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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Linux Rally Held in Pennsylvania

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The company's 'NoDot' policy has been under fire as well.  One anonymous
employee said, "We can't visit Slashdot because of Matt's addiction.  This
just sucks.  I really don't see anything wrong with visiting Slashdot during
breaks or after hours."
Humorix Holiday Gift Idea #9

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

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

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

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

What started out as a prank posting to comp.os.linux.advocacy yesterday has
turned into one of the most significant viruses in computing history.
The creator of the virus, who goes by the moniker "Anonymous Longhair",
modified the Melissa virus to install Linux on infected machines.

"It's a work of art," one Linux advocate told Humorix after he looked
through the Tuxissa virus source code.  "This virus goes well beyond the
feeble troublemaking of Melissa.  It actually configures a UMSDOS partition
on the user's hard drive and then downloads and installs a stripped-down
version of Slackware Linux."

The email message that the virus is attached to has the subject "Important
Message About Windows Security".  The text of the body says, "I want to let
you know about some security problems I've uncovered in Windows 95/98/NT,
Office 95/97, and Outlook. It's critically important that you protect your
system against these attacks.  Visit these sites for more information..."
The rest of the message contains 42 links to sites about Linux and free
software.

Details on how the virus started are a bit sketchy.  The "Anonymous
Longhair" who created it only posted it to Usenet as an early April Fool's
gag, demonstrating how easy it would be to mount a "Linux revolution".
BSOD Simulator

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

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

The bsodsim program doesn't stop at just showing a simulated error message.
If the boss doesn't walk away, the worker can continue the illusion by
hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL, which causes a simulated reboot.  After showing the
usual boot messages, bsodsim will run a simulated SCANDISK program
indefinitely. The boss won't be able to tell the difference.  If the boss
continues to hang around, the worker can say, "SCANDISK is really taking a
long time... maybe we should upgrade our computers.  And don't you have
something better to do than watch this computer reboot for the tenth time
today?"
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#3)

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

Question 3: Have you ever experimented with the freeware Linux OS created
            by a group of anarchist acne-laden teenagers via the Net?

A. No, I'd never trust my work to a piece of non-Microsoft software.

B. No, I'd never trust my computer to a piece of software that has a
   restrictive license agreement such as the GNU GPL.

C. No, I don't want to mess with the ancient command line interface Linux
   imposes on its users.

D. Yes, but I quickly migrated back to modern Windows NT after I had
   trouble figuring out how to boot the thing from the cryptic LILO
   prompt.
Jargon Coiner (#3)

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

* LILOSPLAININ': Arduous process of explaining why there's now a LILO boot
  prompt on the office computer.

  Example: "John had some lilosplainin' to do after his boss turned on the
  computer and the Windows splash screen didn't appear."

* UPTIME DOWNER: Depression that strikes a Linux sysadmin after his uptime
  is ruined. Can be caused by an extended power outtage, a pet chewing
  through the power cord, a lightning bolt striking the power line, or an
  urgent need to reboot into Windows to read a stupid Word document.

* OSTR (Off-Switch Total Recall): The sudden recollection of something
  terribly important you need to do online that occurs exactly 0.157
  seconds after you've shut down your computer.
Jargon Coiner (#4)

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

* FREE LECTURE: Attempting to explain the concepts of Linux, Open Source
  software, free software, and gift cultures to someone who is not
  familiar with them. Made extra difficult if the explainee has been
  misled by superficial mainstream news articles about the subject.

  Example: "Eric gave an hour-long free lecture to his mother-in-law after
  she asked him about this Linux thingy she read about in USA Today."

* LEXICON LAZINESS:  Filling a fortune file with a list of fake jargon
  instead of publishing something more substantive (and funny) that would
  take more effort to write.

* FOR(;;)TUNE LOOP: Repeatedly running fortune(6) for cheap entertainment.

  Example: "During a coffee break, Bob became bored and started a
  for(;;)tune loop. His boss had to issue a SIGTERM to get him to resume
  working."
Jargon Coiner (#6)

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

* STOP MIRAGE: Trying to click on an imaginary Stop button on a program's
  toolbar after doing something you didn't want to. Usually caused as the
  result of excessive use of Netscape.

* YA-PREFIX: Putting "another" or "yet another" in front of a name or
  tacking "YA" in front of an acronym.

  Example: "We could ya-prefix this fortune by titling it 'Yet Another
  Lame List of Fabricated Jargon'."

* DOMAINEERING: Using a service like Netcraft to determine what operating
  system and webserver a particular domain is running.

* NOT-A-SALTINE EXPLANATION: The canned response given to someone who
  uses the term "hacker" instead of "cracker".
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."
Programming for money sucks... you have to deal with PHBs, 16 hour days,
and spending the night in your cubicle half of the time to avoid the
Commute From Hell...

I minored in Journalism, so I tried to switch into a job as an IT pundit.
You'd think they'd welcome a geek like me with open arms, but they
didn't.  Ziff-Davis wouldn't even give me an interview. I was "too
qualified" they said. Apparently my technical acumen was too much for
their organization, which employs Jesse Berst and the ilk.

It gets worse. I tried to get an entry-level reporting job for a
local-yokel paper. After the interview they gave me a "skills test": I had
to compose an article using Microsoft Word 97. Since I've never touched a
Windows box, I had no clue how to use it. When I botched the test, the
personnel manager spouted, "Your resume said you were a computer
programmer. Obviously you're a liar. Get out of my office now!"

  -- Excerpt from a horror story about geek discrimination during
     the Geek Grok '99 telethon
Bill Gates Passes Turing Test

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

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

A newly printed brochure for the faux-Gates advertises, "Need help running
Windows 2010? Bill Gates will sit beside you and guide you through the
system. Have a question for the world's sexiest and smartest nerd? He'll
answer it. Wondering if free and open source software is a plot by
Communists freaks to overthrow the free market system? He'll be there to
explain. Want to ask for a personal loan? Sorry, won't happen."          
Evolution Of A Linux User: The 11 Stages Towards Getting A Life

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

BRYANT DUMBELL: Welcome back. After Round 1, the Mad Hatters are ahead 15
to 12. Round 2, the Caffeine Craziness event, is now underway.

JOHN SPLADDEN: This is my favorite part of the Nerdbowl. Each player tries
to consume as many gallons of caffeinated beverages within one minute, and
then points are awarded based on the redness of their eyes.

DUMBELL: I like this event too... I must admit, it's much better than the
"Crash It" event that was played in the Zeroth Annual Nerdbowl last year.
Players were each seated in front of a PC running Windows 98... points
were awarded based on how fast the player could cause a Blue Screen.

SPLADDEN: Ah, yes, I remember that. Everybody complained that the event
was too easy. "Where the hell is the challenge?" yelled Chris DiBona while
doing a victory dance after the VA Linux Rich Penguins beat the SuSE Cats
In The Hats last year 121-96.
Excerpts From The First Annual Nerd Bowl (#5)

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

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

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

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

  Coming soon: ExtremelyWired(tm) cola with 50% more sugar! May or may not
  meet FDA approval... we're still trying.
Man Charged With Crashing Windows

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

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

At the heat of the moment, Turgent shoved Poor aside and typed in
"C:\CON\CON". The machine crashed and the pundit lost all of his work (a
real loss to humanity, to be sure). Turgent is in jail awaiting trial for
violating the "Slash Crashes Act". This bill was enacted in 1999 after a
Senator's gigabyte cache of pornography was destroyed by a Windows crash.
Brief History Of Linux (#11)
Birth of Gates and the Anti-Gates

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

Nature is all about balance. The birth of Gates in 1955 tipped the cosmic
scales toward evil, but the birth of Linus Torvalds in 1969 finally
balanced them out. Linus' destiny as the savior of Unix and the slayer of
money-breathing Redmond dragons was sealed when, just mere hours after his
birth, the Unix epoch began January 1st, 1970. While the baseline for Unix
timekeeping might be arbitrary, we here at Humorix like to thank the its
proximity of Linus' birth is no coincidence.
Brief History Of Linux (#15)
Too many hyphens: Traf-O-Data and Micro-soft

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

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

Soon thereafter, the two developed their own BASIC interpreter, and sold
it to MITS for their new Altair computer. April 4, 1975 is the fateful day
that Micro-soft was founded in Albuquerque, NM as a language vendor.
Brief History Of Linux (#20)
Linux is born

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

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

Linux (which was known as "Lindows", "Freax", and "Billsux" for short
periods in 1991) hit the bigtime on January 5, 1992 (exactly one year
after Linus wasn't hit by a bus) when version 0.12 was released under the
GNU GPL. Linus called his creation a "better Minix than Minix"; the famous
Linus vs. Tanenbaum flamewar erupted soon thereafter on January 29th and
injured several Usenet bystanders.
Brief History Of Linux (#27)

Microsoft's position as the 5,000 pound gorilla of the computer industry
didn't change during the 1990's. Indeed, this gorilla got even more
bloated with every passing Windows release. Bill Gates' business strategy
was simple:

1. Pre-announce vaporous product.
2. Hire monkeys (low-paid temps) to cruft something together in VB
3. It it compiles, ship it.
4. Launch marketing campaign for new product showcasing MS "innovation".
5. Repeat (GOTO 1).

With such a plan Microsoft couldn't fail. That is, unless some external
force popped up and ruined everything. Such as Linux and the Internet
perhaps. Both of these developments were well-known to Bill Gates in the
early and mid 1990's (a company as large as Microsoft can afford a decent
spy network, after all). He just considered both to be mere fads that
would go away when Microsoft announced some new innovation, like PDAs --
Personal Desktop Agents (i.e. Bob and Clippit).
/*
* Hi, this is Linus Torvalds speaking, your Benevolent Dictator. I'm typing
* this today to talk about EyeOpener(tm) brand caffeinated beverages, for
* those really, really, _really_ long nights of kernel hacking.
*
* EyeOpener(tm): When ordinary colas don't keep you awake for 72 hours
* straight.
*/

   -- Comment embedded in Linux kernel 2.6.15 after Linus Torvalds
      decided to get-rich-quick by placing "comment-verts" in the code
World Domination, One CPU Cycle At A Time

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

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

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

The "fun" part involves LART (Linux Advocacy & Re-education Training), a plan
for extreme advocacy. As part of LART, each Linux User Group will receive a
list of the Windows-using weenies in their region. The LUG will then be able
to employ various advocacy techniques, ranging from a soft-sell approach
(sending the target a free Linux CD in the mail) all the way to "LARTcon 5"
(cracking into their system and forcibly installing Linux).
Bill Gates Receives Slap On Wrist; Carpal Tunnel Flares Up

The phrase "slap on the wrist" usually signifies an extremely minor
punishment received for a crime. In Bill Gates' case, the punishment set
forth in the tentative settlement with the Department Of Justice hasn't
been quite so minor. After receiving a slap on the wrist from the DOJ,
Bill Gates' is now suffering from a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

"Mr. Gates was slapped on the left wrist earlier today by a DOJ lawyer,"
said the chief surgeon of the mini-hospital enclosed within the Gates
Mansion. "Now he can't move that hand without extreme pain. It's obvious
that years of sitting in front of a computer plotting world domination has
caused his hands and nerves to become fragile and vulnerable to even the
slightest touch."

The Department of Justice proclaimed that the incident has vindicated
their actions. Explained the lawyer who delivered the punishment, "We've
been accused of selling out to Microsoft. We've been criticized for giving
up even though we've already won the game. But that's all wrong. It's
quite clear that the slap-on-the-wrist punishment has been anything but a
slap on the wrist. We won this case and Microsoft lost. So there!"
  After they got rid of capital punishment, they had to hang twice
  as many people as before.
  After Donald Trump's stretch limousine was stolen and found
  undamaged a few blocks away; he said, "Nothing was stolen. I had
  an honest thief."-International Herald Tribune, page 3, March 2,
  1992
  I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after
  they're dead. -Samuel Goldwyn
  "I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better
  to prophesy after the event has already taken place. " - Winston
  Churchill
If Microsoft Owned McDonald's
Source: Unknown

1. Every order would come with fries whether you asked for them or not.
2. When they introduce McPizza, the marketing makes it seem that they invented
    pizza.
3. "A McDonald's on every block" -- Bill Gates.
4. You'd be constantly pressured to upgrade to a more expensive burger.
5. Sometimes you'll find that the burger box is empty. For some strange reason
    you'll accept this and purchase another one.
6. They'd claim the burgers are the same size as at other fast food chains,
    but in reality it's just a larger bun hiding the small beef patty.
7. Straws wouldn't be available until after you finish your drink.
8. "Push" technology -- they have McD employees come to your door and sell you
    Happy Meals.
9. Your order would never be right but the cash register would work perfectly
    for taking your money.
10. The "Special Sauce" cannot be reverse engineered, decompiled, or placed on
    more than 1 Big Mac.
You Might be a Microsoft Employee If...

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

   -- Matt Welsh
Everyone seems so impatient and angry these days.  I think it's because
so many people use Windows at work -- do you think you'd be Politeness
Man after working on Windows 8 hrs. or more?

   -- Chip Atkinson
Slight disorientation after prolonged system uptime is normal for new Linux
users. Please do not adjust your browser.

   -- From a Slashdot.org post
"In a way they were right the basics of operating systems, and by extension the Linux kernel, were well understood by the early 70s; anything after that has been to some degree an exercise in self-gratification."

  -- Linus Torvalds (Open Sources, 1999 O'Reilly and Associates)
After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
(Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X the
intuitiveness of a Mac interface.)
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good. After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them. He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy. After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
(By ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu (Erik Troan)
The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
(Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X interfaces.)
"What you end up with, after running an operating system concept through
these many marketing coffee filters, is something not unlike plain hot
water."
(By Matt Welsh)
Hi!  You have reached 555-0129. None of us are here to answer the phone and
the cat doesn't have opposing thumbs, so his messages are illegible.  Please
leave your name and message after the beep...
Speaking of purchasing a dog, never buy a watchdog that's on sale.
After all, everyone knows a bargain dog never bites!
Once upon a time there was a DOS user who saw Unix, and saw that it was
good.  After typing cp on his DOS machine at home, he downloaded GNU's
unix tools ported to DOS and installed them.  He rm'd, cp'd, and mv'd
happily for many days, and upon finding elvis, he vi'd and was happy.  After
a long day at work (on a Unix box) he came home, started editing a file,
and couldn't figure out why he couldn't suspend vi (w/ ctrl-z) to do
a compile.
        -- Erik Troan, ewt@tipper.oit.unc.edu
What you end up with, after running an operating system concept through
these many marketing coffee filters, is something not unlike plain hot
water.
        -- Matt Welsh
The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple.  After that, it's all learned.
        -- Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, on X interfaces
After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
        -- Bruce Ediger, bediger@teal.csn.org, on X the intuitiveness of a Mac interface
panic("Foooooooood fight!");
        -- In the kernel source aha1542.c, after detecting a bad segment list
How do you power off this machine?
        -- Linus, when upgrading linux.cs.helsinki.fi, and after using the machine for several months
AP/STT.  Helsinki, Dec 5th, 6:22 AM.  For immediate release.

