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Problem: To Catch a Lion in the Sahara Desert.
(Hunting lions in Africa was originally published as "A contribution
to the mathematical theory of big game hunting" in the American
Mathematical Monthly in 1938 by "H. Petard, of Princeton NJ" [actually
the late Ralph Boas].  It has been reprinted several times.
This is a hugely extended version with contributions from the net.

1. Mathematical Methods

1.1 The Hilbert (axiomatic) method

We place a locked cage onto a given point in the desert.  After that
we introduce the following logical system:
   Axiom 1: The set of lions in the Sahara is not empty.
   Axiom 2: If there exists a lion in the Sahara, then there exists a
            lion in the cage.
   Procedure: If P is a theorem, and if the following is holds:
              "P implies Q", then Q is a theorem.
   Theorem 1: There exists a lion in the cage.

1.2 The geometrical inversion method

We place a spherical cage in the desert, enter it and lock it from
Case 1: The lion is inside the cage. This case is trivial.
Case 2: The lion is outside the cage. We then perform an inversion
with respect to the cage.  Then the lion is inside the cage, and we
are outside.
Warning: With this method, it is important not to stand in the middle
of the cage, as one will disappear in the infinite.

1.3 The projective geometry method

Without loss of generality, we can view the desert as a plane surface.
We project the surface onto a line and afterwards the line onto an
interior point of the cage. Thereby the lion is mapped onto that same

1.4 The Bolzano-Weierstrass method

Divide the desert by a line running from north to south.  The lion is
then either in the eastern or in the western part.  Let's assume it is
in the eastern part.  Divide this part by a line running from east to
west.  The lion is either in the northern or in the southern part.
Let's assume it is in the northern part.  We can continue this process
arbitrarily and thereby constructing with each step an increasingly
narrow fence around the selected area.  The diameter of the chosen
partitions converges to zero so that the lion is caged into a fence of
arbitrarily small diameter.
Warning: With this method take care that the beautiful skin of the
lion is not damaged.

1.5 The set theoretical method

We observe that the desert is a separable space.  It therefore
contains an enumerable dense set of points which constitutes a
sequence with the lion as its limit. With a cage on our backs,
we jump from point to point of this sequence an so approach the lion
as near as we like.

1.6 The Peano method

In the usual way construct a curve containing every point in the
desert.  It has been proven [1] that such a curve can be traversed in
arbitrarily short time.  Now we traverse the curve, carrying a spear,
in a time less than what it takes the lion to move a distance equal to
its own length.

1.7 A topological method

We observe that the lion possesses the topological gender of a torus.
We embed the desert in a four dimensional space.  Then it is possible
to apply a deformation [2] of such a kind that the lion when returning
to the three dimensional space is all tied up in itself.  It is then
completely helpless.

1.8 The Cauchy method

We examine a lion-valued function f(z). Be \zeta the cage.  Consider
the integral

          1    [   f(z)
       ------- I --------- dz
       2 π i ] z - \zeta


where C represents the boundary of the desert.  Its value is f(zeta),
i.e. there is a lion in the cage [3].

1.9 The Wiener-Tauber method

We obtain a tame lion, L_0, from the class L(-\infinity,\infinity),
whose fourier transform vanishes nowhere.  We put this lion somewhere
in the desert.  L_0 then converges toward our cage.  According to the
general Wiener-Tauner theorem [4] every other lion L will converge
toward the same cage.  (Alternatively we can approximate L arbitrarily
close by translating L_0 through the desert [5].)

From: chohn#NoSpam.vub.ac.be (Ohn Christian)

1.10 The Mathematical Induction method

Consider, for each n, the following statement:
    P(n) : 'It is possible to catch n lions in the desert.'
Of course, P(n) is true for large enough n, because the lions are then
so tightly packed together that it is easy to catch them. But now,
P(n) implies P(n-1) ('cause if you catch some lions, you can always
release one of them). Hence, P(1) is true.

1.11 The Banachsche or iterative method

Let f be a contraction of the Sahara in it with contraction point x_0.
On this point we put the cage. By successive iteration W(n+1)= f(W(n)),
n=,1,2,..... (W(0)=Sahara) the Sahara will be contracted to X_0. In this
way the lion will get in the cage.

1.12 The Kalra Method

Make a list of the lion's whereabouts.  Classify them into different fuzzy
sets. The lion will get confused and fall into your trap.

1.13 The Cartesian method

Take the origin as close as possible to the lion. Then perform rotation
operation again and again. Initially, the lion will feel dizzy. Finally it
will fall down.

1.14 The Inductive Method

 Initial Condition: If you center a large cage on any one
grain of sand, and a lion is on or close to the grain of sand. then
he will be trapped by the cage. By close we mean within epsilon
grains of sand. Given a cage the size of 2 * (size of lion *
epsilon) it works.
 First Hypothesis: Given the first grain of sand in the
desert, if the lion is standing on it you will trap him.

       Proof: Given by the initial condition.

       Induction Hypothesis:  Assume that a lion is on a grain

of sand n, and is trappable. Now, for grain n+1 (assume all grains of sand
are ordered, inorder) n+1 is close to n, hence n is close to n+1. If the
lion is on grain n, and is trappable; then he is close to n+1, and by the
above condition, trappable.  Hence, no matter where the lions are if you
drop a cage centered on a piece of sand you will catch a lion.

1.15 The Integro-Differential Method

Integrate the Sahara over its entire surface. The lion is now somewhere in
the result. Differentiate the result w.r.t the earth's rotation. The
resulting value is zero, and the lion is no more.

From: David J Corbett <djc123#NoSpam.student.canterbury.ac.nz>
1.16  Group theory method
Note that "dog in lace" is an anagram of "caged lion".
Therefore, apply the appropriate permutation from S9 on a dog in lace to
obtain a caged lion.  The matter of obtaining a dog in lace is left to
the reader.

2 Theoretical Physics Methods

2.1 The Dirac method

We assert that wild lions can ipso facto not be observed in the Sahara
desert.  Therefore, if there are any lions at all in the desert, they
are tame.  We leave catching a tame lion as an exercise to the reader.

2.2 The Schroedinger method

At every instant there is a non-zero probability of the lion being in
the cage.  Sit and wait.

2.3 The Quantum Measurement Method

We assume that the sex of the lion is _ab initio_ indeterminate.  The
wave function for the lion is hence a superposition of the gender
eigenstate for a lion and that for a lioness.  We lay these eigenstates
out flat on the ground and orthogonal to each other.  Since the (male)
lion has a distinctive mane, the measurement of sex can safely be made
from a distance, using binoculars.  The lion then collapses into one of
the eigenstates, which is rolled up and placed inside the cage.

2.4 The nuclear physics method

Insert a tame lion into the cage and apply a Majorana exchange
operator [6] on it and a wild lion.

As a variant let us assume that we would like to catch (for argument's
sake) a male lion.  We insert a tame female lion into the cage and
apply the Heisenberg exchange operator [7], exchanging spins.

