The Unofficial Vanderbilt Graduate
Chemical Engineer's

This page is dedicated to all ChEng students.

This page is like our homework sets....constantly under construction!

Sisyphus Understands.

The Unofficial Vandy Graduate Chemical Engineer's Web Page is always looking to improve its contents. Please forward any quotes, cartoons, diatribes, and links to the Webmaster.


The Graduate Students

Our Class Mascot

Definition of a Chemical Engineer

Top Ten Reason Why I Became a Chemical Engineer

You Might be a Chemical Engineer if...

New Quotes

Favorite Quotes

How to be a Terrible Advisor

Top 10 Lies Told by Graduate Students

Top 5 Lies told by Teaching Assistants

Graduate Student Output

Graduate Student Motivation

You Might be a Graduate Student...

Top 10 Signs You Are a Graduate Student of the New Millennium

Miscellaneous Quotes

Tips for Professors

Graduate School Truisms

New Technical Terms

Graduate Student Burnout Prevention Program

Riding a Dead Horse

Implementation of the Research Plan

More Chemical Engineering Humor

Miscellaneous Engineer Humor

Hi!! My name is Serena!

(a.k.a. the Nerd!)

These are my minions...err, fellow students...

Ernie (a.k.a. Country Bumpkin)

Jimbo (a.k.a. the Mean-Ass)

Brian (a.k.a. 'I can only spend two hours on this assignment') Babcock

Kathleen (a.k.a. 'I like my Physics friends better') Telari

Todd (a.k.a. 'I read the entire newspaper three times in Thermo') Lusk

Zhe (a.k.a. Bob) Song

Nate (a.k.a. 'I can't stay awake in class') Bruns

Fei (a.k.a. 'Why the hell does everyone but me sit at my desk') Bien

Click here to see our Mascot

Definition of a Chemical Engineer

CHEMICAL ENGINEER: n. A person who does for profit what a chemist does for fun. See also "Prostitution"

Q: What is the difference between a chemist and a chemical engineer?
A: Oh, about $20 K per year.

Top Ten Reason Why I Became a Chemical Engineer*

*Vanderbilt University

10. Everyone needs a new concept of Hell.
9. I figured a gun to the head was too painless.
8. Arts and Science majors need to work for someone.
7. I could easily justify flunking out.
6. I volunteered for a sleep deprivation experiment.
5. I didn't need a social life anyways.
4. I wanted to leave the world more complicated than I found it.
3. I couldn't get into the plumber's union.
2. I thought fugacity was an Irish liquor.
And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. Masochism, masochism, masochism...

Top 10 Reasons to be a Chemical Engineer*

*Penn State University

10. To take open book, open note exams and still fail.
9. Extensive experimentation with lubrication and low friction fluids.
8. You can celebrate one more holiday than the rest of society: Fall Daylight Savings.
7. ChE's know how to get 30 feet of net positive suction head.
6. The only major where taking an exam drunk does not adversely affect your grade.
5. You consider getting more than 3 ?6 hours sleep an inefficient use of time.
4. I thought fugacity was an Irish liquor...and I still do.
3. We found that the best catalyst for packed-bed reactions is ethanol.
2. Because Hell was full.
And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. What else is there?usiness?!?!

Top 10 Reasons to be a Chemical Engineer*

*Top 10 adopted from the back of 2001-2002 UCLA Engineering T-Shirt
(with English corrected)

10. Pre-med is too easy.
9. I mistook heat transfer as a sun-bathing class.
8. I thought plant design was a botany course.
7. ChEng's do more after midnight than most people do all day.
6. I misread simulation as stimulation.
5. ChEngís react better in packed beds.
4. I wanted to become a sleep deprivation expert in the six-unit engineering labs.
3. This kind of pressure turns coal into diamonds.
2. I want to learn how to use all those buttons on my calculator.
And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. Who needs electives anyway?

Top 10 Reasons to be a Chemical Engineer*

*Top 10 adopted from the back of 2002-2003 UCLA Engineering T-Shirt

10. I wanted to take open book, open notes exams...and still fail.
9. The world does not revolve around us...we choose the coordinate system.
8. Because this kind of pressure changes coal into diamonds.
7. Pre-med was too easy.
6. The only major where taking an exam drunk does not adversely affect your grade.
5. You consider getting more than 3 to 6 hours of sleep to be an inefficient use of time.
4. We specialize in experimentation.
3. I thought fugacity was an Irish liquor...and I still do.
2. We found that the best catalyst for packed-beds is ethanol.
And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. Because Hell was full.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Chemical Engineer*

*Christian Brothers University

10. Business is too HARD!
9. It's Easy, Easy, EASY!
8. Who else is going to distill EtOH?
7. Undergraduate ChEngís make more than PhD's of most majors.
6. I thought Fugacity was an Irish Liquor ....... and still do.
5. ChEngís know how to get 30 feet of net positive suction head.
4. You know there is a 101 uses for duct tape in the lab.
3. ChEng's do it in packed beds.
2. You will spend all your breaks in "Aspen.?br> And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. What other job allow you to buy strippers in the workplace?

Top 10 Reasons to be a Chemical Engineer*


10. I always wanted to spend 5 years without seeing the sun.
9. I find the healthy glow of a computer monitor tan to be extremely sexy.
8. Who else is going to make EtOH?
7. Undergraduate ChEng's make more than Ph.D.'s of most other majors.
6. I thought fugacity was an Irish Liquor...and still do.
5. ChEng's know how to get 30 feet of net positive suction head.
4. Hell was full!
3. ChEng's do it in packed beds.
2. The unstable thermodynamic adventures of Auburn's favorite cowboy, Dr. Maples.
And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. What other job allows you to buy strippers in the workplace?

Top 10 Reasons I Became a Chemical Engineer*

(other than money, money, money!)
*From a Florida Tech AIChE Shirt

10. Those marks left on your face after wearing goggles for four hours are so becoming.
9. Always wanted to design my own still.
8. I wanted to learn how to use one letter to mean ten things.
7. Didn't have a social life anyway.
6. Wanted to be able to read food labels.
5. Philosophically speaking, "I design reactors, therefore I am."
4. The Perry's Handbook makes a great doorstop.
3. Someone has to save the world.
2. Fluidized bed......sounded kinky.
And the Number One reason to be a Chemical Engineer...
1. I wanted to take a class involving heat, pumping and head.

You Might Be a Chemical Engineer if:

