I built a better model than the one at Data General
Where are the zeros of zeta of s?
The physicist's lament
A Mathematician's progress
Math 134 (223)
I've got a little list
My eyes are fully open
Bourbaki
The Calculus Professor's Song
Tom Lehrer's Professor's Song
There's a Delta For Every Epsilon (Calypso)
Don't think twice (it's all wrong)
The North Hall Story
Prove me a lemma
Dream a little dream of math
Winter/Desert Wonderland
Woodrow Wilson's Favorite Limerick
April in Fairbanks
My Attorney Bernie
Bomb Iraq
Fleas
I Error Messages in HAIKU

I built a better model than the one at Data General
To the tune of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" from Gilbert and Sullivan's PINAFORE; Words by Steven Levine (Forwarded by Mike Hirsch).

I built a better model than the one at Data General,
For databases vegetable, animal and mineral.
My OS handles CPUs with multiplexed duality.
My PL/1 compiler shows impressive functionality.
My storage system's better than magnetic core polarity;
You needn't even bother checking out a bit for parity.
There isn't any reason to install non-static floor matting.
My disk drive has capacity for variable formatting.
I feel compelled to mention what I know to be a gloating point:
There's lots of space in memory for variables floating-point.
Which shows for input vegetable, animal and mineral,
I build a better model than the one at Data General.

The IBM new home computer's nothing more than germinal.
At Prime they still have problems with an interactive terminal.
While Tandy's done a lousy job with operations Boolean,
At Wang the byte capacity's too small to fit a coolie in.
Intel's mid-year finances are something of the trouble sort,
The Timex-Sinclair crashes when you implement a bubble sort.
All DEC investors soon will find they haven't spent their money well.
And need I even mention Nixdorf, Univac and Honeywell?
By striving to eliminate all source code that's repetitive,
I've brought my benchmark standings to results that are competitive.
In short, for input vegetable, animal and mineral,
I built a better model than the one at Data General.

In fact, when I've a Winchester of minimum diameter,
When I can call a subroutine of infinite parameter,
When I can point to registers and keep their current map around,
And when I can prevent the need for mystifying wraparound,
When I can update record blocks with minimum of suffering,
And when I can afford to use 100K for buffering,
When I've performed a matrix sort and tested the addition rate,
You'll marvel at the speed of my asynchronous transmission rate.
Though all my better programs that self-reference recursively
Have only been obtained through expert spying done subversively,
Still for input vegetable, animal and mineral,
I built a better model than the one at Data General.


Where are the zeros of zeta of s?
to the tune of "Sweet Betsy from Pike"; words by Tom Apostol

Where are the zeros of zeta of s?
G.F.B. Riemann has made a good guess,
They're all on the critical line, sai he,
And their density's one over 2pi log t.

This statement of Riemann's has been like trigger
And many good men, with vim and with vigor,
Have attempte to find, with mathematical rigor,
What happens to zeta as mod t gets bigger.

The efforts of Landau and Bohr and Cramer,
And Littlewood, Hardy and Titchmarsh are there,
In spite of their efforts and skill and finesse,
(In) locating the zeros there's been no success.

In 1914 G.H. Hardy did find,
An infinite number that lay on the line,
His theorem however won't rule out the case,
There might be a zero at some other place.

Let P be the function pi minus li,
The order of P is not known for x high,
If square root of x times log x we could show,
Then Riemann's conjecture would surely be so.

Related to this is another enigma,
Concerning the Lindelof function mu(sigma)
Which measures the growth in the critical strip,
On the number of zeros it gives us a grip.

But nobody knows how this function behaves,
Convexity tells us it can have no waves,
Lindelof said that the shape of its graph,
Is constant when sigma is more than one-half.

Oh, where are the zeros of zeta of s?
We must know exactly, we cannot just guess,
In orer to strengthen the prime number theorem,
The integral's contour must not get too near 'em.


The physicist's lament
to the tune of "Clouds" by Joni Mitchell; words by William Hughes; contributed by Jeff Hildebrand from the Swarthmore filk finds.

Extremely tiny billiard balls
exert a force on every wall.
moving much too fast to fall:
I've looked at light that way.
But now this doesn't seem to fit,
when looking through a double slit.
And shadows blur a little bit
with this peculiar ray.

I've looked at light from both sides now,
from speck and wave, and still somehow,
it's light's illusions I recall.
I really don't know light at all.

Moving steady as can be,
with lots of simultaneity.
A smooth increase in entropy:
I've looked at time that way.
But near the speed of light, I've found,
all rates of change start slowing down,
while antimatter turns things round,
and goes the other way.