2.5 The Newton gravitation method

Cage and lion attract each other with the gravitation force. We neglect
the friction. This way the lion will arive sooner or later in the cage.

2.6 The Newton third law method

Let the lion catch you (let's assume you remain alive here).  For every
action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Therefore, you will have
captured the lion.

2.7 The Special relativistic method

One moves over the desert with light velocity. The relativistic length
contraction makes the lion flat as paper. One takes it, rolls it up and
puts a rubber band around the lion.

2.8 The Special relativistic method (method 2)

Run in the direction opposite to that of the lion. The relative velocity
makes the lion run faster and hence he feels heavier and gets tired.

2.9 The general relativistic method

All over the desert we distribute lion bait containing large amounts
of the companion star of Sirius.  After enough of the bait has been
eaten we send a beam of light through the desert.  This will curl
around the lion so it gets all confused and can be approached without

2.10 The Heisenberg method

Position and Velocity from a moving lion can not be measure at the same
time. As moving lions have no physical meaningfull position in the desert,
one can not catch them. The lion hunt can therefore be limited to
resting lions. The catching of a resting, not moving lion is left as
an exercise for the reader.

2.11 The Schroedinger cat method
From: Alain Gottcheiner <agot#NoSpam.ulb.ac.be>

I'm no specialist of quantum mechanics, so it's possible that I've
overlooked something important, but the following method should work :

1) Note that a lion is nothing else than some big cat.

2) Pour some contact poison that's lethal to lions over the Sahara.

3) Thereafter, either the lion is dead, or it isn't.  So look at the Sahara
to reduce the lion's state to either dead or alive.  If he's dead, you will
have no problems picking him and putting him in the cage. If it is not,
proceed back to step 2.

4) Since the probability (P) of this trick working is not 0, and since
[limit, on n going to infinite, of 1 minus P to the nth, is O] you've got
1OO% probability of some iteration of the process bringing up the result
you wanted.

There could just be a snag about the method : if the lion is dead,
obvioulsy he's not moving anymore, and his momentum is known to be nought,
so how are you going to measure where he is lying ?

2.appendix The Heisenberg constriction

You will disturb the lion when you observe it before capturing.
So keep your eyes closed.

3 Experimental Physics Methods

3.1 The thermodynamics method

We construct a semi-permeable membrane which lets everything but lions
pass through.  This we drag across the desert.

3.2 The atomic fission method

We irradiate the desert with slow neutrons.  The lion becomes
radioactive and starts to disintegrate. Once the disintegration
process is progressed far enough the lion will be unable to resist.

3.3 The magneto-optical method

We plant a large, lense shaped field with cat mint (nepeta cataria)
such that its axis is parallel to the direction of the horizontal
component of the earth's magnetic field.  We put the cage in one of the
field's foci . Throughout the desert we distribute large amounts of
magnetized spinach (spinacia oleracea) which has, as everybody knows,
a high iron content.  The spinach is eaten by vegetarian desert
inhabitants which in turn are eaten by the lions.  Afterwards the
lions are oriented parallel to the earth's magnetic field and the
resulting lion beam is focussed on the cage by the cat mint lense.

[1] After Hilbert, cf. E. W. Hobson, "The Theory of Functions of a Real
    Variable and the Theory of Fourier's Series" (1927), vol. 1, pp 456-457
[2] H. Seifert and W. Threlfall, "Lehrbuch der Topologie" (1934), pp 2-3
[3] According to the Picard theorem (W. F. Osgood, Lehrbuch der
    Funktionentheorie, vol 1 (1928), p 178) it is possible to catch every
    lion except for at most one.
[4] N. Wiener, "The Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications" (1933),
    pp 73-74
[5] N. Wiener, ibid, p 89
[6] cf e.g. H. A. Bethe and R. F. Bacher, "Reviews of Modern Physics", 8
    (1936), pp 82-229, esp. pp 106-107
[7] ibid

4 Contributions from Computer Science.

4.1 The search method

We assume that the lion is most likely to be found in the direction to
the north of the point where we are standing.  Therefore the REAL
problem we have is that of speed, since we are only using a PC to
solve the problem.

4.2 The parallel search method.

By using parallelism we will be able to search in the direction to the
north much faster than earlier.

4.3 The Monte-Carlo method.

We pick a random number indexing the space we search.  By excluding
neighboring points in the search, we can drastically reduce the number
of points we need to consider.  The lion will according to probability
appear sooner or later.

4.4 The practical approach.

We see a rabbit very close to us.  Since it is already dead, it is
particularly easy to catch.  We therefore catch it and call it a lion.

4.5 The common language approach.

If only everyone used ADA/Common Lisp/Prolog, this problem would be
trivial to solve.

4.6 The standard approach.

We know what a Lion is from ISO 4711/X.123.  Since CCITT have specified
a Lion to be a particular option of a cat we will have to wait for a
harmonized standard to appear.  $20,000,000 have been funded for
initial investigations into this standard development.

4.7 Linear search.

Stand in the top left hand corner of the Sahara Desert.  Take one step
east.  Repeat until you have found the lion, or you reach the right
hand edge.  If you reach the right hand edge, take one step
southwards, and proceed towards the left hand edge.  When you finally
reach the lion, put it the cage.  If the lion should happen to eat you
before you manage to get it in the cage, press the reset button, and
try again.

4.8 The Dijkstra approach:

The way the problem reached me was: catch a wild lion in the Sahara
Desert. Another way of stating the problem is:

       Axiom 1: Sahara elem deserts
       Axiom 2: Lion elem Sahara
       Axiom 3: NOT(Lion elem cage)

We observe the following invariant:

       P1:     C(L) v not(C(L))

where C(L) means: the value of "L" is in the cage.

Establishing C initially is trivially accomplished with the statement

       ;cage := {}

Note 0:
This is easily implemented by opening the door to the cage and shaking
out any lions that happen to be there initially.
(End of note 0.)

The obvious program structure is then:

       ;do NOT (C(L)) ->
               ;"approach lion under invariance of P1"
               ;if P(L) ->
                       ;"insert lion in cage"
                [] not P(L) ->

where P(L) means: the value of L is within arm's reach.

Note 1:
Axiom 2 ensures that the loop terminates.
(End of note 1.)

Exercise 0:
Refine the step "Approach lion under invariance of P1".
(End of exercise 0.)

Note 2:
The program is robust in the sense that it will lead to
abortion if the value of L is "lioness".
(End of note 2.)

Remark 0: This may be a new sense of the word "robust" for you.
(End of remark 0.)

Note 3:

From observation we can see that the above program leads to the
desired goal. It goes without saying that we therefore do not have to
run it.
(End of note 3.)
(End of approach.)

4.9 The Linked List Method

Make a linked list of all objects in the desert. Then delete the pointers
on either side of the lion.(Make sure you are not AFTER the lion.)