  • You have a favorite pump manufacturer.
  • You can quote scenes from any Monty Python movie.
  • You can size distillation columns in your head, but need a pencil and paper to figure the tip on a $45 restaurant bill... and think that spending $45 for dinner is exorbitant.
  • You see a good design and still have to change it.
  • You can remember 7 computer passwords but not your anniversary.
  • You know who invented Jell-O.
  • The microphone or visual aids at a meeting don't work and you rush up to the front to fix it.
  • You've modified your can-opener to be microprocessor driven.
  • You think "cuddling" is simply an unproductive application of heat exchange.
  • You've actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.
  • You've ever described your spouse in terms of MTBF (mean time between failure).
  • You can name 6 Star Trek episodes.
  • You've ever considered installing a scrubber on your chimney.
  • The only jokes you receive are through e-mail.
  • Your idea of good interpersonal communication means getting the decimal point in the right place.
  • You automatically associate the words "sexy," "beautiful" and "new butterfly valve."
  • You look forward to Christmas only to put together the kids' toys.
  • You've used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.
  • Your ideal evening consists of fast-forwarding through the latest sci-fi movie looking for technical inaccuracies.
  • You have any of the following personalized items:
    • Hard hat.
    • Safety goggles.
    • Calculator case.
    • Slide rule.
  • You have "Dilbert" comics displayed anywhere in your work area.
  • You carry on a one-hour debate over the expected results of a test that actually takes five minutes to run.
  • You know the direction the water swirls when you flush.
  • You've ever taken the back off your TV just to see what's inside.
  • A team of you and your co-workers have set out to modify the antenna on the radio in your work area for better reception.
  • You thought the concoction ET used to phone home was stupid.
  • You cannot write unless the paper has both horizontal and vertical lines.
  • You think the value of a book is directly proportionate to the amount of tables, charts and graphs it contains.
  • You once burned down the gymnasium with your Science Fair project.
  • You think you look rather snappy in a tie and short-sleeve shirt.
  • You'd really like to have a T-shirt that says "Chemical Engineers Do It In Fluidized Beds."
  • You've ever introduced your kids by the wrong name.
  • You have a habit of destroying things in order to see how they work.
  • People hound you for pocket protectors at Halloween time.
  • You think that when people around you yawn, its because they didn't get enough sleep.
  • Your spouse hasn't the foggiest idea what you do at work.
  • Your three-year-old son asks why the sky is blue and you try to explain atmospheric absorption theory.
  • You and a buddy spend two work days customizing each engineer's phone ring so that you can tell them apart from anywhere--using cut-up lids from snuff cans and scotch tape. (Ngener)
  • You refer to your children as your "pilot units." (M.J. Potter)
  • Your work clothes are almost as old as you are... and so is your car. (M.J. Potter)
  • You think of the Carnot cycle every time you turn on your AC unit. (Steve)
  • When you look at objects in the distance and think of mean free path. (Steve)
  • You explain surface tension to your 10 year old when they ask why you are adding oil to boiling spaghetti. (Steve)
  • You have a clock with inverted numbers that runs counter-clock wise in your office and you prefer it that way. (Steve)
  • You make your own shampoo! (Steve)
  • You pick your girlfriends by their GPA. (Steve)
  • You refer to your wife as (L. Stookey)
  • You have ever thought about how coffee changes color in the body. (R. Shackelford)
  • You read this page for the first time on a Saturday night. (C.T. Lard)
  • You try to explain entropy to strangers at your table during casual dinner conversation. (B. Eldredge)
  • You actually use FORTRAN... and LIKE it (J. Ramont)
  • You have a psychometric chart from a major HVAC vendor hanging above your mantel. (J. Ramont)
  • You refer to instruction manuals as "correction" manuals. (J.H. Cox)

Why I Am A Chemical Engineer

I am a chemical engineer because when I was young I was told to look around and see who had the kind of life I wanted to have.?Then go do the same work

What I found was that chemical engineers are generally much better looking than average.?They test out smarter and have more friends.

I heard about some guys from a university who studied chemical engineers in a bar.?They found that chemical engineers get approached and generally get lucky about 43 times as often as most folks.

Chemical engineers win more at cards, catch more fish and are beloved by kids and dogs.?They can work their VCR and set the clock on the microwave. Their kids are brighter, their lawns are greener and their cars run better.?Their daughters are prettier and their sons are better athletes.?Their spouses are sweeter and their mothers-in -law hardly visit at all.

Chemical engineers do things like save lives and generally make a better world.

Anyway, I looked around and it seemed to me that chemical engineers were clearly superior folk and I would be proud to be one.?That is why I am a chemical engineer.?(That and all the good jobs were taken.)

(original by Tom Walz)

New Quotes:

  • One of the most frequent questions that I am asked is "How do chemists compare as scientists vs. chemical engineers?" ?

    In my experience, ChEng's like to come up with complex models that yield long equations.?They then proceed to plug in typical values for this, that, and the other, and end up with something that still has no analytical solution.?Not forgetting that if you can't make a equation work, one can always add/multiply by dimensionless number, or put a number to a 'funny' power 2/3rds or 3/4, et, to get an answer....They use the equation to make a graph, and are pleased with themselves for doing something useful.?They are thus engineers.? Scientists, on the other hand, seek out things that are simple, elegant, beautiful, and useless... truth being more important than usefulness. ?

    Chem E's are high tech plumbers - they move and make all the nasty things the chemists come up with from point A to B (economically and without killing the neighborhood).?That makes all the wonderful chemicals they deal with affordable and useful. Plus, ChEng's make the big bucks!


  • The second most frequent question that I am asked is "What is the difference between a BS in chemistry and a BS in chemical engineering?" ?

    I tell them "Oh, about $20,000 and the ability to find a job." ?

  • Overheard on the first floor of Olin Hall: The weekly graduate student seminar had just concluded and all of the graduate students were heading back to their labs.

    "Back to Hell." Anonymous graduate student referring to his lab

    "This isn't Hell, Hell is eternal. Here you will eventually run out of funding..."Fellow anonymous graduate student 2

  • "The pizza he bought us (after the test) did not make up for the cruelty of the test." Anonymous graduate student referring to Transport Phenomena test

  • "You know everything because you are the T.A." Anonymous Undergraduate

  • "I don't know anything, I'm so stupid!" T.A.'s response to the anonymous undergraduate's statement

  • "I find that things don't get any better in the real world...unless you are a sadist and want to teach at a university. About the only thing that improves is your tolerance for ignorance, injustice and stupidity." Anonymous e-mail

  • "You have 75 minutes (to take the test). I expect you to waste a little bit of time!" Anonymous Math Professor

  • "You all are letting me write crap on the board today!" Anonymous Math Professor

  • Ernie speaks about the importance of Transport Phenomena.

    • Todd: "Why is transport phenomena important?"

    • Ernie: "Imagine the awe you will inspire in your four-year old when you explain to him, with just a few partial differential equations employing less than eight Greek letters, why water comes out of a faucet in drops when the flow is slow, and in a stream when it comes faster."

  • "You can make a zero on this test and still be in the running for an A!" Anonymous Math Professor

  • "Weird Al is the Pope of the Geeks!" Coach (after losing two softball players going to see Weird Al concert instead of playing in a softball tournament.)

  • "C'mon man, don't be Neanderthal. There, I hope you ass feels freshly kissed." Coach

  • "Hey grandpa, get your ass over the fence! All of you damn city boys kill me! Let me show you how a country boy does it!" his hand hangs on the sharp pointy things on top of the fence (resulting in a late night trip to the emergency room for stitches to stop the profuse bleeding and a tetanus shot.) What a girlie-man! A real sissy-boy! ROFLMAO

    Click here to see a picture!!

  • "I can't believe I opened my big mouth...." Ernie (after the fence incident)

  • "I may have looked like a horse's ass after I opened my mouth and then ripped my damn hand off, but if that had happened to one of you city boys--they would have been forced to call Vanderbilt Life Flight. CANDYASSES!!!!!!!!!! Who da man? --- I'm da man. No fear--NO PAIN." Ernie (after his visit to the emergency room.)

