gasset
      ...and before I knew what I was doing, I had kicked the
      typewriter and threw it around the room and made it beg for
      mercy.  At this point the typewriter pleaded for me to dress
      him in feminine attire but instead I pressed his margin release
      over and over again until the typewriter lost consciousness.
      Presently, I regained consciousness and realized with shame what
      I had done.  My shame is gone and now I am looking for a
      submissive typewriter, any color, or model.  No electric
      typewriters please!
                        --Rick Kleiner
"If you want to know what happens to you when you die, go look at some dead
stuff."
-- Dave Enyeart
It might be worth reflecting that this group was originally created
back in September of 1987 and has exchanged over 1200 messages.  The
original announcement for the group called for an all inclusive
discussion ranging from the writings of Gibson and Vinge and movies
like Bladerunner to real world things like Brands' description of the
work being done at the MIT Media Lab.  It was meant as a haven for
people with vision of this scope.  If you want to create a haven for
people with narrower visions, feel free.  But I feel sad for anyone
who thinks that alt.cyberpunk is such a monstrous group that it is in
dire need of being subdivided.  Heaven help them if they ever start
reading comp.arch or rec.arts.sf-lovers.
-- Bob Webber
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 2

proof by cumbersome notation:
        Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special
        symbols.

proof by exhaustion:
        An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is useful.

proof by omission:
        'The reader may easily supply the details'
        'The other 253 cases are analogous'
        '...'
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 7
proof by forward reference:
        Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author,
        which is often not as forthcoming as at first.

proof by semantic shift:
        Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed
        for the statement of the result.

proof by appeal to intuition:
        Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.
Seen on a button at an SF Convention:
Veteran of the Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force.  1990-1951.
"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality
at any point."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Every group has a couple of experts.  And every group has at least one idiot.
Thus are balance and harmony (and discord) maintained.  It's sometimes hard
to remember this in the bulk of the flamewars that all of the hassle and
pain is generally caused by one or two highly-motivated, caustic twits."
-- Chuq Von Rospach, chuq@apple.com, about Usenet
"The preeminence of a learned man over a worshiper is equal to the preeminence
of the moon, at the night of the full moon, over all the stars.  Verily, the
learned men are the heirs of the Prophets."
-- A tradition attributed to Muhammad
Q: Somebody just posted that Roman Polanski directed Star Wars.  What
should I do?

A: Post the correct answer at once!  We can't have people go on believing
that!  Very good of you to spot this.  You'll probably be the only one to
make the correction, so post as soon as you can.  No time to lose, so
certainly don't wait a day, or check to see if somebody else has made the
correction.

And it's not good enough to send the message by mail.  Since you're the
only one who really knows that it was Francis Coppola, you have to inform
the whole net right away!

-- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_
The Seventh Edition licensing procedures are, I suppose, still in effect,
though I doubt that tapes are available from AT&T.  At any rate, whatever
restrictions the license imposes still exist.  These restrictions were and
are reasonable for places that just want to run the system, but don't allow
many of the things that Minix was written for, like study of the source in
classes, or by individuals not in a university or company.

I've always thought that Minix was a fine idea, and competently done.

As for the size of v7, wc -l /usr/sys/*/*.[chs] is 19271.

-- Dennis Ritchie, 1989
"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips
over, pinning you underneath.  At night, the ice weasels come."
--Matt Groening
"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..."
-- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"
        "Yes, I am a real piece of work.  One thing we learn at Ulowell is
how to flame useless hacking non-EE's like you.  I am superior to you in
every way by training and expertise in the technical field.  Anyone can learn
how to hack, but Engineering doesn't come nearly as easily.  Actually, I'm
not trying to offend all you CS majors out there, but I think EE is one of the
hardest majors/grad majors to pass.  Fortunately, I am making it."
-- "Warrior Diagnostics" (wardiag@sky.COM)

"Being both an EE and an asshole at the same time must be a terrible burden
for you.  This isn't really a flame, just a casual observation.  Makes me
glad I was a CS major, life is really pleasant for me.  Have fun with your
chosen mode of existence!"
-- Jim Morrison (morrisj@mist.cs.orst.edu)
"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...."
-- Thomas J. Kopp
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments of
others, and all positive assertion of my own.  I even forbade myself the use
of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion,
such as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc.   I adopted instead of them "I
conceive", "I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "so it
appears to me at present".

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the
pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him immediately some
absurdity in his proposition.  In answering I began by observing that in
certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present
case there appeared or semed to me some difference, etc.

I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I
engaged in went on more pleasantly.  The modest way in which I proposed my
opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.  I had
less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily
prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I
happened to be in the right.
-- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, Jolt Cola
would be a Fortune-500 company.

If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, you'd be
able to buy a nice little colonial split-level at Babbages for $34.95.

If programmers wrote programs the way builders build buildings, we'd still
be using autocoder and running compile decks.

-- Peter da Silva and Karl Lehenbauer, a different perspective
"The ACLU has stood foursquare against the recurring tides of hysteria that
>from time to time threaten freedoms everyhere... Indeed, it is difficult
to appreciate how far our freedoms might have eroded had it not been for the
Union's valiant representation in the courts of the constitutional rights
of people of all persuasions, no matter how unpopular or even despised
by the majority they were at the time."
-- former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren
"It follows that any commander in chief who undertakes to carry out a plan
which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reasons,
insist of the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather
than be the instrument of his army's downfall."
-- Napoleon, "Military Maxims and Thought"
"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit."
-- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban
"If you can, help others.  If you can't, at least don't hurt others."
-- the Dalai Lama
> From MAILER-DAEMON@Think.COM Thu Mar  2 13:59:11 1989
> Subject: Returned mail: unknown mailer error 255

"Dale, your address no longer functions.  Can you fix it at your end?"
-- Bill Wolfe (wtwolfe@hubcap.clemson.edu)

"Bill, Your brain no longer functions.  Can you fix it at your end?"
-- Karl A. Nyberg (nyberg@ajpo.sei.cmu.edu)
"Cable is not a luxury, since many areas have poor TV reception."
-- The mayor of Tucson, Arizona, 1989
[apparently, good TV reception is a basic necessity -- at least in Tucson  -kl]
"The bad reputation UNIX has gotten is totally undeserved, laid on by people
who don't understand, who have not gotten in there and tried anything."
-- Jim Joyce, former computer science lecturer at the University of California
Again she fled, but swift he came.
Tin'uviel!  Tin'uviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came
And doom fell on Tin'uviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tin'uviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
                        Against Idleness and Mischief

How doth the little busy bee                How skillfully she builds her cell!
Improve each shining hour,                How neat she spreads the wax!
And gather honey all the day                And labours hard to store it well
From every opening flower!                With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour or of skill                In books, or work, or healthful play,
I would be busy too;                        Let my first years be passed,
For Satan finds some mischief still        That I may give for every day
For idle hands to do.                        Some good account at last.
                -- Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Ah, but the choice of dreams to live,
there's the rub.

For all dreams are not equal,
some exit to nightmare
most end with the dreamer

But at least one must be lived ... and died.
All the world's a VAX,
And all the coders merely butchers;
They have their exits and their entrails;
And one int in his time plays many widths,
His sizeof being _N bytes.  At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the Regent's arms.
And then the whining schoolboy, with his Sun,
And shining morning face, creeping like slug
Unwillingly to school.
                -- A Very Annoyed PDP-11
And so it was, later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.
                -- Procol Harum
And we heard him exclaim
As he started to roam:
"I'm a hologram, kids,
please don't try this at home!'"
                -- Bob Violence
As I was going up Punch Card Hill,
        Feeling worse and worser,
There I met a C.R.T.
        And it drop't me a cursor.

C.R.T., C.R.T.,
        Phosphors light on you!
If I had fifty hours a day
        I'd spend them all at you.
                -- Uncle Colonel's Cursory Rhymes
As I was passing Project MAC,
I met a Quux with seven hacks.
Every hack had seven bugs;
Every bug had seven manifestations;
Every manifestation had seven symptoms.
Symptoms, manifestations, bugs, and hacks,
How many losses at Project MAC?
At times discretion should be thrown aside,
and with the foolish we should play the fool.
                -- Menander
Blackout, heatwave, .44 caliber homicide,
The bums drop dead and the dogs go mad in packs on the West Side,
A young girl standing on a ledge, looks like another suicide,
She wants to hit those bricks,
        'cause the news at six got to stick to a deadline,
While the millionaires hide in Beekman place,
The bag ladies throw their bones in my face,
I get attacked by a kid with stereo sound,
I don't want to hear it but he won't turn it down...
                -- Billy Joel, "Glass Houses"
Cecil, you're my final hope
Of finding out the true Straight Dope
For I have been reading of Schrodinger's cat
But none of my cats are at all like that.
This unusual animal (so it is said)
Is simultaneously alive and dead!
What I don't understand is just why he
Can't be one or the other, unquestionably.
My future now hangs in between eigenstates.
In one I'm enlightened, in the other I ain't.
If *you* understand, Cecil, then show me the way
And rescue my psyche from quantum decay.
But if this queer thing has perplexed even you,
Then I will *___and* I won't see you in Schrodinger's zoo.
                -- Randy F., Chicago, "The Straight Dope, a compendium
                   of human knowledge" by Cecil Adams
Down to the Banana Republics,
Down to the tropical sun.
Go the expatriated Americans,
Hoping to find some fun.
Some of them go for the sailing,
Caught by the lure of the sea.
Trying to find what is ailing,
Living in the land of the free.
Some of them are running from lovers,
Leaving no forward address.
Some of them are running tons of ganja,
Some are running from the IRS.
Late at night you will find them,
In the cheap hotels and bars.
Hustling the senoritas,
While they dance beneath the stars.
                -- Jimmy Buffet, "Banana Republics"
Eleanor Rigby
        Sits at the keyboard
        And waits for a line on the screen
Lives in a dream
Waits for a signal
        Finding some code
        That will make the machine do some more.
What is it for?

All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
All the lonely users, why does it take so long?

Hacker MacKensie
Writing the code for a program that no one will run
It's nearly done
Look at him working, fixing the bugs in the night when there's
        nobody there.
What does he care?

All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
All the lonely users, why does it take so long?
Ah, look at all the lonely users.
Ah, look at all the lonely users.
Even a man who is pure at heart,
And says his prayers at night
Can become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms,
And the moon is full and bright.
                -- The Wolf Man, 1941
Even in the moment of our earliest kiss,
When sighed the straitened bud into the flower,
Sat the dry seed of most unwelcome this;
And that I knew, though not the day and hour.
Too season-wise am I, being country-bred,
To tilt at autumn or defy the frost:
Snuffing the chill even as my fathers did,
I say with them, "What's out tonight is lost."
I only hoped, with the mild hope of all
Who watch the leaf take shape upon the tree,
A fairer summer and a later fall
Than in these parts a man is apt to see,
And sunny clusters ripened for the wine:
I tell you this across the blackened vine.
                -- Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Even in the Moment of
                   Our Earliest Kiss", 1931
Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away ere break of day
Far over wood and mountain tall.

        To Rivendell, where Elves yet dwell
        In glades beneath the misty fell,
        Through moor and waste we ride in haste,
        And whither then we cannot tell.

With foes ahead, behind us dread,
Beneath the sky shall be our bed,
Until at last our toil be passed,
Our journey done, our errand sped.

        We must away!  We must away!
        We ride before the break of day!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Five names that I can hardly stand to hear,
Including yours and mine and one more chimp who isn't here,
I can see the ladies talking how the times is gettin' hard,
And that fearsome excavation on Magnolia boulevard,
Yes, I'm goin' insane,
And I'm laughing at the frozen rain,
Well, I'm so alone, honey when they gonna send me home?
        Bad sneakers and a pina colada my friend,
        Stopping on the avenue by Radio City, with a
        Transistor and a large sum of money to spend...
You fellah, you tearin' up the street,
You wear that white tuxedo, how you gonna beat the heat,
Do you take me for a fool, do you think that I don't see,
That ditch out in the Valley that they're diggin' just for me,
Yes, and goin' insane,
You know I'm laughin' at the frozen rain,
Feel like I'm so alone, honey when they gonna send me home?
(chorus)
                -- Bad Sneakers, "Steely Dan"
Friends, Romans, Hipsters,
Let me clue you in;
I come to put down Caesar, not to groove him.
The square kicks some cats are on stay with them;
The hip bits, like, go down under;
so let it lay with Caesar.  The cool Brutus
Gave you the message: Caesar had big eyes;
If that's the sound, someone's copping a plea,
And, like, old Caesar really set them straight.
Here, copacetic with Brutus and the studs, --
for Brutus is a real cool cat;
So are they all, all cool cats, --
Come I to make this gig at Caesar's laying down.
God rest ye CS students now,                The bearings on the drum are gone,
Let nothing you dismay.                        The disk is wobbling, too.
The VAX is down and won't be up,        We've found a bug in Lisp, and Algol
Until the first of May.                        Can't tell false from true.
The program that was due this morn,        And now we find that we can't get
Won't be postponed, they say.                At Berkeley's 4.2.
(chorus)                                (chorus)

We've just received a call from DEC,        And now some cheery news for you,
They'll send without delay                The network's also dead,
A monitor called RSuX                        We'll have to print your files on
It takes nine hundred K.                The line printer instead.
The staff committed suicide,                The turnaround time's nineteen weeks.
We'll bury them today.                        And only cards are read.
(chorus)                                (chorus)

And now we'd like to say to you                CHORUS:        Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Before we go away,                                Comfort and joy,
We hope the news we've brought to you                Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.
Won't ruin your whole day.
You've got another program due, tomorrow, by the way.
(chorus)
                -- to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
        Hack placidly amidst the noisy printers and remember what prizes there
may be in Science.  As fast as possible get a good terminal on a good system.
Enter your data clearly but always encrypt your results.  And listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant, for they may be your customers.  Avoid loud and
aggressive persons, for they are sales reps.
        If you compare your outputs with those of others, you may be surprised,
for always there will be greater and lesser numbers than you have crunched.
Keep others interested in your career, and try not to fumble; it can be a real
hassle and could change your fortunes in time.
        Exercise system control in your experiments, for the world is full of
bugs.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive
for linearity and everywhere papers are full of approximations.  Strive for
proportionality.  Especially, do not faint when it occurs.  Neither be cyclical
about results; for in the face of all data analysis it is sure to be noticed.
        Take with a grain of salt the anomalous data points.  Gracefully pass
them on to the youth at the next desk.  Nurture some mutual funds to shield
you in times of sudden layoffs.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings
-- the real bugs are enough to screw you badly.  Murphy's Law runs the
Universe -- and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt <Curl>B*n dS = 0.
        Therefore, grab for a piece of the pie, with whatever proposals you
can conceive of to try.  With all the crashed disks, skewed data, and broken
line printers, you can still have a beautiful secretary.  Be linear.  Strive
to stay employed.
                -- Technolorata, "Analog"
"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,                But ranged as infantry,
We should have sat us down to wet        And staring face to face,
Right many a nipperkin!                        I shot at him as he at me,
                                        And killed him in his place.
I shot him dead because --
Because he was my foe,                        He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Just so: my foe of course he was;        Off-hand-like -- just as I --
That's clear enough; although                Was out of work -- had sold his traps
                                        No other reason why.
Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is
Or help to half-a-crown."
                -- Thomas Hardy
Have you seen the old man in the closed down market,
Kicking up the papers in his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride, hands hang loosely at his side
Yesterdays papers, telling yesterdays news.

How can you tell me you're lonely,
And say for you the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand
Lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something to make you change your mind...

Have you seen the old man outside the sea-man's mission
Memories fading like the metal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city the rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero and a world that doesn't care...
He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Of music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beechen leaves
In the wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.

When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Here in my heart, I am Helen;
        I'm Aspasia and Hero, at least.
I'm Judith, and Jael, and Madame de Sta"el;
        I'm Salome, moon of the East.

Here in my soul I am Sappho;
        Lady Hamilton am I, as well.
In me R'ecamier vies with Kitty O'Shea,
        With Dido, and Eve, and poor Nell.

I'm all of the glamorous ladies
        At whose beckoning history shook.
But you are a man, and see only my pan,
        So I stay at home with a book.
                -- Dorothy Parker
I don't need no arms around me...
I don't need no drugs to calm me...
I have seen the writing on the wall.
Don't think I need anything at all.
No!  Don't think I need anything at all!
All in all, it was all just bricks in the wall.
All in all, it was all just bricks in the wall.
                -- Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall", Part III
I had an errand there: gathering water-lilies,
green leaves and lilies white to please my pretty lady,
the last ere the year's end to keep them from the winter,
to flower by her pretty feet till the snows are melted.

Each year at summer's end I go to find them for her,
in a wide pool, deep and clear, far down Withywindle;
there they open first in spring and there they linger latest.

By that pool long ago I found the River-daughter,
fair young Goldberry sitting in the rushes.
Sweet was her singing then, and her heart was beating!

And that proved well for you--for now I shall no longer
go down deep again along the forest-water,
no while the year is old.  Nor shall I be passing
Old Man Willow's house this side of spring-time,
not till the merry spring, when the River-daughter
dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller, like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.
                -- R.L. Stevenson
I knew Leo G. Carrol
Was over a barrel
When Tarantula took to the hills.        ["Lick it!"]
And I really got hot
When I saw Jeanette Scott
Fight a triffid that spits poison and kills.

Science fiction, double feature
Doctor X will build a creature.
See androids fighting Brad and Janet
Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
At the late night, double feature, picture show.
                -- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
I lay my head on the railroad tracks,
Waitin' for the double E.
The railroad don't run no more.
Poor poor pitiful me.                        [chorus]
        Poor poor pitiful me, poor poor pitiful me.
        These young girls won't let me be,
        Lord have mercy on me!
        Woe is me!

Well, I met a girl, West Hollywood,
Well, I ain't naming names.
But she really worked me over good,
She was just like Jesse James.
She really worked me over good,
She was a credit to her gender.
She put me through some changes, boy,
Sort of like a Waring blender.                [chorus]

I met a girl at the Rainbow Bar,
She asked me if I'd beat her.
She took me back to the Hyatt House,
I don't want to talk about it.                [chorus]
                -- Warren Zevon, "Poor Poor Pitiful Me"
I saw a man pursuing the Horizon,
'Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this,
I accosted the man,
"It is futile," I said.
"You can never--"
"You lie!" He cried,
and ran on.
                -- Stephen Crane
I sent a message to another time,
But as the days unwind -- this I just can't believe,
I sent a message to another plane,
Maybe it's all a game -- but this I just can't conceive.
...
I met someone who looks at lot like you,
She does the things you do, but she is an IBM.
She's only programmed to be very nice,
But she's as cold as ice, whenever I get too near,
She tells me that she likes me very much,
But when I try to touch, she makes it all too clear.
...
I realize that it must seem so strange,
That time has rearranged, but time has the final word,
She knows I think of you, she reads my mind,
She tries to be unkind, she knows nothing of our world.
                -- ELO, "Yours Truly, 2095"
I stood on the leading edge,
The eastern seaboard at my feet.
"Jump!" said Yoko Ono
I'm too scared and good-looking, I cried.
Go on and give it a try,
Why prolong the agony, all men must die.
                -- Roger Waters, "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking"
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all.
                -- Ogden Nash
I was eatin' some chop suey,
With a lady in St. Louie,
When there sudden comes a knockin' at the door.
And that knocker, he says, "Honey,
Roll this rocker out some money,
Or your daddy shoots a baddie to the floor."
                -- Mr. Miggle
I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
                -- Shel Silverstein, "Hug o' War"
I'm just as sad as sad can be!
        I've missed your special date.
Please say that you're not mad at me
        My tax return is late.
                -- Modern Lines for Modern Greeting Cards
I'm very good at integral and differential calculus,
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous;
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
                -- Gilbert & Sullivan, "Pirates of Penzance"
I've built a better model than the one at Data General
For data bases vegetable, animal, and mineral
My OS handles CPUs with multiplexed duality;
My PL/1 compiler shows impressive functionality.
My storage system's better than magnetic core polarity,
You never have to bother checking out a bit for parity;
There isn't any reason to install non-static floor matting;
My disk drive has capacity for variable formatting.

I feel compelled to mention what I know to be a gloating point:
There's lots of room in memory for variables floating-point,
Which shows for input vegetable, animal, and mineral
I've built a better model than the one at Data General.

                -- Steve Levine, "A Computer Song" (To the tune of
                   "Modern Major General", from "Pirates of Penzance",
                   by Gilbert & Sullivan)
If a system is administered wisely,
its users will be content.
They enjoy hacking their code
and don't waste time implementing
labor-saving shell scripts.
Since they dearly love their accounts,
they aren't interested in other machines.
There may be telnet, rlogin, and ftp,
but these don't access any hosts.
There may be an arsenal of cracks and malware,
but nobody ever uses them.
People enjoy reading their mail,
take pleasure in being with their newsgroups,
spend weekends working at their terminals,
delight in the doings at the site.
And even though the next system is so close
that users can hear its key clicks and biff beeps,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.
If an S and an I and an O and a U
With an X at the end spell Su;
And an E and a Y and an E spell I,
Pray what is a speller to do?
Then, if also an S and an I and a G
And an HED spell side,
There's nothing much left for a speller to do
But to go commit siouxeyesighed.
                -- Charles Follen Adams, "An Orthographic Lament"
If Dr. Seuss Were a Technical Writer.....

Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?  What a shame, sir!
We'll find you another game, sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to ram your rom.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

                -- DementDJ@ccip.perkin-elmer.com (DementDJ) [rec.humor.funny]
If I traveled to the end of the rainbow
As Dame Fortune did intend,
Murphy would be there to tell me
The pot's at the other end.
                -- Bert Whitney
If researchers wrote nursery rhymes...

Little Miss Muffet sat on her gluteal region,
Eating components of soured milk.
On at least one occasion,
        along came an arachnid and sat down beside her,
Or at least in her vicinity,
And caused her to feel an overwhelming, but not paralyzing, fear,
Which motivated the patient to leave the area rather quickly.
                -- Ann Melugin Williams
In the early morning queue,
With a listing in my hand.
With a worry in my heart,        There on terminal number 9,
Waitin' here in CERAS-land.        Pascal run all set to go.
I'm a long way from sleep,        But I'm waitin' in the queue,
How I miss a good meal so.        With this code that ever grows.
In the early mornin' queue,        Now the lobby chairs are soft,
With no place to go.                But that can't make the queue move fast.
                                Hey, there it goes my friend,
                                I've moved up one at last.
                -- Ernest Adams, "Early Morning Queue", to "Early
                   Morning Rain" by G. Lightfoot
John the Baptist after poisoning a thief,
Looks up at his hero, the Commander-in-Chief,
Saying tell me great leader, but please make it brief
Is there a hole for me to get sick in?
The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly,
Saying death to all those who would whimper and cry.
And dropping a barbell he points to the sky,
Saying the sun is not yellow, it's chicken.
                -- Bob Dylan, "Tombstone Blues"
Just a song before I go,                Going through security
To whom it may concern,                        I held her for so long.
Traveling twice the speed of sound        She finally looked at me in love,
It's easy to get burned.                And she was gone.
When the shows were over                Just a song before I go,
We had to get back home,                A lesson to be learned.
And when we opened up the door                Traveling twice the speed of sound
I had to be alone.                        It's easy to get burned.
She helped me with my suitcase,
She stands before my eyes,
Driving me to the airport
And to the friendly skies.
                -- Crosby, Stills, Nash, "Just a Song Before I Go"
Ladies and Gentlemen, Hobos and Tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitos and bowlegged ants,
I come before you to stand behind you
To tell you of something I know nothing about.
Next Thursday (which is good Friday),
There will be a convention held in the
Women's Club which is strictly for Men.
Admission is free, pay at the door,
Pull up a chair, and sit on the floor.
It was a summer's day in winter,
And the snow was raining fast,
As a barefoot boy with shoes on,
Stood sitting in the grass.
Oh, that bright day in the dead of night,
Two dead men got up to fight.
Three blind men to see fair play,
Forty mutes to yell "Hooray"!
Back to back, they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
Came and arrested those two dead boys.
Ladles and Jellyspoons!
I come before you to stand behind you,
To tell you something I know nothing about.
Since next Thursday will be Good Friday,
There will be a fathers' meeting, for mothers only.
Wear your best clothes, if you don't have any,
And please stay at home if you can possibly be there.
Admission is free, please pay at the door.
Have a seat on me: please sit on the floor.
No matter where you manage to sit,
The man in the balcony will certainly spit.
We thank you for your unkind attention,
And would now like to present our next act:
"The Four Corners of the Round Table."
"Lines that are parallel meet at Infinity!"
Euclid repeatedly, heatedly, urged.

Until he died, and so reached that vicinity:
in it he found that the damned things diverged.
                -- Piet Hein
"My name is Sue!  How do you do?!  Now you gonna die!"
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes,
And he went down, but to my surprise,
Come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
So I busted a chair right across his teeth,
And we crashed through the walls and into the streets,
Kickin' and a-gougin' in the mud and the blood and beer.
Now I tell you, I've fought tougher men,
But I really can't remember when:
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
But I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
And he went for his gun, but I pulled mine first,
And he sat there lookin' at me, and I saw him smile.
He said: "Son, this world is rough,
And if a man's gonna make it he's gotta be tough,
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I give you that name and I said goodbye,
And I knew you'd have to get tough or die,
And it's that name that's helped to make you strong!
                -- Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"
My pen is at the bottom of a page,
Which, being finished, here the story ends;
'Tis to be wished it had been sooner done,
But stories somehow lengthen when begun.
                -- Byron
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore
I do not like me anymore,
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse,
I ponder on the narrow house
I shudder at the thought of men
I'm due to fall in love again.
                -- Dorothy Parker, "Enough Rope"
Near the Studio Jean Cocteau
On the Rue des Ecoles
lived an old man
with a blind dog
Every evening I would see him
guiding the dog along
the sidewalk, keeping
a firm grip on the leash
so that the dog wouldn't
run into a passerby
Sometimes the dog would stop
and look up at the sky
Once the old man
noticed me watching the dog
and he said, "Oh, yes,
this one knows
when the moon is out,
he can feel it on his face"
                -- Barry Gifford
"No program is perfect,"
They said with a shrug.
"The customer's happy--
What's one little bug?"

But he was determined,                        Then change two, then three more,
The others went home.                        As year followed year.
He dug out the flow chart                And strangers would comment,
Deserted, alone.                        "Is that guy still here?"

Night passed into morning.                He died at the console
The room was cluttered                        Of hunger and thirst
With core dumps, source listings.        Next day he was buried
"I'm close," he muttered.                Face down, nine edge first.

Chain smoking, cold coffee,                And his wife through her tears
Logic, deduction.                        Accepted his fate.
"I've got it!" he cried,                Said "He's not really gone,
"Just change one instruction."                He's just working late."
                -- The Perfect Programmer
Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
                -- George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Don Juan"
Now I lay me down to study,
I pray the Lord I won't go nutty.
And if I fail to learn this junk,
I pray the Lord that I won't flunk.
But if I do, don't pity me at all,
Just lay my bones in the study hall.
Tell my teacher I've done my best,
Then pile my books upon my chest.
Now of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It leaves me only fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
                -- A.E. Housman
Now's the time to have some big ideas
Now's the time to make some firm decisions
We saw the Buddha in a bar down south
Talking politics and nuclear fission
We see him and he's all washed up --
Moving on into the body of a beetle
Getting ready for a long long crawl
He  ain't nothing -- he ain't nothing at all...

Death and Money make their point once more
In the shape of Philosophical assassins
Mark and Danny take the bus uptown
Deadly angels for reality and passion
Have the courage of the here and now
Don't taking nothing from the half-baked buddhas
When you think you got it paid in full
You got nothing -- you got nothing at all...
        We're on the road and we're gunning for the Buddha.
        We know his name and he mustn't get away.
        We're on the road and we're gunning for the Buddha.
        It would take one shot -- to blow him away...
                -- Shriekback, "Gunning for the Buddah"
O! Wanderers in the shadowed land
despair not!  For though dark they stand,
all woods there be must end at last,
and see the open sun go past:
the setting sun, the rising sun,
the day's end, or the day begun.
For east or west all woods must fail ...
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Oh don't the days seem lank and long
        When all goes right and none goes wrong,
And isn't your life extremely flat
        With nothing whatever to grumble at!
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a 4BSD?
My friends all got sources, so why can't I see?
Come all you moby hackers, come sing it out with me:
To hell with the lawyers from AT&T!
"Oh, 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments such prosperi-ty?"
"Oh, didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"
"Yes: That's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.

"At home in the barton you said `thee' and `thou,'
And `thik oon' and `theas oon' and `t'other;' but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for compa-ny!"
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit like as on any la-dy!"
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"
"True.  One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

"I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!"
"My dear--a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that.  You ain't ruined," said she.
                --Thomas Hardy
Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus
        Where the three-body problem is solved,
        Where the microwaves play down at three degrees K,
        And the cold virus never evolved.                        (chorus)
We eat algea pie, our vacuum is high,
        Our ball bearings are perfectly round.
        Our horizon is curved, our warheads are MIRVed,
        And a kilogram weighs half a pound.                        (chorus)
If we run out of space for our burgeoning race
        No more Lebensraum left for the Mensch
        When we're ready to start, we can take Mars apart,
        If we just find a big enough wrench.                        (chorus)
I'm sick of this place, it's just McDonald's in space,
        And living up here is a bore.
        Tell the shiggies, "Don't cry," they can kiss me goodbye
        'Cause I'm moving next week to L4!                        (chorus)

CHORUS:        Home, home on LaGrange,
        Where the space debris always collects,
        We possess, so it seems, two of Man's greatest dreams:
        Solar power and zero-gee sex.
                -- to Home on the Range
On a morning from a Bogart movie, in a country where they turned back time,
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre contemplating a crime.
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running like a watercolor in the rain.
Don't bother asking for explanations, she'll just tell you that she came
In the Year of the Cat.

She doesn't give you time for questions, as she locks up your arm in hers,
And you follow 'till your sense of which direction completely disappears.
By the blue-tiled walls near the market stall there's a hidden door she
    leads you to.
These days, she say, I feel my life just like a river running through
The Year of the Cat.

Well, she looks at you so coolly,
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea.
She comes in incense and patchouli,
So you take her to find what's waiting inside
The Year of the Cat.

Well, morning comes and you're still with her, but the bus and the tourists
    are gone,
And you've thrown away your choice and lost your ticket, so you have to stay on.
But the drum-beat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the new-born day.
You know some time you're bound to leave her, but for now you're going to stay
In the Year of the Cat.
                -- Al Stewart, "Year of the Cat"
On the good ship Enterprise
Every week there's a new surprise
Where the Romulans lurk
And the Klingons often go berserk.

Yes, the good ship Enterprise
There's excitement anywhere it flies
Where Tribbles play
And Nurse Chapel never gets her way.

        See Captain Kirk standing on the bridge,
        Mr. Spock is at his side.
        The weekly menace, ooh-ooh
        It gets fried, scattered far and wide.

It's the good ship Enterprise
Heading out where danger lies
And you live in dread
If you're wearing a shirt that's red.
        -- Doris Robin and Karen Trimble of The L.A. Filkharmonics,
           "The Good Ship Enterprise," to the tune of "The Good Ship Lollipop"
Once again dread deed is done.
Canon sleeps,
his all-knowing eye shaded
to human chance and circumstance.
Peace reigns anew o'er Pine Valley,
but Canon's sleep is troubled.

Beware, scant days past the Ides of July.
Impatient hands wait eagerly
to grasp, to hold
scant moments of time
wrested from life in the full
glory of Canon's power;
held captive by his unblinking eye.

