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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

"Innovation, innovate, and the concept of doing what everyone else did 20
years ago are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other
buzzwords, euphemisms, and blatant lies are trademarks of their respective
owners."

        - James Simmons
"And I have to say that I absolutely despise the BSD people.  They did
sendfile() after both Linux and HP-UX had done it, and they must have
known about both implementations.  And they chose the HP-UX braindamage,
and even brag about the fact that they were stupid and didn't understand
TCP_CORK (they don't say so in those exact words, of course - they just
show that they were stupid and clueless by the things they brag about)."

        - Linus Torvalds
<JALH> lxrbot, whereis olaf?
<lxrbot> olaf is Not used
* JALH runs
<Russ|werk> JALH: why
<Russ|werk> its not like you did something like this:
<Russ|werk> lxrbot, whereis lubrication
<lxrbot> lubrication is Not used
<JALH> muwhaha
<Russ|werk> then...it would be time to run

        - abusing lxrbot on #kernelnewbies
        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
Linus Torvalds wrote:
> How the h*ll did you happen to actually notice this?

Some combination of blind luck, curiosity, pride, and Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder...

        - John Byrne on linux-kernel
Well, I have done sparc assembly in my time (remember Dave Sitsky and
I did a port of the kernel to the ultrasparc running in 32-bit mode
before you did the sparc64 port) but the stuff you're doing in there
isn't just assembly, it's magic assembly. ;)

        - Paul Mackerras admiring Dave Miller's assembly 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
Alexander Viro wrote:
> You mean that you are unable to read any of the core kernel source?
> That would explain a lot...

Were you born rude, or did you have to practice it?

        - Richard Gooch on linux-kernel
> Andrew explicitely did not want to use DMI scanner.

I didnt want intel to invent ACPI either. The realities in both cases dont
match the goals

        - Alan Cox on the ACPI mailing list
P.S. Perl's master plan (or what passes for one) is to take over the
world like English did.  Er, *as* English did...
             -- Larry Wall in <199705201832.LAA28393@wall.org>
: How would you disambiguate these situations?

By shooting the person who did the latter.
             -- Larry Wall in <199710290235.SAA02444@wall.org>
Marvin the Nature Lover spied a grasshopper hopping along in the grass,
and in a mood for communing with nature, rare even among full-fledged
Nature Lovers, he spoke to the grasshopper, saying: "Hello, friend
grasshopper.  Did you know they've named a drink after you?"
        "Really?" replied the grasshopper, obviously pleased.  "They've
named a drink Fred?"
Boy, that crayon sure did hurt!
Did I say 2?  I lied.
Did it ever occur to you that fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

Or that we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Did you hear about the model who sat on a broken bottle and cut a nice figure?
Did you know ...

That no-one ever reads these things?
        "Found it," the Mouse replied rather crossly: "of course you know
what 'it' means."
        "I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing," said the
Duck: "it's generally a frog or a worm.  The question is, what did the
archbishop find?"
I never did it that way before.
I saw what you did and I know who you are.
        "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"
        "What did you do when the ship sank?"
        "I grabbed a cake of soap and washed myself ashore."
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."
After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the
month than you did before.
... before I could come to any conclusion it occurred to me that my speech
or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility.  What
did it matter what anyone knew or ignored?  What did it matter who was
manager?  One gets sometimes such a flash of insight. The essentials of
this affair lay deep under the surface, beyond my reach, and beyond my
power of meddling.
                -- Joseph Conrad
... [concerning quotation marks] even if we *___did* quote anybody in this
business, it probably would be gibberish.
                -- Thom McLeod
        NEW YORK-- Kraft Foods, Inc. announced today that its board of
directors unanimously rejected the $11 billion takeover bid by Philip
Morris and Co. A Kraft spokesman stated in a press conference that the
offer was rejected because the $90-per-share bid did not reflect the
true value of the company.
        Wall Street insiders, however, tell quite a different story.
Apparently, the Kraft board of directors had all but signed the takeover
agreement when they learned of Philip Morris' marketing plans for one of
their major Middle East subsidiaries.  To a person, the board voted to
reject the bid when they discovered that the tobacco giant intended to
reorganize Israeli Cheddar, Ltd., and name the new company Cheeses of Nazareth.
        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."
So... did you ever wonder, do garbagemen take showers before they go to work?
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.
Veni, Vidi, VISA:
        I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.
Mad Programmer Commits Suicide

KENNETT, MO -- For two years Doug Carter toiled away in his basement computer
lab working on his own 'Dougnix' operating system. Apparently he was sick of
Windows 95 so he decided to create his own OS, based loosely on Unix. He had
developed his own 'DougUI' window manager, Doug++ compiler, DougFS filesystem,
and other integrated tools.

All was going well until last week when he hooked his computer up to the
Internet for the first time. It was then that he stumbled on to www.linux.org.
Reports are sketchy about what happened next. We do know he committed suicide
days after, leaving behind a rambling suicide note. Part of the note says:

"I've wasted the past two years of my life... Wasted... Gone... Forever...
Never return to. [illegible] Why did I bother creating my own OS... when Linux
is exactly what I needed!?!?!?! If I had only known about Linux! Why someone
didn't tell me? [illegible] Wasted! Aggghhh!" [The rest of the note is filled
with incomprehensible assembly language ramblings.]
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?
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."
Jargon Coiner (#9)

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

* RHYMES WITH CYNICS: The final answer to any debate about how to
  pronounce Linux. Of course, "cynics" might not be the best word to
  associate Linux with...

* WISL? (Will It Support Linux?): The very first thought that springs into
  a Linux user's mind when a cool new piece of software or hardware is
  announced.

* JJMD! (Jar Jar Must Die!): Meaningless reply given to a question or poll
  for which you don't have a good answer.

  Example: Question: "When did you stop beating your wife?"
           Answer: "JJMD!"
Jargon Coiner (#12)

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

* IPO (I've Patented the Obvious): Acquiring patents on trivial things and
  then hitting other companies over the head with them.

  Example: "Amazon just IPO'd one-click spam and is now ready to sue B&N."

* IPO (I'm Pissed Off): Exclamation given by a Linux user who was unable
  to participate in a highly lucrative Linux IPO due to lack of capital or
  E*Trade problems. Also uttered by Linux hackers who did not receive The
  Letter from Red Hat or VA Linux even though their friends did.
  
* YAKBA (Yet Another Killer Backhoe Attack): The acronym that describes
  network outtages caused by a careless backhoe operator.

  Examples: "Don't blame us, our website was offline after we suffered a
  YAKBA". "Don't worry about Y2K, what we need to think about is
  YAKBA-compliance."
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
What Did Santa Claus Bring You In 1999? (#1)

LINUS TORVALDS: Santa didn't bring me anything, but Tim O'Reilly just gave
me a large sum of money to publish my new book, "Linus Torvalds' Official
Guide To Receiving Fame, Fortune, and Hot Babes By Producing Your Own
Unix-Like Operating System In Only 10 Years".

ORDINARY LINUX HACKER: I kept hinting to my friends and family that I
wanted to build my own Beowulf Cluster. My grandmother got mixed up and
gave me a copy of "Beowulf's Chocolate Cluster Cookbook". I like
chocolate, but I would've preferred silicon.