In order to allay fears about the continuity of the Linux project, Linus
Torvalds together with his manager Tove Monni have released "Linus
v2.0", affectionately known as "Kernel Hacker - The Next Generation".

Linux stock prices on Wall Street rose sharply after the announcement;
as one well-known analyst who wishes to remain anonymous says - "It
shows a long-term commitment, and while we expect a short-term decrease
in productivity, we feel that this solidifies the development in the
long run".

Other analysts downplay the importance of the event, and claim that just
about anybody could have done it.  "I'm glad somebody finally told them
about the birds and the bees" one sceptic comments cryptically.  But
even the skeptics agree that it is an interesting turn of events.

Others bring up other issues with the new version - "I'm especially
intrigued by the fact that the new version is female, and look forward
to seeing what the impact of that will be on future development.  Will
"Red Hat Linux" change to "Pink Hat Linux", for example?"
        -- Linus Torvalds announcing that he became father of a girl
After 14 non-maintainer releases, I'm the S-Lang non-maintainer.
        -- Ray Dassen
> I thing you're missing the capability of Makefiles.

        It takes several _hours_ to do `make' a second time on my
machine with the latest glibc sources (and no files are recompiled a
second time).  I think I'll remove `build' after changing one file if
I want to recompile it.
        -- Juan Cespedes <cespedes@debian.org>
These download files are in Microsoft Word 6.0 format. After
unzipping, these files can be viewed in any text editor, including
all versions of Microsoft Word, WordPad, and Microsoft Word Viewer
        -- From Micro$oft
I've seen people with new children before, they go from ultra happy to
looking like something out of a zombie film in about a week.
        -- Alan Cox about Linus after his 2nd daughter
Charles Briscoe-Smith <cpbs@debian.org>:
  After all, the gzip package is called `gzip', not `libz-bin'...

James Troup <troup@debian.org>:
  Uh, probably because the gzip binary doesn't come from the
  non-existent libz package or the existent zlib package.
        -- debian-bugs-dist
Ha. I say let them try -- even vi+perl couldn't match the power of an
editor which is, after all, its own OS.  ;-)
        -- Johnie Ingram on debian-devel, about linking vim with libperl.so
<dark> Looks like the channel is back to normal :)
<jim> You mean it's not scrolling faster than anyone can read? :)
        -- Seen on #Debian after the release of Debian 2.0
        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?"
Watch Rincewind.

Look at him.  Scrawny, like most wizards, and clad in a dark red robe on
which a few mystic sigils were embroidered in tarnished sequins. Some might
have taken him for a mere apprentice enchanter who had run away from his
master out of defiance, boredom, fear and a lingering taste for
heterosexuality.  Yet around his neck was a chain bearing the bronze octagon
that marked him as an alumnus of Unseen University, the high school of magic
whose time-and-space transcendent campus is never precisely Here or There.
Graduates were usually destined for mageship at least, but Rincewind--after
an unfortunate event--had left knowing only one spell and made a living of
sorts around the town by capitalizing on an innate gift for languages.  He
avoided work as a rule, but had a quickness of wit that put his
acquaintances in mind of a bright rodent.
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
A cousin of mine once said about money,
money is always there but the pockets change;
it is not in the same pockets after a change,
and that is all there is to say about money.
                -- Gertrude Stein
A is for awk, which runs like a snail, and
B is for biff, which reads all your mail.
C is for cc, as hackers recall, while
D is for dd, the command that does all.
E is for emacs, which rebinds your keys, and
F is for fsck, which rebuilds your trees.
G is for grep, a clever detective, while
H is for halt, which may seem defective.
I is for indent, which rarely amuses, and
J is for join, which nobody uses.
K is for kill, which makes you the boss, while
L is for lex, which is missing from DOS.
M is for more, from which less was begot, and
N is for nice, which it really is not.
O is for od, which prints out things nice, while
P is for passwd, which reads in strings twice.
Q is for quota, a Berkeley-type fable, and
R is for ranlib, for sorting ar table.
S is for spell, which attempts to belittle, while
T is for true, which does very little.
U is for uniq, which is used after sort, and
V is for vi, which is hard to abort.
W is for whoami, which tells you your name, while
X is, well, X, of dubious fame.
Y is for yes, which makes an impression, and
Z is for zcat, which handles compression.
                -- THE ABC'S OF UNIX
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain.  And futures have
A way of falling down in midflight,
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn
With every goodbye you learn.
                -- Veronic Shoffstall, "Comes the Dawn"
After all my erstwhile dear,
My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
Just because it perished?
                -- Edna St. Vincent Millay
Every night my prayers I say,
        And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I've been good,
        I get an orange after food.
The child that is not clean and neat,
        With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I'm sure--
        Or else his dear papa is poor.
                -- Robert Louis Stevenson
He's been like a father to me,
He's the only DJ you can get after three,
I'm an all-night musician in a rock and roll band,
And why he don't like me I don't understand.
                -- The Byrds
"I thought that you said you were 20 years old!"
"As a programmer, yes," she replied,
"And you claimed to be very near two meters tall!"
"You said you were blonde, but you lied!"
Oh, she was a hacker and he was one, too,
They had so much in common, you'd say.
They exchanged jokes and poems, and clever new hacks,
And prompts that were cute or risque'.
He sent her a picture of his brother Sam,
She sent one from some past high school day,
And it might have gone on for the rest of their lives,
If they hadn't met in L.A.
"Your beard is an armpit," she said in disgust.
He answered, "Your armpit's a beard!"
And they chorused: "I think I could stand all the rest
If you were not so totally weird!"
If she had not said what he wanted to hear,
And he had not done just the same,
They'd have been far more honest, and never have met,
And would not have had fun with the game.
                -- Judith Schrier, "Face to Face After Six Months of
                Electronic Mail"
In high school in Brooklyn
I was the baseball manager,
proud as I could be
I chased baseballs,
gathered thrown bats
handed out the towels                        Eventually, I bought my own
It was very important work                but it was dark blue while
for a small spastic kid,                the official ones were green
but I was a team member                        Nobody ever said anything
When the team got                        to me about my blue jacket;
their warm-up jackets                        the guys were my friends
I didn't get one                        Yet it hurt me all year
Only the regular team                        to wear that blue jacket
got these jackets, and                        among all those green ones
surely not a manager                        Even now, forty years after,
                                        I still recall that jacket
                                        and the memory goes on hurting.
                -- Bart Lanier Safford III, "An Obscured Radiance"
It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind starts and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.
John the Baptist after poisoning a thief,
Looks up at his hero, the Commander-in-Chief,
Saying tell me great leader, but please make it brief
Is there a hole for me to get sick in?
The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly,
Saying death to all those who would whimper and cry.
And dropping a barbell he points to the sky,
Saying the sun is not yellow, it's chicken.
                -- Bob Dylan, "Tombstone Blues"
Like corn in a field I cut you down,
I threw the last punch way too hard,
After years of going steady, well, I thought it was time,
To throw in my hand for a new set of cards.
And I can't take you dancing out on the weekend,
I figured we'd painted too much of this town,
And I tried not to look as I walked to my wagon,
And I knew then I had lost what should have been found,
I knew then I had lost what should have been found.
        And I feel like a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford
        I'm as low as a paid assassin is
        You know I'm cold as a hired sword.
        I'm so ashamed we can't patch it up,
        You know I can't think straight no more
        You make me feel like a bullet, honey,
                a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford.
                -- Elton John "I Feel Like a Bullet"
My own dear love, he is strong and bold
        And he cares not what comes after.
His words ring sweet as a chime of gold,
        And his eyes are lit with laughter.
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled --
        Oh, a girl, she'd not forget him.
My own dear love, he is all my world --
        And I wish I'd never met him.
                -- Dorothy Parker, part 1
New York-- to that tall skyline I come
Flyin' in from London to your door
New York-- lookin' down on Central Park
Where they say you should not wander after dark.
New York.
                -- Simon and Garfunkle
O slender as a willow-wand!  O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool!  Fair river-daughter!
O spring-time and summer-time, and spring again after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leaves' laughter!
                -- J. R. R. Tolkien
Oh, yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of livin' is gone.
                -- John Cougar, "Jack and Diane"
Picking up the pieces of my sweet shattered dream,
I wonder how the old folks are tonight,
Her name was Ann, and I'll be damned if I recall her face,
She left me not knowing what to do.

Carefree Highway, let me slip away on you,
Carefree Highway, you seen better days,
The morning after blues, from my head down to my shoes,
Carefree Highway, let me slip away, slip away, on you...

Turning back the pages to the times I love best,
I wonder if she'll ever do the same,
Now the thing that I call livin' is just bein' satisfied,
With knowing I got noone left to blame.
Carefree Highway, I got to see you, my old flame...

Searching through the fragments of my dream shattered sleep,
I wonder if the years have closed her mind,
I guess it must be wanderlust or tryin' to get free,
From the good old faithful feelin' we once knew.
                -- Gordon Lightfoot, "Carefree Highway"
She can kill all your files;
She can freeze with a frown.
And a wave of her hand brings the whole system down.
And she works on her code until ten after three.
She lives like a bat but she's always a hacker to me.
                -- Apologies to Billy Joel
The garden is in mourning;
The rain falls cool among the flowers.
Summer shivers quietly
On its way towards its end.

Golden leaf after leaf
Falls from the tall acacia.
Summer smiles, astonished, feeble,
In this dying dream of a garden.

For a long while, yet, in the roses,
She will linger on, yearning for peace,
And slowly
Close her weary eyes.
                -- Hermann Hesse, "September"
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 Worst American Poet
        Julia Moore, "the Sweet Singer of Michigan" (1847-1920) was so bad that
Mark Twain said her first book gave him joy for 20 years.
        Her verse was mainly concerned with violent death -- the great fire
of Chicago and the yellow fever epidemic proved natural subjects for her pen.
        Whether death was by drowning, by fits or by runaway sleigh, the
formula was the same:
                Have you heard of the dreadful fate
                Of Mr. P.P. Bliss and wife?
                Of their death I will relate,
                And also others lost their life
                (in the) Ashbula Bridge disaster,
                Where so many people died.
        Even if you started out reasonably healthy in one of Julia's poems,
the chances are that after a few stanzas you would be at the bottom of a
river or struck by lightning.  A critic of the day said she was "worse than
a Gatling gun" and in one slim volume counted 21 killed and 9 wounded.
        Incredibly, some newspapers were critical of her work, even
suggesting that the sweet singer was "semi-literate".  Her reply was
forthright: "The Editors that has spoken in this scandalous manner have went
beyond reason."  She added that "literary work is very difficult to do".
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
They told me you had proven it                When they discovered our results
        About a month before.                        Their hair began to curl
The proof was valid, more or less        Instead of understanding it
        But rather less than more.                We'd run the thing through PRL.

He sent them word that we would try        Don't tell a soul about all this
        To pass where they had failed                For it must ever be
And after we were done, to them                A secret, kept from all the rest
        The new proof would be mailed.                Between yourself and me.

My notion was to start again
        Ignoring all they'd done
We quickly turned it into code
        To see if it would run.
Though I respect that a lot
I'd be fired if that were my job
After killing Jason off and
Countless screaming argonauts

Bluebird of friendliness
Like guardian angels it's
Always near

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
                -- "Birdhouse in your Soul", They Might Be Giants
You can grovel with a lover, you can grovel with a friend,
You can grovel with your boss, and it never has to end.

(chorus)        Grovel, grovel, grovel, every night and every day,
                Grovel, grovel, grovel, in your own peculiar way.

You can grovel in a hallway, you can grovel in a park,
You can grovel in an alley with a mugger after dark.
(chorus)

You can grovel with your uncle, you can grovel with your aunt,
You can grovel with your Apple, even though you say you can't.
(chorus)
"I got into an elevator at work and this man followed in after me... I
pushed '1' and he just stood there... I said 'Hi, where you going?'  He
said, 'Phoenix.'  So I pushed Phoenix.  A few seconds later the doors
opened, two tumbleweeds blew in... we were in downtown Phoenix.  I looked
at him and said 'You know, you're the kind of guy I want to hang around
with.'  We got into his car and drove out to his shack in the desert.
Then the phone rang.  He said 'You get it.'  I picked it up and said
'Hello?'... the other side said 'Is this Steven Wright?'... I said 'Yes...'
The guy said 'Hi, I'm Mr. Jones, the student loan director from your bank...
It seems you have missed your last 17 payments, and the university you
attended said that they received none of the $17,000 we loaned you... we
would just like to know what happened to the money?'  I said, 'Mr. Jones,
I'll give it to you straight.  I gave all of the money to my friend Slick,
and with it he built a nuclear weapon... and I would appreciate it if you never
called me again."
                -- Steven Wright
I just got out of the hospital after a speed reading accident.
I hit a bookmark.
                -- Steven Wright
I should have been a country-western singer.  After all, I'm older than
most western countries.
                -- George Burns
I suggest you locate your hot tub outside your house, so it won't do too
much damage if it catches fire or explodes.  First you decide which
direction your hot tub should face for maximum solar energy.  After much
trial and error, I have found that the best direction for a hot tub to face
is up.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
Like you,  I am frequently haunted by profound questions related to man's
place in the Scheme of Things.  Here are just a few:

        Q -- Is there life after death?
        A -- Definitely.  I speak from personal experience here.  On New
Year's Eve, 1970, I drank a full pitcher of a drink called "Black Russian",
then crawled out on the lawn and died within a matter of minutes, which was
fine with me because I had come to realize that if I had lived I would have
spent the rest of my life in the grip of the most excruciatingly painful
headache.  Thanks to the miracle of modern orange juice, I was brought back
to life several days later, but in the interim I was definitely dead.  I
guess my main impression of the afterlife is that it isn't so bad as long
as you keep the television turned down and don't try to eat any solid foods.
                -- Dave Barry
        The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on
the subject of towels.
        Most importantly, a towel has immense psychological value.  For
some reason, if a non-hitchhiker discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel
with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a
toothbrush, washcloth, flask, gnat spray, space suit, etc., etc.  Furthermore,
the non-hitchhiker will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or
a dozen other items that he may have "lost".  After all, any man who can
hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, struggle against terrible odds,
win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be
reckoned with.
                -- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
A certain old cat had made his home in the alley behind Gabe's bar for some
time, subsisting on scraps and occasional handouts from the bartender.  One
evening, emboldened by hunger, the feline attempted to follow Gabe through
the back door.  Regrettably, only the his body had made it through when
the door slammed shut, severing the cat's tail at its base.  This proved too
much for the old creature, who looked sadly at Gabe and expired on the spot.
        Gabe put the carcass back out in the alley and went back to business.
The mandatory closing time arrived and Gabe was in the process of locking up
after the last customers had gone.  Approaching the back door he was startled
to see an apparition of the old cat mournfully holding its severed tail out,
silently pleading for Gabe to put the tail back on its corpse so that it could
go on to the kitty afterworld complete.
        Gabe shook his head sadly and said to the ghost, "I can't.  You know
the law -- no retailing spirits after 2:00 AM."
        A lawyer named Strange was shopping for a tombstone.  After he had
made his selection, the stonecutter asked him what inscription he
would like on it.  "Here lies an honest man and a lawyer," responded the
lawyer.
        "Sorry, but I can't do that," replied the stonecutter.  "In this
state, it's against the law to bury two people in the same grave.  However,
I could put ``here lies an honest lawyer'', if that would be okay."
        "But that won't let people know who it is" protested the lawyer.
        "Certainly will," retorted the stonecutter.  "people will read it
and exclaim, "That's Strange!"
After 35 years, I have finished a comprehensive study of European
comparative law.  In Germany, under the law, everything is prohibited,
except that which is permitted.  In France, under the law, everything
is permitted, except that which is prohibited.  In the Soviet Union,
under the law, everything is prohibited, including that which is
permitted.  And in Italy, under the law, everything is permitted,
especially that which is prohibited.
                -- Newton Minow,
                Speech to the Association of American Law Schools, 1985
        After his Ignoble Disgrace, Satan was being expelled from
Heaven.  As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought,
and turned to God and said, "A new creature called Man, I hear, is soon
to be created."
        "This is true," He replied.
        "He will need laws," said the Demon slyly.
        "What!  You, his appointed Enemy for all Time!  You ask for the
right to make his laws?"
        "Oh, no!"  Satan replied, "I ask only that he be allowed to
make his own."
        It was so granted.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Diogenes went to look for an honest lawyer. "How's it going?", someone
asked him, after a few days.
        "Not too bad", replied Diogenes. "I still have my lantern."
First there was Dial-A-Prayer, then Dial-A-Recipe, and even Dial-A-Footballer.
But the south-east Victorian town of Sale has produced one to top them all.
Dial-A-Wombat.
        It all began early yesterday when Sale police received a telephone
call: "You won't believe this, and I'm not drunk, but there's a wombat in the
phone booth outside the town hall," the caller said.
        Not firmly convinced about the caller's claim to sobriety, members of
the constabulary drove to the scene, expecting to pick up a drunk.
        But there it was, an annoyed wombat, trapped in a telephone booth.
        The wombat, determined not to be had the better of again, threw its
bulk into the fray. It was eventually lassoed and released in a nearby scrub.
        Then the officers received another message ... another wombat in
another phone booth.
        There it was: *Another* angry wombat trapped in a telephone booth.
        The constables took the miffed marsupial into temporary custody and
released it, too, in the scrub.
        But on their way back to the station they happened to pass another
telephone booth, and -- you guessed it -- another imprisoned wombat.
        After some serious detective work, the lads in blue found a suspect,
and after questioning, released him to be charged on summons.
        Their problem ... they cannot find a law against placing wombats in
telephone booths.
                -- "Newcastle Morning Herald", NSW Australia, Aug 1980.
For certain people, after fifty, litigation takes the place of sex.
                -- Gore Vidal
Humor in the Court:
Q.  Were you aquainted with the deceased?
A.  Yes, sir.
Q.  Before or after he died?
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.
If there were a school for, say, sheet metal workers, that after three
years left its graduates as unprepared for their careers as does law
school, it would be closed down in a minute, and no doubt by lawyers.
                -- Michael Levin, "The Socratic Method
In Devon, Connecticut, it is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset.
        It seems these two guys, George and Harry, set out in a Hot Air
balloon to cross the United States.  After forty hours in the air, George
turned to Harry, and said, "Harry, I think we've drifted off course!  We
need to find out where we are."
        Harry cools the air in the balloon, and they descend to below the
cloud cover.  Slowly drifting over the countryside, George spots a man
standing below them and yells out, "Excuse me!  Can you please tell me
where we are?"
        The man on the ground yells back, "You're in a balloon, approximately
fifty feet in the air!"
        George turns to Harry and says, "Well, that man *must* be a lawyer".
        Replies Harry, "How can you tell?".
        "Because the information he gave us is 100% accurate, and totally
useless!"

That's the end of The Joke, but for you people who are still worried about
George and Harry: they end up in the drink, and make the front page of the
New York Times: "Balloonists Soaked by Lawyer".
The Worst Jury
        A murder trial at Manitoba in February 1978 was well advanced, when
one juror revealed that he was completely deaf and did not have the
remotest clue what was happening.
        The judge, Mr. Justice Solomon, asked him if he had heard any
evidence at all and, when there was no reply, dismissed him.
        The excitement which this caused was only equalled when a second
juror revealed that he spoke not a word of English.  A fluent French
speaker, he exhibited great surprised when told, after two days, that he
was hearing a murder trial.
        The trial was abandoned when a third juror said that he suffered
from both conditions, being simultaneously unversed in the English language
and nearly as deaf as the first juror.
        The judge ordered a retrial.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
"There was an interesting development in the CBS-Westmoreland trial:
both sides agreed that after the trial, Andy Rooney would be allowed to
talk to the jury for three minutes about little things that annoyed him
during the trial."
                -- David Letterman
There's no justice in this world.
                -- Frank Costello, on the prosecution of "Lucky" Luciano by
                   New York district attorney Thomas Dewey after Luciano had
                   saved Dewey from assassination by Dutch Schultz (by ordering
                   the assassination of Schultz instead)
        A horse breeder has his young colts bottle-fed after they're three
days old.  He heard that a foal and his mummy are soon parted.
After the game the king and the pawn go in the same box.
                -- Italian proverb
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after.
The ends justify the means.
                -- after Matthew Prior
Q:        How does the Polish Constitution differ from the American?
A:        Under the Polish Constitution citizens are guaranteed freedom of
        speech, but under the United States constitution they are
        guaranteed freedom after speech.
                -- being told in Poland, 1987
Q:        How many members of the U.S.S. Enterprise does it take to change a
        light bulb?
A:        Seven.  Scotty has to report to Captain Kirk that the light bulb in
        the Engineering Section is getting dim, at which point Kirk will send
        Bones to pronounce the bulb dead (although he'll immediately claim
        that he's a doctor, not an electrician).  Scotty, after checking
        around, realizes that they have no more new light bulbs, and complains
        that he "canna" see in the dark.  Kirk will make an emergency stop at
        the next uncharted planet, Alpha Regula IV, to procure a light bulb
        from the natives, who, are friendly, but seem to be hiding something.
        Kirk, Spock, Bones, Yeoman Rand and two red shirt security officers
        beam down to the planet, where the two security officers are promply
        killed by the natives, and the rest of the landing party is captured.
        As something begins to develop between the Captain and Yeoman Rand,
        Scotty, back in orbit, is attacked by a Klingon destroyer and must
        warp out of orbit.  Although badly outgunned, he cripples the Klingon
        and races back to the planet in order to rescue Kirk et. al. who have
        just saved the natives' from an awful fate and, as a reward, been
        given all light bulbs they can carry.  The new bulb is then inserted
        and the Enterprise continues on its five year mission.
* dark has changed the topic on channel #debian to: Later tonight: After
  months of careful refrigeration, Debian 2.0 is finally cool enough to
  release.
* dark greets liw with a small yellow frog.
* liw kisses the frog and watches it transform to a beautiful nerd
  girl, takes her out to ice cream, and lives happily forever after
  with her
<dark> liw: Umm it's too late to have the frog back?
<Knghtbrd> Overfiend - BTW, after we've discovered X takes all of 1.4 GIGS
           to build, are you willing admit that X is bloatware?  =>
<Overfiend> KB: there is a 16 1/2 minute gap in my answer
<acf> knghtbrd: evidence exists that X is only the *2nd* worst windowing
      system ;)
<liw> damn, the autonomous mouse movement starts usually after I use a
      mouse button
<wichert> don't use a mouse button then :)
<liw> yeah, right :)
* Knghtbrd pelts wichert with NERF darts
* wichert notes there are no ICBM nerfs yet and ignores kngtbrd
<Knghtbrd> wichert - just wait, after seeing the NERF gatling guns, ICBMs
           are not far off (just pump the damned thing for an hour or two
           is all...)
<lilo> it's weird, when you go on a safari to Africa to catch a lion, you
       find it alive and it charges, and then you kill it
<lilo> when you go on a safari to South Bay to find a Palm Vx, you find
       it dead and take it home and it charges after it arrives :)
<lilo> I can read the bloody *manual* as if it were some sort of
       religious tract describing forms of enlightenment you can achieve
       after 10 years on a mountain :)
<Knghtbrd> CVS/Entries had the line I needed to "alter"
<Mercury> Knghtbrd: Was about to mention such.. <G>
<Mercury> Knghtbrd: Now, ready to commit?
<Knghtbrd> wish me luck
<Knghtbrd> Mercury: it's committed
<Knghtbrd> Mercury: and after all that, I should be too.
<Sammy> that's *IT*.  I'm never fucking attempting to install redhat
        again.
<Sammy> this is like the 10th fucking machine on which the installer has
        imploded immediately after I went through the hell of their
        package selection process.
<timball> Sammy: just use debian and never look back
<Sammy> timball: debian iso's are being written at this very moment.
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 programmer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of
being able to turn out, after innumerable punching, an infinite series of
incomprehensible answers calculated with micrometric precisions from vague
assumptions based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive documents
and carried out on instruments of problematical accuracy by persons of
dubious reliability and questionable mentality for the avowed purpose of
annoying and confounding a hopelessly defenseless department that was
unfortunate enough to ask for the information in the first place.
                -- IEEE Grid newsmagazine
        After sifting through the overwritten remaining blocks of Luke's home
directory, Luke and PDP-1 sped away from /u/lars, across the surface of the
Winchester riding Luke's flying read/write head.  PDP-1 had Luke stop at the
edge of the cylinder overlooking /usr/spool/uucp.
        "Unix-to-Unix Copy Program;" said PDP-1.  "You will never find a more
wretched hive of bugs and flamers.  We must be cautious."
                -- DECWARS
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.
But this has taken us far afield from interface, which is not a bad
place to be, since I particularly want to move ahead to the kludge.
Why do people have so much trouble understanding the kludge?  What
is a kludge, after all, but not enough K's, not enough ROM's, not
enough RAM's, poor quality interface and too few bytes to go around?
Have I explained yet about the bytes?
Dear Emily:
        How can I choose what groups to post in?
                -- Confused

Dear Confused:
        Pick as many as you can, so that you get the widest audience.  After
all, the net exists to give you an audience.  Ignore those who suggest you
should only use groups where you think the article is highly appropriate.
Pick all groups where anybody might even be slightly interested.
        Always make sure followups go to all the groups.  In the rare event
that you post a followup which contains something original, make sure you
expand the list of groups.  Never include a "Followup-to:" line in the
header, since some people might miss part of the valuable discussion in
the fringe groups.
                -- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
        *** DO YOU HAVE A RESTLESS URGE TO PROGRAM? ***
Do you want the instant respect that comes from being able to use technical
terms that nobody understands?  Do you want to strike fear and loathing into
the hearts of DP managers everywhere?  If so, then let the Famous Programmers'
School lead you on... into the world of professional computer programming.

        *** IS PROGRAMMING FOR YOU? ***
Programming is not for everyone.  But, if you have the desire to learn, we can
help you get started.  All you need is the Famous Programmers' Course and
enough money to keep those lessons coming month after month.