Three golden orbs stand watch;
one each to toll the day, hour, minute
until predestiny decrees his reawakening.
When that feared moment arives,
"Ask not for whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee."
                -- "I extended the loan on your Camera, at the Pine
                   Valley Pawn Shop today"
Once there was a little nerd who loved to read your mail,
And then yank back the i-access times to get hackers off his tail,
And once as he finished reading from the secretary's spool,
He wrote a rude rejection to her boyfriend (how uncool!)
And this as delivermail did work and he ran his backfstat,
He heard an awful crackling like rat fritters in hot fat,
And hard errors brought the system down 'fore he could even shout!
        And the bio bug'll bring yours down too, ef you don't watch out!
And once they was a little flake who'd prowl through the uulog,
And when he went to his blit that night to play at being god,
The ops all heard him holler, and they to the console dashed,
But when they did a ps -ut they found the system crashed!
Oh, the wizards adb'd the dumps and did the system trace,
And worked on the file system 'til the disk head was hot paste,
But all they ever found was this:  "panic: never doubt",
        And the bio bug'll crash your box too, ef you don't watch out!
When the day is done and the moon comes out,
And you hear the printer whining and the rk's seems to count,
When the other desks are empty and their terminals glassy grey,
And the load is only 1.6 and you wonder if it'll stay,
You must mind the file protections and not snoop around,
        Or the bio bug'll getcha and bring the system down!
Once upon this midnight incoherent,
While you pondered sentient and crystalline,
Over many a broken and subordinate
Volume of gnarly lore,
While I pestered, nearly singing,
Sudddenly there came a hewing,
As of someone profusely skulking,
Skulking at my chamber door.
One pill makes you larger,                And if you go chasing rabbits
And one pill makes you small.                And you know you're going to fall.
And the ones that mother gives you,        Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Don't do anything at all.                Has given you the call.
Go ask Alice                                Call Alice
When she's ten feet tall.                When she was just small.

When men on the chessboard                When logic and proportion
Get up and tell you where to go.        Have fallen sloppy dead,
And you've just had some kind of        And the White Knight is talking
        mushroom                                backwards
And your mind is moving low.                And the Red Queen's lost her head
Go ask Alice                                Remember what the dormouse said:
I think she'll know.                                Feed your head.
                                                Feed your head.
                                                Feed your head.
                -- Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"
Please stand for the National Anthem:

        Oh, say can you see by dawn's early light
        What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
        Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
        O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
        And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
        Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
        Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
        O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Thank you.  You may resume your seat.
        Proposed Country & Western Song Titles
I Don't Mind If You Lie to Me, As Long As I Ain't Lyin' Alone
I Wouldn't Take You to a Dog Fight Even If I Thought You Could Win
If You Leave Me, Walk Out Backwards So I'll Think You're Comin' In
Since You Learned to Lip-Sync, I'm At Your Disposal
My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was
        Breaking My Heart
Don't Cry, Little Darlin', You're Waterin' My Beer
Tennis Must Be Your Racket, 'Cause Love Means Nothin' to You
When You Say You Love Me, You're Full of Prunes, 'Cause Living
        With You Is the Pits
I Wanted Your Hand in Marriage but All I Got Was the Finger
                -- "Wordplay"
Saturday night in Toledo Ohio,
        Is like being nowhere at all,
All through the day how the hours rush by,
        You sit in the park and you watch the grass die.
                -- John Denver, "Saturday Night in Toledo Ohio"
Say my love is easy had,
        Say I'm bitten raw with pride,
Say I am too often sad --
        Still behold me at your side.

Say I'm neither brave nor young,
        Say I woo and coddle care,
Say the devil touched my tongue --
        Still you have my heart to wear.

But say my verses do not scan,
        And I get me another man!
                -- Dorothy Parker, "Fighting Words"
Science Fiction, Double Feature.
Frank has built and lost his creature.
Darkness has conquered Brad and Janet.
The servants gone to a distant planet.
Wo, oh, oh, oh.
At the late night, double feature, Picture show.
I want to go, oh, oh, oh.
To the late night, double feature, Picture show.
                -- Rocky Horror Picture Show
Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific,
Fain how I pause at your nature specific,
Loftily poised in the ether capacious,
Highly resembling a gem carbonaceous.
Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific,
Fain how I pause at your nature specific.
Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.

There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Sing hey! for the bath at close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!

        O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
        and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
        but better than rain or rippling streams
        is Water Hot that smokes and steams.

O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed;
but better is Beer, if drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.

        O! Water is fair that leaps on high
        in a fountain white beneath the sky;
        but never did fountain sound so sweet
        as splashing Hot Water with my feet!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Sometimes I feel like I'm fading away,
Looking at me, I got nothin' to say.
Don't make me angry with the things games that you play,
Either light up or leave me alone.
Strange things are done to be number one
In selling the computer                        The Druids were entrepreneurs,
IBM has their strategem                        And they built a granite box
Which steadily grows acuter,                It tracked the moon, warned of monsoons,
And Honeywell competes like Hell,        And forecast the equinox
But the story's missing link                Their price was right, their future
Is the system old at Stonemenge sold                bright,
By the firm of Druids, Inc.                The prototype was sold;
                                        From Stonehenge site their bits and byte
                                        Would ship for Celtic gold.
The movers came to crate the frame;
It weighed a million ton!
The traffic folk thought it a joke        The man spoke true, and thus to you
(the wagon wheels just spun);                A warning from the ages;
"They'll nay sell that," the foreman        Your stock will slip if you can't ship
        spat,                                What's in your brochure's pages.
"Just leave the wild weeds grow;        See if it sells without the bells
"It's Druid-kind, over-designed,        And strings that ring and quiver;
"And belly up they'll go."                Druid repute went down the chute
                                        Because they couldn't deliver.
                -- Edward C. McManus, "The Computer at Stonehenge"
Take a look around you, tell me what you see,
A girl who thinks she's ordinary lookin' she has got the key.
If you can get close enough to look into her eyes
There's something special right behind the bitterness she hides.
        And you're fair game,
        You never know what she'll decide, you're fair game,
        Just relax, enjoy the ride.
Find a way to reach her, make yourself a fool,
But do it with a little class, disregard the rules.
'Cause this one knows the bottom line, couldn't get a date.
The ugly duckling striking back, and she'll decide her fate.
        (chorus)
The ones you never notice are the ones you have to watch.
She's pleasant and she's friendly while she's looking at your crotch.
Try your hand at conversation, gossip is a lie,
And sure enough she'll take you home and make you wanna die.
        (chorus)
                -- Crosby, Stills, Nash, "Fair Game"
Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me us.
                -- Ogden Nash
The good time is approaching,
The season is at hand.
When the merry click of the two-base lick
Will be heard throughout the land.
The frost still lingers on the earth, and
Budless are the trees.
But the merry ring of the voice of spring
Is borne upon the breeze.
                -- Ode to Opening Day, "The Sporting News", 1886
The ladies men admire, I've heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They'd rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
They shrink from powders and from paints...
So far, I've had no complaints.
                -- Dorothy Parker
The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tin'uviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains colds,
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
The night passes quickly when you're asleep
But I'm out shufflin' for something to eat
...
Breakfast at the Egg House,
Like the waffle on the griddle,
I'm burnt around the edges,
But I'm tender in the middle.
                -- Adrian Belew
The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he's not a feast.
Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I'll stare at something less prepoceros.
                -- Ogden Nash
The Worst American Poet
        Julia Moore, "the Sweet Singer of Michigan" (1847-1920) was so bad that
Mark Twain said her first book gave him joy for 20 years.
        Her verse was mainly concerned with violent death -- the great fire
of Chicago and the yellow fever epidemic proved natural subjects for her pen.
        Whether death was by drowning, by fits or by runaway sleigh, the
formula was the same:
                Have you heard of the dreadful fate
                Of Mr. P.P. Bliss and wife?
                Of their death I will relate,
                And also others lost their life
                (in the) Ashbula Bridge disaster,
                Where so many people died.
        Even if you started out reasonably healthy in one of Julia's poems,
the chances are that after a few stanzas you would be at the bottom of a
river or struck by lightning.  A critic of the day said she was "worse than
a Gatling gun" and in one slim volume counted 21 killed and 9 wounded.
        Incredibly, some newspapers were critical of her work, even
suggesting that the sweet singer was "semi-literate".  Her reply was
forthright: "The Editors that has spoken in this scandalous manner have went
beyond reason."  She added that "literary work is very difficult to do".
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There's little in taking or giving,
        There's little in water or wine:
This living, this living, this living,
        Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
        The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
        And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
        And rest's for a clam in a shell,
So I'm thinking of throwing the battle --
        Would you kindly direct me to hell?
                -- Dorothy Parker
They wouldn't listen to the fact that I was a genius,
The man said "We got all that we can use",
So I've got those steadily-depressin', low-down, mind-messin',
Working-at-the-car-wash blues.
                -- Jim Croce
Throw away documentation and manuals,
and users will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away privileges and quotas,
and users will do the Right Thing.
Throw away proprietary and site licenses,
and there won't be any pirating.

If these three aren't enough,
just stay at your home directory
and let all processes take their course.
To stand and be still,
At the Birkenhead drill,
Is a damned tough bullet to chew.
                -- Rudyard Kipling
        Two men looked out from the prison bars,
        One saw mud--
        The other saw stars.

Now let me get this right: two prisoners are looking out the window.
While one of them was looking at all the mud -- the other one got hit
in the head.
U:        There's a U -- a Unicorn!
        Run right up and rub its horn.
        Look at all those points you're losing!
        UMBER HULKS are so confusing.
                -- The Roguelet's ABC
Wanna tell you all a story 'bout a man named Jed,
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed.
But then one day he was shootin' at some food,
When up through the ground come a bubblin' crude -- oil, that is;
        black gold; 'Texas tea' ...

Well the next thing ya know, old Jed's a millionaire.
The kinfolk said, 'Jed, move away from there!'
They said, 'Californy is the place ya oughta be',
So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly -- Hills, that is;
        swimmin' pools; movie stars.
Well I looked at my watch and it said a quarter to five,
The headline screamed that I was still alive,
I couldn't understand it, I thought I died last night.
I dreamed I'd been in a border town,
In a little cantina that the boys had found,
I was desperate to dance, just to dig the local sounds.
When along came a senorita,
She looked so good that I had to meet her,
I was ready to approach her with my English charm,
When her brass knuckled boyfriend grabbed me by the arm,
And he said, grow some funk of your own, amigo,
Grow some funk of your own.
We no like to with the gringo fight,
But there might be a death in Mexico tonite.
...
Take my advice, take the next flight,
And grow some funk, grow your funk at home.
                -- Elton John, "Grow Some Funk of Your Own"
Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
And he didn't leave much for Ma and me,
Just and old guitar an'a empty bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him 'cause he ran and hid,
But the meanest thing that he ever did,
Was before he left he went and named me Sue.
...
But I made me a vow to the moon and the stars,
I'd search the honkey tonks and the bars,
And kill the man that give me that awful name.
It was Gatlinburg in mid-July,
I'd just hit town and my throat was dry,
Thought I'd stop and have myself a brew,
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
Sitting at a table, dealing stud,
Sat that dirty (bleep) that named me Sue.
...
Now, I knew that snake was my own sweet Dad,
From a wornout picture that my Mother had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye...
                -- Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"
Well, we're big rock singers, we've got golden fingers,
And we're loved everywhere we go.
We sing about beauty, and we sing about truth,
At ten thousand dollars a show.
We take all kind of pills to give us all kind of thrills,
But the thrill we've never known,
Is the thrill that'll get'cha, when you get your picture,
On the cover of the Rolling Stone.

I got a freaky old lady, name of Cole King Katie,
Who embroiders on my jeans.
I got my poor old gray-haired daddy,
Drivin' my limousine.
Now it's all designed, to blow our minds,
But our minds won't be really be blown;
Like the blow that'll get'cha, when you get your picture,
On the cover of the Rolling Stone.

We got a lot of little, teen-aged, blue-eyed groupies,
Who'll do anything we say.
We got a genuine Indian guru, that's teachin' us a better way.
We got all the friends that money can buy,
So we never have to be alone.
And we keep gettin' richer, but we can't get our picture,
On the cover of the Rolling Stone.
                -- Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
                [As a note, they eventually DID make the cover of RS. Ed.]
What pains others pleasures me,
At home am I in Lisp or C;
There i couch in ecstasy,
'Til debugger's poke i flee,
Into kernel memory.
In system space, system space, there shall i fare--
Inside of a VAX on a silicon square.
What, still alive at twenty-two,
A clean upstanding chap like you?
Sure, if your throat 'tis hard to slit,
Slit your girl's, and swing for it.
Like enough, you won't be glad,
When they come to hang you, lad:
But bacon's not the only thing
That's cured by hanging from a string.
So, when the spilt ink of the night
Spreads o'er the blotting pad of light,
Lads whose job is still to do
Shall whet their knives, and think of you.
                -- Hugh Kingsmill
When oxygen Tech played Hydrogen U.
The Game had just begun, when Hydrogen scored two fast points
And Oxygen still had none
Then Oxygen scored a single goal
And thus it did remain, At Hydrogen 2 and Oxygen 1
Called because of rain.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
        For it isn't your father or mother or wife
        Whose judgement upon you must pass;
        The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
        Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people may think you a straight-shootin' chum
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
        He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
        For he's with you clear up to the end,
        And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
        If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.
Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,
        We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
        Clean-favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
        And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
        "Good morning," and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich -- yes, richer than a king --
        And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
        To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
        And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
        Went home and put a bullet through his head.
                -- E.A. Robinson, "Richard Cory"
WHERE CAN THE MATTER BE
        Oh, dear, where can the matter be
        When it's converted to energy?
        There is a slight loss of parity.
        Johnny's so long at the fair.
Where, oh, where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, and I thought I'd found true love.
You met another, and *PPHHHLLLBBBBTTT*, you wuz gone.

Gloom, despair and agony on me.
Deep dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.
Oh, gloom, despair and agony on me.
                -- Hee Haw
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
                -- Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to hardware interrupts.]

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine.
                -- William Wordsworth, "She Was a Phantom of Delight"

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to software interrupts.]
Yes me, I got a bottle in front of me.
And Jimmy has a frontal lobotomy.
Just different ways to kill the pain the same.
But I'd rather have a bottle in front of me,
Than to have to have a frontal lobotomy.
I might be drunk but at least I'm not insane.
                -- Randy Ansley M.D. (Dr. Rock)
"You are old, father William," the young man said,
        "And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
        Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
        "I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
        Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
        And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door --
        Pray what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
        "I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment -- one shilling the box --
        Allow me to sell you a couple?"
"You are old," said the youth, "and I'm told by my peers
        That your lectures bore people to death.
Yet you talk at one hundred conventions per year --
        Don't you think that you should save your breath?"

"I have answered three questions and that is enough,"
        Said his father, "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
        Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"
You know my heart keeps tellin' me,
You're not a kid at thirty-three,
You play around you lose your wife,
You play too long, you lose your life.
Some gotta win, some gotta lose,
Goodtime Charlie's got the blues.
"`Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.'
`Very deep,' said Arthur, `you should send that in to the
"Reader's Digest". They've got a page for people like you.'"

- Ford convincing Arthur to drink three pints in ten
minutes at lunchtime.
"`You know,' said Arthur, `it's at times like this, when
I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse,
and about to die from asphyxiation in deep space that I
really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I
was young.'
`Why, what did she tell you?'
`I don't know, I didn't listen.'"

- Arthur coping with certain death as best as he could.
"`Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.'"

- Arthur experiences the improbability drive at work.
"`Right,' said Ford, `I'm going to have a look.'
He glanced round at the others.
`Is no one going to say, "No you can't possibly, let me go
instead"?'
They all shook their heads.
`Oh well.'"

- Ford attempting to be heroic whilst being seiged by
Shooty and Bangbang.
"`Maybe somebody here tipped off the Galactic Police,' said
Trillian. `Everybody saw you come in.'
`You mean they want to arrest me over the phone?' said
Zaphod, `Could be. I'm a pretty dangerous dude when I'm
cornered.'
`Yeah,' said a voice from under the table [Ford's now
completely rat- arsed at this point], `you go to pieces so
fast people get hit by the shrapnel.'"

- Zaphod getting paranoid over a phone call.
"`The first ten million years were the worst,' said Marvin,
`and the second ten million, they were the worst too. The
third ten million I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went
into a bit of a decline.'"

- Marvin reflecting back on his 576,000,003,579 year
career as Milliways' car park attendent.
"`Incidentally,' he said, `what does teleport mean?'
Another moment passed.
Slowly, the others turned to face him.
`Probably the wrong moment to ask,' said Arthur, `It's just
I remember you use the word a short while ago and I only
bring it up because...'
`Where,' said Ford quietly, `does it say teleport?'
`Well, just over here in fact,' said Arthur, pointing at a
dark control box in the rear of the cabin, `Just under the
word "emergency", above the word "system" and beside the
sign saying "out of order".'"

- Arthur finding an escape route from a certain death
situation.
ZAPHOD        Hey, this rock...
FORD        Marble...
ZAPHOD        Marble...
FORD        Ice-covered marble...
ZAPHOD        Right... it's as slippery as... as... What's the
slipperiest
        thing you can think of?
FORD        At the moment? This marble.
ZAPHOD        Right. This marble is as slippery as this marble.

- Zaphod and Ford trying to get a grip on things in
Brontitall, Fit the Tenth.
"`... then I decided that I was a lemon for a couple of
weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and
out of a gin and tonic.'
Arthur cleared his throat, and then did it again.
`Where,' he said, `did you...?'
`Find a gin and tonic?' said Ford brightly. `I found a
small lake that thought it was a gin and tonic, and jumped
in and out of that. At least, I think it thought it was a
gin and tonic.'
`I may,' he addded with a grin which would have sent sane
men scampering into the trees, `have been imagining it.'"

- Ford updating Arthur about what he's been doing for the
past four years.
"His eyes seemed to be popping out of his head. He wasn't
certain if this was because they were trying to see more
clearly, or if they simply wanted to leave at this point."

- Arthur trying to see who had diverted him from going to
a party.
"Arthur yawed wildly as his skin tried to jump one way and
his skeleton the other, whilst his brain tried to work out
which of his ears it most wanted to crawl out of.
`Bet you weren't expecting to see me again,' said the
monster, which Arthur couldn't help thinking was a strange
remark for it to make, seeing as he had never met the
creature before. He could tell that he hadn't met the
creature before from the simple fact that he was able to
sleep at nights."

- Arthur discovering who had diverted him from going to a
party.
"The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred
character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in
at number 79. ....
When it's fall in New York, the air smells as if someone's
been frying goats in it, and if you are keen to breathe the
best plan is to open a window and stick your head in a
building."

- Nuff said??
"What the hell, he thought, you're only young once, and
threw himself out of the window. That would at least keep
the element of surprise on his side."

- Ford outwitting a Vogon with a rocket launcher by going
into another certain death situation.
"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong
and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a
thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually
turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

- One of the laws of computers and programming revealed.
"I don't know, " said the voice on the PA, "apathetic
bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all. "
"You're very sure of your facts, " he said at last, "I
couldn't trust the thinking of a man who takes the Universe
- if there is one - for granted. "
"It was real. At least, if it wasn't real, it did support
them, and as that is what sofas are supposed to do, this,
by any test that mattered, was a real sofa. "
"Arthur felt at a bit of a loss. There was a whole Galaxy
of stuff out there for him, and he wondered if it was
churlish of him to complain to himself that it lacked just
two things: the world he was born on and the woman he
loved. "
A [golf] ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed in
the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the
rough.  Such veering right or left frequently results from friction between
the face of the club and the cover of the ball and the player should not be
penalized for the erratic behavior of the ball resulting from such
uncontrollable physical phenomena.
                -- Donald A. Metz
A couple of young fellers were fishing at their special pond off the
beaten track when out of the bushes jumped the Game Warden.  Immediately,
one of the boys threw his rod down and started running through the woods
like the proverbial bat out of hell, and hot on his heels ran the Game
Warden.  After about a half mile the fella stopped and stooped over with
his hands on his thighs, whooping and heaving to catch his breath as the
Game Warden finally caught up to him.
        "Let's see yer fishin' license, boy," the Warden gasped.  The
man pulled out his wallet and gave the Game Warden a valid fishing
license.
        "Well, son", snarled the Game Warden, "You must be about as dumb
as a box of rocks!  You didn't have to run if you have a license!"
        "Yes, sir," replied his victim, "but, well, see, my friend back
there, he don't have one!"
A new 'chutist had just jumped from the plane at 10,000 feet, and soon
discovered that all his lines were hopelessly tangled.  At about 5,000 feet,
still struggling, he noticed someone coming up from the ground at about the
same speed as he was going towards the ground.  As they passed each other at
3,000 feet, the 'chutist yells, "HEY! DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT PARACHUTES?"
        The reply came, fading towards the end, "NO!  DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING
ABOUT COLEMAN STOVES?"
Anxious after the delay, Gruber doesn't waste any time getting the Koenig
[a modified Porsche] up to speed, and almost immediately we are blowing off
Alfas, Fiats, and Lancias full of excited Italians.  These people love fast
cars.  But they love sport too and no passing encounter goes unchallenged.
Nothing serious, just two wheels into your lane as you're bearing down on
them at 130-plus -- to see if you're paying attention.
                -- Road & Track article about driving two absurdly fast
                   cars across Europe.
Brandy Davis, an outfielder and teammate of mine with the Pittsburgh Pirates,
is my choice for team captain.  Cincinnatti was beating us 3-1, and I led
off the bottom of the eighth with a walk.  The next hitter banged a hard
single to right field.  Feeling the wind at my back, I rounded second and
kept going, sliding safely into third base.
        With runners at first and third, and home-run hitter Ralph Kiner at
bat, our manager put in the fast Brandy Davis to run for the player at first.
Even with Kiner hitting and a change to win the game with a home run, Brandy
took off for second and made it.  Now we had runners at second and third.
        I'm standing at third, knowing I'm not going anywhere, and see Brandy
start to take a lead.  All of a sudden, here he comes.  He makes a great slide
into third, and I scream, "Brandy, where are you going?"  He looks up, and
shouts, "Back to second if I can make it."
                -- Joe Garagiola, "It's Anybody's Ball Game"
Failed Attempts To Break Records
        In September 1978 Mr. Terry Gripton, of Stafford, failed to break
the world shouting record by two and a half decibels.  "I am not surprised
he failed," his wife said afterwards.  "He's really a very quiet man and
doesn't even shout at me."
        In August of the same year Mr. Paul Anthony failed to break the
record for continuous organ playing by 387 hours.
        His attempt at the Golden Fish Fry Restaurant in Manchester ended
after 36 hours 10 minutes, when he was accused of disturbing the peace.
"People complained I was too noisy," he said.
        In January 1976 Mr. Barry McQueen failed to walk backwards across
the Menai Bridge playing the bagpipes.  "It was raining heavily and my
drone got waterlogged," he said.
        A TV cameraman thwarted Mr. Bob Specas' attempt to topple 100,000
dominoes at the Manhattan Center, New York on 9 June 1978.  97,500 dominoes
had been set up when he dropped his press badge and set them off.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
Football combines the two worst features of American life.
It is violence punctuated by committee meetings.
                -- George F. Will, "Men At Work:  The Craft of Baseball"
Fortune finishes the great quotations, #15

        "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses."
        And while you're at it, throw in a couple of those Dallas
        Cowboy cheerleaders.
George's friend Sam had a dog who could recite the Gettysburg Address.  "Let
me buy him from you," pleaded George after a demonstration.
        "Okay," agreed Sam.  "All he knows is that Lincoln speech anyway."
        At his company's Fourth of July picnic, George brought his new pet
and announced that the animal could recite the entire Gettysburg Address.
No one believed him, and they proceeded to place bets against the dog.
George quieted the crowd and said, "Now we'll begin!"  Then he looked at
the dog.  The dog looked back.  No sound.  "Come on, boy, do your stuff."
Nothing.  A disappointed George took his dog and went home.
        "Why did you embarrass me like that in front of everybody?" George
yelled at the dog.  "Do you realize how much money you lost me?"
        "Don't be silly, George," replied the dog.  "Think of the odds we're
gonna get on Labor Day."
HARVARD:
Quarterback:
        Sophomore Dave Strewzinski... likes to pass.  And pass he does, with
a record 86 attempts (three completions) in 87 plays....  Though Strewzinksi
has so far failed to score any points for the Crimson, his jackrabbit speed
has made him the least sacked quarterback in the Ivy league.
Wide Receiver:
        The other directional signal in Harvard's offensive machine is senior
Phil Yip, who is very fast.  Yip is so fast that he has set a record for being
fast.  Expect to see Yip elude all pursuers and make it into the endzone five
or six times, his average for a game.  Yip, nicknamed "fumblefingers" and "you
asshole" by his teammates, hopes to carry the ball with him at least one of
those times.
YALE:
Defense:
        On the defensive side, Yale boasts the stingiest line in the Ivies.
Primarily responsible are seniors Izzy "Shylock" Bloomberg and Myron
Finklestein, the tightest ends in recent Eli history.  Also contributing to
the powerful defense is junior tackle Angus MacWhirter, a Scotsman who rounds
out the offensive ethnic joke.  Look for these three to shut down the opening
coin toss.
                -- Harvard Lampoon 1988 Program Parody, distributed at The Game
How can you think and hit at the same time?
                -- Yogi Berra
I'm a lucky guy, and I'm happy to be with the Yankees.  And I want to
thank everyone for making this night necessary.
                -- Yogi Berra at a dinner in his honor
If you sit down at a poker game and don't see a sucker, get up.  You're
the sucker.
Life is a gamble at terrible odds, if it was a bet you wouldn't take it.
                -- Tom Stoppard, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"
"Oh, he [a big dog] hunts with papa," she said. "He says Don Carlos [the
dog] is good for almost every kind of game.  He went duck hunting one time
and did real well at it.  Then Papa bought some ducks, not wild ducks but,
you know, farm ducks.  And it got Don Carlos all mixed up.  Since the
ducks were always around the yard with nobody shooting at them he knew he
wasn't supposed to kill them, but he had to do something.  So one morning
last spring, when the ground was still soft, he took all the ducks and
buried them."  "What do you mean, buried them?"  "Oh, he didn't hurt them.
He dug little holes all over the yard and picked up the ducks in his mouth
and put them in the holes.  Then he covered them up with mud except for
their heads.  He did thirteen ducks that way and was digging a hole for
another one when Tony found him.  We talked about it for a long time.  Papa
said Don Carlos was afraid the ducks might run away, and since he didn't
know how to build a cage he put them in holes.  He's a smart dog."
                -- R. Bradford, "Red Sky At Morning"
On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the
same moment -- halftime.
Our [softball] team usually puts the other woman at second base, where the
maximum possible number of males can get there on short notice to help out
in case of emergency.  As far as I can tell, our second basewoman is a pretty
good baseball player, better than I am, anyway, but there's no way to know
for sure because if the ball gets anywhere near her, a male comes barging
over from, say, right field, to deal with it.  She's been on the team for
three seasons now, but the males still don't trust her.  They know, deep in
their souls, that if she had to choose between catching a fly ball and saving
an infant's life, she probably would elect to save the infant's life, without
ever considering whether there were men on base.
                -- Dave Barry, "Sports is a Drag"
Pedro Guerrero was playing third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1984
when he made the comment that earns him a place in my Hall of Fame.  Second
baseman Steve Sax was having trouble making his throws.  Other players were
diving, screaming, signaling for a fair catch.  At the same time, Guerrero,
at third, was making a few plays that weren't exactly soothing to manager
Tom Lasorda's stomach.  Lasorda decided it was time for one of his famous
motivational meetings and zeroed in on Guerrero: "How can you play third
base like that?  You've gotta be thinking about something besides baseball.
What is it?"
        "I'm only thinking about two things," Guerrero said.  "First, `I
hope they don't hit the ball to me.'"  The players snickered, and even
Lasorda had to fight off a laugh.  "Second, `I hope they don't hit the ball
to Sax.'"
                -- Joe Garagiola, "It's Anybody's Ball Game"
Several years ago, an international chess tournament was being held in a
swank hotel in New York.  Most of the major stars of the chess world were
there, and after a grueling day of chess, the players and their entourages
retired to the lobby of the hotel for a little refreshment.  In the lobby,
some players got into a heated argument about who was the brightest, the
fastest, and the best chess player in the world.  The argument got quite
loud, as various players claimed that honor.  At that point, a security
guard in the lobby turned to another guard and commented, "If there's
anything I just can't stand, it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."
Texas A&M football coach Jackie Sherrill went to the office of the Dean
of Academics because he was concerned about his players' mental abilities.
"My players are just too stupid for me to deal with them", he told the
unbelieving dean.  At this point, one of his players happened to enter
the dean's office.  "Let me show you what I mean", said Sherrill, and he
told the player to run over to his office to see if he was in.  "OK, Coach",
the player replied, and was off.  "See what I mean?" Sherrill asked.
"Yeah", replied the dean.  "He could have just picked up this phone and
called you from here."
The fellow sat down at a bar, ordered a drink and asked the bartender if he
wanted to hear a dumb-jock joke.
        "Hey, buddy," the bartender replied, "you see those two guys next to
you?  They used to be with the Chicago Bears.  The two dudes behind you made
the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.  And for your information, I used to play
center at Notre Dame."
        "Forget it," the customer said.  "I don't want to explain it five
times."
        The only real game in the world, I think, is baseball...
You've got to start way down, at the bottom, when you're six or seven years
old. You can't wait until you're fifteen or sixteen.  You've got to let it
grow up with you, and if you're successful and you try hard enough, you're
bound to come out on top, just like these boys have come to the top now.
                -- Babe Ruth, in his 1948 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium
The pitcher wound up and he flang the ball at the batter.  The batter
swang and missed.  The pitcher flang the ball again and this time the
batter connected.  He hit a high fly right to the center fielder.  The
center fielder was all set to catch the ball, but at the last minute his
eyes were blound by the sun and he dropped it.
                -- Dizzy Dean
There's a couple of million dollars worth of baseball talent on the loose,
ready for the big leagues, yet unsigned by any major league.  There are
pitchers who would win 20 games a season ... and outfielders [who] could
hit .350, infielders who could win recognition as stars, and there's at
least one catcher who at this writing is probably superior to Bill Dickey,
Josh Gibson.  Only one thing is keeping them out of the big leagues, the
pigmentation of their skin.  They happen to be colored.
                -- Shirley Povich, 1941
        A MODERN FABLE

Aesop's fables and other traditional children's stories involve allegory
far too subtle for the youth of today.  Children need an updated message
with contemporary circumstance and plot line, and short enough to suit
today's minute attention span.

        The Troubled Aardvark

Once upon a time, there was an aardvark whose only pleasure in life was
driving from his suburban bungalow to his job at a large brokerage house
in his brand new 4x4.  He hated his manipulative boss, his conniving and
unethical co-workers, his greedy wife, and his snivelling, spoiled
children.  One day, the aardvark reflected on the meaning of his life and
his career and on the unchecked, catastrophic decline of his nation, its
pathetic excuse for leadership, and the complete ineffectiveness of any
personal effort he could make to change the status quo.  Overcome by a
wave of utter depression and self-doubt, he decided to take the only
course of action that would bring him greater comfort and happiness: he
drove to the mall and bought imported consumer electronics goods.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  Invest in foreign consumer electronics manufacturers.
                -- Tom Annau
Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to
point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very
fast.  People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are
often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people
from point B are so keen to get there and what's so great about point B
that so many people from point A are so keen to get _____there.  They often
wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell
they wanted to be.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Death didn't answer.  He was looking at Spold in the same way as a dog looks
at a bone, only in this case things were more or less the other way around.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the
Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an
utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life
forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches
are a pretty neat idea ...
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Humorists always sit at the children's table.
                -- Woody Allen
I am a conscientious man, when I throw rocks at seabirds I leave no tern
unstoned.
                -- Ogden Nash, "Everybody's Mind to Me a Kingdom Is"
I argue very well.  Ask any of my remaining friends.  I can win an argument on
any topic, against any opponent.  People know this, and steer clear of me at
parties.  Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
                -- Dave Barry
I cannot overemphasize the importance of good grammar.