LINUX LONGHAIR: My friends sent me a two-year subscription to several
Ziff-Davis publications, much to my dislike. I don't want to read Jesse
Berst's rants against Linux, or John Dvorak's spiels about how great
Windows 2000 is. Still, I suppose this isn't so bad. Ziff-Davis glossy
paper makes an excellent lining for fireplaces.
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.
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.
Brief History Of Linux (#7)
The Rise of Geeks

The late 19th Century saw the rise and fall of "geeks", wild carnival
performers who bit the heads off live chickens. This vocal minority,
outcast from mainstream society, clamored for respect, but failed. Their
de facto spokesman, Tom Splatz, tried to expose America to their plight in
his 312-page book, "Geeks".

In the book Splatz documented the life of two Idahoan geeks with no social
life as they made a meager living traveling the Pacific Northwest in
circuses. While Splatz's masterpiece was a commercial failure, the book
did set a world record for using the term "geek" a total of 6,143 times.
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 (#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 (#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 (#29)

"The Cathedral and the Bazaar" is credited by many (especially ESR
himself) as the reason Netscape announced January 22, 1998 the release of
the Mozilla source code. In addition, Rob Malda of Slashdot has also
received praise because he had recently published an editorial ("Give us
the damn source code so we can fix Netscape's problems ourselves!")

Of course, historians now know the true reason behind the landmark
decision: Netscape engineers were scared to death that a large
multi-national corporation would acquire them and crush Mozilla. Which
indeed did happen much later, although everybody thought the conqueror
would be Microsoft, not AOL (America's Online Lusers).

The Netscape announcement prompted a strategy session among Linux bigwigs
on February 3rd. They decided a new term to replace 'free software' was
needed; some rejected suggestions included "Free Source", "Ajar Source",
"World Domination Source", "bong-ware" (Bong's Obviously Not GNU), and
"Nude Source". We can thank Chris Peterson for coining "Open Source",
which became the adopted term and later sparked the ugly "Free Software
vs. Open Source", "Raymond vs. Stallman" flame-a-thons.
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.
"He did decide, though, that with more time and a great deal of mental
effort, he could probably turn the activity into an acceptable perversion."
                -- Mick Farren, "When Gravity Fails"
"I'd love to go out with you, but I did my own thing and now I've got
to undo it."
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
I never made a mistake in my life.  I thought I did once, but I was wrong.
                -- Lucy Van Pelt
I saw Lassie.  It took me four shows to figure out why the hairy kid never
spoke. I mean, he could roll over and all that, but did that deserve a series?
If dolphins are so smart, why did Flipper work for television?
My band career ended late in my senior year when John Cooper and I threw my
amplifier out the dormitory window.  We did not act in haste. First we
checked to make sure the amplifier would fit through the frame, using the
belt from my bathrobe to measure, then we picked up the amplifier and backed
up to my bedroom door.  Then we rushed forward, shouting "The WHO!  The
WHO!" and we launched my amplifier perfectly, as though we had been doing it
all our lives, clean through the window and down onto the sidewalk, where a
small but appreciative crowd had gathered.  I would like to be able to say
that this was a symbolic act, an effort on my part to break cleanly away
from one state in my life and move on to another, but the truth is, Cooper
and I really just wanted to find out what it would sound like.  It sounded
OK.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Snake"
Snakes.  Why did it have to be snakes?
                -- Indiana Jones, "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
So do the noble fall.  For they are ever caught in a trap of their own making.
A trap -- walled by duty, and locked by reality.  Against the greater force
they must fall -- for, against that force they fight because of duty, because
of obligations.  And when the noble fall, the base remain.  The base -- whose
only purpose is the corruption of what the noble did protect.  Whose only
purpose is to destroy.  The noble: who, even when fallen, retain a vestige of
strength.  For theirs is a strength born of things other than mere force.
Theirs is a strength supreme... theirs is the strength -- to restore.
                -- Gerry Conway, "Thor", #193
        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"
There is much Obi-Wan did not tell you.
                -- Darth Vader
        "What are you watching?"
        "I don't know."
        "Well, what's happening?"
        "I'm not sure...  I think the guy in the hat did something terrible."
        "Why are you watching it?"
        "You're so analytical.  Sometimes you just have to let art flow
over you."
                -- The Big Chill
What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read to out of about
Down Under up for?
I sat laughing snidely into my notebook until they showed me a PC running
Linux....  And did this PC choke?  Did it stutter?  Did it, even once,
say that this program has performed an illegal operation and must be shut
down?  No. And this is just on the client.
        -- LAN Times
I did it just to piss you off.  :-P
        -- Branden Robinson in a message to debian-devel
Steal this tagline.  I did.
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>
<knghtbrd> Solver_: add users who should be messing with sound to group
           audio..  Make sure the devices are all group audio (ls -l
           /dev/dsp will give you the fastest indication if it's probably
           set right) and build a kernel with sound support for your card
<knghtbrd> OR optionally install alsa source and build modules for that
           with make-kpkg
<knghtbrd> OR (not recommended) get and install evil OSS/Linux evil
           non-free evil binary only evil drivers---but those are evil.
           And did I mention that it's not recommended?
<Tarzan> hey did you fall off your pirch or something?
<knghtbrd> me?  heh.
* seeS uses knghtbrd's comments as his signature
<knghtbrd> seeS: as soon as I typed them I realized I'd better snip them
           myself before someone else did  ;>
<Deek> change all cvar->value = X to use Cvar_Set()
<theoddone33> that didn't happen in oldtree
<Deek> Actually, it did.
<Knghtbrd> yeah - two weeks later.
<doogie> Culus: my bug with openssh appears to be fixed in 2.5.2, but
         master runs 2.3.0
<Culus> Don't even start
<doogie> I just did.
<Culus> You guys are going to drive me to build a huge giant robot and
        destroy all of texas, aren't you?
The very highest if barely known.
Then comes that which people know and love.
Then that which is feared,
Then that which is despised.

Who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

When actions are performed
Without unnecessary speech,
People say, "We did it!"
In the beginning those who knew the Tao did not try to enlighten others,
But kept it hidden.
Why is it so hard to rule?
Because people are so clever.
Rulers who try to use cleverness
Cheat the country.
Those who rule without cleverness
Are a blessing to the land.
These are the two alternatives.
Understanding these is Primal Virtue.
Primal Virtue is deep and far.
It leads all things back
Toward the great oneness.
An INK-LING?  Sure -- TAKE one!!  Did you BUY any COMMUNIST UNIFORMS??
BARRY ... That was the most HEART-WARMING rendition of "I DID IT MY
WAY" I've ever heard!!
Did an Italian CRANE OPERATOR just experience uninhibited sensations in
a MALIBU HOT TUB?
Did I do an INCORRECT THING??
Did I say I was a sardine?  Or a bus???
Did I SELL OUT yet??
Did YOU find a DIGITAL WATCH in YOUR box of VELVEETA?
Did you move a lot of KOREAN STEAK KNIVES this trip, Dingy?
LBJ, LBJ, how many JOKES did you tell today??!
NATHAN ... your PARENTS were in a CARCRASH!!  They're VOIDED -- They
COLLAPSED They had no CHAINSAWS ... They had no MONEY MACHINES ... They
did PILLS in SKIMPY GRASS SKIRTS ... Nathan, I EMULATED them ... but
they were OFF-KEY ...
Yow!  Did something bad happen or am I in a drive-in movie??
Yow!  Now I get to think about all the BAD THINGS I did to a BOWLING
BALL when I was in JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL!
        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)
Abstract:
        This study examined the incidence of neckwear tightness among a group
of 94 white-collar working men and the effect of a tight business-shirt collar
and tie on the visual performance of 22 male subjects.  Of the white-collar
men measured, 67% were found to be wearing neckwear that was tighter than
their neck circumference.  The visual discrimination of the 22 subjects was
evaluated using a critical flicker frequency (CFF) test.  Results of the CFF
test indicated that tight neckwear significantly decreased the visual
performance of the subjects and that visual performance did not improve
immediately when tight neckwear was removed.
                -- Langan, L.M. and Watkins, S.M. "Pressure of Menswear on the
                   Neck in Relation to Visual Performance."  Human Factors 29,
                   #1 (Feb. 1987), pp. 67-71.
Did you know the University of Iowa closed down after someone stole the book?
Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don't
they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning
anything?  If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five
years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.
                -- The Best of Will Rogers
Professor Gorden Newell threw another shutout in last week's Chem Eng. 130
midterm.  Once again a student did not receive a single point on his exam.
Newell has now tossed 5 shutouts this quarter.  Newell's earned exam average
has now dropped to a phenomenal 30%.
Reporter:   "How did you like school when you were growing up, Yogi?"
Yogi Berra: "Closed."
We're fantastically incredibly sorry for all these extremely unreasonable
things we did.  I can only plead that my simple, barely-sentient friend
and myself are underprivileged, deprived and also college students.
                -- Waldo D.R. Dobbs
                What I Did During My Fall Semester
On the first day of my fall semester, I got up.
Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
Then I hung out in front of the Dover.