        *** TAKE OUR FREE APTITUDE TEST ***
To help determine if you are qualified to be a programmer, take a moment to
try this simple test:
        (1) Write down the numbers from zero to nine and the first six letters
                of the alphabet (Hint: 0123456789ABCDEF).
        (2) Whose picture is on the back of a twenty-dollar bill?
        (3) What is the state capital of Idaho?
If you managed to read all three questions without wondering why we asked
them, you may have a future as a computer programmer.
DOS Beer: Requires you to use your own can opener, and requires you to
read the directions carefully before opening the can. Originally only
came in an 8-oz. can, but now comes in a 16-oz. can. However, the can is
divided into 8 compartments of 2 oz. each, which have to be accessed
separately.  Soon to be discontinued, although a lot of people are going
to keep drinking it after it's no longer available.
Hacker's Guide To Cooking:
2 pkg. cream cheese (the mushy white stuff in silver wrappings that doesn't
        really  come from Philadelphia after all; anyway, about 16 oz.)
1 tsp. vanilla  extract  (which is more alcohol than vanilla and pretty
        strong so this part you *GOTTA* measure)
1/4 cup sugar (but honey works fine too)
8 oz. Cool Whip (the fluffy stuff devoid of nutritional value that you
        can squirt all over your friends and lick off...)
"Blend all together until creamy with no lumps."  This is where you get to
        join(1) all the raw data in a big buffer and then filter it through
        merge(1m) with the -thick option, I mean, it starts out ultra lumpy
        and icky looking and you have to work hard to mix it.  Try an electric
        beater if you have a cat(1) that can climb wall(1s) to lick it off
        the ceiling(3m).
"Pour into a graham cracker crust..."  Aha, the BUGS section at last.  You
        just happened  to have a GCC sitting around under /etc/food, right?
        If not, don't panic(8), merely crumble a rand(3m) handful of innocent
        GCs into a suitable tempfile and mix in some melted butter.
"...and  refrigerate for an hour."  Leave the  recipe's  stdout in a fridge
        for 3.6E6 milliseconds while you work on cleaning up stderr, and
        by time out your cheesecake will be ready for stdin.
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and
after expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government
of England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only
commenced, I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even
the offer of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the
reach of men who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...
        If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were
a mere triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the
execution of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some
justification might be found for the course which has been taken; but I
venture to assert that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will
ever publicly express an opinion that such a machine would be useless if
made, and that no man distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to
declare the construction of such machinery impracticable...
        And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed
by that exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its
advancement, which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I
think the application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
                -- Charles Babbage, "The Life of a Philosopher"
... in three to eight years we will have a machine with the general
intelligence of an average human being ... The machine will begin
to educate itself with fantastic speed.  In a few months it will be
at genius level and a few months after that its powers will be
incalculable ...
                -- Marvin Minsky, LIFE Magazine, November 20, 1970
        It appears that after his death, Albert Einstein found himself
working as the doorkeeper at the Pearly Gates.  One slow day, he
found that he had time to chat with the new entrants.  To the first one
he asked, "What's your IQ?"  The new arrival replied, "190".  They
discussed Einstein's theory of relativity for hours.  When the second
new arrival came, Einstein once again inquired as to the newcomer's
IQ.  The answer this time came "120".  To which Einstein replied, "Tell
me, how did the Cubs do this year?" and they proceeded to talk for half
an hour or so.  To the final arrival, Einstein once again posed the
question, "What's your IQ?".  Upon receiving the answer "70",
Einstein smiled and replied, "Got a minute to tell me about VMS 4.0?"
It turned out that the worm exploited three or four different holes in the
system.  From this, and the fact that we were able to capture and examine
some of the source code, we realized that we were dealing with someone very
sharp, probably not someone here on campus.
                -- Dr. Richard LeBlanc, associate professor of ICS, in
                   Georgia Tech's campus newspaper after the Internet worm.
Many of the convicted thieves Parker has met began their
life of crime after taking college Computer Science courses.
                -- Roger Rapoport, "Programs for Plunder", Omni, March 1981
No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain.  All I'm after is
just a mediocre brain, something like the president of American Telephone
and Telegraph Company.
                -- Alan Turing on the possibilities of a thinking
                   machine, 1943.
        On the other hand, the TCP camp also has a phrase for OSI people.
There are lots of phrases.  My favorite is `nitwit' -- and the rationale
is the Internet philosophy has always been you have extremely bright,
non-partisan researchers look at a topic, do world-class research, do
several competing implementations, have a bake-off, determine what works
best, write it down and make that the standard.
        The OSI view is entirely opposite.  You take written contributions
from a much larger community, you put the contributions in a room of
committee people with, quite honestly, vast political differences and all
with their own political axes to grind, and four years later you get
something out, usually without it ever having been implemented once.
        So the Internet perspective is implement it, make it work well,
then write it down, whereas the OSI perspective is to agree on it, write
it down, circulate it a lot and now we'll see if anyone can implement it
after it's an international standard and every vendor in the world is
committed to it.  One of those processes is backwards, and I don't think
it takes a Lucasian professor of physics at Oxford to figure out which.
                -- Marshall Rose, "The Pied Piper of OSI"
        Price Wang's programmer was coding software.  His fingers danced upon
the keyboard.  The program compiled without an error message, and the program
ran like a gentle wind.
        Excellent!" the Price exclaimed, "Your technique is faultless!"
        "Technique?" said the programmer, turning from his terminal, "What I
follow is the Tao -- beyond all technique.  When I first began to program I
would see before me the whole program in one mass.  After three years I no
longer saw this mass.  Instead, I used subroutines.  But now I see nothing.
My whole being exists in a formless void.  My senses are idle.  My spirit,
free to work without a plan, follows its own instinct.  In short, my program
writes itself.  True, sometimes there are difficult problems.  I see them
coming, I slow down, I watch silently.  Then I change a single line of code
and the difficulties vanish like puffs of idle smoke.  I then compile the
program.  I sit still and let the joy of the work fill my being.  I close my
eyes for a moment and then log off."
        Price Wang said, "Would that all of my programmers were as wise!"
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
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.
Real programmers don't write in BASIC.  Actually, no programmers write in
BASIC after reaching puberty.
Real Programs don't use shared text.  Otherwise, how can they use functions
for scratch space after they are finished calling them?
        *** STUDENT SUCCESSES ***

Many of our students have gone on to achieve great success in all fields of
programming.  One former student developed the concept of the personalized
form letter.  Does the phrase, "Dear Mr.(insert name), You may already be a
winner!," sound familiar?  Another student writes "After only five lessons I
sold a "My Most Unforgettable Program" article to Corrosive Computing magazine.
Another of our graduates writes, "I recently completed a database-management
program for my department manager.  My program touched him so deeply that he
was speechless.  He told me later that he had never seen such a program in
his entire career.  Thank you, Famous Programmers' school; only you could
have made this possible."  Send for our introductory brochure which explains
in vague detail the operation of the Famous Programmers' School, and you'll
be eligible to win a possible chance to enter a drawing, the winner of which
can vie for a set of free steak knives.  If you don't do it now, you'll hate
yourself in the morning.
The Gurus of Unix Meeting of Minds (GUMM) takes place Wednesday, April
1, 2076 (check THAT in your perpetual calendar program), 14 feet above
the ground directly in front of the Milpitas Gumps.  Members will grep
each other by the hand (after intro), yacc a lot, smoke filtered
chroots in pipes, chown with forks, use the wc (unless uuclean), fseek
nice zombie processes, strip, and sleep, but not, we hope, od.  Three
days will be devoted to discussion of the ramifications of whodo.  Two
seconds have been allotted for a complete rundown of all the user-
friendly features of Unix.  Seminars include "Everything You Know is
Wrong", led by Tom Kempson, "Batman or Cat:man?" led by Richie Dennis
"cc C?  Si!  Si!" led by Kerwin Bernighan, and "Document Unix, Are You
Kidding?" led by Jan Yeats.  No Reader Service No. is necessary because
all GUGUs (Gurus of Unix Group of Users) already know everything we
could tell them.
                -- "Get GUMMed," Dr. Dobb's Journal, June '84
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #17: SARTRE

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

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

The center is very pleased with progress to date.  They say they have almost
succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However, sources inside the
organization say that each time the machine fails to think it ceases to exist.
The sendmail configuration file is one of those files that looks like someone
beat their head on the keyboard.  After working with it... I can see why!
                -- Harry Skelton
Think of your family tonight.  Try to crawl home after the computer crashes.
Thus spake the master programmer:
        "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless."
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
"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"
Windows NT Beer: Comes in 32-oz. cans, but you can only buy it by the
truckload. This causes most people to have to go out and buy bigger
refrigerators. The can looks just like Windows 3.1 Beer's, but the
company promises to change the can to look just like Windows 95 Beer's --
after Windows 95 beer starts shipping. Touted as an "industrial strength"
beer, and suggested only for use in bars.
X windows:
        Something you can be ashamed of.
        30% more entropy than the leading window system.
        The first fully modular software disaster.
        Rome was destroyed in a day.
        Warn your friends about it.
        Climbing to new depths.  Sinking to new heights.
        An accident that couldn't wait to happen.
        Don't wait for the movie.
        Never use it after a big meal.
        Need we say less?
        Plumbing the depths of human incompetence.
        It'll make your day.
        Don't get frustrated without it.
        Power tools for power losers.
        A software disaster of Biblical proportions.
        Never had it.  Never will.
        The software with no visible means of support.
        More than just a generation behind.

Hindenburg.  Titanic.  Edsel.
        X windows.
Even if you aren't in doubt, consider the mental welfare of the person who
has to maintain the code after you, and who will probably put parens in
the wrong place.  -- Larry Wall in the perl man page
It won't be covered in the book.  The source code has to be useful for
something, after all...  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <10160@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
The computer should be doing the hard work.  That's what it's paid to do,
after all.
             -- Larry Wall in <199709012312.QAA08121@wall.org>
You tell it that it's indicative by appending $!.  That's why we made $!
such a short variable name, after all.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <199709081801.LAA20629@wall.org>
A pickup with three guys in it pulls into the lumber yard.  One of the men
gets out and goes into the office.
        "I need some four-by-two's," he says.
        "You must mean two-by-four's" replies the clerk.
        The man scratches his head.  "Wait a minute," he says, "I'll go
check."
        Back, after an animated conversation with the other occupants of the
truck, he reassures the clerk, that, yes, in fact, two-by-fours would be
acceptable.
        "OK," says the clerk, writing it down, "how long you want 'em?"
        The guy gets the blank look again.  "Uh... I guess I better go
check," he says.
        He goes back out to the truck, and there's another animated
conversation.  The guy comes back into the office.  "A long time," he says,
"we're building a house".
Shirley MacLaine died today in a freak psychic collision today.  Two freaks
in a van  [Oh no!!  It's the Copyright Police!!]  Her aura-charred body was
laid to rest after a eulogy by Jackie Collins, fellow member of SAFE [Society
of Asinine Flake Entertainers].  Excerpted from some of his more quotable
comments:

        "Truly a woman of the times.  These times, those times..."
        "A Renaissance woman.  Why in 1432..."
        "A man for all seasons.  Really..."

After the ceremony, Shirley thanked her mourners and explained how delightful
it was to "get it together" again, presumably referring to having her now dead
body join her long dead brain.
The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life.
There's no real need to do housework -- after four years it doesn't get
any worse.
Trouble strikes in series of threes, but when working around the house the
next job after a series of three is not the fourth job -- it's the start of
a brand new series of three.
Who will take care of the world after you're gone?
[ ] Safeguard this message - it is an important historical document.
[ ] Delete after reading -- Subversive Literature.
[ ] Ignore and go back to what you were doing.
(6)        Men employees will be given time off each week for courting
        purposes, or two evenings a week if they go regularly to church.
(7)        After an employee has spent his thirteen hours of labor in the
        office, he should spend the remaining time reading the Bible
        and other good books.
(8)        Every employee should lay aside from each pay packet a goodly
        sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years,
        so that he will not become a burden on society or his betters.
(9)        Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses alcoholic drink
        in any form, frequents pool tables and public halls, or gets
        shaved in a barber's shop, will give me good reason to suspect
        his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.
(10)        The employee who has performed his labours faithfully and
        without a fault for five years, will be given an increase of
        five cents per day in his pay, providing profits from the
        business permit it.
                -- "Office Worker's Guide", New England Carriage Works, 1872
After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.
After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the
month than you did before.
        Exxon's 'Universe of Energy' tends to the peculiar rather than the
humorous ... After [an incomprehensible film montage about wind and sun and
rain and strip mines and] two or three minutes of mechanical confusion, the
seats locomote through a short tunnel filled with clock-work dinosaurs.
The dinosaurs are depicted without accuracy and too close to your face.
        "One of the few real novelties at Epcot is the use of smell to
aggravate illusions.  Of course, no one knows what dinosaurs smelled like,
but Exxon has decided they smelled bad.
        "At the other end of Dino Ditch ... there's a final, very addled
message about facing challengehood tomorrow-wise.  I dozed off during this,
but the import seems to be that dinosaurs don't have anything to do with
energy policy and neither do you."
                -- P.J. O'Rourke, "Holidays in Hell"
        If you're like most homeowners, you're afraid that many repairs
around your home are too difficult to tackle.  So, when your furnace
explodes, you call in a so-called professional to fix it.  The
"professional" arrives in a truck with lettering on the sides and deposits a
large quantity of tools and two assistants who spend the better part of the
week in your basement whacking objects at random with heavy wrenches, after
which the "professional" returns and gives you a bill for slightly more
money than it would cost you to run a successful campaign for the U.S.
Senate.
        And that's why you've decided to start doing things yourself. You
figure, "If those guys can fix my furnace, then so can I.  How difficult can
it be?"
        Very difficult.  In fact, most home projects are impossible, which
is why you should do them yourself.  There is no point in paying other
people to screw things up when you can easily screw them up yourself for far
less money.  This article can help you.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
        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."
Rule #7: Silence is not acquiescence.
        Contrary to what you may have heard, silence of those present is
        not necessarily consent, even the reluctant variety.  They simply may
        sit in stunned silence and figure ways of sabotaging the plan after
        they regain their composure.
Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names
the streets after them.
                -- Bill Vaughn
        Take the folks at Coca-Cola.  For many years, they were content
to sit back and make the same old carbonated beverage.  It was a good
beverage, no question about it; generations of people had grown up
drinking it and doing the experiment in sixth grade where you put a
nail into a glass of Coke and after a couple of days the nail dissolves
and the teacher says: "Imagine what it does to your TEETH!"  So Coca-Cola
was solidly entrenched in the market, and the management saw no need to
improve ...
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in
the country is the one on which you resell it.
                -- J. Brecheux
What they said:
        What they meant:

"If you knew this person as well as I know him, you would think as much
of him as I do."
        (Or as little, to phrase it slightly more accurately.)
"Her input was always critical."
        (She never had a good word to say.)
"I have no doubt about his capability to do good work."
        (And it's nonexistent.)
"This candidate would lend balance to a department like yours, which
already has so many outstanding members."
        (Unless you already have a moron.)
"His presentation to my seminar last semester was truly remarkable:
one unbelievable result after another."
        (And we didn't believe them, either.)
"She is quite uniform in her approach to any function you may assign her."
        (In fact, to life in general...)
What they said:
        What they meant:

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

A major technological breakthrough...        Back to the drawing board.
Developed after years of research        Discovered by pure accident.
Project behind original schedule due        We're working on something else.
        to unforseen difficulties
Designs are within allowable limits        We made it, stretching a point or two.
Customer satisfaction is believed        So far behind schedule that they'll be
        assured                                        grateful for anything at all.
Close project coordination                We're gonna spread the blame, campers!
Test results were extremely gratifying        It works, and boy, were we surprised!
The design will be finalized...                We haven't started yet, but we've got
                                                to say something.
The entire concept has been rejected        The guy who designed it quit.
We're moving forward with a fresh        We hired three new guys, and they're
        approach                                kicking it around.
A number of different approaches...        We don't know where we're going, but
                                                we're moving.
Preliminary operational tests are        Blew up when we turned it on.
        inconclusive
Modifications are underway                We're starting over.
When a Banker jumps out of a window, jump after him--that's where the money is.
                -- Robespierre
XI:
        If the Earth could be made to rotate twice as fast, managers would
        get twice as much done.  If the Earth could be made to rotate twenty
        times as fast, everyone else would get twice as much done since all
        the managers would fly off.
XII:
        It costs a lot to build bad products.
XIII:
        There are many highly successful businesses in the United States.
        There are also many highly paid executives.  The policy is not to
        intermingle the two.
XIV:
        After the year 2015, there will be no airplane crashes.  There will
        be no takeoffs either, because electronics will occupy 100 percent
        of every airplane's weight.
XV:
        The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost
        and two-thirds of the problems.
                -- Norman Augustine
After two or three weeks of this madness, you begin to feel As One with
the man who said, "No news is good news." In twenty-eight papers, only
the rarest kind of luck will turn up more than two or three articles of
any interest...  but even then the interest items are usually buried deep
around paragraph 16 on the jump (or "Cont.  on ...") page...