4.10 The Automata Method

Use a Non-Deterministic Finite Automaton with epsilon moves from all states
to the final state, and no moves from the final state. The lion will soon
enter the final state and be trapped.

4.11 The Divide And Conqure Method (by recursion)

Divide the desert in half. Repeat the process until you have the lion, a
grain of sand, or some other object that cannot be divided without blood
shed. You have the lion. The order of this method = O(insane). (Where
sanity is anything reasonable.)

5 Other Methods

5.1 The Time-Cop Method

Use a time-machine and take the entire Sahara back a few years in time. The
lion is just a cub now, and all you need is a mouse-trap.

5.2 The Shakespeare Method

Hold the lion still for a moment (I don't care how you do it), and recite
Shakespeare`s Hamlet to it. The lion will change from 'To be' to

5.3 The Pentagon method.

Construct a safe, secure cage and leave the door open.  Alternate massive
B-52 strikes across the Sahara desert with subtle propaganda campaigns
emphasizing the safety and security of your cage.  When a lion enters the
cage, close and lock the door.

5.4 The supply-side method.

Distribute vast quantities of lion food and eliminate all threats to the
lion population.  Put a cage in the desert and wait for the explosive
growth of the lion population to force a lion into the cage.

5.5 The Marxist-Leninist method.

Indoctrinate the gazelle population of the Sahara desert in dialectical
materialism.  Disguise your cage as a re-education camp for capitalist
lions, and the gazelles will bring you all the lions you need.

From: David J Corbett <djc123#NoSpam.student.canterbury.ac.nz>
5.6 The crossword method
"1 Across  Dog in lace, confused, becomes trapped Leo (5,4)", to which
the solution is "caged lion".

For other articles, see also:

A Random Walk in Science - R.L. Weber and E. Mendoza
More Random Walks In Science - R.L. Weber and E. Mendoza
In Mathematical Circles (2 volumes) - Howard Eves
Mathematical Circles Revisited - Howard Eves
Mathematical Circles Squared - Howard Eves
Fantasia Mathematica - Clifton Fadiman
The Mathematical Magpi - Clifton Fadiman
Seven Years of Manifold - Jaworski
The Best of the Journal of Irreproducible Results - George H. Scheer
Mathematics Made Difficult - Linderholm
A Stress-Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown - Robert Baker
The Worm-Runners Digest
Knuth's April 1984 CACM article on The Space Complexity of Songs
Stolfi and ?? SIGACT article on Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis

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From: Dick van der Sijs (D.A.vanderSijs#NoSpam.fys.ruu.nl)

Intercepted Mail:

                                                              July 5, 1997
Dear sir,

I strongly object against the Integro-Differential Method[1] . There are
too little lions left on the earth to make this a justifiable method.
Actually, hereby I express my sincere concern against advertising any
method to catch a lion (in the desert or elsewhere) apparently for the sole
reason of catching it.  Also, I question using these methods for any reason
not in the interest of an individual lion's health or not benefitting the
lion as a species.

So said, with best regards,

		Dick van der Sijs
		member of WWF
[1] To catch a lion in the Sahara Dessert, Method 1.15 The
Integro-Differential Method, Science Jokes Collection, Section Combined
Sciences (1997)

                                                              July 6, 1997
Dear Drs. van der Sijs,

As regarding your letter of July 5[1], I can assure you that the lion
catching project is completely beneficial.

The original purpose[2,3] was of course just to put some transmitters on
the lions[3], so that their migration patterns could be studied, so that
those regions could be made into national parks, where they would not be
disturbed.  Some scientist just forget the use of projects and just find
new methods and call it ``fundamental science'', aka without any use at
all.  This method[4,1] is clearly not ethical and will not be used in
further experiments.

With kind regards,

The project leader,
Member of WWF.

[1]Personal communication, 1997.
[2]H. Petard, "A contribution to the mathematical theory of big game
hunting" in the American Mathematical Monthly, 1938.
[3]H. Petard, Personal communication, 1937.
[4] To catch a lion in the Sahara Dessert, Method 1.15 The
Integro-Differential Method, Science Jokes Collection (1997)

mathematics physics chemistry engineering
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A lecturer tells some students to learn the phone-book by heart.

The mathematicians are baffled: `By heart? You kidding?'
The physics-students ask: `Why?'
The engineers sigh: `Do we have to?'
The chemistry-students ask:  `Till next Monday?'
The accounting-students (scribbling): `Till tomorrow?'
The laws-students answer: `We already have.'
The medicine-students ask: `Should we start on the Yellow Pages?'

mathematics physics chemistry engineering computer science
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Several students were asked the following problem:
       Prove that all odd integers higher than 2 are prime.

mathematician: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, and by induction, we have
    that all the odd integers are prime."

Statistician: 100% of the sample 5, 13, 37, 41 and 53 is prime, so all odd
    numbers must be prime.

Mechanical Statistician: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is an
    outlier, 11 is prime, 13 is prime, .... all odd numbers are prime.

Measure nontheorist: there are exactly as many odd numbers as primes
	(Euclid, Cantor), and exactly one even prime (namely 2), so
	there must be exactly one odd nonprime (namely 1).

Physicist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... uh, 9 is an
    experimental error, 11 is prime, 13 is prime...  Well, it seems that
    you're right."

Wouldn't a modern physicist employ something like renormalization?
    3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ...
    9/3 is prime
    11 is prime, 13 is prime, 15 is ...
    15/3 is prime
    17 is prime, 19 is prime, 21 is ...
    21/3 is prime
Quantum Physicist: All numbers are equally prime and non-prime until observed.

Chemist: "3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime.. that's enough."
Chemist: 1 prime, 3 prime, 5 prime...hey, let's publish!

Cosmologist: 3 is prime, yes it is true....

Engineer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ..., 9 is
    ..., well if you approximate, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime...
    Well, it does seem right."
Engineer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not working, fetch
Engineer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, 11 is prime...
  [Continue until told to go home by others]

Professor: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, and the rest are left as
           an exercise for the student.

Computer scientist: I've just whipped up a program to REALLY go and prove
    it..."  He goes over to his terminal and runs his program.  Reading
    the output on the screen he says, "1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1 is prime,
    1 is prime...."

Computer scientist using Unix: 3's a prime, 5's a prime, 7's a prime,
                               segmentation fault. core dumped.

Computer Scientist:
     1 is prime, 10 is prime, 11 is prime, 101 is prime...

