Four surgeons were taking a coffee break and were discussing their work.
The first said, "I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered."
The second said, "I think librarians are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is in alphabetical order."
The third said, "I like to operate on electricians. You open them up and everything inside is color-coded."
The fourth surgeon said, "I like Engineers...they always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end..."
2. Real Engineers:
- Real Engineers consider themselves well dressed if their socks match.
- Real Engineers buy their spouses a set of matched screwdrivers for their birthday.
- Real Engineers wear mustaches or beards for "efficiency"... Not because they're lazy.
- Real engineers have a non-technical vocabulary of 800 words.
- Real Engineers think a "biting wit" is their fox terrier.
- Real Engineers know the second law of thermodynamics - but not their own shirt size.
- Real Engineers repair their own cameras, telephones, televisions, watches, and automatic transmissions.
- Real Engineers say "It's 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 degrees Celsius, and 298 degrees Kelvin" and all you say is "Isn't it a nice day"
- Real Engineers give you the feeling you're having a conversation with a dial tone or busy signal.
- Real Engineers wear badges so they don't forget who they are. Sometimes a note is attached saying "Don't offer me a ride today. I drove my own car".
- Real Engineers' politics run towards acquiring a parking space with their name on it and an office with a window.
- Real Engineers know the "ABC's of Infrared" from A to B.
- Real Engineers rotate their tires for laughs.
- Real Engineers will make four sets of drawings (with seven revisions) before making a bird bath.
- Real Engineers' briefcases contain a Phillips screwdriver, a copy of "Quantum Physics", and a half of a peanut butter sandwich.
- Real Engineers don't find the above at all funny.
3. A Boy and His Frog:
A boy was crossing a 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 will stay with you for one week." The boy took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to his pocket.
The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the boy took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.
Finally, 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 do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The boy said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."
4. How To Hunt Elephants:
4. How To Hunt Elephants:
- MATHEMATICIANS hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left.
- EXPERIENCED MATHEMATICIANS will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step 1 as a subordinate exercise.
- PROFESSORS OF MATHEMATICS will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for their graduate students.
- COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:
- Go to Africa.
- Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
- Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
- During each traverse pass:
b. Compare each animal caught to a known elephant;
c. Stop when a match is detected.
- Experienced COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate. Assembly language programmers prefer to execute Algorithm on their hands and knees.
- ENGINEERS hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.
- ECONOMISTS don't hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough, they will hunt themselves.
- STATISTICIANS hunt the 1st animal they see N times, and call it an elephant.
- CONSULTANTS don't hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at all, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those people who do. Operations Research Consultants can also measure the correlation of hat size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant-hunting strategies, if someone else will only identify the elephants.
- POLITICIANS don't hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.
- LAWYERS don't hunt elephants, but they do follow the herds around arguing about who owns the droppings. Software lawyers will claim that they own an entire herd based on the look and feel of one dropping.
- VICE PRESIDENTS of engineering, research, and development try hard to hunt elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it. When the vice president does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that all possible elephants are completely pre-hunted before the vice president gets to see them. If the vice president does see a non-prehunted elephant, the staff will :
- Compliment the vice president's keen eyesight,
- Enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.
- SENIOR MANAGERS set broad elephant-hunting policy based on the assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.
- QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTORS ignore the elephants and look for mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.
5. X Marks the Spot:
- SALESPEOPLE don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens. Software salespeople ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant. Hardware salespeople catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as "Desktop Elephants"
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.
They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.
The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is".
The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.
The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.
The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark $1 Knowing where to put it $49,999 It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.
6. The Bike:
An engineering student was walking across campus when another engineer rides up on a shiny new motorcycle.
"Where did you get such a rockin' bike?" asked the first.
The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said "Take what you want."
The second engineer nodded approvingly "Good choice, the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
7. The Guillotine:
Once upon a time there lived three men: a doctor, a chemist, and an engineer. For some reason all three offended the king and were sentenced to die on the same day.
The day of the execution arrived, and the doctor was led up to the guillotine.
As he strapped the doctor to the guillotine, the executioner asked, "Head up or head down?"
"Head up," said the doctor.
"Blindfold or no blindfold?"
So the executioner raised the axe, and z-z-z-z-ing! Down came the blade--and stopped barely an inch above the doctor's neck. Well, the law stated that if an execution didn't succeed the first time the prisoner had to be released, so the doctor was set free.
Then the chemist was led up to the guillotine.
"Head up or head down?" said the executioner.
"Blindfold or no blindfold?"
So the executioner raised his axe, and z-z-z-z-ing! Down came the blade--and stopped an inch above the chemist's neck. Well, the law stated that if the execution didn't succeed the first time the prisoner had to be released, so the chemist was set free.
Finally the engineer was led up to the guillotine.
"Head up or head down?"
"Blindfold or no blindfold?"
So the executioner raised his axe, but before he could cut the rope, the engineer yelled out:
"WAIT! I see what the problem is!"
