Some Scientific Facts
The beguiling ideas about science quoted here were gleaned from essays, exams, and class room discussions; most were from fifth- and sixth-graders. They illustrate Mark Twain's contention that the "most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop." Question: What is one horsepower? Answer: One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second. You can listen to thunder after lightening and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it you got hit, so never mind. Talc is found in rocks and on babies. The law of gravity says no fair jumping up without coming back down. When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions. Clouds are high flying fogs. When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting. Rainbows are just to look at, not to really understand. While the earth seems to be knowingly keeping its distance from the sun, it is really only centrificating. Some day we may discover how to make magnets that can point in any direction. South America has cold summers and hot winters, but somehow they still manage. Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime. Water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. There are 180 degrees between freezing and boiling because there are 180 degrees between north and south. A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go. There are 26 vitamins in all, but some of the letters are yet to be discovered. Finding them all means living forever. There is a tremendous weight pushing down on the center of the Earth because of so much population stomping around up there these days. Lime is a green-tasting rock. Many dead animals of the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil. Genetics explain why you look like your father and if you don't why you should. Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there. Some oxygen molecules help fires burn while others help make water, so sometimes it's brother against brother. Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers. We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation. Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on. To most people solutions mean finding the answers. But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up. In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are twice as many H's as O's. I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing. Clouds just keep circling the Earth around and around. And around. There is not much else to do. Water vapor gets together in a cloud. When it is big enough to be called a drop, it does. When there is fog, you might as well not mind looking at it. Humidity is the experience of looking for air and finding water. We keep track of the humidity in the air so we won't drown when we breathe. In making rain water, it takes everything from H to O. When rain water strikes forest fires, it heckstingwishes them. Luckily it affects we of the humans unlike that. Rain is often spoken of as soft water, oppositely known as hail. Rain is saved up in cloud banks. In some rocks you can find the fossil footprints of fishes. Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dog's tongue will kill the strongest man. A blizzard is when it snows sideways. A hurricane is a breeze of a bigly size. A monsoon is a French gentleman. A thunderstorm is like a shower, only moreso. Thunder is a rich source of loudness. Isotherms and isobars are even more important that their names sound. It is so hot in some parts of the world that the people there have to live other places. The wind is like the air, only pushier. Question: In what ways are we dependant on the sun? Answer: We can always depend on the sun for sunburn and tidal waves. Until it is decided whether tornadoes are typhoons or hurricanes, we must continue to call them tornadoes.
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