On the second day of my fall semester, I got up.
Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
Then I hung out in front of the Dover.

On the third day of my fall semester, I got up.
Then I went to the library to find a thesis topic.
I found a thesis topic:
        How to keep people from hanging out in front of the Dover.
                -- Sister Mary Elephant, "Student Statement for Black Friday"
Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers,
etc., for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these
things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in.
Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a
kite in a lighting storm and received a serious electrical shock.  This
proved that lighting was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also
damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in
incomprehensible maxims, such as "A penny saved is a penny earned."
Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.
                -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
And the French medical anatomist Etienne Serres really did argue that
black males are primitive because the distance between their navel and
penis remains small (relative to body height) throughout life, while
white children begin with a small separation but increase it during
growth -- the rising belly button as a mark of progress.
                -- S.J. Gould, "Racism and Recapitulation"
Did you hear that there's a group of South American Indians that worship
the number zero?

Is nothing sacred?
Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have
only recaptured 116 of them?
Did you know that if you took all the economists in the world and lined
them up end to end, they'd still point in the wrong direction?
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"
Here is a simple experiment that will teach you an important electrical
lesson: On a cool, dry day, scuff your feet along a carpet, then reach your
hand into a friend's mouth and touch one of his dental fillings.  Did you
notice how your friend twitched violently and cried out in pain?  This
teaches us that electricity can be a very powerful force, but we must never
use it to hurt others unless we need to learn an important electrical lesson.
        It also teaches us how an electrical circuit works.  When you scuffed
your feet, you picked up batches of "electrons", which are very small objects
that carpet manufacturers weave into carpets so they will attract dirt.
The electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger,
where they form a spark that leaps to your friend's filling, then travels
down to his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing the circuit.
        Amazing Electronic Fact: If you scuffed your feet long enough without
touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger
would explode!  But this is nothing to worry about unless you have
carpeting.
                -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
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
If God is perfect, why did He create discontinuous functions?
The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.
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
Weinberg, as a young grocery clerk, advised the grocery manager to get
rid of rutabagas which nobody ever bought.  He did so. "Well, kid, that
was a great idea," said the manager. Then he paused and asked the killer
question, "NOW what's the least popular vegetable?"

Law: Once you eliminate your #1 problem, #2 gets a promotion.
        -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"
        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"
I have stripped off my dress; must I put it on again?  I have washed my feet;
must I soil them again?
When my beloved slipped his hand through the latch-hole, my bowels stirred
within me [my bowels were moved for him (KJV)].
When I arose to open for my beloved, my hands dripped with myrrh; the liquid
myrrh from my fingers ran over the knobs of the bolt.  With my own hands I
opened to my love, but my love had turned away and gone by; my heart sank when
he turned his back.  I sought him but I did not find him, I called him but he
did not answer.
The watchmen, going the rounds of the city, met me; they struck me and
  wounded me; the watchmen on the walls took away my cloak.
[Song of Solomon 5:3-7 (NEB)]
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 is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but it
is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to organize
the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The manager of
architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and I were
threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.

The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they could write
the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months, three more
than the schedule allowed.

The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they could prepare
the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating; it would be
well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.  Futhermore, if
the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling their thumbs
for ten months.

To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control program
team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time, but would
also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and it was.  He
was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual integrity made
the system far more costly to build and change, and I would estimate that it
added a year to debugging time.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials
(out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence
to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve
but appeared "abruptly."
- Newsweek, June 29, 1987, pg. 23
"If Diet Coke did not exist it would have been neccessary to invent it."
-- Karl Lehenbauer
"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?"
"Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."
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
"I saw _Lassie_. It took me four shows to figure out why the hairy kid never
spoke. I mean, he could roll over and all that, but did that deserve a series?"
-- the alien guy, in _Explorers_
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
"...I could accept this openness, glasnost, perestroika, or whatever you want
to call it if they did these things: abolish the one party system; open the
Soviet frontier and allow Soviet people to travel freely; allow the Soviet
people to have real free enterprise; allow Western businessmen to do business
there, and permit freedom of speech and of the press.  But so far, the whole
country is like a concentration camp.  The barbed wire on the fence around
the Soviet Union is to keep people inside, in the dark.  This openness that
you are seeing, all these changes, are cosmetic and they have been designed
to impress shortsighted, naive, sometimes stupid Western leaders.  These
leaders gush over Gorbachev, hoping to do business with the Soviet Union or
appease it.  He will say: "Yes, we can do business!"  This while his
military machine in Afghanistan has killed over a million people out of a
population of 17 million.  Can you imagine that?
-- Victor Belenko, MiG-25 fighter pilot who defected in 1976
   "Defense Electronics", Vol 20, No. 6, pg. 110
"Pseudocode can be used to some extent to aid the maintenance
process.  However, pseudocode that is highly detailed -
approaching the level of detail of the code itself - is not of
much use as maintenance documentation.  Such detailed
documentation has to be maintained almost as much as the code,
thus doubling the maintenance burden.  Furthermore, since such
voluminous pseudocode is too distracting to be kept in the
listing itself, it must be kept in a separate folder.  The
result: Since pseudocode - unlike real code - doesn't have to be
maintained, no one will maintain it.  It will soon become out of
date and everyone will ignore it.  (Once, I did an informal
survey of 42 shops that used pseudocode.  Of those 42, 0 [zero!],
found that it had any value as maintenance documentation."
         --Meilir Page-Jones, "The Practical Guide to Structured
           Design", Yourdon Press (c) 1988
"You who hate the Jews so, why did you adopt their religion?"
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, addressing anti-semitic Christians
What did Mickey Mouse get for Christmas?

A Dan Quayle watch.

