Some Funny Things Thomas Wrote, Often With Help


The Beast File

666  			The Number of the Beast
6.64 * 10^3  (+/- 3)    The Number of the Beast (Experimental Estimate)
665			The Neighbor of the Beast
333			The Number of the Son of the Beast
2 * 3^2 * 37		The Factorization of the Beast
999			The Number of the Beast Hanging Upside Down
e^(pi i/333)		The Root of Unity of the Beast
777			The Airplane of the Beast
686			The Intel Microprocessor of the Beast
29A			The Number of the Beast in Hex
1232			The Number of the Beast in Octal
001010011010		The Number of the Beast in Binary
Z[ \/ 666 ]             The Number Field of the Beast
June 6, 1966		The Birthday of the Beast
66 6th St.		The Address of the Beast
6666			The PIN Number of the Beast
669			The Sex Act of the Beast
$ 666,666,666,666	The Budget Deficit of the Beast
666-6666		The Phone Number of the Beast
666-66-6666		The Social Security Number of the Beast
66666			The Zip Code of the Beast
-rw-rw-rw-		The File Protection of the Beast
6.66                    The Beast / Dollar Exchange Rate as of Oct. 17, 1994
66.6			The Test Average of the Beast
rec.humor.funny         The Newsgroup of the Beast
H.R. 666		The Bill of the Beast
6.66 * 10^23            Avogadro's Number of the Beast
vivivi                  Text Editor of the Beast
Thanks to Larry Stone (, and Hacksaw ( for their contributions.

It's the End of the Origin As We Know It (And I Feel Affine)

That's great, it starts with a vector space,
lines are subspace and so are planes,
and Erhardt Schmidt is not afraid.

I have an operator matrix
in terms of a distingiushed basis.
If the world has a different view,
there's a matrix for that operator too.

Projection transformation with skew sparse cross dot
Trace of a row space, cayley and hamilton have found an independent base
for a partial pivot.

Problems sets coming in a hurry
with midterms breathing down your neck.
Matrix factorization methods include gauss jordan lq
Look at that normal plane, affine, then.

Uh oh, underflow,
Condition number is a little low,
So save your code, serve your code,
World has its own basis,
Dummy change your own basis,
Dummy with the product in the hilbert space with the norm, norm.
New eigenvalue eigenvector adjoint cofactor best fit row vector.

        It's the end of the origin as we know it,
        It's the end of the origin as we know it,
        It's the end of the origin as we know it,
                (it's time I did my homework alone)
        It's the end of the origin as we know it,
                (it's time I did my homework alone)
        It's the end of the origin as we know it,
                (it's time I did my homework alone)
        And I feel affine.
        I feel affine.

Just the other night I
Came up with a new factorization for I
It's pretty trivial I won't lie
or Gilbert Strangify.

Breakfast Cerial or Computer Science Term Invented By Donald Knuth?

		Breakfast Cerial       CS Term Invented By Donald Knuth
                ================       ================================

Trix                   X

MIX                                                    X

Giant O's              X

Big-O                                                  X

Chex		       X

TeX                                                    X

The Muppets: Where Are They Now?

Kermit The Frog: Retired and living off the royalties to his Pultizer prize winning book, "Growing Up Green." Occasionally does essay segments for MacNeil-Lehrer and NPR.

Miss Piggie: The so-called "Queen of the Infomercial", Miss Piggie can frequently be seen late at night hawking skin care and weight loss products. She especially enjoys showing her audience "Before" and "After" pictures which emphasize her new 120 pound figure.

Fozzie Bear: Always desperate for laughs, Fozzie made a shortlived comeback under the name "The Fozz" about five years ago as a foul mouthed and "un-PC" comedian. When that collapsed, Fozzie's drinking and drug problems came to the foreground, and he checked into Betty Ford.

Ralph the Dog: Shocked many by coming out shortly after the last muppet movie. Briefly played in Las Vegas, then decided he liked the local scene better and went back to tickling the ivories in the same bar a little outside of Chicago that he started playing at some thirty years ago.