  • "He had the same concentration of asshole, but he was twice as big." (reference to a Physical Chemistry professor) Anonymous graduate student

  • "Exams are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer." C.C. Colton (quote is referring to departmental qualifying examination)

  • "Don't work too hard, its not worth it." Anonymous graduate student

  • "I'm wearing my 'ass-kicking' shoes today!" (Graduate student stating that he will use a piece of high-demand equipment today) Anonymous graduate student

  • "At least you try to make an effort to work the problems before you ask your stupid questions. That's a compliment!" Anonymous graduate student

  • "I screwed up royally....seriously. Hang on, I'm an idiot." Anonymous professor

  • "Only four people in Dr. Tanner's class has to make for a lot of awkward silence." Anonymous graduate student

  • "This problem will cause you some angst." Anonymous professor giving advance warning to graduate students about another homework problem from Hell

  • "Having Transport and a seminar scheduled back-to-back is cruel and unusual punishment." Anonymous graduate student

  • "Serena is Professor LeVan's pet student." Anonymous graduate student

  • "We don't want the hick to take the prospective grad students out--that would be a bad impression on this prestigious university." Anonymous graduate student

  • "It's a cute problem." Anonymous professor referring to a homework problem from Hell

  • "I don't talk about you Ernie, except for the hick comments." Serena

  • "My back has been hurting a lot lately. I think its from carrying you in Transport." Serena to an anonymous graduate student

  • "Transport makes me happy but it doesn't make me giggle!" Serena

  • "It's nothing more than a transport phenomena." Anonymous graduate student

  • "I just wanna kick this kid's a**! (for turning in late and poorly done homework) Anonymous frustrated TA

  • "I love Laplace transforms! They're fun! (and neat too!)" Anonymous nerd (Graduate student)

  • "You're such a dork!" Anonymous graduate student to Ernie, Jim, etc.

  • "You should have no trouble with some of the details (referring to homework problem)." Anonymous professor

  • "You really don't have to know what it is (to solve your homework problem). You know enough to solve it." Anonymous professor

  • "This is not complicated!" Anonymous professor referring to a derivation from Hell

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • "It's soooo easy!! All you have to do is multiply it by the surface area and stick it into the flux equation. It's only two pages writing REALLY big." Anonymous professor (only took eight pages writing really small)

  • "It won't take you no time to do your homework!" Anonymous professor

  • "I'd rather castrate myself than go back! (to that horrible room in Jacobs.)" Graduate student referring to a Management of Technology class

  • "What the hell are they teaching these undergraduates these days?" Anonymous faculty member

  • "I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame it on you." Anonymous professor

  • "I don't know much but I know I don't want to do that!" Graduate student referring to a particular research project

  • "Time flies when you don't know what you are doing!" Anonymous graduate student

  • "Just play with it!" Anonymous professor

How to be Terrible Thesis Advisor

  • Assign students' thesis topics based on the section headings in your grant proposal or in the flowchart of your master plan.

  • When someone brings up a research paper, tell anecdotes about the author, his advisor, and his colleagues. This will impress students that who you know are more important than what you do.

  • When laying out the laboratory, give first priority to minimizing the cost of cables and tubing, last priority to a good workplace for students, and no priority to fostering interaction among students.

  • Read your students' paper at most once.

  • When honest differences of opinion arise, paper them over with words. For example, say "Well, we could talk about this forever, but I think we're all working towards the same basic idea. Let's call it a neologistic/noetic knowledge representation. Now let's move on."

  • Regarding other schools of thought, make sure students know just enough to be able to point out the "fatal flaws" in each, and so can be good foot soldiers in the crusade for your own approach. A useful phrase is "Why do you want to waste your time reading that?"

  • Never visit the laboratory; learn about students' work only from what they tell you.

  • Define your research aims with catch phrases ("dynamic X," "emergent Y," "the Z problems," etc.).

  • Have students handle computer systems administration, and let them think it counts as research.

  • Mumble.

  • Assign older students to guide the younger ones.

  • Involve students in decision-making for unimportant things. For example, you can easily while away an hour of seminar deciding who should be discussion leader for what chapter of the reading.

  • Share you most trivial thought with your students. Better yet, bring them up as seminar discussion topics ("In the shower this morning, it stuck me that white space is really important. Let's think about white space from an Chemical Engineering perspective").

  • Avoid conflicts with your students; in particular, don't be too demanding.

  • If a student reveals that he is confused about what counts as meaningful research, ridicule him.

  • Take no interest in what courses your students are taking.

  • Pick up ideas from going to conferences, then bring them up in seminar without explaining from whom you got them or explaining the context in which they arose.

    Central three-pin replica watches uk, used to indicate the replica watches timing of the silver pointer and deep disk color to form a replica watches sale sharp and dazzling contrast effect, so clear and intuitive time indication, while giving the rolex replica wrist a sense of quality.

  • Plan for group research seminars to last at least two hours.

  • Avoid meeting with students individually; do all advising out in public, e.g., at seminars.

  • Never go near the laboratory in the evening or on weekends.

  • Always come unprepared for group seminars; you're smart enough to fake it.

  • Never program computer code yourself. After all, you went through that once, and now you're an ideas man.

  • Let your students see you rushing to meet deadlines.

  • Avoid critical discussions of research strategy. A useful phrase is "We do it this way. Why? Because I'm the professor and you're the student."

  • Expect nothing much from your students... and subtly let them know this.

  • Give all your students the same research topic, but with slightly different names. If this is the same topic as your own dissertation topic, all the better.

  • Let your students see your grant proposals and learn the art of doublethink.

  • Enforce disciplinary boundaries. For example, say "That sounds like the sort of thing that people in chemistry work on, so let's leave that topic alone" or " Why do you want to worry about that? That's a chemistry issue".

  • Never suggest your students contact other professors or other researchers.

  • Let your students submit articles to third-rate journals.

  • If your student's work is not giving the results expected, belittle him.

  • Encourage your students to work on fashionable problems.

  • State your opinions loudly and frequently, so your students know what to write in their theses.

The Top Ten Lies Told by Graduate Students.

10. It doesn't bother me at all that my college roommate is making $80,000 a year on Wall Street.

9. I'd be delighted to proofread your book/chapter/article.

8. My work has a lot of practical importance.

7. I would never date an undergraduate.

6. Your latest article was so inspiring.

5. I turned down a lot of great job offers to come here.

4. I just have one more book to read and then I'll start writing.

3. The department is giving me so much support.

2. My job prospects look really good.

1. No really, I'll be out of here in only two more years.

Top Five Lies Told by Teaching Assistants:

5. I'm not going to grant any extensions.

4. Call me anytime. I'm always available.

3. It doesn't matter what I think; write what you believe.

2. Think of the midterm as a diagnostic tool.

1. My other section is much better prepared than you guys.

Graduate Student Output

Graduate Student Motivation

You Might be a Graduate Student if...

  • you can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.

  • your office is better decorated than your apartment.

  • you have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the internet.

  • you are startled to meet people who neither need or want to read.

  • you have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar.

  • you rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.

  • everything reminds you of something in your discipline.

  • you have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event.

  • you have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper.

  • there is a piece of equipment in the lab or microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours."

  • you actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche.

  • you can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library.

  • you look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes.

  • you regard Ibuprofen as a vitamin.

  • you consider all papers to be works in progress.

  • professors don't really care when you turn in work anymore.

  • you find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text.

  • you have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area.

  • you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.

  • you find yourself explaining to your children that you are in the "20th grade."

  • you start referring to stories like "Snow White et al."

  • you often wonder how long your can live on pasta without getting scurvy.

  • you look forward to taking some time off to do laundry.

  • you have more photocopy cards than credit cards.

  • you wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication."

