Archive for the ‘fun’ category

Dewey's Classification can be funny

2008/10/13

Yes, I mean *that* dry, boring Deweys Decimal Classification used by libraries around the world.

Here is what I noticed in Ottawa Public Library:

Can you imagine two subjects so far apart from each other – and sometimes sooo close πŸ˜‰

Great way how to deal with telemarketers

2007/10/08

and similar plague (for some reason they were pretty active last few days):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un_PjRXV5l8

I wish I could pull similar stunt – but I am not really a good actor and my accent would make it hard to believe. But it is hilarious anyway (video is a recording of phone call and contains text transcription …). Enjoy.

Thanks to Peter M. for the link. I would link his blog or home page, if he had one :-).

Double negative

2007/09/03

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. “In
English,” he said, “A double negative forms a positive. In some
languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a
negative. However, there is no language wherein a double
positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

Found on the Net πŸ™‚

More programming quotes

2007/05/15

“If it works, leave it alone β€” there’s no need to understand it.
If it fails, try to fix it β€” there’s no time to understand it.”

“A one-question geek test. If you get the joke, you’re a geek:
Seen on a California license plate on a VW Beetle: ‘FEATURE‘…”
β€” Joshua D. Wachs, Natural Intelligence Inc.

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” β€” Martin Golding.

“The only problem with troubleshooting is that sometimes trouble shoots back.”

“Who is this general ‘Failure‘ and why is he reading my disk ?”

“If Python is executable pseudocode, then perl is executable line noise.”

“The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones.”

“C++: Hard to learn and built to stay that way.”

“I invented the term ‘Object-Oriented‘, and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.”
β€” Alan Kay, creator of Smalltalk

“There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don’t believe this to be a coincidence.” β€” Jeremy S. Anderson.

“It is easier to port a shell than a shell script.” β€” Larry Wall.

“Unix is user-friendly. It’s just very selective about who its friends are.”

“The number of the beast β€” vi vi vi.”

Software and cathedrals are much the same – first we build them, then we pray.

If a million monkeys were typing on computers, one of them will eventually write a Java program. The rest of them will write Perl programs.

The camel has evolved to be relatively self-sufficient. On the other hand, the camel has not evolved to smell good. Neither has Perl.Β  — Larry Wall

PHP is a minor evil perpetrated and created by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil, perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.

It’s not at all important to get it right the first time. It’s vitally important to get it right the last time.
Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. Laurence J. Peter

Quote of the day

2007/04/15

C++: an octopus made by nailing extra legs to a dog.
(Steve Taylor).

When C++ is your hammer, everything starts to look like your thumb.
(Unknown author).

I guess somebody got pretty fustrated with good ole C++ πŸ™‚

Epigrams on Programming

2007/03/07

My favorite top ten epigrams, for more see http://www.cs.yale.edu/quotes.html

0. One man’s constant is another man’s variable

1. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

2. If you have a procedure with ten parameters, you probably missed some.

3. A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing.

4. Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

5. You can’t communicate complexity, only an awareness of it.

6. Beware of the Turing tar-pit in which everything is possible but nothing of interest is easy.

7. In a 5 year period we get one superb programming language. Only we can’t control when the 5 year period will be.

8. In computing, the mean time to failure keeps getting shorter.

9. In programming, everything we do is a special case of something more general — and often we know it too quickly.

A. It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.

B. Systems have sub-systems and sub-systems have sub- systems and so on ad infinitum – which is why we’re always starting over.

C. Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught not to. So it is with great programmers.

D. To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

E. Perhaps if we wrote programs from childhood on, as adults we’d be able to read them.

F. One can only display complex information in the mind. Like seeing, movement or flow or alteration of view is more important than the static picture, no matter how lovely.

Programmer's classification

2007/03/03

Gabo sent me this link – it is some half-joke half serious knock-off of the Myers-Briggs personality classification. Same as in case of MB, it gives you four letters. Unlike in MB, the letters are different:

Instead of E/I – Extroversion or Introversion, N/S (iNtuitive / Sensing), T/F (Thinking/Feeling) and J/P (Judging/Perceiving),
it classifies you either as D/P – Doer or Planner, L/H – Low or High level programmer, S/T – Solo or Team programmer and C/B Conservative/liBeral.

Quick characteristics of the groups:

Doer (very quick at getting tasks done, focusing on outcome You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.
Planner (slower, but you’ll usually find the best solutions)

Low level (old school of programming preferring the intimate relationship with the computer and coding to bare metal)
High level (seeing the objects and components)

Solo situation (The best way to program is by yourself)
Team (believing that group is better than the sum of it’s parts)

Conservative programmer. (write short and to the point code that gets the job done efficiently.
liBeral programmer (as we are not writing on paper anymore so we can take up as much room as we need).