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

Now that's good journalism.  Totally objective; very active and straight
to the point.
                -- Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing '72"
All newspaper editorial writers ever do is come down from the hills after
the battle is over and shoot the wounded.
"No self-respecting fish would want to be wrapped in that kind of paper."
                -- Mike Royko on the Chicago Sun-Times after it was
                   taken over by Rupert Murdoch
Warning: Listening to WXRT on April Fools' Day is not recommended for
those who are slightly disoriented the first few hours after waking up.
                -- Chicago Reader 4/22/83
A fellow bought a new car, a Nissan, and was quite happy with his purchase.
He was something of an animist, however, and felt that the car really ought
to have a name.  This presented a problem, as he was not sure if the name
should be masculine or feminine.
        After considerable thought, he settled on an naming the car either
Belchazar or Beaumadine, but remained in a quandry about the final choice.
        "Is a Nissan male or female?" he began asking his friends.  Most of
them looked at him pecularly, mumbled things about urgent appointments, and
went on their way rather quickly.
        He finally broached the question to a lady he knew who held a black
belt in judo.  She thought for a moment and answered "Feminine."
        The swiftness of her response puzzled him. "You're sure of that?" he
asked.
        "Certainly," she replied. "They wouldn't sell very well if they were
masculine."
        "Unhhh...  Well, why not?"
        "Because people want a car with a reputation for going when you want
it to.  And, if Nissan's are female, it's like they say...  `Each Nissan, she
go!'"

        [No, we WON'T explain it; go ask someone who practices an oriental
        martial art.  (Tai Chi Chuan probably doesn't count.)  Ed.]
A hypothetical paradox:
        What would happen in a battle between an Enterprise security team,
        who always get killed soon after appearing, and a squad of Imperial
        Stormtroopers, who can't hit the broad side of a planet?
                -- Tom Galloway
Barker's Proof:
        Proofreading is more effective after publication.
Bureau Termination, Law of:
        When a government bureau is scheduled to be phased out,
        the number of employees in that bureau will double within
        12 months after the decision is made.
Experience, n.:
        Something you don't get until just after you need it.
                -- Olivier
mittsquinter, adj.:
        A ballplayer who looks into his glove after missing the ball, as
        if, somehow, the cause of the error lies there.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Oliver's Law:
        Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
Olmstead's Law:
        After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.
Pascal:
        A programming language named after a man who would turn over
        in his grave if he knew about it.
                -- Datamation, January 15, 1984
paycheck:
        The weekly $5.27 that remains after deductions for federal
        withholding, state withholding, city withholding, FICA,
        medical/dental, long-term disability, unemployment insurance,
        Christmas Club, and payroll savings plan contributions.
Peter's Law of Substitution:
        Look after the molehills, and the
        mountains will look after themselves.

Peter's Principle of Success:
        Get up one time more than you're knocked down.
Reappraisal, n.:
        An abrupt change of mind after being found out.
Scott's First Law:
        No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look right.

Scott's Second Law:
        When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found
        to have been wrong in the first place.
Corollary:
        After the correction has been found in error, it will be
        impossible to fit the original quantity back into the
        equation.
Strategy:
        A long-range plan whose merit cannot be evaluated until sometime
        after those creating it have left the organization.
Veal-Fattening Pen:
        Small, cramped office workstations built of
fabric-covered disassemblable wall partitions and inhabited by junior
staff members.  Named after the small preslaughter cubicles used by
the cattle industry.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Armanism:
        After Giorgio Armani; an obsession with mimicking the seamless
and (more importantly) *controlled* ethos of Italian couture.  Like
Japanese Minimalism, Armanism reflects a profound inner need for
control.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Yuppie Wannabes:
        An X generation subgroup that believes the myth of a yuppie
life-style being both satisfying and viable.  Tend to be highly in
debt, involved in some form of substance abuse, and show a willingness
to talk about Armageddon after three drinks.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Bradyism:
        A multisibling sensibility derived from having grown up in
large families.  A rarity in those born after approximately 1965,
symptoms of Bradyism include a facility for mind games, emotional
withdrawal in situations of overcrowding, and a deeply felt need for a
well-defined personal space.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
2 + 2 = 5-ism:
        Caving in to a target marketing strategy aimed at oneself after
holding out for a long period of time.  "Oh, all right, I'll buy your
stupid cola.  Now leave me alone."
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Down-Nesting:
        The tendency of parents to move to smaller, guest-room-free
houses after the children have moved away so as to avoid children aged
20 to 30 who have boomeranged home.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
After a time, you may find that "having" is not so pleasing a thing,
after all, as "wanting."  It is not logical, but it is often true.
                -- Spock, "Amok Time", stardate 3372.7
Punishment becomes ineffective after a certain point.  Men become insensitive.
                -- Eneg, "Patterns of Force", stardate 2534.7
That's life for you, said McDunn.  Someone always waiting for someone who
never comes home.  Always someone loving something more than that thing loves
them.  And after awhile you want to destroy whatever that thing is, so it
can't hurt you no more.
                -- R. Bradbury, "The Fog Horn"
We don't believe in rheumatism and true love until after the first attack.
                -- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
Brahma said: Well, after hearing ten thousand explanations, a fool is no
wiser.  But an intelligent man needs only two thousand five hundred.
                -- The Mahabharata
If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time.  I
would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this
trip.  I know of very few things I would take seriously.  I would be crazier.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers and watch more sunsets.  I'd
travel and see.  I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives prophylactically and sensibly
and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.  Oh, I have had my moments and,
if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them.  In fact, I'd try to
have nothing else.  Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many
years ahead each day.  I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hotwater bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had it to do over again, I would go places and do things and travel
lighter than I have.  If I had my life to live over, I would start bare-footed
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  I would play hooky
more.  I probably wouldn't make such good grades, but I'd learn more.  I would
ride on more merry-go-rounds.  I'd pick more daisies.
If you wait long enough, it will go away... after having done its damage.
If it was bad, it will be back.
[Maturity consists in the discovery that] there comes a critical moment
where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand
more and more that there is something which cannot be understood.
                -- S. Kierkegaard
Nasrudin was carrying home a piece of liver and the recipe for liver pie.
Suddenly a bird of prey swooped down and snatched the piece of meat from his
hand.  As the bird flew off, Nasrudin called after it, "Foolish bird!  You
have the liver, but what can you do with it without the recipe?"
"Well," Brahma said, "even after ten thousand explanations, a fool is no
wiser, but an intelligent man requires only two thousand five hundred."
                -- The Mahabharata.
        "You mean, if you allow the master to be uncivil, to treat you
any old way he likes, and to insult your dignity, then he may deem you
fit to hear his view of things?"
        "Quite the contrary.  You must defend your integrity, assuming
you have integrity to defend.  But you must defend it nobly, not by
imitating his own low behavior.  If you are gentle where he is rough,
if you are polite where he is uncouth, then he will recognize you as
potentially worthy.  If he does not, then he is not a master, after all,
and you may feel free to kick his ass."
                -- Tom Robbins, "Jitterbug Perfume"
After a bitter quarrel, some resentment must remain.
What can one do about it?
Therefore the sage keeps his half of the bargain
But does not exact his due.
A man of Virtue performs his part,
But a man without Virtue requires others to fulfill their obligations.
The Tao of heaven is impartial.
It stays with good men all the time.
A woman went into a hospital one day to give birth.  Afterwards, the doctor
came to her and said, "I have some... odd news for you."
        "Is my baby all right?" the woman anxiously asked.
        "Yes, he is," the doctor replied, "but we don't know how.  Your son
(we assume) was born with no body.  He only has a head."
        Well, the doctor was correct.  The Head was alive and well, though no
one knew how.  The Head turned out to be fairly normal, ignoring his lack of
a body, and lived for some time as typical a life as could be expected under
the circumstances.
        One day, about twenty years after the fateful birth, the woman got a
phone call from another doctor.  The doctor said, "I have recently perfected
an operation.  Your son can live a normal life now: we can graft a body onto
his head!"
        The woman, practically weeping with joy, thanked the doctor and hung
up.  She ran up the stairs saying, "Johnny, Johnny, I have a *wonderful*
surprise for you!"
        "Oh no," cried The Head, "not another HAT!"
After his legs had been broken in an accident, Mr. Miller sued for damages,
claming that he was crippled and would have to spend the rest of his life
in a wheelchair.  Although the insurance-company doctor testified that his
bones had healed properly and that he was fully capable  of walking, the
judge decided for the plaintiff and awarded him $500,000.
        When he was wheeled into the insurance office to collect his check,
Miller was confronted by several executives.  "You're not getting away with
this, Miller," one said.  "We're going to watch you day and night.  If you
take a single step, you'll not only repay the damages but stand trial for
perjury.  Here's the money.  What do you intend to do with it?"
        "My wife and I are going to travel," Miller replied.  "We'll go to
Stockholm, Berlin, Rome, Athens and, finally, to a place called Lourdes --
where, gentlemen, you'll see yourselves one hell of a miracle."
After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that
brought tears to my eyes.  He said, "No hablo ingles."
                -- Ronnie Shakes
"... the Mayo Clinic, named after its founder, Dr. Ted Clinic ..."
                -- Dave Barry
A billion seconds ago Harry Truman was president.
A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ.
A billion hours ago man had not yet walked on earth.
A billion dollars ago was late yesterday afternoon at the U.S. Treasury.
"After I asked him what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of
the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the
cost to others, to win advancement."
                -- Norman Thomas
I was offered a job as a hoodlum and I turned it down cold.  A thief is
anybody who gets out and works for his living, like robbing a bank or
breaking into a place and stealing stuff, or kidnapping somebody.  He really
gives some effort to it.  A hoodlum is a pretty lousy sort of scum.  He
works for gangsters and bumps guys off when they have been put on the spot.
Why, after I'd made my rep, some of the Chicago Syndicate wanted me to work
for them as a hood -- you know, handling a machine gun.  They offered me
two hundred and fifty dollars a week and all the protection I needed.  I
was on the lam at the time and not able to work at my regular line.  But
I wouldn't consider it.  "I'm a thief," I said.  "I'm no lousy hoodlum."
                -- Alvin Karpis, "Public Enemy Number One"
If people have to choose between freedom and sandwiches, they
will take sandwiches.
                -- Lord Boyd-orr

Eats first, morals after.
                -- Bertolt Brecht, "The Threepenny Opera"
Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by a great bear.  The peasants
were not very rich, and one of the few ways to become at all wealthy was
to become a Royal Knight.  This required an interview with the bear.  If
the bear liked you, you were knighted on the spot.  If not, the bear would
just as likely remove your head with one swat of a paw.  However, the family
of these unfortunate would-be knights was compensated with a beautiful
sheepdog from the royal kennels, which was itself a fairly valuable
possession.  And the moral of the story is:

The mourning after a terrible knight, nothing beats the dog of the bear that
hit you.
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.
                -- Otto Von Bismarck
Post proelium, praemium.
        [After the battle, the reward.]
"The wages of sin are death; but after they're done taking out taxes,
it's just a tired feeling:"
The Worst Bank Robbery
        In August 1975 three men were on their way in to rob the Royal Bank of
Scotland at Rothesay, when they got stuck in the revolving doors.  They
had to be helped free by the staff and, after thanking everyone,
sheepishly left the building.
        A few minutes later they returned and announced their intention of
robbing the bank, but none of the staff believed them.  When they demanded
5,000 pounds in cash, the head cashier laughed at them, convinced that it
was a practical joke.
        Then one of the men jumped over the counter, but fell to the floor
clutching his ankle.  The other two tried to make their getaway, but got
trapped in the revolving doors again.
Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers
in heavy weather for several days.  I was serving on the lead battleship and
was on watch on the bridge as night fell.  The visibility was poor with patchy
fog, so the Captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
        Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported,
"Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
        "Is it steady or moving astern?" the Captain called out.
        Lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous
collision course with that ship.
        The Captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: We are on
a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees."
        Back came a signal "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."
        In reply, the Captain said, "Send: I'm a Captain, change course 20
degrees!"
        "I'm a seaman second class," came the reply, "You had better change
course 20 degrees."
        By that time, the Captain was furious. He spit out, "Send: I'm a
battleship, change course 20 degrees."
        Back came the flashing light: "I'm a lighthouse!"
        We changed course.
                -- The Naval Institute's "Proceedings"
        A new chef from India was fired a week after starting the job.  He
kept favoring curry.
Actually, my goal is to have a sandwich named after me.
Life is like an onion: you peel off layer after layer and then you find
there is nothing in it.
                -- James Huneker
No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after
eating one peanut.
                -- Channing Pollock
The men sat sipping their tea in silence.  After a while the klutz said,
        "Life is like a bowl of sour cream."
        "Like a bowl of sour cream?" asked the other.  "Why?"
        "How should I know?  What am I, a philosopher?"
Too Late
        A large number of turkies [sic] went to San Francisco yesterday by
the two o'clock boats.  If their object in going down was to participate in
the Thanksgiving festivities of that city, they would arrive "the day after
the affair," and of course be sadly disappointed thereby.
                -- Sacramento Daily Union, November 29, 1861
A gangster assembled an engineer, a chemist, and a physicist.  He explained
that he was entering a horse in a race the following week and the three
assembled guys had the job of assuring that the gangster's horse would win.
They were to reconvene the day before the race to tell the gangster how they
each propose to ensure a win.  When they reconvened the gangster started with
the engineer:
        