    Top 10 Signs You Are a Graduate Student of the New Millennium

    10. You lecture the neighborhood kids selling lemonade on ways to improve their processes.

    9. You get all excited when it's Saturday so you can sleep late and get to the lab by 9:00 a.m.

    8. You find you really need PowerPoint to explain what you do to your friends.

    7. You normally eat from the four major food groups each day: caffeine, sugar, salt, and grease.

    6. You think that "progressing a research plan" and "calendarizing a project" are acceptable English phrases.

    5. You know the pizza delivery boy better than you know your next door neighbor.

    4. You're no longer capable of putting on a briefing without a computerized slide presentation.

    3. You ask your friends to "think out of the box" when making Friday night plans.

    2. You think Einstein would have been more effective had he put his ideas into a matrix.

    And, the number one sign you are a graduate student of the new millennium...

    1. You think a "half-day" means leaving at 5 o'clock.

    Miscellaneous Quotes

  • "Alcohol & calculus don't mix. Never drink & derive." Professor to his research assistant

  • "What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter." Professor to his research assistant

  • "This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it." Anonymous professor.

  • "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule." Anonymous professor.

  • "No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them." Anonymous professor.

  • "My thesis advisor spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page proposal that only needed corrections. He claimed the disk I gave him was damaged and he couldn't edit it. The disk I gave him was write-protected." Anonymous graduate student

  • "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." Anonymous professor.

  • "We know that communication is a problem, but the department is not going to discuss it with the grad students." Anonymous professor.

  • One day my advisor asked me to submit a status report to him concerning the project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!"

  • "Hope is not a course of action... we lived by it!" Anonymous graduate student

  • "Talking about a Chemical Engineering course that is hard is like talking about a leper that is sick." Anonymous graduate student

  • "I'll know what I want when I see it!" Anonymous research advisor

  • Quote from an advisor after overriding the decision of a graduate student tasked to find a solution: "I'm sorry if I ever gave you the impression your input would have any effect on my decision for the outcome of this project!"

  • "The facts are meaningless. Just make the graphics look right!" Anonymous professor

  • "We are going to continue having these meetings everyday until I find out why no work is getting done." Dean's office

  • "The beatings will continue until morale improves." Dean's Office

  • "We passed over a lot of good people to get the ones we hired." Anonymous faculty member

  • "The Dean frequently gets lost in thought. That's because it's unfamiliar territory." Anonymous faculty member

  • The Dean said to me, "What you see as a glass ceiling, I see as a protective barrier." Anonymous faculty member

  • "The Dean needs a surge protector. That way his mouth would be buffered from surprise spikes in his brain." Anonymous faculty member

  • "Graduate students are flexible." Anonymous graduate student

  • "Graduate students must be more than flexible. Graduate students must be fluid." Anonymous advisor

  • "Fluid is way tooo stiff...graduate students must be gaseous!" Anonymous graduate student

  • "I thought my Professor was a bastard and I quit school to work for myself. My new Boss is a bastard too, but at least I respect him." Anonymous graduate student

  • "He's given automobile accident victims new hope for recovery. He walks, talks and performs rudimentary tasks, all without the benefit of a SPINE." Anonymous faculty member

  • "I see you've had no computer training. Although that qualifies you for a position on the Dean's staff, it means you're under-qualified for our graduate program." Director of Graduate Studies to potential graduate student

    Tips For Professors

    1. Don't follow the syllabus and never give us homework/projects in the beginning of the semester. Always wait until the end of the semester and then give them to us. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.

    2. If it's really a "rush job" getting the research proposal out, run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it's going. That helps. Or even better, hover behind me, advising me at every keystroke.

    3. Always leave without telling anyone where you're going. It gives me a chance to be creative when I go looking for you or when someone asks where you are.

    4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books, or supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn to function as a paraplegic and opening doors with no arms is good training.

    5. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. I am psychic.

    6. Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office/lab and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.

    7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out, it could mean an increase in self esteem.

    8. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversations. I was born to be whipped.

    9. If you have special instructions for my research project, don't write them down. In fact, save them until the project is almost done. No use confusing me with useful information.

    10. Never introduce me to the people you're with. I have no right to know anything. In the academic food chain, I am plankton. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.

    11. Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and it's nice to know someone is less fortunate. I especially like the story about having to pay so much tax on the new Mercedes Benz.

    12. Wait until my dissertation defense and THEN tell me what my goals SHOULD have been. I'm not here for the money anyway.

    Graduate School Truisms

    1. It's too bad that stupidity is not painful.

    2. Indecision is the key to flexibility.

    3. You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

    4. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.

    5. Happiness is merely the remission of pain.

    6. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

    7. Sometimes too much to drink is not enough.

    8. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.

    9. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.

    10. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the academic world.

    11. Things are more like they are today than they ever were before.

    12. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.

    13. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

    14. Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

    15. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

    16. Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.

    17. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

    18. All things being equal, fat people use more soap.

    19. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

    20. One seventh of your life is spent on Monday.

    21. Every time you make ends meet, they move the ends.

    22. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

    23. The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.

    24. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

    25. This is as bad as it can get, but don't count on it.

    26. Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

    27. The trouble with life is, you're halfway through it before you realize it's a do-it-yourself thing.

    28. A day without sunshine is like, night.

    29. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

    30. When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

    31. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

    32. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

    33. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

    34. The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

    35. Support bacteria-they're the only culture some people have.

    36. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane, going the wrong way.

    37. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

    38. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

    39. He who hesitates is probably right.

    40. No one is listening until you make a mistake.

    41. Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.

    42. The hardness of the head is directly proportional to the rank of the individual.

    43. The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the ability to reach it.

    44. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

    45. To succeed in academia, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.

    46. You never really learn to swear until you have worked as a graduate student.

    47. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

    48. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

    49. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

    50. Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.

    51. Always try to be modest. And be proud of it!

    52. If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of deadlines.

    53. Everybody repeat after me... "We are all individuals."

    54. Borrow money from pessimists-they don't expect it back.

    55. Half the people you know are below average.

    56. 99 percent of engineers give the rest a bad name.

    57. When the advisors talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.

    58. A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.

    59. It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you're going to do.

    60. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't move on to get a good paying job.

    61. Anyone can do any amount of work provided he/she is the one who doesn't have to do it.

    62. The more crap you put up with, the more crap you're going to get.

    63. You are always doing something marginal when your advisor drops by your desk.

    64. You can brief anything you want if you look serious and carry a laser pointer.

    65. Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning before going to lab/work and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

    66. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a fool about it.

    67. There will always be beer cans rolling on the floor of your car when your advisor asks for a ride home from the office.

    68. Keep your advisor's boss off your advisor's back.

    69. Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous."

    70. Never delay the ending of a meeting or briefing.

    71. Thesis and dissertations that contain no errors will develop errors during reproduction.

    72. If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

    73. People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.

    74. If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

    75. At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the work that person does.

    76. When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

    77. Following the rules will not get the job done.

    78. Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.

    79. When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily be reducing it to the question, "How would the Prausnitz handle this?"

    80. No matter how much you do, you never do enough.

    81. The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

    82. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

    New Technical Terms

    New terms are developed everyday in academia. These new terms put things in their proper perspective. Most are eloquent and protect you in today's PC environment. Some are more apropos than others. Here are a few that are relevant today....

    ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and promotability by kissing up to their professors. This process can be observed first-hand whenever graduate students are near their advisors.

    BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around the office discussing why a deadline was missed or why an experiment failed and who was responsible. Typical activity among research groups...

    SEAGULL PROFESSOR: A professor who swoops in, makes a lot of noise, and shits all over everything.

    SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream (i.e., working in the lab) only to get screwed and die in the end.

    CHAINSAW MET: A team brought in from the Dean's Office to reduce your manpower authorizations and budget, leaving the organization leadership with clean hands.

