Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:7.2 compare scientists (using lions, elephants, primes etc.)

physics chemistry biology
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: mattie#NoSpam.aloha.net (melany chapint),
NancyTorok <ntorok#NoSpam.>

Here are some interesting interpretations of nature from test papers and
essays submitted to science and health teachers by junior high, high
school, and college students(!) around the world.
Here are some school childrens interpretations of science & school I
found on the net:
(From _Popular Science_ by  way of an Ann Landers column)

- When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.
- H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water
- To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.
- When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide
- Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin.
  Hydrogin is gin and water.
- Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.
- Blood flows down one leg and up the other.
- Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then
- The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader.
- Artifical insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of
  the bull.
- Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them
- A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.
- Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.
- The body consists of three parts--the brainium, the borax and the
  abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains
  the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of
  which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u.
- The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.
- The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana.
- The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and
  the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is
  something to hitch the meat to.
- A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two
  molars, and eight cuspidors.
- The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends
  towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature
  abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.
- A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.
- Equator: A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa.
- Germinate: To become a naturalized German.
- Liter: A nest of young puppies.
- Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat.
- Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away.
- Planet: A body of Earth surrounded by sky.
- Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot.
- Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives.
- Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative
  or negative.
- To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.
- For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart
- For drowning: Climb on top of the person and move up and down to make
  artifical perspiration.
- For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above
  the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees of the nearest
  medical doctor.
- For dog bite: Put the dog away for several days. If he has not
  recovered, then kill it.
- For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead.
- For head cold: Use an agonizer to spray the nose untill it drops in your
- To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow.
- Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state.

mathematics physics chemistry biology
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: adam#NoSpam.crl.com (Stuart A. Bronstein)

The beguiling ideas about science quoted here were gleaned from essays,
exams, and classroom discussions.  Most were from 5th and 6th graders.

Question:  What is one horsepower?
Answer:  One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse
500 feet in one second.

You can listen to thunder after lightning and tell how close you came to
getting hit.  If you don't hear it, you got hit, so never mind.

Talc is found on rocks and on babies.

The law of gravity says no fair jumping up without coming back down.

When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with
atoms.  But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with

When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy.
When planets do it we say they are orbiting.

Rainbows are just to look at, not to really understand.

While the earth seems to be knowingly keeping its distance from the sun,
it is really only centrificating.

Someday we may discover how to make magnets that can point in any

South America has cold summers and hot winters, but somehow they still

Most books now say our sun is a star.  But it still knows how to change
back into a sun in the daytime.

Water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees.  There are 180
degrees between freezing and boiling because there are 180 degrees
between north and south.

A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants
to go.

There are 26 vitamins in all, but some of the letters are yet to be
discovered. Finding them all means living forever.

There is a tremendous weight pushing down on the center of the Earth
because of so much population stomping around up there these days.

Lime is a green-tasting rock.

Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils while others preferred
to be oil.

Genetics explain why you look like your father and if you don't why you

Vacuums are nothings.  We only mention them to let them know we know
they're there.

Some oxygen molecules help fires burn while others help make water, so
sometimes it's brother against brother.

Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun.  But I have
never been able to make out the numbers.

We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation.  Evaporation
gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.

To most people solutions mean finding the answers.  But to chemists
solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are
twice as many H's as O's.

Clouds are high flying fogs.

I am not sure how clouds get formed.  But the clouds know how to do it,
and that is the important thing.

Clouds just keep circling the earth around and around.  And around.
There is not much else to do.

Water vapor gets together in a cloud.  When it is big enough to be
called a drop, it does.

Humidity is the experience of looking for air and finding water.

We keep track of the humidity in the air so we won't drown when we

Rain is often known as soft water, oppositely known as hail.

Rain is saved up in cloud banks.

In some rocks you can find the fossil footprints of fishes.

Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dogs tongue will kill
the strongest man.

A blizzard is when it snows sideways.

A hurricane is a breeze of a bigly size.

A monsoon is a French gentleman.