I've looked at time from both sides now,
from where and when, and still somehow,
it's just equations I recall.
I really don't know time at all.

Yellows, red and sometimes blue,
just u's and d's will nicely do
to give protons and neutrons too:
I've looked at quarks that way.
But lambdas now are acting strange.
They're taking much too long to change.
For something's lost if something's gained,
during their strong decay.

I've looked at quarks from both sides now
from up an down, and still somehow,
it's only hadrons I recall.
I really don't know quarks at all.


A Mathematician's progress
to the tune of "When I was a lad" from Gilbert and Sullivan's opera PINAFORE.

When I was a lad and went to school
arithmetic was taught by rote and rule;
I did long division and I learned cube root;
at the rule of three I was especially astute.

I was so astute at the rule of three
that now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(He was so astute at the rule of three
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

In high school geometry I made my mark;
the teachers called me a regular shark.
I memorized theorems through and through;
originals I never was required to do.

I committed so much to memory
that now I am the holder of a Ph. D.
(HE committed so much to memory
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

I chose college courses carefully:
the first digit had to be less than three.
By arranging for my courses to intersect,
I avoided putting pressure on my intellect.

I arranged so much redundancy
that now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(He arranged so much redundancy
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

The faculty though that I was such a jerk,
I was obviously destined for graduate work.
They gave me a job to earn my pelf,
by teaching younger morons like myself.

I taught those morons with such esprit
that now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(He taught those morons with such esprit
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

Oh they had a silly rule that a thesis was required,
so a found a kind professor whose assistance I desired;
he said, "Do this," and he said, "Do that,"
and he had my thesis finished up in two months flat.

It was not a brilliant thesis, but it didn't have to be
so now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(it was not a brilliant thesis, but it didn't have to be,
so now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

All that remained was my defense;
the questioning was less than intense.
the profs all said I made a very bad show,
but I knew as much at present as I ever would know.

So in order to be rid of me,
they finally had to let me have a Ph.D.
(So in order to be rid of he,
they finally had to let him have a Ph.D.)

Now students all, both far and near,
if you are thinking of an academic career,
if you don't want to teach in a secondary school,
be careful to be guided by this golden rule.

Don't ever try to show originality,
and you all may be holders of a Ph.D.
(Don't ever try to show originality,
and you all may be holders of a Ph.D.)

Math 134 (223)
To the tune of "Blowing in the wind"; words by Bruce Pollack-Johnson; contributed by Robert Wilson (rjw@prodigal.psych.rochester.edu)

How many times must a teacher explain
before students understand "e"?
How many brains must one student have
to comprehend infinity?
Yes, and how many functions can these math folks invent
before driving students to their knees?
The answer my friends, ain't in the back of the book
the answer's in math 134

How many terms must a student expand
to get an acceptable error?
How many methods must one student learn
before integration's not a terror?
Yes, and how many verses will it take 'til I learn
that I'm not as good as Tom Lehrer
The answer...

-Robert
rjw@cvs.rochester.edu


I've got a little list
to the corresponding tune in Gilbert and Sullivan's opera "The Mikado"; words by Mark Wilson

As some day it may happen that the budget must decay,
I've got a little list - I've got a little list,
Of mathematical offenders who might well be sent away,
And who never would be missed - who never would be missed!

There's the pestilential lecturers who won't define their terms,
Like CLT-groups, n-jets and biholomorphic germs.
All speakers who can't tell the time or see you're there no more,
All speakers who wish earnestly to chitchat with the floor,
And the picture-drawing low-dimensional topologist,
They'd none of 'em be missed - they'd none of 'em be missed!

CHORUS. He's got 'em on the list - he's got 'em on the list,
And they'll none of 'em be missed - they'll none of them be missed.

There's the nonsmoking crusader and the others of his race,
And the all-but physicist - I've got him on the list!
All category jugglers who would live in twistor space,
They never would be missed, they never would be missed!
The people who embark on proofs without hypotheses,
Insert, delete and alter them in any way they please.
The hapless student who believes on every single day,
"if P yields Q then Q yields P", and then demands an 'A'.
And those singular anomalies, applied set theorists,
I don't think they'd be missed - I'm sure they'd not be missed!

CHORUS. He's got them on the list - he's got them on the list,
And I don't think they'd be missed - I'm sure they'd not be missed!

