New Technology

Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade-named BOOK.

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here’s how it works: BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKS with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though, like other devices, it can become damaged if coffee is spilled on it and it becomes unusable if dropped too many times on a hard surface. The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which pin-points the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session — even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOK markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK. You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with optional programming tools, Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Style (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking to invest. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

Religious Tech Support

Ring ring…

God: Hello this is the religion help line, what is your disbelief?

Sinner: I seem to have lost my faith.

God: Was your faith installed by an ordained priest or a Catholic Minister?

Sinner: Ummm… lets see, I have a confirmation, so it must have been a priest.

God: And have you been doing your Faith updates with Weekly Services?

Sinner: Well, no, not all of them, but I did get the big upgrade at Christmas and Easter, and a few other Weekly Services here and there.

God: Have you recently heard any contrary Data that might have corrupted your faith?

Sinner: Not that I can think of…

God: Please remember that corrupting data can come in many forms, from Simple Lies *(Microsoft) or Street Rhetoric (Internet). Have your Ears downloaded anything that might be construed as corrupting?

Sinner: Well I did listen to a bum on the street that said that God was asleep and that anyone who believes was being lulled into the fires of hell.

God: What you have is a paradox, that is the problem with your faith, you see, somehow you have an INI string installed that does not let you Believe in God, but the output of this string is a Goto Hell. Without God there is no hell, thus the paradox.

Sinner: And how do I get this Paradox out of my system?

God: Please re-read the book that came with your faith, The Bible® and recall the passages that deal with heaven and hell, and look to the passages about Judas.ini. You can also find some help in the Psalms 100-120, but those are long and confusing and should only be used with a complete lack of Faith.

Sinner: And what can I do so that my Faith never becomes corrupted again?

God: Well there are several products out there just for that purpose, Lotus Devout®, Microsoft Seminary Plus®, and Google Hereafter Browser®. If you use these products and not download data from know corrupting sources, you should be fine.

Sinner: Well thank you very much God, This should help out a lot, I should be believing in you without a doubt in no time.

God: Go in Peace® my son.

Ring ring…

God: Hello this is the religion help line, what is your disbelief?

Sinner: Hello, I am now Jewish…

Jesus Saves

Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better on his computer. They had been going at it for days, and God was tired of hearing all of the bickering. Finally God said, “Cool it. I am going to set up a test that will run two hours and I will judge who does the better job”.

So down Satan and Jesus sat at the keyboards and typed away. They moused. They did spreadsheets. They wrote reports. They sent faxes. They sent e-mail. They sent out e-mail with attachments. They downloaded. They did some genealogy reports. They made cards. They did every known job.

But ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, the rain poured and, of course, the electricity went off. Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed.

The electricity finally flickered back on, and each of them restarted his computer. Satan started searching frantically, screaming “It’s gone! It’s all gone! I lost everything when the power went out!”

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours. Satan observed this and became irate. “Wait! He cheated, how did he do it?”

God shrugged and said, “Jesus saves”.

Dihydrogen Monoxide is Dangerous

Idaho Falls, Idaho — Dihydrogen monoxide causes thousands of drownings each year, leads to excessive sweating and vomiting and contributes to land erosion. And there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Fifteen-year-old Nathan Zohner made people aware of that fact by proving in his science project on critical thinking skills just how vulnerable people are.

Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, universities, even members of Idaho’s Congressional delegation have been calling Nathan in recent weeks to talk about the project that won the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair in April, the Post Register reported Wednesday.

The project asked 50 ninth graders if the compound called dihydrogen monoxide should be banned. Forty-three said yes and six were undecided. Only one person was able to tell Nathan dihydrogen monoxide is just another name for water.

The Skyline High School sophomore said he just wanted to show how easily people can be misled.

“Some of my friends could have done this. It wasn’t that extraordinary. It was just a simple science project that kind of blew up,” he said.

Nathan got the idea after his father, Steven, a nuclear scientist at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, brought home a flier from an anonymous author describing the “dangers” of dihydrogen monoxide.

Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

The Invisible Killer

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.
  • Contamination Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions!

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.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

  • 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 Horror Must Be Stopped!

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.


When Albert Einstein was making the rounds of the speaker’s circuit, he usually found himself eagerly longing to get back to his laboratory work. One night as they were driving to yet another rubber-chicken dinner, Einstein mentioned to his chauffeur (a man who somewhat resembled Einstein in looks & manner) that he was tired of speechmaking.

“I have and idea, boss,” his chauffeur said. “I’ve heard you give this speech so many times. I’ll bet I could give it for you.”

Einstein laughed loudly and said, “Why not? Let’s do it!”