Gonzo the Great: Cheered up remarkably after being diagnosed for depression and put on Prozac. Divorced by his first wife, Henrietta A. Cluck, Gonzo now works as a GM dealer in Atlanta.

Animal: His three public disturbance misdeamenors notwithstanding, Animal is still drumming away, currently with an obscure LA grunge band named "Verb". You may have seen him playing in the background with Pearl Jam at last year's MTV music video awards ceremony.

Sam The Eagle: Makes good money on the conservative lecture circuit.

Beaker: After Dr. Bunson Honeydew's tragic suicide in '87, Beaker moved to Delaware and starting working for DuPont, where is now an associate scientist. He is happily married and the father of three.

Scooter: After a short stint as an assistant producer at Universal (a job he obtained via his uncle's connections), Scooter decided to renounce material possessions and go find his spiritual self. For the last three years he has served as an apostle to the Esteemed Guru Tisarna of Nick Falls, South Dakota.

Dr. Teeth: Died of skin cancer.

Zen for Stupid People

A collection of Zen koans, riddles, and parables for folks who watch a lot of daytime TV.

a -Thomas C / Joel Pratt joint

Nietzsche For Complete and Total Idiots

From the same people who brought you Zen For Stupid People , a collection of proverbs, aphroisms, and thoughts for those who say "God bless you" whenever you say "Nietzsche."

RFD: comp.lang.dysfunctional

Request for Discussion (RFD)

Newsgroup       : comp.lang.dysfunctional
Status          : unmoderated
Distribution    : Worldwide
Summary         : For discussion of dysfunctional languages
Proponent       : John Raucous, (
This is a formal Request For Discussion on the creation of an unmoderated newsgroup, comp.lang.dysfunctional.

This RFD has been posted in accordance with the Guidelines for Newsgroup Creation. Its language is based on previously submitted RFDs. The RFD is being cross-posted to the following relevant news groups:

It is also being sent to the following mailing lists:

	Dysfunctional Languages Email Group (DLEG)


The comp.lang.dysfunctional newsgroup will be open to discussion on all aspects of dysfunctional computer languages. In contrast to functional computer languages in which all functions have well defined semantics and no side effects, a dysfunctional language can pass values only by side effect and semantics are implementation or user defined, if at all.

While specific dysfunctional computer languages such as BASIC, COBOL, or TECO arose quite early in the history of computing, it was not until the late 70s that theoretical interest in dysfunctional computing was awakened. Much of this research centered around the fact that the independence of a statement's effect from its local context allows dysfunctional languages to be well modeled by random walks following a Poisson distribution. John Raucous' 1977 AMI Turning Award Lecture, "Can Programming Be Liberated from Its Anal Retentive, Uptight Style?" also brought researchers upon the dysfunctional bandwagon.

The first language to be designed solely along dysfunctional lines was OK, developed by a team at NILS (National Institute for the Lack of Standards). OK allowed programmers to define the meaning of the statements in their programs, and then allowed the compiler to totally ignore this meaning. The early eighties produced REAGAN, which extended dysfunctional principles into a multitasking arena. In REAGAN, the primary process is always under the control of the secondary process, neither of which are allowed to communicate with any of the child processes. REAGAN processes never voluntarily give up control, but rather are forced to halt under a complex process known as "indictment."

Currently, the most popular dysfunctional language is BUNDY, best known for its unusual approach to garbage collection. Instead of deallocating garbage memory, BUNDY attempts to reuse it over and over again as many times as possible. Many commentators believe that BUNDY's popularity derives from its strong similarities to the C programming language.


There is a large community of Internet users who either actively use dysfunctional languages or inflict them upon others. We believe they deserve a forum in which to rant, rave, theorize, and in general act in a dysfunctional manner towards each other.

Although employees of Microsoft and other corporations promoting the use of dysfunctional languages will be welcome and encouraged to use this newsgroup to disseminate important technical disinformation, it is important to note that there will be no official endorsement of this newsgroup by Microsoft Inc. or vice-versa, as such an aknowledgement would be in violation of the spirit of dysfunctional languages.