And that outgrowth of heuristics who the calculus would save,
The nonstandard analyst - I've got him on the list!
All axiom-stretchers, lemma freaks , and definition slaves,
They'd none of 'em be missed - they'd none of 'em be missed.
And insufferable support staff of an antisocial kind,
Such as what-d'ye call her, thing-em-bob, and likewise - never mind.
And 'St-'St-'St- and What's-her-name, and also You-know-who -
The task of filling in the blanks I'd rather leave to you.
But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed - they'd none of 'em be missed!

CHORUS. You may put 'em on the list - you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed - they'll none of 'em be missed!


My eyes are fully open
To the tune of of the song of the same name from Gilbert and Sullivan's opera RUDDIGORE; words by Robin Pemantle

My eyes are fully open to my awful situation:
work for business, wear a suit, get only ten days of vacation,
and the fact that I'll be getting almost twice the compensation
doesn't even start to balance out the moral indignation.
For the letters I got back from every hiring committee
said in essence, tinged with varying expressions of their pity,
"Though we've never seen a thesis that was better typed or fatter,
if you were to die tomorrow, sir ... this work just wouldn't matter."

sir, this work just wouldn't matter
sir, this work just wouldn't matter
sir, this work just wouldn't matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

After passing all my quals, I started studying connections
between holomorphic localized commutative transvections
and the inverse limit complex they induce by intersections
but, alas, all the examples have thus far escaped detection.
So I switched into the area of meta-mathematics,
where I found a universal form for third-degree quadratics.
Now I'm mad as a logician, madder still than any hatter,
and my discourse is reduced from math to infantile chatter.

math to infantile chatter
math to infantile chatter
math to infantile chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter!

If I had been so lucky as to have a good advisor
who was just a little older, grayer, richer, smarter, wiser,
who could give me good direction when he saw me start to wander
from those fields of mathematics of which NSF is fonder,
Then I might have had a job at an upstanding institution,
gotten tenure, won a medal for "distinguished contribution" --
as it is this rapid, vapid, unintelligible patter
isn't generally heard and if it is it doesn't matter!

if it is it doesn't matter
if it is it doesn't matter
if it is it doesn't matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

Bourbaki
to the tune of Glory Glory Halleluja (From U. Chicago Beer party ~1955). Contributed by Moe Hirsch

Analysts, topologists, geometers agree:
When it comes to generality, there's none like Bourbaki!
One theorem by them will equal N by you and me,
Bourbaki goes marching on!

Chorus:
Glory, glory halleluja,
Their generality will fool ya--
They're axiomatically peculiah!
Bourbaki goes marching on!

To prove that two plus two is four, here is what they do:
They show that A plus B is C if A and B are 2;
We know that C is half of D and D is four times 2,
Bourbaki goes marching on!

[Chorus]

They commenced to write a book to train young analysts,
but in filling in foundations, they encountered many twists.
Now their dream to end in finite time has vanished in the mists,
Bourbaki goes marching on!

[Chorus]

Algebras and groups and rings suffice for you and me --
cogebras and bigebras abound in Bourbaki;
functors contravariant, defined by their degree,
Bourbaki goes marching on!

[Chorus]

In the glory of the twenties came to be homology:
those groups of Emmy Noether which transfigured you and me.
As she tried to make them cyclic, Bourbaki has made them free!
Bourbaki goes marching on!

[Chorus]


The Calculus Professor's Song
words by John Harper
sung to the tune of the Major-General's Song from Pirates of Penzance
adapted from the words and music of Gilbert and Sullivan

I am the very model of a modern prof of calculus,
With students of all types, the goof off and the somnabulus;
I scribble on the black board as if guided by divinity,
I'm audible to all in the immediate vicinity.

I spend a lot of classroom time on any triviality,
While hiding all the tricky parts in clouds of geniality;
In turning out assessments I make efforts to be up-to-date--
Distinguishing incompetence from the merely second rate.

My pedagogic stylings put great stress on the empirical,
That anyone learns anything is really quite a miracle;
My course evaluations turn the dean into an angry cuss;
I am the very model of a modern prof of calculus.

With deans or irate parents I'm a model of urbanity,
And never foul the atmosphere with outbursts of profanity;
I find the wheat among the chaff with deftness that's rabbinical,
And never use expressions that are querulous or cynical.

My labors in the classroom rank with some of those of Hercules,
But don't uplift the students, most of whom just want to be M.D.'s;
At depart-mental meetings I can always brightly lift a pall,
By spouting a few lines of that infernal nonsense "flunk them all!"