What a crock.  I could easily overemphasize the importance of good
grammar.  For example, I could say: "Bad grammar is the leading cause
of slow, painful death in North America," or "Without good grammar, the
United States would have lost World War II."
                -- Dave Barry, "An Utterly Absurd Look at Grammar"
"I changed my headlights the other day. I put in strobe lights instead! Now
when I drive at night, it looks like everyone else is standing still ..."
                -- Steven Wright
"I got into an elevator at work and this man followed in after me... I
pushed '1' and he just stood there... I said 'Hi, where you going?'  He
said, 'Phoenix.'  So I pushed Phoenix.  A few seconds later the doors
opened, two tumbleweeds blew in... we were in downtown Phoenix.  I looked
at him and said 'You know, you're the kind of guy I want to hang around
with.'  We got into his car and drove out to his shack in the desert.
Then the phone rang.  He said 'You get it.'  I picked it up and said
'Hello?'... the other side said 'Is this Steven Wright?'... I said 'Yes...'
The guy said 'Hi, I'm Mr. Jones, the student loan director from your bank...
It seems you have missed your last 17 payments, and the university you
attended said that they received none of the $17,000 we loaned you... we
would just like to know what happened to the money?'  I said, 'Mr. Jones,
I'll give it to you straight.  I gave all of the money to my friend Slick,
and with it he built a nuclear weapon... and I would appreciate it if you never
called me again."
                -- Steven Wright
I got my driver's license photo taken out of focus on purpose.  Now
when I get pulled over the cop looks at it (moving it nearer and
farther, trying to see it clearly)...  and says, "Here, you can go."
                -- Steven Wright
I got tired of listening to the recording on the phone at the movie
theater.  So I bought the album.  I got kicked out of a theater the
other day for bringing my own food in.  I argued that the concession
stand prices were outrageous.  Besides, I hadn't had a barbecue in a
long time.  I went to the theater and the sign said adults $5 children
$2.50.  I told them I wanted 2 boys and a girl.  I once took a cab to
a drive-in movie.  The movie cost me $95.
                -- Steven Wright
I look at life as being cruise director on the Titanic.  I may not get
there, but I'm going first class.
                -- Art Buchwald
I met my latest girl friend in a department store.  She was looking at
clothes, and I was putting Slinkys on the escalators.
                -- Steven Wright
        "I said I hope it is a good party," said Galder, loudly.
        "AT THE MOMENT IT IS," said Death levelly.  "I THINK IT MIGHT GO
DOWNHILL VERY QUICKLY AT MIDNIGHT."
        "Why?"
        "THAT'S WHEN THEY THINK I'LL BE TAKING MY MASK OFF."
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
I tell ya, gambling never agreed with me.  Last week I went to the track
and they shot my horse with the opening gun.

Well, just last week I was at a Chinese restaurant and when I opened my
fortune cookie I found the guy's check sitting at the next table.  I said,
"Hey, buddy, I got your check", he said, "Thanks."
                -- Rodney Dangerfield
I was at this restaurant.  The sign said "Breakfast Anytime."  So I
ordered French Toast in the Rennaissance.
                -- Steven Wright
"I was drunk last night, crawled home across the lawn.  By accident I
put the car key in the door lock.  The house started up.  So I figured
what the hell, and drove it around the block a few times.  I thought I
should go park it in the middle of the freeway and yell at everyone to
get off my driveway."
                -- Steven Wright
I was in a bar and I walked up to a beautiful woman and said, "Do you live
around here often?"  She said, "You're wearing two different-color socks."
I said, "Yes, but to me they're the same because I go by thickness."
She said, "How do you feel?" And I said, "You know when you're sitting on a
chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs and you lean too far so
you almost fall over but at the last second you catch yourself?  I feel like
that all the time..."
                -- Steven Wright, "Gentlemen's Quarterly"
I was in Vegas last week. I was at the roulette table, having a lengthy
argument about what I considered an Odd number.
                -- Steven Wright
"I went to a job interview the other day, the guy asked me if I had any
questions , I said yes, just one, if you're in a car traveling at the
speed of light and you turn your headlights on, does anything happen?

He said he couldn't answer that, I told him sorry, but I couldn't work
for him then.
                -- Steven Wright
If only God would give me some clear sign!  Like making a large deposit
in my name at a Swiss bank.
                -- Woody Allen, "Without Feathers"
If you've done six impossible things before breakfast, why not round it
off with dinner at Milliway's, the restaurant at the end of the universe?
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
Life is wasted on the living.
                -- The Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe.
        "Many have seen Topaxci, God of the Red Mushroom, and they earn the
name of shaman," he said.  Some have seen Skelde, spirit of the smoke, and
they are called sorcerers.  A few have been privileged to see Umcherrel, the
soul of the forest, and they are known as spirit masters.  But none have
seen a box with hundreds of legs that looked at them without eyes, and they
are known as idio--"
        The interruption was caused by a sudden screaming noise and a flurry
of snow and sparks that blew the fire across the dark hut; there was a brief
blurred vision and then the opposite wall was blasted aside and the
apparition vanished.
        There was a long silence.  Then a slightly shorter silence.  Then
the old shaman said carefully, "You didn't just see two men go through
upside down on a broomstick, shouting and screaming at each other, did you?"
        The boy looked at him levelly.  "Certainly not," he said.
        The old man heaved a sigh of relief.  "Thank goodness for that," he
said.  "Neither did I."
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
        My friends, I am here to tell you of the wonderous continent known as
Africa.  Well we left New York drunk and early on the morning of February 31.
We were 15 days on the water, and 3 on the boat when we finally arrived in
Africa.  Upon our arrival we immediately set up a rigorous schedule:  Up at
6:00, breakfast, and back in bed by 7:00.  Pretty soon we were back in bed by
6:30.  Now Africa is full of big game.  The first day I shot two bucks.  That
was the biggest game we had.  Africa is primerally inhabited by Elks, Moose
and Knights of Pithiests.
        The elks live up in the mountains and come down once a year for their
annual conventions.  And you should see them gathered around the water hole,
which they leave immediately when they discover it's full of water.  They
weren't looking for a water hole.  They were looking for an alck hole.
        One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my
pajamas, I don't know.  Then we tried to remove the tusks.  That's a tough
word to say, tusks.  As I said we tried to remove the tusks, but they were
imbedded so firmly we couldn't get them out.  But in Alabama the Tuscaloosa,
but that is totally irrelephant to what I was saying.
        We took some pictures of the native girls, but they weren't developed.
So we're going back in a few years...
                -- Julius H. Marx [Groucho]
        Obviously the subject of death was in the air, but more as something
to be avoided than harped upon.
        Possibly the horror that Zaphod experienced at the prospect of being
reunited with his deceased relatives led on to the thought that they might
just feel the same way about him and, what's more, be able to do something
about helping to postpone this reunion.
                -- Douglas Adams
Puns are little "plays on words" that a certain breed of person loves to
spring on you and then look at you in a certain self-satisfied way to
indicate that he thinks that you must think that he is by far the cleverest
person on Earth now that Benjamin Franklin is dead, when in fact what you
are thinking is that if this person ever ends up in a lifeboat, the other
passengers will hurl him overboard by the end of the first day even if they
have plenty of food and water.
                -- Dave Barry, "Why Humor is Funny"
"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time."
                -- Steven Wright
        "The pyramid is opening!"
        "Which one?"
        "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!"
                -- Firesign Theater, "How Can You Be In Two Places At
                   Once When You're Not Anywhere At All"
        "You know, it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon
airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in
deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me
when I was young!"
        "Why, what did she tell you?"
        "I don't know, I didn't listen."
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
1893 The ideal brain tonic
1900 Drink Coca-Cola -- delicious and refreshing -- 5 cents at all
        soda fountains
1905 Is the favorite drink for LADIES when thirsty -- weary -- despondent
1905 Refreshes the weary, brightens the intellect and clears the brain
1906 The drink of QUALITY
1907 Good to the last drop
1907 It satisfies the thirst and pleases the palate
1907 Refreshing as a summer breeze.  Delightful as a Dip in the Sea
1908 The Drink that Cheers but does not inebriate
1917 There's a delicious freshness to the taste of Coca-Cola
1919 It satisfies thirst
1919 The taste is the test
1922 Every glass holds the answer to thirst
1922 Thirst knows no season
1925 Enjoy the sociable drink
                -- Coca-Cola slogans
A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart that looks at her watch.
                -- James Beard
Even a cabbage may look at a king.
How many hors d'oeuvres you are allowed to take off a tray being carried by
a waiter at a nice party?
        Two, but there are ways around it, depending on the style of the hors
d'oeuvre.  If they're those little pastry things where you can't tell what's
inside, you take one, bite off about two-thirds of it, then say:  "This is
cheese!  I hate cheese!"  Then you put the rest of it back on the tray and
bite another one and go, "Darn it!  Another cheese!" and so on.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Stuff of Etiquette"
If at first you fricasee, fry, fry again.
IT MAKES ME MAD when I go to all the trouble of having Marta cook up about
a hundred drumsticks, then the guy at Marineland says, "You can't throw
that chicken to the dolphins. They eat fish."

Sure they eat fish if that's all you give them!  Man, wise up.
                -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.
Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes
you weep.
                -- Carl Sandburg
Lobster:
        Everyone loves these delectable crustaceans, but many cooks are
squeamish about placing them into boiling water alive, which is the only
proper method of preparing them.  Frankly, the easiest way to eliminate your
guilt is to establish theirs by putting them on trial before they're cooked.
The fact is, lobsters are among the most ferocious predators on the sea
floor, and you're helping reduce crime in the reefs.  Grasp the lobster
behind the head, look it right in its unmistakably guilty eyestalks and say,
"Where were you on the night of the 21st?", then flourish a picture of a
scallop or a sole and shout, "Perhaps this will refresh that crude neural
apparatus you call a memory!"  The lobster will squirm noticeably.  It may
even take a swipe at you with one of its claws.  Incorrigible.  Pop it into
the pot.  Justice has been served, and shortly you and your friends will
be, too.
                -- Dave Barry, "Cooking: The Art of Using Appliances and
                   Utensils into Excuses and Apologies"
Man who arrives at party two hours late will find he has been beaten
to the punch.
Peanut Blossoms

4 cups sugar           16 tbsp. milk
4 cups brown sugar     4 tsp. vanilla
4 cups shortening      14 cups flour
8 eggs                 4 tsp. soda
4 cups peanut butter   4 tsp. salt

Shape dough into balls.  Roll in sugar and bake on ungreased cookie
sheet at 375 F. for 10-12 minutes.  Immediately top each cookie with a
Hershey's kiss or star pressing down firmly to crack cookie.  Makes a
heck of a lot.
The chicken that clucks the loudest is the one most likely to show up
at the steam fitters' picnic.
The Kosher Dill was invented in 1723 by Joe Kosher and Sam Dill.  It is
the single most popular pickle variety today, enjoyed throughout the free
world by man, woman and child alike.  An astounding 350 billion kosher
dills are eaten each year, averaging out to almost 1/4 pickle per person
per day.  New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton says "The kosher dill
really changed my life.  I used to enjoy eating McDonald's hamburgers and
drinking Iron City Lite, and then I encountered the kosher dill pickle.
I realized that there was far more to haute cuisine then I'd ever imagined.
And now, just look at me."
There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be
offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a
series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of
food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection
increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the
affection IS the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no
circumstances can the food be omitted.
                -- Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour
Thirteen at a table is unlucky only when the hostess has only twelve chops.
                -- Groucho Marx
This is Betty Frenel.  I don't know who to call but I can't reach my
Food-a-holics partner.  I'm at Vido's on my second pizza with sausage
and mushroom.  Jim, come and get me!
        "When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last,
"what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
        "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh.  "What do you say, Piglet?"
        "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
        Pooh nodded thoughtfully.  "It's the same thing," he said.
Without coffee he could not work, or at least he could not have worked in the
way he did.  In addition to paper and pens, he took with him everywhere as an
indispensable article of equipment the coffee machine, which was no less
important to him than his table or his white robe.
                -- Stefan Zweigs, Biography of Balzac
Due to Federal Budget problems we have been forced to cut back on the number of users able to access the system at one time. (namely none allowed....)
Your computer's union contract is set to expire at midnight.
Route flapping at the NAP.
A Hen Brooding Kittens
        A friend informs us that he saw at the Novato ranch, Marin county,
a few days since, a hen actually brooding and otherwise caring for three
kittens!  The gentleman upon whose premises this strange event is transpiring
says the hen adopted the kittens when they were but a few days old, and that
she has devoted them her undivided care for several weeks past.  The young
felines are now of respectable size, but they nevertheless follow the hen at
her cluckings, and are regularly brooded at night beneath her wings.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, July 2, 1861
A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed
on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous new
game.  Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the
pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly
along it at the water's edge.  Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their
heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn
around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite
direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match.  Then, the
paper reports "The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin
colony and overfly it.  Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins
fall over gently onto their backs.
                -- Audobon Society Magazine
After two or three weeks of this madness, you begin to feel As One with
the man who said, "No news is good news." In twenty-eight papers, only
the rarest kind of luck will turn up more than two or three articles of
any interest...  but even then the interest items are usually buried deep
around paragraph 16 on the jump (or "Cont.  on ...") page...

The Post will have a story about Muskie making a speech in Iowa.  The
Star will say the same thing, and the Journal will say nothing at all.
But the Times might have enough room on the jump page to include a line
or so that says something like: "When he finished his speech, Muskie
burst into tears and seized his campaign manager by the side of the neck.
They grappled briefly, but the struggle was kicked apart by an oriental
woman who seemed to be in control."

Now that's good journalism.  Totally objective; very active and straight
to the point.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing '72"
Earth Destroyed by Solar Flare -- film clips at eleven.
FLASH!
Intelligence of mankind decreasing.
Details at ... uh, when the little hand is on the ....
If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get rich,
or famous or both.
Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it.
                        *** NEWSFLASH ***

Russian tanks steamrolling through New Jersey!!!!  Details at eleven!
The American Dental Association announced today that most plaque tends
to form on teeth around 4:00 PM in the afternoon.

Film at 11:00.
You know the great thing about TV?  If something important happens
anywhere at all in the world, no matter what time of the day or night,
you can always change the channel.
                -- Jim Ignatowski
A CODE OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR FOR PATIENTS:

1. DO NOT EXPECT YOUR DOCTOR TO SHARE YOUR DISCOMFORT.
        Involvement with the patient's suffering might cause him to lose
        valuable scientific objectivity.

2. BE CHEERFUL AT ALL TIMES.
        Your doctor leads a busy and trying life and requires all the
        gentleness and reassurance he can get.

3. TRY TO SUFFER FROM THE DISEASE FOR WHICH YOU ARE BEING TREATED.
        Remember that your doctor has a professional reputation to uphold.
Aquavit is also considered useful for medicinal purposes, an essential
ingredient in what I was once told is the Norwegian cure for the common
cold.  You get a bottle, a poster bed, and the brightest colored stocking
cap you can find.  You put the cap on the post at the foot of the bed,
then get into bed and drink aquavit until you can't see the cap.  I've
never tried this, but it sounds as though it should work.
                -- Peter Nelson
At the hospital, a doctor is training an intern on how to announce bad news
to the patients.  The doctor tells the intern "This man in 305 is going to
die in six months.  Go in and tell him."  The intern boldly walks into the
room, over to the man's bedisde and tells him "Seems like you're gonna die!"
The man has a heart attack and is rushed into surgery on the spot.  The doctor
grabs the intern and screams at him, "What!?!? are you some kind of moron?
You've got to take it easy, work your way up to the subject.  Now this man in
213 has about a week to live.  Go in and tell him, but, gently, you hear me,
gently!"
        The intern goes softly into the room, humming to himself, cheerily
opens the drapes to let the sun in, walks over to the man's bedside, fluffs
his pillow and wishes him a "Good morning!"  "Wonderful day, no?  Say...
guess who's going to die soon!"
Better to use medicines at the outset than at the last moment.
Certain old men prefer to rise at dawn, taking a cold bath and a long
walk with an empty stomach and otherwise mortifying the flesh.  They
then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy
health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old,
not because of their habits, but in spite of them.  The reason we find
only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the
others who have tried it.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Fortune's Exercising Truths:

1:  Richard Simmons gets paid to exercise like a lunatic.  You don't.
2.  Aerobic exercises stimulate and speed up the heart.  So do heart attacks.
3.  Exercising around small children can scar them emotionally for life.
4.  Sweating like a pig and gasping for breath is not refreshing.
5.  No matter what anyone tells you, isometric exercises cannot be done
    quietly at your desk at work.  People will suspect manic tendencies as
    you twitter around in your chair.
6.  Next to burying bones, the thing a dog enjoys mosts is tripping joggers.
7.  Locking four people in a tiny, cement-walled room so they can run around
    for an hour smashing a little rubber ball -- and each other -- with a hard
    racket should immediately be recognized for what it is: a form of insanity.
8.  Fifty push-ups, followed by thirty sit-ups, followed by ten chin-ups,
    followed by one throw-up.
9.  Any activity that can't be done while smoking should be avoided.
"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
The Vet Who Surprised A Cow
        In the course of his duties in August 1977, a Dutch veterinary
surgeon was required to treat an ailing cow.  To investigate its internal
gases he inserted a tube into that end of the animal not capable of facial
expression and struck a match.  The jet of flame set fire first to some
bales of hay and then to the whole farm causing damage estimate at L45,000.
The vet was later fined L140 for starting a fire in a manner surprising to
the magistrates.  The cow escaped with shock.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
        "Welcome back for you 13th consecutive week, Evelyn.  Evelyn, will
you go into the auto-suggestion booth and take your regular place on the
psycho-prompter couch?"
        "Thank you, Red."
        "Now, Evelyn, last week you went up to $40,000 by properly citing
your rivalry with your sibling as a compulsive sado-masochistic behavior
pattern which developed out of an early post-natal feeding problem."
        "Yes, Red."
        "But -- later, when asked about pre-adolescent oedipal phantasy
repressions, you rationalized twice and mental blocked three times.  Now,
at $300 per rationalization and $500 per mental block you lost $2,100 off
your $40,000 leaving you with a total of $37,900.  Now, any combination of
two more mental blocks and either one rationalization or three defensive
projections will put you out of the game.  Are you willing to go ahead?"
        "Yes, Red."
        "I might say here that all of Evelyn's questions and answers have
been checked for accuracy with her analyst.  Now, Evelyn, for $80,000
explain the failure of your three marriages."
        "Well, I--"
        "We'll get back to Evelyn in one minute.  First a word about our
product."
                -- Jules Feiffer
Do you know the one -- "All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer
her by ..."  You could feel the wind at your back, about you ...  the
sounds of the sea beneath you.  And even if you take away the wind and
the water, it's still the same.  The ship is yours ... you can feel her
... and the stars are still there.
                -- Kirk, "The Ultimate Computer", stardate 4729.4
We'll pivot at warp 2 and bring all tubes to bear, Mr. Sulu!
When a child is taught ... its programmed with simple instructions --
and at some point, if its mind develops properly, it exceeds the sum of
what it was taught, thinks independently.
                -- Dr. Richard Daystrom, "The Ultimate Computer",
                   stardate 4731.3.
You go slow, be gentle.  It's no one-way street -- you know how you
feel and that's all.  It's how the girl feels too.  Don't press.  If
the girl feels anything for you at all, you'll know.
                -- Kirk, "Charlie X", stardate 1535.8
A fellow bought a new car, a Nissan, and was quite happy with his purchase.
He was something of an animist, however, and felt that the car really ought
to have a name.  This presented a problem, as he was not sure if the name
should be masculine or feminine.
        After considerable thought, he settled on an naming the car either
Belchazar or Beaumadine, but remained in a quandry about the final choice.
        "Is a Nissan male or female?" he began asking his friends.  Most of
them looked at him pecularly, mumbled things about urgent appointments, and
went on their way rather quickly.
        He finally broached the question to a lady he knew who held a black
belt in judo.  She thought for a moment and answered "Feminine."
        The swiftness of her response puzzled him. "You're sure of that?" he
asked.
        "Certainly," she replied. "They wouldn't sell very well if they were
masculine."
        "Unhhh...  Well, why not?"
        "Because people want a car with a reputation for going when you want
it to.  And, if Nissan's are female, it's like they say...  `Each Nissan, she
go!'"

        [No, we WON'T explain it; go ask someone who practices an oriental
        martial art.  (Tai Chi Chuan probably doesn't count.)  Ed.]
Amoebit:
        Amoeba/rabbit cross; it can multiply and divide at the same time.
Aphasia:
        Loss of speech in social scientists when asked
        at parties, "But of what use is your research?"
Canonical, adj.:
        The usual or standard state or manner of something.  A true story:
One Bob Sjoberg, new at the MIT AI Lab, expressed some annoyance at the use
of jargon.  Over his loud objections, we made a point of using jargon as
much as possible in his presence, and eventually it began to sink in.
Finally, in one conversation, he used the word "canonical" in jargon-like
fashion without thinking.
        Steele: "Aha!  We've finally got you talking jargon too!"
        Stallman: "What did he say?"
        Steele: "He just used `canonical' in the canonical way."
Carperpetuation (kar' pur pet u a shun), n.:
        The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string at least a
        dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then
        putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Charity, n.:
        A thing that begins at home and usually stays there.
Computer science:
        (1) A study akin to numerology and astrology, but lacking the
           precision of the former and the success of the latter.
        (2) The protracted value analysis of algorithms.
        (3) The costly enumeration of the obvious.
        (4) The boring art of coping with a large number of trivialities.
        (5) Tautology harnessed in the service of Man at the speed of light.
        (6) The Post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.
Consultant, n.:
        [From con "to defraud, dupe, swindle," or, possibly, French con
        (vulgar) "a person of little merit" + sult elliptical form of
        "insult."]  A tipster disguised as an oracle, especially one who
        has learned to decamp at high speed in spite of a large briefcase
        and heavy wallet.
Corry's Law:
        Paper is always strongest at the perforations.
Ducharme's Precept:
        Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment.

Ducharme's Axiom:
        If you view your problem closely enough you will recognize
        yourself as part of the problem.
Eagleson's Law:
        Any code of your own that you haven't looked at for six or more
        months, might as well have been written by someone else.  (Eagleson
        is an optimist, the real number is more like three weeks.)
Electrocution, n.:
        Burning at the stake with all the modern improvements.
Epperson's law:
        When a man says it's a silly, childish game, it's probably
        something his wife can beat him at.
Every program has (at least) two purposes:
        the one for which it was written and another for which it wasn't.
Frobnicate, v.:
        To manipulate or adjust, to tweak.  Derived from FROBNITZ. Usually
abbreviated to FROB.  Thus one has the saying "to frob a frob." See TWEAK
and TWIDDLE.  Usage: FROB, TWIDDLE, and TWEAK sometimes connote points along
a continuum.  FROB connotes aimless manipulation; TWIDDLE connotes gross
manipulation, often a coarse search for a proper setting; TWEAK connotes
fine-tuning.  If someone is turning a knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's
carefully adjusting it he is probably tweaking it; if he is just turning it
but looking at the screen he is probably twiddling it; but if he's just
doing it because turning a knob is fun, he's frobbing it.
furbling, v.:
        Having to wander through a maze of ropes at an airport or bank
        even when you are the only person in line.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
genius, n.:
        Person clever enough to be born in the right place at the right
        time of the right sex and to follow up this advantage by saying
        all the right things to all the right people.
Gerrold's Laws of Infernal Dynamics:
        (1) An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction.
        (2) An object at rest will always be in the wrong place.
        (3) The energy required to change either one of these states
           will always be more than you wish to expend, but never so
           much as to make the task totally impossible.
Ginsburg's Law:
        At the precise moment you take off your shoe in a shoe store, your
        big toe will pop out of your sock to see what's going on.
Gomme's Laws:
        (1) A backscratcher will always find new itches.
        (2) Time accelerates.
        (3) The weather at home improves as soon as you go away.
Grinnell's Law of Labor Laxity:
        At all times, for any task, you have not got enough done today.
gurmlish, n.:
        The red warning flag at the top of a club sandwich which
        prevents the person from biting into it and puncturing the roof
        of his mouth.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Hale Mail Rule, The:
        When you are ready to reply to a letter, you will lack at least
        one of the following:
                (a) A pen or pencil or typewriter.
                (b) Stationery.
                (c) Postage stamp.
                (d) The letter you are answering.
half-done, n.:
        This is the best way to eat a kosher dill -- when it's still crunchy,
        light green, yet full of garlic flavor.  The difference between this
        and the typical soggy dark green cucumber corpse is like the
        difference between life and death.

        You may find it difficult to find a good half-done kosher dill there
        in Seattle, so what you should do is take a cab out to the airport,
        fly to New York, take the JFK Express to Jay Street-Borough Hall,
        transfer to an uptown F, get off at East Broadway, walk north on
        Essex (along the park), make your first left onto Hester Street, walk
        about fifteen steps, turn ninety degrees left, and stop.  Say to the
        man, "Let me have a nice half-done."  Worth the trouble, wasn't it?
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
Hand, n.:
        A singular instrument worn at the end of a human arm and
        commonly thrust into somebody's pocket.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
HOW YOU CAN TELL THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A ROTTEN DAY:
        #15 Your pet rock snaps at you.
Iles's Law:
        There is always an easier way to do it.  When looking directly
        at the easy way, especially for long periods, you will not see it.
        Neither will Iles.
Jim Nasium's Law:
        In a large locker room with hundreds of lockers, the few people
        using the facility at any one time will all have lockers next to
        each other so that everybody is cramped.
Johnson's First Law:
        When any mechanical contrivance fails, it will do so at the
        most inconvenient possible time.
Kramer's Law:
        You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the tracks.
like:
        When being alive at the same time is a wonderful coincidence.
Nusbaum's Rule:
        The more pretentious the corporate name, the smaller the
        organization.  (For instance, the Murphy Center for the
        Codification of Human and Organizational Law, contrasted
        to IBM, GM, and AT&T.)
pain, n.:
        One thing, at least it proves that you're alive!
Pascal Users:
        To show respect for the 313th anniversary (tomorrow) of the
        death of Blaise Pascal, your programs will be run at half speed.
perfect guest:
        One who makes his host feel at home.
Performance:
        A statement of the speed at which a computer system works.  Or
        rather, might work under certain circumstances.  Or was rumored
        to be working over in Jersey about a month ago.
Positive, adj.:
        Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
program, n.:
        Any task that can't be completed in one telephone call or one
        day.  Once a task is defined as a program ("training program,"
        "sales program," or "marketing program"), its implementation
        always justifies hiring at least three more people.
QOTD:
        "It's sort of a threat, you see.  I've never been very good at
        them myself, but I'm told they can be very effective."
QOTD:
        Money isn't everything, but at least it keeps the kids in touch.
Quality Control, n.:
        The process of testing one out of every 1,000 units coming off
        a production line to make sure that at least one out of 100 works.
Real World, The, n.:
        1. In programming, those institutions at which programming may
be used in the same sentence as FORTRAN, COBOL, RPG, IBM, etc.  2. To
programmers, the location of non-programmers and activities not related
to programming.  3. A universe in which the standard dress is shirt and
tie and in which a person's working hours are defined as 9 to 5.  4.
The location of the status quo.  5. Anywhere outside a university.
"Poor fellow, he's left MIT and gone into the real world."  Used
pejoratively by those not in residence there.  In conversation, talking
of someone who has entered the real world is not unlike talking about a
deceased person.
Satellite Safety Tip #14:
        If you see a bright streak in the sky coming at you, duck.
Speer's 1st Law of Proofreading:
        The visibility of an error is inversely proportional to the
        number of times you have looked at it.
squatcho, n.:
        The button at the top of a baseball cap.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
The Modelski Chain Rule:
(1)        Look intently at the problem for several minutes.  Scratch your
        head at 20-30 second intervals.  Try solving the problem on your
        Hewlett-Packard.
(2)        Failing this, look around at the class.  Select a particularly
        bright-looking individual.
(3)        Procure a large chain.
(4)        Walk over to the selected student and threaten to beat him severely
        with the chain unless he gives you the answer to the problem.
        Generally, he will.  It may also be a good idea to give him a sound
        thrashing anyway, just to show you mean business.
The Official MBA Handbook on the use of sunlamps:
        Use a sunlamp only on weekends.  That way, if the office wise guy
        remarks on the sudden appearance of your tan, you can fabricate
        some story about a sun-stroked weekend at some island Shangri-La
        like Caneel Bay.  Nothing is more transparent than leaving the
        office at 11:45 on a Tuesday night, only to return an Aztec sun
        god at 8:15 the next morning.
The rules:
         (1) Thou shalt not worship other computer systems.
         (2) Thou shalt not impersonate Liberace or eat watermelon while
              sitting at the console keyboard.
         (3) Thou shalt not slap users on the face, nor staple their silly
             little card decks together.
         (4) Thou shalt not get physically involved with the computer system,
             especially if you're already married.
         (5) Thou shalt not use magnetic tapes as frisbees, nor use a disk
             pack as a stool to reach another disk pack.
         (6) Thou shalt not stare at the blinking lights for more than one
             eight hour shift.
         (7) Thou shalt not tell users that you accidentally destroyed their
             files/backup just to see the look on their little faces.
         (8) Thou shalt not enjoy cancelling a job.
         (9) Thou shalt not display firearms in the computer room.
        (10) Thou shalt not push buttons "just to see what happens".
The three laws of thermodynamics:
        (1) You can't get anything without working for it.
        (2) The most you can accomplish by working is to break even.
        (3) You can only break even at absolute zero.
Thyme's Law:
        Everything goes wrong at once.
understand, v.:
        To reach a point, in your investigation of some subject, at which
        you cease to examine what is really present, and operate on the
        basis of your own internal model instead.
Volley Theory:
        It is better to have lobbed and lost than never to have lobbed at all.
Wedding, n:
        A ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes
        to become nothing and nothing undertakes to become supportable.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
                William Safire's Rules for Writers:

Remember to never split an infinitive.  The passive voice should never be
used.  Do not put statements in the negative form.  Verbs have to agree with
their subjects.  Proofread carefully to see if you words out.  If you reread
your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be
avoided by rereading and editing.  A writer must not shift your point of
view.  And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.  (Remember, too, a
preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.) Don't overuse
exclamation marks!!  Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long
sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.  Writing carefully,
dangling participles must be avoided.  If any word is improper at the end of
a sentence, a linking verb is.  Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing
metaphors.  Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.  Everyone should be
careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
Always pick on the correct idiom.  The adverb always follows the verb.  Last
but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.
wok, n.:
        Something to thwow at a wabbit.
XIIdigitation, n.:
        The practice of trying to determine the year a movie was made
        by deciphering the Roman numerals at the end of the credits.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Poverty Jet Set:
        A group of people given to chronic traveling at the expense of
long-term job stability or a permanent residence.  Tend to have doomed
and extremely expensive phone-call relationships with people named
Serge or Ilyana.  Tend to discuss frequent-flyer programs at parties.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Emotional Ketchup Burst:
        The bottling up of opinions and emotions inside oneself so
that they explosively burst forth all at once, shocking and confusing
employers and friends -- most of whom thought things were fine.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Cult of Aloneness:
        The need for autonomy at all costs, usually at the expense of
long-term relationships.  Often brought about by overly high
expectations of others.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Rebellion Postponement:
        The tendency in one's youth to avoid traditionally youthful
activities and artistic experiences in order to obtain serious career
experience.  Sometimes results in the mourning for lost youth at about
age thirty, followed by silly haircuts and expensive joke-inducing
wardrobes.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
QFD:
        Quelle fucking drag.  "Jamie got stuck at Rome airport for
thirty-six hours and it was, like, totally QFD."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
2 + 2 = 5-ism:
        Caving in to a target marketing strategy aimed at oneself after
holding out for a long period of time.  "Oh, all right, I'll buy your
stupid cola.  Now leave me alone."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Personality Tithe:
        A price paid for becoming a couple; previously amusing
human beings become boring: "Thanks for inviting us, but Noreen and I
are going to look at flatware catalogs tonight.  Afterward we're going
to watch the shopping channel."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
"I'm an idiot.. At least this one [bug] took about 5 minutes to find.."
(Linus Torvalds in response to a bug report.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Disquieting ...
(Gonzalo Tornaria in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
We need to find some new terms to describe the rest of us mere mortals
then.
(Craig Schlenter in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)

> I'm an idiot.. At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Surely, Linus is talking about the kind of idiocy that others aspire to :-).
(Bruce Perens in response to Linus Torvalds's mailing about a kernel bug.)
"If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot
of different places, just write a Unix operating system."
(By Linus Torvalds)
Now, it we had this sort of thing:
  yield -a     for yield to all traffic
  yield -t     for yield to trucks
  yield -f     for yield to people walking (yield foot)
  yield -d t*  for yield on days starting with t
...you'd have a lot of dead people at intersections, and traffic jams you
wouldn't believe...
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands.)
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good. After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them. He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy. After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
(By ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu (Erik Troan)
`When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".'
(By Linus Torvalds)
A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.  The
green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that
grew in the ears themselvse, stuck out on either side like turn signals
indicating two directions at once.  Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the
bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled
with disapproval and potato chip crumbs.  In the shadow under the green visor
of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down
upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D.H. Holmes department
store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress.  Several
of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be
properly considered offenses against taste and decency.  Possession of
anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and
geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul.
                -- John Kennedy Toole, "Confederacy of Dunces"
        A man pleaded innocent of any wrong doing when caught by the police
during a raid at the home of a mobster, excusing himself by claiming that he
was making a bolt for the door.
A person who has nothing looks at all there is and wants something.
A person who has something looks at all there is and wants all the rest.
        A young honeymoon couple were touring southern Florida and happened
to stop at one of the rattlesnake farms along the road.  After seeing the
sights, they engaged in small talk with the man that handled the snakes.
"Gosh!" exclaimed the new bride.  "You certainly have a dangerous job.
Don't you ever get bitten by the snakes?"
        "Yes, upon rare occasions," answered the handler.
        "Well," she continued, "just what do you do when you're bitten by
a snake?"
        "I always carry a razor-sharp knife in my pocket, and as soon as I
am bitten, I make deep criss-cross marks across the fang entry and then
suck the poison from the wound."
        "What, uh... what would happen if you were to accidentally *sit* on
a rattler?" persisted the woman.
        "Ma'am," answered the snake handler, "that will be the day I learn
who my real friends are."
Advice to young men: Be ascetic, and if you can't be ascetic,
then at least be aseptic.
After all, it is only the mediocre who are always at their best.
                -- Jean Giraudoux
All we know is the phenomenon: we spend our time sending messages to each
other, talking and trying to listen at the same time, exchanging information.
This seems to be our most urgent biological function; it is what we do with
our lives."
                -- Lewis Thomas, "The Lives of a Cell"
An excellence-oriented '80s male does not wear a regular watch.  He wears
a Rolex watch, because it weighs nearly six pounds and is advertised
only in excellence-oriented publications such as Fortune and Rich
Protestant Golfer Magazine.  The advertisements are written in
incomplete sentences, which is how advertising copywriters denote excellence:

"The Rolex Hyperion.  An elegant new standard in quality excellence and
discriminating handcraftsmanship.  For the individual who is truly able
to discriminate with regard to excellent quality standards of crafting
things by hand.  Fabricated of 100 percent 24-karat gold.  No watch parts
or anything.  Just a great big chunk on your wrist.  Truly a timeless
statement.  For the individual who is very secure.  Who doesn't need to
be reminded all the time that he is very successful. Much more successful
than the people who laughed at him in high school.  Because of his acne.
People who are probably nowhere near as successful as he is now.  Maybe
he'll go to his 20th reunion, and they'll see his Rolex Hyperion.
Hahahahahahahahaha."
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
And the crowd was stilled.  One elderly man, wondering at the sudden silence,
turned to the Child and asked him to repeat what he had said.  Wide-eyed,
the Child raised his voice and said once again, "Why, the Emperor has no
clothes!  He is naked!"
                -- "The Emperor's New Clothes"
Anybody who doesn't cut his speed at the sight of a police car is
probably parked.
Anyone can become angry -- that is easy; but to be angry with the right
person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose
and in the right way -- that is not easy.
                -- Aristotle
Are your glasses mended with a strip of masking tape right over your nose?
Do you put pennies in the slots in your penny loafers?
Does your bow-tie flash "hey you kid" in red neon at parties?
Do you think pizza before noon is unhealthy?
Do you use the "greasy kid's stuff" to stick down your cowlick?
Do you wear a "nerd-pack" in your shirt pocket to keep the dozen
        or so pencils from marking the cloth?
Do you think Mary Jane is somebody's name?
Is illegal fishing something only a daring criminal would do?
Is Batman your hero?  Superman?  Green Lantern?  The Shadow?
Do you think girls who kiss on the first date are loose?
As many of you know, I am taking a class here at UNC on Personality.
One of the tests to determine personality in our book was so incredibly
useful and interesting, I just had to share it.

Answer each of the following items "true" or "false"

1. I salivate at the sight of mittens.
2. If I go into the street, I'm apt to be bitten by a horse.
3. Some people never look at me.
4. Spinach makes me feel alone.
5. My sex life is A-okay.
6. When I look down from a high spot, I want to spit.
7. I like to kill mosquitoes.
8. Cousins are not to be trusted.
9. It makes me embarrassed to fall down.
10. I get nauseous from too much roller skating.
11. I think most people would cry to gain a point.
12. I cannot read or write.
13. I am bored by thoughts of death.
14. I become homicidal when people try to reason with me.
15. I would enjoy the work of a chicken flicker.
16. I am never startled by a fish.
17. My mother's uncle was a good man.
18. I don't like it when somebody is rotten.
19. People who break the law are wise guys.
20. I have never gone to pieces over the weekend.
As many of you know, I am taking a class here at UNC on Personality.
One of the tests to determine personality in our book was so incredibly
useful and interesting, I just had to share it.

Answer each of the following items "true" or "false"

1. I think beavers work too hard.
2. I use shoe polish to excess.
3. God is love.
4. I like mannish children.
5. I have always been diturbed by the sight of Lincoln's ears.
6. I always let people get ahead of me at swimming pools.
7. Most of the time I go to sleep without saying goodbye.
8. I am not afraid of picking up door knobs.
9. I believe I smell as good as most people.
10. Frantic screams make me nervous.
11. It's hard for me to say the right thing when I find myself in a room
    full of mice.
12. I would never tell my nickname in a crisis.
13. A wide necktie is a sign of disease.
14. As a child I was deprived of licorice.
15. I would never shake hands with a gardener.
16. My eyes are always cold.
17. Cousins are not to be trusted.
18. When I look down from a high spot, I want to spit.
19. I am never startled by a fish.
20. I have never gone to pieces over the weekend.
At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his
thumb with a hammer.
                -- Marshall Lumsden
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at
different speeds.  A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
                -- Clive James
Confess your sins to the Lord and you will be forgiven;
confess them to man and you will be laughed at.
                -- Josh Billings
Do not try to solve all life's problems at once -- learn to dread each
day as it comes.
                -- Donald Kaul
Do you know, I think that Dr. Swift was silly to laugh about Laputa.  I
believe it is a mistake to make a mock of people, just because they think.
There are ninety thousand people in this world who do not think, for every
one who does, and these people hate the thinkers like poison.  Even if some
thinkers are fanciful, it is wrong to make fun of them for it.  Better to
think about cucumbers even, than not to think at all.
                -- T.H. White
Don't shout for help at night.  You might wake your neighbors.
                -- Stanislaw J. Lem, "Unkempt Thoughts"
        Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and
looked at himself in the water.
        "Pathetic," he said.  "That's what it is.  Pathetic."
        He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards,
splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side.  Then he
looked at himself again.
        "As I thought," he said, "no better from *____this* side.  But nobody
minds.  Nobody cares.  Pathetic, that's what it is.
                -- A.A. Milne, "Winnie the Pooh," Chapter VI, "In Which Eeyore
                   Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents"
        Everthing is farther away than it used to be.  It is even twice as
far to the corner and they have added a hill.  I have given up running for
the bus; it leaves earlier than it used to.
        It seems to me they are making the stairs steeper than in the old
days.  And have you noticed the smaller print they use in the newspapers?
        There is no sense in asking anyone to read aloud anymore, as everbody
speaks in such a low voice I can hardly hear them.
        The material in dresses is so skimpy now, especially around the hips
and waist, that it is almost impossible to reach one's shoelaces.  And the
sizes don't run the way they used to.  The 12's and 14's are so much smaller.
        Even people are changing.  They are so much younger than they used to
be when I was their age.  On  the other hand people my age are so much older
than I am.
        I ran into an old classmate the other day and she has aged so much
that she didn't recognize me.
        I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair
this morning and in so doing I glanced at my own reflection.  Really now,
they don't even make good mirrors like they used to.
                Sandy Frazier, "I Have Noticed"
Every time I look at you I am more convinced of Darwin's theory.
        Excellence is THE trend of the '80s.  Walk into any shopping
mall bookstore, go to the rack where they keep the best-sellers such as
"Garfield Gets Spayed", and you'll see a half-dozen books telling you
how to be excellent: "In Search of Excellence", "Finding Excellence",
"Grasping Hold of Excellence", "Where to Hide Your Excellence at Night
So the Cleaning Personnel Don't Steal It", etc.
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
Fortune finishes the great quotations, #2

        If at first you don't succeed, think how many people
        you've made happy.
Half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at.
He laughs at every joke three times... once when it's told, once when
it's explained, and once when he understands it.
He looked at me as if I were a side dish he hadn't ordered.
                -- Ring Lardner
        I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments
of others, and all positive assertion of my own.  I even forbade myself the use
of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such
as "certainly", "undoubtedly", etc.   I adopted instead of them "I conceive",
"I apprehend", or "I imagine" a thing to be so or so; or "so it appears to me
at present".
        When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied
myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him
immediately some absurdity in his proposition.  In answering I began by
observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right,
but in the present case there appeared or semed to me some difference, etc.
        I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the
conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.  The modest way in which I
proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.
I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily
prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I
happened to be in the right.
                -- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
"I may appear to be just sitting here like a bucket of tapioca, but don't
let appearances fool you.  I'm approaching old age ... at the speed of light."
                -- Prof. Cosmo Fishhawk
I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of
tennis socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for:  If
they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go
crude.  I'm a very technical boy.  So I decided to get as crude as possible.
These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even
aspire to crudeness.
                -- William Gibson, "Johnny Mnemonic"
It will be generally found that those who sneer habitually at human nature
and affect to despise it, are among its worst and least pleasant examples.
                -- Charles Dickens
It's better to be wanted for murder that not to be wanted at all.
                -- Marty Winch
Largest Number of Driving Test Failures
        By April 1970 Mrs. Miriam Hargrave had failed her test thirty-nine
times.  In the eight preceding years she had received two hundred and
twelve driving lessons at a cost of L300.  She set the new record while
driving triumphantly through a set of red traffic lights in Wakefield,
Yorkshire.  Disappointingly, she passed at the fortieth attempt (3 August
1970) but eight years later she showed some of her old magic when she was
reported as saying that she still didn't like doing right-hand turns.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
Last guys don't finish nice.
                -- Stanley Kelley, on the cult of victory at all costs
Many mental processes admit of being roughly measured.  For instance,
the degree to which people are bored, by counting the number of their
fidgets. I not infrequently tried this method at the meetings of the
Royal Geographical Society, for even there dull memoirs are occasionally
read.  [...]  The use of a watch attracts attention, so I reckon time
by the number of my breathings, of which there are 15 in a minute.  They
are not counted mentally, but are punctuated by pressing with 15 fingers
successively.  The counting is reserved for the fidgets.  These observations
should be confined to persons of middle age.  Children are rarely still,
while elderly philosophers will sometimes remain rigid for minutes altogether.
                -- Francis Galton, 1909
May you die in bed at 95, shot by a jealous spouse.
Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans; it's lovely to be silly
at the right moment.
                -- Horace
Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best,
reformed or potential lunatics.
                -- Susan Sontag
No one regards what is before his feet; we all gaze at the stars.
                -- Quintus Ennius
Nothing shortens a journey so pleasantly as an account of misfortunes at
which the hearer is permitted to laugh.
                -- Quentin Crisp
One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's
listening.
                -- Franklin P. Jones
Only a mediocre person is always at his best.
                -- Laurence Peter
Only someone with nothing to be sorry for smiles back at the rear of an
elephant.
Paranoid schizophrenics outnumber their enemies at least two to one.
Pelorat sighed.
        "I will never understand people."
        "There's nothing to it.  All you have to do is take a close look
at yourself and you will understand everyone else.  How would Seldon have
worked out his Plan -- and I don't care how subtle his mathematics was --
if he didn't understand people; and how could he have done that if people
weren't easy to understand?  You show me someone who can't understand
people and I'll show you someone who has built up a false image of himself
-- no offense intended."
                -- Asimov, "Foundation's Edge"
People say I live in my own little fantasy world... well, at least they
*know* me there!
                -- D.L. Roth
        "Richard, in being so fierce toward my vampire, you were doing
what you wanted to do, even though you thought it was going to hurt
somebody else. He even told you he'd be hurt if..."
        "He was going to suck my blood!"
        "Which is what we do to anyone when we tell them we'll be hurt
if they don't live our way."
...
        "The thing that puzzles you," he said, "is an accepted saying that
happens to be impossible.  The phrase is hurt somebody else.  We choose,
ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what.  Us who decides.
Nobody else.  My vampire told you he'd be hurt if you didn't let him?  That's
his decision to be hurt, that's his choice.  What you do about it is your
decision, your choice: give him blood; ignore him; tie him up; drive a stake
through his heart.  If he doesn't want the holly stake, he's free to resist,
in whatever way he wants.  It goes on and on, choices, choices."
        "When you look at it that way..."
        "Listen," he said, "it's important.  We are all.  Free.  To do.
Whatever.  We want.  To do."
                -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"
Rincewind looked down at him and grinned slowly.  It was a wide, manic, and
utterly humourless rictus.  It was the sort of grin that is normally
accompanied by small riverside birds wandering in and out, picking scraps
out of the teeth.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Lure of the Wyrm"
So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far
as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical
way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist.
                -- T.S. Eliot, essay on Baudelaire
Something better...

13 (sympathetic): Oh, What happened?  Did your parents lose a bet with God?
14 (complimentary): You must love the little birdies to give them this to
        perch on.
15 (scientific): Say, does that thing there influence the tides?
16 (obscure): Oh, I'd hate to see the grindstone.
17 (inquiry): When you stop to smell the flowers, are they afraid?
18 (french): Say, the pigs have refused to find any more truffles until you
        leave.
19 (pornographic): Finally, a man who can satisfy two women at once.
20 (religious): The Lord giveth and He just kept on giving, didn't He.
21 (disgusting): Say, who mows your nose hair?
22 (paranoid): Keep that guy away from my cocaine!
23 (aromatic): It must be wonderful to wake up in the morning and smell the
        coffee ... in Brazil.
24 (appreciative): Oooo, how original.  Most people just have their teeth
        capped.
25 (dirty): Your name wouldn't be Dick, would it?
                -- Steve Martin, "Roxanne"
Style may not be the answer, but at least it's a workable alternative.
Such a fine first dream!
But they laughed at me; they said
I had made it up.
That must be wonderful: I don't understand it at all.
                -- Moliere
The adjuration to be "normal" seems shockingly repellent to me; I see neither
hope nor comfort in sinking to that low level.  I think it is ignorance that
makes people think of abnormality only with horror and allows them to remain
undismayed at the proximity of "normal" to average and mediocre.  For surely
anyone who achieves anything is, essentially, abnormal.
                -- Dr. Karl Menninger, "The Human Mind", 1930
The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in
the morning feeling just terrible.
                -- Jean Kerr
The discerning person is always at a disadvantage.
The great secret in life ... [is] not to open your letters for a fortnight.
At the expiration of that period you will find that nearly all of them have
answered themselves.
                -- Arthur Binstead
The heroic hours of life do not announce their presence by drum and trumpet,
challenging us to be true to ourselves by appeals to the martial spirit that
keeps the blood at heat.  Some little, unassuming, unobtrusive choice presents
itself before us slyly and craftily, glib and insinuating, in the modest garb
of innocence.  To yield to its blandishments is so easy.  The wrong, it seems,
is venial...  Then it is that you will be summoned to show the courage of
adventurous youth.
                -- Benjamin Cardozo
The Least Successful Defrosting Device
        The all-time record here is held by Mr. Peter Rowlands of Lancaster
whose lips became frozen to his lock in 1979 while blowing warm air on it.
        "I got down on my knees to breathe into the lock.  Somehow my lips
got stuck fast."
        While he was in the posture, an old lady passed an inquired if he
was all right.  "Alra?  Igmmlptk", he replied at which point she ran away.
        "I tried to tell her what had happened, but it came out sort of...
muffled," explained Mr. Rowlands, a pottery designer.
        He was trapped for twenty minutes ("I felt a bit foolish") until
constant hot breathing brought freedom.  He was subsequently nicknamed "Hot
Lips".
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The more we disagree, the more chance there is that at least one of us is right.
The wonderful thing about a dancing bear is not how well he dances,
but that he dances at all.
        Then there's the story of the man who avoided reality for 70 years
with drugs, sex, alcohol, fantasy, TV, movies, records, a hobby, lots of
sleep...  And on his 80th birthday died without ever having faced any of
his real problems.
        The man's younger brother, who had been facing reality and all his
problems for 50 years with psychiatrists, nervous breakdowns, tics, tension,
headaches, worry, anxiety and ulcers, was so angry at his brother for having
gotten away scott free that he had a paralyzing stroke.
        The moral to this story is that there ain't no justice that we can
stand to live with.
                -- R. Geis
There is a certain frame of mind to which a cemetery is, if not an antidote,
at least an alleviation.  If you are in a fit of the blues, go nowhere else.
        --Robert Louis Stevenson: Immortelles
To laugh at men of sense is the privilege of fools.
To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what
he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
                -- Oscar Wilde
We ARE as gods and might as well get good at it.
                -- Whole Earth Catalog
We prefer to speak evil of ourselves rather than not speak of ourselves at all.
        What is involved in such [close] relationships is a form of emotional
chemistry, so far unexplained by any school of psychiatry I am aware of, that
conditions nothing so simple as a choice between the poles of attraction and
repulsion.  You can meet some people thirty, forty times down the years, and
they remain amiable bystanders, like the shore lights of towns that a sailor
passes at stated times but never calls at on the regular run.  Conversely,
all considerations of sex aside, you can meet some other people once or twice
and they remain permanent influences on your life.
        Everyone is aware of this discrepancy between the acquaintance seen
as familiar wallpaper or instant friend.  The chemical action it entails is
less worth analyzing than enjoying.  At any rate, these six pieces are about
men with whom I felt an immediate sympat - to use a coining of Max Beerbohm's
more satisfactory to me than the opaque vogue word "empathy".
                -- Alistair Cooke, "Six Men"
When it comes to helping you, some people stop at nothing.
When there are two conflicting versions of the story, the wise course
is to believe the one in which people appear at their worst.
                -- H. Allen Smith, "Let the Crabgrass Grow"
You know you're in trouble when...
(1)        You've been at work for an hour before you notice that your
                skirt is caught in your pantyhose.
                Especially if you're a man.
(2)        Your blind date turns out to be your ex-wife.
(3)        Your income tax check bounces.
(4)        You put both contact lenses in the same eye.
(5)        Your wife says, "Good morning, Bill" and your name is George.
(6)        You wake up to the soothing sound of flowing water... the day
                after you bought a waterbed.
(7)        You go on your honeymoon to a remote little hotel and the desk
                clerk, bell hop, and manager have a "Welcome Back" party
                for your spouse.
You know your apartment is small...
        when you can't know its position and velocity at the same time.
        you put your key in the lock and it breaks the window.
        you have to go outside to change your mind.
        you can vacuum the entire place using a single electrical outlet.
You men out there probably think you already know how to dress for success.
You know, for example, that you should not wear leisure suits or white
plastic belts and shoes, unless you are going to a costume party disguised
as a pig farmer vacationing at Disney World.
                -- Dave Barry, "How to Dress for Real Success"
You should avoid hedging, at least that's what I think.
You'd best be snoozin', 'cause you don't be gettin' no work done at 5 a.m.
anyway.
                -- From the wall of the Wurster Hall stairwell
Your Co-worker Could Be a Space Alien, Say Experts
                ...Here's How You Can Tell
Many Americans work side by side with space aliens who look human -- but you
can spot these visitors by looking for certain tip-offs, say experts. They
listed 10 signs to watch for:
    (3) Bizarre sense of humor.  Space aliens who don't understand
        earthly humor may laugh during a company training film or tell
        jokes that no one understands, said Steiger.
    (6) Misuses everyday items.  "A space alien may use correction
        fluid to paint its nails," said Steiger.
    (8) Secretive about personal life-style and home.  "An alien won't
        discuss details or talk about what it does at night or on weekends."
   (10) Displays a change of mood or physical reaction when near certain
        high-tech hardware.  "An alien may experience a mood change when
        a microwave oven is turned on," said Steiger.
The experts pointed out that a co-worker would have to display most if not
all of these traits before you can positively identify him as a space alien.
                -- National Enquirer, Michael Cassels, August, 1984.

        [I thought everybody laughed at company training films.  Ed.]
        Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind; it is a temper of
the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance
of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.
        Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow
old only by deserting their ideals.  Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up
enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.  Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear, and despair
-- these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit
back to dust.
        Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being's heart the love
of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and the starlike things and
thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite
for what next, and the joy and the game of life.
        You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your
self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your
despair.
        So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage,
grandeur and power from the earth, from man, and from the Infinite, so long
you are young.
                -- Samuel Ullman
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but
only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered
glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat
crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard
powerless to stop it.  It's only afterwards that it becomes anything
like a story at all.  When you are telling it, to yourself or to
someone else.
                -- Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace"
"Go on, girl!  You'll never get a better chance to buy Jif at this
price.  *Carpe diem*, babe!"
                -- "The Naked Consumer", Erik Larson
$100 invested at 7% interest for 100 years will become $100,000, at
which time it will be worth absolutely nothing.
                -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
A billion seconds ago Harry Truman was president.
A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ.
A billion hours ago man had not yet walked on earth.
A billion dollars ago was late yesterday afternoon at the U.S. Treasury.
A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.
                -- B. Franklin
A great nation is any mob of people which produces at least one honest
man a century.
Anarchy may not be a better form of government, but it's better than no
government at all.
        "Any news from the President on a successor?" he asked hopefully.
        "None," Anita replied.  "She's having great difficulty finding someone
qualified who is willing to accept the post."
        "Then I stay," said Dr. Fresh.  "I'm not good for much, but I
can at least make a decision."
        "Somewhere," he grumphed, "there must be a naive, opportunistic
young welp with a masochistic streak who would like to run the most
up-and-down bureaucracy in the history of mankind."
                -- R.L. Forward, "Flight of the Dragonfly"
Demand the establishment of the government in its rightful home at Disneyland.
        Grover Cleveland, though constantly at loggerheads with the
Senate, got on better with the House of Representatives.  A popular
story circulating during his presidency concerned the night he was
roused by his wife crying, "Wake up!  I think there are burglars in the
house."
        "No, no, my dear," said the president sleepily, "in the Senate maybe,
but not in the House."
History has much to say on following the proper procedures.  From a history
of the Mexican revolution:
        "Hidalgo was later defeated at Guadalajara.  The rebel army was
captured on its way through the mountains.  All were courtmartialed and
shot, except Hidalgo, because he was a priest.  He was handed over to
the bishop of Durango who excommunicated him and returned him to the
army where he was then executed."
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge,
periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts them
asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing grub, at
intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another...  Truly the imago
state of Man seems to be terribly distant, but every moult is a step gained.
                -- Charles Darwin, from "Origin of the Species"
I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia,
the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to
sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
                -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I prefer the most unjust peace to the most righteous war.
                -- Cicero

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
                -- Poor Richard
I realize that the MX missile is none of our concern.  I realize that the
whole point of living in a democracy is that we pay professional
congresspersons to concern themselves with things like the MX missile so we
can be free to concern ourselves with getting hold of the plumber.

But from time to time, I feel I must address major public issues such as
this, because in a free and open society, where the very future of the world
hinges on decisions made by our elected leaders, you never win large cash
journalism awards if you stick to the topics I usually write about, such as
nose-picking.
                -- Dave Barry, "At Last, the Ultimate Deterrent Against
                   Political Fallout"
I see where we are starting to pay some attention to our neigbors to
the south.  We could never understand why Mexico wasn't just crazy about
us; for we have always had their good will, and oil and minerals, at heart.
                -- The Best of Will Rogers
I was offered a job as a hoodlum and I turned it down cold.  A thief is
anybody who gets out and works for his living, like robbing a bank or
breaking into a place and stealing stuff, or kidnapping somebody.  He really
gives some effort to it.  A hoodlum is a pretty lousy sort of scum.  He
works for gangsters and bumps guys off when they have been put on the spot.
Why, after I'd made my rep, some of the Chicago Syndicate wanted me to work
for them as a hood -- you know, handling a machine gun.  They offered me
two hundred and fifty dollars a week and all the protection I needed.  I
was on the lam at the time and not able to work at my regular line.  But
I wouldn't consider it.  "I'm a thief," I said.  "I'm no lousy hoodlum."
                -- Alvin Karpis, "Public Enemy Number One"
I went to my mother and told her I intended to commence a different life.  I
asked for and obtained her blessing and at once commenced the career of a
robber.
                -- Tiburcio Vasquez
I wish a robot would get elected president.  That way, when he came to town,
we could all take a shot at him and not feel too bad.
                -- Jack Handley
I'm going to Vietnam at the request of the White House.  President Johnson
says a war isn't really a war without my jokes.
                -- Bob Hope
If your hands are clean and your cause is just and your demands are
reasonable, at least it's a start.
Interfere?  Of course we should interfere!  Always do what you're
best at, that's what I say.
                -- Doctor Who
It follows that any commander in chief who undertakes to carry out a plan
which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reasons,
insist of the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather
than be the instrument of his army's downfall.
                -- Napoleon, "Military Maxims and Thought"
It is not the critic who counts, or how the strong man stumbled, or whether
the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the
man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and
blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who
knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, and who spends himself in a
worthy cause, and if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that
he'll never be with those cold and timid souls who never know either victory
or defeat.
                -- Teddy Roosevelt
It was the Law of the Sea, they said.  Civilization ends at the waterline.
Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson
My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty
nights -- or very early mornings -- when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and,
instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at
a hundred miles an hour ... booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at
the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which
turnoff to take when I got to the other end ... but being absolutely certain
that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were
just as high and wild as I was: no doubt at all about that.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson
Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying
as an income tax refund.
                -- F. J. Raymond
Nobody takes a bribe.  Of course at Christmas if you happen to hold out
your hat and somebody happens to put a little something in it, well, that's
different.
                -- New York City Police Commissioner (Ret.) William P.
                   O'Brien, instructions to the force.
Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
                -- Winston Churchill

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as
satisfying as an income tax refund.
                -- F.J. Raymond
Oh, I don't blame Congress.  If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd
be irresponsible, too.
                -- Lichty & Wagner
        Once there was a marine biologist who loved dolphins. He spent his
time trying to feed and protect his beloved creatures of the sea.  One day,
in a fit of inventive genius, he came up with a serum that would make
dolphins live forever!
        Of course he was ecstatic. But he soon realized that in order to mass
produce this serum he would need large amounts of a certain compound that was
only found in nature in the metabolism of a rare South American bird.  Carried
away by his love for dolphins, he resolved that he would go to the zoo and
steal one of these birds.
        Unbeknownst to him, as he was arriving at the zoo an elderly lion was
escaping from its cage.  The zookeepers were alarmed and immediately began
combing the zoo for the escaped animal, unaware that it had simply lain down
on the sidewalk and had gone to sleep.
        Meanwhile, the marine biologist arrived at the zoo and procured his
bird.  He was so excited by the prospect of helping his dolphins that he
stepped absentmindedly stepped over the sleeping lion on his way back to his
car.  Immediately, 1500 policemen converged on him and arrested him for
transporting a myna across a staid lion for immortal porpoises.
Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by a great bear.  The peasants
were not very rich, and one of the few ways to become at all wealthy was
to become a Royal Knight.  This required an interview with the bear.  If
the bear liked you, you were knighted on the spot.  If not, the bear would
just as likely remove your head with one swat of a paw.  However, the family
of these unfortunate would-be knights was compensated with a beautiful
sheepdog from the royal kennels, which was itself a fairly valuable
possession.  And the moral of the story is:

The mourning after a terrible knight, nothing beats the dog of the bear that
hit you.
Poverty begins at home.
So from the depths of its enchantment, Terra was able to calculate a course
of action.  Here at last was an opportunity to consort with Dirbanu on a
friendly basis -- great Durbanu which, since it had force fields which Earth
could not duplicate, must of necessity have many other things Earth could
use; mighty Durbanu before whom we would kneel in supplication (with purely-
for-defense bombs hidden in our pockets) with lowered heads (making invisible
the knife in our teeth) and ask for crumbs from their table (in order to
extrapolate the location of their kitchens).
                -- Theodore Sturgeon, "The World Well Lost"
        Somewhat alarmed at the continued growth of the number of employees
on the Department of Agriculture payroll in 1962, Michigan Republican Robert
Griffin proposed an amendment to the farm bill so that "the total number of
employees in the Department of Agriculture at no time exceeds the number of
farmers in America."
                -- Bill Adler, "The Washington Wits"
        Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas.  Five years later?
Six?  It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era -- the kind of peak that
never comes again.  San Fransisco in the middle sixties was a very special time
and place to be a part of.  Maybe it meant something.  Maybe not, in the long
run...  There was madness in any direction, at any hour.  If not across the
Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda...  You could
strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we
were doing was right, that we were winning...
        And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory
over the forces of Old and Evil.  Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't
need that. Our energy would simply prevail.  There was no point in fighting
-- on our side or theirs.  We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest
of a high and beautiful wave.  So now, less than five years later, you can go
up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes
you can almost ___see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally
broke and rolled back.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson
That's where the money was.
                -- Willie Sutton, on being asked why he robbed a bank