-- heard from a Mike Dukakis field worker
"He did decide, though, that with more time and a great deal of mental effort,
he could probably turn the activity into an acceptable perversion."
-- Mick Farren, _When Gravity Fails_
An Hacker there was, one of the finest sort
Who controlled the system; graphics was his sport.
A manly man, to be a wizard able;
Many a protected file he had sitting on his table.
His console, when he typed, a man might hear
Clicking and feeping wind as clear,
Aye, and as loud as does the machine room bell
Where my lord Hacker was Prior of the cell.
The Rule of good St Savage or St Doeppnor
As old and strict he tended to ignore;
He let go by the things of yesterday
And took the modern world's more spacious way.
He did not rate that text as a plucked hen
Which says that Hackers are not holy men.
And that a hacker underworked is a mere
Fish out of water, flapping on the pier.
That is to say, a hacker out of his cloister.
That was a text he held not worth an oyster.
And I agreed and said his views were sound;
Was he to study till his head wend round
Poring over books in the cloisters?  Must he toil
As Andy bade and till the very soil?
Was he to leave the world upon the shelf?
Let Andy have his labor to himself!
                -- Chaucer
                [well, almost.  Ed.]
And did those feet, in ancient times,
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
In England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon these crowded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spears!  O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I shall not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword rest in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
                -- William Blake, "Jerusalem"
Antonio Antonio
Was tired of living alonio
He thought he would woo                        Antonio Antonio
Miss Lucamy Lu,                                Rode of on his polo ponio
Miss Lucamy Lucy Molonio.                And found the maid
                                        In a bowery shade,
                                        Sitting and knitting alonio.
Antonio Antonio
Said if you will be my ownio
I'll love tou true                        Oh nonio Antonio
And buy for you                                You're far too bleak and bonio
An icery creamry conio.                        And all that I wish
                                        You singular fish
                                        Is that you will quickly begonio.
Antonio Antonio
Uttered a dismal moanio
And went off and hid
Or I'm told that he did
In the Antartical Zonio.
But I was there and I saw what you did,
I saw it with my own two eyes.
So you can wipe off that grin;
I know where you've been--
It's all been a pack of lies!
Certainly there are things in life that money can't buy,
But it's very funny -- did you ever try buying them without money?
                -- Ogden Nash
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
I am changing my name to Chrysler
I am going down to Washington, D.C.
I will tell some power broker
        What they did for Iacocca
Will be perfectly acceptable to me!

I am changing my name to Chrysler,
I am heading for that great receiving line.
When they hand a million grand out,
        I'll be standing with my hand out,
Yessir, I'll get mine!
I'd never cry if I did find
        A blue whale in my soup...
Nor would I mind a porcupine
        Inside a chicken coop.
Yes life is fine when things combine,        
        Like ham in beef chow mein...
But lord, this time I think I mind,
        They've put acid in my rain.
                      --- Milo Bloom
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
In /users3 did Kubla Kahn
A stately pleasure dome decree,
Where /bin, the sacred river ran
Through Test Suites measureless to Man
Down to a sunless C.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forest ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
                -- S.T. Coleridge, "Kubla Kahn"
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree
But only if the NFL to a franchise would agree.
It used to be the fun was in
The capture and kill.
In another place and time
I did it all for thrills.
                -- Lust to Love
It's so confusing choosing sides in the heat of the moment,
        just to see if it's real,
Oooh, it's so erotic having you tell me how it should feel,
But I'm avoiding all the hard cold facts that I got to face,
So ask me just one question when this magic night is through,
Could it have been just anyone or did it have to be you?
                -- Billy Joel, "Glass Houses"
No plain fanfold paper could hold that fractal Puff --
He grew so fast no plotting pack could shrink him far enough.
Compiles and simulations grew so quickly tame
And swapped out all their data space when Puff pushed his stack frame.
        (refrain)
Puff, he grew so quickly, while others moved like snails
And mini-Puffs would perch themselves on his gigantic tail.
All the student hackers loved that fractal Puff
But DCS did not like Puff, and finally said, "Enough!"
        (refrain)
Puff used more resources than DCS could spare.
The operator killed Puff's job -- he didn't seem to care.
A gloom fell on the hackers; it seemed to be the end,
But Puff trapped the exception, and grew from naught again!
        (refrain)
Refrain:
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.
        Puff the fractal dragon was written in C,
        And frolicked while processes switched in mainframe memory.
Oh, when I was in love with you,
        Then I was clean and brave,
And miles around the wonder grew
        How well did I behave.

And now the fancy passes by,
        And nothing will remain,
And miles around they'll say that I
        Am quite myself again.
                -- A. E. Housman
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!
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
So... so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell?
Blue skies from pain?                        Did they get you to trade
Can you tell a green field                Your heroes for ghosts?
From a cold steel rail?                        Hot ashes for trees?
A smile from a veil?                        Hot air for a cool breeze?
Do you think you can tell?                Cold comfort for change?
                                        Did you exchange
                                        A walk on part in a war
                                        For the lead role in a cage?
                -- Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"
Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time,
There's something wrong here, there can be no more denying,
One of us is changing, or maybe we just stopped trying,

And it's too late, baby, now, it's too late,
Though we really did try to make it,
Something inside has died and I can't hide and I just can't fake it...

It used to be so easy living here with you,
You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy and I feel like a fool.

There'll be good times again for me and you,
But we just can't stay together, don't you feel it too?
But I'm glad for what we had and that I once loved you...

But it's too late baby...
It's too late, now darling, it's too late...
                -- Carol King, "Tapestry"
The Poet Whose Badness Saved His Life
        The most important poet in the seventeenth century was George
Wither.  Alexander Pope called him "wretched Wither" and Dryden said of his
verse that "if they rhymed and rattled all was well".
        In our own time, "The Dictionary of National Biography" notes that his
work "is mainly remarkable for its mass, fluidity and flatness.  It usually
lacks any genuine literary quality and often sinks into imbecile doggerel".
        High praise, indeed, and it may tempt you to savour a typically
rewarding stanza: It is taken from "I loved a lass" and is concerned with
the higher emotions.
                She would me "Honey" call,
                She'd -- O she'd kiss me too.
                But now alas!  She's left me
                Falero, lero, loo.
        Among other details of his mistress which he chose to immortalize
was her prudent choice of footwear.
                The fives did fit her shoe.
        In 1639 the great poet's life was endangered after his capture by
the Royalists during the English Civil War.  When Sir John Denham, the
Royalist poet, heard of Wither's imminent execution, he went to the King and
begged that his life be spared.  When asked his reason, Sir John replied,
"Because that so long as Wither lived, Denham would not be accounted the
worst poet in England."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright --
And this was very odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
                -- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
                The Worst Lines of Verse
For a start, we can rule out James Grainger's promising line:
        "Come, muse, let us sing of rats."
Grainger (1721-67) did not have the courage of his convictions and deleted
these words on discovering that his listeners dissolved into spontaneous
laughter the instant they were read out.
        No such reluctance afflicted Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-70) who was
inspired by the subject of war.
        "Flash! flash! bang! bang! and we blazed away,
        And the grey roof reddened and rang;
        Flash! flash! and I felt his bullet flay
        The tip of my ear.  Flash! bang!"
By contrast, Cheshire cheese provoked John Armstrong (1709-79):
        "... that which Cestria sends, tenacious paste of solid milk..."
While John Bidlake was guided by a compassion for vegetables:
        "The sluggard carrot sleeps his day in bed,
        The crippled pea alone that cannot stand."
George Crabbe (1754-1832) wrote:
        "And I was ask'd and authorized to go
        To seek the firm of Clutterbuck and Co."
William Balmford explored the possibilities of religious verse:
        "So 'tis with Christians, Nature being weak
        While in this world, are liable to leak."
And William Wordsworth showed that he could do it if he really tried when
describing a pond:
        "I've measured it from side to side;
        Tis three feet long and two feet wide."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
        By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
        That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
        But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
        I cremated Sam McGee.
                -- Robert W. Service
Those who sweat in flames of hell,        Leaden eared, some thought their bowels
Here's the reason that they fell:        Lispeth forth the sweetest vowels.
While on earth they prayed in SAS,        These they offered up in praise
PL/1, or other crass,                        Thinking all this fetid haze
Vulgar tongue.                                A rapsody sung.