8. Half Full or Half Empty:
To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
9. The Balloonist:
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a man below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man below replied, "You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet about the ground. You are between 40 and 42 degrees north latitude and between 58 and 60 degrees west longitude."
"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.
"I am," replied the man, "but how did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you 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 responded, "You must be a manager."
"I am," replied the balloonist, "how did you know?"
"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are exactly in the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."
10. Golfing Practicality:
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.
The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude! The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greenskeeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."
The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"
A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are all given identical rubber balls and told to find the volume. They are given anything they want to measure it, and have all the time they need.
The mathematician pulls out a measuring tape and records the circumference. He then divides by two times pi to get the radius, cubes that, multiplies by pi again, and then multiplies by four-thirds and thereby calculates the volume.
The physicist gets a bucket of water, places 1.00000 gallons of water in the bucket, drops in the ball, and measures the displacement to six significant figures.
And the engineer? He writes down the serial number of the ball, and looks it up.
12. Free Body Diagrams:
Question: What do you call rude pictures that a mechanical engineer draws and then gives away without charge?
Answer: Free bawdy diagrams
13. Equations vs. Reality:
- An engineer thinks that his equations are an approximation to reality.
- A physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations.
- A mathematician doesn't care.
14. The Ball Experiment:
A Mathematician was put in a room. The room contains a table and three metal spheres about the size of a softball. He was told to do whatever he wants with the balls and the table in one hour. After an hour, the balls are arranges in a triangle at the center of the table.
The same test is given to a Physicist. After an hour, the balls are stacked one on top of the other in the center of the table.
Finally, an Engineer was tested. After an hour, one of the balls is broken, one is missing, and he's carrying the third out in his lunchbox.
An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician, and a statistician are all staying at a hotel. In the middle of the night the engineer wakes up to find that his trashcan is on fire. He runs to the sink, fills his ice bucket with water and douses the flames. Then, just to be sure, he runs back to the sink, refills the bucket and dumps more water into the trashcan. With the fire out, he goes back to sleep.
A little while later, the trashcan in the physist's room spontaneously breaks into flame, waking the physicist. He whips out his slide rule, does some calculations, then runs to the sink, fills his bucket with exactly .75 liters of water, and douses the flames. Having put out the fire, he goes back to sleep.
A few minutes later, the mathematician wakes up to see that his trashcan is on fire. He whips out a piece of paper, scrawls out some equations, then goes back to sleep, comfortable that a solution exists.
Meanwhile, the statistician is running from room to room lighting trashcans on fire -- he needed more samples.
16. Zeno's Paradox:
In the high school gym, all the girls in the class were lined up against one wall, and all the boys against the opposite wall. Then, every ten seconds, they walked toward each other until they were half the previous distance apart. A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were asked, "When will the girls and boys meet?"
The mathematician said: "Never."
The physicist said: "In an infinite amount of time."
The engineer said: "Well... in about two minutes, they'll be close enough for all practical purposes."
17. Establishing Height:
A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer are each given $50 to measure the height of a building.
The mathematician buys a ruler and a sextant, and by determining the angle subtended by the building a certain distance away from the base, he establishes the height of the building.
The physicist buys a heavy ball and a stopwatch, climbs to the top of the building and drops the ball. By measuring the time it takes to hit the bottom, he establishes the height of the building.
The engineer puts $40 into his pocket. By slipping the doorman the other ten and asking the building's height, he establishes the height of the building.
18. Ticket Please:
Three lawyers and three engineers are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three lawyers each buy tickets and watch as the three engineers buy only a single ticket.
“How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?” asks a lawyer.
“Watch and you’ll see,” answers an engineer.
They all board the train. The lawyers take their respective seats but all three engineers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them.
Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, “Ticket, please.” The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand.
The conductor takes it and moves on.
The lawyers see this and agree that it is quite a clever idea so, after the conference, they decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money.
When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers don’t buy a ticket at all.
“How are you going to travel without a ticket?” says one perplexed lawyer.
“Watch and you’ll see,” answers an engineer.
When they board the train the three lawyers cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby.
The train departs.
Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the lawyers are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, “Ticket, please.”
19. An Engineer in Hell:
An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an engineer – You’re in the wrong place.”
Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.
One day God calls Satan up on the phone and says with a sneer,”So, how’s it going down there in hell?”
Satan replies, “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”
God replies, “What? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake – he should never have gotten down there. Send him back up.”
Satan says, “No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.”
God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue!”
Satan laughs uproariously and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?”
20. Laws Of Engineering
Law #1: The most vital dimension on any plan drawing stands the most chance of being omitted.
Law #2: Major changes in construction will always be requested after fabrication is nearly complete.
Law #3: Salespeople’s claims for performance should be multiplied by a factor of 0.25.
Law #4: The rule for engineers: “Change the data to fit the curve.”
Law #5: Identical units which test in an identical fashion will not behave in an identical fashion in the field.
Law #6: In any calculation, any error which can creep in will do so.
Law #7: If only one bid can be secured on any project, the price will be unreasonable.
Law #8: Service conditions as given on specifications will be exceeded.
Law #9: Warranty and guarantee clauses are voided by payment of the invoice.