Gangster: OK, Mr. engineer, what have you got?
Engineer: Well, I've invented a way to weave metallic threads into the saddle
          blanket so that they will act as the plates of a battery and provide
          electrical shock to the horse.
G:          That's very good!  But let's hear from the chemist.
Chemist:  I've synthesized a powerful stimulant that disolves
          into simple blood sugars after ten minutes and therefore
          cannot be detected in post-race tests.
G:          Excellent, excellent!  But I want to hear from the physicist before
          I decide what to do.  Physicist?  
Physicist: Well, first consider a spherical horse in simple harmonic motion...
A Severe Strain on the Credulity
        As a method of sending a missile to the higher, and even to the
highest parts of the earth's atmospheric envelope, Professor Goddard's rocket
is a practicable and therefore promising device. It is when one considers the
multiple-charge rocket as a traveler to the moon that one begins to doubt...
for after the rocket quits our air and really starts on its journey, its
flight would be neither accelerated nor maintained by the explosion of the
charges it then might have left.  Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in
Clark College and countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not
know the relation of action to re-action, and of the need to have something
better than a vacuum against which to react... Of course he only seems to
lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
                -- New York Times Editorial, 1920
A statistician, who refused to fly after reading of the alarmingly high
probability that there will be a bomb on any given plane, realized that
the probability of there being two bombs on any given flight is very low.
Now, whenever he flies, he carries a bomb with him.
After a number of decimal places, nobody gives a damn.
After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found
on the bench.
        After the Children of Israel had wandered for thirty-nine years
in the wilderness, Ferdinand Feghoot arrived to make sure that they would
finally find and enter the Promised Land.  With him, he brought his
favorite robot, faithful old Yewtoo Artoo, to carry his gear and do
assorted camp chores.
        The Israelites soon got over their initial fear of the robot and,
as the months passed, became very fond of him.  Patriarchs took to
discussing abtruse theological problems with him, and each evening the
children all gathered to hear the many stories with which he was programmed.
Therefore it came as a great shock to them when, just as their journey was
ending, he abruptly wore out.  Even Feghoot couldn't console them.
        "It may be true, Ferdinand Feghoot," said Moses, "that our friend
Yewtoo Artoo was soulless, but we cannot believe it.  He must be properly
interred.  We cannot embalm him as do the Egyptians.  Nor have we wood for
a coffin.  But I do have a most splendid skin from one of Pharoah's own
cattle.  We shall bury him in it."
        Feghoot agreed.  "Yes, let this be his last rusting place."
        "Rusting?" Moses cried.  "Not in this dreadful dry desert!"
        "Ah!" sighed Ferdinand Feghoot, shedding a tear, "I fear you do not
realize the full significance of Pharoah's oxhide!"
                -- Grendel Briarton "Through Time & Space With Ferdinand
                   Feghoot!"
After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access
cover, it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been removed.
After this was written there appeared a remarkable posthumous memoir that
throws some doubt on Millikan's leading role in these experiments.  Harvey
Fletcher (1884-1981), who was a graduate student at the University of Chicago,
at Millikan's suggestion worked on the measurement of electronic charge for
his doctoral thesis, and co-authored some of the early papers on this subject
with Millikan.  Fletcher left a manuscript with a friend with instructions
that it be published after his death; the manuscript was published in
Physics Today, June 1982, page 43.  In it, Fletcher claims that he was the
first to do the experiment with oil drops, was the first to measure charges on
single droplets, and may have been the first to suggest the use of oil.
According to Fletcher, he had expected to be co-authored with Millikan on
the crucial first article announcing the measurement of the electronic
charge, but was talked out of this by Millikan.
                -- Steven Weinberg, "The Discovery of Subatomic Particles"

Robert Millikan is generally credited with making the first really
precise measurement of the charge on an electron and was awarded the
Nobel Prize in 1923.
After years of research, scientists recently reported that there is,
indeed, arroz in Spanish Harlem.
An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel prize
winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen.  He was amazed to find that
over Bohr's desk was a horseshoe, securely nailed to the wall, with the
open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not
let it spill out).  The American said with a nervous laugh,
        "Surely you don't believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck,
do you, Professor Bohr?  After all, as a scientist --"
Bohr chuckled.
        "I believe no such thing, my good friend.  Not at all.  I am
scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense.  However, I am told
that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not."
        An architect's first work is apt to be spare and clean.  He knows
he doesn't know what he's doing, so he does it carefully and with great
restraint.
        As he designs the first work, frill after frill and embellishment
after embellishment occur to him.  These get stored away to be used "next
time." Sooner or later the first system is finished, and the architect,
with firm confidence and a demonstrated mastery of that class of systems,
is ready to build a second system.
        This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs.
When he does his third and later ones, his prior experiences will
confirm each other as to the general characteristics of such systems,
and their differences will identify those parts of his experience that
are particular and not generalizable.
        The general tendency is to over-design the second system, using
all the ideas and frills that were cautiously sidetracked on the first
one.  The result, as Ovid says, is a "big pile."
                -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"
An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an
anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt
already heard.  After some observations and rough calculations the
engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing.  A few minutes later
the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily as he now
has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper.  This leaves the
mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he
was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of
humour from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too
trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.
... Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an
inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have
ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I
haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected
it.  There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between
prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have
looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice
is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious
mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you
may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you
have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.
                -- Carl Sagan, "The Burden of Skepticism"
FORTUNE'S GUIDE TO DEALING WITH REAL-LIFE SCIENCE FICTION: #6
What to do...
    if a starship, equipped with an FTL hyperdrive lands in your backyard?
        First of all, do not run after your camera.  You will not have any
        film, and, given the state of computer animation, noone will believe
        you anyway.  Be polite.  Remember, if they have an FTL hyperdrive,
        they can probably vaporize you, should they find you to be rude.
        Direct them to the White House lawn, which is where they probably
        wanted to land, anyway.  A good road map should help.

    if you wake up in the middle of the night, and discover that your
    closet contains an alternate dimension?
        Don't walk in.  You almost certainly will not be able to get back,
        and alternate dimensions are almost never any fun.  Remain calm
        and go back to bed.  Close the door first, so that the cat does not
        wander off.  Check your closet in the morning.  If it still contains
        an alternate dimension, nail it shut.
I had a feeling once about mathematics -- that I saw it all.  Depth beyond
depth was revealed to me -- the Byss and the Abyss. I saw -- as one might
see the transit of Venus or even the Lord Mayor's Show -- a quantity passing
through infinity and changing its sign from plus to minus.  I saw exactly
why it happened and why tergiversation was inevitable -- but it was after
dinner and I let it go.
                -- Winston Churchill
If for every rule there is an exception, then we have established that there
is an exception to every rule.  If we accept "For every rule there is an
exception" as a rule, then we must concede that there may not be an exception
after all, since the rule states that there is always the possibility of
exception, and if we follow it to its logical end we must agree that there
can be an exception to the rule that for every rule there is an exception.
                -- Bill Boquist
Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon.  After a while you'd
run out of air to push against.
One day this guy is finally fed up with his middle-class existence and
decides to do something about it.  He calls up his best friend, who is a
mathematical genius.  "Look," he says, "do you suppose you could find some
way mathematically of guaranteeing winning at the race track?  We could
make a lot of money and retire and enjoy life."  The mathematician thinks
this over a bit and walks away mumbling to himself.
        A week later his friend drops by to ask the genius if he's had any
success.  The genius, looking a little bleary-eyed, replies, "Well, yes,
actually I do have an idea, and I'm reasonably sure that it will work, but
there a number of details to be figured out.
        After the second week the mathematician appears at his friend's house,
looking quite a bit rumpled, and announces, "I think I've got it! I still have
some of the theory to work out, but now I'm certain that I'm on the right
track."
        At the end of the third week the mathematician wakes his friend by
pounding on his door at three in the morning.  He has dark circles under his
eyes.  His hair hasn't been combed for many days.  He appears to be wearing
the same clothes as the last time.  He has several pencils sticking out from
behind his ears and an almost maniacal expression on his face.  "WE CAN DO
IT!  WE CAN DO IT!!" he shrieks. "I have discovered the perfect solution!!
And it's so EASY!  First, we assume that horses are perfect spheres in simple
harmonic motion..."
Oxygen is a very toxic gas and an extreme fire hazard.  It is fatal in
concentrations of as little as 0.000001 p.p.m.  Humans exposed to the
oxygen concentrations die within a few minutes.  Symptoms resemble very
much those of cyanide poisoning (blue face, etc.).  In higher
concentrations, e.g. 20%, the toxic effect is somewhat delayed and it
takes about 2.5 billion inhalations before death takes place.  The reason
for the delay is the difference in the mechanism of the toxic effect of
oxygen in 20% concentration.  It apparently contributes to a complex
process called aging, of which very little is known, except that it is
always fatal.

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

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

Oxygen is especially dangerous because it is odorless, colorless and
tasteless, so that its presence can not be readily detected until it is
too late.
                -- Chemical & Engineering News February 6, 1956
        "Reintegration complete," ZORAC advised.  "We're back in the
universe again..."  An unusually long pause followed, "...but I don't
know which part.  We seem to have changed our position in space."  A
spherical display in the middle of the floor illuminated to show the
starfield surrounding the ship.
        "Several large, artificial constructions are approaching us,"
ZORAC announced after a short pause.  "The designs are not familiar, but
they are obviously the products of intelligence.  Implications: we have
been intercepted deliberately by a means unknown, for a purpose unknown,
and transferred to a place unknown by a form of intelligence unknown.
Apart from the unknowns, everything is obvious."
                -- James P. Hogan, "Giants Star"
The ark lands after The Flood.  Noah lets all the animals out.  Says he, "Go
and multiply."  Several months pass.  Noah decides to check up on the animals.
All are doing fine except a pair of snakes.  "What's the problem?" says Noah.
"Cut down some trees and let us live there", say the snakes.  Noah follows
their advice.  Several more weeks pass.  Noah checks on the snakes again.
Lots of little snakes, everybody is happy.  Noah asks, "Want to tell me how
the trees helped?"  "Certainly", say the snakes. "We're adders, and we need
logs to multiply."
The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind
of thing.  Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation
of these atoms is talking moonshine.
                -- Ernest Rutherford, after he had split the atom for
                   the first time
The Greatest Mathematical Error
        The Mariner I space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on 28
July 1962 towards Venus.  After 13 minutes' flight a booster engine would
give acceleration up to 25,820 mph; after 44 minutes 9,800 solar cells
would unfold; after 80 days a computer would calculate the final course
corrections and after 100 days the craft would cirlce the unknown planet,
scanning the mysterious cloud in which it is bathed.  
        However, with an efficiency that is truly heartening, Mariner I
plunged into the Atlantic Ocean only four minutes after takeoff.
        Inquiries later revealed that a minus sign had been omitted from
the instructions fed into the computer.  "It was human error", a launch
spokesman said.
        This minus sign cost L4,280,000.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
The Man Who Almost Invented The Vacuum Cleaner
        The man officially credited with inventing the vacuum cleaner is
Hubert Cecil Booth.  However, he got the idea from a man who almost
invented it.  
        In 1901 Booth visited a London music-hall.  On the bill was an
American inventor with his wonder machine for removing dust from carpets.
        The machine comprised a box about one foot square with a bag on top.
After watching the act -- which made everyone in the front six rows sneeze
-- Booth went round to the inventor's dressing room.
        "It should suck not blow," said Booth, coming straight to the
point.  "Suck?", exclaimed the enraged inventor.  "Your machine just moves
the dust around the room," Booth informed him.  "Suck?  Suck?  Sucking is
not possible," was the inventor's reply and he stormed out.  Booth proved
that it was by the simple expedient of kneeling down, pursing his lips and
sucking the back of an armchair.  "I almost choked," he said afterwards.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity?

And where does it go after it leaves the toaster?
                -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
"Remind me not to fix mtrr.c after half a litre of wine in future."

        - Alan Cox
"After 40 Terabytes, your fingers start to hurt."

        - David Miller on typing
"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
You can extend EXTRAVERSION infinitely, but after the first 10 or so
characters, it starts to get silly.

        - Russell King on linux-kernel
> valerie kernel: mtrr: your CPUs had inconsistent variable MTRR settings
> valerie kernel: mtrr: probably your BIOS does not setup all CPUs

It indicates your bios authors can't read standards. Thats a quite normal
state of affairs, so common that the kernel cleans up after them

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
> Yes *please*! Finally we could introduce proper support for 64-bit
> inode numbers too!

Right.  As soon as userland is audited for places where it uses int
for storing inode numbers - just a couple of months after MS fixes
all security holes in their software.  By then we'll need 128bit time_t,
though...

        - Al Viro on linux-kernel
Tim Schmielau wrote:
> the appended patch enables 32 bit linux boxes to display more than
> 497.1 days of uptime. No user land application changes are needed.

Thank you for doing this labor of love -

I will let you know how it goes sometime
after March 23, 2003 -

        - J Sloan on linux-kernel
A couple more shots of whiskey, women 'round here start looking good.

                [something about a 10 being a 4 after a six-pack?  Ed.]
FORTUNE'S PARTY TIPS                #14

Tired of finding that other people are helping themselves to your good
liquor at BYOB parties?  Take along a candle, which you insert and
light after you've opened the bottle.  No one ever expects anything
drinkable to be in a bottle which has a candle stuck in its neck.
Glogg (a traditional Scandinavian holiday drink):
        fifth of dry red wine
        fifth of Aquavit
        1 and 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
        10 cardamom seeds
        1 cup raisins
        4 dried figs
        1 cup blanched or flaked almonds
        a few pieces of dried orange peel
        5 cloves
        1/2 lb. sugar cubes
        Heat up the wine and hard stuff (which may be substituted with wine
for the faint of heart) in a big pot after adding all the other stuff EXCEPT
the sugar cubes.  Just when it reaches boiling, put the sugar in a wire
strainer, moisten it in the hot brew, lift it out and ignite it with a match.
Dip the sugar several times in the liquid until it is all dissolved.  Serve
hot in cups with a few raisins and almonds in each cup.
        N.B. Aquavit may be hard to find and expensive to boot.  Use it only
if you really have a deep-seated desire to be fussy, or if you are of Swedish
extraction.
HOGAN'S HEROES DRINKING GAME --
        Take a shot every time:

-- Sergeant Schultz says, "I knoooooowww nooooothing!"
-- General Burkhalter or Major Hochstetter intimidate/insult Colonel Klink.
-- Colonel Klink falls for Colonel Hogan's flattery.
-- One of the prisoners sneaks out of camp (one shot for each prisoner to go).
-- Colonel Klink snaps to attention after answering the phone (two shots
        if it's one of our heroes on the other end).
-- One of the Germans is threatened with being sent to the Russian front.
-- Corporal Newkirk calls up a German in his phoney German accent, and
        tricks him (two shots if it's Colonel Klink).
-- Hogan has a romantic interlude with a beautiful girl from the underground.
-- Colonel Klink relates how he's never had an escape from Stalag 13.
-- Sergeant Schultz gives up a secret (two shots if he's bribed with food).
-- The prisoners listen to the Germans' conversation by a hidden transmitter.
-- Sergeant Schultz "captures" one of the prisoners after an escape.
-- Lebeau pronounces "colonel" as "cuh-loh-`nell".
-- Carter builds some kind of device (two shots if it's not explosive).
-- Lebeau wears his apron.
-- Hogan says "We've got no choice" when someone claims that the plan is
        impossible.
-- The prisoners capture an important German, and sneak him out the tunnel.
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?"
Symptom:                Feet cold and wet, glass empty.
Fault:                        Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Action Required:        Turn glass other way up so that open end points
                        toward ceiling.

