Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

I found these images on twitter via (Paige Bailey) @DynamicWebPaige  Found them so hilarious that I thought they deserved a blog post (Needless to say, click on each image for a higher resolution version).

PS: A quick search indicates that these are from “Land of Lisp: Learn to Program in List, One Game at a time” by M. D. Conrad Barski.

The 40s and 50s

40s60s and 70s


80s and 90s





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A couple of years back when i was in the process of shock recovery. I used to have a 30 page-long collection of nerdy jokes. Sadly, I lost that book one Diwali .

Those jokes went on their way to ethernity, and from that long list, I can only recall one joke word to word:

The phosphor CRT monitor is always greener on the other side.

Onionesque Reality Home >>

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10 Mathematical Jokes

Via the geeky page of Professor Erich Friedman. Here is a hilarious list. The first i have already accidentally mentioned in a previous post.

  • Q: Why did the mathematician name his dog “Cauchy”?
    A: Because he left a residue at every pole.
  • Q: What’s sado-masochism?
    A: The standard deviation of the mean.
  • Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a grape?
    A: I dunno, but its magnitude is Elephant, grape, sin theta.
  • Q: What do you get when you cross a mountain climber with a grape?
    A: You can’t. A mountain climber is a scaler.
  • Q: What do farmers study in trigonometry?
    A: Swine and cow-swine.
  • Q: What’s the contour integral around Western Europe?
    A: Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe.
  • Q: How many numerical analysts does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: 0.9973 after the first three iterations.
  • Q: How many statisticians does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: Two plus or minus three.
  • Q: How many applied mathematicians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: One, who gives it to two statisticians, thereby reducing it to an earlier riddle.
  • Q: How many topologists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: It really doesn’t matter, since they’d rather knot.

Onionesque Reality Home >>

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Here is a very nerdy joke. I don’t know the source for it. If you do kindly let me know.

This is one of the best jokes that i know of on a mathematical theorem.

Q. Why did the mathematician name his dog Cauchy?

A. Because it left a residue at every pole.

Ha Ha :D

For those not familiar with Cauchy’s Residue Theorem, have a look here.

Onionesque Reality Home >>

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In his blog, Mark Chu-Carroll puts up a rather funny question.

Collective nouns are cool and funny. Some of them are straightforward: a herd of cows, a pack of wolves. Some are goofy: a wake of vultures, a destruction of cats (that’s north american wildcats), an ostentation of peacocks. And there are some fascinating ones: a parliament of ravens, an exaltation of larks.

I don’t know of any good collective noun for a bunch of geeks. But I think we need one! So what should it be?

Some of the responses were hilarious.

Some responses included:

  • A computation of geeks.
  • A parallel of geeks.
  • GEEK geek[MAX_GEEK];
  • A Set of Geeks.
  • it’s a hash of geeks ?
  • I think it depends on the reason for which the geeks are meeting, or the type of geeks that they are. Computer geeks could form arrays, while DnD nerds form parties. Physics geeks might be galaxies, and Chemists condensates, and biologists populations. A sentence of Linguists.What can be geekier than a specific qualifying collective noun?
  • Geek[] geeks;
  • A googleplex of geeks!

Some responses as i said have been hilarious! What do you think is the proper collective noun? ;)

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C isn’t that hard!

Here is a joke that i had taken down some years back. I do not know the exact source for it!

C isn’t that hard: void (*(*f[])())() defines f as an array of unspecified size, of pointers to functions that return pointers to functions that return void.

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At the end of this post is a funny anecdote about American theoretical and applied mathematician Norbert Wiener. He was a pioneer in the study of stochastic and noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronics and communication engineering. He is also known and probably best known for being the founder of cybernetics.

His 1948 book, Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine is a must read though i have not been lucky enough to read it myself as it is very difficult to find. This book is very high on my list of “books that MUST be read”. I wouldn’t be shy in admitting that the single most important reason on why i would want to read it is that this book came as a seminal work in that field! and is considered the authority to this day!


The anecdote to this rather eccentric and great man follows and is as recounted by Howard Eves and is on his forgetful nature:

Norbert Wiener was renowned for his absent-mindedness. When he and his family moved from Cambridge to Newton his wife, knowing that he would be of absolutely no help, packed him off to MIT while she directed the move. Since she was certain that he would forget that they had moved and where they had moved to, she wrote down the new address on a piece of paper, and gave it to him. Naturally, in the course of the day, some insight occurred to him. He reached in his pocket, found a piece of paper on which he furiously scribbled some notes, thought it over, decided there was a fallacy in his idea, and threw the piece of paper away in disgust.

