Scientific Jokes

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    Physics Exam

    Hot 3 years ago

    The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the University of Copenhagen:
    "Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper with a barometer."
    One student replied:
    "You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building."
    This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student was failed immediately. He appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case. The arbiter judged that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics. To resolve the problem it was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer which showed at least a minimal familiarity with the basic principles of more...

    The story behind this joke:... There's this nutball who digs things out his back yard and sends the stuff he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archeological finds. The really weird thing about these letters is that this guy really exists and does this in his spare time! Paleoanthropology DivisionSmithsonian Institute207 Pennsylvania AvenueWashington, DC 20078Dear Sir: Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled "211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid skull." We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents "conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago. "Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be the "Malibu more...

    A Key to Scientific Research Literature
    What is writtenTrue meaning
    "It has long been known that..."I haven't bothered to look up the reference.
    "While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions..."The experiment didn't work out, but I figured I could at least get a publication out of it.
    "The W-PO system was chosen for detailed study..."The lab next door already had some prepared.
    "Three samples were chosen for detailed study..."The results on the others didn't make sense and were ignored.
    "Accidentally strained during mounting..."Dropped on the floor.
    "Handled with extreme care throughout the experiment..."Not dropped on the floor.
    "Typical results are shown..."The best results are shown, i.e. those that fit the dogma.
    Agreement with predicted curve:"Excellent" = fair
    "Good" = poor
    "Satisfactory" = more...

    A Call for More Scientific Truth in Product Warning Labels by Susan Hewitt and Edward Subitzky from the Journal of Irreproducible Results, Vol 36, No. 1As scientists and concerned citizens, we applaud the recent trend towardslegislation that requires the prominent placing of warnings on products that present hazards to the general public. Yet we must also offer the cautionarythought that such warnings, however well-intentioned, merely scratch thesurface of what is really necessary in this important area. This is especiallytrue in light of the findings of 20th century physics.We are therefore proposing that, as responsible scientists, we join together inan intensive push for new laws that will mandate the conspicuous placementof suitably informative warnings on the packaging of every product offeredfor sale in the United States of America. Our Suggested list of requiredwarnings appears below.Warning: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.Warning: This Product Attracts Every more...

    A short while ago, someone posted the annual scientific analysis of the Santa Claus story, which can be summed as as "Santa Claus - he dead." Traumatized, I forwarded it one to my friend, Joe Beirne, who knows more about science than I do. He returned this rebuttal. As far as I can figure it, Santa lives. It is we that are an illusion.
    here's the answer:
    --- Forwarded message ---
    Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996
    From: Joe Beirne
    To: Michael Pollak
    Subject: Re: The scientific view of Santa
    Santa is probably a creature entirely existant only in the 23rd dimension. Mass, velocity and time have no measurable effect on his efforts on Christmas. As a matter of fact, true-to-legend, in his sub-atomic world it is *always* Christmas. He has essentially forever to deliver the presents, which he unfolds to 4 dimensions using some kind of gravity well (?) (He probably does not live on the North Pole per se, but on one pole of a dipole quantum singularity from whence he more...

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