Some the lord did sorely try                Jabber of the mindless horde
Assembling all their pleas in hex.        Sequel next did mock the lord
Speech as crabbed as devil's crable        Slothful sequel so enfangled
Hex that marked on Tower Babel                Its speaker's lips became entangled
The highest rung.                        In his bung.

Because in life they prayed so ill
And offered god such swinish swill
Now they sweat in flames of hell
Sweat from lack of APL
Sweat dung!
"Twas bergen and the eirie road
Did mahwah into patterson:                "Beware the Hopatcong, my son!
All jersey were the ocean groves,        The teeth that bite, the nails
And the red bank bayonne.                        that claw!
                                        Beware the bound brook bird, and shun
He took his belmar blade in hand:        The kearney communipaw."
Long time the folsom foe he sought
Till rested he by a bayway tree                And, as in nutley thought he stood,
And stood a while in thought.                The Hopatcong with eyes of flame,
                                        Came whippany through the englewood,
One, two, one, two, and through                And garfield as it came.
        and through
The belmar blade went hackensack!        "And hast thou slain the Hopatcong?
He left it dead and with it's head        Come to my arms, my perth amboy!
He went weehawken back.                        Hohokus day!  Soho!  Rahway!"
                                        He caldwell in his joy.
Did mahwah into patterson:
All jersey were the ocean groves,
And the red bank bayonne.
                -- Paul Kieffer
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.        "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
All mimsy were the borogroves                The jaws that bite, the claws
And the mome raths outgrabe.                        that catch!
                                        Beware the Jubjub bird,
He took his vorpal sword in hand        And shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"
Long time the manxome foe he sought.
So rested he by the tumtum tree                And as in uffish thought he stood
And stood awhile in thought.                The Jabberwock, with eyes aflame
                                        Came whuffling through the tulgey wood
One! Two! One! Two!  And through and        And burbled as it came!
        through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack.        "Hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
He left it dead, and took its head,        Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
And went galumphing back.                Oh frabjous day!  Calooh!  Callay!"
                                        He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogroves
And the mome raths outgrabe.
                -- Lewis Carroll, "Jabberwocky"
'Twas bullig, and the slithy brokers
Did buy and gamble in the craze                "Beware the Jabberstock, my son!
All rosy were the Dow Jones stokers        The cost that bites, the worth
By market's wrath unphased.                        that falls!
                                        Beware the Econ'mist's word, and shun
He took his forecast sword in hand:        The spurious Street o' Walls!"
Long time the Boesk'some foe he sought -
Sake's liquidity, so d'vested he,        And as in bearish thought he stood
And stood awhile in thought.                The Jabberstock, with clothes of tweed,
                                        Came waffling with the truth too good,
Chip Black! Chip Blue! And through        And yuppied great with greed!
        and through
The forecast blade went snicker-snack!        "And hast thou slain the Jabberstock?
It bit the dirt, and with its shirt,        Come to my firm,  V.P.ish  boy!
He went rebounding back.                O big bucks day! Moolah! Good Play!"
                                        He bought him a Mercedes Toy.
'Twas panic, and the slithy brokers
Did gyre and tumble in the Crash
All flimsy were the Dow Jones stokers
And mammon's wrath them bash!
                -- Peter Stucki, "Jabberstocky"
Twas FORTRAN as the doloop goes
        Did logzerneg the ifthen block
All kludgy were the function flows
        And subroutines adhoc.

Beware the runtime-bug my friend
        squrooneg, the false goto
Beware the infiniteloop
        And shun the inprectoo.
                -- "OUTCONERR," to the scheme of "Jabberwocky"
'Twas midnight, and the UNIX hacks
Did gyre and gimble in their cave
All mimsy was the CS-VAX
And Cory raths outgrabe.

"Beware the software rot, my son!
The faults that bite, the jobs that thrash!
Beware the broken pipe, and shun
The frumious system crash!"
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig my grave and let me lie,
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And laid me down with a will,
And this be the verse that you grave for me,
Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
                -- Robert Loius Stevenson, "Requiem"
We don't need no indirection                We don't need no compilation
We don't need no flow control                We don't need no load control
No data typing or declarations                No link edit for external bindings
Hey! did you leave the lists alone?        Hey! did you leave that source alone?
Chorus:                                        (Chorus)
        Oh No. It's just a pure LISP function call.

We don't need no side-effecting                We don't need no allocation
We don't need no flow control                We don't need no special-nodes
No global variables for execution        No dark bit-flipping for debugging
Hey! did you leave the args alone?        Hey! did you leave those bits alone?
(Chorus)                                (Chorus)
                -- "Another Glitch in the Call", a la Pink Floyd
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 did ya do with your burden and your cross?
Did you carry it yourself or did you cry?
You and I know that a burden and a cross,
Can only be carried on one man's back.
                -- Louden Wainwright III
What with chromodynamics and electroweak too
Our Standardized Model should please even you,
Tho' once you did say that of charm there was none
It took courage to switch as to say Earth moves not Sun.
Yet your state of the union penultimate large
Is the last known haunt of the Fractional Charge,
And as you surf in the hot tub with sourdough roll
Please ponder the passing of your sole Monopole.
Your Olympics were fun, you should bring them all back
For transsexual tennis or Anamalon Track,
But Hollywood movies remain sinfully crude
Whether seen on the telly or Remotely Viewed.
Now fasten your sunbelts, for you've done it once more,
You said it in Leipzig of the thing we adore,
That you've built an incredible crystalline sphere
Whose German attendants spread trembling and fear
Of the death of our theory by Particle Zeta
Which I'll bet is not there say your article, later.
                -- Sheldon Glashow, Physics Today, December, 1984
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.
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
"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
        For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak --
        Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
        And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
        Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
        That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose --
        What made you so awfully clever?"

"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 down stairs!"
"`...You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call
attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling
anyone or anything.'
`But the plans were on display...'
`On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to
find them.'
`That's the display department.'
`With a torch.'
`Ah, well the lights had probably gone.'
`So had the stairs.'
`But look you found the notice didn't you?'
`Yes,' said Arthur, `yes I did. It was on display in the
bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused
lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The
Leopard".'"

- Arthur singing the praises of the local council planning
department.
"`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.
"`... 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.
"Trillian did a little research in the ship's copy of
THHGTTG. It had some advice to offer on drunkenness.
`Go to it,' it said, `and good luck.'
It was cross-referenced to the entry concerning the size of
the Universe and ways of coping with that."

- One of the more preferable pieces of advice contained in
the Guide.
"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. "
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."
"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"
THE OLD POOL SHOOTER had won many a game in his life. But now it was time
to hang up the cue. When he did, all the other cues came crashing go the floor.

