Sunday, April 22, 2012

Engineers in the South

Do you have no life and can prove it mathematically?

Are you in the habit of destroying things just to see how they work?

Do you assume people around you yawn because they don't get enough sleep?

Can you translate a foreign language into octal and binary?

Have you ever calculated how much you make per second?

Are the experts at Circuit City unable to answer any of your questions?

Can you explain the Doppler Effect and Plank's Constant to a third grader?

Do you have a pet named Einstein or Galileo or Newton or Pythagoras?

If you answered "yes" to at least 87.5 percent of these questions (7 out of 8), chances are you're an ideal candidate to become an engineer.

Not only do you need to think in math to become an engineer, but there are special requirements if you plan to do it in the South. One of my highly unreliable sources managed to steal a copy of the engineering licensing exam from a southern state. At the risk of being deported back up north, I've revealed some of the questions.

1) A 2-ton dump truck with a full load of horse manure is traveling at 35 mph on a typical Arkansas county dirt road. As it reaches the peak of a high hill the brakes fail and it begins an unimpeded descent down a slope with a 17% grade. Exactly halfway down the slope it reaches 52 mph. How much time will elapse before it reaches the bottom of the grade and what are the odds it will strike a vehicle with a working muffler along the way?

2) A man and a woman own a house on 2.7 acres in the West Virginia hills. They have two mules, seventeen cats and five grown boys: Billy Joe, Billy Bob, Billy Joe Bob, Merle and Earl. Can each of their boys put a mobile home (70 X 14) on the property and still have enough room for their electric appliances to sit out front?

3) There are five dead cars in the front yard of a house in a damp hollow along the lower end of a muddy creek in east Mississippi. There's a southern exposure and a dozen chickens loose in the yard. The '48 Packard, '52 Olds, '53 Chevy, '55 Ford and '58 Pontiac are in a random pattern and on blocks. Which car will rust out first?

4) A moonshiner in north Georgia operates a still at a capacity of 35 gallons of shine per hour. Assuming a daily mean temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit and an average humidity of 64 percent, how many 1962 Chevy Camero radiators are required to condense the product?

5) A front porch, 8 feet wide by 19.6 feet long, is constructed of 2x8 black oak planks on 4x4 hickory struts spaced 12 inches apart across a field rock foundation that rises 3.4 feet above a red clay surface in South Carolina. When the porch collapses, how many hound dogs will be killed?

6) What is the smallest limb diameter of a dogwood tree that will support a 12-pound possum?

7) Two woodcutters in Louisiana harvest 3.6 acres of trees. The plot is 78 percent oak and 22 percent hickory. The density of the trees in the plot is 388 per acre. The average oak diameter is 13.7 inches and the average hickory diameter is 11.1 inches. One woodcutter has a chainsaw that operates at 2,400 RPM and the other chainsaw operates at 2,800 RPM. How many 12-ounce beers will be consumed before the plot is cleared?

8) If every old refrigerator in south-central Alabama vented a charge of R-12 simultaneously, what would be the percentage decrease in the ozone layer?

9) At a variable reduction rate in the gene pool of 6.7 percent per generation, how long will it take for a town in Tennessee of 4,200 people or less to breed a country-western singer.

A person with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"

A person with an accounting degree asks, "How much did it cost?"

A person with a liberal arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Becoming an engineer isn't easy -- in the South, it takes a special possum-and-grits type mentality to qualify.

Quote for the Day -- "Scientists dream about doing great things -- engineers do them." James A. Michener

Bret Burquest is the author of 8 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY, ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS and PATH TO FOURTH DENSITY (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where beavers build better dams than the Army Corps of Engineers.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Land of the Giants

I lived in southern California in 1975-1987. One night I watched a local TV report about the remains of giants discovered on Catalina island (just off the coast of L.A.) in the late 19th century. They were 7 to 9 feet tall, with red hair and had a double set of teeth. Their skulls were up to 6 times larger than a normal human skull. In the 1800s, the remains of a similar giant was found on Santa Rosa Island, another coastal island near Santa Barbara. He also had a double row of teeth. It is one of the many items of weirdness that has found a permanent home in my cranial data base.

Surprise, surprise -- these ancient giants are found in many places globally.

In 1833, near San Luis Obispo, California, soldiers were digging a gunpowder pit and discovered the skeleton of a man 12 feet tall, surrounded by stone axes, carves shells and blocks containing numerous unknown symbols. He had a double row of upper and lower teeth.

In 1883, near Mandan, North Dakota, a 100-acre cemetery was discovered filled with bones of a race of giant humans.

In 1888, in St. Paul, Minnesota, seven skeletons were discovered, 7 to 8 feet tall.

In 1891, near Crittenden, Arizona, a 12-foot giant skeleton was unearthed, along with a huge stone coffin which contained a carving indicating the man had six toes.

