23 Comments

  1. deety — exactly right. Well, Led Zepplin is arguably not, at least not most of the time, but they’re made of led, anyway, so they would count.

  2. Who can decipher the faint text in the last one? I sure can’t. I get “I pressed the fire control…and ahead of [something something something] through the sky”.

    Oh wait, nvm, see

    (posted for anyone else who was puzzled!)

  3. I worked for a company that did avionics software for the Space Shuttle. I was told the following: For the first flight of the shuttle, every piece of anything that went into the shuttle had to be weighed down to the fraction of an ounce to calculate the total weight. This included the computers and everything associated with the computers. There was a line item under “computers:” “software”. So the head guy at my company got a call from a bureaucrat asking how much the software weighs.
    “What do mean, how much does the software weigh?”
    “Did your company produce the software for the shuttle?”
    “Yes.”
    “Is the software loaded onto the computers on the shuttle?”
    “Yes.”
    “So the software is on the space shuttle.”
    “Yes.”
    “How much does it weigh?”
    “It doesn’t weigh anything.”
    “Look, everything on the shuttle has to be accounted for by weight.”
    “It weighs zero.”
    “It can’t weigh zero.”
    “How precise can the weight be?”
    “Precise to two hundredths of an ounce.”
    “All right, the software weighs two hundredths of an ounce.”
    “Thank you. Goodbye.”

  4. Yes, Brian in STL must be right, as Phil was referring to the WHAAM that was on the Saturday (OY) post, not the Saturday-for-Sunday (LOL) one where the comment ended up. I didn’t see that because he said something about “the last one” and on the views I had for the post it was actually on the top, above the post title. Aha! Sorry Phil, that must have led you astray since in a continuous scroll it would seem to go with the previous post.

    I think noting this is the closest to a repair we can do. I don’t know how to transplant a comment from one thread to another, and besides, it would then want to be mildly rewritten.

  5. The version of the software weight for a space launch (set much earlier than the space shuttle) that I heard had the programmers finally produce a deck of punched cards; the bureaucrat was satisfied and asked them to weigh the cards, and got the reply “Oh, no, the software is not the cards; it’s the holes.” More amusing if less likely to be true.

  6. Wasn’t there an experiment purporting to prove the existence of the human soul by weighing a person just before they died, and then just after, and noting a difference?

  7. If you take a deck of computer cards, and weigh it, and then punch the software onto the cards, and weigh the deck again, you will see that software has negative weight.

  8. With regard to the weight of the soul, most religions make a distinction between the material realm and the spiritual realm. The material realm is everything with physical existence: matter, energy, gravity, weight, mass. Although the spiritual can sometimes be directly perceived by humans (according to these religious, as when a saint speaks to a prophet), it has no physical weight, mass, energy or other characteristics that can be observed or measured by ordinary scientific instruments. Thus the soul has no weight and cannot be photographed. (Again with exceptions, because spiritual entities supposedly can manipulate material objects, as ghosts insert themselves into photographs.)

  9. “With regard to the weight of the soul, most religions make a distinction between the material realm and the spiritual realm. ”

    Yeah, but there’s another movement that separating spiritual from the material implies religious doctrine is not as real, or is real in a different way. It’d be great (to them) to show that the spiritual is just as real and real in the exact same way as the physical.

    Stories of this kind abound My favorite in idiocy is the story of the scientist who postulated the age of the universe by theoretical means, and then analyzed the data and calculated the age of the universe by physical evidence and found the results differed by a few hours. Puzzled he goes through everything over and over again and gets the same results. Finally he realized the discrepency was Joshua spoke to the sun to hold still.

    Still, shouldn’t they have figured to soul must be of a material lighter than ether and did no-one speculate a dead body would weigh more.

  10. Powers, I would agree that in the Fusco one we aren’t going to reconstruct a coherent backstory, with causal explanations. But that is almost the joke right there. Plus, the idea that their voice menu was built to take in this unusual condition; and that he is going along with the menu and the process and responds the way they told him to. (I don’t know their different names.)

  11. “I have to admit I don’t get the Fusco panel.” — I first read that as “Fusco is not on my list” and I was about to reply “Admit? I’d be proud of that.” But since you probably meant you didn’t understand the joke, I’d reply that Mark in Boston cited a way to make it somewhat funny.

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