Thunder is a rich source of loudness.

Isotherms and isobars are even more important than their names sound.

It is so hot in some places that the people there have to live in other

The wind is like the air, only pushier.

mathematics physics chemistry biology
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: dirt#NoSpam.pl.com (dirt)

"Scientists are hypothetical people," wrote a student in chemistry.
The following student comments were gleaned from essays, examinations
and classroom discussions. These beguiling theories are in no way
hypothetical. They are all real and attest to the high level of
scientific literacy in our nation:

* All animals were here before mankind. The animals lived peacefully
until mankind came along and made roads, houses, hotels and condoms.

* Sir Isaac Newton invented gravity.

* The law of gravity says no fair jumping up without coming back down.

* Galileo showed that the earth was round and not vice versa. He
dropped his balls to prove gravity.

* Mare Curie did her research at the Sore Buns Institute in France.

* Men are mammals and women are femammals.

* Proteins are composed of a mean old acid.

* The largest mammals are to be found in the sea because there is
nowhere else to put them.

* Involuntary muscles are not as willing as voluntary ones.

* Methane, a greenhouse gas, comes from the burning of trees and cows.

* The spinal column is a long bunch of bones. The head sits on the top
and you sit on the bottom.

* Water is melted steam.

* A monkey has a reprehensible tail.

* Some people say we condescended from the apes.

* The leopard has black spots which look like round soars on its body.
Those who catch soars get leprosy.

* A cuckoo does not lay its own eggs.

* To remove air from a flask, fill the flask with water, tip the water
out and put the cork in, quick before the air can get back in.

* The three cavities of the body are the head cavity, the tooth cavity
and the abominable cavity.

* Cadavers are dead bodies that have donated themselves to science.
This procedure is called gross anatomy.

* The cause of dew is through the earth revolving on its own axis and
perspiring freely.

* Hot lather comes from volcanoes, when it cools it turns into rocks.

* The earth makes a resolution every 24 hours.

* Parallel lines never meet unless you bend one or both of them.

* Algebra was the wife of Euclid.

* A circle is a figure with o corners and only one side.

* A right angle is 90 degrees Farenhight.

* An example of animal breeding is the farmer who mated a bull that
gave a great deal of milk with a bull with good meat.

* The hydra gets its food by descending upon its prey and pushing it
into its mouth with its testicles.

* If conditions are not favorable, bacteria go into a period of

* When oxygen is combined with anything, heat is given off. This is
known as constipation.

* The hookworm larva enters the body through the soul.

* As the rain forests in the Amazon are shrinking, so are the Indians.

* A major discovery was made by Mary Leaky, who found a circle of
rocks that broke wind.

mathematics physics biology
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: brent#NoSpam.questar.QUESTAR.MN.ORG (Brent Nordquist)

Forwarded from a friend who's doing student teaching this semester...

these are actual quotes taken from junior high students science
[Curiously enough there was an overlap with the above lists]

*  The dodo is a bird that is nearly decent now.
*  A thermometer is an instrument for raising temperance.
*  Geometry teaches us to bisex angels.

mathematics physics biology
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: Snot Eather
(Who said the American education system is below par?)
[Curiously enough there was an overlap with the above lists]

Special Category: Charles Darwin
* Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the organ of the species.
* Benjamin Franklin produced electricity by rubbing cats backwards.
* The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made man
* To prevent conception when having intercourse, the male wears a
* Geometry teaches us to bisex angles.
* A circle is a line which meets its other end without ending.
* We believe that the reptiles came from the amphibians by spontaneous
  generation and study of rocks.
* English sparrows and starlings eat the farmers grain and soil his
* By self-pollination, the farmer may get a flock of long-haired sheep.
* If conditions are not favorable, bacteria go into a period of
* Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them
* Vegetative propagation is the process by which one individual
  manufactures another individual by accident.
* A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold.
* A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene
* A person should take a bath once in the summer, and not quite so often
  in the winter.
* When you haven't got enough iodine in your blood you get a glacier.
* It is a well-known fact that a deceased body harms the mind.
* Humans are more intelligent than beasts because the human branes have
  more convulsions.
* For fractures:  to see if the limb is broken, wiggle it gently back and
* For snakebites:  bleed the wound and rape the victim in a blanket for
* Bar magnets have north and south poles, horseshoe magnets have east and
  west poles.
* When water freezes you can walk on it.  That is what Christ did long ago
  in wintertime.

