Sunday, November 26, 2006


"What", the good Prof asked, "is the shape number of a 6 staged water pump with blah blah blah characteristics ?". Only a blessed few of the masses writing the exam today had a vague idea of what a pump is, let alone any notion of a 6 staged monster. What, then, does an enterprising young engineer do?

Divide the shape number calculated using the characteristics of the whole pump by 6, of course! Why ? Because thats the only place you can use that 6, stupid !

Skinner & Flanegan would have been proud.

(Oh, and while I was googling for the exact name of that constant, I came across this site with stuff for quite a few good laughs. Here's a sample:

After the Flood, Noah lets all the animals out of the ark and tells them to go forth and multiply. A few months later, all are doing fine except a pair of snakes. The snakes beg Noah to cut down some trees and let them live there. Soon, there are lots of little snakes and everybody is happy. "How did the trees help?", wonders Noah. "Well, we're adders. We need logs to multiply."


Subtlest Joke in a Textbook award

Here's a problem (8.32, Deflections in Bending) I remembered from "An Introduction to the Mechanics of Solids" by Crandall & Dahl. A most wonderful book, and the authors have a sense of humour to boot. Given that the first edition of this book was in 1959, and that this problem is rather basic, chances are that this was one of the first textbooks to carry this joke :-)

The signpost reads "Plan Ahead". ROFL!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

You'll never guess who said this

A lunatic escapes from an asylum, and starts running away. He comes across a riverbank and a few washerwomen, and sli puts with them, and runs off again. The headlines next day:

"Nut Screws Washers And Bolts"


Thursday, November 23, 2006

IC Engines

Today's IC Engines paper was somewhat like this:

A ball held one meter above the ground in an open field. There is no obstruction between the ball and the ground. It is released.

Given that Planck's constant is 6.626 0693(11) × 10-34 J·s. , the conductance quantum is 7.748 091 733(26) × 10-5 S, the Fermi coupling constant is 1.166 39(1) × 10-5 GeV-2, that the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem states that "The condition for exact reconstructability from samples at a uniform sampling rate f_s\, (in samples per unit time) is:_s > 2 B\, ", and that the fundamental paradigms of Object Oriented Programming involve Classes,Methods, Inheritance, Encapsulation, Abstraction and Polymorphism,

Determine if the ball will fall to the ground.

Only there, there was no nice line break.

No more IC Engines. Transcendental Peace descends.

The ExoduSSS

(Update: This post was written in the extreme euphoria of realising that I don't ever need to bother about one more cutting tool or one more super/hyper/turbo/extra/infra-abrasive grinding wheel or one more universal-axis-fixed-bed-rotating-column-swiveling-table -vibrating-spindle-backgear-driven-variable-cone-pulley-drive drilling machine. In other words, this post entirely in jest, so no hard feelings anyone)

Some background information: Circa mid 5th sem, dissatisfied at the extraordinary resilience of students in miraculously surviving courses whose descriptions merit an entire flameblog by themselves, the now-familiar Mech department issued the most grave and torturous decree yet: Choose Thine Electives. The tactic was disarmingly simple: offer students elective courses for the sixth semester, make them waste innumerable number of hours debating the relative merits of each course, and when finally the Day of Reckoning comes and the students go to the profs to ask their permission (expected to be just a formality), deny it. Make students run around to prof after prof, in vain hopes of doing some interesting course.

And in the midst of this darkness came a sssaviour, a beacon of light. Come to me, he said (or was purported to have said), come to me, and I will take classes for 40 minutes a week for a 3 credit course. I will give you good grades, not bother about attendance, give bonus class breaks, take you out to parties and pubs.. um, no, I don't think he actually said that, but you get the drift.

And people went. In droves they went, yes they did.

The only problem is, the course he is taking, Turbomachinery, is a rather, ehm, let me put it this way, it isn't really the kind of course people fall in love with. After a detailed analysis at 3 AM the day before the IC engines exam, It struck. 'Like Lightning' would not quite carry the force this fantastic idea struck some of us fiscally inclined people. We've got it all worked out, and exclusively for the readers of this blog, here it is:

The Grand Pump (and Turbine) and Dump plan.

(For those of you not familiar with Mr.Mehta's tactics, wisdom beckons)

1. Conduct 17 different surveys of the number of people in Mech taking the course. All of them, of course, will (ok, should) show the number people in the Turbomachinery course to be anywhere from a minimum 80 to 600. No matter that the total number of people in Mech is 120, we shall call it Extended Sampling Truncation Error.

2. Call in the local tabloids that swear by the Grand Journalistic Principle "From Sense to Sensation, Onward Ho!" , and make 14 of the 17 surveys public. Release the other three to an upcoming online newsportal with an overenthusiastic team, and watch people quibble over numbers over national television for a while.

3. The eye of the sensation storm, is, of course, that any number between 83% to 571.8% of the Brightest Minds in the Country have Chosen Turbomachinery as their Path, and that there is no doubt that there is going to be intense competition in Engineering and Research in the field.

4. It is also a fact that a vast majority of the students of the course have demonstrated considerable Entreprenurial Spirit, and therefore it is beyond question that these Motivated Engineers shall set up thousands upon thousands of companies specializing in various aspects of Turbomachinery.

5. Give half a dozen interviews every day on how Asia and especially India is going to be a (turbomachinery) Design Hub, and how all the money in the world is going to pour down like torrential downpours.

6. And we come to the lambda point: Invest in Turbomachinery companies, big, small, rotary vane, straight vane,vane congruent, vane non congruent, the full monty. In anticipation of any difficulties in finding companies to invest in, I humbly beg to suggest you one incorporated just today by the one-post Phenomenon and Yours Truly, "Soopper Turbo Suttifiers GmBH".

7. Pump,pump, pump money into these companies. The market won't know what hit it. Shares are going to skyrocket like crazy. Make gazillions of dollars, and live happily ever after !

(This post is dedicated to Varun, who saved me from the aforementioned
-backgear-driven-variable-cone-pulley-drive drilling machine by putting hi funda pump and dump fundaes in the last bench.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


XKCD simply is THE cartoon!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Russel Rocks!

I found this article from the wiki, and it is wonderful! I couldn't agree with anything more!

From it, an especially interesting quote by Cromwell, to the Scots before the Battle of Dunbar:

I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken!

I seem to have found quite a nice way to capture the local Zeitgeist, and that is scanning around for interesting status messages. Hmm.