GNU program:
% prime
usage: prime [-nV] [--quiet] [--silent] [--version] [-e script]
       --catenate --concatenate | c --create | d
       --diff --compare | r --append | t --list | u --update |  x
       -extract --get [ --atime-preserve ] [ -b, --block-size N ]
       [ -B, --read-full-blocks ]  [  -C,  --directory  DIR  ]  [
       --checkpoint     ]  [ -f, --file [HOSTNAME:]F ] [ --force-
       local   ] [ -F, --info-script F --new-volume-script F ]  [
       -G,  --incremental  ] [ -g, --listed-incremental F ] [ -h,
       --dereference ] [ -i, --ignore-zeros ] [  --ignore-failed-
       read  ] [ -k, --keep-old-files ] [ -K, --starting-file F ]
       [ -l, --one-file-system ] [ -L, --tape-length N  ]  [  -m,
       --modification-time   ]  [  -M,  --multi-volume  ]  [  -N,
       --after-date DATE, --newer DATE  ]  [  -o,  --old-archive,
       --portability   ]  [  -O,  --to-stdout  ]  [  -p,  --same-
       permissions, --preserve-permissions ]  [  -P,  --absolute-
       paths  ]  [  --preserve       ]  [ -R, --record-number ] [
       [-f script-file] [--expression=script] [--file=script-file]
prime: you must specify exactly one of the r, c, t, x, or d options
For more information, type ``prime --help''

Computer Scientist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 7 is prime,
7 is prime, 7 is prime...    Bus error. Core dumped.

The computer programmer method is:
"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, 9 is prime, 9 is prime, 9
is ..."
Opps, let's try that again:
"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is
prime, 9 is ... 3 is ..."
Um, right.  Okay, how about this:
"3 is not prime, 5 is not prime, 7 is not prime, 9 is not prime..."
So much for the beta releases.  Ship this:
"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is a feature, 11 is prime..."
and put on the cover "More prime numbers than anyone else in the

Coming soon:
  "3 is a prime, 4 is a feature, 5 is a prime, 6 is a feature, 7 is a
  8 is not yet implemented, 9 is our backwards compatibilty module, ..."

Programmer: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 will be fixed in the
	next release, ...

C programmer: 03 is prime, 05 is prime, 07 is prime, 09 is really 011
	which everyone knows is prime, ...

BASIC programmer: What's a prime?

COBOL programmer: What's an odd number?

Windows programmer: 1 is prime. Wait.

Mac programmer: Now why would anyone want to know about that?  That's not
user friendly. You don't worry about it, we'll take care of it for you.

Bill Gates: 1. No one will ever need any more then 1.

TRS-80 Computer Programmer: One is prime, Two is prime, Three is prime, Out
of Memory.

Computer Scientist with a Pentium: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 6.9999978 is

Computer Scientist:
3.0001 is prime
4.9999 is prime
7.0001 is prime
General protection error...

Software tech support operator:  Well, we haven't had any reports of
    composite odd numbers... do you have the latest version of ZFC?

  Hypothesis: All odd numbers are prime
    1) If a proof exists, then the hypothesis must be true
    2) The proof exists; you're reading it now.
    From 1 and 2 follows that all odd numbers are prime

Confused Undergraduate:  Yes, it's true.  Proof:  Let p be any prime
    number larger than 2.  Then p is not divisible by 2, so p is odd.  QED

Linguist: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 aaah. I can make 9 a prime.
Linguist: are you lot going to shut up and buy me a beer or not?

Computational linguist: 3 is an odd prime, 5 is an odd prime, 7 is an
	odd prime, 9 is a very odd prime, ...

So we go on to the architect (Architecture is the only completely
non-technical faculty in the technion):
Architects are very friendly people who are always ready to help, so
when asked to prove that all odd numbers are prime:
"I'd love to help you, if you could just clarify something ... what
exactly are odd numbers?"

Philosopher : why don't we just call all the odd numbers prime and call
    all the prime numbers odd, that way all the odd numbers would be prime
    Philosopher: 3 is prime. Hum, thats an interesting statment, I'll get
    one of my research students to look into that.

Economist: "Assume 9 is prime..."
Economist: 2 is a prime, 4 is a prime.
Economist: 3 is even, 4 is even, 6 is even...
Economist: 4 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not prime. Look
           the prime rate is dropping.

English Major: 1 is prime, 2 is prime, 3 is prime, 4 is prime...
 Any fool could prove that the above is wrong...
 After all, no English major can count that high! ;-)
 P.S. And I should know...I've done^H^H^H^H spent time in the English army!

English major:
     What's a prime number ?
     What's a number ?
Philosophy major:
     What is ?
Athletic scholarship:
     What !?

Theologian:  3 is prime and that's good enough for me!
Theologian: No after all before God all numbers even, odd and prime are
    created equal.

Christian: I'm sure the Bible says that all odd numbers are prime.

Pope: 9 is prime. If you think otherwise, prepare to be damned

The Psychiatrist: 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime
    but trying to supress it, 11 is prime......
Shrink: 3 is prime, 5 is prime etc... And how could one specify "prime"

Psychologists: Do _they_ want to be?

Sociologist:  3 is a number, 3 is prime, all numbers are prime.
Sociologist: is it right to call numbers odd?
Sociologist: 3 is a number, 3 is prime, all numbers are prime.

     Prime or not, every number is unique. Take 9 for example...

Multiculturalist:  Pfui!  There you go, classifying numbers into categories.

Lawyer: 3 is prime, yet 5 could be anything, taking into account, but not
    limited to, the fact that 4 may or may not be prime, depending on the
    witnesses' testimonies and the written evidence furnished.
Lawyer: According to Maths v Logic, 9 was judicially declared prime
Lawyers: one is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime,
	although there appears to be prima facie evidence that nine
	is not prime, there exists substantial precedent to indicate
	that nine should be considered prime.  The following brief
	presents the case for nine's primeness ...

Accountant: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, deducing 10%
    tax and 5% other obligations.
Accountant: What would you like it to be?

Politician:  3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is composite, 11 is
    prime -- we can ignore 9 because the primes have a majority.
Corrupt Politician: For a sufficent donation, 9 can be reclassified
Politician: Do you want them to be?

George Bush: What's nine got against being prime?  I'll bet it won't allow
             the pledge of allegiance to be said in our schools either.

Richard Nixon: Put nine on the enemies list.  I'm gonna get that number.

Liberals: The fact that nine is not prime indicates a deprived
	cultural environment which can only be remedied by
	a federally funded cultural enrichment program.

Manager: 3 yes, 5 yes, 7 YES, 9 Now let's take a positive attitude here

Mid-level manager:
     1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is... Who can I
     delegate this to ?

QA: 1 is not proven, 2 no and reported, 3 not proven, 4 no and reported,

Butcher: Prime? What do numbers have to do with meat?

     1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, and with 9 you get
     five excellent primes for the price of three !

Rec.humor poster: one is prime, one is prime, one is prime, one is prime


New Yorker: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... NONE OF YOUR

Mathematical Chess Player with whites: 1 'Pawn' is not prime, 2 'Pawns' is
prime, 5 'Pawns' is prime, 7 'Pawns' is prime, 9 'Pawns' is ... I have not
9 white Pawns, please can you borrow me a black Pawns? Thanks ... hum: 8
white Pawns + 1 black Pawns ... sorry i can not answer to you problem, i
have not sufficient homogeneous Pawns!? [by: velucchi#NoSpam.bigfoot.com (Mario

From: "Mike Varley" <mike#NoSpam.varley9.freeserve.co.uk>

Windows Programmer:
3 is prime
5 is prime
7 is prime
9 has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
Linux Programmer:
3 is prime
5 is prime
7 is prime
9 is fed up with a prime-dominated world, and has set up its own number system.
Mac Programmer:
3 is prime
5 is prime
7 is prime
9 could do with being more user-friendly.