While there are a number of newsgroups related to the proposed newsgroup, none has the same scope. alt.lang.basic, alt.lang.teco, and comp.lang.cobol all discuss specific dysfunctional languages, and alt.lang.s-lang discusses Serge Lang, a dysfunctional mathematician.


After a discussion period of 21-30 days, if there are no overwhelming objections to the proposed group, there will be a Call For Votes (CFV) posted to the same groups as this RFD. The voting period will be at least 21 days. If the group passes by receiving 100 more YES votes than NO votes, and (at least) twice as many YES votes as NO votes, it will be created.


10. Ever since he gained weight over the holiday season, he hasn't been able to get back into Chomsky Normal Form.

9. Whenever he walks into a bar in Boston, everyone shouts out "Noam!"

8. His doctor accidently removed his East Timor.

7. People at cocktail parties who think linguistics is the study of pasta.

6. For every letter he writes to his senator protesting U.S. support of the Indonesian dictatorship, his senator writes back, "In Your Nesia!"

5. Because of journalistic complicity with the power elite, the Boston Globe won't run his personal ads.

4. Even though infants posses inate grammatical structures of mammoth complexity, they still can't pronounce his last name correctly.

3. No nobel prize in linguistics means his MIT parking space sucks.

2. Undergraduates who still think "Generative Grammer? I don't even know her!" is funny.

1. Archrival E.O. Wilson's bumpersticker: "Chom This."

Games I'd Like To See

1970: The Battle for Kent State
Snakes & Lagers, A Child's First Drinking Game
Par Cheesy (The Game of Golf Puns)
Spleen! The Wacky Organ Donor Game!
Scrapple! The Guess What's in Your Food Game!
Hungry Hungry Hipsters
Chest: A Strategy Game for Men.
Botched Operation
God-Emperor of Catan
Spin the Widget
Bad, Bad Octopus!
Make Me Vomit
Monocoly, The Game of Competitive Single-Lens Optometry
Crazy Es
Hungry Hungry Leech
Gnip Gnosis
Can't Strop (A Shaving Razor Game)
Bacchus (Just *try* to keep the god of wine's pieces from touching.)
Thanks to dwenius, hwrnmnbsol, and megmuck for their suggestions.

Incorrect Group Names

A caucophony of ninjas.
A rookery of knights.
A congregation of Anglicans.
A pride of mimes.
A herd of linux kernel hackers.
A brood of optimists.
A wake of narcoleptics.
A bed of pimps.
A litter of park wardens.
A pod of blackberries.
A stable of psychiatrists.
A pack of claustrophobes.
An exaltation of SUVs.
A flight of penguins.
A host of guests.
A kindle of firefighters.
A stand of tribbles.
A flock of close() calls.
An orgy of celibates.
A murder of pacifists.
A clutch of slackers.
Thanks to andrel, qwrtty, and fairdice for their contributions.

Tom Swifties for Geeks

"And then I incremented the number five times", Tom added.

"I guess the two sets had no members in common", Tom said disjointedly.

"In conclusion, 85 plus 80 is 165," Tom summed up.

"Two minus three? Pfffft," Tom said negatively.

"But x squared plus y squared equals 0 is the greatest figure of all!" Tom said hyperbolically.

"I'll take the prisoners downstairs", Tom said condescendingly.

"I scored these tests wrong the first time," Tom remarked.

"Pi is always the same," Tom said constantly. ("It never changes," he invariably added.)

"Oh, no, sorry, I meant -2x," Tom doubled back.

"This thing is so great it has addition and multiplication," Tom endorsed ringingly!

Thanks to fairdice, hauntmeister and fredfred for their contributions.

Sequels on a Plane

I give the quote, you guess the name of the sequel.