People say it's time for me to take a long sabbatical,
And put my better efforts into something mathematical;
A modern prof of calculus has need for great dramatics,
It's very entertaining but it isn't mathematics.

I can learn to treat the students like demanding paying customers,
And fend off engineers who do the work of cattle rustlers.
Like a nightclub entertainer, I can bask in waves of grand applause
By handing out high grades just like some hyperactive Santa Claus.

Calculus reform's another gold mine for a master chef
In cooking up new schemes to tap the coffers of the NSF.
One fine day when I become a master of the rule of three
You'll say a better prof. of calculus has never earned a fee.

My pedagogic methods, though inventive styles of lecturey,
Resemble those in use at the beginning of this century;
But linking all these words and stealing rhymes that are miraculous
Is not the sort of thing you get from average profs of calculus.


The Professor's Song
Words by Tom Lehrer
Tune: "If You Give Me Your Attention" from _Princess_Ida_ (Gilbert and Sullivan)

If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am.
I'm a brilliant math'matician -- also something of a ham.
I have tried for numerous degrees, in fact I've one of each;
Of course that makes me eminently qualified to teach.
I understand the subject matter thoroughly, it's true,
And I can't see why it isn't all as obvious to _you_.
Each lecture is a masterpiece, meticulously planned,
Yet everybody tells me that I'm hard to understand,
And I can't think why.

My diagrams are models of true art, you must agree,
And my handwriting is famous for its legibility.
Take a word like "minimum" (to choose a random word),
{This was performed at a blackboard, and the professor wrote: /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/}.
For anyone to say he cannot read that, is absurd.
The anecdotes I tell get more amusing every year,
Though frankly, what they go to prove is sometimes less than clear.
And all my explanations are quite lucid, I am sure,
Yet everybody tells me that my lectures are obscure,
And I can't think why.

Consider, for example, just the force of gravity:
It's inversely proportional to something -- let me see --
It's r^3 -- no, r^2 -- no, it's just r, I'll bet --
The sign in front is plus -- or is it minus, I forget --
Well, anyway, there _is_ a force, of that there is no doubt.
All these formulas are trivial if you only think them out.
Yet students tell me, "I have memorized the whole year through
Ev'rything you've told us, but the problems I can't do."
And I can't think why!


There's a Delta For Every Epsilon (Calypso)

Words and Music by Tom Lehrer (AMM, 81 (1974) 612)

There's a delta for every epsilon,
It's a fact that you can always count upon.
There's a delta for every epsilon
And now and again,
There's also an N.

But one condition I must give:
The epsilon must be positive
A lonely life all the others live,
In no theorem
A delta for them.

How sad, how cruel, how tragic,
How pitiful, and other adjec-
Tives that I might mention.
The matter merits our attention.
If an epsilon is a hero,
Just because it is greater than zero,
It must be mighty discouragin'
To lie to the left of the origin.

This rank discrimination is not for us,
We must fight for an enlightened calculus,
Where epsilons all, both minus and plus,
Have deltas
To call their own.


Don't think twice (it's all wrong)
words by Robin Pemantle sung to the Bob Dylan tune of the same name

Ain't no use to sit and scratch your head, kid, if you don't know by now.
Ain't no use to doublecheck your work kid, it won't matter anyhow.
when the proctor calls out a quarter to four,
you'll be gettin' up and walkin' out that door;
ain't no way you'll get a passing score.
Don't think twice, it's all wrong.

Ain't no use in asking me for help kid, like you've never done before.
Ain't no use in asking me for help now, you never knocked upon my door.
I'm not saying you're too dumb to pass
you could have done better, but hey -- it's your ass
you just sort of blew off my every class.
Don't think twice, it's all wrong.

Ain't no use in begging on your knees kid, I can't hear you any more.
Ain't no use in begging on your knees kid, so get up off my floor.
I wish there was something you could do or say
to make me change your grade to an A
you never did too much work anyway.
Don't think twice, it's all wrong.

Ain't no use in bitching to the dean kid, when there's no room for doubt:
Probation is too good a word kid; let's just say you've flunked out.
I'm a-thinking and a-wondering why we teach this way
to pre-meds and lawyers and MBA's
I give 'em my heart but they just want the grades.
Don't think twice, it's all wrong.


North Hall Story
words by Robin Pemantle
sung to the tune of "Officer Krupke" by L. Bernstein

Prelude: Some faculty no-goodnicks are loitering, talking about how they're going to fail all their students, take a long paid vacation, bamboozle the NSF, et cetera. A T.A.A. officer (name?) approaches and starts badgering them to get back to work, stop harrassing students, and so on, trading them insult for insult.