Symptom:                Feet warm and wet.
Fault:                        Improper bladder control.
Action Required:        Go stand next to nearest dog.  After a while complain
                        to the owner about its lack of house training and
                        demand a beer as compensation.
                -- Bar Troubleshooting
The father, passing through his son's college town late one evening on a
business trip, thought he would pay his boy a suprise visit.  Arriving at the
lad's fraternity house, dad rapped loudly on the door.  After several minutes
of knocking, a sleepy voice drifted down from a second-floor window,
        "Whaddaya want?"
        "Does Ramsey Duncan live here?" asked the father.
        "Yeah," replied the voice.  "Dump him on the front porch."
There be sober men a'plenty, and drunkards barely twenty; there are men
of over ninety who have never yet kissed a girl.  But give me the rambling
rover, from Orkney down to Dover, we will roam the whole world over, and
together we'll face the world.
                -- Andy Stewart, "After the Hush"
When I drink, *everybody* drinks!" a man shouted to the assembled bar patrons.
A loud general cheer went up.  After downing his whiskey, he hopped onto a
barstool and shouted "When I take another drink, *everybody* takes another
drink!"  The announcement produced another cheer and another round of drinks.
        As soon as he had downed his second drink, the fellow hopped back
onto the stool.  "And when I pay," he bellowed, slapping five dollars onto
the bar, "*everybody* pays!"
first Saturday after first full moon in Winter
"`How do you feel?' he asked him.
`Like a military academy,' said Arthur, `bits of me keep
passing out.'" ....
`We're safe,' he said.
`Oh good,' said Arthur.
`We're in a small galley cabin,' said Ford, `in one of the
spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.'
`Ah,' said Arthur, `this is obviously some strange usage of
the word "safe" that I wasn't previously aware of.'

- Arthur after his first ever teleport ride.
"`The first ten million years were the worst,' said Marvin,
`and the second ten million, they were the worst too. The
third ten million I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went
into a bit of a decline.'"

- Marvin reflecting back on his 576,000,003,579 year
career as Milliways' car park attendent.
"For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or
so, nothing continued to happen. "
A Tale of Two Cities LITE(tm)
        -- by Charles Dickens

        A man in love with a girl who loves another man who looks just
        like him has his head chopped off in France because of a mean
        lady who knits.

Crime and Punishment LITE(tm)
        -- by Fyodor Dostoevski

        A man sends a nasty letter to a pawnbroker, but later
        feels guilty and apologizes.

The Odyssey LITE(tm)
        -- by Homer

        After working late, a valiant warrior gets lost on his way home.
After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
                -- H.L. Mencken, on Shakespeare
At once it struck me what quality went to form a man of achievement,
especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously
-- I mean negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being
in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching
after fact and reason.
                -- John Keats
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"
Like an expensive sports car, fine-tuned and well-built, Portia was sleek,
shapely, and gorgeous, her red jumpsuit moulding her body, which was as warm
as seatcovers in July, her hair as dark as new tires, her eyes flashing like
bright hubcaps, and her lips as dewy as the beads of fresh rain on the hood;
she was a woman driven -- fueled by a single accelerant -- and she needed a
man, a man who wouldn't shift from his views, a man to steer her along the
right road: a man like Alf Romeo.
                -- Rachel Sheeley, winner

The hair ball blocking the drain of the shower reminded Laura she would never
see her little dog Pritzi again.
                -- Claudia Fields, runner-up

It could have been an organically based disturbance of the brain -- perhaps a
tumor or a metabolic deficiency -- but after a thorough neurological exam it
was determined that Byron was simply a jerk.
                -- Jeff Jahnke, runner-up

Winners in the 7th Annual Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest.  The contest is
named after the author of the immortal lines:  "It was a dark and stormy
night."  The object of the contest is to write the opening sentence of the
worst possible novel.
Stop!  There was first a game of blindman's buff.  Of course there was.
And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes
in his boots.  My opinion is, that it was a done thing between him and
Scrooge's nephew; and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it.  The
way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker, was an outrage
on the credulity of human nature.
The Least Perceptive Literary Critic
        The most important critic in our field of study is Lord Halifax.  A
most individual judge of poetry, he once invited Alexander Pope round to
give a public reading of his latest poem.
        Pope, the leading poet of his day, was greatly surprised when Lord
Halifax stopped him four or five times and said, "I beg your pardon, Mr.
Pope, but there is something in that passage that does not quite please me."
        Pope was rendered speechless, as this fine critic suggested sizeable
and unwise emendations to his latest masterpiece.  "Be so good as to mark
the place and consider at your leisure.  I'm sure you can give it a better
turn."
        After the reading, a good friend of Lord Halifax, a certain Dr.
Garth, took the stunned Pope to one side.  "There is no need to touch the
lines," he said.  "All you need do is leave them just as they are, call on
Lord Halifax two or three months hence, thank him for his kind observation
on those passages, and then read them to him as altered.  I have known him
much longer than you have, and will be answerable for the event."
        Pope took his advice, called on Lord Halifax and read the poem
exactly as it was before.  His unique critical faculties had lost none of
their edge.  "Ay", he commented, "now they are perfectly right.  Nothing can
be better."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
"What's this?  Trix?  Aunt!  Trix?  You?  You're after the prize!  What
is it?"  He picked up the box and studied the back.  "A glow-in-the-dark
squid!  Have you got it out of there yet?"  He tilted the box, angling the
little colored balls of cereal so as to see the bottom, and nearly spilling
them onto the table top.  "Here it is!"  He hauled out a little cream-colored,
glitter-sprinkled squid, three-inches long and made out of rubbery plastic.
                -- James P. Blaylock, "The Last Coin"
        A German, a Pole and a Czech left camp for a hike through the woods.
After being reported missing a day or two later, rangers found two bears,
one a male, one a female, looking suspiciously overstuffed.  They killed
the female, autopsied her, and sure enough, found the German and the Pole.
        "What do you think?" said the the first ranger.
        "The Czech is in the male," replied the second.
America was discovered by Amerigo Vespucci and was named after him, until
people got tired of living in a place called "Vespuccia" and changed its
name to "America".
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered.  I myself would
say that it had merely been detected.
                -- Oscar Wilde
The Czechs announced after Sputnik that they, too, would launch a satellite.
Of course, it would orbit Sputnik, not Earth!
The English country gentleman galloping after a fox -- the unspeakable
in full pursuit of the uneatable.
                -- Oscar Wilde, "A Woman of No Importance"
        The world's most avid baseball fan (an Aggie) had arrived at the
stadium for the first game of the World Series only to realize he had left
his ticket at home.  Not wanting to miss any of the first inning, he went
to the ticket booth and got in a long line for another seat.  After an hour's
wait he was just a few feet from the booth when a voice called out, "Hey,
Dave!"  The Aggie looked up, stepped out of line and tried to find the owner
of the voice -- with no success.   Then he realized he had lost his place in
line and had to wait all over again.  When the fan finally bought his ticket,
he was thirsty, so he went to buy a drink.  The line at the concession stand
was long, too, but since the game hadn't started he decided to wait.  Just as
he got to the window, a voice called out, "Hey, Dave!"  Again the Aggie tried
to find the voice -- but no luck.  He was very upset as he got back in line
for his drink.  Finally the fan went to his seat, eager for the game to begin.
As he waited for the pitch, he heard the voice calling, "Hey Dave!" once more.
Furious, he stood up and yelled at the top of his lungs,  "My name isn't Dave!"
        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)
Did you know the University of Iowa closed down after someone stole the book?
        In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi,
Junior, what are you up to?"
        "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the
rabbit.
        "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible!  No one
will publish such rubbish!"
        "Well, follow me and I'll show you."
        They both go into the rabbit's dwelling and after a while the
rabbit emerges with a satisfied expression on his face.  Comes along a
wolf.  "Hello, little buddy, what are we doing these days?"
        "I'm writing the 2'nd chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits devour
wolves."
        "Are you crazy?  Where's your academic honesty?"
        "Come with me and I'll show you."
        As before, the rabbit comes out with a satisfied look on his face
and a diploma in his paw.  Finally, the camera pans into the rabbit's cave
and, as everybody should have guessed by now, we see a mean-looking, huge
lion, sitting, picking his teeth and belching, next to some furry, bloody
remnants of the wolf and the fox.

        The moral: It's not the contents of your thesis that are
important -- it's your PhD advisor that really counts.
Iowa State -- the high school after high school!
                -- Crow T. Robot
        Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish
and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign" have been clearer if
quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and
and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and
Chips, as well as after Chips?
A couple of young fellers were fishing at their special pond off the
beaten track when out of the bushes jumped the Game Warden.  Immediately,
one of the boys threw his rod down and started running through the woods
like the proverbial bat out of hell, and hot on his heels ran the Game
Warden.  After about a half mile the fella stopped and stooped over with
his hands on his thighs, whooping and heaving to catch his breath as the
Game Warden finally caught up to him.
        "Let's see yer fishin' license, boy," the Warden gasped.  The
man pulled out his wallet and gave the Game Warden a valid fishing
license.
        "Well, son", snarled the Game Warden, "You must be about as dumb
as a box of rocks!  You didn't have to run if you have a license!"
        "Yes, sir," replied his victim, "but, well, see, my friend back
there, he don't have one!"
Anxious after the delay, Gruber doesn't waste any time getting the Koenig
[a modified Porsche] up to speed, and almost immediately we are blowing off
Alfas, Fiats, and Lancias full of excited Italians.  These people love fast
cars.  But they love sport too and no passing encounter goes unchallenged.
Nothing serious, just two wheels into your lane as you're bearing down on
them at 130-plus -- to see if you're paying attention.
                -- Road & Track article about driving two absurdly fast
                   cars across Europe.
Failed Attempts To Break Records
        In September 1978 Mr. Terry Gripton, of Stafford, failed to break
the world shouting record by two and a half decibels.  "I am not surprised
he failed," his wife said afterwards.  "He's really a very quiet man and
doesn't even shout at me."
        In August of the same year Mr. Paul Anthony failed to break the
record for continuous organ playing by 387 hours.
        His attempt at the Golden Fish Fry Restaurant in Manchester ended
after 36 hours 10 minutes, when he was accused of disturbing the peace.
"People complained I was too noisy," he said.
        In January 1976 Mr. Barry McQueen failed to walk backwards across
the Menai Bridge playing the bagpipes.  "It was raining heavily and my
drone got waterlogged," he said.
        A TV cameraman thwarted Mr. Bob Specas' attempt to topple 100,000
dominoes at the Manhattan Center, New York on 9 June 1978.  97,500 dominoes
had been set up when he dropped his press badge and set them off.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL:                #14
        The Baby Ruth candy bar was not named after George Herman "The Babe"
Ruth, but after the oldest daughter of President Grover Cleveland.
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."
I would be batting the big feller if they wasn't ready with the other one,
but a left-hander would be the thing if they wouldn't have knowed it already
because there is more things involved than could come up on the road, even
after we've been home a long while.
                -- Casey Stengel
My first baseman is George "Catfish" Metkovich from our 1952 Pittsburgh
Pirates team, which lost 112 games.  After a terrible series against the
New York Giants, in which our center fielder made three throwing errors
and let two balls get through his legs, manager Billy Meyer pleaded, "Can
somebody think of something to help us win a game?"
        "I'd like to make a suggestion," Metkovich said.  "On any ball hit
to center field, let's just let it roll to see if it might go foul."
                -- Joe Garagiola, "It's Anybody's Ball Game"
Several years ago, an international chess tournament was being held in a
swank hotel in New York.  Most of the major stars of the chess world were
there, and after a grueling day of chess, the players and their entourages
retired to the lobby of the hotel for a little refreshment.  In the lobby,
some players got into a heated argument about who was the brightest, the
fastest, and the best chess player in the world.  The argument got quite
loud, as various players claimed that honor.  At that point, a security
guard in the lobby turned to another guard and commented, "If there's
anything I just can't stand, it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."
The Fastest Defeat In Chess
        The big name for us in the world of chess is Gibaud, a French chess
master.  
        In Paris during 1924 he was beaten after only four moves by a
Monsieur Lazard.  Happily for posterity, the moves are recorded and so
chess enthusiasts may reconstruct this magnificent collapse in the comfort
of their own homes.
        Lazard was black and Gibaud white:
        1: P-Q4, Kt-KB3
        2: Kt-Q2, P-K4
        3: PxP, Kt-Kt5
        4: P-K6, Kt-K6
        White then resigns on realizing that a fifth move would involve
either a Q-KR5 check or the loss of his queen.
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
        A hard-luck actor who appeared in one coloossal disaster after another
finally got a break, a broken leg to be exact.  Someone pointed out that it's
the first time the poor fellow's been in the same cast for more than a week.
A rose is a rose is a rose.  Just ask Jean Marsh, known to millions of
PBS viewers in the '70s as Rose, the maid on the LWT export "Upstairs,
Downstairs."  Though Marsh has since gone on to other projects, ... it's
with Rose she's forever identified.  So much so that she even likes to
joke about having one named after her, a distinction not without its
drawbacks.  "I was very flattered when I heard about it, but when I looked
up the official description, it said, `Jean Marsh: pale peach, not very
good in beds; better up against a wall.'  I want to tell you that's not
true.  I'm very good in beds as well."
After a few boring years, socially meaningful rock 'n' roll died out. It was
replaced by disco, which offers no guidance to any form of life more
advanced than the lichen family.
                -- Dave Barry, "Kids Today: They Don't Know Dum Diddly Do"
Around the turn of this century, a composer named Camille Saint-Saens wrote
a satirical zoological-fantasy called "Le Carnaval des Animaux."  Aside from
one movement of this piece, "The Swan", Saint-Saens didn't allow this work
to be published or even performed until a year had elapsed after his death.
(He died in 1921.)
        Most of us know the "Swan" movement rather well, with its smooth,
flowing cello melody against a calm background; but I've been having this
fantasy...
        What if he had written this piece with lyrics, as a song to be sung?
And, further, what if he had accompanied this song with a musical saw?  (This
instrument really does exist, often played by percussionists!)  Then the
piece would be better known as:
        SAINT-SAENS' SAW SONG "SWAN"!
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
In the Old West a wagon train is crossing the plains.  As night falls the
wagon train forms a circle, and a campfire is lit in the middle.  After
everyone has gone to sleep two lone cavalry officers stand watch over the
camp.
        After several hours of quiet, they hear war drums starting from
a nearby Indian village they had passed during the day.  The drums get
louder and louder.
        Finally one soldier turns to the other and says, "I don't like
the sound of those drums."
        Suddenly, they hear a cry come from the Indian camp:  "IT'S
NOT OUR REGULAR DRUMMER."
Recently deceased blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan "comes to" after
his death.  He sees Jimi Hendrix sitting next to him, tuning his guitar.
"Holy cow," he thinks to himself, "this guy is my idol."  Over at the
microphone, about to sing, are Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, and the
bassist is the late Barry Oakley of the Allman Brothers.  So Stevie
Ray's thinking, "Oh, wow!  I've died and gone to rock and roll heaven."
Just then, Karen Carpenter walks in, sits down at the drums, and says:
"'Close to You'.  Hit it, boys!"
                -- Told by Penn Jillette, of magic/comedy duo Penn and Teller
Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five.  The
reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of
thirty-five.
                -- Joel Hildebrand
VII. Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel
      entrances; others cannot.
        This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least
        it is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to
        trick an opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical
        space.  The painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to
        follow into the painting.  This is ultimately a problem of art, not
        of science.
VIII. Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.
        Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives
        might comfortably afford.  They can be decimated, spliced, splayed,
        accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be
        destroyed.  After a few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate,
        elongate, snap back, or solidify.
  IX. For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.
        This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to
        the physical world at large.  For that reason, we need the relief of
        watching it happen to a duck instead.
   X. Everything falls faster than an anvil.
        Examples too numerous to mention from the Roadrunner cartoons.
                -- Esquire, "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion", June 1980
What ever happened to happily ever after?
        A young married couple had their first child.  Their original pride
and joy slowly turned to concern however, for after a couple of years the
child had never uttered any form of speech.  They hired the best speech
therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, all to no avail.  The child simply refused
to speak.  One morning when the child was five, while the husband was reading
the paper, and the wife was feeding the dog, the little kid looks up from
his bowl and said, "My cereal's cold."
        The couple is stunned.  The man, in tears, confronts his son.  "Son,
after all these years, why have you waited so long to say something?".
        Shrugs the kid, "Everything's been okay 'til now".
        After watching an extremely attractive maternity-ward patient
earnestly thumbing her way through a telephone directory for several
minutes, a hospital orderly finally asked if he could be of some help.
        "No, thanks," smiled the young mother, "I'm just looking for a
name for my baby."
        "But the hospital supplies a special booklet that lists hundreds
of first names and their meanings," said the orderly.
        "That won't help," said the woman, "my baby already has a first name."
Article the Third:
        Where a crime of the kidneys has been committed, the accused should
        enjoy the right to a speedy diaper change.  Public announcements and
        guided tours of the aforementioned are not necessary.
Article the Fourth:
        The decision to eat strained lamb or not should be with the "feedee"
        and not the "feeder".  Blowing the strained lamb into the feeder's
        face should be accepted as an opinion, not as a declaration of war.
Article the Fifth:
        Babies should enjoy the freedom to vocalize, whether it be in church,
        a public meeting place, during a movie, or after hours when the
        lights are out.  They have not yet learned that joy and laughter have
        to last a lifetime and must be conserved.
                -- Erma Bombeck, "A Baby's Bill of Rights"
Children begin by loving their parents.  After a time they judge them.
Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
                -- Oscar Wilde
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling
the walk before it stops snowing.
                -- Phyllis Diller