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

From: "pmurG" <pmurG.#NoSpam.pmurG.Com>
                SCIENCE IN A NUTSHELL - 5th and 6th graders

A census taker is a man who goes from house to house increasing the

A city purifies its water supply by filtering the water and then forcing it
through an aviator.

The inhabitants of Moscow are Mosquitoes.

It is so hot in some places that people there have to live in other places.

The four seasons are salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

One of the main causes of dust is janitors.

A monsoon is a French gentleman.

The word "trousers" is an uncommon noun because it is singular at the top
and plural at the bottom.

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

From: "Hot"
The process of turning steam back into water again is called conversation.

Algebraical symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking

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

From: "Dr. Michele Arduengo" <pma001#NoSpam.alpha.morningside.edu>
Here are some student writings that give one pause.

From a microbiology test:
Question: HIV infects CD4 positive cells.  Briefly describe the
immunological consequences of  such an infection

Student Answer: HIV infects CD4+ cells which are the helper T cells of the
immune system.  This can be very fatal……

From a student paper on Schizophrenia:  "Another hypothesis, also in the
frontal cortex, is that abnormalities in glutamate receptors may be
associated with schizophrenia."

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

From: "Mark Kettlewell" <Mark.Kettlewell#NoSpam.tesco.net>
One of my GCSE students (UK, age 16) writing about the blast furnace (bless
his cotton socks): "The slag floats on the iron because they have different

physics engineering biology
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: "dcoble" <dcoble#NoSpam.gateway.net>
                            SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
   Several recent studies have reported that Americans simply aren't
learning much science in school.  That doesn't particularly bother me,
because I know they *are* getting lots of good, reliable scientific
information from a number of places.  Like television, "Newsweek", the
"National Enquirer", cereal boxes, their hairdressers, and so forth.  So
who says science isn't getting across to the public?  Here's some things
people recently have told me they know about science.
   The greenhouse effect is here and is already melting the polar icecap.
By next year, palm trees will be growing in Canada, beach boys will be
hanging ten off the coast of Nevada, and Cleveland, of all places, will
suddenly become a nice place to live.
   There are only three California gray whales left in existence, and
they somehow got caught in an ice hole in Alaska.  Only a huge
investment of time, money, and media coverage kept the species from
becoming extinct.
   Geraldo Rivera is the frightening result of a genetic engineering
project gone awry.
   There's a hole in the ozone layer approximately the size of Roseanne
Barr that was caused by hairspray.  It's how UFO's get to Earth.
   A brand-new radioactive gas has been found in basements.  It's called
radon and it causes cancer in a matter of weeks and worse, plays hell
with resale values.
   Isaac Newton plays lead guitar for Guns 'n Roses (this from a high
school student).
   The Japanese and French are building incredibly fast levitating
trains that have really super conductors on them.
   All scientists cheat on their data, on their spouses, and on their
income taxes.  Only Congress - whose members never cheat on their data,
their spouses, or their taxes - can put a stop to all this.

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

Many women believe that an alcoholic binge will have no ill effects on the
unborn fetus, but that is a large misconception.

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

Answer on a college level, freshman biology exam:
               "gonads: a tribe of wandering desert people."

mathematics physics chemistry
[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: Ron Gerards (On the Science Jokes mailing list:
From 'The Best Howlers' collected by Cecil Hunt [3rd ed. 1957;
Ernest Benn Ltd. 3/- (15p)].

OK these are old jokes, I admit.

Gravity tells us why an apple doesn't go to heaven.

A parallel straight line is one that, when produced to meet itself,
does not meet.

To remove air from a flask, fill the flask with water, tip the
water out and put the cork in quick.

