9 Nov

Yucky Bits V7 #22

Content-Type: text/plain Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2) From: Peter Langston <psl> Date: Sun, 9 Nov 97 20:50:00 -0800 To: Fun_People Precedence: bulk Subject: Yucky Bits V7 #22 ["Yucky," as used here, derives from "yucks" and means "funny" and should not be confused with its homonym "eeechy," derived from "eeech!" -psl] Excerpted-from: Yucks Digest Sun, 9 Nov 97 Volume 7 : Issue 22 Forwarded-by: spaf@cs.purdue.edu (Gene "Chief Yuckster" Spafford) ------------------------------ From: wsturner@sdcc17.ucsd.edu (Wilson Turner) Newsgroups: ucsd.buy+sell Subject: ANSWERS! ANSWERS! MORE ANSWERS!! END OF THE QUARTER BLOWOUT!!! The quarter is over, and we have to liquidate all '96 answers to make room for the '97s. Here is just a sample of our HUGE selection: *Short Answer* Bipedalism, increased cranial capacity. 3.14 The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle equals the sum of the squares of the remaining sides. *Identification* Moses George Washington Charles Lyell Philadelphia *Multiple Choice* A C Hurry! Our prices are insane and our supply is limited!!!! ------------------------------ [Also see <http://www.empire.net/~psl/Fun_People/1993/1993AEH.html> -psl] [UPDATE: The Fun_People archive moved in September 1998 to: <http://www.langston.com/Fun_People/> -psl] Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <bostic@bsdi.com> Forwarded-by: Andrew Partan <asp@partan.com> Forwarded-by: randy@psg.com (Randy Bush) From: Marcello Truzzi <soc_truzzi@EMUVAX.EMICH.EDU> "If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?" After a great deal of experimentation, in which I used up two loaves of Wonder Bread, a tub of Land 'O Lakes butter, and quite a few cats, I can say that the results are inconclusive. 80% of the time, the cat landed on its feet. I suspected however that this might be due to the disproportion in the cat/buttered-toast masses. Increasing the number of slices of buttered toast as well as decreasing the size of the cat seemed to bear this supposition out. The closer the relative weights of cat:buttered toast approached 1:1, the more the initial drop configuration (i.e. cat up or down) seemed to influence the landing. My conclusion was that buttered toast didn't work. My observations however inspired me to try strapping two cats back-to-back and dropping them. I discovered that if you work from a sufficient height (a second-story balcony seems to do nicely), 30% of the time (on average) one of the cats landed on its feet; however in the other 70% of the trials, the two cats landed on their sides. This confirmed my observations (of the cat+buttered toast experiments) that the assemblage was capable of *rotating under its own power as it fell*. In other words, angular momentum was being generated and this suggested that, if it could be harnessed, it might prove to be a source of (relatively) clean and cheap energy. I tested this hypothesis a few times with FOUR cats strapped to a 4-by-4 beam dropped from a height of ten meters. Unfortunately the muscular energy of just four cats proved to be insufficient to cause the mass of the beam to rotate at all. An 8-cp (eight cat-power) assemblage with a four-cat array strapped at either end of such a beam should, in theory, work; but trials have revealed that, with this many cats involved, their individual efforts to land feet-first are cancelled out because the cats don't all try to right themselves in the same direction or at the same time. Although some angular motion does occur, it is erratic at best. I intend to continue this research by experimenting with lighter, composite-material beams and also with better ways of timing and coordinating cat-effort delivery and will be getting on with it just as soon as the suspicions of the neighborhood's (former) cat-owners have been allayed and a new supply of cats is available. ------------------------------ Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <bostic@bsdi.com> Forwarded-by: Per Persson <pp@swip.net> Forwarded-by: Mats Persson <matpe@ida.liu.se> From: alberto%sole@Sun.COM (Alberto Savoia) Subject: Biographies of lesser mathematicians #1 Biographies of lesser mathematicians #1 Gerard Lepu' Gerard Lepu' was born February 31, 1889 in the small Danish town of Leipxingburger. At age 23 he was already showing considerable mathematical talent by balancing checkbooks on his nose. After graduating from primary school at age 27 he enrolled at LJC (Leipxingburger Junior College) where he managed to pull off a C- in trigonometry in his first quarter by tattoeing every trigonometric formula known to man on his left forearm. Encouraged by his early successes he took Calculus I, and failed it four times, after which he realized that the tests and quizzes given out where the same every quarter and managed to pass the seventh time with a C-. With the help of several general education courses, Lepu' graduated with an AA in Math at the tender age of 42. For the next three years Lepu' audited several courses because he was still unclear on several matters, in particular differentiation of e^x, the +- in the quadratic formula and the concept of 'area-under-a-curve'. Once reassured on the above technicalities he proceeded to compose and send out 120 resumes', forgetting