* * *

Song:

Dear kindly graduate students, you gotta trust us please:
it's not our inner nature that makes us SOB's.
Our jobs are full of pressure, our lives are full of stress.
Goodness, gracious, that's why we're a mess.

Dear graduate students, as you take your lumps,
don't let us hear you caviling, 'cause we hold the trumps!
It's absolute power that makes us corrupt.
By social theory we are stuck -- what bad luck!
What bad luck, boo-hoo,
we are victims too,
we are victims just as much as you.

We hve an obligation we would not want to breach
To quality education -- that's why first-years don't teach.
You must learn to be patient; you must be more mature.
One year's starvation will make you that for sure!

Dear graduate students, you haven't a clue
How much we regret the things that we have to do.
Our administration has sent down decrees.
We are just following orders please. Orders please!
Give us orders please,
give us orders please,
taking orders makes our lives a breeze.

Dear students my agenda is full again today,
I've other things to tend to, so kindly go away!
My daughter flunked her prelims, my son is ABD.
Who told them to try to be like me?

Dear graduate students, you'll probably hear
that who you pick for an advisor shapes your career.
As you look around you, remember this truth:
deep down inside us there is youth, there is youth.
There is youth, there is youth,
there is unseen youth,
there is stilted, fossili-zed youth.

The trouble is we're crabby, the trouble is we lie,
the trouble is we're flabby, the trouble's we don't try,
the trouble is we're tenured, the system's gone awry.
We've got your jobs and we're not gonna die!

tempo change: half-time

Dear graduate students, come one and come all,
begin pursuing your advanced degrees here this fall.
To those who survive till the ultimate hour:
welcome to the i-vo- ... -ree tow'r!


Dream a little dream of math
words by Robin Pemantle
sung To the tune of "dream a little dream of me".

Eyes open, blankly staring
Empires could fall without your much caring
My favorite little sociopath
Dream a little dream of math

With you and yet without you
Night breezes stir equations about you
While blues I sing on both our behalfs
Dream a little dream of maths

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Transfixed in your glare
You've not moved a muscle since dawn dear:
Are you still there?

Computing with precision
No one disturbs your field of vision
Ain't much that I can do except laugh
Dream a little dream of math

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Transfixed in your glare
You've not moved a muscle since dawn dear:
Are you still there?

I know you'll never show me
even a wink to say that you know me
Leave me with your corporeal half
And I'll let you dream of math.


Prove me a lemma
words by Robin Pemantle
sung To the tune of "Cry me a river".

Our collaboration
is fruitful just for you.
(Why don't you) prove me a lemma,
prove me a lemma,
(oh baby) I've proved (so many) theorems for you.

Now you say you're sorry:
your conditions are untrue.
(You'd better) find a solution,
remove the condition,
('cause) I've removed my hypotheses for you.

Your notation nearly drove me out of my head;
your terms were so unclear.
Remember I remember each time you said
you had got a new idea, leaving me to fix the details,

Now you say you need me.
(Well) just to show you do,
(you can) prove me a lemma,
prove me a lemma.
I ain't proving no more theorems for you.


Winter/Desert Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring are you listening,
in the lane snow is glistening,
a beautiful sight,
we're happy tonight,
walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
here to stay is a new bird,
He sings a love song,
as we go along,
walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we will build a snowman,
and pretend that he is Parson Brown,
He'll say "Are you married?" we'll say "No Man,
But you can do the job when you're in town."

Later on we'll conspire,
as we dream by the fire,
to face unafraid,
the plans that we've made,
walking in a winter wonderland.

Palm trees wail are you listening,
in the pool water's glistening,
a beautiful sight,
we're happy tonight,
living in a desert wonderland.

Gone away is the blizzard,
here to stay is the lizard,
a warm sunny day,
we like it that way,
living in a desert wonderland.

In the desert we will have a picnic,
road runners, cactus flowers, and sun,
Christmas dinner is an old tradition,
salsa and tamales by the ton.

Later on we'll perspire,
as the temperatures rise even higher,
a warm sunny day,
we like it that way,
living in a desert wonderland.


Woodrow Wilson's Favorite Limerick

At beauty I am not a star
There are others more handsome by far
But my face I don't mind it
For I am behind it
It's the people in front that I jar.