    CRM - Career Restricting Move: Used among graduate students to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing your advisor's guidance while your advisor is within earshot or discussing employment/pay scales is a serious CRM.

    ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the Chemical Engineering Department. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are generally profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

    DILBERTED: To be exploited and oppressed by your advisor/professor. A common event for most students in most organizations. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. My advisor changed my research topic for the fourth time this month."

    FLIGHT RISK: Used to describe graduate student who are suspected of planning to quit their studies to go work in the real world.

    404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located. "Don't bother asking Professor X... he's 404, man."

    GENERICA: Features of any lab that are exactly the same no matter which department one is at. Used as in "We were so lost in generica that I forgot what building we were in."

    OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time after hitting the "enter" key in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

    PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of a $150,000 HPLC or GC to get it to work again.

    TECHNIQUE: A noun, used in the phrase, "That's a technique." Translated, "That's a really screwed up way to conduct research and you will probably kill yourself and everybody else in the lab. But if you want to do it that way, go ahead." Term is usually used by your professor when you brief your research plan for the first time.

    HANG OUT: To establish a room characterized by a total lack of work, students asleep on the couch and a huge BBQ pit turning out chow. A task usually accomplished by graduate students playing Hearts during lunch.

    BELLS AND WHISTLES: An inordinate amount of cheese, not required to get necessary information communicated to another individual or group of individuals. Typical at most thesis and dissertation presentations.

    GUCCI MOVE: Altering your advisor's intent, guidance, or violating the fundamentals of research or lab operations.

    JUMP BACK OFF YOUR BAD SELF: The correct response to anybody pulling a "Gucci Move."

    BEFUCKLED: Confused, characterized by a state of genuine, profound disorientation; perpetual state of all graduate students.

    GET UP AND HAUL ASS: A technique that requires a graduate student and/or professor to meet a publication date... yesterday.

    KABUKI DANCE: Deceptive briefing technique and/or creative verbiage used in explanations designed to baffle a PhD committee as well as perplex department faculty on what the true purpose of your research really is. Most common among PhD candidates.

    Graduate Student Burnout Prevention Program
    (Graduate Student versus Advisor)


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Listen to the wisdom of your body. Begin to freely admit the stresses and pressures which you have manifested physically, mentally, or emotionally. Meditate even more frequently.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Work until the physical pain forces you into unconsciousness, then, you can't hear your body.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Don't do everything alone! Develop or renew intimacies with friends and loved ones. Closeness not only brings new insights, but also is anathema to agitation and depression.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Shut your office/lab door and lock it from the inside so no one will distract you. They're just trying to hurt your productivity.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: If your job, your relationship, a situation, or a person is dragging you under, try to alter your circumstance, or if necessary, leave.

    ADVISOR VIEW: If you feel something is dragging you down, suppress these thoughts. This is a weakness. Drink more coffee.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Pinpoint those areas or aspects which summon up the most concentrated intensity and work toward alleviating that pressure.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Increase intensity. Maximum intensity means maximum productivity. If you find yourself relaxed and with your mind wandering, you are probably having a detrimental effect on your productivity rate.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: If you routinely take on other people's problems and responsibilities, learn to gracefully disengage. Try to get some nurturing for yourself.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Always attempt to do everything. You ARE responsible for it all. Perhaps you haven't thoroughly read the fine details of your financial support agreement.

    6. LEARN TO SAY "NO."

    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: You'll help diminish intensity by speaking up for yourself. This means refusing additional requests or demands on your time or emotions.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Never say no to anything. It shows weakness. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do at midnight.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Learn to delegate, not only at work, but also at home and with friends. In this case, detachment means rescuing yourself for yourself.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Delegating is a sign of weakness. If you want it done right, do it yourself (see #5).


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Try to sort out the meaningful values from the temporary and fleeting, the essential from the nonessential. You'll conserve energy and time, and begin to feel more centered.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Stop thinking about your own problems. This is selfish. If your values change, we will make an announcement. Until then, if someone calls you and questions your priorities, tell them that you are unable to comment on this and give them the number to Dominoes. It will be taken care of.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Try to take life in moderation. You only have so much energy available. Ascertain what is wanted and needed in your life, then begin to balance work with love, pleasure, and relaxation.

    ADVISOR VIEW: A balanced life is a myth perpetuated by liberal arts schools. Don't be a fool: the only thing that matters is work and productivity.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Don't skip meals, abuse yourself with rigid diets, disregard your need for sleep, or break the doctor appointments. Take care of yourself nutritionally.

    ADVISOR VIEW: Your body serves your mind, your mind serves the Institute. Push the mind and the body will follow.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Try to keep superstitious worrying to a minimum - it changes nothing. You'll have a better grip on your situation if you spend less time worrying and more time taking care of your real needs. If necessary, listen to more Barry Manilow!

    ADVISOR VIEW: If you're not worrying about work, you must not be very committed to it. We'll find someone who is.


    GRADUATE STUDENT VIEW: Begin to bring job and happy moments into your life. Very few people suffer burnout when they're having fun.

    ADVISOR VIEW: So, you think your work is funny? We'll discuss this on Friday at 6:00 p.m.!

    Riding a Dead Horse

    Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. In academia, however, it seems that we often try other strategies with dead horses (a.k.a. research projects, tenured faculty, etc.), including the following:

    • Buying a stronger whip.

    • Changing riders.

    • Saying things like "This is the way we always have ridden this horse."

    • Appointing a committee to study the horse.

    • Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

    • Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.

    • Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.

    • Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.

    • Comparing the state of dead horses in today's environment.

    • Change the requirements declaring that "This horse is not dead."

    • Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.

    • Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.

    • Declaring that "No horse is too dead to beat."

    • Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.

    • Do a cost analysis study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.

    • Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.

    • Declare the horse is "better, faster and cheaper" dead.

    • Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.

    • Revisit the performance requirements for horses.

    • Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.

    • Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

    Implementation of the Research Plan... or How Shit Happens

    In the beginning, there was an idea.

    And then came the assumptions.

    And the assumptions were without form.

    And the idea was completely without substance.

    The graduate students told the Professor: "It's a crock of shit and it stinks!"

    The Professor then told his Colleagues: "It's a pail of dung and none may abide by the odor."

    His Colleagues then told the Dean of Research: "It's a container of excrement and it is very strong such that none may smell it."

    The Dean of Research then told the Professor: "It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide by its strength. It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."

    The Professor wrote a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation: "It promotes growth and it is very powerful. It will promote efficiency in the system and a victory for fundamental research."

    And the National Science Foundation reviewed the idea and said: "This is good."

    And the Professor received a research grant.

    And this is how shit happens.

    'nuff said!

    More Chemical Engineering Humor

    Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?

    A true story.

    A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate students. It had one question: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with a proof." Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. However, one student wrote the following:

    "First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving?
    I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, let us look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religions, you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell.
    With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.
    Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in Hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant.
    So, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose!
    Of course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, than the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over!"

    The Famous Camel Joke

    How does a chemical engineer calculate the airflow over a camel?
    First assume the camel is a sphere...

    Why Don't Chemical Engineers Write Cookbooks?

    Ever wonder why you don't see many cookbooks that have been written by chemical engineers? Well, despite the fact that I happen to be one I can certainly understand why most folks wouldn't expect much from an engineer's "The Way to Cook" manual. This may be the reason why:

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    532.35 cm3 gluten
    4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
    4.9 cm3 refined halite
    236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
    177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
    177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
    4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
    Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
    473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao
    236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

    To a 2.0-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation.
    In a second 2.0-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous.
    To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.
    Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture piecemeal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm).
    Heat in a 460K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank & Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to thermal equilibrium.