It's a rather pleasant experience to be alone in a bank at night.
                -- Willie Sutton
The dirty work at political conventions is almost always done in the grim
hours between midnight and dawn.  Hangmen and politicians work best when
the human spirit is at its lowest ebb.
                -- Russell Baker
        The General disliked trying to explain the highly technical inner
workings of the U.S. Air Force.
        "$7,662 for a ten cup coffee maker, General?" the Senator asked.
        In his head he ran through his standard explanations.  "It's not so,"
he thought.  "It's a deterrent."  Soon he came up with, "It's computerized,
Senator.  Tiny computer chips make coffee that's smooth and full-bodied.  Try
a cup."
        The Senator did.  "Pfffttt!  Tastes like jet fuel!"
        "It's not so," the General thought.  "It's a deterrent."
        Then he remembered something.  "We bought a lot of untested computer
chips," the General answered.  "They got into everything.  Just a little
mix-up.  Nothing serious."
        Then he remembered something else.  It was at the site of the
mysterious B-1 crash.  A strange smell in the fuel lines.  It smelled like
coffee.  Smooth and full bodied...
                -- Another Episode of General's Hospital
The Least Successful Executions
        History has furnished us with two executioners worthy of attention.
The first performed in Sydney in Australia.  In 1803 three attempts were
made to hang a Mr. Joseph Samuels.  On the first two of these the rope
snapped, while on the third Mr. Samuels just hung there peacefully until he
and everyone else got bored.  Since he had proved unsusceptible to capital
punishment, he was reprieved.
        The most important British executioner was Mr. James Berry who
tried three times in 1885 to hang Mr. John Lee at Exeter Jail, but on each
occasion failed to get the trap door open.
        In recognition of this achievement, the Home Secretary commuted
Lee's sentence to "life" imprisonment.  He was released in 1917, emigrated
to America and lived until 1933.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The Least Successful Police Dogs
        America has a very strong candidate in "La Dur", a fearsome looking
schnauzer hound, who was retired from the Orlando police force in Florida
in 1978.  He consistently refused to do anything which might ruffle or
offend the criminal classes.
        His handling officer, Rick Grim, had to admit: "He just won't go up
and bite them.  I got sick and tired of doing that dog's work for him."
        The British contenders in this category, however, took things a
stage further.  "Laddie" and "Boy" were trained as detector dogs for drug
raids.  Their employment was terminated following a raid in the Midlands in
1967.
        While the investigating officer questioned two suspects, they
patted and stroked the dogs who eventually fell asleep in front of the
fire.  When the officer moved to arrest the suspects, one dog growled at
him while the other leapt up and bit his thigh.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The time was the 19th of May, 1780.  The place was Hartford, Connecticut.
The day has gone down in New England history as a terrible foretaste of
Judgement Day.  For at noon the skies turned from blue to grey and by
mid-afternoon had blackened over so densely that, in that religious age,
men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end came.
The Connecticut House of Representatives was in session.  And, as some of
the men fell down and others clamored for an immediate adjournment, the
Speaker of the House, one Col. Davenport, came to his feet.  He silenced
them and said these words: "The day of judgment is either approaching or
it is not.  If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment.  If it is, I
choose to be found doing my duty.  I wish therefore that candles may be
brought."
                -- Alistair Cooke
The Worst Bank Robbery
        In August 1975 three men were on their way in to rob the Royal Bank of
Scotland at Rothesay, when they got stuck in the revolving doors.  They
had to be helped free by the staff and, after thanking everyone,
sheepishly left the building.
        A few minutes later they returned and announced their intention of
robbing the bank, but none of the staff believed them.  When they demanded
5,000 pounds in cash, the head cashier laughed at them, convinced that it
was a practical joke.
        Then one of the men jumped over the counter, but fell to the floor
clutching his ankle.  The other two tried to make their getaway, but got
trapped in the revolving doors again.
The Worst Prison Guards
        The largest number of convicts ever to escape simultaneously from a
maximum security prison is 124.  This record is held by Alcoente Prison,
near Lisbon in Portugal.
        During the weeks leading up to the escape in July 1978 the prison
warders had noticed that attendances had fallen at film shows which
included "The Great Escape", and also that 220 knives and a huge quantity
of electric cable had disappeared.  A guard explained, "Yes, we were
planning to look for them, but never got around to it."  The warders had
not, however, noticed the gaping holes in the wall because they were
"covered with posters".  Nor did they detect any of the spades, chisels,
water hoses and electric drills amassed by the inmates in large quantities.
The night before the breakout one guard had noticed that of the 36
prisoners in his block only 13 were present.  He said this was "normal"
because inmates sometimes missed roll-call or hid, but usually came back
the next morning.
        "We only found out about the escape at 6:30 the next morning when
one of the prisoners told us," a warder said later.  [...]  When they
eventually checked, the prison guards found that exactly half of the gaol's
population was missing.  By way of explanation the Justice Minister, Dr.
Santos Pais, claimed that the escape was "normal" and part of the
"legitimate desire of the prisoner to regain his liberty."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers
in heavy weather for several days.  I was serving on the lead battleship and
was on watch on the bridge as night fell.  The visibility was poor with patchy
fog, so the Captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
        Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported,
"Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
        "Is it steady or moving astern?" the Captain called out.
        Lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous
collision course with that ship.
        The Captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: We are on
a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees."
        Back came a signal "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."
        In reply, the Captain said, "Send: I'm a Captain, change course 20
degrees!"
        "I'm a seaman second class," came the reply, "You had better change
course 20 degrees."
        By that time, the Captain was furious. He spit out, "Send: I'm a
battleship, change course 20 degrees."
        Back came the flashing light: "I'm a lighthouse!"
        We changed course.
                -- The Naval Institute's "Proceedings"
Unknown person(s) stole the American flag from its pole in Etra Park sometime
between 3pm Jan 17 and 11:30 am Jan 20.  The flag is described as red, white
and blue, having 50 stars and was valued at $40.
                -- Windsor-Heights Herald "Police Blotter", Jan 28, 1987
Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen
at all.  The conscientious historian will correct these defects.
                -- Herodotus
We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
                -- Calvin Coolidge
We should have a Vollyballocracy.  We elect a six-pack of presidents.
Each one serves until they screw up, at which point they rotate.
                -- Dennis Miller
Well, don't worry about it...  It's nothing.
                -- Lieutenant Kermit Tyler (Duty Officer of Shafter Information
                   Center, Hawaii), upon being informed that Private Joseph
                   Lockard had picked up a radar signal of what appeared to be
                   at least 50 planes soaring toward Oahu at almost 180 miles
                   per hour, December 7, 1941.
Well, he didn't know what to do, so he decided to look at the government,
to see what they did, and scale it down and run his life that way.
                -- Laurie Anderson
World tensions have, if anything, increased in the quarter century since
H.G. Wells uttered his glum warning: "There is no more evil thing on
earth than race prejudice, none at all.  I write deliberately -- it is
the worst single thing in life now.  It justifies and holds together more
baseness, cruelty and abomination than any other sort of error in the world."
                -- Sydney Harris
You can have peace.  Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having
both at once.
                -- Lazarus Long
You first have to decide whether to use the short or the long form. The
short form is what the Internal Revenue Service calls "simplified", which
means it is designed for people who need the help of a Sears tax-preparation
expert to distinguish between their first and last names.  Here's the
complete text:

"(1) How much did you make?  (AMOUNT)
(2) How much did we here at the government take out?  (AMOUNT)
(3) Hey!  Sounds like we took too much!  So we're going to
     send an official government check for (ONE-FIFTEENTH OF
     THE AMOUNT WE TOOK) directly to the (YOUR LAST NAME)
     household at (YOUR ADDRESS), for you to spend in any way
     you please! Which just goes to show you, (YOUR FIRST
     NAME), that it pays to file the short form!"

The IRS wants you to use this form because it gets to keep most of your
money.  So unless you have pond silt for brains, you want the long form.
                -- Dave Barry, "Sweating Out Taxes"
You must include all income you receive in the form of money, property
and services if it is not specifically exempt.  Report property (goods)
and services at their fair market values.  Examples include income from
bartering or swapping transactions, side commissions, kickbacks, rent
paid in services, illegal activities (such as stealing, drugs, etc.),
cash skimming by proprietors and tradesmen, "moonlighting" services,
gambling, prizes and awards.  Not reporting such income can lead to
prosecution for perjury and fraud.
                -- Excerpt from Taxachussetts income tax forms
A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no
responsibility at the other.
And he climbed with the lad up the Eiffelberg Tower.  "This," cried the Mayor,
"is your town's darkest hour!  The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
to come to the aid of their country!" he said.  "We've GOT to make noises in
greater amounts!  So, open your mouth, lad!  For every voice counts!"  Thus he
spoke as he climbed.  When they got to the top, the lad cleared his throat and
he shouted out, "YOPP!"
        And that Yopp...  That one last small, extra Yopp put it over!
Finally, at last!  From the speck on that clover their voices were heard!
They rang out clear and clean.  And they elephant smiled.  "Do you see what
I mean?" They've proved they ARE persons, no matter how small.  And their
whole world was saved by the smallest of All!"
        "How true!  Yes, how true," said the big kangaroo.  "And, from now
on, you know what I'm planning to do?  From now on, I'm going to protect
them with you!"  And the young kangaroo in her pouch said, "ME TOO!  From
the sun in the summer.  From rain when it's fall-ish, I'm going to protect
them.  No matter how small-ish!"
                -- Dr. Seuss "Horton Hears a Who"
Are you a parent?  Do you sometimes find yourself unsure as to what to
say in those awkward situations?  Worry no more...

        Are you sure you're telling the truth?  Think hard.
        Does it make you happy to know you're sending me to an early grave?
        If all your friends jumped off the cliff, would you jump too?
        Do you feel bad?  How do you think I feel?
        Aren't you ashamed of yourself?
        Don't you know any better?
        How could you be so stupid?
        If that's the worst pain you'll ever feel, you should be thankful.
        You can't fool me.  I know what you're thinking.
        If you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all.
Are you a parent?  Do you sometimes find yourself unsure as to what to
say in those awkward situations?  Worry no more...

        When are you going to grow up?
        I'm only doing this for your own good.
        Why are you crying?  Stop crying, or I'll give you something to
                cry about.
        What's wrong with you?
        Someday you'll thank me for this.
        You'd lose your head if it weren't attached.
        Don't you have any sense at all?
        If you keep sucking your thumb, it'll fall off.
        Why?  Because I said so.
        I hope you have a kid just like yourself.
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling
the walk before it stops snowing.
                -- Phyllis Diller

There is no need to do any housework at all.  After the first four years
the dirt doesn't get any worse.
                -- Quentin Crisp
Delusions are often functional. A mother's opinions about her children's
beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning
them at birth.
Kids have *_____never* taken guidance from their parents.  If you could
travel back in time and observe the original primate family in the
original tree, you would see the primate parents yelling at the primate
teenager for sitting around and sulking all day instead of hunting for
grubs and berries like dad primate.  Then you'd see the primate
teenager stomp up to his branch and slam the leaves.
                -- Dave Barry, "Kids Today: They Don't Know Dum Diddly Do"
Life does not begin at the moment of conception or the moment of birth.
It begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
        On this morning in August when I was 13, my mother sent us out pick
tomatoes.  Back in April I'd have killed for a fresh tomato, but in August
they are no more rare or wonderful than rocks.  So I picked up one and threw
it at a crab apple tree, where it made a good *splat*, and then threw a tomato
at my brother.  He whipped one back at me.  We ducked down by the vines,
heaving tomatoes at each other.  My sister, who was a good person, said,
"You're going to get it."  She bent over and kept on picking.
        What a target!  She was 17, a girl with big hips, and bending over,
she looked like the side of a barn.
        I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground.  It looked like it
had sat there a week.  The underside was brown, small white worms lived in it,
and it was very juicy.  I stood up and took aim, and went into the windup,
when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice.  I had
to decide quickly.  I decided.
        A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound, like a fat
man doing a belly-flop.  With a whoop and a yell the tomatoee came after
faster than I knew she could run, and grabbed my shirt and was about to brain
me when Mother called her name in a sharp voice.  And my sister, who was a
good person, obeyed and let go -- and burst into tears.  I guess she knew that
the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared with the pleasure of hearing
a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.
                -- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
One of the disadvantages of having children is that they eventually get old
enough to give you presents they make at school.
                -- Robert Byrne
The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of a remarkable
Christian forbearance among men.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
The real reason large families benefit society is because at least
a few of the children in the world shouldn't be raised by beginners.
The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly between the ages of four
and eighteen.  At four we know all the questions, at eighteen all the answers.
What really shapes and conditions and makes us is somebody only a few of
us ever have the courage to face: and that is the child you once were,
long before formal education ever got its claws into you -- that
impatient, all-demanding child who wants love and power and can't get
enough of either and who goes on raging and weeping in your spirit till
at last your eyes are closed and all the fools say, "Doesn't he look
peaceful?" It is those pent-up, craving children who make all the wars
and all the horrors and all the art and all the beauty and discovery in
life, because they are trying to achieve what lay beyond their grasp
before they were five years old.
                -- Robertson Davies, "The Rebel Angels"
Why not have an old-fashioned Christmas for your family this year? Just
picture the scene in your living room on Christmas morning as your children
open their old-fashioned presents.

Your 11-year-old son: "What the heck is this?"

You:        "A spinning top!  You spin it around, and then eventually it falls
down.  What fun!  Ha, ha!"

Son:        "Is this a joke?  Jason Thompson's parents got him a computer with
two disk drives and 128 kilobytes of random-access memory, and I get this
cretin TOP?"

Your 8-year-old daughter: "You think that's bad?  Look at this."

You:        "It's figgy pudding!  What a treat!"

Daughter: "It looks like goat barf."
                -- Dave Barry, "Simple, Homespun Gifts"
At once it struck me what quality went to form a man of achievement,
especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously
-- I mean negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being
in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching
after fact and reason.
                -- John Keats
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.  Except a
creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely
a loose misapplication of the word.  Consider the flea!--incomparably the
bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage.
Whether you are asleep or awake he will attack you, caring nothing for the fact
that in bulk and strength you are to him as are the massed armies of the earth
to a sucking child; he lives both day and night and all days and nights in the
very lap of peril and the immediate presence of death, and yet is no more
afraid than is the man who walks the streets of a city that was threatened by
an earthquake ten centuries before.  When we speak of Clive, Nelson, and Putnam
as men who "didn't know what fear was," we ought always to add the flea--and
put him at the head of the procession.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Delay not, Caesar.  Read it instantly.
                -- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar" 3,1

Here is a letter, read it at your leisure.
                -- Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice" 5,1

        [Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when
         referring to I/O system services.]
Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at
fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution.  Take
the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will
find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil,
you will say that she did it with her teeth.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed
down-stairs a step at a time.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar
He jests at scars who never felt a wound.
                -- Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet, II. 2"
His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god.  He preferred
to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam.  He never
claimed to be a god.  But then, he never claimed not to be a god.  Circum-
stances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit.
Silence, though, could.  It was in the days of the rains that their prayers
went up, not from the fingering of knotted prayer cords or the spinning of
prayer wheels, but from the great pray-machine in the monastery of Ratri,
goddess of the Night.  The high-frequency prayers were directed upward through
the atmosphere and out beyond it, passing into that golden cloud called the
Bridge of the Gods, which circles the entire world, is seen as a bronze
rainbow at night and is the place where the red sun becomes orange at midday.
Some of the monks doubted the orthodoxy of this prayer technique...
                -- Roger Zelazny, "Lord of Light"
If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use
in reading it at all.
                -- Oscar Wilde
        My dear People.
        My dear Bagginses and Boffins, and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks,
and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers,
Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots.  Also my good
Sackville Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End.  Today is my
one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!"
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Never laugh at live dragons.
                -- Bilbo Baggins [J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit"]
No group of professionals meets except to conspire against the public at large.
                -- Mark Twain
Sheriff Chameleotoptor sighed with an air of weary sadness, and then
turned to Doppelgutt and said 'The Senator must really have been on a
bender this time -- he left a party in Cleveland, Ohio, at 11:30 last
night, and they found his car this morning in the smokestack of a British
aircraft carrier in the Formosa Straits.'
                -- Grand Panjandrum's Special Award, 1985 Bulwer-Lytton
                   bad fiction contest.
So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage leaf to make an apple pie;
and at the same time a great she-bear, coming up the street pops its head
into the shop. "What! no soap?" So he died, and she very imprudently
married the barber; and there were present the Picninnies, and the Grand
Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top, and they all
fell to playing the game of catch as catch can, till the gunpowder ran
out at the heels of their boots.
                -- Samuel Foote
The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first
half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and
pleasant, the second half still balmy and quite pleasant for those who
hadn't heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice
for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time
during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it
but your brain wasn't reacting yet to let you know.
                -- Winning sentence, 1986 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
The Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest is held ever year at San Jose State
Univ.  by Professor Scott Rice.  It is held in memory of Edward George
Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), a rather prolific and popular (in his
time) novelist.  He is best known today for having written "The Last
Days of Pompeii."

Whenever Snoopy starts typing his novel from the top of his doghouse,
beginning "It was a dark and stormy night..." he is borrowing from Lord
Bulwer-Lytton.  This was the line that opened his novel, "Paul Clifford,"
written in 1830.  The full line reveals why it is so bad:

        It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except
        at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of
        wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene
        lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty
        flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
The countdown had stalled at 'T' minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first
female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick,
rubbery lips unmistakably -- the first of many such advances during what
would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my
career.
                -- Winning sentence, 1985 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
The Least Perceptive Literary Critic
        The most important critic in our field of study is Lord Halifax.  A
most individual judge of poetry, he once invited Alexander Pope round to
give a public reading of his latest poem.
        Pope, the leading poet of his day, was greatly surprised when Lord
Halifax stopped him four or five times and said, "I beg your pardon, Mr.
Pope, but there is something in that passage that does not quite please me."
        Pope was rendered speechless, as this fine critic suggested sizeable
and unwise emendations to his latest masterpiece.  "Be so good as to mark
the place and consider at your leisure.  I'm sure you can give it a better
turn."
        After the reading, a good friend of Lord Halifax, a certain Dr.
Garth, took the stunned Pope to one side.  "There is no need to touch the
lines," he said.  "All you need do is leave them just as they are, call on
Lord Halifax two or three months hence, thank him for his kind observation
on those passages, and then read them to him as altered.  I have known him
much longer than you have, and will be answerable for the event."
        Pope took his advice, called on Lord Halifax and read the poem
exactly as it was before.  His unique critical faculties had lost none of
their edge.  "Ay", he commented, "now they are perfectly right.  Nothing can
be better."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The lovely woman-child Kaa was mercilessly chained to the cruel post of
the warrior-chief Beast, with his barbarian tribe now stacking wood at
her nubile feet, when the strong clear voice of the poetic and heroic
Handsomas roared, 'Flick your Bic, crisp that chick, and you'll feel my
steel through your last meal!'
                -- Winning sentence, 1984 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
The notes blatted skyward as they rose over the Canada geese, feathered
rumps mooning the day, webbed appendages frantically pedaling unseen
bicycles in their search for sustenance, driven by cruel Nature's maxim,
'Ya wanna eat, ya gotta work,' and at last I knew Pittsburgh.
                -- Winning sentence, 1987 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
The only people for me are the mad ones -- the ones who are mad to live,
mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time,
the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn
like fabulous yellow Roman candles.
                -- Jack Kerouac, "On the Road"
They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
                -- William Shakespeare, "Love's Labour's Lost"
We know all about the habits of the ant, we know all about the habits of the
bee, but we know nothing at all about the habits of the oyster.  It seems
almost certain that we have been choosing the wrong time for studying the
oyster.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
We were young and our happiness dazzled us with its strength.  But there was
also a terrible betrayal that lay within me like a Merle Haggard song at a
French restaurant. [...]
        I could not tell the girl about the woman of the tollway, of her milk
white BMW and her Jordache smile.  There had been a fight.  I had punched her
boyfriend, who fought the mechanical bulls.  Everyone told him, "You ride the
bull, senor.  You do not fight it."  But he was lean and tough like a bad
rib-eye and he fought the bull.  And then he fought me.  And when we finished
there were no winners, just men doing what men must do. [...]
        "Stop the car," the girl said.
        There was a look of terrible sadness in her eyes.  She knew about the
woman of the tollway.  I knew not how.  I started to speak, but she raised an
arm and spoke with a quiet and peace I will never forget.
        "I do not ask for whom's the tollway belle," she said, "the tollway
belle's for thee."
        The next morning our youth was a memory, and our happiness was a lie.
Life is like a bad margarita with good tequila, I thought as I poured whiskey
onto my granola and faced a new day.
                -- Peter Applebome, International Imitation Hemingway
                   Competition
When you are about to die, a wombat is better than no company at all.
                -- Roger Zelazny, "Doorways in the Sand"
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral?  It is because we
are not the person involved.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until
drops of blood form on your forehead.
                -- Gene Fowler
You see, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty
attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.  A fool
takes in all the lumber of every sort he comes across, so that the knowledge
which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with
a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty in laying his hands upon it.
Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his
brain-attic.  He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing
his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect
order.  It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and
can distend to any extent.  Depend upon it there comes a time when for every
addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before.  It is of
the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out
the useful ones.
                -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Study in Scarlet"
"Good afternoon, madam.  How may I help you?"

"Good afternoon.  I'd like a FrintArms HandCannon, please."

"A--?  Oh, now, that's an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady.  I
mean, not everybody thinks ladies should carry guns at all, though I
say they have a right to.  But I think... I might... Let's have a look
down here.  I might have just the thing for you.  Yes, here we are!
Look at that, isn't it neat?  Now that is a FrintArms product as well,
but it's what's called a laser -- a light-pistol some people call
them.  Very small, as you see; fits easily into a pocket or bag; won't
spoil the line of a jacket; and you won't feel you're lugging half a
tonne of iron around with you.  We do a range of matching accessories,
including -- if I may say so -- a rather saucy garter holster.  Wish I
got to do the fitting for that!  Ha -- just my little joke.  And
there's *even*... here we are -- this special presentation pack: gun,
charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster
with adjustable fitting and contrast stitching, and a discount on your
next battery.  Full instructions, of course, and a voucher for free
lessons at your local gun club or range.  Or there's the *special*
presentation pack; it has all the other one's got but with *two*
charged batteries and a night-sight, too.  Here, feel that -- don't
worry, it's a dummy battery -- isn't it neat?  Feel how light it is?
Smooth, see?  No bits to stick out and catch on your clothes, *and*
beautifully balanced.  And of course the beauty of a laser is, there's
no recoil.  Because it's shooting light, you see?  Beautiful gun,
beautiful gun; my wife has one.  Really.  That's not a line, she
really has.  Now, I can do you that one -- with a battery and a free
charge -- for ninety-five; or the presentation pack on a special
offer for one-nineteen; or this, the special presentation pack, for
one-forty-nine."

"I'll take the special."

"Sound choice, madam, *sound* choice.  Now, do--?"

"And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three
six-five AP/wire-fl'echettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a
Special Projectile Pack if you have one -- the one with the embedding
rounds, not the signalers.  I assume the night-sight on this toy is
compatible?"

"Aah... yes,  And how does madam wish to pay?"

She slapped her credit card on the counter.  "Eventually."

          -- Iain M. Banks, "Against a Dark Background"
(1) Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
(2) If your stomach antagonizes you, pacify it with cool thoughts.
(3) Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
(4) Go very lightly on the vices, such as carrying on in society, as
        the social ramble ain't restful.
(5) Avoid running at all times.
(6) Don't look back, something might be gaining on you.
                -- S. Paige, c. 1951
A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such
a speed, if feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now.  But the
sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will
know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.
                -- Messiah's Handbook : Reminders for the Advanced Soul
A neighbor came to Nasrudin, asking to borrow his donkey.  "It is out on
loan," the teacher replied.  At that moment, the donkey brayed loudly inside
the stable.  "But I can hear it bray, over there."  "Whom do you believe,"
asked Nasrudin, "me or a donkey?"
A sad spectacle.  If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery and folly.
If they be not inhabited, what a waste of space.
                -- Thomas Carlyle, looking at the stars
A would-be disciple came to Nasrudin's hut on the mountain-side.  Knowing
that every action of such an enlightened one is significant, the seeker
watched the teacher closely.  "Why do you blow on your hands?"  "To warm
myself in the cold."  Later, Nasrudin poured bowls of hot soup for himself
and the newcomer, and blew on his own.  "Why are you doing that, Master?"
"To cool the soup."  Unable to trust a man who uses the same process
to arrive at two different results -- hot and cold -- the disciple departed.
As failures go, attempting to recall the past is like trying to grasp
the meaning of existence.  Both make one feel like a baby clutching at
a basketball: one's palms keep sliding off.
                -- Joseph Brodsky
At ebb tide I wrote a line upon the sand, and gave it all my heart and all
my soul.  At flood tide I returned to read what I had inscribed and found my
ignorance upon the shore.
                -- Kahlil Gibran
At the end of your life there'll be a good rest, and no further activities
are scheduled.
At the foot of the mountain, thunder:
The image of Providing Nourishment.
Thus the superior man is careful of his words
And temperate in eating and drinking.
                        Chapter 1

The story so far:

        In the beginning the Universe was created.  This has made a lot
of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
                -- Douglas Adams, HHGG #2, (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe).
Faith goes out through the window when beauty comes in at the door.
****  GROWTH CENTER REPAIR SERVICE

For those who have had too much of Esalen, Topanga, and Kairos. Tired of
being genuine all the time?  Would you like to learn how to be a little
phony again?  Have you disclosed so much that you're beginning to avoid
people? Have you touched so many people that they're all beginning to
feel the same? Like to be a little dependent? Are perfect orgasms
beginning to bore you? Would you like, for once, not to express a
feeling?  Or better yet, not be in touch with it at all?  Come to us.  We
promise to relieve you of the burden of your great potential.
        ...He who laughs does not believe in what he laughs at, but neither
does he hate it.  Therefore, laughing at evil means not preparing oneself to
combat it, and laughing at good means denying the power through which good is
self-propagating.
                -- Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose"
How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our
thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another
in the waking state?
                -- Plato
"I gained nothing at all from Supreme Enlightenment, and for that very
reason it is called Supreme Enlightenment."
                -- Gotama Buddha
If a guru falls in the forest with no one to hear him, was he really a
guru at all?
                -- Strange de Jim, "The Metasexuals"
In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.
                -- Ann Frank
It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live
at all.  And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result
is the only thing that makes the result come true.
                -- William James
It's hard to drive at the limit, but it's harder to know where the limits are.
                -- Stirling Moss
Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all.
                -- Thomas J. Kopp
        Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do,
and how to be, I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the
graduate school mountain but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
        These are the things I learned:  Share everything.  Play fair.  Don't
hit people.  Put things back where you found them.  Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.   Say you're sorry when you hurt someone.
Wash your hands before you eat.  Flush.  Warm cookies and cold milk are good
for you.  Live a balanced life.  Learn some and think some and draw and paint
and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
        Take a nap every afternoon.  When you go out into the world, watch for
traffic, hold hands, and stick together.  Be aware of wonder.  Remember the
little seed in the plastic cup.   The roots go down and the plant goes up and
nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.  Goldfish and
hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all
die.  So do we.
        And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you
learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.  Everything you need to know is in
there somewhere.  The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.  Ecology and
politics and sane living.
        Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world
-- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankets for a nap.  Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other
nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own
messes.  And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into
the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.
                -- Robert Fulghum, "All I ever really needed to know I learned
                   in kindergarten"
Nasrudin called at a large house to collect for charity.  The servant said
"My master is out."  Nasrudin replied, "Tell your master that next time he
goes out, he should not leave his face at the window.  Someone might steal it."
Nasrudin returned to his village from the imperial capital, and the villagers
gathered around to hear what had passed.  "At this time," said Nasrudin, "I
only want to say that the King spoke to me."  All the villagers but the
stupidest ran off to spread the wonderful news.  The remaining villager
asked, "What did the King say to you?"  "What he said -- and quite distinctly,
for everyone to hear -- was 'Get out of my way!'" The simpleton was overjoyed;
he had heard words actually spoken by the King, and seen the very man they
were spoken to.
Nasrudin walked into a teahouse and declaimed, "The moon is more useful
than the sun."
        "Why?", he was asked.
        "Because at night we need the light more."
Nobody ever ruined their eyesight by looking at the bright side of something.
Nothing is as simple as it seems at first
        Or as hopeless as it seems in the middle
                Or as finished as it seems in the end.
Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all.
                -- Arthur Balfour
        Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great
crystal river.  Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs
and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and
resisting the current what each had learned from birth.  But one creature
said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is going.  I shall
let go, and let it take me where it will.  Clinging, I shall die of boredom."
        The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool!  Let go, and that current
you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will
die quicker than boredom!"
        But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at
once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.  Yet, in time,
as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the
bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
        And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See
a miracle!  A creature like ourselves, yet he flies!  See the Messiah, come
to save us all!"  And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more
Messiah than you.  The river delight to lift us free, if only we dare let go.
Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.
        But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the
rocks, making legends of a Saviour.
                -- Richard Bach
The only happiness lies in reason; all the rest of the world is dismal.
The highest reason, however, I see in the work of the artist, and he may
experience it as such.  Happiness lies in the swiftness of feeling and
thinking: all the rest of the world is slow, gradual and stupid.  Whoever
could feel the course of a light ray would be very happy, for it is very
swift.  Thinking of oneself gives little happiness.  If, however, one feels
much happiness in this, it is because at bottom one is not thinking of
oneself but of one's ideal.  This is far, and only the swift shall reach
it and are delighted.
                -- Nietzsche
The true way goes over a rope which is not stretched at any great height
but just above the ground.  It seems more designed to make people stumble
than to be walked upon.
                -- Franz Kafka
Two men were sitting over coffee, contemplating the nature of things,
with all due respect for their breakfast.  "I wonder why it is that
toast always falls on the buttered side," said one.
        "Tell me," replied his friend, "why you say such a thing.  Look
at this."  And he dropped his toast on the floor, where it landed on the
dry side.
        "So, what have you to say for your theory now?"
        "What am I to say?  You obviously buttered the wrong side."
"We're not talking about the same thing," he said. "For you the world is
weird because if you're not bored with it you're at odds with it. For me
the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious,
unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must accept
responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous
desert, in this marvelous time.  I wanted to convince you that you must
learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a
short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it."
                -- Don Juan
        Well, he thought, since neither Aristotelian Logic nor the disciplines
of Science seemed to offer much hope, it's time to go beyond them...
        Drawing a few deep even breaths, he entered a mental state practiced
only by Masters of the Universal Way of Zen.  In it his mind floated freely,
able to rummage at will among the bits and pieces of data he had absorbed,
undistracted by any outside disturbances.  Logical structures no longer
inhibited him. Pre-conceptions, prejudices, ordinary human standards vanished.
All things, those previously trivial as well as those once thought important,
became absolutely equal by acquiring an absolute value, revealing relationships
not evident to ordinary vision.  Like beads strung on a string of their own
meaning, each thing pointed to its own common ground of existence, shared by
all.  Finally, each began to melt into each, staying itself while becoming
all others.  And Mind no longer contemplated Problem, but became Problem,
destroying Subject-Object by becoming them.
        Time passed, unheeded.
        Eventually, there was a tentative stirring, then a decisive one, and
Nakamura arose, a smile on his face and the light of laughter in his eyes.
                -- Wayfarer
When you are young, you enjoy a sustained illusion that sooner or later
something marvelous is going to happen, that you are going to transcend
your parents' limitations...  At the same time, you feel sure that in all
the wilderness of possibility; in all the forests of opinion, there is a
vital something that can be known -- known and grasped.  That we will
eventually know it, and convert the whole mystery into a coherent
narrative.  So that then one's true life -- the point of everything --
will emerge from the mist into a pure light, into total comprehension.
But it isn't like that at all.  But if it isn't, where did the idea come
from, to torture and unsettle us?
                -- Brian Aldiss, "Helliconia Summer"
You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the tracks.
Free yourself from negative influence. Negative thoughts are the old
habits that gnaw at the roots of the soul.
Moses Shongo, (Seneca)
Yes... I feel your pain... but as a former first poster (I scored mine a
couple months ago) I know what you went through. Here's where you screwed
up though... YOU DIDN'T PULL THE TRIGGER. You didn't carpe diem.