A vacuum is an empty space where the Pope lives.

Atomic weights are used for weighing atoms.

Ammonium chloride is also called silly maniac.

Water may be made hard by freezing and the hardness removed
by boiling it.

If the air contains more than 100% carbolic acid, it is very injurious to

Water freezes at a higher temperature on the Fahrenheit
scale than on the Centigrade.

At 180C, sulphur is vicious.

Oxygen can be prepared by heating potassium chocolate.
A theorem - derived from theos [a god] and res
[a thing] - is a problem needing divine intelligence.

A magnetic force is a straight line, generally a curved one,
which would tend to point to where the North Pole comes.

Lack of vitamins gives rise to crickets.

An alkali is a chemical substance without water in it, such as whisky.

Chalk and sand can always be separated by flirtation.

Saturated is a term used for gentlemen who are full up.

Gravity is a law holding things up, but nowadays we use elastic.

The liver is an infernal organ.

Algebra is the wife of Euclid.

A ruminating animal is one that chews its cubs.

Mass is when you buy a sack of potatoes and weight is when you carry
it home.

A pence plus B pence equals expense.Volcanoes are ordinary mountains
except they omit palaver frequently.

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

From: T४nu Laas <tony#NoSpam.tpu.ee>
I send you some sayings (various definitions and laws) from finishing
exams of high school students.

Second law of thermodynamics.
- The energy of Universe is constant.
- Heat which separates is proportional with product of time, force,
which is needed, and square of velocity.
- Thermodynamics is a thermal phenomenon.
- Thermodynamics is heat, which separates while doing work.

Newton's second law
- The force is proportional with mass which affects and inverse
proportional with it's own mass.
- The force is proportional with mass which affects and inverse
proportional with a square of mass (m^2).
- Two bodies with the same charge can't be friends because they have
always problems conserving the charges.

Work in mechanics.
- The mechanizing and repairing the mechanics is called a work.
- Work in mechanics is this, if the work is made mechanically. It means,
work is made by machine.
- Work in mechanics is that, if a body makes work  and this work
is useful for us.
- Time which is spent in one minute with the same routine moving, is
called work.
- In mechanics the work is the hard or not so hard physical or material
 work. For example, it is needed some kind of hard body to move from
one place to another. For example to the height of one meter. Mechanics will
help us and makes the work.

Bohr's postulates 
- Electricity does not move by circle, but by ellips. 
- In the stacionary postulate the electrons don't radiate, the
determined energy levels do rule.
-1. A meteorite is celestial body which has entered into interstellar space.
 2. All celestial bodies do radiate photons which are flow of particles.
 3. All the planets have the determined stationary state, in which they are.
- All in this nature is in one's own way radiactive.
- Bohr made the experiments with postulates on hydrogen.
- All the bodies are not in the same orbits, so there we might meet
with application of various laws.
- The postulate does not affect other bodies and will always be in
its own orbit.
- In the stationary state the postulate does not radiate.

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

From: "rhrjg_co_uk" <ron#NoSpam.gerard.as>

And some other schoolboy howlers from a 1928 book. . . 

Isosceles triangles are used on maps to join up places that have the 
same weather.

A triangle with equal sides is called equatorial.

A magnetic force is a straight line, generally a curved one, which 
would tend to point to where the North Pole comes.

A magnet is a thing you find in a bad apple.

but my favourite is:

Ammonium chloride is also called silly maniac.

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

From: "Alison Siragusa" <alison#NoSpam.nycap.rr.com>

I asked a group of high school bio students what they thought the
evolutionary advantage of mammary glands might be.  One student raised her
hand and replied- "then you don't have to have a good personality."

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

From: jonathan#NoSpam.zeta.org.au (Jonathan Jermey)

This is from a Project Gutenberg Etext of 'Literary Blunders', by
Henry Wheatley. I thought that this section in particular deserved a
wider audience.

Science and Art Department.