From: Renan <renan.birck#NoSpam.gmail.com>

Windows programmer:
3 is prime
5 is prime
7 is prime
9 is prime, but this is a known bug and is fixed in Service Pack 3 for Windows 2003 (a 3GB download, available at Windows Update).

Linux Programmer:

3 is prime
5 is prime
7 is prime
9 is prKernel panic: fatal exception in prime_numbers(): interrupt error. The patch that corrects this bug will be in Kernel
For now, recompile the kernel without prime number support.

RPN calculator (esp. HP) user:


From: "Maayan Hanin" <maayan#NoSpam.pazor.co.il>
Sales Representative:
"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 we'll make our best efforts."

Software Marketing Rep.:
"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 will be prime in the next version." 

"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 11 is prime."

"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 try again next week."

"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 there isn't enough evidence to prove
that is not prime." 

Plastic Surgeon:
"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 for about 5000$ we'll fix that for you."

"3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime but trying to repress it."

From: mstueben#NoSpam.pen.k12.va.us (Michael A. Stueben)

From: sm#NoSpam.wf-hh.sh.sub.de (Stefan Mohr)

   ASSIGNMENT: Obtain an elephant from Africa.

PHYSICIST: Starting on the west coast, he searches north-
to-south and south-to-north slowly moving east. He
inspects all gray animals keeping the first one that weighs
the same as a known adult elephant plus-or-minus 500 pounds.

MATHEMATICIAN: Starting in the center he moves in an
elliptical spiral (with major axis oriented north-to-south)
removing all non-elephants keeping whatever is left.

EXPERIENCED MATHEMATICAN: Same as unexperienced mathematican, except that
he first tries to proof there is at least one unabiguous elephant before
he starts with the search.

MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR: Same as experienced mathematican, except that he
leaves the actual searching and catching of the elephant to his students.

Other MATHEMATICIANS hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out
everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever
is left.

COMPUTER SCIENTIST: First he notes that there are two kinds
of elephants (African and Indian) and requests more
detailed specifications as to which elephant is desired
to be captured. Then he searches east-to-west and west-
to-east starting from the southern tip and moving north.
He stops only when encountering and capturing an animal
whose description matches the American Zoological
Society's classification of the type of elephant he is

computer scientist, except that he places a known
elephant in Cairo to guarantee that the algorithm
( The way I teach the insertion sort is to first locate
the smallest element and then to swap it into first place.
Why? So that the insertion algorithm must terminate before
reaching the non-existent zeroth position. I like to tell
this joke just before I teach the insertion sort. -Michael A. Stueben)

ASSEMBLER PROGRAMMER: Same as experienced computer scientist, except
that he prefers to do it on his hand and knees.

SQL PROGRAMMER: Uses the following expression: SELECT elephant FROM Africa.

STATISTICIAN: hunts the first animal he sees n times and calls it elephant.

ECONOMIST: He hunts no elephants, but believes that the elephants would
deliver themselves if payed enough.

ECONOMICAL ADVISER: He hunts no elephants and has never hunted anything at
all. You can hire them by the hour to give good advice.

SYSTEM ANALYSER: Is theoretically capable of calculating the the correlation
between hat size and hit quote, if somebody would tell them what an
elephant is.

From: "\"Alan \\\"Uncle Al\\\" Schwartz\"" <uncleal0#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com>
ENGINEERS hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray
animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs
within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed

STATISTICIANS hunt the first animal they see N times and call it
an elephant

OPERATIONS RESEARCH CONSULTANTS can measure the correlation of
hat size and bullet colour to the efficiency of elephant hunting
strategies, if someone else will identify the elephants

POLITICIANS don't hunt elephants, but they will share the
elephants you catch with the people who voted for them

LAWYERS don't hunt elephants, but they do follow the herd around
arguing about who owns the droppings

SOFTWARE LAWYERS will claim that they own an entire herd based on
the look and feel of one dropping

When the VICE PRESIDENT OF R&D tries to hunt elephants, his staff
will try to ensure that all elephants are completely pre-hunted
before he sees them.  If the vice president sees a non-pre-hunted
elephant, the staff will

   (1) compliment the vice president's keen eyesite and
   (2) enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence

SENIOR MANAGERS set broad elephant hunting policy based on the
assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with
deeper voices

QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTORS ignore the elephants and look for
mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep

SALESPEOPLE don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling
elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the
season opens

SOFTWARE SALESPEOPLE ship the first thing they catch and write up
an invoice for an elephant

HARDWARE SALESPEOPLE catch rabbits, paint them gray and sell them
as "desktop elephants".

From: david_loewenstern#NoSpam.yr.com
Biologist: study the feeding habits of elephants, and learn where they
are most likely to be found.  Go to this place with a cage and a grad
student.  Tell the grad student to collect the elephant specimen.
Cairo without finding an elephant.

Engineer: Build a really big cage around Africa.

Businessman: Go to the zoo.  Make an offer for the elephant cage, fully
furnished with elephant.

Mathematician: Buy a cage.  Step inside and lock the door.  Define your
position as "outside".

From: Renan <renan.birck#NoSpam.gmail.com>

UNIX USER: cat Africa | grep elephant 

physics chemistry biology
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When a problem gets to complicated for the physicists, they hand the
problem to the chemists.
When a problem gets to complicated for the chemists, it is handed over to
the biologist.
And when biologists think it is to complicated they give the problem to the

physics chemistry biology
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If it moves it is biology, if it stinks it is chemistry and if it does not
work it is physics.

From: Daniel BB Jones Esq. <76612.3555#NoSpam.CompuServe.COM>
[from "Murphy's Law, Book Two:  More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong"]
If it's green or it wriggles, it's biology.
If it stinks, it's chemistry.
If it doesn't work, it's physics.

From: 157763091#NoSpam.cats.ucis.vill.edu (James J. Marshall)

from "The Complete Murphy's Law, A Definitive Collection"]
Cerf's Extension to the Handy Guide to Modern Science

If it's incomprehensible, it's mathematics.
If it doesn't make sense, it's either economics or psychology.

From: kkrueger#NoSpam.osf1.gmu.edu (Karl A Krueger)

If it causes cancer in laboratory animals, it's pharmacology or nutrition.
If it's just plain wrong, it's education.
If it crashes, it's either engineering or CS.
If it falls on itself, smashing a hundred cars, it's civil engineering.
If it fails to distribute the middle term, it's theology.