"Sorry," he said with a smile.
                -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.
High Priest:        Armaments Chapter One, verses nine through twenty-seven:
Bro. Maynard:        And Saint Attila raised the Holy Hand Grenade up on high
        saying, "Oh Lord, Bless us this Holy Hand Grenade, and with it
        smash our enemies to tiny bits."  And the Lord did grin, and the
        people did feast upon the lambs, and stoats, and orangutans, and
        breakfast cereals, and lima bean-
High Priest:        Skip a bit, brother.
Bro. Maynard:        And then the Lord spake, saying: "First, shalt thou take
        out the holy pin.  Then shalt thou count to three.  No more, no less.
        *Three* shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the
        counting shall be three.  *Four* shalt thou not count, and neither
        count thou two, excepting that thou then goest on to three.  Five is
        RIGHT OUT.  Once the number three, being the third number be reached,
        then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade towards thy foe, who, being
        naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.  Amen.
All:        Amen.
                -- Monty Python, "The Holy Hand Grenade"
        "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"
        "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"
Did you hear that Captain Crunch, Sugar Bear, Tony the Tiger, and
Snap, Crackle and Pop were all murdered recently...

Police suspect the work of a cereal killer!
        "How did you spend the weekend?" asked the pretty brunette secretary
of her blonde companion.
        "Fishing through the ice," she replied.
        "Fishing through the ice?   Whatever for?"
        "Olives."
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 works the way the Wang did, what's the problem
Satan did it
Daemons did it
Did you pay the new Support Fee?
What office are you in? Oh, that one.  Did you know that your building was built over the universities first nuclear research site? And wow, are'nt you the lucky one, your office is right over where the core is buried!
You did wha... oh _dear_....
                Once Again From the Top

Correction notice in the Miami Herald: "Last Sunday, The Herald erroneously
reported that original Dolphin Johnny Holmes had been an insurance salesman
in Raleigh, North Carolina, that he had won the New York lottery in 1982 and
lost the money in a land swindle, that he had been charged with vehicular
homicide, but acquitted because his mother said she drove the car, and that
he stated that the funniest thing he ever saw was Flipper spouting water on
George Wilson.  Each of these items was erroneous material published
inadvertently.  He was not an insurance salesman in Raleigh, did not win the
lottery, neither he nor his mother was charged or involved in any way with
vehicular homicide, and he made no comment about Flipper or George Wilson.
The Herald regrets the errors."
                -- "The Progressive", March, 1987
        "I keep seeing spots in front of my eyes."
        "Did you ever see a doctor?"
        "No, just spots."
17th Rule of Friendship:
        A friend will refrain from telling you he picked up the same amount of
        life insurance coverage you did for half the price when yours is
        noncancellable.
                -- Esquire, May 1977
2180, U.S. History question:
        What 20th Century U.S. President was almost impeached and what
        office did he later hold?
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."
feature, n:
        A surprising property of a program.  Occasionaly documented.  To
        call a property a feature sometimes means the author did not
        consider that case, and the program makes an unexpected, though
        not necessarily wrong response.  See BUG.  "That's not a bug, it's
        a feature!"  A bug can be changed to a feature by documenting it.
genealogy, n.:
        An account of one's descent from an ancestor
        who did not particularly care to trace his own.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Mosher's Law of Software Engineering:
        Don't worry if it doesn't work right.  If everything did, you'd
        be out of a job.
Research, n.:
        Consider Columbus:
        He didn't know where he was going.
        When he got there he didn't know where he was.
        When he got back he didn't know where he had been.
        And he did it all on someone else's money.
Technicality, n.:
        In an English court a man named Home was tried for slander in having
        accused a neighbor of murder.  His exact words were: "Sir Thomas Holt
        hath taken a cleaver and stricken his cook upon the head, so that one
        side of his head fell on one shoulder and the other side upon the
        other shoulder."  The defendant was acquitted by instruction of the
        court, the learned judges holding that the words did not charge murder,
        for they did not affirm the death of the cook, that being only an
        inference.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
telepression, n.:
        The deep-seated guilt which stems from knowing that you did not try
        hard enough to look up the number on your own and instead put the
        burden on the directory assistant.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
The history of warfare is similarly subdivided, although here the phases
are Retribution, Anticipation, and Diplomacy.  Thus:

Retribution:
        I'm going to kill you because you killed my brother.
Anticipation:
        I'm going to kill you because I killed your brother.
Diplomacy:
        I'm going to kill my brother and then kill you on the
        pretext that your brother did it.
The Sixth Commandment of Frisbee:
        The greatest single aid to distance is for the disc to be going in a
        direction you did not want.   (Goes the wrong way = Goes a long way.)
                -- Dan Roddick
The Third Law of Photography:
        If you did manage to get any good shots, they will be ruined
        when someone inadvertently opens the darkroom door and all of
        the dark leaks out.
I did this 'cause Linux gives me a woody.  It doesn't generate revenue.
(Dave '-ddt->` Taylor, announcing DOOM for Linux)
Adam was but human--this explains it all.  He did not want the apple for the
apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden.  The mistake was in
not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.
                -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
Certainly there are things in life that money can't buy,
But it's very funny -- did you ever try buying them without money?
                -- Ogden Nash
Did you know that clones never use mirrors?
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
"I didn't know it was impossible when I did it."
If God wanted us to be brave, why did he give us legs?
                -- Marvin Kitman
If you didn't get caught, did you really do it?
It takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you
did it wrong.
                -- H.W. Longfellow
People will do tomorrow what they did today because that is what they
did yesterday.
Something better...

1 (obvious): Excuse me.  Is that your nose or did a bus park on your face?
2 (meteorological): Everybody take cover.  She's going to blow.
3 (fashionable): You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore
        something larger.  Like ... Wyoming.
4 (personal): Well, here we are.  Just the three of us.
5 (punctual): Alright gentlemen.  Your nose was on time but you were fifteen
        minutes late.
6 (envious): Oooo, I wish I were you.  Gosh.  To be able to smell your
        own ear.
7 (naughty): Pardon me, Sir.  Some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't
        mind putting that thing away.
8 (philosophical): You know.  It's not the size of a nose that's important.
        It's what's in it that matters.
9 (humorous): Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Sneeze and it's goodbye,
        Seattle.
10 (commercial): Hi, I'm Earl Schibe and I can paint that nose for $39.95.
11 (polite): Ah.  Would you mind not bobbing your head.  The orchestra keeps
        changing tempo.
12 (melodic): Everybody! "He's got the whole world in his nose."
                -- Steve Martin, "Roxanne"
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"
This sad little lizard told me that he was a brontosaurus on his mother's
side.  I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little
else to sustain them.  Humoring them costs nothing and adds happiness in
a world in which happiness is always in short supply.
                -- Lazarus Long
Virtue would go far if vanity did not keep it company.
                -- La Rochefoucauld
What on earth would a man do with himself if something did not stand in his way?
                -- H.G. Wells
When God endowed human beings with brains, He did not intend to guarantee them.
Why did the Lord give us so much quickness of movement unless it was to
avoid responsibility with?
He liked fishing a little too much, and he believed that work was
something a man did when he had to.  He had always been able to get
along well enough without it, especially for the last couple of
years.
                -- "The Stone Giant", James P. Blaylock
Census Taker to Housewife:
Did you ever have the measles, and, if so, how many?
I steal.
                -- Sam Giancana, explaining his livelihood to his draft board

Easy.  I own Chicago.  I own Miami.  I own Las Vegas.
                -- Sam Giancana, when asked what he did for a living
In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror,
murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci
and the Renaissance.  In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had
five hundred years of democracy and peace -- and what did they produce?
The cuckoo-clock.
                -- Orson Welles, "The Third Man"
Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work ... I did not, when
a slave, understand the deep meanings of those rude, and apparently incoherent
songs.  I was myself within the circle, so that I neither saw nor heard as
those without might see and hear.  They told a tale which was then altogether
beyond my feeble comprehension: they were tones, loud, long and deep,
breathing the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest
anguish.  Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God
for deliverance from chains.
                -- Frederick Douglass
        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 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"
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
"What George Washington did for us was to throw out the British, so that we
wouldn't have a fat, insensitive government running our country. Nice try
anyway, George."
                -- D.J. on KSFO/KYA
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"
Are you a parent?  Do you sometimes find yourself unsure as to what to
say in those awkward situations?  Worry no more...