to include his name and address in every single one. Eventually Lepu' managed to get a job as a mathematician for the SDD (Swiss Defense Department), his main responsibility was forecasting the need for army boots and the distribution of the various sizes. Due to a incorrect long-division, omission of a '-' sign, and a statistical sample based on his wife's and 3 year old daughter's feet, the SDD received 180,000 pairs of army boots ranging in size from a 3 to a 4. After attempting to excuse himself by blaming Poisson's distributions he was fired. Without the burden of a job Lepu' decided to use his inheritance to retire and work on mathematical problems for the rest of his life. His major contribution is Lepu's Numbers (LN) which he discovered quite accidentally while practicing the multiplication tables. Lepu's numbers are, to put it simply, numbers that are easy to for Lepu' to use. The following is a quote from Lepu's unpublished paper: "Let X, no N, be a number, any number. Then X, I mean N, is a Lepu Number (LN) if, but only if, the number is easy for me to divide into, or out-to, of." He proceeded to give numerous examples of LN, accompanied by very confused and subjective arguments. "1 is a LN because it is very easy to divide or multiply, even with a non LN. For example, 7, which I really dislike, when multiplied by 1 is still 7, which I still do not like." "2 is also a very LN number, but not as much as 1" Lepu' experienced major problems with the number 3, classifying it as a LN, only to remove it from the list again and again when he found a number that did not divide easily into it: "3 is small enough and 3/3, 6/3 and 9/3 are all pretty easy for me to do, hencefore 3 is a LN" and later "3 is a bastard because 10, which is a very nice LN, does not divide into it easily. When I attempt 10/3 I get 3.337333133393353337331 which, in my humble opinion has too many 3s in it so there must be something wrong with it" The tremendous strain that LN put on Lepu' led him to an early death at 63. The executors of his estate collected all of his notes which included several lists of LN which, with the exclusion of the numbers 1 and 2, were full of contradiction. I hope you enjoyed this mini biography. Next time Luigi Minestrone who spent the last part of his life, and several tons of paper, in an attempt to count 'countable-infinity'. ------------------------------ Forwarded-by: Fred Douglis <douglis@research.att.com> A truck driver hauling a tractor-trailer load of computers stops for a beer. As he approaches the bar he sees a big sign on the door saying: "NERDS NOT ALLOWED -- ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!" He goes in and sits down. The bartender comes over to him, sniffs, says he smells kind of nerdy, asks him what he does for a living. The truck driver says he drives a truck, and the smell is just from the computers he is hauling. The bartender says OK, truck drivers are not nerds, and serves him a beer. As he is sipping his beer, a skinny guy walks in with tape around his glasses, a pocket protector with twelve kinds of pens and pencils, and a belt at least a foot too long. The bartender, without saying a word, pulls out a shotgun and blows the guy away. The truck driver asks him why he did that. The bartender said not to worry, the nerds are overpopulating the Silicon Valley, and are in season now. You don't even need a license, he said. So the truck driver finishes his beer, gets back in his truck, and heads back onto the freeway. Suddenly he veers to avoid an accident, and the load shifts. The back door breaks open and computers spill out all over the freeway. He jumps out and sees a crowd already forming, grabbing up the computers. They are all engineers, accountants and programmers wearing the nerdiest clothes he has ever seen. He can't let them steal his whole load. So remembering what happened in the bar, he pulls out his gun and starts blasting away, felling several of them instantly. A highway patrol officer comes zooming up and jumps out of the car screaming at him to stop. The truck driver said, "What's wrong? I thought nerds were in season." "Well, sure," said the patrolman, "But you can't bait 'em." ------------------------------ Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <nev@bostic.com> Forwarded-by: Scott Patrick <transplex@pol.net> Forwarded-by: "Jim Rosenberg" <jrosenberg@usa.net> A concert featuring the Bee Gees, K.C. and the Sunshine Band and other disco stars of the '70s to mark the 20th anniversary of the seminal movie "Saturday Night Fever" was canceled Saturday when rainwater leaked into the Brooklyn nightclub where the movie had been shot. Now, is there anyboyd out there who still doesn't believe in God? ------------------------------ Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <bostic@bsdi.com> Subject: Well, *duh*! Forwarded-by: John Kunze <jak@ckm.ucsf.edu> Subject: minor fix for url-syntax-02 Forwarded-by: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU> This is from Gisle Aas <aas@bergen.sn.no>. The regular expression in Appendix B can be slightly simplified from ^(([^/?#]+):)?(//([^/?#]*))?([^?#]*)?(\?([^#]*))?(#(.*))? ^ redundant to ^(([^/?#]+):)?(//([^/?#]*))?([^?#]*)(\?([^#]*))?(#(.*))? ------------------------------

© 1997 Peter Langston