The following are specimens of answers given by candidates at recent
examinations in Acoustics, Light and Heat, held in connection with the
Science and Art Department, South Kensington.  The answers have not of
course all been selected from the same paper, neither have they all
been chosen for the same reason.

Question I.--State the relations existing between the pressure,
temperature, and density of a given gas.  How is it proved that when a
gas expands its temperature is diminished?

Answer.--Now the answer to the first part of this question is, that
the square root of the pressure increases, the square root of the
density decreases, and the absolute temperature remains about the
same; but as to the last part of the question about a gas expanding
when its temperature is diminished, I expect I am intended to say I
don't believe a word of it, for a bladder in front of a fire expands,
but its temperature is not at all diminished.

Question 2.--If you walk on a dry path between two walls a few feet
apart, you hear a musical note or ``ring'' at each footstep.  Whence
comes this?

Answer.--This is similar to phosphorescent paint.  Once any sound gets
between two parallel reflectors or walls, it bounds from one to the
other and never stops for a long time.  Hence it is persistent, and
when you walk between the walls you hear the sounds made by those who
walked there before you.  By following a muffin man down the passage
within a short time you can hear most
distinctly a musical note, or, as it is more properly termed in the
question, a ``ring'' at every (other) step.

Question 3.--What is the reason that the hammers which strike the
strings of a pianoforte are made not to strike the middle of the
strings?  Why are the bass strings loaded with coils of wire?

Answer.--Because the tint of the clang would be bad.  Because to
jockey them heavily.

Question 4.--Explain how to determine the time of vibration of a given
tuning-fork, and state what apparatus you would require for the

Answer.--For this determination I should require an accurate watch
beating seconds, and a sensitive ear.  I mount the fork on a suitable
stand, and then, as the second hand of my watch passes the figure 60
on the dial, I draw the bow neatly across one of its prongs.  I wait.
I listen intently.  The throbbing air particles are receiving the
pulsations; the beating prongs are giving up their original force; and
slowly yet surely the sound dies away.  Still I can hear it, but
faintly and with close attention; and now only by pressing the bones
of my head against its prongs.  Finally the last trace disappears.  I
look at the time and leave the room, having determined the time of
vibration of the common ``pitch'' fork.
This process deteriorates the fork considerably, hence a different
operation must be performed on a fork which is only lent.

Question 6.--What is the difference between a ``real'' and a
``virtual'' image?  Give a drawing showing the formation of one of
each kind.

Answer.--You see a real image every morning when you shave.  You do
not see virtual images at all.  The only people who see virtual images
are those people who are not quite right, like Mrs. A.  Virtual images
are things which don't exist.  I can't give you a reliable drawing of
a virtual image, because I never saw one.

Question 8.--How would you disprove, experimentally, the assertion
that white light passing through a piece of coloured glass acquires
colour from the glass?  What is it that really happens?

Answer.--To disprove the assertion (so repeatedly made) that ``white
light passing through a piece of coloured glass acquires colour from
the glass,'' I would ask the gentleman to observe that the glass has
just as much colour after the light has gone through it as it had
before.  That is what would really happen.

Question 11.--Explain why, in order to cook food by boiling, at the
top of a high mountain, you must employ a different method from that
used at the sea level.

Answer.--It is easy to cook food at the sea level by boiling it, but
once you get above the sea level the only plan is to fry it in its own
fat.  It is, in fact, impossible to boil water above the sea level by
any amount of heat.  A different method, therefore, would have to be
employed to boil food at the top of a high mountain, but what that
method is has not yet been discovered.  The future may reveal it to a
daring experimentalist.

Question 12.--State what are the conditions favourable for the
formation of dew.  Describe an instrument for determining the dew
point, and the method of using it.

Answer.--This is easily proved from question 1.  A body of gas as it
ascendsexpands, cools, and deposits moisture; so if you walk up a hill
the body of gas inside you expands, gives its heat to you, and
deposits its moisture in the form of dew or common sweat.  Hence these
are the favourable conditions; and moreover it explains why you get
warm by ascending a hill, in opposition to the well-known law of the
Conservation of Energy.

