Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:4.9 bacteria

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

October 13
From: John Sergent (jsergent#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com)

'Greenwich Mean Time' Arrested His 'Mean' Reign of Terror Ends

LONDON: This Wednesday, GMT's fascist reign of terror was finally put to
rest as officials placed it under arrest for malicious conduct.

Greenwich 'Mean' Time, the bad-boy of time zones and the standard for
world timekeeping, has finally been dethroned.  Executives of the London
Time Council have replaced GMT with DKAT, Dublin Kindly Agreeable Time,
long the quiet and polite secretary to Greenwich Mean Time.

The new changes will affect world time standards in the following ways
(some slipped in as last minute conveniences by Time Legislators):

Time Magazine will no longer be able to use the "Time" trademark. The
Council has recommended that they use the public domain "Division Of
Geologic Chronology Magazine", "Duration Magazine", or "Spaceless
Continuum Of Ordered Events Magazine".

The flow of time has been normalized; time will no longer fly when
you're having fun, nor will the last fifteen minutes of class appear to
take hours.

Milk will now immediately spoil when crossing the International Date
Line on the day before its expiration date. This was previously abused
by several black market milk dealers, who used this anomaly to keep milk
fresh far past its expiration.

Due to the massive unpopularity of the setting-clocks-forward phase of
Daylight Savings Time, the new standard mandates that the world set its
clocks backward in both October and April, affording an extra hour of
sleep twice a year.

Father Time commented, "These changes are definitely for the best.
Frankly, I was sick of Greenwich's 'mean' time, and it's about.. er..
time that we instituted a more amicable version."

Time Magazine could not be reached for comment.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: "Douglas J Robinson" <robinson#NoSpam.syspac.com>
A pseudo scientist, who uses undetermined suppositions, indefinite theories,
and inexpressible hypotheses; which are based on unreliable information,
uncertain quantities, and incomplete data; derived from non-reproducible
experiments and incomplete investigations; using equipment and instruments
of questionable accuracy, insufficient resolution, and inadequate
sensitivity, to arrive at timid, tentative cloudy, abstruse, and
non-committed conclusions prefaced by the phrase, "IT DEPENDS".

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

April 7
From: Pierre Abbat <phma#NoSpam.oltronics.net>
A metrologist from Dover left on a trip. She was to take the Chunnel to
Calais, go south to Perpignan, go to S्vres, and return home. She never made
it. The obituary reported that she had gone to make her meter.

(The first meter was determined by surveying the longest north-south
distance in France, which is pretty close to the line from Calais to

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Subject: Re: real maths stumper
From: rc142 <rc142#NoSpam.cunix.cc.columbia.edu>

Jeffrey G. Montgomery wrote:
>In article <m2yay9ticp.fsf#NoSpam.mailhost.neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de>,
>David Kastrup <dak#NoSpam.mailhost.neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de> wrote:
>>jgm7683#NoSpam.osfmail.isc.rit.edu (Jeffrey G. Montgomery) writes:
>>> A man builds a house such that all four walls face North.  He looks
>>>  out his window and sees a white bear.  Where is he?
>>> Answer: This place is not on Earth.  There are no polar bears at the
>>>  South pole, which is the only place he could build a house where all
>>>  four walls face North. :)

>>Wrong.  You might be underestimating the size of his house.  It might
>>be that its *outside* is not encompassing more than a bit of North
>>pole and perhaps a polar bear or two (locked out), but the inside
>>might well include the South pole and much of the North pole as well.
>>Does the name "Wonko, the Sane" ring a bell with you?

>No,... should it?  :)
>Please enlighten me - how can you have a house with four walls (and a roof)
>where all walls face North, and yet it includes much of the North pole?
>Also, you might not be up and up on English, but your cardinal directions
>(East, West, North, South) are capitalized as a rule.
>(Just one of those little-known rules that make it nicer, and easier, to
>read news articles.)
>                                         Jeff

In England, the "n" is only sometimes capitalized, such as in North Pole,
North Korea, the Northeast of England, but not in "I walked three miles
north" and similarly for the other directions: east, south and west. Your
rule may be what is used in America, but it is certainly not a rule of

In any event, what about the following possibilities?

The man kills a polar bear, goes to the South Pole, builds a house, dumps
the polar bear outside, goes inside, looks out the window and sees a white
bear- the very one he killed or indeed another one that someone else put
there. It need not be a polar bear either. It could be a different type of
bear, for example a grizzly bear, which he painted white or tippexed white
or in some other way made white and then did as I suggested above with the
polar bear. (By this I mean, kill it and place it outside his house.)
Alternatively, he may have just transported a live white bear there. This
would probably require a tranquilizer of some sort to sedate the bear
during transportation and would be more dangerous in the event that he
wished to leave the house. On the plus side, he could take supplies and
have a fresh supply of meat from the bear at a later date whereas, if it
were already dead, he would either have to eat it straight away or let it
go to waste. Having written that, I suppose he could freeze it quite easily
This may sound far-fetched but it is no more so than building a house the
roof of which covers nearly all of the planet- which is also a valid
solution of course (I am not trying to say otherwise).  More reasonably, it
could have been a white teddy bear, especially if he had small children
with him or a white welcome mat for visitors (see below) or a white
hole-punch. There are still other possibilities which you can come up with
from the source referenced below and which I might myself quote, were it
not for the fact that my email account that has the OED on it crashed in
the middle of writing this- leading to my having to post this from
Netscape- and thus I don't have access to it (short of searching the web
for long periods of time with the result that I would be late for "Mr. Nice

>From the Oxford English Dictionary (bear):

   6. A rough mat for wiping boots on; a block covered with shaggy
      used for scrubbing the decks of vessels.

         1795 J. Aikin Manchester 349 The making (by blindfolk)
of..white and
              tarred bears, foot-cloths, etc.
         1805 D. Johnston Serm. for Blind 20 Rope-bears for cleaning the
              at our doors.

   7. a. A machine for punching holes.

         1869 Sir E. Reed Ship Build. xx. 446 The holes which come in
              plate-edges are usually punched by a bear.

"Analyzing is paralysing, Mister" - Tilt

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Special Category: Old scientists never die...
From: Anne Spencer <pleezmail#NoSpam.yahoo.ca>
Old oceanographers never die, they just stop having a whale of a time.
Old oceanographers never die, they just forget about any upswellings.
Old oceanographers never die, their tides just go into permanent wane.
Old oceanographers never die - they just stop making waves.

next:5.1 geology | Index | Comments and Contributions


Member of the Science Humor Net Ring
[ Previous 5 Sites | Previous | Next | Next 5 Sites ]
[ Random Site | List Sites ]

Hit Statistics