From: "PAUL ROBERT VARLEY" <VAR14084#NoSpam.gorseinon.ac.uk>

If it's rock hard, it's geology

From: "Renz, Craig" <Craig_Renz#NoSpam.dpsk12.org>
Chemistry stinks!  Biology bites!  Geology Rocks! 

From: Renan <renan.birck#NoSpam.gmail.com>
"If it can be proved, it is mathematics;
if it moves, it is biology or mechanical engineering;
if it stinks, it is chemistry;
if it works, it is electrical engineering or physics;
if nobody understands it, it is psychology or philosophy;
If it can't be proved, doesn't move, doesn't stink, doesn't work and nobody
understands it, it is COMPUTER SCIENCE!" 

mathematics physics chemistry engineering biology
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From: reid#NoSpam.indiana.edu (Frank Reid)

Technicians think they are engineers.
Engineers think they are physicists.
Physicists think they are mathematicians.
Mathematicians think they are philosophers.
Philosophers think they are technicians.  (Local philosophy prof
sprayed WD-40 in his VCR.)

From: cyrus#NoSpam.josaiah.sewanee.edu (Cyrus)

Biologists think they're biochemists.
Biochemists think they're chemists.
Chemists think the're physical chemists.
Physical Chemists think they're physicists.
Physicists think they're God.
God thinks he is a mathematician.

mathematics physics engineering
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From: asdalton#NoSpam.umich.edu (Andrew Dalton)

I heard this one:
Engineers want to be experimental physicists.
Experimental physicists want to be theoretical physicists.
Theoretical physicists want to be mathematicians.
Mathematicians want to be philosophers.
Philosophers want to be theologians.
Theologians want to be engineers.

mathematics physics biology
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From: mini-air <marca#NoSpam.wilson.harvard.edu>
1997-03-07	More Smartypants

Here are further observations gleaned from the Project Smartypants
survey (which field has the smartest, or believes it has the
smartest, people?), the results of which were summarized in last
month's mini-AIR.

Astronomer Vinay L. Kashyap:
Speaking of ranking the various disciplines --
Politicians think they are Economists.
Economists think they are Social Scientists.
Social Scientists think they are Psychologists.
Psychologists think they are Biologists.
Biologists think they are Organic Chemists.
Organic Chemists think they are Physical Chemists.
Physical Chemists think they are Physicists.
Physicists think they are Mathematicians.
Mathematicians think they are God.
God ...umm... so happens that God is an Astronomer.

Geographer Wolf Roder:
Back when my daughter was studying at Caltech it was *known* that
astronomers (future) were those who could not make it in physics.

Biochemist Lex Kwee:
Engineering ranks itself pretty high and could beat Physics in a
man to man contest, because they would bring more appropriate

Pam Sexton, who did not identify her field:
I can't say who is smarter, but I did have a physicist boss once
who described chemists as the "lowest form of scientific life".

Astronomer Duncan Steele:
I was once at a seminar about some obscure branch of mathematics.
(Actually I wasn't: I heard about this from someone who may, or
may not, have been there. If it ever actually occurred). The
lecturer drew some bizarre diagram on the board, whereupon a
puzzled member of the audience put up his hand and said that he
couldn't understand which way was up, and which down. The lecturer
replied: "I am from Cambridge: hence all other directions are
down." This proves beyond all reasonable doubt that mathematicians
- at least those from Cambridge - think of themselves as being on
the top of the heap.

Mathematician Fredrik Mansfeld:
I'm a mathematician working as a computer scientist. Since I am of
the purest academic discipline of them all I can assure you that
my opinions are completely objective and unbiased.

mathematics physics chemistry biology computer science
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From: kludge#NoSpam.grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey)

                        How to identify scientists:

Chem Prof:  Wears a white lab coat.  This may actually be clean
 but does not have to be.  P-chem profs have a brand new coat that
 has never been in the lab; polymer chem profs have strange glop
 on their coat, and intro chem profs have acid holes.

Physics Prof: Wears blue jeans and a flannel shirt.  May sometimes
 forget to wear shirt altogether.  If a professor is wearing blue
 jeans and suspenders, ten to one he is a physicist.  Physics profs
 often have German accents, but this is not a distingushing
 characteristic.  Be wary of psychologists with fake Viennese accents
  which can sound similar to the unwary.

Bio Prof: Sometimes wears a lab coat, though usually this is the
 sign of a biochemist.  Marine biologists walk around in hip boots
 for no explainable reason, even in the middle of winter.  They
 are apt to wear grey slacks and smell like fish, as opposed to
 most biologists, who smell strongly of formalin.  Microbiology
 instructors go around in spotless white coats, refuse to drink
 beer on tap, and wipe all their silverware before using it.
 Never loan money to a bio prof, no matter how much he asks.

Psych Prof: Psychologists are not real scientists, and can be
 easily identified by their screams of protest whenever anyone
 questions whether psychology is a science.  Psych people have
 beady little eyes and don't laugh at jokes about psychology.
 If you are not sure whether a person is a scientist or a
 comparative religion instructor, he is probably a psychologist.

CS Prof: Most CS profs are from India or Pakistan.  You can tell
 by the gestures and accents.  This is not a bad thing, though many
 of the American CS professors tend to pick up Indian accents which
 confounds more specific identification.  Like mushrooms, CS students
 only come out at night, and, if not Indian, tend to take on a
 pasty appearance.  CS professors do not use computers and therefore
 can be easily identified by their comparative good health with
 respect to their students.  Many CS professors do not even know how
 to use computers, and are actually mathematicians or psychologists
 in disguise.  Avoid these people.

Math Prof:  Math profs are like physics professors except without
 any practical bent.  A math professor will have only books and
 pencils in his office, as opposed to the piles of broken equipment
 that physicists keep.  Mathematicians scorn the use of computers
 and calculators and often have difficulty splitting bills in
 restaurants.  The easy way to identify a mathematician is by the
 common use of the phrases "It can be shown that..." and "Is left
 as an exercise to the student..."

physics biology
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From: mini-air <marca#NoSpam.wilson.harvard.edu>
1997-03-06	Scientist Stereotypes

Investigator Chana Lajcher of the Jerusalem College of Technology
reports on her analysis of science stereotypes:

I worked for a number of years at a large Israeli university science
library (no, I won't mention names). We were usually able to guess the
department of the students coming to the desk by just looking at them:
Young married women, usually pregnant or with a baby in tow, were biology
undergrads. Young males, looking lost, not knowing what book they wanted
(They'd come to the desk saying, "Um, Is this the library? I need the book,
for the course, you know..."), were pharmacology students doing their one
botany course. Elderly library patrons, usually a bit eccentric, were
researchers at the herbarium looking for very rare botany books which they
would discover had been checked out ten years previously by one of their
colleagues (and not yet returned but they promise they'll bring it in the
minute we phone them - if the other reader needs it as much as they
do). Young healthy males, were chemistry undergrads. Students grading
stacks of exams were physics grad students (working part-time as teaching
assistants).  Math was in a different library so I have no stereotypes
(oops I meant data) for them.

mathematics physics
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                        Where to Publish Your Paper

1) If you understand it and can prove it, then send it to a journal of
2) If you understand it, but can't prove it, then send it to a physics
3) If you can't understand it, but can prove it, then send it to an
   economics journal.
4) If you can neither understand it nor prove it, then send it to a
   psychology journal.
5) If it attempts to make something important out of something trivial,
   then send it to a journal of education.
6) If it attempts to make something trivial out of some-thing important,
   send it to a journal of metaphysics.

mathematics physics
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Dean, to the physics department.  "Why do I always have to give you
guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment and
stuff.  Why couldn't you be like the math department - all they need
is money for pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets.  Or even better,
like the philosophy department.  All they need are pencils and paper."

mathematics engineering computer science
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The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to get

The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy
problems in order to get results.