  1. "Don't look now, Frasier, but there is a Northwestern garter around your shoulder."
  2. "There are fifty thousand vipers coming our way through the Chunnel, Bond. You must stop them before they reach Dover!"
  3. "Now, Hamlet, hear: 'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, how twelve serpents stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark Is rankly abused."
  4. "Superman, you've got to find Lois before the boa eats her alive!"
  5. "Listen close, Thorin Oakenshield, for now I must tell the tale of how countless Wyrms descended upon your grandfather at Erebor."
  6. "Oklahoma! Where the snakes come sweeping down the ..."
  7. "Perhaps no event in Samuel Clemens's childhood was quite so formative as when he was trapped in a pit of copperheads for two days."
  8. "Boston to D.C. by car in four hours? But that's impossible!" "Not if the snakes had an easy pass transponder."
  9. "Well, let's just open up the noodles we got from Wang's ... eeehhh!"
  10. "That's it! He trained the pythons to attack just the villagers who had been trepanned!"
  11. "Look out, Senior! Serpientes!"
  12. "Honey, why is the sink full of water?"
  13. "For a tiny island in the Persian Gulf, there sure are a lot of cobras."
  14. Mr. El-Baradei has questioned the asps and found no evidence that they are concealing WMDs.
  15. And in a moment that was to make television history, than annoying wench on Seinfeld was suddenly leapt upon by a boomslang. Millions sat stunned in front of their TV sets, and then a great cheer rose up across the nation.
  16. His sax sounded like hell with that gartersnake stuck in it, but he seems to have gotten rid of it for the "Lazy Bird" and "Moment's Notice" tracks.
  17. "I was going to put the DNA sequence for my genetically modified coral snake under a Creative Commons license, but then I decided against any license at all."
  18. "There's nothing worse than an anaconda with THC-induced munchies."
  19. "Now pour the 4 eggs over the bacon, swiss cheese, and ball pythons."
Thanks to ffoeg and sarache for their contributions.

Dated Who's On First Routine

Context: I wrote this in early 2006, riffing off this Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon.

[Scene: TERRY FRANCONA is sitting, and making pencil marks on a small notepad. A BALL BOY enters from stage right.]

BB: Hey, Terry, how ya doing, what's happening, what've you been up to?

[TF looks up with disdain.] TF: If you must know, I've been working on our opening day lineup.

BB: That's great, that's fantastic, that's terrific, listen. I haven't exactly been following the newspapers this winter, so I was wondering if you could maybe fill me in who we got playing this year. [Waves open palms for emphasis:] 'Cause I've heard there have been lots of changes.

[TF sighs, looks at watch.] TF: I guess.

BB: Thanks a million, Terry, you're one in a .. lot. So tell me, who's on first?

TF: I'm sleeping with your wife.

BB: I'm sleeping with your wife?

TF: Yes.

BB: On first?

TF: Yes.

BB: Isn't he usually in the outfield?

TF: Yeah, but I'm sleeping with your wife has been getting old, so I thought I would try him on first.

BB: Well, you're the manager. Who do ya got on second?

TF: Quick run the stadium's on fire.

BB: Quick run the stadium's on fire?

TF: Yes.

BB: Never heard of him.

TF: Her.

BB: Her?

TF: Yep.

BB: Miss quick run the stadium's on fire?

TF: Ms., actually.

BB: You're telling me that if I was on the opposing team and I hit a double in Fenway park, that I'd be on second base with a woman?

TF: If she fumbles the ball, you could be lucky and get to third.

BB: Since when are females allowed in major league baseball?

TF: [Shrugs.] It was one of Theo's conditions for returning.

BB: Well I'll be. Don't tell me we've got a dame playing shortshop as well?

TF: No, the who's on first routine is on shortstop.

BB: The who's on first routine is playing shortstop?

TF: Well, I'm platooning him with stop this sketch before someone gets hurt.

BB: Wow. The who's on first routine, stop this sketch before someone gets hurt, they're both great. Great, great players. Except for all the felonies, of course.

TF: Of course.

BB: And who do we have on third?

TF: Hmmmm.

BB: Hmmmm?

TF: Hmmmm.

BB: Bit of a strange name, isn't it?

TF: [Shrugs.] He's from the Japanese leagues.

BB: Ahh.

TF: No, Ahh is our new catcher.

BB: You don't say. Well, sounds like a terrific infield. Now tell me, who do we have in center field?

TF: Johnny Damon.

BB: WHAT? JOHNNY DAMON? [Slugs Terry Francona.]

[End scene. TF and BB face audience, bow, and then curtsy.]