Nutworks magazine

Electronic Humor Magazine. Issue 007, Volume II. April, 1986.

NutWorks is published semi-pseudo-monthly by
Brent C.J. Britton and Leonard M. Friedman


Some say: "Knowledge without common sense is folly."

We say: "Knowledge without folly is BORING."

NutWorks News

1) SPECIAL TO SUBSCRIBERS: There have been a small number of
requests that NutWorks be sent via DISK DUMP or SENDFILE, instead of
as a MAIL file. Unfortunately, because of the size of the subscription
list, and the size of the magazine itself, we must continue to use MAIL.
This alleviates much network traffic by only sending one file to each
node, instead of one file per person. (If you didn't know this, ask
your systems personnel about how the Columbia VM Mailer works.)

2) The final regular issue of NutWorks will be published sometime
at the beginning of May; the next regular issue after that will be pub-
lished sometime at the beginning of September. We're not exactly taking
the summer off, and you may even find a special NutWorks summer issue
on your local file server. Because of the tendency for many of our
subscribers' logon accounts to vanish at the end of the semester, the
current subscription list will NOT be used after the May issue. Anyone
wishing to subscribe to NutWorks magazine next fall, will be required
to renew said subscription in September. Nyeah...

NutWorks News Extra

(Netcon Info)

Well as you all know, Netcon is creeping upon us. As a matter of fact,
it will be here in less than 2 months. Naturally, the subject of money

We have set a dealine of April 23rd. That is, we must receieve your
payments by April 23rd. The total cost for NETCON is 115.00. You need to
make your check/money order out to JAMES T. HARMENING, who is the
treasurer of the NETCON organization. Even if you are only attending the
party, we must still receive a check/money order. Please please, do not
send cash, because cash has a knack of being lost in the mail. On your
check/money order, please write your name@node, so that we can check you
off as having paid. If you are only staying one or 2 nites, please
inciate as such. As for an address, we can only distribute James'
address to those of you who are definitely attending. In order to get
James address, please contact MARCE at BITNIC or James at U40210 at
UICVM. If you need to call James, his phone number is (312) 422 6103.
Please please please act promptly.

If you would like to purchase a NETCON t-shirt, please contact JEDI at

Now as for rooming arrangements....

Rooming arrangements are always a fun thing to watch. But thats another
story. If you already know who you want to room with, please indicate
this in a note to Jim or Marce. Do yourself a favor and let the person
you want to room with know that you want to room with them...Remeber
there are 4 people to a room, unless you have paid otherwise. If you
want to room with people of the same sex but do not know anyone, just
indicate you want a girls only or mens only room. That can be easily
arranged. And if you don't know anyone, don't worry. The rooms that were
put together in the 'potluck' fashion usually turn out to be the most
interesting/fun packed ones.(Take this from experience, having gone to 3
Netcons thus far.). If you have no prefernce, don't fret. Please do not
forget to tell someone though, preferably Jim and Marce...

It can not be stressed enough times.....

Deadline for PAYMENTS IS APRIL 23!!!!!

sincerely, the netcon committe
Lynn (L64A1584 at JHUVM)

From the Bridge

Captains Log:
Stardate: 860414
Commander Spock Reporting:

Well having now worked in the computer field a bit more and also having
lived a bit longer I have made a few conclusions about life.

1) Murphy was right on the mark.

Murphy states that:

a) If anything can possibly go wrong it will,
at the worst possible moment.

b) Nothing is as easy as it looks.

c) Nothing is fool proof,
because fools are so damn ingenious.

(He says alot more, but that is all I can rememeber...)

2) Murphy was an optimist.

3) It's true, Life's a bitch and then you die.

4) If there are n possible bugs in a program the one that will cause
the most damage is the one that will go wrong.

5) If you correct the n possible bugs in your program the n+1 bug is
bound to appear.

6) I now understand why computer programers hate keypunch operators.

7) There is a cause and affect relationship between operators forgetting
to do backups and system crashes.