Yep... When I saw that nice clean article with no posts I didn't hesitate,
yes the adrenaline was surging... my palms were wet, heart pounding. I was
standing at the peak of greatness... I knew I had but one thing to do,
there was no turning back now... I rapidly typed in a one word post.. then
with no hesitation I navigated my mouse over the submit button... and
WHAM.. seconds later I was looking at my feeble post with a #1 attached to
the header. At that mmoment I knew a feeling that only few will ever
know... I was at one with Slashdot... Zen masters and Kings will relate
I'm sure. That one sweet moment when the ying and the yang converge...
bliss... eternal bliss... ahhh!

Then I smoked a cigarette and went to bed.

   -- Anonymous Coward, in response to a "First Post!" that clearly wasn't.
What If Bill Gates Was a Stand-Up Comedian?

1. None of his jokes would be funny.
2. Subliminal message hyping Microsoft and Windows 98 would be inserted
    throughout his performance.
3. The audio system (running Windows NT) would always crash right before Bill
    got to a punch line. At that time one of the managers would announce,
    "Please hold tight while we diagnose this intermittent issue."
4. Tickets for Bill's show would be handed out for free in an attempt to
    attract customers away from Netscape's shows.
5. Industry pundits would call Bill's show "innovative" and would ask "Why
    doesn't IBM have a stand-up routine? This is exactly why OS/2 is failing in
    the market."
6. Bill's show would be called "ActiveHumor 98"
7. In a perfect imitation of his Windows 95 OS, Bill wouldn't be able to tell
    a joke and walk around at the same time.
8. Audience members would have to sign a License Agreement in which one of the
    terms is "I agree never to watch Linus Torvalds' show, 'GNU/Humorux'".
9. All audience members would receive a free CD of Internet Explorer 4.0, with
    FakeJava(R) and ActiveHex(tm) technology.
10. Bill Gates would appear on Saturday Night Live, causing ratings to drop
    even further.
If Microsoft Owned McDonald's
Source: Unknown

1. Every order would come with fries whether you asked for them or not.
2. When they introduce McPizza, the marketing makes it seem that they invented
    pizza.
3. "A McDonald's on every block" -- Bill Gates.
4. You'd be constantly pressured to upgrade to a more expensive burger.
5. Sometimes you'll find that the burger box is empty. For some strange reason
    you'll accept this and purchase another one.
6. They'd claim the burgers are the same size as at other fast food chains,
    but in reality it's just a larger bun hiding the small beef patty.
7. Straws wouldn't be available until after you finish your drink.
8. "Push" technology -- they have McD employees come to your door and sell you
    Happy Meals.
9. Your order would never be right but the cash register would work perfectly
    for taking your money.
10. The "Special Sauce" cannot be reverse engineered, decompiled, or placed on
    more than 1 Big Mac.
Turn your Pentium into a Gameboy: Type WIN at C:\>
Windows 95 really does have pre-emptive multitasking: It can boot and
crash at the same time.
If at first you don't succeed, you must be using Windows.
If at first you don't succeed, work for Microsoft.
"Nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM!" -- Bill Gates, 1981
"Windows 95 needs at least 8 MB RAM." -- Bill Gates, 1996
"Nobody will ever need Windows 95." -- logical conclusion
Bill Gates is surfing the Internet, collecting the URLs of anti-Micrsoft
websites to send to the legal department for possible libel lawsuits. Suddenly
the devil appears, and says, "Bill, I've got a deal for you. I will turn
Microsoft into a complete software monopoly. Every computer will run Windows.
Every user will be forced to buy Microsoft software. The Justice Department
will look the other way. Everyone will love you. You only have to do one thing:
give me your soul." Bill Gates looks at him and replies, "Ok, sure. But what's
the catch?"
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were playing a friendly game of Frisbee at the Gates
estate on the shore of Lake Washington. At one point, Bill accidentally sends
the Frisbee over Steve's head, and the Frisbee lands in the lake. Steve walks
out onto the surface of the lake and retrieves the Frisbee.

The next day the newspapers report:

Gates' Throw Exceeds Expectations

Apple CEO Unable to Swim
Q: What do you call 50 Microsoft products at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A darned good start.
You Might be a Microsoft Employee If...

1. When a Microsoft program crashes for the millionth time, you say "Oh,
    well!" and reboot without any negative thoughts
2. The Windows 95 startup screen (the clouds) makes you feel all warm and
    fuzzy inside
3. You fully understand why Windows 95's Shutdown Option has to be
    accessed from the Start Menu
4. You believe Internet Explorer's security flaws were slipped in by a
    crack team of Netscape programmers
5. You keep valuable papers near your fireplace. Therefore, you are
    comfortable with Windows 95's "may-delete-it-at-anytime" philosophy
6. You're the Bob that Microsoft Bob was named after
7. Instead of "I'd rather be fishing," your bumper sticker says, "I'd
    rather be writing buggy Microsoft code"
8. You know the technical difference between OLE 1.0 and OLE 2.0
9. You've ever completed your income taxes while waiting for Windows 95
    to boot, and didn't think anything of it
10. You run Solitaire more than any other program, and therefore you
    consider your computer a Dedicated Solitaire Engine (DSE)
You Might be a Microsoft Employee If...

1. Every night you dream of torturing Linus Torvalds
2. Every morning you say, "I pledge allegiance to the logo of the United
    Corporation of Microsoft. And to the stock options for which it stands, one
    company, under Bill, with headaches and buggy software for all."
3. Your favorite pick-up line is, "Hey baby...do you want to see a little
    ActiveX?"
4. Everytime you see a website with "Best viewed with Netscape" on it you
    feel like filing a lawsuit against its webmaster
5. You feel that all Anti-Microsoft websites should be censored because they
    are on the Internet, something Bill "invented."
6. You've set a goal to invent at least one new buzzword or acronym per day
7. You've ever been nervous because you haven't registered your Microsoft
    software yet.
8. You've trained your parrot to say "Unix sucks!" and "All hail Bill Gates!"
9. You own a limited edition Monopoly game in which Boardwalk is Microsoft and
    Jail is replaced by Justice Department Investigation
10. You've spent countless hours tracking down the source of the "Microsoft
    Acquires Vatican Church" rumor
When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".
  
   -- Linus Torvalds
Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the
grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin
charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what
they say if they had.

   -- Linus Torvalds
At Microsoft, quality is job 1.1 - Use Linux!
Everyone seems so impatient and angry these days.  I think it's because
so many people use Windows at work -- do you think you'd be Politeness
Man after working on Windows 8 hrs. or more?

   -- Chip Atkinson
If at first you don't succeed, get a job with Microsoft.

   -- Gareth Barnard
There's the light at the end of the the Windows.

   -- Havlik Denis
I'm not a programmer, but I play one at Microsoft.

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
I'm still waiting for the "Honk if you hate Microsoft" [bumper sticker],
but that might get annoying, everyone honking at you.

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
The best Windows accelerator is that which works at 9.81 m/s2

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
The rules of editing press releases are:

1. Identify the crucial elements of the story.
2. Omit at least one of them.

   -- From a Slashdot.org post. We can only guess whether Microsoft
      uses this policy or not.
Yeah, but they are good at making toys. I mean look at Windows...

   -- From a Slashdot.org post about Microsoft's X-Box console
Have you ever noticed that at trade shows Microsoft is always the
one giving away stress balls...

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot of
different places, just write a Unix operating system.

   -- Linus Torvalds
I used to be interested in Windows NT, but the more I see of it the more
it looks like traditional Windows with a stabler kernel. I don't find
anything technically interesting there. In my opinion MS is a lot better
at making money than it is at making good operating systems.

   -- Linus Torvalds
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good.  After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them.  He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy.  After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
        -- Erik Troan, ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu
When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".
        -- Linus Torvalds
Oh, I've seen copies [of Linux Journal] around the terminal room at The Labs.
        -- Dennis Ritchie
If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot
of different places, just write a Unix operating system.
        -- Linus Torvalds
Now, it we had this sort of thing:
  yield -a     for yield to all traffic
  yield -t     for yield to trucks
  yield -f     for yield to people walking (yield foot)
  yield -d t*  for yield on days starting with t

...you'd have a lot of dead people at intersections, and traffic jams you
wouldn't believe...
        -- Discussion on the intuitiveness of commands
> I'm an idiot..  At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Disquieting ...
        -- Gonzalo Tornaria in response to Linus Torvalds's
> I'm an idiot..  At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
We need to find some new terms to describe the rest of us mere mortals
then.
        -- Craig Schlenter in response to Linus Torvalds's
> I'm an idiot..  At least this [bug] took about 5 minutes to find..
Surely, Linus is talking about the kind of idiocy that others aspire to :-).
        -- Bruce Perens in response to Linus Torvalds's
Eh, that's it, I guess.  No 300 million dollar unveiling event for this
kernel, I'm afraid, but you're still supposed to think of this as the
"happening of the century" (at least until the next kernel comes along).
        -- Linus, in the announcement for 1.3.27
When you say 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows', people just stare at
you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*'.
        -- Linus Torvalds
Convention organizer to Linus Torvalds: "You might like to come with us
to some licensed[1] place, and have some pizza."

Linus: "Oh, I did not know that you needed a license to eat pizza".

[1] Licenced - refers in Australia to a restaurant which has government
licence to sell liquor.
        -- Linus at a talk at the Melbourne University
Eh, that's it, I guess.  No 300 million dollar unveiling event for this
kernel, I'm afraid, but you're still supposed to think of this as the
"happening of the century" (at least until the next kernel comes along).
Oh, and this is another kernel in that great and venerable "BugFree(tm)"
series of kernels. So be not afraid of bugs, but go out in the streets
and deliver this message of joy to the masses.
        -- Linus Torvalds, on releasing 1.3.27
Go not unto the Usenet for advice, for you will be told both yea and nay (and
quite a few things that just have nothing at all to do with the question).
        -- seen in a .sig somewhere
Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the
grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin
charging at them in excess of 100mph.  They'd be a lot more careful about what
they say if they had.
        -- Linus Torvalds, announcing Linux v2.0
.. I used to get in more fights with SCO than I did my girlfriend, but
now, thanks to Linux, she has more than happily accepted her place back at
number one antagonist in my life..
        -- Jason Stiefel, krypto@s30.nmex.com
Besides, its really not worthwhile to use more than two times your physical
ram in swap (except in a select few situations). The performance of the system
becomes so abysmal you'd rather heat pins under your toenails while reciting
Windows95 source code and staring at porn flicks of Bob Dole than actually try
to type something.
        -- seen on c.o.l.development.system, about the size of the swap space
> I get the following error messages at bootup, could anyone tell me
> what they mean?
> fcntl_setlk() called by process 51 (lpd) with broken flock() emulation
They mean that you have not read the documentation when upgrading the
kernel.
        -- seen on c.o.l.misc
'Ooohh.. "FreeBSD is faster over loopback, when compared to Linux
over the wire". Film at 11.'
        -- Linus Torvalds
So in the future, one 'client' at a time or you'll be spending CPU time with
lots of little 'child processes'.
        -- Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the private life of a Linux nerd
The most important design issue... is the fact that Linux is supposed to
be fun...
        -- Linus Torvalds at the First Dutch International Symposium on Linux
In short, at least give the penguin a fair viewing. If you still don't
like it, that's ok: that's why I'm boss. I simply know better than you do.
        -- Linus "what, me arrogant?" Torvalds, on c.o.l.advocacy
Sorry for mailing this article, I've obviously made a typo (168!=186)
that's the price for being up all night and doing some "quick"
checks before you go to bed ....
        -- Herbert Rosmanith <herp@wildsau.idv.uni-linz.ac.at>
Exporting beer from Finnland doesn't seem to be that much of a hassle,
as the Lenigrad Cowboys brought a lot of their brew to the concerts in
Austria.
        -- Otmar Lendl <lendl@cosy.sbg.ac.at>
[...] or some clown changed the chips on a board and not its name.
(Don't laugh!  Look at the SMC etherpower for that.)
        -- from /usr/src/linux/MAINTAINERS
1648 files (84%) out of the files that I mirror disappeared.  Since
my delete threshold was set at 90%, all those files are now missing
from my hard drive.  It's going to take a loooong time to fetch those
again via 14.4kbps!
        -- Brian C. White
Yes I have a Machintosh, please don't scream at me.
        -- Larry Blumette on linux-kernel
i dont even know if it makes sense at all :) This is an experimental patch
for an experimental kernel :))
        -- Ingo Molnar on linux-kernel
(It is an old Debian tradition to leave at least twice a year ...)
        -- Sven Rudolph
Stopping Apache webserver...sleeping...starting again...apache: dl-version.c:189:
_dl_check_map_versions: Assertion `needed != ((void *)0)' failed
noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
        -- netgod on #Debian at LISC
Alan E. Davis: Some files at llug.sep.bnl.gov/pub/debian/Incoming are
stamped on 10 January 1998.  As I write, nowhere on Earth is it now 10 January.

Craig Sanders: That just proves how advanced debian is, doesn't it :-)
        -- debian-devel
* Joey should not write changelog entries at 5:30am
<Joey>    * DFSC Free cgi library
<Joey> What's that? DFSC?
<jim> Debian Free Software mroooooCows
        -- Seen on #Debian
Perhaps the RBLing (Realtime Black Hole) of msn.com recently, which
prevented a large amount of mail going out for about 4 days, has had a
positive influence in Redmond.  They did agree to work on their anti-relay
capabilities at their POPs to get the RBL lifted.
        -- Bill Campbell on Smail3-users
Could somebody drag the Irix team kicking and screaming into the 1980's,
please?

I realize it might be quite painful for them, but maybe you could buy them
a disco tape, so they'd feel a little bit more at home.

                -- Linus "Stayin' alive, stayin' alive" Torvalds
        Carol's head ached as she trailed behind the unsmiling Calibrees
along the block of booths.  She chirruped at Kennicott, "Let's be wild!
Let's ride on the merry-go-round and grab a gold ring!"
        Kennicott considered it, and mumbled to Calibree, "Think you folks
would like to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"
        Calibree considered it, and mumbled to his wife, "Think you'd like
to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"
        Mrs. Calibree smiled in a washed-out manner, and sighed, "Oh no,
I don't believe I care to much, but you folks go ahead and try it."
        Calibree stated to Kennicott, "No, I don't believe we care to a
whole lot, but you folks go ahead and try it."
        Kennicott summarized the whole case against wildness: "Let's try
it some other time, Carrie."
        She gave it up.
                -- Sinclair Lewis, "Main Street"
Climate and Surgery
        R C Gilchrist, who was shot by J Sharp twelve days ago, and who
received a derringer ball in the right breast, and who it was supposed at
the time could not live many hours, was on the street yesterday and the
day before -- walking several blocks at a time.  To those who design to be
riddled with bullets or cut to pieces with Bowie-knives, we cordially
recommend our Sacramento climate and Sacramento surgery.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, September 11, 1861
Decemba, n:        The 12th month of the year.
erra, n:        A mistake.
faa, n:                To, from, or at considerable distance.
Linder, n:        A female name.
memba, n:        To recall to the mind; think of again.
New Hampsha, n:        A state in the northeast United States.
New Yaak, n:        Another state in the northeast United States.
Novemba, n:        The 11th month of the year.
Octoba, n:        The 10th month of the year.
ova, n:                Location above or across a specified position.  What the
                        season is when the Knicks quit playing.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
Gay shlafen:  Yiddish for "go to sleep".

Now doesn't "gay shlafen" have a softer, more soothing sound than the
harsh, staccato "go to sleep"?  Listen to the difference:
        "Go to sleep, you little wretch!" ... "Gay shlafen, darling."
Obvious, isn't it?
        Clearly the best thing you can do for you children is to start
speaking Yiddish right now and never speak another word of English as
long as you live.  This will, of course, entail teaching Yiddish to all
your friends, business associates, the people at the supermarket, and
so on, but that's just the point.  It has to start with committed
individuals and then grow....
        Some minor adjustments will have to be made, of course: those
signs written in what look like Yiddish letters won't be funny when
everything is written in Yiddish.  And we'll have to start driving on
the left side of the road so we won't be reading the street signs
backwards.  But is that too high a price to pay for world peace?
I think not, my friend, I think not.
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
"God gives burdens; also shoulders"

Jimmy Carter cited this Jewish saying in his concession speech at the
end of the 1980 election.  At least he said it was a Jewish saying; I
can't find it anywhere.  I'm sure he's telling the truth though; why
would he lie about a thing like that?
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
Houdini escaping from New Jersey!

Film at eleven.
I'm going through my "I want to go back to New York" phase today.  Happens
every six months or so.  So, I thought, perhaps unwisely, that I'd share
it with you.  

> In New York in the winter it is million degrees below zero and
  the wind travels at a million miles an hour down 5th avenue.
> And in LA it's 72.

> In New York in the summer it is a million degrees and the humidity
  is a million percent.
> And in LA it's 72.

> In New York there are a million interesting people.  
> And in LA there are 72.
Inglish Spocken Hier: some mangled translations

        Various signs in Poland:

                Right turn toward immediate outside.

                Go soothingly in the snow, as there lurk the ski demons.

                Five o'clock tea at all hours.

        In a men's washroom in Sidney:

                Shake excess water from hands, push button to start,
                rub hands rapidly under air outlet and wipe hands
                on front of shirt.

                -- Colin Bowles, San Francisco Chronicle
Moishe Margolies, who weighed all of 105 pounds and stood an even five feet
in his socks, was taking his first airplane trip. He took a seat next to a
hulking bruiser of a man who happened to be the heavyweight champion of
the world.  Little Moishe was uneasy enough before he even entered the plane,
but now the roar of the engines and the great height absolutely terrified him.
So frightened did he become that his stomach turned over and he threw up all
over the muscular giant siting beside him.  Fortunately, at least for Moishe,
the man was sound asleep.  But now the little man had another problem.  How in
the world would he ever explain the situation to the burly brute when he
awakened?  The sudden voice of the stewardess on the plane's intercom, finally
woke the bruiser, and Moishe, his heart in his mouth, rose to the occasion.
        "Feeling better now?" he asked solicitously.
        Some 1500 miles west of the Big Apple we find the Minneapple, a
haven of tranquility in troubled times.  It's a good town, a civilized town.
A town where they still know how to get your shirts back by Thursday.  Let
the Big Apple have the feats of "Broadway Joe" Namath.  We have known the
stolid but steady Killebrew.  Listening to Cole Porter over a dry martini
may well suit those unlucky enough never to have heard the Whoopee John Polka
Band and never to have shared a pitcher of 3.2 Grain Belt Beer.  The loss is
theirs.  And the Big Apple has yet to bake the bagel that can match peanut
butter on lefse.  Here is a town where the major urban problem is dutch elm
disease and the number one crime is overtime parking.  We boast more theater
per capita than the Big Apple.  We go to see, not to be seen.  We go even
when we must shovel ten inches of snow from the driveway to get there.  Indeed
the winters are fierce.  But then comes the marvel of the Minneapple summer.
People flock to the city's lakes to frolic and rejoice at the sight of so
much happy humanity free from the bonds of the traditional down-filled parka.
Here's to the Minneapple.  And to its people.  Our flair for style is balanced
by a healthy respect for wind chill factors.
        And we always, always eat our vegetables.
        This is the Minneapple.
        "Somewhere", said Father Vittorini, "did Blake not speak of the
Machineries of Joy?  That is, did not God promote environments, then
intimidate these Natures by provoking the existence of flesh, toy men and
women, such as are we all?  And thus happily sent forth, at our best, with
good grace and fine wit, on calm noons, in fair climes, are we not God's
Machineries of Joy?"
        "If Blake said that", said Father Brian, "he never lived in Dublin."
                -- R. Bradbury, "The Machineries of Joy"
The goys have proven the following theorem...
                -- Physicist John von Neumann, at the start of a classroom
                   lecture.
        The world's most avid baseball fan (an Aggie) had arrived at the
stadium for the first game of the World Series only to realize he had left
his ticket at home.  Not wanting to miss any of the first inning, he went
to the ticket booth and got in a long line for another seat.  After an hour's
wait he was just a few feet from the booth when a voice called out, "Hey,
Dave!"  The Aggie looked up, stepped out of line and tried to find the owner
of the voice -- with no success.   Then he realized he had lost his place in
line and had to wait all over again.  When the fan finally bought his ticket,
he was thirsty, so he went to buy a drink.  The line at the concession stand
was long, too, but since the game hadn't started he decided to wait.  Just as
he got to the window, a voice called out, "Hey, Dave!"  Again the Aggie tried
to find the voice -- but no luck.  He was very upset as he got back in line
for his drink.  Finally the fan went to his seat, eager for the game to begin.
As he waited for the pitch, he heard the voice calling, "Hey Dave!" once more.
Furious, he stood up and yelled at the top of his lungs,  "My name isn't Dave!"
There must be at least 500,000,000 rats in the United States; of course,
I never heard the story before.
        There once was this swami who lived above a delicatessan.  Seems one
day he decided to stop in downstairs for some fresh liver.  Well, the owner
of the deli was a bit of a cheap-skate, and decided to pick up a little extra
change at his customer's expense.  Turning quietly to the counterman, he
whispered, "Weigh down upon the swami's liver!"
There was this New Yorker that had a lifelong ambition to be an Texan.
Fortunately, he had an Texan friend and went to him for advice.  "Mike,
you know I've always wanted to be a Texan.  You're a *____real* Texan, what
should I do?"
        "Well," answered Mike, "The first thing you've got to do is look
like a Texan.  That means you have to dress right.  The second thing
you've got to do is speak in a southern drawl."
        "Thanks, Mike, I'll give it a try," replied the New Yorker.
        A few weeks passed and the New Yorker saunters into a store dressed
in a ten-gallon hat, cowboy boots, Levi jeans and a bandanna.  "Hey, there,
pardner, I'd like some beef, not too rare, and some of them fresh biscuits,"
he tells the counterman.
        The guy behind the counter takes a long look at him and then says,
"You must be from New York."
        The New Yorker blushes, and says, "Well, yes, I am.  How did
you know?"
        "Because this is a hardware store."
Three Midwesterners, a Kansan, a Missourian and an Iowan,
all appearing on a quiz program, were asked to complete this sentence:
"Old MacDonald had a . . ."

        "Old MacDonald had a carburetor," answered the Kansan.
        "Sorry, that's wrong," the game show host said.
        "Old MacDonald had a free brake alignment down at the
                service station," said the Missourian.
        "Wrong."
        "Old MacDonald had a farm," said the Iowan.
        "CORRECT!" shouts the quizmaster.  "Now for $100,000, spell 'farm.'"
        "Easy," said the Iowan. "E-I-E-I-O."
To a Californian, a person must prove himself criminally insane before he
is allowed to drive a taxi in New York.  For New York cabbies, honesty and
stopping at red lights are both optional.
        -- From "East vs. West: The War Between the Coasts
To be happy one must be a) well fed, unhounded by sordid cares, at ease in
Zion, b) full of a comfortable feeling of superiority to the masses of one's
fellow men, and c) delicately and unceasingly amused according to one's taste.
It is my contention that, if this definition be accepted, there is no country
in the world wherein a man constituted as I am -- a man of my peculiar
weaknesses, vanities, appetites, and aversions -- can be so happy as he can
be in the United States.  Going further, I lay down the doctrine that it is
a sheer physical impossibility for such a man to live in the United States
and not be happy.
                -- H.L. Mencken, "On Being An American"
You always have the option of pitching baseballs at empty spray paint cans
in a cul-de-sac in a Cleveland suburb.
Q:        How many Bell Labs Vice Presidents does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        That's proprietary information.  Answer available from AT&T on payment
        of license fee (binary only).
Q:        How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        Whereas the party of the first part, also known as "Lawyer", and the
party of the second part, also known as "Light Bulb", do hereby and forthwith
agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part shall be removed
from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed
upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of
the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entryway, terminating
at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of
the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the
second part and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the
parties.
        The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be
limited to, the following.  The party of the first part shall, with or without
elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other
means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part and rotate the party
of the second part in a counter-clockwise direction, this point being tendered
non-negotiable.  Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part
becomes fully detached from the receptacle, the party of the first part shall
have the option of disposing of the party of the second part in a manner
consistent with all relevant and applicable local, state and federal statutes.
Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part
shall have the option of beginning installation.  Aforesaid installation shall
occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in
step one of this self-same document, being careful to note that the rotation
should occur in a clockwise direction, this point also being non-negotiable.
The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the
first part, by any or all agents authorized by him, the objective being to
produce the most possible revenue for the Partnership.
Q:        How many members of the U.S.S. Enterprise does it take to change a
        light bulb?
A:        Seven.  Scotty has to report to Captain Kirk that the light bulb in
        the Engineering Section is getting dim, at which point Kirk will send
        Bones to pronounce the bulb dead (although he'll immediately claim
        that he's a doctor, not an electrician).  Scotty, after checking
        around, realizes that they have no more new light bulbs, and complains
        that he "canna" see in the dark.  Kirk will make an emergency stop at
        the next uncharted planet, Alpha Regula IV, to procure a light bulb
        from the natives, who, are friendly, but seem to be hiding something.
        Kirk, Spock, Bones, Yeoman Rand and two red shirt security officers
        beam down to the planet, where the two security officers are promply
        killed by the natives, and the rest of the landing party is captured.
        As something begins to develop between the Captain and Yeoman Rand,
        Scotty, back in orbit, is attacked by a Klingon destroyer and must
        warp out of orbit.  Although badly outgunned, he cripples the Klingon
        and races back to the planet in order to rescue Kirk et. al. who have
        just saved the natives' from an awful fate and, as a reward, been
        given all light bulbs they can carry.  The new bulb is then inserted
        and the Enterprise continues on its five year mission.
Q:        What do agnostic, insomniac dyslexics do at night?
A:        Stay awake and wonder if there's a dog.
Q:        Why don't Scotsmen ever have coffee the way they like it?
A:        Well, they like it with two lumps of sugar.  If they drink
        it at home, they only take one, and if they drink it while
        visiting, they always take three.
Q:        Why is Christmas just like a day at the office?
A:        You do all of the work and the fat guy in the suit
        gets all the credit.
4.2 BSD UNIX #57: Sun Jun 1 23:02:07 EDT 1986

You swing at the Sun.  You miss.  The Sun swings.  He hits you with a
575MB disk!  You read the 575MB disk.  It is written in an alien
tongue and cannot be read by your tired Sun-2 eyes.  You throw the
575MB disk at the Sun.  You hit!  The Sun must repair your eyes.  The
Sun reads a scroll.  He hits your 130MB disk!  He has defeated the
130MB disk!  The Sun reads a scroll.  He hits your Ethernet board!  He
has defeated your Ethernet board!  You read a scroll of "postpone until
Monday at 9 AM".  Everything goes dark...
                -- /etc/motd, cbosgd
A certain monk had a habit of pestering the Grand Tortue (the only one who
had ever reached the Enlightenment 'Yond Enlightenment), by asking whether
various objects had Buddha-nature or not.  To such a question Tortue
invariably sat silent.  The monk had already asked about a bean, a lake,
and a moonlit night.  One day he brought to Tortue a piece of string, and
asked the same question.  In reply, the Grand Tortue grasped the loop
between his feet and, with a few simple manipulations, created a complex
string which he proferred wordlessly to the monk.  At that moment, the monk
was enlightened.

From then on, the monk did not bother Tortue.  Instead, he made string after
string by Tortue's method; and he passed the method on to his own disciples,
who passed it on to theirs.
        A doctor, an architect, and a computer scientist were arguing about
whose profession was the oldest.  In the course of their arguments, they
got all the way back to the Garden of Eden, whereupon the doctor said, "The
medical profession is clearly the oldest, because Eve was made from Adam's
rib, as the story goes, and that was a simply incredible surgical feat."
        The architect did not agree.  He said, "But if you look at the Garden
itself, in the beginning there was chaos and void, and out of that the Garden
and the world were created.  So God must have been an architect."
        The computer scientist, who'd listened carefully to all of this, then
commented, "Yes, but where do you think the chaos came from?"
A famous Lisp Hacker noticed an Undergraduate sitting in front of a Xerox
1108, trying to edit a complex Klone network via a browser. Wanting to
help, the Hacker clicked one of the nodes in the network with the mouse,
and asked "what do you see?" Very earnestly, the Undergraduate replied "I
see a cursor." The Hacker then quickly pressed the boot toggle at the back
of the keyboard, while simultaneously hitting the Undergraduate over the head
with a thick Interlisp Manual.  The Undergraduate was then Enlightened.
        A manager asked a programmer how long it would take him to finish the
program on which he was working.  "I will be finished tomorrow," the programmer
promptly replied.
        "I think you are being unrealistic," said the manager. "Truthfully,
how long will it take?"
        The programmer thought for a moment.  "I have some features that I wish
to add.  This will take at least two weeks," he finally said.
        "Even that is too much to expect," insisted the manager, "I will be
satisfied if you simply tell me when the program is complete."
        The programmer agreed to this.
        Several years later, the manager retired.  On the way to his
retirement lunch, he discovered the programmer asleep at his terminal.
He had been programming all night.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        A manager went to his programmers and told them: "As regards to your
work hours: you are going to have to come in at nine in the morning and leave
at five in the afternoon."  At this, all of them became angry and several
resigned on the spot.
        So the manager said: "All right, in that case you may set your own
working hours, as long as you finish your projects on schedule."  The
programmers, now satisfied, began to come in a noon and work to the wee
hours of the morning.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
A nasty looking dwarf throws a knife at you.
        A sheet of paper crossed my desk the other day and as I read it,
realization of a basic truth came over me.  So simple!  So obvious we couldn't
see it.  John Knivlen, Chairman of Polamar Repeater Club, an amateur radio
group, had discovered how IC circuits work.  He says that smoke is the thing
that makes ICs work because every time you let the smoke out of an IC circuit,
it stops working.  He claims to have verified this with thorough testing.
        I was flabbergasted!  Of course!  Smoke makes all things electrical
work.  Remember the last time smoke escaped from your Lucas voltage regulator
Didn't it quit working?  I sat and smiled like an idiot as more of the truth
dawned.  It's the wiring harness that carries the smoke from one device to
another in your Mini, MG or Jag.  And when the harness springs a leak, it lets
the smoke out of everything at once, and then nothing works.  The starter motor
requires large quantities of smoke to operate properly, and that's why the wire
going to it is so large.
        Feeling very smug, I continued to expand my hypothesis.  Why are Lucas
electronics more likely to leak than say Bosch?  Hmmm...  Aha!!!  Lucas is
British, and all things British leak!  British convertible tops leak water,
British engines leak oil, British displacer units leak hydrostatic fluid, and
I might add Brititsh tires leak air, and the British defense unit leaks
secrets... so naturally British electronics leak smoke.
                -- Jack Banton, PCC Automotive Electrical School

        [Ummm ... IC circuits?  Integrated circuit circuits?]
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
                -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"

Whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty by
close application thereto, it is worse execute by two persons and
scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.
                -- George Washington, 1732-1799
        After sifting through the overwritten remaining blocks of Luke's home
directory, Luke and PDP-1 sped away from /u/lars, across the surface of the
Winchester riding Luke's flying read/write head.  PDP-1 had Luke stop at the
edge of the cylinder overlooking /usr/spool/uucp.
        "Unix-to-Unix Copy Program;" said PDP-1.  "You will never find a more
wretched hive of bugs and flamers.  We must be cautious."
                -- DECWARS
"... all the good computer designs are bootlegged; the formally planned
products, if they are built at all, are dogs!"
                -- David E. Lundstrom, "A Few Good Men From Univac",
                   MIT Press, 1987
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

CAR and CDR now return extra values.

