Stars & Garters

Hank-worthy Jokes

caffeine prayer  |  an engineering perspective on christmas  |  green eggs and hamlet  |  hard drive religion  |   murphy's laws of computing  |  poe's computer  |  rules for driving in new york city  |   rough day at work  |  shakespeare shopping  |  the world according to spock  |

Caffeine Prayer

Caffeine is my shepherd, I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal (tm):
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of Juan Valdez:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the House of Folger's forever.

An Engineering Perspective on Christmas

There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get onto the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means 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, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer can pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them -- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch). 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would adsorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 mps in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g's. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Merry Christmas!

Green Eggs and Hamlet

I ask to be, or not to be.
That is the question, I ask of me.
This sullied life, it makes me shudder.
My uncle's boffing dear, sweet mother.
Would I, could I take my life?
Could I, should I, end this strife?
Should I jump out of a plane?
Or throw myself before a train?
Should I from a cliff just leap?
Could I put myself to sleep?
Shoot myself, or take some poison?
Maybe try self immoloition?
To shudder off this mortal coil,
I could stab myself with a fencing foil.
Slash my wrists while in the bath?
Would it end my angst and wrath?
To sleep, to dream, now there's the rub.
I could drop a toaster in my tub.
Would all be glad, if I were dead?
Could I perhaps kill them instead?
This line of thought takes consideration -
For I'm the king of procrastination.

Dater Loster (commonly known as "Our Hard Drive")

Our Hard Drive
Which art internal
Volume C by name;
Thy code be clean,
Thy fonts be seen
On screen as they are on paper.
Give us this day our documents,
And lead us not into fragmentation
But deliver us our data.

For thine is the SCSI,
And the EISA, and the NuBus,
Forever and Ever,

Murphy's Laws of Computing

  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
  • To err is human... to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human; in fact it is downright natural.
  • He who laughs last probably made a back-up.
  • If at first you don't succeed, blame your computer.
  • A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.
  • The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.
  • A computer program will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want it to do.
  • When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.
  • When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete.
  • The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it.
  • When the going gets tough, upgrade.
  • When you need to send an email quick, that's when the modem won't connect!

Suppose Edgar Allen Poe Had Used a Computer...

Once upon a midnight dreary,
Fingers cramped and vision bleary,
Systems manuals piled high and
Wasted paper on the floor.

Longing for the warmth of bed sheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets,
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.

Typing with a steady hand,
I then invoked the SAVE command,
And waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering,
long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning,
Turning yet to churn some more.

"Save!" I said, "You cursed mother!
Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer,
Only this and nothing more,
Just, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult illusion?
Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired,
One's I'd never faced before.

Carefully, I weighed the choices
As the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent,waiting,
Baiting me to type some more.

Clearly I must press a key,
Choosing one and nothing more.

Rules for Driving in New York City

  1. When on a one-way street, stay to the right to allow oncoming traffic to pass.
  2. Never, ever, stop for a pedestrian unless he flings himself under the wheels of your car.
  3. The first parking space you see will be the last parking space you see. Grab it.
  4. Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work.
  5. Always look both ways when running a red light.
  6. Never use directional signals when changing lanes. They only warn other drivers to speed up and not let you in.
  7. Making eye contact revokes your right of way.
  8. Whenever possible, stop in the middle of a crosswalk to ensure inconveniencing as many pedestrians as possible. And if a pedestrian ahead of you steps into the road, speed up, honk or yell loudly and chase him back up on the curb. Pedestrians have no rights.

Rough day at work

The businessman dragged himself home and barely made it to his chair before he dropped exhausted.

His sympathetic wife was right there with a tall cool drink and a comforting word. "My, you look tired," she said. "You must have had a hard day today. What happened to make you so exhausted?"

"It was terrible," her husband said. "The computer broke down and all of us had to do our own thinking."

Shakespeare Shopping

A woman was out shopping and her son was with her. They boy spotted a man who was bowlegged. The boy pulled on Mom's hand and said, " Momma, look at the bowlegged man." Mom was mortified and told her son that it was not polite to point to a person and make that sort of comment. For punishment, the boy had to read a play by Shakespeare. He couldn't go shopping again until he finished reading the play. Finally he finished and his mom took him out again to the mall shopping.

Once again he spied a bowlegged man, but remembered what happened the last time. So he pulled on his mother's hand and said, "Lo, what manner of man are these, who wear their balls in parentheses?"

The World According To Spock

  • All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
    (All that glitters is not gold.)
  • Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
    (Beggars cannot be choosers.)
  • Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.
    (Dead men tell no tales.)
  • Neophite's serendipity.
    (Beginner's luck.)
  • A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.
    (A rolling stone gathers no moss.)
  • Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.
    (Birds of a feather flock together.)
  • Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.
    (Beauty is only skin-deep.)
  • Freedom from incrustations of crime is proximal to rectitude.
    (Cleanliness is next to Godliness.)
  • It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lacteal fluid.
    (There's no sense crying over spilt milk.)
  • Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.
    (Spare the rod and spoil the child.)
  • The stylus is more potent than the rapier.
    (The pen is mightier than the sword.)
  • It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
    (You can't teach an old dog new tricks.)
  • Surveillance should precede saltation.
    (Look before you leap.)
  • Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minim.
    (Twinkle, twinkle, little star)
  • The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.
    (He who laughs the last, laughs the best.)
  • Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of   hedonistic diversion renders Jack a hebetudinous fellow.
    (All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.)
  • Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrious projectiles.
    (Those who live glass houses should cast no stones.)
  • Where there are visible vapors having their provenance in ignited   carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.
    (Where there is smoke, there is fire.)
  • No remittance is given for actions which are taken counter to the codified body of juris prudence.
    (Crime doesn't pay.)

Have any high-brow humor you'd like to contribute? Please drop me a line at