Question 13.--On freezing water in a glass tube, the tube sometimes
breaks. Why is this?  An iceberg floats with 1,000,000 tons of ice
above the water line.  About how many tons are below the water line?

Answer.--The water breaks the tube because of capallarity.  The
iceberg floats on the top because it is lighter, hence no tons are
below the water line. Another reason is that an iceberg cannot exceed
1,000,000 tons in weight: hence if this much is above water, none is
below.  Ice is exceptional to all other bodies except bismuth.  All
other bodies have 1090 feet below the surface and 2 feet extra for
every degree centigrade. If it were not for this, all fish would die,
and the earth be held in an iron grip.

P.S.--When I say 1090 feet, I mean 1090 feet per second.

Question 14.--If you were to pour a pound of molten lead and a pound
of molten iron, each at the temperature of its melting point, upon two
blocks of ice, which would melt the most ice, and why?

Answer.--This question relates to diathermancy.  Iron is said to be a
diathermanous body (from _dia_, through, and _thermo_, I heat),
meaning that it gets heated through and through, and accordingly
contains a large quantity of real heat. Lead is said to be an
athermanous body (from _a_, privative, and _thermo_, I heat), meaning
that it gets heated secretly or in a latent manner.  Hence the answer
to this question depends on which will get the best of it, the real
heat of the iron or the latent heat of the lead.  Probably the iron
will smite furthest into the ice, as molten iron is white and glowing,
while melted lead is dull.

Question 21.--A hollow indiarubber ball full of air is suspended on
one arm of a balance and weighed in air.  The whole is then covered by
the receiver of an air pump.  Explain what will happen as the air in
the receiver is exhausted.

Answer.--The ball would expand and entirely fill the vessell, driving
out all before it.  The balance being of greater density than the rest
would be the last to go, but in the end its inertia would be overcome
and all would be expelled, and there would
be a perfect vacuum.  The ball would then burst, but you would not be
aware of the fact on account of the loudness of a sound varying with
the density of the place in which it is generated, and not on that in
which it is heard.

Question 27.--Account for the delicate shades of colour sometimes seen
on the inside of an oyster shell.  State and explain the appearance
presented when a beam of light falls upon a sheet of glass on which
very fine equi-distant parallel lines have been scratched very close
to one another.

Answer.--The delicate shades are due to putrefaction; the colours
always show best when the oyster has been a bad one.  Hence they are
considered a defect and are called chromatic aberration.

The scratches on the glass will arrange themselves in rings round the
light, as any one may see at night in a tram car.

Question 29.--Show how the hypothenuse face of a right-angled prism
may be used as a reflector.  What connection is there between the
refractive index of a medium and the angle at which an emergent ray is
totally reflected?

Answer.--Any face of any prism may be used as a reflector.  The
connexion between the refractive index of a medium and the angle at
which an emergent ray does not emerge but is totally reflected is
remarkable and not generally known.

Question 32.--Why do the inhabitants of cold climates eat fat?  How
would you find experimentally the relative quantities of heat given
off when equal weights of sulphur, phosphorus, and carbon are
thoroughly burned?

Answer.--An inhabitant of cold climates (called Frigid Zoans) eats fat
principally because he can't get no lean, also because he wants to
rise is temperature.  But if equal weights of sulphur phosphorus and
carbon are burned in his neighbourhood he will give off eating quite
so much.  The relative quantities of eat given off will depend upon
how much sulphur etc. is burnt and how near it is burned to him. If I
knew these facts it would be an easy sum to find the answer.


Question 1.--Sound is said to travel about four times as fast in water
as in air.  How has this been proved?  State your reasons for thinking
whether sound travels faster or slower in oil than in water.

Answer(_a_).--Mr. Colladon, a gentleman who happened to have a boat,
wrote to a friend called Mr. Sturm to borrow another boat and row out
on the other side of the lake, first providing himself with a large
ear-trumpet.  Mr. Colladon took a large bell weighing some tons which
he put under water and hit furiously.  Every time he hit the bell he
lit a fusee, and Mr. Sturm looked at his watch.  In this way it was
found out as in the question.