Now this is of course not meant as anything as serious as MB, but there are still interesting parallels: the Solo/Team preference corresponds to I/E type – introverts would prefer to program alone, extroverts in team. The L/H has in my opinion some relation with S/N – as the higher degree of detail and “down to metal” focus mash better with sensing approach, whereas more abstract concepts like objects and components seems to be closer to conceptual, large picture intuition. The D/P seems to be related to P/J: judging types will IMHO be more likely to plan and evaluate alternatives, whereas the doers will not mind react to the change as it occurs – the P treat.

What do you think ? (I really wish Connie could do this test – too bad it is heavily profession biased).

Take 10 minutes and see for yourself.

More great programming quotes

2007/02/24

It has been said that the great scientific disciplines are examples of giants standing on the shoulders of other giants. It has also been said that the software industry is an example of midgets standing on the toes of other midgets. [Alan Cooper]

And the users exclaimed with a laugh and a taunt: “It’s just what we asked for but not what we want.”

For a sucessful technology, honesty must take precedence over public relations for nature cannot be fooled. [Richard Feynman]

There’s no sense being exact about something if you don’t even know what you’re talking about.[John von Neumann]

You cannot bullshit a compiler. [Anon]

… the cost of adding a feature isn’t just the time it takes to code it. The cost also includes the addition of an obstacle to future expansion. … The trick is to pick the features that don’t fight each other.[John Carmack]

Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.[W. Edwards Deming]

You can’t communicate complexity, only an awareness of it. [Alan J Perlis]

If you don’t think carefully, you might think that programming is just typing statements in a programming language. [Ward Cunningham]

“If we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as lines produced but as lines spent.”

Evolution of the math problem or dumbing down the recent grads

2007/02/19

1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of this price. What is his profit?

1970 (Traditional)

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of this price, or in other words, $80. What is his profit?

1970 (New Math)

A logger exchanges a set L of lumber for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 100 and each element is worth a dollar. Make a square array of 100 dots to represent the elements of set M. The set C of the cost of production contains 20 fewer elements than set M. Represent set C as a subset of K and answer the following question:
What is the cardinality of set P of profits?

1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment is to underline the number 20.

1990 (Outcomes-based destreamed integrated Math)

By cutting down beautiful forest trees, an environmentally ignorant logger makes a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? In your group, use role play to determine how the forest birds and squirrels feel.

Source: http://seanm.ca:70/stuff/math-problem.txt Β 

Math is fun

2007/02/10

I’ve stumbled upon this page, full of math jokes. Many of them are IMHO really good and extremly funny (your mileage may vary, though).

My favorite few:

Two male mathematicians are in a bar. The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of math.

The first mathematician goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the second calls over the waitress. He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer one third x cubed.

She repeats “one thir — dex cue”?
He repeats “one third x cubed”.
Her: `one thir dex cuebd’? Yes, that’s right, he says. So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself, “one thir dex cuebd…”.

The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something about basic math. He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first laughingly agrees. The second man calls over the waitress and asks “what is the integral of x squared?”.
The waitress says “one third x cubed” and while walking away, turns back and says over her shoulder “plus a constant!”

and

A mathematician organizes a lottery in which the prize is an infinite amount of money. When the winning ticket is drawn, and the jubilant winner comes to claim his prize, the mathematician explains the mode of payment: “1 dollar now, 1/2 dollar next week, 1/3 dollar the week after that…”

and

A famous mathematician was to give a keynote speech at a conference. Asked for an advance summary, he said he would present a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem — but they should keep it under their hats. When he arrived, though, he spoke on a much more prosaic topic. Afterwards the conference organizers asked why he said he’d talk about the theorem and then didn’t. He replied this was his standard practice, just in case he was killed on the way to the conference.

the last one – in memory of John von Neumann:

The following problem can be solved either the easy way or the hard way.

Two trains 200 miles apart are moving toward each other; each one is going at a speed of 50 miles per hour. A fly starting on the front of one of them flies back and forth between them at a rate of 75 miles per hour. It does this until the trains collide and crush the fly to death. What is the total distance the fly has flown?

The fly actually hits each train an infinite number of times before it gets crushed, and one could solve the problem the hard way with pencil and paper by summing an infinite series of distances. The easy way is as follows: Since the trains are 200 miles apart and each train is going 50 miles an hour, it takes 2 hours for the trains to collide. Therefore the fly was flying for two hours. Since the fly was flying at a rate of 75 miles per hour, the fly must have flown 150 miles. That’s all there is to it.

When this problem was posed to John von Neumann, he immediately replied, “150 miles.”
“It is very strange,” said the poser, “but nearly everyone tries to sum the infinite series.”
“What do you mean, strange?” asked Von Neumann. “That’s how I did it!”