The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at toy
problems in order to get results.

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The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want mustard with

mathematics physics engineering
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From: guptap#NoSpam.sun.soe.clarkson.edu (Piush Gupta)

Piush does not agree with the above:

What is the most frequently asked questions by the following after
they graduate :
1) Engineer : How do I do it?
2) Economist : How much will it cost?
3) Mathematician/Physicist : Will you like some ketchup with it?

mathematics physics engineering
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The engineer thinks of his equations as an approximation to reality.
The physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations.
The mathematician doesn't care.

From: cantrick#NoSpam.rintintin.Colorado.EDU (Ben Cantrick (alias Macky Stingray))

  Engineers think that equations approximate the real world.
  Scientists think that the real world approximates equations.
  Mathematicians are unable to make the connection...

mathematics physics engineering
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What is "pi"?

Mathematician: Pi is the number expressing the relationship between the
               circumference of a circle and its diameter.

Physicist: Pi is 3.1415927 plus or minus 0.000000005

Engineer: Pi is about 3.

From: john.pazmino#NoSpam.relaynet.org (JOHN PAZMINO)

Betty Ctrocker: Pi is what you poke holes in with a fork and then
leave on the window sill to cool off.

mathematics physics computer science
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Philosopher: "Resolution of the continuum hypothesis will have
              profound implications to all of science."

Physicist:   "Not quite.  Physics is well on its way without those
              mythical `foundations'.  Just give us serviceable mathematics."

Computer Scientist:
             "Who cares? Everything in this Universe seems to be finite
              anyway.  Besides, I'm too busy debugging my Pascal programs."

             "Forget all that!  Just make your formulae as aesthetically
              pleasing as possible!"

mathematics physics biology
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          How can you tell if a scientist has been locked in your

From: "Edward Truitt" <Edward.Truitt#NoSpam.weizmann.ac.il>

You know the old joke about how you can tell if an elephant has been locked
in your refrigerator? 
(There are footprints in the butter)

Well... how can you tell if a mathematician has been locked in your
(If the walls are covered with equations and the coffee is all gone)

If a quantum physicist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(All of a sudden you are uncertain if the milk is there or not)

If a developmental biologist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(All the eggs have hatched into some really strange looking chicks)

If a bacteriologist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(There are those little red biohazard stickers on everything)

If a geneticist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(All the yeasts and bacteria genomes have been sequenced and their phylum
mapped on the walls) 

If a molecular geneticist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(A cross between a chicken and an eggplant walks out)

If a materials scientist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(You can now spread the butter only one molecule thick and there is no way
to cut the cheese without a focused ion beam) 

If an immunologist has been locked in your refrigerator
(There is a patent pending and a new drug entering Phase I clinical trials
based on the grey-green stuff growing on the leftovers) 

A computer scientist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(The refrigerator now uses four times the power and has to be restarted
every other time you open the door) 

If a modern plant scientist has been locked in your refrigerator?
(All the vegetables look perfect, last forever and taste like nothing)

If an environmental scientist has been locked in your fridge?
(All the spills have been catalogued and there is a treatise on global
warming half written in soy-sauce-based ink on the door) 

If a M.Sc. student has been locked in your refrigerator?
(All the food is gone except for the healthy stuff)
If a postdoc has been locked in your refrigerator?
(All the food is gone and the shelves licked clean)

mathematics physics
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Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
Einstein dies and goes to heaven only to be informed that his room is
not yet ready.  "I hope you will not mind waiting in a dormitory.  We
are very sorry, but it's the best we can do and you will have to share
the room with others." he is told by the doorman (say his name is
Pete).  Einstein says that this is no problem at all and that there is
no need to make such a great fuss.  So Pete leads him to the dorm.
They enter and Albert is introduced to all of the  present
inhabitants.  "See, Here is your first room mate.  He has an IQ of
"Why that's wonderful!"  Says Albert.  "We can discuss mathematics!"
"And here is your second room mate.  His IQ is 150!"
"Why that's wonderful!" Says Albert.  "We can discuss physics!"
"And here is your third room mate. His IQ is 100!"
"That Wonderful!  We can discuss the latest plays at the theater!"
Just then another man moves out to capture Albert's hand and shake it.
"I'm your last room mate and I'm sorry, but my IQ is only 80."
Albert smiles back at him and says, "So, where to you think interest
rates are headed?"

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From: The Xebot
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
I wrote this as something Dr. Einstein might've said:

"Actually, next to the Unified Field Theory, my greatest failure was
stand-up comedy. For that, you'll have to attend one of Wernher von
Braun's lectures."
	- Xebot

mathematics physics engineering
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From: shafiz#NoSpam.chat.carleton.ca (shoeb hafiz)

There is a glass half full of water:

Mathmetician:  the glass is half full
Physist:  the glass is half empty
Engineer:  the glass is too big

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From: Rudolph Messerschmidt <reindeer#NoSpam.melbourne.DIALix.oz.au>
There is a half glass of scotch on a table,

Art student: symbolises unfulfilled enmotions
Science student: calculates exact percentage full,
Engineering student: drinks scotch, say's "what's the question?"

mathematics physics engineering
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From: mstueben#NoSpam.pen.k12.va.us (Michael A. Stueben)

    A half full glass of whiskey was sitting on a table at a
university banquet. One of the waiters that night was a
graduate sociology student. As various professors and guests
walked by the glass during the night, the student asked each
one to make a comment.

Education professor: That glass is half full.
Catholic theologian: That glass is half empty.
Psychology professor: I don't know. What do you think it
Zen Buddist: Nothing has existed from the beginning of time,
   not even an empty universe.
Parapsychologist: All we can say is that the glass appears
   half empty on at least one side.
Irish history professor: Drinks the whiskey and says,
   What's the question?
Irish history professor (emeritus): Wha? . . . gih mee
   glasch uh wishkee.
Baptist theologian: You're going to hell and I'm glad!
Professor of Women's Studies: Fuck you!
Mathematics professor: Huh?

chemistry biology
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From: Hauke Reddmann <fc3a501#NoSpam.AMRISC09.math.uni-hamburg.de>
Field biologists hear the Counting Crows.
Geneticists hear Offspring.
Chemists just hear Heavy Metal.