    ChEng Diet: Thermodynamics and Couch Potatoes

    As we all know, it takes 1 calorie to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade. Translated into meaningful terms, this means that if you eat a very cold dessert (generally consisting of water in large part), the natural processes which raise the consumed dessert to body temperature during the digestive cycle literally sucks the calories out of the only available source, your body fat.
    For example, a dessert served and eaten at near 0 degrees C (32.2 deg. F) will in a short time be raised to the normal body temperature of 37 degrees C (98.6 deg. F). For each gram of dessert eaten, that process takes approximately 37 calories as stated above. The average dessert portion is 6 oz, or 168 grams. Therefore, by operation of thermodynamic law, 6,216 calories (1 cal./gm/deg. x 37 deg. x 168 gms) are extracted from body fat as the dessert's temperature is normalized.
    Allowing for the 1,200 latent calories in the dessert, the net calorie loss is approximately 5,000 calories. Obviously, the more cold dessert you eat, the better off you are and the faster you will lose weight, if that is your goal.
    This process works equally well when drinking very cold beer in frosted glasses. Each ounce of beer contains 16 latent calories, but extracts 1,036 calories (6,216 cal. per 6 oz. portion) in the temperature normalizing process. Thus the net calorie loss per ounce of beer is 1,020 calories. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate that 12,240 calories (12 oz. x 1,020 cal./oz.) are extracted from the body in the process of drinking a can of beer.
    Frozen desserts, e.g., ice cream, are even more beneficial, since it takes 83 cal./gm to melt them (i.e., raise them to 0 deg. C) and an additional 37 cal./gm to further raise them to body temperature. The results here are really remarkable, and it beats running hands down.
    Unfortunately, for those who eat pizza as an excuse to drink beer, pizza (loaded with latent calories and served above body temperature) induces an opposite effect. But, thankfully, as the astute reader should have already reasoned, the obvious solution is to drink a lot of beer with pizza and follow up immediately with large bowls of ice cream. We could all be thin if we were to adhere religiously to a pizza, beer, and ice cream diet.

    Engineering Humor

    Definition of an Engineer

    An ENGINEER is one who passes as an exacting expert on the strength of being able to turn out, with prolific fortitude, strings of incomprehensible formulae calculated with micrometric precision from extremely vague assumptions which are based on debatable figures acquired from inconclusive tests and quite incomplete experiments, carried out with instruments of problematic accuracy by persons of doubtful reliability and rather dubious mentality with the particular anticipation of disconcerting and annoying everyone outside their own faculty.

    You May Be an Engineer If...

    • If you have no life - and you can PROVE it mathematically.
    • If you enjoy pain.
    • If you know vector calculus but you can't remember how to do long division.
    • If you chuckle whenever anyone says "centrifugal force."
    • If you've actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.
    • If it is sunny and 70 degrees outside and you are working on a computer.
    • If you frequently whistle the theme song to "MacGyver."
    • If you always do homework on Friday nights.
    • If you know how to integrate a chicken and can take the derivative of water.
    • If you think in "math."
    • If you've calculated that the World Series actually diverges.
    • If you hesitate to look at something because you don't want to break down its wave function.
    • If you have a pet named after a scientist.
    • If you laugh at jokes about mathematicians.
    • If the Humane society has you arrested because you actually performed the Schrodinger's Cat experiment.
    • If you can translate English into Binary.
    • If you can't remember what's behind the door in the science building which says "Exit."
    • If you have to bring a jacket with you, in the middle of summer, because there's a wind-chill factor in the lab.
    • If you are completely addicted to caffeine.
    • If you avoid doing anything because you don't want to contribute to the eventual heat-death of the universe.
    • If you consider ANY non-science course "easy."
    • If when your professor asks you where your homework is, you claim to have accidentally determined its momentum so precisely, that according to Heisenberg it could be anywhere in the universe.
    • If the "fun" center of your brain has deteriorated from lack of use.
    • If you'll assume that a "horse" is a "sphere" in order to make the math easier.
    • If you introduce your wife as "mylady@home.wife."
    • If your spouse sends you an e-mail instead of calling you to dinner.
    • If you can quote scenes from any Monty Python movie.
    • If you want an 500X CD-ROM for Christmas.
    • If Dilbert is your hero.
    • If you stare at an orange juice container because it says CONCENTRATE
    • If you can name 6 Star Trek episodes (bonus points if you have more than 6 recorded on video tape).
    • If the only jokes you receive are through e-mail.
    • If your wrist watch has more computing power than a 486DX-50.
    • If your idea of good interpersonal communication means getting the decimal point in the right place.
    • If you look forward to Christmas only to put together the kids' toys.
    • If you use a CAD package to design your son's Pine Wood Derby car.
    • If you have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.
    • If, at Christmas, it goes without saying that you will be the one to find the burnt-out bulb in the string.
    • If you window shop at Radio Shack.
    • If your ideal evening consists of fast-forwarding through the latest sci-fi movie looking for technical inaccuracies.
    • If you have "Dilbert" comics displayed anywhere in your work area .
    • If you carry on a one-hour debate over the expected results of a test that actually takes five minutes to run.
    • If you are convinced you can build a phazer out of your garage door opener and your camera's flash attachment.
    • If you don't even know where the cover to your personal computer is.
    • If you have modified your can-opener to be microprocessor driven.
    • If you know the direction the water swirls when you flush.
    • If you own "Official Star Trek" anything.
    • If you have ever taken the back off your TV just to see what's inside.
    • If a team of you and your co-workers have set out to modify the antenna on the radio in your work area for better reception.
    • If you ever burned down the gymnasium with your Science Fair project.
    • If you are currently gathering the components to build your own nuclear reactor.
    • If you own one or more white short-sleeve dress shirts.
    • If you have never backed-up your hard drive.
    • If you are aware that computers are actually only good for playing games, but are afraid to say it out loud.
    • If you truly believe aliens are living among us.
    • If you have ever saved the power cord from a broken appliance.
    • If you have ever purchased an electronic appliance "as-is."
    • If you see a good design and still have to change it.
    • If the salespeople at Circuit City can't answer any of your questions.
    • If you still own a slide rule and you know how to work it.
    • If the thought that a CD could refer to finance or music never enters your mind.
    • If you own a set of itty-bitty screw drivers, but you don't remember where they are.
    • If you rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.
    • If you have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.
    • If you have more toys than your kids.
    • If you need a checklist to turn on the TV.
    • If you have introduced your kids by the wrong name.
    • If you have a habit of destroying things in order to see how they work.
    • If your I.Q. number is bigger than your weight.
    • If the microphone or visual aids at a meeting don't work and you shove up to the front to fix it.
    • If you can remember 7 computer passwords but not your anniversary.
    • If you have memorized the program schedule for the Discovery channel and have seen most of the shows already.
    • If you have ever owned a calculator with no equal key and know what RPN stands for.
    • If your father sat 2 inches in front of your family's first color TV with a magnifying lens to see how they made the colors, and you grew up thinking that was normal.
    • If you know how to take the cover off of your computer, and what size screw driver to use.
    • If you can type 70 words a minute but can't read your own handwriting.
    • If people groan at the party when you pick out the music.
    • If you can't remember where you parked your car for the 3rd time this week.
    • If you did the sound system for your senior prom.
    • If your checkbook always balances.
    • If your wristwatch has more buttons than a telephone.
    • If you have more friends on the Internet than in real life.
    • If you thought the real heroes of "Apollo 13" were the mission controllers.
    • If you think that when people around you yawn, it's because they didn't get enough sleep.
    • If you spend more on your home computer than your car.
    • If you know what http:// stands for (bonus points if you actually care).
    • If you've ever tried to repair a $5.00 radio.
    • If you have a neatly sorted collection of old bolts and nuts in your garage.
    • If your three year old son asks why the sky is blue and you try to explain atmospheric absorption theory.
    • If your lap-top computer costs more than your car.
    • If your 4 basic food groups are:
      • 1. Caffeine
      • 2. Fat
      • 3. Sugar
      • 4. Chocolate
    • If you understood more than five of these indicators.
    • If you make a hard copy of this list, and post it on your door.
    • If these indicators apply to you, there is good reason to suspect that you might be classified as a engineering major. I hope this clears up any confusion.

