Monday, October 8, 2012

Science Humour: Answers To Serious Questions

Monday Humour

Scientists At Work:
Source: ScienceGames
This week's humour focuses on answering some serious scientific questions:

Noah's Ark
The Bible tells us that Noah's ark was made of "gopher wood." Scholars aren't quite sure what kind of wood that was. Some suspect it is a mistranslation. Actually the truth is easy to guess. As the storm clouds were gathering, Noah and his sons were behind schedule in felling logs for its construction. Noah had to keep exhorting them, "Go 'fer wood!, Go 'fer wood!"

As the animals were being loaded onto the ark, Noah was heard to complain, "Now I herd everything." The animals boarded in pairs, since the singles' cruise hadn't been invented yet.

There wasn't much entertainment on this cruise. Noah couldn't even play cards, for an elephant was standing on the deck. He'd brought along some books to read, but the ark was so crowded that he had to read between the lions.

Noah had to be constantly alert to keep the animals from eating each other. He dared not say, "Let us pray," within hearing of the carnivores.

This story illustrates a problem common today. Noah spent 40 days and nights looking for a parking place, and then had to settle for one way in the boondocks.

When land was finally sighted, everyone was elated. The frogs were hoppy and the pigs went hog-wild. Naturally all of the occupants of the ark were eager to disembark, which raises the stupid question of who got off the boat first. You might suppose it was Noah, but that's not the case. The Bible clearly says: "Noah came forth..."

As the animals left the ark, Noah told them to go forth and multiply. After some while, Noah happened upon two snakes sunning themselves. "Why aren't you multiplying?" Noah asked. The snakes replied, "We can't, we're adders."

So Noah and his sons went into the nearby forest and felled some trees. They made a platform of logs onto which they placed the snakes. You see, even adders can multiply on a log table.

The story of Noah's ark has inspired much speculation, some of which might be described as ark-ane. The ark supposedly contained quite a few animals. While Gen 7:19 says "two of every sort," Gen 7:3 says that fourteen of each of the "clean" beasts were taken (seven pairs, male and female, of all beasts that are ritually clean...) Either way, that's a lot of animals to care for and feed, and also a lot of manure to shovel. [You have to, too, if you take this story seriously.] Remember, there were only eight humans aboard. Since Noah was 600 years old at the time of this trip (Gen 7:11) one wonders how much of the work he could do. His sons were about 100 years old, according to Gen 5:32. So who did all of the necessary work? Divine intervention might have been required. Ark-angels, perhaps?

Anyway, after the ordeal, it's no wonder that Noah went forth and got drunk (Gen 9:21.)
by Donald Simanek

The Buttered Bread & Cat Problem

Q: If you drop a buttered slice of bread, it always drops buttered side down; and a cat always lands on its feet. So, what would happen if you took a slice of buttered bread and strapped it on the back of a cat, buttered side up, and dropped both, the bread-cat system, from a high tower?

A: Even if you are too lazy to do the experiment yourself you should be able to deduce the obvious result. The laws of butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of feline aerodynamics demand that the cat can not smash it's furry back.

If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox. Therefore it simply does not fall. That's right you clever mortal (well, as clever as a mortal can get), you have discovered the secret of antigravity! A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a height where the forces of cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing lift, or removing some of the cat's limbs, allowing descent. 

 Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of several hundred tabbies. The one obvious danger is, of course, if the cats manage to eat the bread off their backs they will instantly plummet. Of course the cats will land on their feet, but this usually doesn't do them much good, since right after they make their graceful landing several tons of red-hot starship and pissed off aliens crash on top of them.
Lizabeth Henderson


Heisenberg's Uncertianty Principle

Heisenberg is stopped by a traffic cop who asks: "Do you know how fast you were going?"
Heisenberg replies: "No, but I know exactly where I am."


Q: How many physicists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: If you know the number, you don't know where the light bulb is.


  1. Thanks Perry,
    I enjoyed the science humour for a second time, when I called my son (grade 4) in and watched him read / read aloud and chuckle. ("Noah...dared not say, 'Let us pray,' within hearing of the carnivores.").
    And thanks to you, Perry, a happy child encounters - again! - the novelty and wonder of life. Bravo!


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