The function CAR now returns two values.  Since it has to go to the trouble
to figure out if the object is carcdr-able anyway, we figured you might as
well get both halves at once.  For example, the following code shows how to
destructure a cons (SOME-CONS) into its two slots (THE-CAR and THE-CDR):

        (MULTIPLE-VALUE-BIND (THE-CAR THE-CDR) (CAR SOME-CONS) ...)

For symmetry with CAR, CDR returns a second value which is the CAR of the
object.  In a related change, the functions MAKE-ARRAY and CONS have been
fixed so they don't allocate any storage except on the stack.  This should
hopefully help people who don't like using the garbage collector because
it cold boots the machine so often.
Although it is still a truism in industry that "no one was ever fired for
buying IBM," Bill O'Neil, the chief technology officer at Drexel Burnham
Lambert, says he knows for a fact that someone has been fired for just that
reason.  He knows it because he fired the guy.
        "He made a bad decision, and what it came down to was, 'Well, I
bought it because I figured it was safe to buy IBM,'"  Mr. O'Neil says.
"I said, 'No.  Wrong.  Game over.  Next contestant, please.'"
                -- The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1989
... an anecdote from IBM's Yorktown Heights Research Center.  When a
programmer used his new computer terminal, all was fine when he was sitting
down, but he couldn't log in to the system when he was standing up.  That
behavior was 100 percent repeatable: he could always log in when sitting and
never when standing.

Most of us just sit back and marvel at such a story; how could that terminal
know whether the poor guy was sitting or standing?  Good debuggers, though,
know that there has to be a reason.  Electrical theories are the easiest to
hypothesize: was there a loose with under the carpet, or problems with static
electricity?  But electrical problems are rarely consistently reproducible.
An alert IBMer finally noticed that the problem was in the terminal's keyboard:
the tops of two keys were switched.  When the programmer was seated he was a
touch typist and the problem went unnoticed, but when he stood he was led
astray by hunting and pecking.
        -- "Programming Pearls" column, by Jon Bentley in CACM February 1985
Any programming language is at its best before it is implemented and used.
Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems.
                -- D. Winker and F. Prosser
At about 2500 A.D., humankind discovers a computer problem that *must* be
solved.  The only difficulty is that the problem is NP complete and will
take thousands of years even with the latest optical biologic technology
available.  The best computer scientists sit down to think up some solution.
In great dismay, one of the C.S. people tells her husband about it.  There
is only one solution, he says.  Remember physics 103, Modern Physics, general
relativity and all.  She replies, "What does that have to do with solving
a computer problem?"
        "Remember the twin paradox?"
        After a few minutes, she says, "I could put the computer on a very
fast machine and the computer would have just a few minutes to calculate but
that is the exact opposite of what we want... Of course!  Leave the
computer here, and accelerate the earth!"
        The problem was so important that they did exactly that.  When
the earth came back, they were presented with the answer:

        IEH032 Error in JOB Control Card.
At first sight, the idea of any rules or principles being superimposed on
the creative mind seems more likely to hinder than to help, but this is
quite untrue in practice.  Disciplined thinking focuses inspiration rather
than blinkers it.
                -- G.L. Glegg, "The Design of Design"
At Group L, Stoffel oversees six first-rate programmers, a managerial
challenge roughly comparable to herding cats.
                -- The Washington Post Magazine, 9 June, 1985
At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find
at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.
Center meeting at 4pm in 2C-543.
Coding is easy;  All you do is sit staring at a terminal until the drops
of blood form on your forehead.
Congratulations!  You are the one-millionth user to log into our system.
If there's anything special we can do for you, anything at all, don't
hesitate to ask!
Couldn't we jury-rig the cat to act as an audio switch, and have it yell
at people to save their core images before logging them out?  I'm sure
the cattle prod would be effective in this regard.  In any case, a traverse
mounted iguana, while more perverted, gives better traction, not to mention
being easier to stake.
Dear Emily:
        I'm having a serious disagreement with somebody on the net. I
tried complaints to his sysadmin, organizing mail campaigns, called for
his removal from the net and phoning his employer to get him fired.
Everybody laughed at me.  What can I do?
                -- A Concerned Citizen

Dear Concerned:
        Go to the daily papers.  Most modern reporters are top-notch computer
experts who will understand the net, and your problems, perfectly.  They
will print careful, reasoned stories without any errors at all, and surely
represent the situation properly to the public.  The public will also all
act wisely, as they are also fully cognizant of the subtle nature of net
society.
        Papers never sensationalize or distort, so be sure to point out things
like racism and sexism wherever they might exist.  Be sure as well that they
understand that all things on the net, particularly insults, are meant
literally.  Link what transpires on the net to the causes of the Holocaust, if
possible.  If regular papers won't take the story, go to a tabloid paper --
they are always interested in good stories.
Each of these cults correspond to one of the two antagonists in the age of
Reformation.  In the realm of the Apple Macintosh, as in Catholic Europe,
worshipers peer devoutly into screens filled with "icons."  All is sound and
imagery and Appledom.  Even words look like decorative filigrees in exotic
typefaces.  The greatest icon of all, the inviolable Apple itself, stands in
the dominate position at the upper-left corner of the screen.  A central
corporate headquarters decrees the form of all rites and practices.
Infalliable doctrine issues from one executive officer whose selection occurs
in a sealed boardroom.  Should anyone in his curia question his powers, the
offender is excommunicated into outer darkness.  The expelled heretic founds
a new company, mutters obscurely of the coming age and the next computer,
then disappears into silence, taking his stockholders with him.  The mother
company forbids financial competition as sternly as it stifles ideological
competition; if you want to use computer programs that conform to Apple's
orthodoxy, you must buy a computer made and sold by Apple itself.
                -- Edward Mendelson, "The New Republic", February 22, 1988
Eudaemonic research proceeded with the casual mania peculiar to this part of
the world.  Nude sunbathing on the back deck was combined with phone calls to
Advanced Kinetics in Costa Mesa, American Laser Systems in Goleta, Automation
Industries in Danbury, Connecticut, Arenberg Ultrasonics in Jamaica Plain,
Massachusetts, and Hewlett Packard in Sunnyvale, California, where Norman
Packard's cousin, David, presided as chairman of the board. The trick was to
make these calls at noon, in the hope that out-to-lunch executives would return
them at their own expense.  Eudaemonic Enterprises, for all they knew, might be
a fast-growing computer company branching out of the Silicon Valley.  Sniffing
the possibility of high-volume sales, these executives little suspected that
they were talking on the other end of the line to a naked physicist crazed
over roulette.
                -- Thomas Bass, "The Eudaemonic Pie"
Ever wondered about the origins of the term "bugs" as applied to computer
technology?  U.S. Navy Capt. Grace Murray Hopper has firsthand explanation.
The 74-year-old captain, who is still on active duty, was a pioneer in
computer technology during World War II.  At the C.W. Post Center of Long
Island University, Hopper told a group of Long Island public school adminis-
trators that the first computer "bug" was a real bug--a moth.  At Harvard
one August night in 1945, Hopper and her associates were working on the
"granddaddy" of modern computers, the Mark I.  "Things were going badly;
there was something wrong in one of the circuits of the long glass-enclosed
computer," she said.  "Finally, someone located the trouble spot and, using
ordinary tweezers, removed the problem, a two-inch moth.  From then on, when
anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it."  Hopper
said that when the veracity of her story was questioned recently, "I referred
them to my 1945 log book, now in the collection of the Naval Surface Weapons
Center, and they found the remains of that moth taped to the page in
question."
                [actually, the term "bug" had even earlier usage in
                regard to problems with radio hardware.  Ed.]
"Every group has a couple of experts.  And every group has at least one
idiot.  Thus are balance and harmony (and discord) maintained.  It's
sometimes hard to remember this in the bulk of the flamewars that all
of the hassle and pain is generally caused by one or two highly-motivated,
caustic twits."
                -- Chuq Von Rospach, about Usenet
Every program has at least one bug and can be shortened by at least one
instruction -- from which, by induction, one can deduce that every
program can be reduced to one instruction which doesn't work.
Every Solidarity center had piles and piles of paper ... everyone was
eating paper and a policeman was at the door.  Now all you have to do is
bend a disk.
                -- A member of the outlawed Polish trade union, Solidarity,
                   commenting on the benefits of using computers in support
                   of their movement.
Fellow programmer, greetings!  You are reading a letter which will bring
you luck and good fortune.  Just mail (or UUCP) ten copies of this letter
to ten of your friends.  Before you make the copies, send a chip or
other bit of hardware, and 100 lines of 'C' code to the first person on the
list given at the bottom of this letter.  Then delete their name and add
yours to the bottom of the list.

Don't break the chain!  Make the copy within 48 hours.  Gerald R. of San
Diego failed to send out his ten copies and woke the next morning to find
his job description changed to "COBOL programmer."  Fred A. of New York sent
out his ten copies and within a month had enough hardware and software to
build a Cray dedicated to playing Zork.  Martha H. of Chicago laughed at
this letter and broke the chain.  Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out in
her terminal and she now spends her days writing documentation for IBM PC's.

Don't break the chain!  Send out your ten copies today!
For example, if \thinmskip = 3mu, this makes \thickmskip = 6mu.  But if
you also want to use \skip12 for horizontal glue, whether in math mode or
not, the amount of skipping will be in points (e.g., 6pt).  The rule is
that glue in math mode varies with the size only when it is an \mskip;
when moving between an mskip and ordinary skip, the conversion factor
1mu=1pt is always used.  The meaning of '\mskip\skip12' and
'\baselineskip=\the\thickmskip' should be clear.
                -- Donald Knuth, TeX 82 -- Comparison with TeX80
[FORTRAN] will persist for some time -- probably for at least the next decade.
                -- T. Cheatham
Fortune suggests uses for YOUR favorite UNIX commands!

Try:
        [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?                        (C shell)
        ^How did the^sex change operation go?        (C shell)
        "How would you rate BSD vs. System V?
        %blow                                        (C shell)
        'thou shalt not mow thy grass at 8am'        (C shell)
        got a light?                                (C shell)
        !!:Say, what do you think of margarine?        (C shell)
        PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense        (Bourne shell)
        make love
        make "the perfect dry martini"
        man -kisses dog                                (anything up to 4.3BSD)
        i=Hoffa ; >$i; $i; rm $i; rm $i                (Bourne shell)
Good evening, gentlemen.  I am a HAL 9000 computer.  I became operational
at the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois, on January 11th, nineteen hundred
ninety-five.  My supervisor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a
song.  If you would like, I could sing it for you.
Hacker's Guide To Cooking:
2 pkg. cream cheese (the mushy white stuff in silver wrappings that doesn't
        really  come from Philadelphia after all; anyway, about 16 oz.)
1 tsp. vanilla  extract  (which is more alcohol than vanilla and pretty
        strong so this part you *GOTTA* measure)
1/4 cup sugar (but honey works fine too)
8 oz. Cool Whip (the fluffy stuff devoid of nutritional value that you
        can squirt all over your friends and lick off...)
"Blend all together until creamy with no lumps."  This is where you get to
        join(1) all the raw data in a big buffer and then filter it through
        merge(1m) with the -thick option, I mean, it starts out ultra lumpy
        and icky looking and you have to work hard to mix it.  Try an electric
        beater if you have a cat(1) that can climb wall(1s) to lick it off
        the ceiling(3m).
"Pour into a graham cracker crust..."  Aha, the BUGS section at last.  You
        just happened  to have a GCC sitting around under /etc/food, right?
        If not, don't panic(8), merely crumble a rand(3m) handful of innocent
        GCs into a suitable tempfile and mix in some melted butter.
"...and  refrigerate for an hour."  Leave the  recipe's  stdout in a fridge
        for 3.6E6 milliseconds while you work on cleaning up stderr, and
        by time out your cheesecake will be ready for stdin.
HEAD CRASH!!  FILES LOST!!
Details at 11.
I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate
of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ...
                -- F. H. Wales (1936)
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and
after expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government
of England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only
commenced, I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even
the offer of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the
reach of men who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...
        If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were
a mere triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the
execution of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some
justification might be found for the course which has been taken; but I
venture to assert that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will
ever publicly express an opinion that such a machine would be useless if
made, and that no man distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to
declare the construction of such machinery impracticable...
        And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed
by that exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its
advancement, which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I
think the application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
                -- Charles Babbage, "The Life of a Philosopher"
I have travelled the length and breadth of this country, and have talked with
the best people in business administration.  I can assure you on the highest
authority that data processing is a fad and won't last out the year.
                -- Editor in charge of business books at Prentice-Hall
                   publishers, responding to Karl V. Karlstrom (a junior
                   editor who had recommended a manuscript on the new
                   science of data processing), c. 1957
I went on to test the program in every way I could devise.  I strained
it to expose its weaknesses.  I ran it for high-mass stars and low-mass
stars, for stars born exceedingly hot and those born relatively cold.
I ran it assuming the superfluid currents beneath the crust to be
absent -- not because I wanted to know the answer, but because I had
developed an intuitive feel for the answer in this particular case.
Finally I got a run in which the computer showed the pulsar's
temperature to be less than absolute zero.  I had found an error.  I
chased down the error and fixed it.  Now I had improved the program to
the point where it would not run at all.
                -- George Greenstein, "Frozen Star: Of Pulsars, Black
                   Holes and the Fate of Stars"
I went to my first computer conference at the New York Hilton about 20
years ago.  When somebody there predicted the market for microprocessors
would eventually be in the millions, someone else said, "Where are they
all going to go? It's not like you need a computer in every doorknob!"

Years later, I went back to the same hotel.  I noticed the room keys had
been replaced by electronic cards you slide into slots in the doors.

There was a computer in every doorknob.
        -- Danny Hillis
I've looked at the listing, and it's right!
                -- Joel Halpern
If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape
at about 30 miles/second.
                -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming
If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.
If Machiavelli were a programmer, he'd have worked for AT&T.
If you're crossing the nation in a covered wagon, it's better to have four
strong oxen than 100 chickens.  Chickens are OK but we can't make them work
together yet.
                -- Ross Bott, Pyramid U.S., on multiprocessors at AUUGM '89.
**** IMPORTANT ****  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE ****

Due to a recent systems overload error your recent disk files have been
erased.  Therefore, in accordance with the UNIX Basic Manual, University of
Washington Geophysics Manual, and Bylaw 9(c), Section XII of the Revised
Federal Communications Act, you are being granted Temporary Disk Space,
valid for three months from this date, subject to the restrictions set forth
in Appendix II of the Federal Communications Handbook (18th edition) as well
as the references mentioned herein.  You may apply for more disk space at any
time.  Disk usage in or above the eighth percentile will secure the removal
of all restrictions and you will immediately receive your permanent disk
space.  Disk usage in the sixth or seventh percentile will not effect the
validity of your temporary disk space, though its expiration date may be
extended for a period of up to three months.  A score in the fifth percentile
or below will result in the withdrawal of your Temporary Disk space.
In every non-trivial program there is at least one bug.
        In the days when Sussman was a novice Minsky once came to him as he
sat hacking at the PDP-6.
        "What are you doing?", asked Minsky.
        "I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe."
        "Why is the net wired randomly?", inquired Minsky.
        "I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play".
        At this Minsky shut his eyes, and Sussman asked his teacher "Why do
you close your eyes?"
        "So that the room will be empty."
        At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.
        In the east there is a shark which is larger than all other fish.  It
changes into a bird whose winds are like clouds filling the sky.  When this
bird moves across the land, it brings a message from Corporate Headquarters.
This message it drops into the midst of the programmers, like a seagull
making its mark upon the beach.  Then the bird mounts on the wind and, with
the blue sky at its back, returns home.
        The novice programmer stares in wonder at the bird, for he understands
it not.  The average programmer dreads the coming of the bird, for he fears
its message.  The master programmer continues to work at his terminal, for he
does not know that the bird has come and gone.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
... in three to eight years we will have a machine with the general
intelligence of an average human being ... The machine will begin
to educate itself with fantastic speed.  In a few months it will be
at genius level and a few months after that its powers will be
incalculable ...
                -- Marvin Minsky, LIFE Magazine, November 20, 1970
        It appears that after his death, Albert Einstein found himself
working as the doorkeeper at the Pearly Gates.  One slow day, he
found that he had time to chat with the new entrants.  To the first one
he asked, "What's your IQ?"  The new arrival replied, "190".  They
discussed Einstein's theory of relativity for hours.  When the second
new arrival came, Einstein once again inquired as to the newcomer's
IQ.  The answer this time came "120".  To which Einstein replied, "Tell
me, how did the Cubs do this year?" and they proceeded to talk for half
an hour or so.  To the final arrival, Einstein once again posed the
question, "What's your IQ?".  Upon receiving the answer "70",
Einstein smiled and replied, "Got a minute to tell me about VMS 4.0?"
... it is easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the
sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all.  In other
words... their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their
superficial design flaws.
        -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, on the products
           of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.
It is possible by ingenuity and at the expense of clarity... {to do almost
anything in any language}.  However, the fact that it is possible to push
a pea up a mountain with your nose does not mean that this is a sensible
way of getting it there.  Each of these techniques of language extension
should be used in its proper place.
                -- Christopher Strachey
[It is] best to confuse only one issue at a time.
                -- K&R
        It took 300 years to build and by the time it was 10% built,
everyone knew it would be a total disaster. But by then the investment
was so big they felt compelled to go on. Since its completion, it has
cost a fortune to maintain and is still in danger of collapsing.
        There are at present no plans to replace it, since it was never
really needed in the first place.
        I expect every installation has its own pet software which is
analogous to the above.
                -- K.E. Iverson, on the Leaning Tower of Pisa
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

        ...
        The central Superhighway site called ``sunsite.unc.edu''
collapsed in the morning before the release.  News about the release had
been leaked by a German hacker group, Harmonious Hardware Hackers, who
had cracked into the author's computer earlier in the week.  They had
got the release date wrong by one day, and caused dozens of eager fans
to connect to the sunsite computer at the wrong time.  ``No computer can
handle that kind of stress,'' explained the mourning sunsite manager,
Erik Troan.  ``The spinning disks made the whole computer jump, and
finally it crashed through the floor to the basement.''  Luckily,
repairs were swift and the computer was working again the same evening.
``Thank God we were able to buy enough needles and thread and patch it
together without major problems.''  The site has also installed a new
throttle on the network pipe, allowing at most four clients at the same
time, thus making a new crash less likely.  ``The book is now in our
Incoming folder'', says Troan, ``and you're all welcome to come and get it.''
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

        ...
        The SAG is one of the major products developed via the Information
Superhighway, the brain child of Al Gore, US Vice President.  The ISHW
is being developed with massive govenment funding, since studies show
that it already has more than four hundred users, three years before
the first prototypes are ready.  Asked whether he was worried about the
foreign influence in an expensive American Dream, the vice president
said, ``Finland?  Oh, we've already bought them, but we haven't told
anyone yet.  They're great at building model airplanes as well.  And _I
can spell potato.''  House representatives are not mollified, however,
wanting to see the terms of the deal first, fearing another Alaska.
        Rumors about the SAG release have imbalanced the American stock
market for weeks.  Several major publishing houses reached an all time
low in the New York Stock Exchange, while publicly competing for the
publishing agreement with Mr. Wirzenius.  The negotiations did not work
out, tough.  ``Not enough dough,'' says the author, although spokesmen
at both Prentice-Hall and Playboy, Inc., claim the author was incapable
of expressing his wishes in a coherent form during face to face talks,
preferring to communicate via e-mail.  ``He kept muttering something
about jiffies and pegs,'' they say.
        ...
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
`Lasu' Releases SAG 0.3 -- Freeware Book Takes Paves For New World Order
by staff writers

Helsinki, Finland, August 6, 1995 -- In a surprise movement, Lars
``Lasu'' Wirzenius today released the 0.3 edition of the ``Linux System
Administrators' Guide''.  Already an industry non-classic, the new
version sports such overwhelming features as an overview of a Linux
system, a completely new climbing session in a tree, and a list of
acknowledgements in the introduction.
        The SAG, as the book is affectionately called, is one of the
corner stones of the Linux Documentation Project.  ``We at the LDP feel
that we wouldn't be able to produce anything at all, that all our work
would be futile, if it weren't for the SAG,'' says Matt Welsh, director
of LDP, Inc.
        The new version is still distributed freely, now even with a
copyright that allows modification.  ``More dough,'' explains the author.
Despite insistent rumors about blatant commercialization, the SAG will
probably remain free.  ``Even more dough,'' promises the author.
        The author refuses to comment on Windows NT and Windows 96
versions, claiming not to understand what the question is about.
Industry gossip, however, tells that Bill Gates, co-founder and CEO of
Microsoft, producer of the Windows series of video games, has visited
Helsinki several times this year.  Despite of this, Linus Torvalds,
author of the word processor Linux with which the SAG was written, is
not worried.  ``We'll have world domination real soon now, anyway,'' he
explains, ``for 1.4 at the lastest.''
        ...
                -- Lars Wirzenius <wirzeniu@cs.helsinki.fi>
                   [comp.os.linux.announce]
Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code.
        -- Dave Olson
Line Printer paper is strongest at the perforations.
Mac Beer: At first, came only a 16-oz. can, but now comes in a 32-oz.
can. Considered by many to be a "light" beer. All the cans look
identical. When you take one from the fridge, it opens itself. The
ingredients list is not on the can. If you call to ask about the
ingredients, you are told that "you don't need to know." A notice on the
side reminds you to drag your empties to the trashcan.
Meantime, in the slums below Ronnie's Ranch, Cynthia feels as if some one
has made voodoo boxen of her and her favorite backplanes. On this fine
moonlit night, some horrible persona has been jabbing away at, dragging
magnets over, and surging these voodoo boxen.  Fortunately, they seem to
have gotten a bit bored and fallen asleep, for it looks like Cynthia may
get to go home.  However, she has made note to quickly put together a totem
of sweaty, sordid static straps, random bits of wire, flecks of once meaniful
oxide, bus grant cards, gummy worms, and some bits of old pdp backplane to
hang above the machine room.  This totem must be blessed by the old and wise
venerable god of unibus at once, before the idolatization of vme, q and pc
bus drive him to bitter revenge.  Alas, if this fails, and the voodoo boxen
aren't destroyed,  there may be more than worms in the apple. Next, the
arrival of voodoo optico transmitigational magneto killer paramecium, capable
of teleporting from cable to cable, screen to screen, ear to ear and hoof
to mouth...
Message from Our Sponsor on ttyTV at 13:58 ...
Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.
        Mr. Jones related an incident from "some time back" when IBM Canada
Ltd. of Markham, Ont., ordered some parts from a new supplier in Japan.  The
company noted in its order that acceptable quality allowed for 1.5 per cent
defects (a fairly high standard in North America at the time).
        The Japanese sent the order, with a few parts packaged separately in
plastic. The accompanying letter said: "We don't know why you want 1.5 per
cent defective parts, but for your convenience, we've packed them separately."
                -- Excerpted from an article in The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
MVS Air Lines:
The passengers all gather in the hangar, watching hundreds of technicians
check the flight systems on this immense, luxury aircraft. This plane has at
least 10 engines and seats over 1,000 passengers; bigger models in the fleet
can have more engines than anyone can count and fly even more passengers
than there are on Earth. It is claimed to cost less per passenger mile to
operate these humungous planes than any other aircraft ever built, unless
you personally have to pay for the ticket. All the passengers scramble
aboard, as do the 200 technicians needed to keep it from crashing. The pilot
takes his place up in the glass cockpit. He guns the engines, only to
realise that the plane is too big to get through the hangar doors.
Nearly every complex solution to a programming problem that I
have looked at carefully has turned out to be wrong.
                -- Brent Welch
Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time.
                -- D. Gries
*** NEWS FLASH ***

Archeologists find PDP-11/24 inside brain cavity of fossilized dinosaur
skeleton!  Many Digital users fear that RSX-11M may be even more primitive
than DEC admits.  Price adjustments at 11:00.
No line available at 300 baud.
No man is an island if he's on at least one mailing list.
Norbert Weiner was the subject of many dotty professor stories.  Weiner was, in
fact, very absent minded.  The following story is told about him: when they
moved from Cambridge to Newton his wife, knowing that he would be absolutely
useless on the move, packed him off to MIT while she directed the move.  Since
she was certain that he would forget that they had moved and where they had
moved to, she wrote down the new address on a piece of paper, and gave it to
him.  Naturally, in the course of the day, an insight occurred to him.  He
reached in his pocket, found a piece of paper on which he furiously scribbled
some notes, thought it over, decided there was a fallacy in his idea, and
threw the piece of paper away.  At the end of the day he went home (to the
old address in Cambridge, of course).  When he got there he realized that they
had moved, that he had no idea where they had moved to, and that the piece of
paper with the address was long gone.  Fortunately inspiration struck.  There
was a young girl on the street and he conceived the idea of asking her where
he had moved to, saying, "Excuse me, perhaps you know me.  I'm Norbert Weiner
and we've just moved.  Would you know where we've moved to?"  To which the
young girl replied, "Yes, Daddy, Mommy thought you would forget."
        The capper to the story is that I asked his daughter (the girl in the
story) about the truth of the story, many years later.  She said that it wasn't
quite true -- that he never forgot who his children were!  The rest of it,
however, was pretty close to what actually happened...
                -- Richard Harter
        Now she speaks rapidly.  "Do you know *why* you want to program?"
        He shakes his head.  He hasn't the faintest idea.
        "For the sheer *joy* of programming!" she cries triumphantly.  
"The joy of the parent, the artist, the craftsman.  "You take a program,
born weak and impotent as a dimly-realized solution.  You nurture the
program and guide it down the right path, building, watching it grow ever
stronger.  Sometimes you paint with tiny strokes, a keystroke added here,
a keystroke changed there."  She sweeps her arm in a wide arc.  "And other
times you savage whole *blocks* of code, ripping out the program's very
*essence*, then beginning anew.  But always building, creating, filling the
program with your own personal stamp, your own quirks and nuances.  Watching
the program grow stronger, patching it when it crashes, until finally it can
stand alone -- proud, powerful, and perfect.  This is the programmer's finest
hour!"  Softly at first, then louder, he hears the strains of a Sousa march.
"This ... this is your canvas! your clay!  Go forth and create a masterwork!"
        On the other hand, the TCP camp also has a phrase for OSI people.
There are lots of phrases.  My favorite is `nitwit' -- and the rationale
is the Internet philosophy has always been you have extremely bright,
non-partisan researchers look at a topic, do world-class research, do
several competing implementations, have a bake-off, determine what works
best, write it down and make that the standard.
        The OSI view is entirely opposite.  You take written contributions
from a much larger community, you put the contributions in a room of
committee people with, quite honestly, vast political differences and all
with their own political axes to grind, and four years later you get
something out, usually without it ever having been implemented once.
        So the Internet perspective is implement it, make it work well,
then write it down, whereas the OSI perspective is to agree on it, write
it down, circulate it a lot and now we'll see if anyone can implement it
after it's an international standard and every vendor in the world is
committed to it.  One of those processes is backwards, and I don't think
it takes a Lucasian professor of physics at Oxford to figure out which.
                -- Marshall Rose, "The Pied Piper of OSI"
Only the fittest survive. The vanquished acknowledge their unworthiness by
placing a classified ad with the ritual phrase "must sell -- best offer,"
and thereafter dwell in infamy, relegated to discussing gas mileage and lawn
food.  But if successful, you join the elite sodality that spends hours
unpurifying the dialect of the tribe with arcane talk of bits and bytes, RAMS
and ROMS, hard disks and baud rates. Are you obnoxious, obsessed?  It's a
modest price to pay.  For you have tapped into the same awesome primal power
that produces credit-card billing errors and lost plane reservations.  Hail,
postindustrial warrior, subduer of Bounceoids, pride of the cosmos, keeper of
the silicone creed: Computo, ergo sum.  The force is with you -- at 110 volts.
May your RAMS be fruitful and multiply.
                -- Curt Suplee, "Smithsonian", 4/83
Our documentation manager was showing her 2 year old son around the office.
He was introduced to me, at which time he pointed out that we were both
holding bags of popcorn.  We were both holding bottles of juice.  But only
*__he* had a lollipop.
        He asked his mother, "Why doesn't HE have a lollipop?"
        Her reply: "He can have a lollipop any time he wants to.  That's
what it means to be a programmer."
Rattling around the back of my head is a disturbing image of something I
saw at the airport ... Now I'm remembering, those giant piles of computer
magazines right next to "People" and "Time" in the airport store.  Does
it bother anyone else that half the world is being told all of our hard-won
secrets of computer technology?  Remember how all the lawyers cried foul
when "How to Avoid Probate" was published?  Are they taking no-fault
insurance lying down?  No way!  But at the current rate it won't be long
before there are stacks of the "Transactions on Information Theory" at the
A&P checkout counters.  Who's going to be impressed with us electrical
engineers then?  Are we, as the saying goes, giving away the store?
                -- Robert W. Lucky, IEEE President
Real computer scientists despise the idea of actual hardware.  Hardware has
limitations, software doesn't.  It's a real shame that Turing machines are
so poor at I/O.
Real software engineers don't like the idea of some inexplicable and
greasy hardware several aisles away that may stop working at any
moment.  They have a great distrust of hardware people, and wish that
systems could be virtual at *___all* levels.  They would like personal
computers (you know no one's going to trip over something and kill your
DFA in mid-transit), except that they need 8 megabytes to run their
Correctness Verification Aid packages.
Scientists were preparing an experiment to ask the ultimate question.
They had worked for months gathering one each of every computer that was
built. Finally the big day was at hand.  All the computers were linked
together.  They asked the question, "Is there a God?".  Lights started
blinking, flashing and blinking some more.  Suddenly, there was a loud
crash, and a bolt of lightning came down from the sky, struck the
computers, and welded all the connections permanently together.  "There
is now", came the reply.
Seems a computer engineer, a systems analyst, and a programmer were
driving down a mountain when the brakes gave out.  They screamed down the
mountain, gaining speed, but finally managed to grind to a halt, more by
luck than anything else, just inches from a thousand foot drop to jagged
rocks.  They all got out of the car:
        The computer engineer said, "I think I can fix it."
        The systems analyst said, "No, no, I think we should take it
into town and have a specialist look at it."
        The programmer said, "OK, but first I think we should get back
in and see if it does it again."
                                SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT

Title:                Are Frogs Turing Compatible?
Speaker:        Don "The Lion" Knuth

                                ABSTRACT
        Several researchers at the University of Louisiana have been studying
the computing power of various amphibians, frogs in particular.  The problem
of frog computability has become a critical issue that ranges across all areas
of computer science.  It has been shown that anything computable by an amphi-
bian community in a fixed-size pond is computable by a frog in the same-size
pond -- that is to say, frogs are Pond-space complete.  We will show that
there is a log-space, polywog-time reduction from any Turing machine program
to a frog.  We will suggest these represent a proper subset of frog-computable
functions.
        This is not just a let's-see-how-far-those-frogs-can-jump seminar.
This is only for hardcore amphibian-computation people and their colleagues.
        Refreshments will be served.  Music will be played.
Shopping at this grody little computer store at the Galleria for a
totally awwwesome Apple.  Fer suuure.  I mean Apples are nice you know?
But, you know, there is this cute guy who works there and HE says that
VAX's are cooler!  I mean I don't really know, you know? He says that he
has this totally tubular VAX at home and it's stuffed with memory-to-the-max!
Right, yeah.  And he wants to take me home to show it to me.  Oh My God!
I'm suuure.  Gag me with a Prime!
So you see Antonio, why worry about one little core dump, eh?  In reality
all core dumps happen at the same instant, so the core dump you will have
tomorrow, why, it already happened.  You see, it's just a little universal
recursive joke which threads our lives through the infinite potential of
the instant.  So go to sleep, Antonio, your thread could break any moment
and cast you out of the safe security of the instant into the dark void of
eternity, the anti-time.  So go to sleep...
Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you
only have to climb it once.
        Something mysterious is formed, born in the silent void.  Waiting
alone and unmoving, it is at once still and yet in constant motion.  It is
the source of all programs.  I do not know its name, so I will call it the
Tao of Programming.
        If the Tao is great, then the operating system is great.  If the
operating system is great, then the compiler is great.  If the compiler is
greater, then the applications is great.  The user is pleased and there is
harmony in the world.
        The Tao of Programming flows far away and returns on the wind of
morning.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Suppose for a moment that the automobile industry had developed at the same
rate as computers and over the same period:  how much cheaper and more
efficient would the current models be?  If you have not already heard the
analogy, the answer is shattering.  Today you would be able to buy a
Rolls-Royce for $2.75, it would do three million miles to the gallon, and
it would deliver enough power to drive the Queen Elizabeth II.  And if you
were interested in miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on
a pinhead.
                -- Christopher Evans
System going down at 1:45 this afternoon for disk crashing.
System going down at 5 this afternoon to install scheduler bug.
The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer.
                -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike

        [If I can read my notes from the Ask Dr. Mike session at Baycon, I
         believe he added that the beer-cooled computer uses "Forget Only
         Memory".  Ed.]
The best way to accelerate a Macintoy is at 9.8 meters per second per second.
The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a
digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top
of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean
the Buddha -- which is to demean oneself.
                -- Robert Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
The connection between the language in which we think/program and the problems
and solutions we can imagine is very close.  For this reason restricting
language features with the intent of eliminating programmer errors is at best
dangerous.
                -- Bjarne Stroustrup
The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at
least until we've finished building it.
The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity
-- the rest is overhead for the operating system.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #10: SIMPLE

SIMPLE is an acronym for Sheer Idiot's Monopurpose Programming Language
Environment.  This language, developed at the Hanover College for
Technological Misfits, was designed to make it impossible to write code
with errors in it.  The statements are, therefore, confined to BEGIN,
END and STOP.  No matter how you arrange the statements, you can't make
a syntax error.  Programs written in SIMPLE do nothing useful.  Thus
they achieve the results of programs written in other languages without
the tedious, frustrating process of testing and debugging.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #13: SLOBOL

SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it, of its compiler.
Although many compilers allow you to take a coffee break while they
compile, SLOBOL compilers allow you to travel to Bolivia to pick the
coffee.  Forty-three programmers are known to have died of boredom
sitting at their terminals while waiting for a SLOBOL program to
compile.  Weary SLOBOL programmers often turn to a related (but
infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #15 -- DOGO

        Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Obedience Training, DOGO
DOGO heralds a new era of computer-literate pets.  DOGO commands include
SIT, STAY, HEEL, and ROLL OVER.  An innovative feature of DOGO is "puppy
graphics", a small cocker spaniel that occasionally leaves a deposit as
it travels across the screen.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #17: SARTRE

Named after the late existential philosopher, SARTRE is an extremely
unstructured language.  Statements in SARTRE have no purpose; they just are.
Thus SARTRE programs are left to define their own functions. SARTRE
programmers tend to be boring and depressed, and are no fun at parties.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #2: RENE

Named after the famous French philosopher and mathematician Rene DesCartes,
RENE is a language used for artificial intelligence.  The language is being
developed at the Chicago Center of Machine Politics and Programming under a
grant from the Jane Byrne Victory Fund.  A spokesman described the language
as "Just as great as dis [sic] city of ours."

