ScienceBlogger Nerd-Off

Fed up with the hotness contest results, Janet has decreed a nerd-off, asking for:

your geekiest jokes, your nerdiest life-lessons, your testimonial to your favorite programing language (or tissue culture medium), what have you.

We’ve already had a local thread of funny physics jokes, but for sheer nerd value, it’s hard to top the classics:

Q: What’s purple and commutes?

A: An abelian grape.


Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant with a mountain climber?

A: You can’t. A mountain climber is a scalar.

It just doesn’t get nerdier than those…


  1. #1 Ike
    September 6, 2006

    One of the old “An engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist” jokes…

    An engineer, a mathematician and a physicist are discussing relationships over beers one day. The question is posed to them “Which do you find preferable, a wife or a girlfriend?” The engineer replies that he prefers the stability of marriage. The mathematician states that he prefers the freedom to move from one partner to another whenever the mood strikes him. The physicist states that he prefers to have one of each. By doing so, he can tell his wife he is with his girlfriend, and tell his girlfriend he will be with his wife, while he goes to the lab and gets some work done.

  2. #2 yami
    September 6, 2006

    I may be losing the nerdoff by asking this, but are elephants really disease vectors? I’ve always heard that joke as a mosquito and a mountain climber…

  3. #3 Skwid
    September 6, 2006

    Nerdy life lessons? How ’bout:

    Taking your Wheel of Time d20 pen & paper role-playing game session to Hooters to celebrate the netbook expansion you just finished production of is actually even more fun than it sounds.

    Does that win any prizes?

  4. #4 Paul Orwin
    September 6, 2006

    What do you get when you cross an elephant and a tiger?
    Elephant tiger sine theta!

    Two molecules walk into a bar, one turns to the other, and says, “I think I lost an electron somewhere”. The other says, “Are you sure?”, and the first answers “I’m positive.”

    An engineer, a lawyer, and a doctor go out to play golf. In front of them is a very, very slow group. After the front nine, they enter the clubhouse, and start complaining. The owner of the club says ” Those men playing in front of you are firefighters. We had a huge fire here 5 years ago, and they saved the whole place. Unfortunately, they were blinded during the fierce battle.”

    The doctor says “That’s awful! Send them down to my office anytime for free medical care. Nothing but the best for those heroes!”

    The lawyer says “I feel terrible! I’ll give them free legal advice if they want it. Just send them to my office.”

    The engineer says “Why don’t they just play at night?”

    Sadly, I’ve got a million of ’em.

  5. #5 Corkscrew
    September 6, 2006

    I may be losing the nerdoff by asking this, but are elephants really disease vectors? I’ve always heard that joke as a mosquito and a mountain climber…

    That’s the version I’ve heard too, but to the best of my knowledge there’s no cross-product that includes even one scalar so it doesn’t matter.

  6. #6 Adam Ciapponi
    September 6, 2006

    Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle:

    If you know how fast you’re going, you must be lost.

  7. #7 William
    September 7, 2006

    Q: What’s an anagram for Banach-Tarski?
    A: Banach-Tarski Banach-Tarski

  8. #8 John
    September 7, 2006

    Engineer A rides up on a bike to engineer B.

    A: “You’ll never believed what happened to me. I saw this beautiful girl on the side of the rode standing next to this bike. She took off all her clothes and said, ‘Take what you want,’ so I took the bike.”

    B: “Good idea. Her clothes wouldn’t have fit.”

  9. #9 John
    September 8, 2006

    One more favorite:

    A topologist is someone who can tell his ass from a whole in the ground, but can’t tell his ass from two holes in the ground.

  10. #10 Phillip J. Birmingham
    September 9, 2006

    Where I went to graduate school, there were two people there who had graduated from my undergrad institution while I was a freshman. One of them told me a story about my undergraduate advisor, explaining cross products:

    “So the cross product of vector A…” (sticks left arm straight up)
    “with vector B…” (sticks right arm straight out)
    “is…” (looks down, waits a beat)
    “I guess I need another vector.”

    This totally cracked me up, because he’d always seemed a lot more straight-laced when I was there.

  11. #11 Jim
    September 9, 2006

    Three engineers are arguing about whether god is a mechanical, electrical, or civil engineer. The ME says “He’s a mechanical engineer- the body is nothing but levers and supports.” The EE says “No way. He’s an electrical. Just look at all of the electrical impulses that course through the nervous system and brain.” Finally the CE shakes his head and says “God is a civil engineer. Who else could run a sewer pipe through a recreational area?”

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