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The Musicality of Words

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.” — Gary Provost

via [text] Gary Provost: “This sentence has five words.” : Frisson.

Watch the Door

A man’s wife disappears and he’s accused of killing her. At the trial, his lawyer tells the jury, “Ladies and gentlemen, I have amazing news. Not only is my client’s wife actually alive, but she’ll walk through that door in ten seconds.”

An expectant silence settles over the courtroom, but nothing happens.

“Think about that,” the lawyer says. “The fact that you were watching the door, expecting to see the missing woman, proves that you have a reasonable doubt as to whether a murder was actually committed.”

He sits down confidently, and the judge sends the jury off to deliberate. They return in ten minutes and declare the man guilty.

“Guilty?” says the lawyer. “How can that be? You were all watching the door!”

“Most of us were watching the door,” says the foreman. “But one of us was watching the defendant, and he wasn’t watching the door.”

(via Open and Shut : Jokes)

The Best Sports Trivia Question

major league sports trivia questionA friend of mine recently asked what I consider to be the best sports trivia question I’ve ever heard. It requires a broad level of knowledge and is something that can usually be figured out, but not immediately.

The question is:

Of the four major sports leagues (MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL), there are 9 teams whose team name does not end in ‘S.’ Can you name them?

Ex: the Cincinnati Bengals is not one of them because Bengals ends in ‘s.’

[Show the Answers]

A Manager, Engineer, and Programmer Get Into an Accident

There was an engineer, manager and programmer driving down a steep mountain road.

The brakes failed and the car careened down the road out of control. Half way down the driver managed to stop the car by running it against the embankment narrowing avoiding going over a cliff.

They all got out, shaken by their narrow escape from death, but otherwise unharmed.

The manager said “To fix this problem we need to organize a committee, have meetings, and through a process of continuous improvement, develop a solution.”

The engineer said “No that would take too long, and besides that method never worked before. I have my trusty pen knife here and will take apart the brake system, isolate the problem and correct it.”

The programmer said “I think you’re both wrong! I think we should all push the car back up the hill and see if it happens again.”

via Daily Jokes – A Clean Joke Everyday!.

5 Funny Engineering Jokes

A Quora user asked for some good engineering jokes. See the full thread here, but below are my favorites:

The Glass

Some people say the glass is half full.
Some people say the glass is half empty.
Engineers say the glass is twice as big as necessary.

The Human Body

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.  One said, “It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints.”

Another said, “No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many
thousands of electrical connections.”

The last said, “Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic
waste pipeline through a recreational area?”

Free Bike

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, “Where did
you get such a great bike?”

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.”

Going Golfing

A priest, an ophthalmologist, and an engineer were golfing one morning behind a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumed, “What’s with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!”

The doctor chimed in,”I don’t know, but I’ve never seen such inept golf!”

The priest said, “Here comes the greens keeper. Let’s have a word with him.”

He said, “Hello, George. What’s wrong with that group ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?”

The greens keeper replied, “Oh, yes. That’s a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we let them play for free anytime.”

The group fell silent for a moment. Then the priest said, “That’s so sad. I think I’ll say a special prayer for them.”

The ophthalmologist added, “Good idea. And maybe I could examine  them to see if there’s anything I can do for them.”

They were silent for a moment.

Then the engineer said, “Why can’t they play at night?”

Change a Lightbulb

Q. How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A. None. That’s a hardware issue.

 

Three Logicians Walk into a Bar

Three logicians walk into a bar.
The bartender asks, “would all three of you like some beer?”
The first one replies,”I dont know.”
The second one replies, “I dont know either.”
The third replies, “Yes, all three of us would like a beer.”

Remember to Put the Glass Down

This came across a friend’s Facebook feed the other day. Definitely worth thinking about.

Photo by alexsky0

Photo by alexsky0

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this class of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stress and worries in life are like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed–incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all of your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

(From)

Golf with the CEO

An excerpt from a great satirical piece on those golf outings with the big wigs. Read the full story here.

I recently got the opportunity to participate in an out-of-town golf meet arranged by a popular travel company, as part of their efforts at promoting a beautiful part of the country as a tourist destination. In my post-Corporate life, since I now do not have influence over spending a large company’s large budget and resources in favour of a particular service-provider, for valid reasons of course, such opportunities are few and far between. Being a considerate person, I considered whether it would be fair to accept the offer or not, since I may not be in a position to influence the movement of a large corporate’s large budget towards a particular vendor, for valid reasons of course. And since, like any normal self-respecting male, I don’t suffer from debilitating diseases like scruples and morality, after due reflection, I grabbed it eagerly.

The four-ball (a group of four people who play a game of golf together) groupings were decided based on handicap (indicator of competence, or incompetence in my case, in golf), as they normally are for such a motley collection of people. My four-ball included some people. I mean regular folks. Like me. And, it included the CEO of a large company, controlling revenues of over a billion dollars which, by any standard, is BIG.

I was, obviously, thrilled to be playing with the CEO of a large company. You don’t do that every other day. I was also equally apprehensive. I had to be on my best behaviour lest he put me in his proverbial “little black book” effectively ruling out future employment with a large corporation.

He apparently had the same handicap as me which is why we had been clubbed together in the same four-ball. I was surprised at first, me sharing a handicap with a CEO, but I am sure stranger things have happened. Rather than worry about the how and why of it, I figured it would make more sense to look at the positive aspects of the situation. I made a mental note to make a mention of this on my Resume as soon as I got back home, so that potential hirers would know that with a handicap like that, I could also be in the running for the next CEO role becoming available.

But back to the game. [continue]

For more corporate satire, check out Dark Office Humour.

Interview Strengths

Interviewer: What would you say your strengths are?

Buff interviewee: Arms and back.

via Overheard in the Office

The Customer is Not Right

Customer service person: I’ll be right with you, ma’am. He was first.

Female customer: No, he wasn’t.

Customer Service person: Yes, he was.

Male customer: No, I wasn’t.

Customer service person: Yes, you were.

via Overheard in the Office