8) People somehow know when you are at 300 baud. Why else is it then
and only then that they choose to bombard you with messages.

9) People know when you are at 300 baud and trying to edit something.
(see above)

And now a few stories, with some morals about life:

If You Are Unhappy

Once upon a time...

There was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the
However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to
fly south.
In a short time ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in
a barnyard, almost frozen.
A cow happened by and crapped on the sparrow.
The sparrow thought that it was the end,
But the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings.
Warm and happy, able to breath, the sparrow began to sing.
Just then a large cat came by and hearing the chirping, investigated the
The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly
ate him.

The Moral of The Story

1) Everyone who shits on you is not neccessarily your enemy.

2) Everyone who gets you out of the shit, is not neccessarily your

3) And, if your warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep you mouth shut.

Leonard M. Friedman

Nuts & Bolts

by Brent C.J. Britton

Ok folks, so I misspelled a word... you don't have to bite my head
off! Just for good measure, though, the "silliest pair of assholes"
entry in last months column should have read "Gramm/Rudman" and not
"Grant/Rudman", (which is rather humorous in itself if you consider all
the "grants" that are disappearing due to the efforts of Mr. "Gramm").
A friend of mine was sitting in class recently, doing his best to
wholly ignore the lecture, and he came up with the following thoughts
on life in general. I hope you like them:

I was Just Thinking...

By Arthur Hannaford

College professors, on the whole, are the worst dressed group of
people in the world.

No one, no matter how strangely they may be built, could ever be
comfortable in any seat designed for classroom use.

Hippis should join us in the 80's... then I changed my mind, leave
them in the 60's.

Those people who sit in a lecture hall and nod their heads in agree-
ment as if they were talking individually with the instructor have no
idea how stupid they look.

Polyester is never sexy or attractive.

Young males who can't grow a mustache shouldn't try.

Restaurants with paper placemats are not places I'd want to take
someone I was trying to impress.

Hack-sack is a weird game that no one seems to be able to play well.

No one is more creative than a student who is making up an excuse
for missing an exam.

Blue is a nice color, orange is not.

There should be a class in personal hygiene for college freshmen.

The statement "Heavy Metal Music sucks" is inaccurate; Heavy Metal
is not music.

Left-handed people look funny when they write.

Matching shoes and belts, especially in white, was a great idea...
it makes geeks easier to spot.

I don't like Freshmen. They have bad attitudes. I, of course, was
never a Freshman.

Synchronized swimming is a silly sport.

I don't like station wagons. They tend to imply that the owner is
a mother of six.

It would be funny if someone parked a Corvair in Ralph Nader's gar-

Bathroom poetry wouldn't be funny if you weren't sitting on the
toilet with your pants down while reading it.

People who refer to the terminal on which they are working as "my
computer" shouldn't be told the difference.

ah & bcjb

How To Make A Board

by Dave Barry

Most of what I know about carpentry, which is almost nothing, I
learned in shop. I took shop during the Eisenhower administration, when
boys took shop and girls took home economics--a code name for "cooking".
Schools are not allowed to separate boys and girls like that any more.
They're also not allowed to put students' heads in vises and tighten
them, which is what our shop teacher, Mr. Schmidt, did to Ronnie Miller
in the fifth grade when Ronnie used a chisel when he should have used a
screwdriver. (Mr. Schmidt had strong feelings about how to use tools
properly.) I guess he shouldn't have put Ronnie's head in the vise, but
it (Ronnie's head) was no great prize to begin with, and you can bet
Ronnie never confused chisels and screwdrivers in later life. Assuming
he made it to later life.
Under Mr. Schmidt's guidance, we hammered out hundreds of the ugliest
and most useless objects the human mind can conceive of. Our first major
project was a little bookshelf that you could also use as a stool. The
idea was that someday you'd be looking for a book, when all of a sudden
you'd urgently need a stool, so you'd just dump the books on the floor
and there you'd be. At least I assume that was the thinking behind the
bookshelf-stool. Mr. Schmidt designed it, and we students sure know
better than to ask any questions.
I regret today that I didn't take more shop in high school, because
while I have never once used anything I know about the cosine and the
tangent, I have used my shop skills to make many useful objects for my
home. For example, I recently made a board.
I use my board in many ways. I stand on it when I have to get socks
out of the dryer and water has been sitting in our basement around the
dryer for a few days, and has developed a pretty healthy layer of scum on
top (plus heaven-only-knows-what new and predatory forms of life under-
I also use my board to squash spiders. (All spiders are deadly kill-
ers. Don't believe any of the stuff you read in "National Geographic".)