The center is very pleased with progress to date.  They say they have almost
succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However, sources inside the
organization say that each time the machine fails to think it ceases to exist.
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #8: LAIDBACK

This language was developed at the Marin County Center for T'ai Chi,
Mellowness and Computer Programming (now defunct), as an alternative to
the more intense atmosphere in nearby Silicon Valley.

The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs while
they worked.  Unfortunately few programmers could survive there because the
center outlawed Pizza and Coca-Cola in favor of Tofu and Perrier.

Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle and
non-threatening language since all error messages are in lower case.  For
example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the message:

        "i hate to bother you, but i just can't relate to that.  can
        you find the time to try it again?"
The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.
The nicest thing about the Alto is that it doesn't run faster at night.
The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants;
instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the
variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead
of the longer form of the constant.  This also simplifies modifying the
program, should the value of pi change.
                -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
        The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to
get results.
        The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy
problems in order to get results.
        The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at
toy problems in order to get results.
        The salesman and the system analyst took off to spend a weekend in the
forest, hunting bear.  They'd rented a cabin, and, when they got there, took
their backpacks off and put them inside.  At which point the salesman turned
to his friend, and said, "You unpack while I go and find us a bear."
        Puzzled, the analyst finished unpacking and then went and sat down
on the porch.  Soon he could hear rustling noises in the forest.  The noises
got nearer -- and louder -- and suddenly there was the salesman, running like
hell across the clearing toward the cabin, pursued by one of the largest and
most ferocious grizzly bears the analyst had ever seen.
        "Open the door!", screamed the salesman.
        The analyst whipped open the door, and the salesman ran to the door,
suddenly stopped, and stepped aside.  The bear, unable to stop, continued
through the door and into the cabin.  The salesman slammed the door closed
and grinned at his friend.  "Got him!", he exclaimed, "now, you skin this
one and I'll go rustle us up another!"
The so-called "desktop metaphor" of today's workstations is instead an
"airplane-seat" metaphor.  Anyone who has shuffled a lap full of papers
while seated between two portly passengers will recognize the difference --
one can see only a very few things at once.
                -- Fred Brooks
        The wise programmer is told about the Tao and follows it.  The average
programmer is told about the Tao and searches for it.  The foolish programmer
is told about the Tao and laughs at it.  If it were not for laughter, there
would be no Tao.
        The highest sounds are the hardest to hear.  Going forward is a way to
retreat.  Greater talent shows itself late in life.  Even a perfect program
still has bugs.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
The work [of software development] is becoming far easier (i.e. the tools
we're using work at a higher level, more removed from machine, peripheral
and operating system imperatives) than it was twenty years ago, and because
of this, knowledge of the internals of a system may become less accessible.
We may be able to dig deeper holes, but unless we know how to build taller
ladders, we had best hope that it does not rain much.
                -- Paul Licker
        There once was a man who went to a computer trade show.  Each day as
he entered, the man told the guard at the door:
        "I am a great thief, renowned for my feats of shoplifting.  Be
forewarned, for this trade show shall not escape unplundered."
        This speech disturbed the guard greatly, because there were millions
of dollars of computer equipment inside, so he watched the man carefully.
But the man merely wandered from booth to booth, humming quietly to himself.
        When the man left, the guard took him aside and searched his clothes,
but nothing was to be found.
        On the next day of the trade show, the man returned and chided the
guard saying: "I escaped with a vast booty yesterday, but today will be even
better."  So the guard watched him ever more closely, but to no avail.
        On the final day of the trade show, the guard could restrain his
curiosity no longer. "Sir Thief," he said, "I am so perplexed, I cannot live
in peace.  Please enlighten me.  What is it that you are stealing?"
        The man smiled.  "I am stealing ideas," he said.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
        There was once a programmer who worked upon microprocessors.  "Look at
how well off I am here," he said to a mainframe programmer who came to visit,
"I have my own operating system and file storage device.  I do not have to
share my resources with anyone.  The software is self-consistent and
easy-to-use.  Why do you not quit your present job and join me here?"
        The mainframe programmer then began to describe his system to his
friend, saying: "The mainframe sits like an ancient sage meditating in the
midst of the data center.  Its disk drives lie end-to-end like a great ocean
of machinery.  The software is a multi-faceted as a diamond and as convoluted
as a primeval jungle.  The programs, each unique, move through the system
like a swift-flowing river.  That is why I am happy where I am."
        The microcomputer programmer, upon hearing this, fell silent.  But the
two programmers remained friends until the end of their days.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer (not advised)
are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse
at are called software.
                -- Levitating Trains and Kamikaze Genes: Technological
                   Literacy for the 1990's.
To communicate is the beginning of understanding.
                -- AT&T
Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings:

        (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.
         (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!
         (8) I'm on the committee and I *still* don't know what the hell
             #pragma is for.
         (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too
             hard to write.
         (6) Them bats is smart; they use radar.
         (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in
             here?
         (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"
         (3) Ha, ha, I can't believe they're actually going to adopt this
             sucker.
         (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.
         (1) Gee, I wish we hadn't backed down on 'noalias'.
Unix is a Registered Bell of AT&T Trademark Laboratories.
                -- Donn Seeley
        We don't claim Interactive EasyFlow is good for anything -- if you
think it is, great, but it's up to you to decide.  If Interactive EasyFlow
doesn't work: tough.  If you lose a million because Interactive EasyFlow
messes up, it's you that's out the million, not us.  If you don't like this
disclaimer: tough.  We reserve the right to do the absolute minimum provided
by law, up to and including nothing.
        This is basically the same disclaimer that comes with all software
packages, but ours is in plain English and theirs is in legalese.
        We didn't really want to include any disclaimer at all, but our
lawyers insisted.  We tried to ignore them but they threatened us with the
attack shark at which point we relented.
                -- Haven Tree Software Limited, "Interactive EasyFlow"
        When managers hold endless meetings, the programmers write games.
When accountants talk of quarterly profits, the development budget is about
to be cut.  When senior scientists talk blue sky, the clouds are about to
roll in.
        Truly, this is not the Tao of Programming.
        When managers make commitments, game programs are ignored.  When
accountants make long-range plans, harmony and order are about to be restored.
When senior scientists address the problems at hand, the problems will soon
be solved.
        Truly, this is the Tao of Programming.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
Windows 3.1 Beer: The world's most popular. Comes in a 16-oz. can that
looks a lot like Mac Beer's. Requires that you already own a DOS Beer.  
Claims that it allows you to drink several DOS Beers simultaneously, but
in reality you can only drink a few of them, very slowly, especially
slowly if you are drinking the Windows Beer at the same time.  Sometimes,
for apparently no reason, a can of Windows Beer will explode when you
open it.
Windows 95 Beer: A lot of people have taste-tested it and claim it's
wonderful. The can looks a lot like Mac Beer's can, but tastes more like
Windows 3.1 Beer. It comes in 32-oz.  cans, but when you look inside, the
cans only have 16 oz. of beer in them. Most people will probably keep
drinking Windows 3.1 Beer until their friends try Windows 95 Beer and say
they like it. The ingredients list, when you look at the small print, has
some of the same ingredients that come in DOS beer, even though the
manufacturer claims that this is an entirely new brew.
Windows Airlines:
The terminal is very neat and clean, the attendants all very attractive, the
pilots very capable. The fleet of Learjets the carrier operates is immense.
Your jet takes off without a hitch, pushing above the clouds, and at 20,000
feet it explodes without warning.
X windows:
        It's not how slow you make it.  It's how you make it slow.
        The windowing system preferred by masochists 3 to 1.
        Built to take on the world... and lose!
        Don't try it 'til you've knocked it.
        Power tools for Power Fools.
        Putting new limits on productivity.
        The closer you look, the cruftier we look.
        Design by counterexample.
        A new level of software disintegration.
        No hardware is safe.
        Do your time.
        Rationalization, not realization.
        Old-world software cruftsmanship at its finest.
        Gratuitous incompatibility.
        Your mother.
        THE user interference management system.
        You can't argue with failure.
        You haven't died 'til you've used it.

The environment of today... tomorrow!
        X windows.
X windows:
        You'd better sit down.
        Don't laugh.  It could be YOUR thesis project.
        Why do it right when you can do it wrong?
        Live the nightmare.
        Our bugs run faster.
        When it absolutely, positively HAS to crash overnight.
        There ARE no rules.
        You'll wish we were kidding.
        Everything you never wanted in a window system.  And more.
        Dissatisfaction guaranteed.
        There's got to be a better way.
        The next best thing to keypunching.
        Leave the thrashing to us.
        We wrote the book on core dumps.
        Even your dog won't like it.
        More than enough rope.
        Garbage at your fingertips.

Incompatibility.  Shoddiness.  Uselessness.
        X windows.
You can now buy more gates with less specifications than at any other time
in history.
                -- Kenneth Parker
You're at Witt's End.
Breakpoint 1, main (argc=1, argv=0xbffffc40) at main.c:29
29   printf ("Welcome to GNU Hell!\n");
                -- "GNU Libtool documentation"
      _
  _  / \                           o
/ \ | |                       o           o                 o
| | | |   _                        o    o                       o       o
| \_| |  / \                      o                            o         o
  \__  |  | |                  o                              o
     | |  | |                 ______          ~~~~                    _____
     | |__/ |               / ___--\\ ~~~                 __/_____\__
     |        ___/              / \--\\  \\   \ ___        <__  x x  __\
     | |             / /\\  \\             ))         \           (  "         )
     | |     -------(---->>(@)--(@)-------\----------< >-----------
     | |   //            | | //__________  /           \        ____)        (___          \\
     | |  //          __|_|         ( --------- )            //// ______ /////\           \\
         //          |    (  \ ______  /           <<<< <>-----<<<<< /            \\
        //         (     )                      / /          \` \__     \\
       //-------------------------------------------------------------\\

Every now and then, when your life gets complicated and the weasels start
closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then
drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at
top volume and at least a pint of ether.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
If anyone has seen my dog, please contact me at x2883 as soon as possible.
We're offering a substantial reward.  He's a sable collie, with three legs,
blind in his left eye, is missing part of his right ear and the tip of his
tail.  He's been recently fixed.  Answers to "Lucky".
If you have received a letter inviting you to speak at the dedication of a
new cat hospital, and you hate cats, your reply, declining the invitation,
does not necessarily have to cover the full range of your emotions.  You must
make it clear that you will not attend, but you do not have to let fly at cats.
The writer of the letter asked a civil question; attack cats, then, only if
you can do so with good humor, good taste, and in such a way that your answer
will be courteous as well as responsive.  Since you are out of sympathy with
cats, you may quite properly give this as a reason for not appearing at the
dedication ceremonies of a cat hospital.  But bear in mind that your opinion
of cats was not sought, only your services as a speaker.  Try to keep things
straight.
                -- Strunk and White, "The Elements of Style"
It was Penguin lust... at its ugliest.
=======================================================================
||                                                                     ||
|| The FORTUNE-COOKIE program is soon to be a Major Motion Picture!  ||
||           Watch for it at a theater near you next summer!             ||
||                                                                     ||
=======================================================================
        Francis Ford Coppola presents a George Lucas Production:
                        "Fortune Cookie"
        Directed by Steven Spielberg.
        Starring  Harrison Ford  Bette Midler  Marlon Brando
                  Christopher Reeves  Marilyn Chambers
                  and Bob Hope as "The Waiter".
        Costumes Designed by Pierre Cardin.
        Special Effects by Timothy Leary.
        Read the Warner paperback!
        Invoke the Unix program!
        Soundtrack on XTC Records.
        In 70mm and Dolby Stereo at selected theaters and terminal
                centers.
                Answers to Last Fortune's Questions:

        (1) None.  (Moses didn't have an ark).
        (2) Your mother, by the pigeonhole principle.
        (3) I don't know.
        (4) Who cares?
        (5) 6 (or maybe 4, or else 3).  Mr. Alfred J. Duncan of Podunk,
            Montana, submitted an interesting solution to Problem 5.
        (6) There is an interesting solution to this problem on page 1029 of my
            book, which you can pick up for $23.95 at finer bookstores and
            bathroom supply outlets (or 99 cents at the table in front of
            Papyrus Books).
Did you know about the -o option of the fortune program?  It makes a
selection from a set of offensive and/or obscene fortunes.  Why not
try it, and see how offended you are?  The -a ("all") option will
select a fortune at random from either the offensive or inoffensive
set, and it is suggested that "fortune -a" is the command that you
should have in your .profile or .cshrc. file.
This fortune cookie program out of order.  For those in desperate need,
please use the program "________randchar".  This program generates random
characters, and, given enough time, will undoubtedly come up with
something profound.  It will, however, take it no time at all to be
more profound than THIS program has ever been.
This fortune was brought to you by the people at Hewlett-Packard.
When you're not looking at it, this fortune is written in FORTRAN.
A blind rabbit was hopping through the woods, tripping over logs and crashing
into trees.  At the same time, a blind snake was slithering through the same
forest, with identical results.  They chanced to collide head-on in a clearing.
        "Please excuse me, sir, I'm blind and I bumped into you accidentally,"
apologized the rabbit.
        "That's quite all right," replied the snake, "I have the same
problem!"
        "All my life I've been wondering what I am," said the rabbit, "Do
you think you could help me find out?"
        "I'll try," said the snake.  He gently coiled himself around the
rabbit. "Well, you're covered with soft fur, you have a little fluffy tail
and long ears.  You're... hmmm... you're probably a bunny rabbit!"
        "Great!" said the rabbit.  "Thanks, I really owe you one!"
        "Well," replied the snake, "I don't know what I am, either.  Do you
suppose you could try and tell me?"
        The rabbit ran his paws all over the snake.  "Well, you're low, cold
and slimey..."  And, as he ran one paw underneath the snake, "and you have
no balls.  You must be an attorney!"
A certain old cat had made his home in the alley behind Gabe's bar for some
time, subsisting on scraps and occasional handouts from the bartender.  One
evening, emboldened by hunger, the feline attempted to follow Gabe through
the back door.  Regrettably, only the his body had made it through when
the door slammed shut, severing the cat's tail at its base.  This proved too
much for the old creature, who looked sadly at Gabe and expired on the spot.
        Gabe put the carcass back out in the alley and went back to business.
The mandatory closing time arrived and Gabe was in the process of locking up
after the last customers had gone.  Approaching the back door he was startled
to see an apparition of the old cat mournfully holding its severed tail out,
silently pleading for Gabe to put the tail back on its corpse so that it could
go on to the kitty afterworld complete.
        Gabe shook his head sadly and said to the ghost, "I can't.  You know
the law -- no retailing spirits after 2:00 AM."
        A New York City judge ruled that if two women behind you at the
movies insist on discussing the probable outcome of the film, you have the
right to turn around and blow a Bronx cheer at them.
According to Kentucky state law, every person must take a bath at least
once a year.
An English judge, growing weary of the barrister's long-winded summation,
leaned over the bench and remarked, "I've heard your arguments, Sir
Geoffrey, and I'm none the wiser!" Sir Geoffrey responded, "That may be,
Milord, but at least you're better informed!"
[District Attorneys] learn in District Attorney School that there are
two sure-fire ways to get a lot of favorable publicity:

(1) Go down and raid all the lockers in the local high school and
    confiscate 53 marijuana cigarettes and put them in a pile and hold
    a press conference where you announce that they have a street value
    of $850 million.  These raids never fail, because ALL high schools,
    including brand-new, never-used ones, have at least 53 marijuana
    cigarettes in the lockers.  As far as anyone can tell, the locker
    factory puts them there.
(2) Raid an "adult book store" and hold a press conference where you
    announce you are charging the owner with 850 counts of being a
    piece of human sleaze.  This also never fails, because you always
    get a conviction.  A juror at a pornography trial is not about to
    state for the record that he finds nothing obscene about a movie
    where actors engage in sexual activities with live snakes and a
    fire extinguisher.  He is going to convict the bookstore owner, and
    vote for the death penalty just to make sure nobody gets the wrong
    impression.
                -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
For three years, the young attorney had been taking his brief
vacations at this country inn.  The last time he'd finally managed an
affair with the innkeeper's daughter.  Looking forward to an exciting
few days, he dragged his suitcase up the stairs of the inn, then stopped
short.  There sat his lover with an infant on her lap!
        "Helen, why didn't you write when you learned you were pregnant?"
he cried.  "I would have rushed up here, we could have gotten married,
and the baby would have my name!"
        "Well," she said, "when my folks found out about my condition,
we sat up all night talkin' and talkin' and finally decided it would be
better to have a bastard in the family than a lawyer."
Fortune Documents the Great Legal Decisions:

We think that we may take judicial notice of the fact that the term "bitch"
may imply some feeling of endearment when applied to a female of the canine
species but that it is seldom, if ever, so used when applied to a female
of the human race. Coming as it did, reasonably close on the heels of two
revolver shots directed at the person of whom it was probably used, we think
it carries every reasonable implication of ill-will toward that person.
                -- Smith v. Moran, 193 N.E. 2d 466.
Fortune's Law of the Week (this week, from Kentucky):
        No female shall appear in a bathing suit at any airport in this
State unless she is escorted by two officers or unless she is armed
with a club.  The provisions of this statute shall not apply to females
weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it
apply to female horses.
Fortune's nomination for All-Time Champion and Protector of Youthful
Morals goes to Representative Clare E. Hoffman of Michigan.  During an
impassioned House debate over a proposed bill to "expand oyster and
clam research," a sharp-eared informant transcribed the following
exchange between our hero and Rep. John D. Dingell, also of Michigan.

DINGELL: There are places in the world at the present time where we are
         having to artificially propagate oysters and clams.
HOFFMAN: You mean the oysters I buy are not nature's oysters?
DINGELL: They may or may not be natural.  The simple fact of the matter
         is that female oysters through their living habits cast out
         large amounts of seed and the male oysters cast out large
         amounts of fertilization ...
HOFFMAN: Wait a minute!  I do not want to go into that.  There are many
         teenagers who read The Congressional Record.
Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #25:

Q:  You say you had three men punching at you, kicking you, raping you,
    and you didn't scream?
A:  No ma'am.
Q:  Does that mean you consented?
A:  No, ma'am.  That means I was unconscious.
Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #32:

Q:  Do you know how far pregnant you are right now?
A:  I will be three months November 8th.
Q:  Apparently then, the date of conception was August 8th?
A:  Yes.
Q:  What were you and your husband doing at that time?
Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #37:

Q:  Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
A:  No.
Q:  What was he doing with the dog's ears?
A:  Picking them up in the air.
Q:  Where was the dog at this time?
A:  Attached to the ears.
"Gentlemen of the jury," said the defense attorney, now beginning
to warm to his summation, "the real question here before you is, shall this
beautiful young woman be forced to languish away her loveliest years in a
dark prison cell?  Or shall she be set free to return to her cozy little
apartment at 4134 Mountain Ave. -- there to spend her lonely, loveless hours
in her boudoir, lying beside her little Princess phone, 962-7873?"
"Hi, I'm Preston A. Mantis, president of Consumers Retail Law Outlet. As you
can see by my suit and the fact that I have all these books of equal height
on the shelves behind me, I am a trained legal attorney. Do you have a car
or a job?  Do you ever walk around?  If so, you probably have the makings of
an excellent legal case.  Although of course every case is different, I
would definitely say that based on my experience and training, there's no
reason why you shouldn't come out of this thing with at least a cabin
cruiser.

"Remember, at the Preston A. Mantis Consumers Retail Law Outlet, our motto
is: 'It is very difficult to disprove certain kinds of pain.'"
                -- Dave Barry, "Pain and Suffering"
In Blythe, California, a city ordinance declares that a person must own
at least two cows before he can wear cowboy boots in public.
In West Union, Ohio, No married man can go flying without his spouse
along at any time, unless he has been married for more than 12 months.
It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood
Boulevard at one time.
It is Texas law that when two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing,
each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other
has gone.
Kansas state law requires pedestrians crossing the highways at night to
wear tail lights.
Men often believe -- or pretend -- that the "Law" is something sacred, or
at least a science -- an unfounded assumption very convenient to governments.
        Old Barlow was a crossing-tender at a junction where an express train
demolished an automobile and its occupants. Being the chief witness, his
testimony was vitally important. Barlow explained that the night was dark,
and he waved his lantern frantically, but the driver of the car paid
no attention to the signal.
        The railroad company won the case, and the president of the company
complimented the old-timer for his story. "You did wonderfully," he said,
"I was afraid you would waver under testimony."
        "No sir," exclaimed the senior, "but I sure was afraid that durned
lawyer was gonna ask me if my lantern was lit."
Once he had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his
roars.  Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the
forlorn pastors who belabor halfwits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind
the railroad yards."
                -- H.L. Mencken, writing of William Jennings Bryan,
                   counsel for the supporters of Tennessee's anti-evolution
                   law at the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in 1925.
                        Pittsburgh driver's test

(2) A traffic light at an intersection changes from yellow to red, you should

        (a) stop immediately.
        (b) proceed slowly through the intersection.
        (c) blow the horn.
        (d) floor it.

The correct answer is (d). If you said (c), you were almost right, so
give yourself a half point.
                        Pittsburgh driver's test

(3) When stopped at an intersection you should

        (a) watch the traffic light for your lane.
        (b) watch for pedestrians crossing the street.
        (c) blow the horn.
        (d) watch the traffic light for the intersecting street.

The correct answer is (d). You need to start as soon as the traffic light
for the intersecting street turns yellow. Answer (c) is worth a half point.
                        Pittsburgh driver's test

(5) Your car's horn is a vital piece of safety equipment.  How often should
you test it?

        (a) once a year.
        (b) once a month.
        (c) once a day.
        (d) once an hour.

The correct answer is (d). You should test your car's horn at least once
every hour, and more often at night or in residential neighborhoods.
Some men are heterosexual, and some are bisexual, and some men don't think
about sex at all... they become lawyers.
                -- Woody Allen
The Worst Jury
        A murder trial at Manitoba in February 1978 was well advanced, when
one juror revealed that he was completely deaf and did not have the
remotest clue what was happening.
        The judge, Mr. Justice Solomon, asked him if he had heard any
evidence at all and, when there was no reply, dismissed him.
        The excitement which this caused was only equalled when a second
juror revealed that he spoke not a word of English.  A fluent French
speaker, he exhibited great surprised when told, after two days, that he
was hearing a murder trial.
        The trial was abandoned when a third juror said that he suffered
from both conditions, being simultaneously unversed in the English language
and nearly as deaf as the first juror.
        The judge ordered a retrial.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law.
No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets truth.
                -- Jean Giraudoux, "Tiger at the Gates"
We may not like doctors, but at least they doctor.  Bankers are not ever
popular but at least they bank.  Policeman police and undertakers take
under.  But lawyers do not give us law.  We receive not the gladsome light
of jurisprudence, but rather precedents, objections, appeals, stays,
filings and forms, motions and counter-motions, all at $250 an hour.
                -- Nolo News, summer 1989
"A wizard cannot do everything; a fact most magicians are reticent to admit,
let alone discuss with prospective clients.  Still, the fact remains that
there are certain objects, and people, that are, for one reason or another,
completely immune to any direct magical spell.  It is for this group of
beings that the magician learns the subtleties of using indirect spells.
It also does no harm, in dealing with these matters, to carry a large club
near your person at all times."
                -- The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume VIII
"How do you know she is a unicorn?" Molly demanded.  "And why were you afraid
to let her touch you?  I saw you.  You were afraid of her."
        "I doubt that I will feel like talking for very long," the cat
replied without rancor.  "I would not waste time in foolishness if I were
you.  As to your first question, no cat out of its first fur can ever be
deceived by appearances.  Unlike human beings, who enjoy them.  As for your
second question --"  Here he faltered, and suddenly became very interested
in washing; nor would he speak until he had licked himself fluffy and then
licked himself smooth again.  Even then he would not look at Molly, but
examined his claws.
        "If she had touched me," he said very softly, "I would have been
hers and not my own, not ever again."
                -- Peter S. Beagle, "The Last Unicorn"
It is a well known fact that warriors and wizards do not get along, because
one side considers the other side to be a collection of bloodthirsty idiots
who can't walk and think at the same time, while the other side is naturally
suspicious of a body of men who mumble a lot and wear long dresses.  Oh, say
the wizards, if we're going to be like that, then, what about all those
studded collars and oiled muscles down at the Young Men's Pagan Association?
To which the heroes reply, that's a pretty good allegation from a bunch of
wimpsoes who won't go near a woman on account, can you believe it, of their
mystical power being sort of drained out.  Right, say the wizards, that just
about does it, you and your leather posing pouches.  Oh yeah, say the the
heroes, why don't you ...
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
        It seems there's this magician working one of the luxury cruise ships
for a few years.  He doesn't have to change his routines much as the audiences
change over fairly often, and he's got a good life.   The only problem is the
ship's parrot, who perches in the hall and watches him night after night, year
after year.  Finally, the parrot figures out how almost every trick works and
starts giving it away for the audience.  For example, when the magician makes
a bouquet of flowers disappear, the parrot squawks "Behind his back!  Behind
his back!"  Well, the magician is really annoyed at this, but there's not much
he can do about it as the parrot is a ship's mascot and very popular with the
passengers.
        One night, the ship strikes some floating debris, and sinks without
a trace.  Almost everyone aboard was lost, except for the magician and the
parrot.  For three days and nights they just drift, with the magician clinging
to one end of a piece of driftwood and the parrot perched on the other end.
As the sun rises on the morning of the fourth day, the parrot walks over to
the magician's end of the log.  With obvious disgust in his voice, he snaps
"OK, you win, I give up.  Where did you hide the ship?"
Unseen University had never admitted women, muttering something about
problems with the plumbing, but the real reason was an unspoken dread that
if women were allowed to mess around with magic they would probably be
embarrassingly good at it ...
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
Watch Rincewind.

Look at him.  Scrawny, like most wizards, and clad in a dark red robe on
which a few mystic sigils were embroidered in tarnished sequins. Some might
have taken him for a mere apprentice enchanter who had run away from his
master out of defiance, boredom, fear and a lingering taste for
heterosexuality.  Yet around his neck was a chain bearing the bronze octagon
that marked him as an alumnus of Unseen University, the high school of magic
whose time-and-space transcendent campus is never precisely Here or There.
Graduates were usually destined for mageship at least, but Rincewind--after
an unfortunate event--had left knowing only one spell and made a living of
sorts around the town by capitalizing on an innate gift for languages.  He
avoided work as a rule, but had a quickness of wit that put his
acquaintances in mind of a bright rodent.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
A long-forgotten loved one will appear soon.

Buy the negatives at any price.
Avoid reality at all costs.
Be security conscious -- National defense is at stake.
Cheer Up!  Things are getting worse at a slower rate.
Don't look now, but the man in the moon is laughing at you.
Fortune: You will be attacked next Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. by six samurai
sword wielding purple fish glued to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Oh, and have a nice day!
                -- Bryce Nesbitt '84
You will stop at nothing to reach your objective, but only because your
brakes are defective.
You're at the end of the road again.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2014
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