When they arrive at the dinner, Einstein donned the chauffeur’s cap and jacket and sat in the back of the room. The chauffeur gave a beautiful rendition of Einstein’s speech and even answered a few questions expertly.

Then a supremely pompous professor ask an extremely esoteric question about anti-matter formation, digressing here and there to let everyone in the audience know that he was nobody’s fool.

Without missing a beat, the chauffeur fixed the professor with a steely stare and said, “Sir, the answer to that question is so simple that I will let my chauffeur, who is sitting in the back, answer it for me.”

Converting Pi to Binary

WARNING: Do NOT calculate Pi in binary. It is conjectured that this number is normal, meaning that it contains ALL finite bit strings. If you compute it, you will be guilty of:

  • Copyright infringement (of all books, all short stories, all newspapers, all magazines, all web sites, all music, all movies, and all software, including the complete Windows source code)
  • Trademark infringement
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Espionage (unauthorized possession of top secret information)
  • Possession of DVD-cracking software
  • Possession of threats to the President
  • Possession of everyone’s Social Security Number, everyone’s credit card numbers, everyone’s PIN numbers, everyone’s unlisted phone numbers, and everyone’s passwords
  • Defaming Islam. Not technically illegal, but you’ll have to go into hiding along with Salman Rushdie.
  • Defaming Scientology. Which IS illegal — just ask Keith Henson.

Also, your computer will contain all of the nastiest known computer viruses. In fact, all of the nastiest POSSIBLE computer viruses.

Some of the files on my PC are intensely personal, and I for one don’t want you snooping through a copy of them.

You might get away with computing just a few digits, but why risk it? There’s no telling how far into Pi you can go without finding the secret documents about the JFK assassination, a photograph of your neighbor’s six year old daughter doing the nasty with the family dog, or complete copies of the not-yet-released Star Wars prequels. So just don’t do it.

The same warning applies to e, the square root of 2, Euler’s constant, Phi, the cosine of any non-zero algebraic number, and the vast majority of all other real numbers.

There’s a reason why these numbers are always computed and shown in decimal, after all.

Your First Game of Tradewars

by Shell

Note: Tradewars is on online role-playing game where you are a spaceship captain, and roam a universe trading, robbing and/or killing away. You also get to build things and gather colonists. There was a browser-based game for several years, but sadly, this has apparently gone by the wayside. If you want to try this game out, the link at the bottom of the page is still active and has resources for you.

On your first game you most likely did the following:

  • Warped around in a Merchant Cruiser with 30 holds. You stopped and ported at ports NOT for money, but for those few experience points you get from finding a ‘neglected’ port. That’s the highlight of your day! “Yes, 50 experience just for porting at this one port!” Heh, you don’t need the money, just those experience points!
  • Asked for help, but never recieved any.
  • FINALLY bought some holds around your 20th day. “Hey, these scanners might do me some good!” You still warped around hitting P and enter a few times, then moved on.
  • Never went good OR evil. You just kept on warping around porting for those experience points. Hey, you might actually have been in the top 10.
  • Listened over fedcomm, wondering `what the heck are these people talking about?!’
  • Bought some gen torps and popped a few planets in a 1 deep tunnel. You farmed class Ms and Us. For weeks, they only had about 1,000 colonists and weren’t even upgrading.
  • Sat in fedspace with over 1,000 experience then wondered “what am doing in this escape pod?”
  • Traded in that escape pod for 1 week and finally bought another cheezy ship.
  • FINALLY bought transwarp for that ship. But, five minutes after you found some fuel ore you blindwarped into a port.
  • Bought ANOTHER ship with twarp, and blind warped again.
  • By now, you’ve blindwarped quite a few times.
  • Put fighters on a L1 planet to defend it.
  • Started a port but didn’t put any commodities on the planet for it to upgrade. Then you wonder, “what’s the deal?”
  • Someone tricks you into `typing cby really fast!’ They said they’d pay you, of course.
  • Gotten killed by nav haz and deployed fighters more times than you an count on your fingers and toes.
  • Went into the Single’s Bar.
  • Gotten killed on the Underground.
  • Had all your holds taken by Ferrengi.
  • Been killed by Ferrengi.
  • Killed aliens and got blown up by corbomite.

If you haven’t done at least 10 of those things (or had them done to you), your first game wasn’t REAL.