There is no need to do any housework at all.  After the first four years
the dirt doesn't get any worse.
                -- Quentin Crisp
        On this morning in August when I was 13, my mother sent us out pick
tomatoes.  Back in April I'd have killed for a fresh tomato, but in August
they are no more rare or wonderful than rocks.  So I picked up one and threw
it at a crab apple tree, where it made a good *splat*, and then threw a tomato
at my brother.  He whipped one back at me.  We ducked down by the vines,
heaving tomatoes at each other.  My sister, who was a good person, said,
"You're going to get it."  She bent over and kept on picking.
        What a target!  She was 17, a girl with big hips, and bending over,
she looked like the side of a barn.
        I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground.  It looked like it
had sat there a week.  The underside was brown, small white worms lived in it,
and it was very juicy.  I stood up and took aim, and went into the windup,
when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice.  I had
to decide quickly.  I decided.
        A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound, like a fat
man doing a belly-flop.  With a whoop and a yell the tomatoee came after
faster than I knew she could run, and grabbed my shirt and was about to brain
me when Mother called her name in a sharp voice.  And my sister, who was a
good person, obeyed and let go -- and burst into tears.  I guess she knew that
the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared with the pleasure of hearing
a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.
                -- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
        Two parent drops spent months teaching their son how to be part of the
ocean.  After months of training, the father drop commented to the mother drop,
"We've taught our boy everything we know, he's fit to be tide."
Why do they call it baby-SITTING when all you do is run after them?
After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect.
- Freeman Dyson
In the pitiful, multipage, connection-boxed form to which the flowchart has
today been elaborated, it has proved to be useless as a design tool --
programmers draw flowcharts after, not before, writing the programs they
describe.
- Fred Brooks, Jr.
The reason ESP, for example, is not considered a viable topic in contemoprary
psychology is simply that its investigation has not proven fruitful...After
more than 70 years of study, there still does not exist one example of an ESP
phenomenon that is replicable under controlled conditions.  This simple but
basic scientific criterion has not been met despite dozens of studies conducted
over many decades...It is for this reason alone that the topic is now of little
interest to psychology...In short, there is no demonstrated phenomenon that
needs explanation.
-- Keith E. Stanovich, "How to Think Straight About Psychology", pp. 160-161
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and after
expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government of
England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only commenced,
I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even the offer
of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the reach of men
who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...  

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

And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed by that
exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its advancement,
which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I think the
application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
- Charles Babbage, Passage from the Life of a Philosopher
Children begin by loving their parents.  After a time they judge them.  Rarely,
if ever, do they forgive them.
- Oscar Wilde
The characteristic property of hallucinogens, to suspend the boundaries between
the experiencing self and the outer world in an ecstatic, emotional experience,
makes it posible with their help, and after suitable internal and external
perparation...to evoke a mystical experience according to plan, so to speak...
I see the true importance of LSD in the possibility of providing materail aid
to meditation aimed at the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive
reality.  Such a use accords entirely with the essence and working character
of LSD as a sacred drug.
- Dr. Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD
"Come on over here, baby, I want to do a thing with you."
- A Cop, arresting a non-groovy person after the revolution, Firesign Theater
...Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an
inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have
ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I
haven't ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it.
There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between
prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have
looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice
is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious
mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can't be perfect of course; you
may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you
have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46
"Our journey toward the stars has progressed swiftly.

In 1926 Robert H. Goddard launched the first liquid-propelled rocket,
achieving an altitude of 41 feet.  In 1962 John Glenn orbited the earth.

In 1969, only 66 years after Orville Wright flew two feet off the ground
for 12 seconds, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and I rocketed to the moon
in Apollo 11."
-- Michael Collins
   Former astronaut and past Director of the National Air and Space Museum
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it
seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the
fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving
after rational knowledge.
- Albert Einstein
As I argued in "Beloved Son", a book about my son Brian and the subject
of religious communes and cults, one result of proper early instruction
in the methods of rational thought will be to make sudden mindless
conversions -- to anything -- less likely.  Brian now realizes this and
has, after eleven years, left the sect he was associated with.  The
problem is that once the untrained mind has made a formal commitment to
a religious philosophy -- and it does not matter whether that philosophy
is generally reasonable and high-minded or utterly bizarre and
irrational -- the powers of reason are suprisingly ineffective in
changing the believer's mind.
- Steve Allen, comdeian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of
  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman
The history of the rise of Christianity has everything to do with politics,
culture, and human frailties and nothing to do with supernatural manipulation
of events.  Had divine intervention been the guiding force, surely two
millennia after the birth of Jesus he would not have a world where there
are more Muslims than Catholics, more Hindus than Protestants, and more
nontheists than Catholics and Protestants combined.
-- John K. Naland, "The First Easter", Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2
"Hi.  This is Dan Cassidy's answering machine.  Please leave your name and
number... and after I've doctored the tape, your message will implicate you
in a federal crime and be brought to the attention of the F.B.I... BEEEP"
-- Blue Devil comics
"I knew then (in 1970) that a 4-kbyte minicomputer would cost as much as
a house.  So I reasoned that after college, I'd have to live cheaply in
an apartment and put all my money into owning a computer."
-- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, EE Times, June 6, 1988, pg 45
"Nine years of ballet, asshole."
-- Shelly Long, to the bad guy after making a jump over a gorge that he
   couldn't quite, in "Outrageous Fortune"
David Brinkley: The daily astrological charts are precisely where, in my
  judgment, they belong, and that is on the comic page.
George Will:  I don't think astrology belongs even on the comic pages.
  The comics are making no truth claim.
Brinkley:  Where would you put it?
Will:  I wouldn't put it in the newspaper.  I think it's transparent rubbish.
  It's a reflection of an idea that we expelled from Western thought in the
  sixteenth century, that we are in the center of a caring universe.  We are
  not the center of the universe, and it doesn't care.  The star's alignment
  at the time of our birth -- that is absolute rubbish.  It is not funny to
  have it intruded among people who have nuclear weapons.
Sam Donaldson:  This isn't something new.  Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn
  in just after midnight in his first term in Sacramento because the stars
  said it was a propitious time.
Will:  They [horoscopes] are utter crashing banalities.  They could apply to
  anyone and anything.
Brinkley:  When is the exact moment [of birth]?  I don't think the nurse is
  standing there with a stopwatch and a notepad.
Donaldson:  If we're making decisions based on the stars -- that's a cockamamie
  thing.  People want to know.
-- "This Week" with David Brinkley, ABC Television, Sunday, May 8, 1988,
   excerpts from a discussion on Astrology and Reagan
"Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care
what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything
you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness.
Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to
insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the
destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be,
be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to
insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as
your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be
yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your
receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this
thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen."

Madrak, in _Creatures of Light and Darkness_, by Roger Zelazny
"After one week [visiting Austria] I couldn't wait to go back to the United
States.  Everything was much more pleasant in the United States, because of
the mentality of being open-minded, always positive.  Everything you want to
do in Europe is just, 'No way.  No one has ever done it.'  They haven't any
more the desire to go out to conquer and achieve -- I realized that I had much
more the American spirit."
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger
Q: They just announced on the radio that Dan Quayle was picked as the
Republican V.P. candidate.  Should I post?

A: Of course.  The net can reach people in as few as 3 to 5 days.  It's
the perfect way to inform people about such news events long after the
broadcast networks have covered them.  As you are probably the only person
to have heard the news on the radio, be sure to post as soon as you can.

-- Brad Templeton, _Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette_
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
-- John Wooden
A bore is someone who persists in holding his own views after we have
enlightened him with ours.
        A young honeymoon couple were touring southern Florida and happened
to stop at one of the rattlesnake farms along the road.  After seeing the
sights, they engaged in small talk with the man that handled the snakes.
"Gosh!" exclaimed the new bride.  "You certainly have a dangerous job.
Don't you ever get bitten by the snakes?"
        "Yes, upon rare occasions," answered the handler.
        "Well," she continued, "just what do you do when you're bitten by
a snake?"
        "I always carry a razor-sharp knife in my pocket, and as soon as I
am bitten, I make deep criss-cross marks across the fang entry and then
suck the poison from the wound."
        "What, uh... what would happen if you were to accidentally *sit* on
a rattler?" persisted the woman.
        "Ma'am," answered the snake handler, "that will be the day I learn
who my real friends are."
After all, it is only the mediocre who are always at their best.
                -- Jean Giraudoux
After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party?  Surely not for
you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply
sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
                -- P.J. O'Rourke
After living in New York, you trust nobody, but you believe everything.
Just in case.
        After Snow White used a couple rolls of film taking pictures of the
seven dwarfs, she mailed the roll to be developed.  Later she was heard to
sing, "Some day my prints will come."
Exhilaration is that feeling you get just after a great idea hits you,
and just before you realize what is wrong with it.
Fess:        Well, you must admit there is something innately humorous about
        a man chasing an invention of his own halfway across the galaxy.
Rod:        Oh yeah, it's a million yuks, sure.  But after all, isn't that the
        basic difference between robots and humans?
Fess:        What, the ability to form imaginary constructs?
Rod:        No, the ability to get hung up on them.
                -- Christopher Stasheff, "The Warlock in Spite of Himself"
"For three days after death hair and fingernails continue to grow but
phone calls taper off."
                -- Johnny Carson
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they AREN'T after you.
        Looking for a cool one after a long, dusty ride, the drifter strode
into the saloon.  As he made his way through the crowd to the bar, a man
galloped through town screaming, "Big Mike's comin'!  Run fer yer lives!"
        Suddenly, the saloon doors burst open.  An enormous man, standing over
eight feet tall and weighing an easy 400 pounds, rode in on a bull, using a
rattlesnake for a whip.  Grabbing the drifter by the arm and throwing him over
the bar, the giant thundered, "Gimme a drink!"
        The terrified man handed over a bottle of whiskey, which the man
guzzled in one gulp and then smashed on the bar.  He then stood aghast as
the man stuffed the broken bottle in his mouth, munched broken glass and
smacked his lips with relish.
        "Can I, ah, uh, get you another, sir?" the drifter stammered.
        "Naw, I gotta git outa here, boy," the man grunted.  "Big Mike's
a-comin'."
Murder is always a mistake -- one should never do anything one cannot
talk about after dinner.
                -- Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
No guest is so welcome in a friend's house that he will not become a
nuisance after three days.
                -- Titus Maccius Plautus
People (a group that in my opinion has always attracted an undue amount of
attention) have often been likened to snowflakes.  This analogy is meant to
suggest that each is unique -- no two alike.  This is quite patently not the
case.  People ... are simply a dime a dozen.  And, I hasten to add, their
only similarity to snowflakes resides in their invariable and lamentable
tendency to turn, after a few warm days, to slush.
                -- Fran Lebowitz, "Social Studies"
"Quite frankly, I don't like you humans.  After what you all have done,
I find being 'inhuman' a compliment."
                -- Spider Robinson, "Callahan's Secret"
Start the day with a smile.  After that you can be your nasty old self again.
The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: "Of course it is none
of my business, but --" is to place a period after the word "but."  Don't use
excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period.  Cutting his throat
is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.
                -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"
The man who raises a fist has run out of ideas.
                -- H.G. Wells, "Time After Time"
What, after all, is a halo?  It's only one more thing to keep clean.
                -- Christopher Fry
You know you're in trouble when...
(1)        You've been at work for an hour before you notice that your
                skirt is caught in your pantyhose.
                Especially if you're a man.
(2)        Your blind date turns out to be your ex-wife.
(3)        Your income tax check bounces.
(4)        You put both contact lenses in the same eye.
(5)        Your wife says, "Good morning, Bill" and your name is George.
(6)        You wake up to the soothing sound of flowing water... the day
                after you bought a waterbed.
(7)        You go on your honeymoon to a remote little hotel and the desk
                clerk, bell hop, and manager have a "Welcome Back" party
                for your spouse.
After your lover has gone you will still have PEANUT BUTTER!
Hope that the day after you die is a nice day.
Time to be aggressive.  Go after a tattooed Virgo.
Tuesday After Lunch is the cosmic time of the week.
You will probably marry after a very brief courtship.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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