Gentlemen, that reminds me....

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Gentlemen, that reminds me....
(Or, Pull up a sandbag lad, I wanna tell you a story!)



What's that you say Skippy? You and your mates are fighting back?

I found the following snippet at, please, oh please let it be true!

When Not To Re-use Computer Code

Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force

    The reuse of some object-oriented code had caused tactical headaches for Australia's armed forces. As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat training, programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and in the case of the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix - herds of kangaroos (since disturbed animals might well give away a helicopter's position).

    The head of the Defense Science and Technology Organization's Land Operations/Simulation division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials' movements and reactions to helicopters. Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachment reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures' speed of movement.

    Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the visiting Americans nodded appreciatively... then did a double take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and launched a barrage of Stinger missiles at the helpless helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten to remove that part of the infantry coding.)

    The lesson: Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in terms of an old one inherits all the attributes. The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with a newfound respect for Australian wildlife. Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onward have strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.

    From the June 15, 1999 Defense Science and Technology Organization Lecture series, Melbourne, Australia, and staff reports. Item taken from Software Testing and Quality Engineering magazine, Volume 1, Issue 6 (November/December 1999).


What's that Skippy? Someone shot down a helicopter? Now who'd go 'n do something like that mate?

Engineer jokes.....

Q: What is the definition of a engineer?
A: Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way that you don't understand.

Q: When does a person decide to become a engineer?
A: When he realises he doesn't have the charisma to be an undertaker.

Q: What do engineers use for birth control?
A: Their personalities.

Q: How can you tell an extroverted engineer?
A: When he talks to you, he looks at your shoes instead of his own.

Q: Why did the engineer cross the road?
A: Because they looked in the file and that's what they did last year.

Q: How do you drive a engineer completely insane?
A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way.

You might be a engineer if ........

...Choosing to buy flowers for your girlfriend or upgrading your RAM is a moral dilemma.
...You take a cruise so you can go on a personal tour of the engine room.
...In college you thought Spring Break was metal fatigue failure.
...The sales people at the local computer store can't answer any of your questions.
...At an air show you know how fast the skydivers are falling.
...You bought your wife a new CD-ROM drive for her birthday.
...You can quote scenes from any Monty Python movie.
...You can type 70 words per minute but can't read your own handwriting.
...You comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel.
...You sit backwards on the Disneyland rides to see how they do the special effects.
...You have saved every power cord from all your broken appliances.
...You have more friends on the Internet than in real life.
...You know what http:// stands for.
...You look forward to Christmas so you can put the kids' toys together.
...You see a good design and still have to change it.
...You spent more on your calculator than you did on your wedding ring.
...You still own a slide rule and know how to use it.
...You think that people yawning around you are sleep deprived.
...You window shop at Radio Shack.
...Your laptop computer costs more than your car.
...Your wife hasn't the foggiest idea of what you do at work.
...You've already calculated how much you make per second.
...You've tried to repair a 2-way radio.

Comprehending Engineers - 1

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

Comprehending Engineers - 2

An architect, an artist and an 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 an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, "I like both." "Both?" architect and artist questioned. Engineer replied: "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 office and get some work done."

Comprehending Engineers - 3

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

Comprehending Engineers - 4

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.

Comprehending Engineers - 5

A group of Q.A. inspectors were given the assignment to measure the height of a flagpole. So they go out to the flagpole with ladders and tape measures, and they're falling off the ladders,dropping the tape measures - the whole thing is just a mess. An engineer comes along and sees what they're trying to do, walks over, pulls the flagpole out of the ground, lays it flat, measures it from end to end, puts the pole back and gives the measurement to one of the inspectors and walks away. After the engineer has gone, one inspector turns to another and laughs. "Isn't that just like an engineer, we're looking for the height and he gives us the length."

(Thanks to my sister-in-law, Ann-Louise Tester, for sending me this one)


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Updated 01/02/2005

Constructed by Dick Barrett
ęCopyright 2000 - 2005 Dick Barrett
The right of Dick Barrett to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.