        Do as I say, not as I do.
        Do me a favour and don't tell me about it.  I don't want to know.
        What did you do *this* time?
        If it didn't taste bad, it wouldn't be good for you.
        When I was your age...
        I won't love you if you keep doing that.
        Think of all the starving children in India.
        If there's one thing I hate, it's a liar.
        I'm going to kill you.
        Way to go, clumsy.
        If you don't like it, you can lump it.
                        -- Gifts for Children --

This is easy.  You never have to figure out what to get for children,
because they will tell you exactly what they want.  They spend months and
months researching these kinds of things by watching Saturday- morning
cartoon-show advertisements.  Make sure you get your children exactly what
they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices.  If your child thinks
he wants Murderous Bob, the Doll with the Face You Can Rip Right Off, you'd
better get it.  You may be worried that it might help to encourage your
child's antisocial tendencies, but believe me, you have not seen antisocial
tendencies until you've seen a child who is convinced that he or she did not
get the right gift.
                -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
        I did some heavy research so as to be prepared for "Mommy, why is
the sky blue?"
        HE asked me about black holes in space.
        (There's a hole *where*?)

        I boned up to be ready for, "Why is the grass green?"
        HE wanted to discuss nature's food chains.
        (Well, let's see, there's ShopRite, Pathmark...)

        I talked about Choo-Choo trains.
        HE talked internal combustion engines.
        (The INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE said, "I think I can, I think I can.")

        I was delighted with the video game craze, thinking we could compete
as equals.
        HE described the complexities of the microchips required to create
the graphics.

        Then puberty struck.  Ah, adolescence.
        HE said, "Mom, I just don't understand women."
        (Gotcha!)
                -- Betty LiBrizzi, "The Care and Feeding of a Gifted Child"
It now costs more to amuse a child than it once did to educate his father.
After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
                -- H.L. Mencken, on Shakespeare
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"
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.
                -- Mark Twain
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.
Well, anyway, I was reading this James Bond book, and right away I realized
that like most books, it had too many words.  The plot was the same one that
all James Bond books have: An evil person tries to blow up the world, but
James Bond kills him and his henchmen and makes love to several attractive
women.  There, that's it: 24 words.  But the guy who wrote the book took
*thousands* of words to say it.
        Or consider "The Brothers Karamazov", by the famous Russian alcoholic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  It's about these two brothers who kill their father.
Or maybe only one of them kills the father.  It's impossible to tell because
what they mostly do is talk for nearly a thousand pages.  If all Russians talk
as much as the Karamazovs did, I don't see how they found time to become a
major world power.
        I'm told that Dostoyevsky wrote "The Brothers Karamazov" to raise
the question of whether there is a God.  So why didn't he just come right
out and say: "Is there a God? It sure beats the heck out of me."
        Other famous works could easily have been summarized in a few words:

* "Moby Dick" -- Don't mess around with large whales because they symbolize
  nature and will kill you.
* "A Tale of Two Cities" -- French people are crazy.
                -- Dave Barry
A fake fortuneteller can be tolerated.  But an authentic soothsayer should
be shot on sight.  Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved.
                -- R.A. Heinlein
Chance is perhaps the work of God when He did not want to sign.
                -- Anatole France
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 shop one day, and the owner came forward to serve
him.  Nasrudin said, "First things first.  Did you see me walk into your
shop?"
        "Of course."
        "Have you ever seen me before?"
        "Never."
        "Then how do you know it was me?"
        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
Two men came before Nasrudin when he was magistrate.  The first man said,
"This man has bitten my ear -- I demand compensation." The second man said,
"He bit it himself." Nasrudin withdrew to his chambers, and spent an hour
trying to bite his own ear.  He succeeded only in falling over and bruising
his forehead.  Returning to the courtroom, Nasrudin pronounced, "Examine the
man whose ear was bitten. If his forehead is bruised, he did it himself and
the case is dismissed.  If his forehead is not bruised, the other man did it
and must pay three silver pieces."
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"
Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the
earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his
children?                                       Tecumseh, (Shawnee)
Ever noticed how fast Windows runs?  Neither did I!
Q: Why did Bill Gates cross the road?
A: To avoid the Department of Justice.
Bill Gates did not realize was that his daughter would grow up to be a
rebel and would never use anything but Linux for her whole life.
Wow, the great ZDNET actually corrected a mistake! Of course, if they did
that to all of Jesse Berst's columns, they'd lose 2/3 of their content...

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
I did this 'cause Linux gives me a woody.  It doesn't generate revenue.
        -- Dave '-ddt->` Taylor, announcing DOOM for Linux
Seriously, the way I did this was by using a special /sbin/loader binary
with debugging hooks that I made ("dd" is your friend: binary editors
are for wimps).
        -- Linus Torvalds, in an article on a dnserver
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
Whoa...I did a 'zcat /vmlinuz > /dev/audio' and I think I heard God...
        -- mikecd on #Linux
.. 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
* JHM wonders what Joey did to earn "I'd just like to say, for the record,
  that Joey rules."
        -- Seen on #Debian
* JHM wonders what Joey did to earn "I'd just like to say, for the record,
  that Joey rules."
        -- Seen on #Debian
<dark> Turns out that grep returns error code 1 when there are no matches.
       I KNEW that.  Why did it take me half an hour?
        -- 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
Fortune presents:
        USEFUL PHRASES IN ESPERANTO, #5.

Mi ^cevalovipus vin se mi havus                I'd horsewhip you if I had a horse.
        ^cevalon.
Vere vi ^sercas.                        You must be kidding.
Nu, parDOOOOOnu min!                        Well exCUUUUUSE me!
Kiu invitis vin?                        Who invited you?
Kion vi diris pri mia patrino?                What did you say about my mother?
Bu^so^stopu min per kulero.                Gag me with a spoon.
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.
Someone did a study of the three most-often-heard phrases in New York
City.  One is "Hey, taxi."  Two is, "What train do I take to get to
Bloomingdale's?"  And three is, "Don't worry.  It's just a flesh wound."
                -- David Letterman
        "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 Almighty in His infinite wisdom did not see fit to create Frenchmen
in the image of Englishmen.
                -- Winston Churchill, 1942
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."
Q:        How did you get into artificial intelligence?
A:        Seemed logical -- I didn't have any real intelligence.
Q:        What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants coming over the hill?
A:        "The elephants are coming over the hill."

Q:        What did he say when saw them coming over the hill wearing
                sunglasses?
A:        Nothing, for he didn't recognize them.
Q:        Why did Menachem Begin invade Lebanon?
A:        To impress Jodie Foster.
Q:        Why did the astrophysicist order three hamburgers?
A:        Because he was hungry.
Q:        Why did the chicken cross the road?
A:        He was giving it last rites.
Q:        Why did the chicken cross the road?
A:        To see his friend Gregory peck.

Q:        Why did the chicken cross the playground?
A:        To get to the other slide.
Q:        Why did the germ cross the microscope?
A:        To get to the other slide.
Q:        Why did the lone ranger kill Tonto?
A:        He found out what "kimosabe" really means.
Q:        Why did the programmer call his mother long distance?
A:        Because that was her name.
Q:        Why did the tachyon cross the road?
A:        Because it was on the other side.
Q:        Why did the WASP cross the road?
A:        To get to the middle.
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?"
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.
Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's?
                -- P.J. Plauger
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)
Fortune suggests uses for YOUR favorite UNIX commands!

Try:
        ar t "God"
        drink < bottle; opener                        (Bourne Shell)
        cat "food in tin cans"                        (all but 4.[23]BSD)
        Hey UNIX!  Got a match?                        (V6 or C shell)
        mkdir matter; cat > matter                (Bourne Shell)
        rm God
        man: Why did you get a divorce?                (C shell)
        date me                                        (anything up to 4.3BSD)
        make "heads or tails of all this"
        who is smart
                                                (C shell)
        If I had a ) for every dollar of the national debt, what would I have?
        sleep with me                                (anything up to 4.3BSD)
        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 a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but
it is also very memorable.  I vividly recall the night we decided how to
organize the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360.  The
manager of architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and
I were threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.
        The architecture manager had 10 good men.  He asserted that they
could write the specifications and do it right.  It would take ten months,
three more than the schedule allowed.
        The control program manager had 150 men.  He asserted that they
could prepare the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating;
it would be well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.
Furthermore, if the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling
their thumbs for ten months.
        To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control
program team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time,
but would also be three months late, and of much lower quality.  I did, and
it was.  He was right on both counts.  Moreover, the lack of conceptual
integrity made the system far more costly to build and change, and I would
estimate that it added a year to debugging time.
                -- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
`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]
My little brother got this fortune:
        nohup rm -fr /&
So he did...
Real programmers don't draw flowcharts.  Flowcharts are, after all, the
illiterate's form of documentation.  Cavemen drew flowcharts; look how
much good it did them.
This is the first numerical problem I ever did.  It demonstrates the
power of computers:

Enter lots of data on calorie & nutritive content of foods.  Instruct
the thing to maximize a function describing nutritive content, with a
minimum level of each component, for fixed caloric content.  The
results are that one should eat each day:

        1/2 chicken
        1 egg
        1 glass of skim milk
        27 heads of lettuce.
                -- Rev. Adrian Melott
"We invented a new protocol and called it Kermit, after Kermit the Frog,
star of "The Muppet Show." [3]

[3]  Why?  Mostly because there was a Muppets calendar on the wall when we
were trying to think of a name, and Kermit is a pleasant, unassuming sort of
character.  But since we weren't sure whether it was OK to name our protocol
after this popular television and movie star, we pretended that KERMIT was an
acronym; unfortunately, we could never find a good set of words to go with the
letters, as readers of some of our early source code can attest.  Later, while
looking through a name book for his forthcoming baby, Bill Catchings noticed
that "Kermit" was a Celtic word for "free", which is what all Kermit programs
should be, and words to this effect replaced the strained acronyms in our
source code (Bill's baby turned out to be a girl, so he had to name her Becky
instead).  When BYTE Magazine was preparing our 1984 Kermit article for
publication, they suggested we contact Henson Associates Inc. for permission
to say that we did indeed name the protocol after Kermit the Frog.  Permission
was kindly granted, and now the real story can be told.  I resisted the
temptation, however, to call the present work "Kermit the Book."
                -- Frank da Cruz, "Kermit - A File Transfer Protocol"
Why did the Roman Empire collapse?  What is the Latin for office automation?
        "Anything else you wish to draw to my attention, Mr. Holmes ?"
        "The curious incident of the stable dog in the nighttime."
        "But the dog did nothing in the nighttime."
        "That was the curious incident."
                -- A. Conan Doyle, "Silver Blaze"
Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in?  I think
that's how dogs spend their lives.
                -- Sue Murphy
3M, under the Scotch brand name, manufactures a fine adhesive for art
and display work.  This product is called "Craft Mount".  3M suggests
that to obtain the best results, one should make the bond "while the
adhesive is wet, aggressively tacky."  I did not know what "aggressively
tacky" meant until I read today's fortune.

                [And who said we didn't offer equal time, huh? Ed.]
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.
Has anyone realized that the purpose of the fortune cookie program is to
defuse project tensions?  When did you ever see a cheerful cookie, a
non-cynical, or even an informative cookie?
        Perhaps inadvertently, we have a channel for our aggressions.  This
still begs the question of whether the cookie releases the pressure or only
serves to blunt the warning signs.

        Long live the revolution!
        Have a nice day.
        A grade school teacher was asking students what their parents did
for a living.  "Tim, you be first," she said.  "What does your mother do
all day?"
        Tim stood up and proudly said, "She's a doctor."
        "That's wonderful.  How about you, Amie?"
        Amie shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, "My father is a
mailman."
        "Thank you, Amie," said the teacher.  "What about your father, Billy?"
        Billy proudly stood up and announced, "My daddy plays piano in a
whorehouse."
        The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to geography.
Later that day she went to Billy's house and rang the bell.  Billy's father
answered the door.  The teacher explained what his son had said and demanded
an explanation.
        Billy's father replied, "Well, I'm really an attorney.  But how do
you explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old child?"
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 Real-Life Courtroom Quote #18:

Q:  Are you married?
A:  No, I'm divorced.
Q:  And what did your husband do before you divorced him?
A:  A lot of things I didn't know about.
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.
Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #7:

Q:  What happened then?
A:  He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."
Q:  Did he kill you?
A:  No.
Humor in the Court:
Q.  Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?
A.  I refuse to answer that question.
Q.  Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?
A.  I refuse to answer that question.
Q.  Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?
A.  No.
Humor in the Court:
Q.  Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
A.  No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.
Humor in the Court:
Q: ...and what did he do then?
A: He came home, and next morning he was dead.
Q: So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?
Humor in the Court:
Q: Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?
A: He didn't offer me nothing; he just said I could have the furniture.
Humor in the Court:
Q: So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe
   with respect to your scalp?
A: I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.
Q: It was covered?
A: Yes, bandaged.
Q: Then, later on.. what did you see?
A: I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top
   of my head.
Humor in the Court:
Q: What can you tell us about the truthfulness and veracity of this defendant?
A: Oh, she will tell the truth. She said she'd kill that sonofabitch--and
   she did!
        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."
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"
        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?"
        "Then what is magic for?" Prince Lir demanded wildly.  "What use is
wizardry if it cannot save a unicorn?"  He gripped the magician's shoulder
hard, to keep from falling.
        Schmendrick did not turn his head.  With a touch of sad mockery in
his voice, he said, "That's what heroes are for."
...
        "Yes, of course," he [Prince Lir] said.  "That is exactly what heroes
are for.  Wizards make no difference, so they say that nothing does, but
heroes are meant to die for unicorns."
                -- Peter Beagle, "The Last Unicorn"
Don't you feel more like you do now than you did when you came in?
You feel a whole lot more like you do now than you did when you used to.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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