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Geek Jokes

Entry 1296, on 2011-05-12 at 14:05:17 (Rating 1, Comments)

Some of my recent blog entries have been a bit intense, bitter, and angry. So it's time for something a bit lighter! I was reading through my collection of geeky (science and programming related) jokes and thought I might share some of them here. I would also like to explain the jokes, just in case the reader doesn't have a technical background.

I have a lot of geek jokes so I thought I would stick to the sub-genre of "a [insert anything here] walks into a bar" type jokes. Most of these involve rather corny puns (for which I apologise in advance) but some are also quite clever. So, here they are...

Joke: A neutron walks into a bar and orders a drink. Upon being asked the price, the bartender responded, "For you? No charge."

Explanation: This one should be fairly obvious to anyone with even a basic knowledge of science. It's a pun based on the fact that neutrons have no (electromagnetic) charge so the bartender doesn't charge for the drink... Yeah, fairly lame, but some of the others are even worse!

Here's a related joke which I'll let you figure out: One atom says to another atom... "I think I've lost an electron.." The other says... "Are you sure?" He says... "I'm positive."

Joke: So he leaves. The bartender says "We don't serve your kind here." A tachyon walks into a bar.

Explanation: This one is a lot more difficult. A tachyon is a theoretical particle which travels faster than light, therefore it travels backwards in time. So the whole joke is also backwards. Pretty cool huh? One of my favourites actually.

Here's a related joke: To get to the same side. Why did the tachyon cross the Mobius strip? (it has two clever bits - I'll let you figure out the second).

Joke: A superconductor walks into a bar, the bartender says, "Hey, get out, we don't serve your kind here". The superconductor leaves without any resistance.

Explanation: Superconductors are perfect conductors of electricity so their electrical resistance is zero, so they have no resistance. Another double meaning.

Joke: A noble gas walks into a bar. The bartender says "we don't serve your type here". The noble gas does not react.

Explanation: This one requires a little bit of knowledge of chemistry. Noble gases are elements which rarely react with other elements to form molecules, therefore we have the old double meaning again with the word "react".

Joke: An infrared photon walks into a bar and says "is it hot in here or is it just me".

Explanation: Ah yes, is this funny? The original joke said "proton" but I thought "photon" made more sense. Infrared photons are generated by heat sources, so... Yeah, you must be getting the general theme by now!

Joke: A logic gate walks into a bar. Not.

Explanation: A logic gate is a computer science construct (or a real electronic component) which performs a logical operation on true/false values. So an "and" gate is true if A and B are both true, an "or" gate is true if either A or B (or both) are true, and a "not" gate is true if A is false. Yes, you need to be a real geek to like that one.

Joke: A byte walks into a bar and asks for a beer. The barman asks him "hey, what's wrong?" The byte replies with a sad face "parity error". Yeah, the barman says, you look a bit off.

Explanation: another "inside" computer geek joke. Parity is a way to check the validity of data by adding an extra bit (0 or 1 value) onto the end of the real data. Typically a character might be represented by the first 7 bits of a byte and the last bit (bytes are always 8 bits) is used as a check of whether the character is valid. If the bit gives a bad result it's called a parity error.

Of course, parity is the source for a lot of jokes. Here's another: Question: What's got feathers and goes "Pieces of seven, pieces of seven" Answer: A parroty error.

Here's another computer geek joke which I'll leave the reader to figure out: There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

If you got that one you should also get this one: Why do programmers always get Christmas and Halloween mixed up? Because Dec 25 == Oct 31.

Joke: Two neutrinos walk through a bar...

Explanation: Neutrinos are almost massless and don't interact much with anything. They can easily pass through the whole Earth so they wouldn't be stopped by just a bar, would they?

Joke: A statistician walks into your average bar. The bartender says "we don't serve your type here". The statistician says "you're just mean".

Explanation: The word "mean" has multiple meanings. The bartender is using it in the context of "unkind" but a statistician would use it as a more correct term for the word "average".

Joke: A font walks into a bar and the bartender yells "We don't want your type in here!".

Explanation: The word "type" has about 8 meanings. One is the letters that are formed by a font. I guess different fonts produce different type...

Joke: Schrodinger's cat walked into a bar... and didn't.

Explanation: This cat is part of a famous thought experiment created by Erwin Schrodinger, one of the people involved in early quantum theory. The cat was described as being in two states (both dead and alive) while in a box containing poison which might be released by a quantum event (I must emphasise that this was a thought experiment and no actual cats were harmed!) so the joke makes sense when you know that. Doesn't it?

Joke: Three strings walk into a bar. The first one says "I'll have a beer." The second says "I'll also have a beer.' The third one says 'I'll have a shot of vodkadjfjd lskbtj dkl#fla%dkfyej rwejfojp#akjfdi fl[ajeig/iojd@jfa!ljfkldj." The bartender looks at the first two strings and asks "what's up with him". They reply "Oh don't worry about him, he's not null terminated."

Explanation: When I read the first part of this I thought it was about the strings from string theory but it soon became obvious it was about strings (sequences of characters) used in programming. In the C programming language the end of the string (because they can be any length) is marked with a null character (character number zero). So if a string is missing this terminator the program will display whatever junk happens to exist at the end of the real string. The technical aspect of this is clear, why it is a joke less so!

Joke: A molecular biologist walks into a bar, and the bartender asks, "AGCAAAAGCGGAATAAU?" The biologist replies, "I'm going to need a translation."

Explanation: The letters refer to a sequence of bases, the "language" of molecular biology. Translation is both a process of converting from one language into another and a biological process for converting sequences in DNA (or the mRNA which is produced from them) into proteins, so it's a joke, isn't it?

So that's my collection of jokes. I hope you enjoyed them. By the way, I did all the explanations from my own knowledge of science and technology without any access to extra reference material so I hope I got them right. Any alternative explanations would be very welcome in the comments.

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Comment 1 (2898) by Anonymous on 2011-05-16 at 21:12:35:

They are all terrible. Geeks have no sense of humour!

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Comment 2 (3407) by Anonymous on 2012-12-29 at 03:54:36:

Cool, thanks for the explaining the punch lines!

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