Archive for the ‘Compass and Straightedge Constructions’ Category

Miss Faustus

February 24, 2016

I tried to make a pact with Mephistopheles but he only wanted my body.

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β+ decay

December 14, 2014

Twelve of them were sitting smugly
protons of magnesium
When their noisy neutron neighbours
Broke the equilibrium.

‘Why should ye reign over us
with yer posh positive charge?’
‘It’s us doon here who are the keel
Of this wee atomic barge.’

One proton shouts: ‘By Jove, yes!’
‘I’ll no longer live a lie!’
A positron and a neutrino
Are flung out towards the sky.

Eleven protons sitting snugly
No-one breaks the tedium,
With twelve neutrons they have formed a
Nucleus of sodium.

Priorities

March 12, 2013

Have you killed a man? Pray for forgiveness and thou shalt be forgiven.
Have you molested a child? Pray for forgiveness and thou shalt be forgiven.
Have you embezzled money? Pray for forgiveness and thou shalt be forgiven.
Have you fastidiously broken every single commandment and laughed all the way through? Pray for forgiveness and thou shalt be forgiven.

But send one tweet, just a single tweet from the Papal conclave and thou shalt be damned forever.

Amen.

Equilibria

November 8, 2012

It’s a well-known fact that a cake can be divided into two equal slices in cooperation by two players, who each only want to maximise their own share of it. All we need to do is tell one of them to cut the cake in two and the other to pick a slice.

Without even attempting any calculations it’s easy to see how their greed balances out and guarantees a fair outcome, exactly as game theory predicts.

Except…

Here, in front of us are two people desperate for cake.

And we’ve just given one of them a knife.

Precognition

October 22, 2012

“Yes, it’s those bloody scientists again. If they can’t even predict such a simple thing as an unpredictable natural disaster, of course they should be held responsible for all the destruction! I mean, what are we supposed to do? We don’t have magical powers or see visions, do we? Look, just look at the state of that altar! Awful.”

Testing

July 22, 2012

Isn’t it somewhat ironic that one of the oldest and most dependable internet scams is IQ testing?

Quantum

May 24, 2012

Quantum gravity: tough on causality, tough on the causes of causality.

Announcement

May 16, 2012

We announce with regret that the 2012 Summer Olympics will be cancelled due to an unforeseen shortage of summer.

Mayfly

April 2, 2012

Little mayfly,
little mayfly,
Sat on a branch and
pondered his life:

“My life’s just one day,
I live for one day,
And I say,
It’s okay.
But I had a bad day,
but I had a bad day.”

Little mayfly,
little mayfly,
trust me, mine
was shit too.

Experiment

February 23, 2012

It’s official: special relativity was a mistake.

Today it emerged that a thorough check of the equipment used by Messrs Michelson and Morley in their now famous experiment revealed tiny specks of dirt on one of the mirrors.

While many phantasists were understandably disappointed on hearing the news, not everyone is sad to see Einstein’s theory toppled.

‘Thankfully, sanity prevailed,’ said one physicist who wishes to stay anonymous. ‘As pretty as Einstein’s theory was mathematically, the notion of a non-absolute time would’ve gone against all the great progress we had been making in modern physics.’

‘Now that we’ve finally put this ridiculous E=mc2 business behind us, we will see the beginning of a new, glorious era of luminiferous aether-based technology’, he concluded.