At the end of the day he went home – to the old address in Cambridge, of course. When he got there he realised that they had moved, that he had no idea where they had moved to, and that the piece of paper with the address was long gone. Fortunately inspiration struck. There was a young girl on the street and he conceived the idea of asking her where he had moved to, saying, “Excuse me, perhaps you know me. I’m Norbert Wiener and we’ve just moved. Would you know where we’ve moved to?” To which the young girl replied, “Yes Daddy, Mommy thought you would forget.”

In later posts i will try to write on cybernetics and Wieners work as a follow-up and will try to read that book as soon as possible! :)

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Here is a hilariously true flowchart of Feynmans decision making process from WellingtonGrey

What would Feynman do?

Click to Enlarge

Related Posts on This Blog:

1. Richard Feynman: Sciences Elvis

2. The Feynman Principle

3. Smart Man, Wise man, Feynman!

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Doppler Effect

Back in 11th grade i used to cycle 10kms to listen to some lectures given by an old Physics professor, Mr M.L.Ogalapurkar, he has easily been one of the best professors who has taught me physics. So i would absolutely love the two hours spent there every Friday and Saturday.

One fine day he taught us Doppler effect and took some problems, then extended the concept to include the asymmetric effect i.e in light.
Then he took a simple question. This is question number 5.233 in I.E Irodov which says –
(i have the 1988 edition of “problems in general physics“)
“How fast should a car move for the driver to perceive a red traffic light as a green one?”
on reading this question his face lighted up and he put down the book. Slowly took the chair (he limps) and started.

There was this physics professor, he always got late. So as usual this fine morning he was late again, so he just took one Physics book – his favourite and threw it in his car and sped off to the university.
Now late, he knew he was over-speeding and hoped no cops stop him. Just as he hoped he broke a traffic light in his hurry. He could see it was red but ignored it as anyway the roads were empty. Just as he was starting to get a relaxed look on his face on breaking the signal, a cop signaled him to stop and then he had to.
The cop said “Sir, you have broken the signal, i must ticket you”.
the professor thought for a minute and his hand moving towards the wallet stopped and then he thought
“this is a police cop what will he know about physics?” and he said
“Officer, i have not broken any signal, i saw the traffic signal as Green not as Red”
The Cop: “Well are you trying to kid me? how is that possible”
Professor: “Blame physics for it, see equation 17.68 here in this book makes this possible and i just experienced it! If you travel fast enough then the frequency appears altered and Red appears Green”
now confused the cop said “Well, i don’t know but i can’t let you go just like that, you can say all this in the court”

in the courtroom the judge asked him the same thing.
“Professor i got a complaint that you broke the signal?”
the professor gave the same answer as he gave to the cop.
the Judge too got confused, and said
“i have no qualification in Physics so i can’t really say anything on this. i shall consult some qualified person and then pass the judgment”
and just as he was to adjourn the proceedings a person seated there got up and said
“Judge, i am a qualified person and i am working in the JPL, will you consider my opinion”
the judge saw his i-card and said
“your opinion may be considered as valid as you are qualified to have an opinion on this”
the JPL scientist then said “Sir, the professor is absolutely right! this effect is called the Doppler effect and it happens”
and then he gave him the example of a whistling train.
The judge still not convinced says “Well but how does that make a Red signal appear Green?”
The scientist got up and took the Physics book the professor was carrying, using equation 17.68 he worked out the problem and then showed the judge his calculations!
he said “judge, see this is possible i have worked out that a Red signal will appear green when the car is moving at almost thirty percent of ‘c’. and so the professor is absolutely right!”
the judge studies the problem and then speaks out

“well. professor you are absolved of the charge that you broke a signal”
The professor now very relieved gets ready to leave, just as he turns..
the judge speaks out

“but you have exceeded the speed limit!”


PS: I do not know the exact source for this joke, i just remember Dr M.L.Ogalapurkars words and obviously not exactly as how he told me.

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Via BBC-h2g2:

A test for artificial intelligence suggested by the mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing. The gist of it is that a computer can be considered intelligent when it can hold a sustained conversation with a computer scientist without him being able to distinguish that he is talking with a computer rather than a human being.

Some critics suggest this is unreasonably difficult since most human beings are incapable of holding a sustained conversation with a computer scientist.

After a moments thought they usually add that most computer scientists aren’t capable of distinguishing humans from computers anyway.


xkcd makes it even better with a cartoon on it. I love xkcd ! ;)

The Turing Test

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