It was also done by Mr. Byott who sang at one end of the water pipes
of Paris, and a friend at the other end (on whom he could rely) heard
the song as if it were a chorus, part coming through the water and
part through the air.

(_b_) This is done by one person going into a hall (? a well) and
making a noise, and another person stays outside and listens where the
sound comes from.  When Miss Beckwith saves life from drowning, her
brother makes a noise under water, and she hearing the sound some time
after can calculate where he is and dives for him; and what Miss
Beckwith can do under water, of course a mathematician can do on dry
land.  Hence this is how it is done.

If oil is poured on the water it checks the sound-waves and puts you

Question 2.--What would happen if two sound-waves exactly alike were
to meet one another in the open air, moving in opposite directions?

Answer.--If the sound-waves which meet in the open air had not come
from the same source they would not recognise each others existence,
but if they had they would embrace and mutually hold fast, in other
words, interfere with and destroy each other.

Question 9.--Describe any way in which the velocity of light has been

Answer (_a_).--A distinguished but Heathen philosopher, Homer, was the
first to discover this.  He was standing one day at one side of the
earth looking at Jupiter when he conjectured that he would take 16
minutes to get to the other side. This conjecture he then verified by
careful experiment.  Now the whole way across the earth is 3,072,000
miles, and dividing this by 16 we get the velocity 192,000 miles a
second.  This is so great that it would take an express train 40 years
to do it, and the bullet from a canon over 5000 years.

P.S.--I think the gentlemans name was Romer not Homer, but anyway he
was 20% wrong and Mr. Fahrenheit and Mr. Celsius afterwards made more
careful determinations.

(_b_) An Atheistic Scientist (falsely so called) tried experiments on
the Satellites of Jupiter.  He found that he could delay the eclipse
16 minutes by going to the other side of the earths orbit;  in fact he
found he could make the eclipse happen when he liked by simply
shifting his position.  Finding that credit was given him for
determining the velocity of light by this means he repeated it
so often that the calendar began to get seriously wrong and there were
riots, and Pope Gregory had to set things right.

Question 10.--Explain why water pipes burst in cold weather.

Answer.--People who have not studied Acoustics think that Thor bursts
the pipes, but we know that it is nothing of the kind for Professor
Tyndall has burst the mythologies and has taught us that it is the
natural behaviour of water (and bismuth)
without which all fish would die and the earth be held in an iron

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

From: "Rowland  Croucher" 

These, are real answers given by children.

Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants
like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists..

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon.  All water tends
to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature
hates a vacuum.  I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized?  (e.g., abdomen).
A: The body is consisted into three parts - the brainium, the borax and the
abdominal cavity.  The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the
heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A,E,I,O
and U.

Q: What is the fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: Give the meaning of the term "Caesarean Section"
A: The Caesarean Section is a district in Rome.

Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

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

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

Another one that was told to me by a teacher:

This one appeared in a biology test, specifically about ecology:

"The greenhouse effect happens when it warms up. 
 Therefore, when it warms up it is because of the greenhouse effect. 
 Example: when it warms up, it is the greenhouse effect."

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

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

Quotes, both scientific and non-scientific, with comments from teachers,
from admission tests in Brazilian universities:

"Lavoisier died because he created the oxygen."

"The optical nerve transmits bright ideas."

"The wind is a large amount of air."

"Earthquakes are a small movement of wasted land."

 (I think that the homeless people will hate this)

"The ancient Egyptians developed the mortuary art so the dead

 could live better."

"The main problem of the Third World is the super excess of needs."

"Petroleum appeared many years ago, when fish drowned in water."

"Survival of a live abortion" (title on a text)

"The main function of the root is to dig up."

"The sun gives us light, heat and tourists."

"The calorie is measures the heat in time."

"The SI unit of power is the New Tom, which means the power that must be done

 on the time."

"The human heart is the only organ which doesn't stop working 24 hours a day."