In 1898, two brothers, H. Flagler Cowden and Charles C. Cowden, were scientists doing an archeological dig in Death Valley. They uncovered the fossilized remains of a human-like female, 7.5 feet tall. Her canine teeth were twice as long as a modern human. They also found remains of prehistoric camels and an elephant-like creature with four tusks.

In 1911, an 8-foot mummy with red hair was discovered in Lovelock Cave, California.

In 1931, near lovelock, Nevada, several huge skeletons were found in the Humboldt lake bed. An 8.5 foot skeleton was wrapped in a gum-covered fabric similar to an Egyptian mummy. Another skeleton was almost 10 feet tall.

In 1932, the Supervisor of the Lincoln National Park in White Sands, New Mexico, found human tracks (which included human instep imprint) in gypsum rock, 22 inches long and 10 inches wide.

In 1947, a retired doctor from Ohio discovered several mummified bodies, 8 to 9 feet tall, in caverns in the desert region south of Death Valley. They were dressed in medium length jackets and trousers extending slightly below the knees. The texture of the material was made from an animal skin unknown today. Also discovered within the cavern complex were household utensils and stoves which apparently cooked by radio waves. According to an Associated Press account of this discovery, the doctor claimed that in one of the caverns "was the ritual hall of the ancient people, together with devices and markings similar to those now used by the Masonic Order."

In 1965, a perfectly preserved skeleton was found under a rock ledge along Holly Creek, Kentucky. It measured 8 feet, 9 inches in length, with long arms, huge hands and the skull was 30 inches in circumference..

This is just a small sampling of giants roaming the earth in ancient times. Numerous Native American legends also speak of these giants and generally considered them hostile enemies. For example, the Sioux Indians told tales to Buffalo Bill Cody about how these ancient giants would run down the buffalo.

Skeletons of giant size, 7 to 10 feet, have also been found in Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Caucasus Mountain region.

The true history of Planet Earth is fascinating, complex and largely unknown. But that's okay because too much knowledge can cause the brain to explode.

Quote for the Day -- "When the war of the giants is over, the war of the pygmies will begin." Winston Churchill

Bret Burquest is the author of 8 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY, ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS and PATH TO FOURTH DENSITY (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and the spirit of Red Sonyah.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Perfect Score on an Idiot-O-Meter

March 25, 2012 -- William Todd, age 24, was riding a Greyhound Bus from his home in Kentucky, where he is a wanted fugitive. During a layover in Nashville, Tennessee, he decided to spend some time in the Music City amusing himself.

3:05 AM -- Todd breaks into a business -- he steals a shotgun, a revolver, a Taser and a T-shirt -- he shoots up the place and sets it on fire, burning it to the ground.

3:30 AM -- Todd encounters four people leaving a local bar -- he holds them up at gunpoint -- he Tases one of them, pistol whips another one, steals all their cash and credit cards.

3:40 AM -- Todd carjacks a taxicab at gunpoint -- he heads to Wal Mart where he uses the stolen credit cards to purchase some items.

5:00 AM -- Todd heads downtown -- he spots a law office on Union Street and breaks in -- he ransacks the place, defecates on a desk and smears feces on law degrees hanging on the wall.

6:00 AM -- Todd enters the nearby Hotel Indigo -- he goes door to door, pretending to be a female housekeeper, robbing hotel guests -- he holds a Canadian couple at gunpoint, stealing $600 -- at some point while in the hotel, he shaves his head.

9:00 AM -- Todd crashes his stolen taxicab in a parking garage.

11:00 AM -- Todd hails another taxicab, holding the driver at knifepoint -- he orders the driver to take him to Opry Mills Shopping Mall

11:30 AM -- Todd exits the taxi cab -- police soon arrive -- Todd is found hiding in a water cooling unit, up to his neck in liquid.

Congratulations to you, William Todd -- 11 felonies in 9 hours -- you have achieved a perfect score on an Idiot-O-Meter.

"I've had all that I wanted of a lot of things I've had...
And a lot more than I needed of some things that turned out bad...
I got sidetracked in El Paso, stopped to get a map...
Went the wrong way in Juarez with Juanita on my lap...
Went to sleep in Shreveport, woke up in Abilene..
Wondering why I'm wanted at some town half way in between...
Wanted Man in Albuquerque, Wanted Man in Syracuse...
Wanted Man in Tallahassee, Wanted Man in Baton Rouge...
There's somebody set to grab me anywhere I might be...
And wherever you might look tonight you might get a glimpse of me...
Wanted Man in California, Wanted Man in Buffalo...
Wanted Man in Kansas City, Wanted Man in Ohio...
Wanted Man in Mississippi, Wanted Man in old Cheyenne...
Wherever you might look tonight you might see this Wanted Man."
(Wanted Man -- lyrics by Bob Dylan)

Looking back on all the stupid things I did in my life, I now feel cleansed.

Quote for the Day -- "Sometimes I am two people -- Johnny is the nice one -- Cash causes all the trouble -- they fight." Johnny Cash

Bret Burquest is the author of 8 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY, ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS and PATH TO FOURTH DENSITY (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee, and the ghosts of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.