Law #10: Any error in any calculation will be in the direction of most harm.
21. Malfunctioning Windows:
Three engineers are driving in a car; an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a software engineer. The car stops running, and they pull off onto the shoulder of the road to inspect it.
The electrical engineer suggests that they strip down the electronics of the car in an attempt to trace where a fault may have occurred.
The chemical engineer suspects that the fuel is becoming emulsified and suggests that they focus on the fuel system.
The software engineer suggests closing all the windows, getting out, getting back in, and opening all the windows again to see if that helps.
22. The Interview:
Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Department person asked the young engineer, fresh out of MIT, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"
The engineer replied, "In the neighborhood of $75,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The HR person said, "Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks of vacation, fourteen paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Corvette?"
The engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"
And, the Human Resources person said, "Of course, but you started it."
23. The Airplane Game:
A lawyer and an engineer are sitting next to each other on an airplane. The lawyer leans over to the engineer and asks if he wants to play a fun game. The engineer just wants to sleep, so he politely declines. The lawyer continues, saying that it's a real easy game. He explains, "I ask a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $5." Again, the engineer politely declines, rolls over and tries to sleep.
The lawyer persists, saying that it's a real easy game. He explains, "I ask a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $50." Again, the engineer politely declines and tries to sleep.
The lawyer, now somewhat agitated yet gleefully compelled, says, "O.K., if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5; and if I don't know the answer, I pay you $500!" That gets the engineer's attention, so he agrees to play the game.
The lawyer asks the first questions. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The engineer, knowing the distance changes over time and any answer would invoke a two hour dissertation from the lawyer as to why the answer was either not explicitly correct or generally inadmissible, doesn't say a word, and just hands the lawyer $5.
Now it's the engineer's turn. He asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down on four?" The lawyer looks at him with a puzzled statement, takes out his laptop computer, looks through all his references, calls three friends on his cell phone and after about an hour wakes the engineer and hands the engineer $500. The engineer politely takes the money, turns away, and tries to return to sleep.
The lawyer, a little miffed, asks, "Well, what's the answer to the question?" Without a word, the engineer reaches into his wallet, hands $5 to the lawyer, turns away, and returns to sleep.
24. Construction Definitions:
- Contractor - A gambler who never gets to shuffle, cut or deal!
- Bid Opening - A poker game in which the losing hand wins.
- Low Bidder - A contractor who is wondering what he/she left out.
- Engineer's Estimate - The cost of construction in Heaven.
- Project Manager - The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union.
- Critical Path Method - A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control.
- OSHA - A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine print, split hairs, red tape and baloney - usually applied at random with a shot gun.
- Strike - An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken.
- Delayed Payment - A tourniquet applied at the pockets.
- Completion Date - The point at which liquidated damages begin.
- Liquidated Damages - A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible.
25. 2 + 2:
An accountant will say "What do you want the answer to be?"
A mathematician will say "I believe it is 4, but I will have to prove it."
A statistician will say "The population is too small to give an accurate answer, but on the basis of the data supplied the answer lies between 3 and 5."
An economist will say "Based on today's thinking, the answer is 4 but the answer may be different tomorrow".
An engineer will say "The answer is 4, but adding a safety factor we will call it 5".
26. Changing a Lightbulb:
How many first year engineering students does it take to change a light bulb?
None. That's a second year subject.
How many second year engineering students does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the rest of the class copies the report.
How many third year engineering students does it take to change a light bulb?
"Will this question be in the final examination?"
How many civil engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to do it and one to steady the chandelier.
How many electrical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They simply redefine darkness as the industry standard.
How many computer engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why bother? The socket will be obsolete in six months anyway."
How many mechanical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Five. One to decide which way the bulb ought to turn, one to calculate the force required, one to design a tool with which to turn the bulb, one to design a comfortable - but functional - hand grip, and one to use all this equipment.
How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Seven. One to install the new bulb and six to figure out what to do with the old one for the next 10,000 years.
27. Time Sheets:
A promising young NASA aerospace engineer was killed in a horrific car accident and arrived in Heaven, protesting to St. Peter at the pearly gates. "St. Peter, I'm only 35. I'm much too young to die. I have a wonderful wife and family, so much to live for. Why in the world am I here?"
St. Peter looked through a huge stack of papers, looked over the top of his glasses and said, "Well, according to all of these hours on your time sheets, you've got to be at least 108."
28. The Genie:
Three men: a project manager, a software engineer, and a hardware engineer are 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 stumbled upon a lamp.
As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says "Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you each one wish."
The hardware engineer went first. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him on off to St. Thomas.
The software engineer went next. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him off to the Mediterranean.
Last, but not least, it was the project manager's turn. "And what would your wish be?" asked the genie.
"I want them both back after lunch."
29. The Six Phases of a Project:
- Search for the Guilty
- Punishment of the Innocent
- Promotion of the Uninvolved
30. And Finally...Mechanical and Civil Engineers:
Q: What’s the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?
A: Mechanical engineers build missiles. Civil engineers build targets.