    Engineering vs. Math Majors

    A math and engineering convention was being held. On the train to the convention, there were both math majors and engineering majors. Each of the math majors had his/her own train ticket. But the Engineers had only ONE ticket for all of them. The math majors started laughing and snickering. The engineers ignored the laughter.
    Then, one of the engineers said, "Here comes the conductor." All of the engineers piled into the bathroom. The math majors were puzzled. The conductor came aboard and collected tickets from all the math majors. He went to the bathroom, knocked on the door, and said, "Tickets Please." An engineer stuck their only ticket under the door. The conductor took the ticket and left. A few minutes later, the engineers emerged from the bathroom. The math majors felt really stupid.
    On the way back from the convention, the group of math majors had ONE ticket for their group. They started snickering at the engineers, who had NO tickets. When the engineer lookout shouted, "Conductor coming!," all the engineers again piled into a bathroom. All of the math majors went into another bathroom. Then, before the conductor came on board, one of the engineers left the bathroom, knocked on the other bathroom, and said, "Ticket please."

    Job Interview

    Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked the young Engineer fresh out of MIT, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"
    The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $75,000 a year, depending on the benefit's package."
    The HR Person said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 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 HR Person said, "Of course, ...but you started it."

    "High Tech" Management Skills

    A young engineer was leaving the office at 6 p.m. when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
    "Listen," said the CEO, "this is important, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?"
    "Certainly," said the young engineer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
    "Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."

    A Programmer and an Engineer

    A programmer and an Engineer are sitting next to each other on a long flight from Los Angeles to New York. The Programmer leans over to the Engineer and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The Engineer just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.
    The Programmer persists and explains that the game is real easy and a lotta fun. He explains, "I ask you a question, and if you donít know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I donít know the answer, I pay you $5."
    Again the Engineer politely declines and tries to get to sleep.
    The Programmer, now somewhat agitated, says "Ok, if you donít know the answer, you pay me $5, and if I donít know the answer, Iíll pay you $50!"
    This catches the engineerís attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game. The programmer asks the first question: "What is the distance from the Earth to the moon?"
    The engineer doesnít say a word, but simply reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the programmer. Now, itís the engineerís turn. He asks the programmer, "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?"
    The programmer looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the Airphone with the modem and searches the net and the library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his coworkers ?all to no avail. After about an hour, he wakes the engineer and hands him $50. He politely takes the $50 and turns away to try to get back to sleep.
    The programmer, more than a little miffed, shakes the engineer and asks, "Well, so whatís the answer?" Without a word, the engineer reaches into his wallet, hands the programmer $5, and turns away to get back to sleep.

    Engineering Pick-up Lines

    • I won't stop bugging you until I get the address of your home page.
    • You fascinate me more than the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.
    • Since distance equals velocity times time, let's let velocity and time approach infinity, because I want to go all the way with you.
    • My love for you is like a concave up function because it is always increasing.
    • Let's convert our potential energy to kinetic energy.
    • Wanna come back to my room? ...and see my 4 Ghz Pentium VII?
    • How about you and I go back to my place and form a covalent bond?
    • You and I would add up better than a Riemann sum.
    • You're sweeter than glucose.
    • We're as compatible as two similar Power Macintoshes.
    • Why don't we measure the coefficient of static friction between you and me?
    • Wanna see the programs in my HP-48GX?
    • Your body has the nicest arc length I've ever seen.
    • Isn't your e-mail address
    • You're hotter than a Bunsen burner set to full power!

    If Dr. Seuss did Technical Writing

    If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
    and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
    and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
    then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.
    If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
    and the double clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
    and your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
    then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash.
    If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
    says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
    but your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
    that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
    and your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
    so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
    then you may as well reboot it and go out with a bang,
    'cause as sure as I'm a poet, that sucker's gonna hang.
    When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
    and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risk,
    and you have to flash your memory and you want to RAM your ROM,
    quickly turn off your computer and be sure to tell your mom.

    If God Were an Engineer...

    A bunch of engineers are sitting around at a party, discussing the nature of God.
    The mechanical engineer states that God must also be a mechanical engineer because "if you look at all the pulleys and levers that drive the body, how the tendons and muscles and bones all work together, well, it's just amazing."
    The chemical engineer says that no, God has to be a chemical engineer because "if you look at all the chemical processes that drive the body, how the hormones and the brain and the glands and everything else all interact, well, it's just astounding."
    The electrical engineer says that no, God has to be an electrical engineer because "if you look at the circuitry of the body, how the thousands upon millions of nerve cells transmit signals from one part to another, well, it boggles the mind."
    The civil engineer speaks up last of all and says, no, God is definitely a civil engineer, because "only a civil engineer would run a sewer through a playground."


    There was this male engineer, on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for the first time. It was wonderful, the experience of his life. A hurricane came up unexpectedly. The ship went down almost instantly. The man found himself, he knew not how, swept up on the shore of an island. There was nothing else anywhere to be seen. No person, no supplies, nothing. The man looked around. There were some bananas and coconuts, but that was it. He was desperate, and forlorn, but decided to make the best of it. So for the next four months he ate bananas, drank coconut juice and mostly looked to the sea mightily for a ship to come to his rescue.
    One day, as he was lying on the beech stroking his beard and looking for a ship, he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye. Could it be true, was it a ship? No, from around the corner of the island came this rowboat. In it was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen, or at least seen in 4 months. She was tall, tanned, and her blond hair flowing in the sea breeze gave her an almost ethereal quality. She spotted him also as he was waving and yelling and screaming to get her attention. She rowed her boat towards him.
    In disbelief, he asked, "Where did you come from? How did you get here"?
    She said, "I rowed from the other side of the island. I landed on this island when my cruise ship sank."
    "Amazing", he said, "I didn't know anyone else had survived. How many of you are there?
    Where, did you get the rowboat? You must have been really lucky to have a rowboat wash-up with you?"
    "It is only me", she said, "and the rowboat didn't wash up, nothing else did."
    "Well then", said the man, "how did you get the rowboat?"
    "I made the rowboat out of raw material that I found on the island," replied the woman (who was a mechanical engineer). "The oars were whittled from Gum tree branches, I wove the bottom from Palm branches, and the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree".
    "But, but," asked the man, "what about tools and hardware, how did you do that?"
    "Oh, no problem," replied the woman (who was also a geologist), "on the south side of the island there is a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock exposed."
    "I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into forgeable ductile iron," said the woman (who was also an accomplished metallurgist). "I used that for tools, and used the tools to make the hardware. But, enough of that," she said. "Where do you live?"
    At last the man was forced to confess that he had been sleeping on the beach. "Well, let's row over to my place," she said. So they both got into the rowboat and left for her side of island.
    The woman (who was also a bodybuilder) easily rowed them around to a wharf that led to the approach to her place. She tied up the rowboat with a beautifully woven hemp rope. They walked up a stone walk and around a Palm tree, there stood an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white (she was also a civil engineer and an architect). "It's not much," she said, "but I call it home. Sit down, please, would you like to have a drink?"
    "No," said the man, "one more coconut juice and I will puke."
    "It won't be coconut juice," said the woman (who was, of course, also a chemical engineer, experienced in brewing and distillation), "I have a still, how about a Pina Colada?"
    Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepted, and they sat down on her couch to talk.
    After a while, and they had exchanged their stories, the woman asked, "Tell me, have you always had a beard?"
    "No", the man replied, "I was clean shaven all of my life, and even on the cruise ship."
    "Well if you would like to shave, there is a man's razor upstairs in the cabinet in the bathroom." So, the man, no longer questioning anything, went upstairs to the bath room. There in the cabinet was a razor made from a bone handle, two shells honed to a hollow ground edge were fastened on to its end inside of a swivel mechanism (as you've probably guessed, she had a degree in Industrial Design as well). The man shaved, showered and went back downstairs.
    "You look great," said the woman, "I think I will go up and slip into something more comfortable." So she did.
    And, the man continued to sip his Pina Colada. After a short time, the woman returned wearing fig leaves strategically positioned, and smelling faintly of gardenia.
    "Tell me," she said, "we have both been out here for a very long time with no companionship. You know what I mean. Have you been lonely, is there anything that you really miss? Something that all men and woman need. Something that it would be really nice to have right now?"
    "Yes there is," the man replied, as he moved closer to the woman while fixing a winsome gaze upon her, "Tell me.... Can I check my email from here?"