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From mini-air (mini-air#NoSpam.chem.harvard.edu)
1999-03-07	Best Wrestlers (1) -- Most Popular

Many and varied are the votes we received for last month's survey

	Of all different kinds of scientists and doctors,
	which make the best professional wrestlers?

Numerous voters, many of whom used only a first name (led by Nick
of Auckland), insisted that proctologists make the best wrestlers.
But for every proctological vote, we received more than two in
favor of a more structurally supportive medical specialty:

"Orthopedists know the easiest ways to break bones."
	-- Michelle Garrison

"As an operating room nurse of many years standing (way too little
sitting!), I nominate orthopedic surgeons due to their ability to
twist and tug."
	-- Sandra Bailey, PhD, RN, CNOR

"Orthopedic Surgeons. No explanation required if you have ever
seen them perform surgery."
	-- Matthew R. Healey

"Orthopaedic surgeons - they tend to be big beefy ex-football
players with few brains."
	-- Mark Pulley

"Orthopedic surgeons, who are allegedly as strong as an ox and
twice as
smart, or was that as smart as an ox and twice as strong?"
	-- Mark Niemer

1999-03-09	Best Wrestlers (1) -- Cult Favorites

Some voters went against the crowd, insisting on their own

"Anthesiologists: Wicked sleeper holds."
	-- Parminder Basran

"A mathematician. Obviously."
	-- Kristina Sontag

"Geomorphologists, because they stay fit through field work
climbing mountains and sand dunes and they are mean because they
get no respect as real scientists."
	-- Linda Lea Jones

"A very large scientist and/or doctor with a chiseled body, a 24
inch vertical leap, really great teeth, and a very, very bad
attitude. Probably a field geologist, because they lug heavy rocks
all over for no apparent reason and so are in the best shape."
	-- Ed Theriot

"My vote is for pediatricians. They get the most on the job
training. Ever try to examine an unhappy 3 year old?"
	-- Sarah Getzler (self-described mother of two
	   and former lab tech)

"Lepidopterists are adept at pinning their subjects to the mat."
	-- Paul Chapin

"Archeologists who work in the field have to do manual labor.
They're probably the strongest scientists on average."
	-- Alan Barksdale

"Psychiatrists. They have the advantage of using psychology to
make the opponent defeat himself. Very little blood is spilled or
violence displayed, because it all happens in the mind!"
	-- Arif Shahabuddin

"Ornithologists, particularly those who specialize in banding
	-- Joanne Cook

	"From prime experience, my largish husband, William Texas
Bradley, neurologist in Fort Worth, Texas, would make the best
professional wrestler type. I may have a master's in English, but
he still provides physical 'airplane rides' which I am unable to
avoid.  (I bet you wonder what THAT means!)"
	-- Baronda E. Bradley

More next month, perhaps.

mathematics engineering
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From: danwong#NoSpam.avalon.nando.net
Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
A man dies and goes to heaven.  Upon his arrival, he looks for an angel
and asks, "Was I a mathematician or an engineer before I came here?"  The
angel ponders the question, and then says, "I wouldn't know...you'd have to
ask God Himself."  So the next day, the man walks up to God and asks his
question again.  God's only response is to hand the man a sheet of paper,
after which he is dismissed.  The man runs back to the same angel, and says,
"God gave me this paper...what does it say?  I can't read it."  The angel
scanned the sheet, and then translated aloud:

Assume:  New arrival was a mathematician in previous plane of existence.

Proof: 1) Said person is currently in heaven.
       2) Therefore... :)

mathematics physics engineering
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From: danwong#NoSpam.avalon.nando.net
Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
A man dies and goes to heaven. Upon his arrival, he looks for an angel and
asks, "I loved the sea before...could we put in an aquarium here?" The
angel responds, "Sure," and forwards the request to God immediantly. God
sees the request and sets to work, but is quickly stymied. He thinks, "We
need to know the pressure on the surface of the aquarium, but I haven't
seen calculus in so long...We must have a mathematician." One is quickly
called for, and solves the problem with ease. Next, God realizes that the
glass must be able to withstand the pressure, and thinks, "We need a phys-
icist to tell us how much glass is needed." Once again, a physicist is sum-
monned and the problem is quickly solved. However, God now realizes that
there remains the problem of construction, and thinks, "We must have an
engineer." This time however, there is no response to the summons. God
quickly notifies the entrance angel to send any engineers to Him right
away, but to no avail. Finally, after a month he summons the sea-lover to
his chamber and says, "I'm sorry, but we couldn't make the new aquarium."
The man obviously wants to know why, and God replies: "We found a mathe-
matician to figure pressure, we found a physicist to get the glass thick-
ness right, but we couldn't find an engineer in ALL of heaven to put the
thing together!!"

mathematics physics engineering
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From: "james d. hunter" <jim.hunter#NoSpam.jhuapl.edu>
Engineers are just comfortable that physicists and mathematicians
always supply the right answer to the wrong question.

mathematics physics chemistry biology computer science
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From: "Han Zhang" <han_zhang#NoSpam.paradise.net.nz>
From: "PAUL ROBERT VARLEY" <VAR14084#NoSpam.gorseinon.ac.uk>

                               What is 1+1?

* Pure mathematician: The series certainly converges, but we don't know the
* Mathmatician: "It all depends on what base you're using"
* Statistician: In the survey I conducted with 1,000 randomly selected
* Statistician: (takes out tables) "I am 95% confident it is between 
  1.95 and 2.05"
* people, 1+1 has a mean of 1.982, and standard deviation 0.107.
* Applied Mathematician: 1+1=1.9975 (after the 12th iteration)
* Nuclear Physicist "It has to be less than 2, because we have to 
  account for energy lost in binding."
* Quantum Physicist "If I tell you the answer, you won't have asked 
  me the question."
* Physicist: 1+1=2 with +- 0.1 uncertainty from experimental error.
* Physicist: (takes out slide rule) "Approximately 1.99"
* Engineer: (looks over physicist's shoulder) "Approximately 1.99"
* Computer Scientist: 1+1=10
* Chemist: 1+1=i. Since one ion plus another ion may form a complex ion.
* Chemist: "Doesn't IUPAC recommend we work to more significnt 
* Biologist: 1+1=3 if the 2 1's are in opposite sex.
* Biologist: "How long do they have to breed?"
* Computer Scientist: "I haven't ironed all the bugs out of that 
  program yet..."
* Economist: 1+1<2 due to the law of diminishing returns.
* Accountant: "2"
* Accountant: 1+1=1.67 after deduction of tax.
* Actuary: "How much do you want it to be?"
* Lawyer: We don't have enough evidence to decide this until my fee is
* paid!
* College Student: 1+1... where's my calculator?
* Grade 3 student: 1+1=2, and daddy is buying me an icecream!

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