 (Or it does?)

"Insomnia consists in reverse sleeping."

 (So, death must be not sleeping)

"The Gothic art is well-known for building buildings."

"Chile is a very tall and thin country."

"The main problem of the Amazon River is the fishing of the fishes."

 (Don't tell me...)

"Hermaphrodites are born by body."

"Faith is a grace, with which we can see what we can't see."

"Atheism is an anonymous religion."

"We need to remove the blanks from our eyes to see clearly the number of the hungers."

 (Remove the blanks from your BRAIN, that is!)

"We also care about the progressive regression of violence statistics."

 (This one knows his statistics)

"The illiterate have never had a chance to return to the school."

"The good life of the people is not dependent on religion, field, sex or plant."

"And where is the president [of Brazil]? Certainly, he is sitting in his chair, smoking weed and talking with the President of the U.S."

"Between the Native American populations, the most known ones are the Mayans, the Incas and the Asteroids."  (Yes, they came from space)

"On the beginning Indians were very late but with time they were hardening." (Beware!)

"Brazil is a country very watery by rain."

"Ocean is where the Sun is born. Where it is born it is nascent and where it sets it is the decent."

 (Yes, the Sun is down in the sea)

"On Central America there are countries like the Mini Can Republic."

"The Earth is one of the most-known planets in Universe."

"The main cities of North America are Argentina and the USA."

"Communication matters because it help us communicate."

 (Don't tell me)

"(...) with regards to the public opinion, we can say it is variable.

 E.g. upon giving birth the woman can ask for an abortion."

 (No clue)

"TV influences our lives. How many times we bought a product because

 we saw it on TV? The programs should be more growing."

 (I don't know how to make the programs grow)

"The business and the customers walk together, here including printers."

 (OK, I will walk with your business)

"The radio/TV professional has a big market for work, because all

 communication is on Earth."

 (Do you forgot the aliens?)

"Feedback is information which comes from behind."


"The main methods used by communication are eye, mouth and hand."

 (If I poke a finger of my hand on your eye, your mouth screams. Makes sense.)

"500 years ago, nobody died when 2 horses clashed. Today thousands die with car accidents."

"I developed a high thinking head."

 (I think you mean "I think that I developed when high")

"And Homo Sapiens continues with his so-called progress: killing, murdering and using soap, only to give a good smell to the bathroom."

"We, humans, are moving changers."

 (I know that you can have CD changers, but they're not moving).

"We dream with a better world, since the dinosaur gave place to dog, cat..."

"Aminoacids were the first inhabitants of Earth."

"This is all due to the VU rays that kill every day."

"The Brazilians are ending with all, falling trees to make board and other thing."

 (I don't know what is the other thing)

"The one mankind has mission..."

 (I don't think that there are 2 mankinds)

"It [water contamination] is a highly engraved problem."

 (Yes, the water engraves the stones)

"The TV has a high information degree that enriches us in a poor way, because we become addicted to this communication vehicle."

"TV, however, is a thing we consume for our formation, information and deformation."

 (I see. If you sit in front of TV too much, you get fat)

"The TV gives idea to the people that the life is fairy tale and with this products many heads."

 (Now I care about ads)

"The TV, if on, gives images, when it is off, it doesn't."

"The TV is a method of communication, education and why not locomotion?"

(TV on wheels)

"TV is the oxygen that forms on our ideas."

(Should be "TV is the oxymoron...")

"The TV gives power, bringing day information and why not hours."

(If you put your finger in the high-voltage components of the TV, yes.

 You have power)

"TV likes its inter structures..."

"With the invention of the compass, sailors could drown in the sea."

"Eating is the method of digesting body."

"Brazil is the most intense country in America."

"Angles are 2 lines which walk and meet."

"Water will pass from the liquid state to the physical state."

"The movement it movements and makes move."

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

September 6
July 27
Special Category: John Dalton
Atoms are round balls of wood invented by Dr. Dalton.
      -- answer given by a pupil, as reported by H.E. Roscoe

next:8. academic life | 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