    Jock vs. Engineer

    A Jock, sick of working at Mickey D's for what had seemed an eternity decided to get a job working as a laborer at a construction site. Being a usual overconfident Jock, he soon began to brag to the other workers about all sorts of things. One day he decided to brag that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of the wiry engineer on the site. After several minutes, the engineer had had enough.
    "Why don't you put your money where your mouth is," said the engineer. "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."
    "You're on, little guy!" the braggart replied. "Let's see what you got."
    The engineer reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right: Get in."

    Why Engineers Make the Best Lovers

    10. The world does revolve around us... we choose the coordinate system.
    9. No "couple" enjoy a better "moment."
    8. We know how to handle stress and strain in a relationship.
    7. We have significant figures.
    6. EK301: The motion of rigid bodies.
    5. Projectile motion: Do we need to say more?
    4. Engineers do it to specification.
    3. According to Newton, if two bodies interact, their forces are equal and opposite.
    2. We know it's not the length of the vector that counts, but how you apply the force.

    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."
    So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. 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 telephone 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 up here."
    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?"

    The Sensitivity of the Technical Mind

    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 greens keeper. Let's have a word with him."
    [dramatic pause]
    "Hi George. Say what's 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 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 they play at night?"

    Engineer to the Rescue

    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 multi-million 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 has 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 this 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.

    Civil Engineers vs. Mechanical Engineers

    What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?
    Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.

    Engineer and the Frog

    An engineer 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 engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the 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 engineer 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 engineer said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool." :-)

    Engineers and Mistresses

    An architect, an artist and a chemical engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.
    The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for and enduring relationship.
    The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.
    The chemical engineer said, "I like both."
    Chemical Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

    Christmas in an Engineer's Mind

    There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference bureau).
    At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second.
    This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000 th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get onto the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.
    This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second -- 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.
    The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousands tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer can pull 10 times he normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them---Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
    600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.
    Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 mps in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.
    Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.
    Merry Christmas!

    The Doctor, Chemist and Engineer in a Bit of a Bad Situation

    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?"
    "No blindfold."
    So the executioner raised the blade, 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.
    "Head up."
    "Blindfold or no blindfold?"
    "No blindfold."
    So the executioner raised the blade, 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?"
    "Head up."
    "Blindfold or no blindfold?"
    "No blindfold."
    So the executioner raised the blade, but before he could cut the rope, the engineer yelled out: "WAIT! I see what the problem is!"

    Wisdom from Above

    A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"
    The man below says, "Yes, you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field." "You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.
    "I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"
    "Well, says the balloonist, everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's of no use to anyone."
    The man below says, "You must be in management."
    "I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
    "Well," says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position you were before we met, but now it's my fault."

    A Mathematical Proof of Why Ignorance Rises to the Executive Level

    As every engineer knows,

    Work = Power/Time


    Knowledge = Power,

    Time = Money,

    then substituting, we get:

    Work = Knowledge/Money

    Solving for Knowledge:

    Work/Money = Knowledge

    Therefore, Money approaches infinity as Knowledge approaches zero, regardless of the Work accomplished.
    Thus, the less you know, the more money you make.

    Want-ad Terminology:

    What these terms really mean!

    • COMPETITIVE SALARY: We remain competitive by paying less than our competition.
    • JOIN OUR FAST-PACED COMPANY: We have no time to train you and you'll have to introduce yourself to your coworkers.
    • SEEKING ENTHUSIASTIC, FUN, HARDWORKING PEOPLE: Who still live with their parents and won't mind our intern-level salaries.
    • CASUAL WORK ATMOSPHERE: We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up.
    • MUST BE DEADLINE ORIENTED: You'll be six months behind schedule on your first day.
    • SOME OVERTIME REQUIRED: Some time each night and some time each weekend.
    • DUTIES WILL VARY: Anyone in the office can boss you around.
    • MUST HAVE AN EYE FOR DETAIL: We have no quality control.
    • SEEKING CANDIDATES WITH A WIDE VARIETY EXPERIENCE: You'll need it to replace the three people who just left.
    • PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS A MUST: You're walking into a company in perpetual chaos.
    • REQUIRES TEAM LEADERSHIP SKILLS: You'll have the responsibilities of a manager without the pay or respect.
    • GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they want, then do it.

    The Truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)

    Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage.
    Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

    Dihydrogen monoxide...

    • is also known as hydroxyl acid, and is the major component of acid rain
    • contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
    • may cause severe burns.
    • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
    • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
    • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
    • has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
    Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest, and recently California.
  • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
  • in nuclear power plants.
  • in the production of Styrofoam.
  • as a fire retardant.
  • in many forms of cruel animal research.
  • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
  • as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products. Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

    The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

    Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don't know can hurt you and others throughout the world.

    A Dictionary of Research Phrases

    "It has long been known..." I didn't look it up in the original reference.
    "A definite trend is evident..." These data are practically meaningless.
    "Of great theoretical and practical importance..." This was an unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.
    "Three of the samples were chosen for a detailed study..." The others made no sense.
    "Typical results are shown..." The best results are shown.
    "The most reliable results are obtained by Jones..." He was my grad assistant.
    "It is believed that..." I think.
    "It is generally believed that..." A couple of other folks think so too.
    "It is clear that additional work will be required before a complete understanding of the phenomena is possible..." I don't understand it.
    "Correct with an order of magnitude..." Wrong.
    "It is hoped that this study will stimulate more work in this field..." This is a lousy paper, but so are the others in this crummy field.
    "Thanks are due to Sue Blotz for assistance with the experimental work and George Frink for valuable discussions..." Blotz did the work and Frink explained to me what it meant.
    "A statistically oriented projection of the findings..." Wild guess.

    An Old Engineering Joke

    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 other engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

    An Engineerís View of Life

    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.

    Facts of Life in the Business World

    The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
    The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
    The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
    The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"


    Normal people ... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

    Engineers and 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?"