Slacker’s Guide to TW2002

Replying To An Invitation To A Scientists’ Ball

  • Pierre and Marie Curie were radiating enthusiasm.
  • Einstein thought it would be relatively easy to attend.
  • Volta was electrified, and Archimedes was buoyant at the thought.
  • Ampere was worried he wasn’t up to current research.
  • Ohm resisted the idea at first.
  • Boyle said he was under too much pressure.
  • Edison thought it would be an illuminating experience.
  • Watt reckoned it would be a good way to let off steam.
  • Stephenson thought the whole idea was loco.
  • Wilbur Wright accepted, provided he and Orville could get a flight.
  • Dr Jekyll declined — he hadn’t been feeling himself lately.
  • Morse’s reply: “I’ll be there on the dot. Can’t stop now must dash.”
  • Heisenberg was uncertain if he could make it.
  • Hertz said he planned the future to attend with greater frequency.
  • Henry begged off due to a low capacity for alcohol.
  • Audubon said he’d have to wing it.
  • Hawking said he’d try to string enough time together to make a space in his schedule.
  • Darwin said he’d have to see what evolved.
  • Schrodinger had to take his cat to the vet, or did he?
  • Mendel said he’d put some things together and see what came out.
  • Descartes said he’d think about it.
  • Newton was moved to attend.
  • Pavlov was drooling at the thought.
  • Gauss was asked to attend because of his magnetic personality.

Engineers Explained

People who work in the fields of science and technology are not like other people. This can be frustrating to the nontechnical people who have to deal with them. The secret to coping with technology-oriented people is to understand their motivations. This chapter will teach you everything you need to know. I learned their customs and mannerisms by observing them, much the way Jane Goodall learned about the great apes, but without the hassle of grooming.

Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. The word “engineer” is greatly overused. If there’s somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth.

Engineer Identification Test
  • You walk into a room and notice that a picture is hanging crooked. You…

      a. Straighten it.
      b. Ignore it.
      c. Buy a CAD system and spend the next six months designing a solar-powered, self-adjusting picture frame while often stating aloud your belief that the inventor of the nail was a total moron.

    The correct answer is “C” but partial credit can be given to anybody who writes “It depends” in the margin of the test or simply blames the whole stupid thing on “Marketing.”

  • Social Skills
    Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction.

    “Normal” people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:

    • Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation
    • Important social contacts
    • A feeling of connectedness with other humans

    In contrast to “normal” people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:

    • Get it over with as soon as possible.
    • Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant.
    • Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.

  • Fascination with Gadgets
    To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories: (1)things that need to be fixed, and (2)things that will need to be fixed after you’ve had a few minutes to play with them. Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. Normal people don’t understand this concept; they 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.

    No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. No engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary. To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toys.

  • Fashion and Appearance
    Clothes are the lowest priority for a engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and if no genitalia or mammary glands are swinging around in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.
  • Love of Star Trek
    Engineers love all of the “Star Trek” television shows and movies. It’s a small wonder, since the engineers on the starship Enterprise are portrayed as heroes, occasionally even having sex with aliens. This is much more glamorous than the real life of an engineer, which consists of hiding from the universe and having sex without the participation of other life forms.
  • Dating and Social Life
    Dating is never easy for engineers. A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.

    Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house. While it’s true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their

    Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible
    men in technical professions:

    • Bill Gates.
    • MacGyver.
    • Et cetera.

    Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it’s a warm day.

  • Honesty
    Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can’t handle the truth. Engineers sometimes bend the truth to avoid work. They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them. The complete list of engineer lies is listed below.

    • “I won’t change anything without asking you first.”
    • “I’ll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow.”
    • “I have to have new equipment to do my job.”
    • “I’m not jealous of your new computer.”
  • Frugality
    Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, “How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?”
  • Powers of Concentration
    If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.
  • Risk
    Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake, the media will treat it like it’s a big deal or something.

    Examples of Bad Press for Engineers

    • Hindenberg.
    • Space Shuttle Challenger.
    • SPANet(tm)
    • Hubble space telescope.
    • Apollo 13.
    • Titanic.
    • Ford Pinto.
    • Corvair.

    The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this:

    • RISK: Public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people.
    • REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.

    Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain.

    If that approach is not sufficient to halt a project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defense: “It’s technically possible but it will cost too much.”

  • Ego
    Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:
    How smart they are.
    How many cool devices they own.

    The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it’s solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal — a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature.

    Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem. (Other times just because they forgot.) And when they succeed in solving the problem they will experience an ego rush that is better than sex–and I’m including the kind of sex where other people are involved.

    Nothing is more threatening to the engineer than the suggestion that somebody has more technical skill. Normal people sometimes use that knowledge as a lever to extract more work from the engineer. When an engineer says that something can’t be done (a code phrase that means it’s not fun to do), some clever normal people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines: “I’ll ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems.”

    At that point it is a good idea for the normal person to not stand between the engineer and the problem. The engineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop.