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Idiots

Examples of human behavior which shows a singular lack of intelligence


The guy who beheaded a 12 point buck deer in its pen
at Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in western Kentucky. The deer had been raised as a pet from birth and was kept in the pen as an attraction for visiting children.
Police in Cincinnati
Who charged a grandmother with obstruction of justice because she was putting coins in other people's expired parking meters.
Healthy People
Who park in places reserved for the handicapped. What kind of stupid mentality does it take to stoop so low?
School Officials
In Ohio who suspended a 12 year old girl for ten days and required her to enter a drug rehabilitation program because she had in her possession a Midol tablet she had borrowed from another girl. Also, those school officials who refused to let a six year old boy attend a class ice cream party and banished him to a room by himself because he kissed a female classmate on the cheek at her request. His action was said to be sexual harassment.
Target Practice?
The man who shot his son who was using the outhouse. He said that although the whole family made use of the outhouse because they had no indoor plumbing, he also frequently used the outhouse for target practice and was unaware that his son was in it.
Five Church and Social Groups
Who refused to attend the annual Passion Play in Union City, New Jersey because, for the first time in its 82 years, a black man played the part of Jesus. He said no one complained as long as he played Judas but the part of Jesus brought him hate mail and death threats.
Satanism
An Amway Corp. distributor has been accused by Procter & Gamble of spreading the rumor that P & G is linked with satanism because of their moon-and-stars trademark. People will believe anything.
Family Values
A Walmart Store pulled the T shirts off the shelves after a couple of women complained that the message on the T shirts was anti family values. The message was "Someday a woman will be President". Who is the bigger idiot, the women who complained or the manager who listened?
Family Values
The Southern Baptist Convention has called for a boycott of Disney Corporation and ABC television, which is owned by Disney, because Disney has extended corporate health benefits to the companions of its gay employees. I guess they also object to Disney having gay employees. The Baptists must think hate is a family value.
Child Pornography?
A film developer called authorities because a roll of film dropped off by a woman contained a photo of her four year old son nude. I'd say about half to 2/3 of the parents in the country are probably guilty.
Telephone Companies - Anti Christian?
LifeLine, a five year old company that bills itself as a long-distance alternative, says that AT&T, MCI, and Sprint are infidels in league with the devil and LifeLine is a Christian alternative. They say they know the bigger LD companies are satanist because they accept homosexuals as customers and employees.
U.N. Invasion of America?
Indiana militia groups say that the small numbers on the back of Indiana Highway signs are actually secret codes to be used by U.N. troops when they invade the United States to find their way around the unfamiliar country. I guess they couldn't find their way around by the big letters on the signs that say "Indianapolis, 25 miles" and have a pointing arrow. People will believe anything.
Bullets come Down!
People all over the world celebrate New Years and other events by firing guns into the air. They don't seem to realize that bullets come down with the same force with which they are shot upward and that falling bullets kill or injure anyone they may hit.
See the message on this subject below.
Natural Beauty?
A recent story in the Lexington "Herald-Leader" said that a University of Kentucky basketball fan went all the way to California to see the Wildcats play in an NCAA tournament. While there he was out sight seeing and stood on a high cliff looking out over the Pacific Ocean. "This is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.", he exclaimed, as he tossed his empty beer can over the cliff.
Big Bang?
When creationists complained about the science books in the high school in Marshall County, Kentucky because they explained the big bang theory of the formation of the universe, school superintendent, Kenneth Shadowen, ordered the offending pages glued together in the science books. In some cases the books had already been distributed to students, so teachers had to take them back to glue the pages together. We certainly can't have scientific theories conflicting with religion. I guess the creationists are afraid their story won't stand if people are allowed to know that there are any other possibilities.
New Mexico?
A man phoned the '96 Olympics ticket office for tickets to Olympic events in Atlanta. The sales lady after taking his order asked him for the address to mail the tickets. He gave her his home address in New Mexico.
"I'm sorry, sir.", she said, "But, we're not allowed to sell tickets outside the United States."
"You misunderstand.", he explained, "I said New Mexico, not Old Mexico."
"New or old", she answered, "doesn't make any difference. We still can't sell tickets outside the United States."
Bread Bread?
I stopped at Subway to get a sandwich.
"White or Wheat bread?", asked the girl behind the counter.
"If not wheat, what's the white bread made from?", I said.
"Huh?"
"You said White or Wheat bread. Isn't the white bread made from wheat too?"
"Uh, no, it's just made from bread."
Movies
A movie critic in the newspaper said one movie was so bad that it was torture to watch it. He couldn't imagine why anyone would sit through the whole movie. A few days later a letter to the editor explained that to him. The writer said that with the high price of movie tickets movie goers had to sit through the whole movie to get their money's worth.
Baptism
Parents say a Baptist church near Boston invited hundreds of children from a wide area for pizza and basketball and when they arrived gave them full body baptisms into a faith that was foreign to many of them. I guess you have to get those Christians any way you can.
Telephone Psychics?
How about the fact that enough people will pay good money to call telephone psychics that those people can afford, and make money from, all that TV advertising? There's a sucker born every minute.
Don't call a psychic. Let them call you!
Check Identification?
A woman wrote to Ann Landers to say that after she got home she found that she had been undercharged at a department store so she mailed them a check for the amount she was undercharged. She then received a phone call from a department store employee to inform her that they could not accept checks without proper identification and would she please bring some ID down so they could accept her check.
Flash pictures
It is interesting to me to watch a major sporting event in a stadium like the Olympics. Have you ever noticed all the flash pictures taken? Now those people are at least one hundred to several hundred feet from the action. The light from the flash is effective in illuminating the subject of a picture to a maximum distance of 20 to 30 feet from the camera. I think people believe that if it is night you should use a flash and by doing so can take a picture of anything. Wonder if they would use a flash to get a picture of the moon too?

As pointed out in a message from Mark Brader., "The playing field is usually brightly illuminated for the benefit of television cameras, which means that, given a suitable speed of film in the camera, it can be photographed sucessfully by that field lighting alone."
Mark also points out that a number of people now use automatic cameras that flash in any situation other than full daylight.


Other examples of idiotic behavior include:

Dell Computer Corporation hires Idiots too

Last year I bought over $50,000 worth of computers from Dell Computer Corporation. I buy them because they have a reputation for being well made and for good customer service. I pay extra for three year 2nd business day on site service because my customers handle lots of money and neither they nor I can afford computer downtime.

So far, I have had three monitors, two keyboards, one floppy disk drive, and two modems to fail. Dell shipped replacements for the monitors and keyboards and sent a guy to replace the floppy disk drive and the first modem. They did, indeed, give fine service although in some cases it actually took three business days to get the defective equipment replaced rather than two. But I have no problem with the small details.

Since our rural area is a three hour drive from the bigger towns the repair technician has a six hour round trip just to replace a floppy drive or modem.

The problem came when the second modem went out. It was being used in a pharmacy to transmit $4,000 to $6,000 in insurance claims every day. I called Dell on Tuesday afternoon and they said someone would be there to replace it by Friday. "Fine", says I. On Thursday someone called to say they would not be able to replace it on Friday after all because they did not have a modem available. "Then when will it be replaced?", I asked. They didn't know because they had to order the modem and they didn't know when it would arrive. I called them back Monday and they still had no idea. Tuesday I went to a local WalMart and bought a modem and replaced the defective one. It cost less than $100 and I'm not a big enough fool to let several thousand dollars in billing daily grind to a halt because of a $100 part.

I then called Dell to tell them what I had done. Customer Service referred me to technical support and said it was their problem. I told the guy at technical support that I had purchased a modem and solved the problem. I asked that they just pay for the modem and forget the service call. He says they can't do that because their service agreement says they must replace the equipment themselves not pay me for parts. I said, "But I purchased a 2nd business day repair agreement and its been a week." He informed me that the fine print in my agreement says "Subject to the availability of parts."

I said, "Do you mean to tell me that a company as large as Dell doesn't have a modem available even though you ship millions of them every day." He said that it had been almost 8 months since I had purchased that computer and in that time they had switched from 33.6k modems to the newer 56k, so they weren't shipping the same modem and my agreement required them to replace with the same part. He said that as soon as they received the modem, which they hoped to do within two to three weeks, they would send a guy on a six hour drive to replace it. I made some remark to the effect that I didn't understand how they could argue that the part was unavailable when I had just purchased one at the local WalMart which the repair guy would have to drive right by on his way to our location. He explained that they had purchasing procedures and they couldn't just go down to the local store and buy parts.

Now I realize that they can buy the modem $20 or $30 cheaper than I did. I also know that they subcontract their repair work for a set fee, so it actually doesn't cost them anything extra for that guy to make a six hour drive. But nevertheless, I doubt if the cost to them in customer relations by not getting this computer back in service in a reasonable amount of time is worth the money they will save on the modem. They seem to think that the important thing is replacing with an identical part that they purchased rather than getting computers operating as soon as possible.

At this point it has been over three weeks and they still have not replaced the modem. Of course, I did have a backup computer in place that we began using as soon as the modem crashed. But using that computer slowed down other functions of the business.

It also occurred to me that if my service agreement doesn't apply if parts are not available then I probably was a fool to pay for three year service. Parts become obsolete so fast that in three years it is doubtful if any of the original parts I purchased will still be available.


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On the Lighter Side

A man in Toronto drove to the police station to ask for a test to determine if he was too drunk to drive. He was and was arrested for drunken driving.

An armed robber got $170 from the clerks at a convenience store near Cadiz, Kentucky, then ran outside to his waiting getaway car. "Whoops", he yelled when he discovered that he had locked the car with the keys inside. By the time he kicked out the back window and got into the car the police had arrived and arrested him.


Not Idiots - Just not enough imagination

   "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
        --Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of
          science, 1949
  
   "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
        --Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
  
   "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked
   with the  best people, and I can assure you that data processing is
   a fad that won't last out the year."
        --The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall,
          1957
  
   "But what ... is it good for?"
        --Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM,
          1968,  commenting on the microchip.
  
   "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
        --Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital
          Equipment Corp.,  1977
  
   "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously
   considered as a  means of communication. The device is inherently
   of no value to us."
        --Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  
   "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value.   Who
   would pay  for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
        --David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for
          investment in  the radio in the 1920s.
  
   "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
        --H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
  
   "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
        --Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
  
   "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
        --Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
  
   "If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment.
   The  literature was full of examples that said you can't do this."
        --Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives
          for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.
  
   "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing,
   even  built with some of your parts, and what do you think about
   funding us? Or we' ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay
   our  salary, we'll come work  for you.'  And they said, 'No.' So
   then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they  said, 'Hey, we don't
   need you. You  haven't got through college yet.'"
        --Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get
          Atari and H-P  interested in his and Steve Wozniak's
          personal computer.
  
   "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
        --Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole
          Superieure de  Guerre.

Sent by: Steve Juve.,
Duane,

   Interesting webpage. I found it while searching for "bullets falling"
as I attempted to find info about the real story behind so-called "bullets
falling from the sky." I have been interested in this since reading a LA
Times article a few years ago that claims 118 deaths over a 5-year (or so)
period in the 1990s.

   Anyway, your short discussion of this appears on your "idiots" page.
While I think it unwise that people discharge firearms into the air, I
must correct the comment that appears on your page.

   You say, "bullets come down with the same force with which they are
shot upward ..."

   This is actually not true. They fall at a much slower rate than their
muzzle velocity because of drag from air friction. It is estimated that
they come back down, base first, at around 200-500 feet per second. Not
their 2755 feet per second muzzle velocity.

   Here is one excerpt that I found on the net that might interest you.
>From http://www.newscientist.com/lastword/answers/lwa146physical.html

 Firing handguns into the air is commonplace in some parts of the world
and causes injuries with a disproportionate number of fatalities. For a
typical modern 7.62 millimetre calibre bullet fired vertically from a
rifle, the bullet will have a velocity of about 840 metres per second as
it leaves the muzzle and will reach a height of about 2400 metres in some
17 seconds. It will then take another 40 seconds or so to return to the
ground, usually at a relatively low speed which approximates to the
terminal velocity. This part of the bulletÓs trajectory will normally be
flown base first since the bullet is actually more stable in rearward than
in forward flight.

Even with a truly vertical launch, the bullet can move some distance
sideways. It will spend about 8 seconds at between 2300 and 2400 metres
and at a vertical velocity of less than 40 metres per second. In this time
it is particularly susceptible to lateral movement by the wind. It will
return to the ground at a speed of some 70 metres per second. This sounds
quite low but, because of the predominance of cranial injuries, the
proportion of deaths and serious injury as a proportion of the number of
gunshot wounds is surprisingly high. It is typically some five times more
than is observed in normal firing.

As might be expected, measurements are rather difficult and the above
values come from a computer model of the flight. 

SAM ELLIS AND GERRY MOSS
Royal Military College of Science
Swindon
Wiltshire 

a. Different bullet types behave in different ways. A .22LR bullet reaches
a maximum altitude of 1179 metres and a terminal velocity of either 60
metres per second or 43 metres per second depending upon whether the
bullet falls base first or tumbles. A .44 magnum bullet will reach an
altitude of 1377 metres and a terminal velocity of 76 metres per second
falling base first. A .30-06 bullet will reach an altitude of 3080 metres
with a terminal velocity of 99 metres per second. The total flight time
for the .22LR is between 30 and 36 seconds, while for the .30-06, it is
about 58 seconds. The velocities of the bullets as they leave the rifle
muzzle are much higher than their falling velocities. A .22LR has a muzzle
velocity of 383 metres per second and the .30-06 has a muzzle velocity of
823 metres per second.

According to tests undertaken by Browning at the beginning of the century
and recently by L .C. Haag, the bullet velocity required for skin
penetration is between 45 and 60 metres per second which is within the
velocity range of falling bullets. Of course, skin penetration is not
required in order to cause serious or fatal injury and any responsible
person will never fire bullets into the air in this manner.

The questioner may like to read "Falling bullets: terminal velocities and
penetration studies", by L. C. Haag, Wound Ballistics Conference, April
1994, Sacramento, California. 

DAVID MADDISON
Melbourne
Australia

a. John W. Hicks in his book The Theory of the Rifle and Rifle Shooting
describes experiments made in 1909 by a Major Hardcastle who fired .303
rifle rounds vertically into the air on the River Stour at Manningtree.
His boatman, probably a theorist unaware of the winds aloft, insisted on
wearing a copy of Kelly's Directory on his head. However, no bullets
landed within 100 yards, some up to a quarter of a mile away and others
were lost altogether.

Julian S. Hatcher records a similar experiment in Florida immediately
after the First World War. A 0.30 calibre machine gun was set up on a 10
feet square stage in a sea inlet where the water was very calm so that the
returning bullets could be seen to splash down. A sheet of armour above
the stage protected the experimenters. The gun was then adjusted to centre
the groups of returning bullets onto the stage.

Of over 500 bullets fired into the air, only 4 hit the stage at the end of
their return journey. The bullets fired in each burst fell in groups of
about 25 yards across.

The bullets rose to approximately 9000 feet before falling back. With a
total flight time of about a minute, the wind has a noticeable effect on
the return point. 

DICK FILLERY
London

a. In my youth, I used to collect brass cartridge cases ejected from
aircraft machine guns during the Battle of Britain for salvage. They
drifted down slowly from the sky because, I guess, their mass to surface
volume ratio was low. However, they were still warm when I picked them
up.

Accordingly, if the projectile is small, like a .303 bullet, it does
nobody much harm when it lands. Like a mouse in a mine shaft, its terminal
velocity is negligible. However, if because of its mass the projectile has
enough terminal velocity, it could kill you. 

M W EVANS
Inzievar
Fife

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Last revised March 18, 2001.

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