If you'd like to make a board, you'll need:

Materials: A board, paint.
Tools: A chisel, a handgun.

Get your board at a lumberyard, but be prepared. Lumberyards reek of
lunacy. They use a system of measurement that dates back to Colonial
times, when people had brains the size of M&Ms. When they tell you a
board is a "two-by-four", they mean it is NOT two inches by four inches.
Likewise, a "one-by-six" is NOT one inch by six inches. So if you know
what size board you want, tell the lumberperson you want some other size.
If you don't know what size you want, tell him it's for squashing spi-
ders. He'll know what you need.
You should paint your board so people will know it's a home carpentry
project, as opposed to a mere board. I suggest you use a darkish color,
something along the lines of spider guts. Use your chisel to open the
paint can. Have your gun ready in case Mr. Schmidt is lurking around.
Once you've finished your board, you can move on to a more advanced
project, such as a harpsichord. But if you're really going to get into
home carpentry, you should have a home workshop. You will find that your
workshop is very useful as a place to store lawn sprinklers and objects
you intend to fix sometime before you die. My wife and I have worked out
out a simple eight-step procedure for deciding which objects to store in
my home workshop:

1. My wife tells me an object is broken. For instance, she may say,
"The lamp on my bedside table doesn't work."

2. I wait several months, in case my wife is mistaken.

3. My wife notifies me she is not mistaken. "Remember the lamp on my
bedside table?" she says. "Yes?" I say. "Still broken," she says.

4. I conduct a preliminary investigation. In the case of the lamp, I
flick the switch and note that the lamp doesn't go on. "You're right,"
I tell my wife. "That lamp doesn't work."

5. I wait 6 to 19 months, hoping that God will fix the lamp, or the
Russians will attack us and the entire world will be a glowing heap of
radioactive slag and nobody will care about the lamp anymore.

6. My wife then alerts me that the lamp still doesn't work. "The lamp
still doesn't work," she says, sometimes late at night.

7. I try to repair the lamp on the spot. Usually, I look for a likely
trouble spot and whack it with a blunt instrument. This often works on
lamps. It rarely works on microwave ovens.

8. If the on-the-spot repair doesn't work, I say: "I'll have to take
this lamp down to the home workshop." This is my way of telling my wife
that she should get another lamp if she has any short-term plans, say,
to do any reading in bed.

If you follow this procedure, after a few years you will have a great
many broken objects in your home workshop. In the interim, however, it
will look barren. This is why you need tools. To give your shop an
attractive, nonbarren appearance, you should get several thousand dollars
worth of tools and hang them from pegboards in a graceful display.
Basically, there are four different kinds of tools:

Tools You Can Hit Yourself With (hammers, axes).

Tools You Can Cut Yourself With (saws, knives, hoes, axes).

Tools You Can Stab Yourself With (screwdrivers, chisels).

Tools That, If Dropped Just Right, Can Penetrate Your Foot (awls).

I have a radial arm saw, which is like any other saw except that it
has a blade that spins at several billion revolutions per second and
therefore can sever your average arm in a trice. When I operate my rad-
ial arm saw, I use a safety procedure that was developed by X-ray machine
technicians: I leave the room.
I turn off all the power in the house, leave a piece of wood near the
saw, scurry to a safe distance, and turn the power back on. That is how
I made my board.
Once you get the hang of using your tools, you'll make all kinds of
projects. Here are some other ones I've made:

A length of rope.
Wood with nails in it.