April in Fairbanks

(From the musical revue New Faces 1956, produced by Leonard Sillman, perfomed by Jane Connell, music and lyrics by Murray Grand, (more info)

Autumn in New York
And April in Paris
Are no longer chic.
Winters in Mallorca
And summers in Capri
Are gone, so to speak.
The people who have the wherewithal
Have found a new place to have a ball.
They've deserted the Champs-Elysees,
The Piazza d'Spagna
Is no longer gay.
They say their thanks for Fairbanks, Alaska.

April in Fairbanks,
There's nothing more appealing.
You feel your blood congealing
In April in Fairbanks.

Bright Arctic moonlight
illuminates the ice-floes
And ev'rybody's breath shows
In Fairbanks.

You've never known the charm of Spring
Until you hear a walrus sighing.
The air is perfumed with
the smell of blubber frying.

April in Fairbanks;
You'll suddenly discover
A Polar Bear's your lover
In Fairbanks.

Heavenly weather
Will turn your skin to leather
And lock your jaws together
In April in Fairbanks.

North Polar breezes
will sing you a cadenza
And bring you influenza
In Fairbanks.

I'll leave the Rivera to
the fools who want a fancy palace.
Give me an igloo and
the Aurora Borealis.

April in Fairbanks;
I simply can't believe it.
I know I'll never leave it
alive.


My Attorney Bernie

I'm impressed, with my attorney Bernie
I'm impressed, with his influential friends
He's got very big connections
and I follow his directions
Bernie knows his way around
and so I always do what Bernie recommends.

I am blessed, with my attorney Bernie
I'm impressed, with the way he runs the store
He's got Dodger season boxes
and an office full of foxes
It's amazing all the different things
your average guy might need a lawyer for.

chorus:

Bernie tells me what to do
Bernie always lays it on the line
Bernie says we sue, we sue
Bernie says we sign.. we sign

I'm in touch, with my attorney Bernie
In a clutch, he can speed right to the scene
and if I'm locked up in the jail
with just one phone call for my bail
he said to call his club collect
or deal directly with his answering machine

When I dine, with my attorney Bernie
He buys wine, from the rare imported rack
That's cause Bernie is a purist
not your polyester tourist
Bernie waves the glass around awhile
then takes a sip and always sends it back

(chorus)

I admire, my attorney Bernie
I admire, any guy who knows his stuff
Sure we blew a couple ventures
with a counterfeit debenture
But you win a few, you lose a few
and like Bernie says you keep on hanging tough

Thanks to you, my attorney Bernie
Thanks to you, I'm considered well to do
Sure I made out like a bandit
Just exactly like you planned it
But like Murray my accountant
told me yesterday, I owe it all to you.

(chorus)
On the dotted line!


Bomb Iraq

(To the tune of "If You're Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands")

If we cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets hurt your Mama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are Saudi
And the bank takes back your Audi
And the TV shows are bawdy,
Bomb Iraq.

If the corporate scandals growin', bomb Iraq.
And your ties to them are showin', bomb Iraq.
If the smoking gun ain't smokin'
We don't care, and we're not jokin'.
That Saddam will soon be croakin',
Bomb Iraq.

Even if we have no allies, bomb Iraq.
From the sand dunes to the valleys, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections;
Let's look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

While the globe is slowly warming, bomb Iraq.
Yay! the clouds of war are storming, bomb Iraq.
If the ozone hole is growing,
Some things we prefer not knowing.
(Though our ignorance is showing),
Bomb Iraq.

So here's one for dear old daddy, bomb Iraq,
From his favorite little laddy, bomb Iraq.
Saying no would look like treason.
It's the Hussein hunting season.
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.


Fleas

So, naturalists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller fleas to bite 'em,
And so proceed ad infinitium,
Thus every poet, in his kind,
Is bit by him that comes behind.
- Jonathon Swift [On Poetry]

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.
- Augustus de Morgan [A budget of Paradoxes]

Big whorls have little whorls,
Which feed on their velocity;
And little whorls have lesser whorls,
and so on to viscosity.
- L.F. Richardson


IMAGINE IF INSTEAD OF CRYPTIC, GEEKY TEXT STRINGS, YOUR COMPUTER PRODUCED ERROR MESSAGES IN HAIKU...
From Michael Hirsch, Wed, 6 May 1998

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

The Web site you seek
Cannot be located but
Endless others exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask far too much.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
These words: "File not found."

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Seeing my great fault
Through darkening blue windows
I begin again

The code was willing
It considered your request,
But the chips were weak.

Login incorrect.
Only Perfect spellers may
Enter this system.

To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No Struggle, no joy.