30 August 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Manager solution to lost balloon

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man below says: “Yes. You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field. You are between 40 and 42 degrees N. latitude, and between 58 and 60 degrees W. longitude.”

“You must be an engineer” says the balloonist.

“I am” replies the man. “How did you know.”

“Well” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost.”

The man below says “You must be a manager.”

“I am” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well”, says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you are going. You have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are in the exact same position you were in before we met, but now it is somehow my fault.”

 

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12 February 2011 ~ 0 Comments

The Nerd with the Fairy Princess Frog

An computer programmer is walking along the road one day when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.”  He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I’ll spend the week with you.” The computer programmer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I’ll stay with you for a week and be your girlfriend.”   Again the computer programmer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Desperately, the frog asked, “What is the matter?   I’ve told you I’m a beautiful princess, that I’ll stay with you for a week and be your girlfriend.  Why won’t you kiss me?”

The computer programmer said, “Look, I’m an computer programmer.  I don’t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog?  Now that’s cool.”

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12 February 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Spend Time with Wife or Mistress?

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or the mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, “I like both.”

“Both?”

Engineer: “Yeah.   If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the office and get some work done.”

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06 February 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Sometimes it Does Take a Rocket Scientist

Scientists at NASA have developed a gun built specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all travelling at maxi- mum velocity.  The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made.  But when the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, crashed through the control console, snapped the engineer’s backrest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin.

Horrified Britons sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield, and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA’s response was just one sentence, “Thaw the chicken.”

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06 February 2011 ~ 0 Comments

How Specs Live Forever

The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.  That’s an exceedingly odd number.  Why was that gauge used?  Because that’s the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English people build them like that?  Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did “they” use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing?  Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that’s the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who built these old rutted roads?  The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions.  The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts?  The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots.  Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.  Thus, we have the answer to the original questions.

The United State standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot.  Specs and Bureaucracies live forever.

So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse’s ass came up with it, you may be exactly right.  Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.

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05 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Touch Lawyer Math

An engineer, a physicist, and a lawyer were being interviewed for a position as chief executive officer of a large corporation. The engineer was interviewed first, and was asked a long list of questions, ending with “How much is two plus two?” The engineer excused himself, and made a series of measurements and calculations before returning to the board room and announcing, “Four.”

The physicist was next interviewed, and was asked the same questions. Again, the last question was, “How much is two plus two?” Before answering the last question, he excused himself, made for the library, and did a great deal of research. After a consultation with the United States Bureau of Standards and many calculations, he also announced, “Four.”

The lawyer was interviewed last, and again the final question was, “How much is two plus two?” The lawyer drew all the shades in the room, looked outside to see if anyone was there, checked the telephone for listening devices, and then whispered, “How much do you want it to be?”

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31 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Three men and the Genie

Three men – a project manager, a software engineer, and a hardware engineer – are in Miami beach for a two-week period helping out on a project.  About midweek, they decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour.  Halfway up the beach, they stumble upon a lamp.  As they rub the lamp, a genie appears and says, “Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are 3 of you, I will grant you each one wish.”

The hardware engineer goes first.  “I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas, with no money worries and surrounded by beautiful women who worship me.”  The genie grants him his wish and sends him on off to St. Thomas.

The software engineer is next.  “I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean, with no money worries and surrounded by beautiful women who worship me.”  The genie grants him his wish and sends him off to the Mediterranean.

Last, but not least, it’s the project manager’s turn. “And what would your wish be?” asked the genie.

“I want them both back after lunch” replied the project manager.

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