Friday Apr 22, 2005

Gadget Envy

The original describe the three as women. I tried to rephrase in a gender neutral fashion.

Three people - one German, one Japanese, and one being from the hills of Tennessee - were enjoying a sauna after a workout. Suddenly, there was a beeping sound....

The German pressed their forearm and the beeping stopped. The others looked at their new friend questioningly, to which the person replied: "Oh, that was my pager, I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later, a phone rang. The Japanese friend placed palm to ear and spoke for a few moments. When the conversation was finished, the person apologized, saying: "So sorry.... that was my mobile phone. I have a micro-radio implanted in my hand."

Well, the hillbilly felt decidedly low tech and decided to do something just as impressive. Stepping out of the sauna and to the bathroom, the others noticed a piece of toilet paper hanging from the person's behind upon their return. The hillbilly finally said: "Well, will you look at that. I'm gettin' a FAX."  :-)

Thursday Mar 10, 2005

YAM and the Taters


Girl Potato and a Boy Potato had 'eyes' for each other, and finally they got married, and had a little 'sweet potato,' which they named 'YAM.'  Of course they wanted the best for her.

When it was time, they told YAM about the facts of life. They warned her about going out and getting 'half-baked,' so she wouldn't get accidentally 'mashed,' and get a bad name for herself like "HOT POTATO,' and end up with a bunch of 'TATER TOTS.'

YAM said not to worry, no SPUD would get her into the 'SACK' and make a 'ROTTEN POTATO' out of her! But on the other hand, she wouldn't stay home and become a COUCH POTATO either. She would get plenty of exercise so as not to be skinny like her SHOESTRING cousins.

When she went off to Europe, Mr. and Mrs. Potato told YAM to watch out for the 'hard-boiled' guys from Ireland and the greasy guys from France called the FRENCH FRIES. And when she went out west, to watch out for the Indians so she wouldn't get 'SCALLOPED.'

YAM said, she would stay on the straight and narrow and wouldn't associate with those high class YUKON GOLDS, or the ones from the others side of the tracks who advertise their trade on all the trucks that say 'FRITO LAYS.'

Mr. Mrs. Potato sent Yam to Idaho P.U. (That's Potato University) so that when she graduated she'd really be in the CHIPS. She worked on her tan (her 'potato skins' turning a nice 'HASH BROWN') yet still graduated with honors. But in spite of all they did for her, one day YAM came home and announced she was going to marry Tom Brokaw.


Mr. and Mrs. Potato were very upset. They told YAM she couldn't possibly marry that 'flake' Tom Brokaw because he's just................ A COMMON TATER.

Saturday Feb 19, 2005

Parenting & Tough Love

In order to get the maximum effect, please view and read each of the four slide images (below) in turn. Don't view the last image until you've read the previous three. Enjoy!



Friday Jan 14, 2005

Most Embarrassing Moment

Yesterday I spent 17 hours on-the-job... A 4am alarm to catch a 6am flight out of Orlando to \*Virginia\* for a customer meeting. I pull back into the driveway just before 9pm. Whew. I'm in the bathroom getting cleaned up, the kids are asking questions (eg: "did you get me anything?", "was it snowing?"). The \*dog\* is jumping. And my cell phone rings.

My cell reception isn't the best from home. Some guy is asking me questions about \*Oracle\* performance characteristics across our various \*server\* offerings w.r.t. competitive systems. Given the cell quality and the context in which I took the call, I didn't catch his name. But these are technical questions with possibly sensitive details, so I challenge the guy: "Who do you work for?". It was a 510 area code and he said Sun Microsystems, so we continue the conversation. A few minutes later the conversations gets a little more into the details, so I challenge him again: "What did you say your name is?".

It's Andy Bechtolsheim

Just Employee #1 and Founder of Sun Microsystems. He probably made the "hiring" decision to bring Scott McNealy on board (employee #3).

Sun Microsystems was founded in 1982 by Andreas Bechtolsheim, an electrical engineering PhD student in the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL), Scott McNealy and Vinod Khosla, roommates at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and Bill Joy, a PhD student in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.

And I'm asking him who he works for! I wouldn't have blamed him if he then asked me who I \*used\* to work for :-) Anyway, he's a great guy to have fighting on our side. The systems and designs and ideas he brought back to Sun with him are going to shake up the industry.

Tuesday Dec 21, 2004

Hotel Soap: Humor

Comic Shelley Berman wrote this back in the mid-70s. Maybe it's because I travel so much for Sun (Delta Platinum for 5 years now) that I find this so funny. Enjoy!

Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,

S. Berman

Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Kathy, Relief Maid

Dear Maid - I hope you are my regular maid.

Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.

Your regular maid,


Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8 AM and 5 PM.Thank you.

Elaine Carmen


Dear Miss Carmen,

It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don't get back before 5:30 or 6 PM. That's the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bath-room shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8 AM and 5 PM.Thank you,

Elaine Carmen,


Dear Mr. Kensedder,

My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Martin L. Kensedder

Assistant Manager

Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don't want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here. All I want is my bath size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don't know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don't know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen


Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory. As of today I possess:

  • On the shelf under medicine cabinet - 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
  • On the Kleenex dispenser - 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
  • On the bedroom dresser - 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet,
  • 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
  • Inside the medicine cabinet - 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
  • In the shower soap dish - 6 Camay, very moist.
  • On the northeast corner of tub - 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
  • On the northwest corner of tub - 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.

S. Berman

Physics of Santa

You might have seen this in years past. If not, here is the analysis from Spy mag in January 1990, as well as a rebuttal.

1. No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2. There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total -- 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census)rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west(which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second -- a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal anoint, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh -- to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison -- this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance -- this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim)would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion -- If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.


A rebuttal:

If you're going to criticise Santa Claus on physical grounds, you may at least do it right.

The payload calculations are nonsense. Adding, say, 1000 stops back at the North Pole for reloading adds only a few percent to the entire distance covered, while reducing the payload by a factor of 1000. This is clearly the way to go.

The nonuniform distribution of children has a tremendous effect on the routing. With sensible routing, the average distance from a good child to the next good child is only a couple hundred feet in suburban conditions (this is clearly higher in the country, but is much less in, say, New York City). With only .05 miles between average good children, Santa need only travel at Mach 200, just a little faster than Ulysses. This reduces the force of air resistance by a factor of 200, and the power absorbed by the reindeer by 3000.

Of course, if Santa stops to give coal to bad children it could slow things down a bit. But it appears that increasing population has made Santa give up that trick. When was the last time you heard of anybody getting a lump of coal?

We all saw the pictures of a smart bomb falling through an Iraqi smokestack. Clearly Santa uses the same technology for toys and chimneys. By dropping, say, 100 toys at a time from high altitude, Santa can reduce his speed by another factor of 10. While still supersonic, this is now slightly less than orbital velocity, sparing Santa and his team the trauma of extreme centrifugal force.

Santa's trip IS a remarkable feat of aeronautics, but please don't say it's impossible.




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