If you'd like plans for any of these projects, just drop some money
in an envelope and send it to me and I'll keep it.

And now, another silly excuse from Joe_User for why he has been
working on the same programming assignment for twelve weeks running:

Student: (to consultant) "I don't know what I'm doing. I never listen
to the teacher during class. I just take notes."

Mark Woodruff & bcjb.

The Used Car

By Richard Lawson (STERMAN @ CITROMEO)

( This is reputed to be a true story )

It seems there was a man looking for a used car. Perusing the want ads,
he came across this item:

Two-year-old Corvette.
Good condition. Low mileage. $75

Unable to believe the price, and believing the price to be a typo, he
called the number in the ad. A woman answered and assured him that the
price was correct as printed -- $75. The man got her address and rushed
to her home.

Arriving at the address, the prospective buyer knocked at the door,
which was answered by a middle-aged woman. She took him into the garage
and showed him the merchandise. As advertised, it was a two-year-old
Corvette, in good condition and with low mileage. The man again asked
the price and was again quoted $75. Incredulous, but no fool, he wrote
a check. When the registration had been signed over to him, the new
owner of the Corvette said to the seller: "Lady, why did you sell me
that car for such a low price? You could easily have gotten thousands
of dollars for it!" He received this explanation:

"This is my husband's car. Last month he left me and ran off with his
secretary. Last week he wrote me a letter asking me to sell his
Corvette and send him the money."

Thus the deal was completed to the satisfaction of both parties.

Q: How many IBM types does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 100. Ten to do it, and 90 to write document number GC7500439-0001,
Multitasking Incandescent Source System Facility, of which 10% of the
pages state only "This page intentionally left blank", and 20% of the
definitions are of the form ".of 4;A:...... consists of sequences of
non-blank characters separated by blanks".


Mathematics Glossary

Rainer Koch (UNI011 @ DBNRHRZ1)

Any student who ever sat or slept trough a mathematics
course knows that certain words and phrases occur very
frequently. This glossary might eliminate some confusion.

When the instructor says He really means
------------------------ ---------------

trivial The student might be able to
do it in three hours or so.

simple An "A" student can do it in
a week or so.

easy This topic would make a good
master's thesis.

clear The instructor can do it
(he thinks).

obvious The instructor is sure it is
in his notes somewhere.

certainly The instructor saw one of his
instructors do it, but has
completely forgotten how it
was done.

left as an exercise The instructor lost his notes.
for the student

is well known The instructor heard that
someone once did it.

can be shown The instructor thinks it
might be true, but has no
idea how to prove it.

the diligent student It is an unsolved problem -
can show probably harder than
Fermat's Last Theorem.

Shaggy Dogs

Last month, (NutWorks Issue010), we printed a few "shaggy dog"
stories. To our utter joy, several people have sent in more shaggy dogs
for us to print. We received so many in fact, that we couldn't possibly
shove them all into one issue. It is a known fact in the world of medi-
cine that exposure to too many shaggy dog stories in one sitting can
cause excess groaning, (which can lead to sore throats), and can overwork
the "jovial-major" muscles. So, what we'll do is this: You keep on
sending us your favorite shaggy dog stories, and we will print ONLY ONE
PER MONTH, so they don't get tiresome, and to save you from the medical
expense of alleviating the above mentioned malignancies.
Here is this month's Shaggy Dog...

There once was a hunter that travelled to deep Africa. He hired a
local guide to show him the way through Africa to a legendary lake where,
supposedly, there were dolphins that lived forever. After the first day,
the hunter found a myna bird which perched itself on his shoulder for the
rest of the trip. On the 5th day, the guide pointed out a dead lion in
the path and indicated that the hunter should pass around the dead lion.
The hunter didn't heed the guide's warnings and stepped right over the
lion, whereupon he was arrested by the National Police. The reason:

"Transporting a myna across staid lions for immortal porpoises."

(Contributed by Henry Nussbacher)