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Fazor
2009-Feb-03, 08:24 PM
The though struck me for a thread on this. Things like "Murphy's Law" that, if we're realistic, we know aren't real, but that every experience seems to prove otherwise.

The reason I bring it up is because of this Universal Law: Fazor's Law of Interruption.
This manifests itself in two ways, on a consistent basis, at my place of work. It's usually pretty slow here, in we don't get that many phone calls and walk-ins on a typical day. Some days we're swamped all day. But most we're not.

But it seems the slower the day, the more this law applies. The first way, and the one that spawned this thread, is that I often have Pandora on when I'm at work (it's internet radio for those not familiar). Any time one of my favorite, have-to-sing-along songs comes on, no matter how slow the rest of the day is, someone calls or walks through the door. Or, if I turn the music down so it can't be heard when someone comes in, inevitably I'll find one of my favorite songs in the play-history when I go to turn it back up. (My music isn't the most office-appropriate, which is why I turn it down when people come in. Not obscene, just most clients don't share my love for Alice in Chains.

The second manifestation of this is, again, the phone can be silent all day. The minute I get up to go make my sandwich or put a pot of coffee on, it rings. It's maddening the way that works.

Okay so the obvious explanation is that wrt the music, I just don't remember all the times good songs play and I don't miss them as poignantly as I do the times I miss them; and that I would tend to eat around lunch time--the same time other people are on lunch breaks and have a moment to call their insurance agent. But rational is no fun, so I'm sticking with my magic rule where the cosmos is stepping in and making people interrupt my food and music.

hhEb09'1
2009-Feb-03, 08:53 PM
A twofer! :)

Jay's Law: You can't lower the bar just because you can't figure out how your hypothesis is supposed to clear it

Jim
2009-Feb-03, 08:56 PM
Things like "Murphy's Law" that ... we know aren't real...

Never, never, never say this within earshot of an engineer!

Tucson_Tim
2009-Feb-03, 09:00 PM
Two powerful laws:

Godwin's Law - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
Sturgeon's Law - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_law

Fazor
2009-Feb-03, 09:07 PM
Things like "Murphy's Law" that ... we know aren't real...

Never, never, never say this within earshot of an engineer!

:) Thanks, now I have to say that to every engineer I ever converse with. That's just me, baby. I'm a rebel.

hhEb09'1
2009-Feb-03, 09:13 PM
Cole's Law: No matter how you slice it, it still smells.

Fazor
2009-Feb-03, 09:18 PM
Cole's Law: No matter how you slice it, it still smells.

Oh come on man, that joke stinks. :)

Which brings me to Fazor's Law of BAUTulism. It's a take on Godwin's Law. As a BAUT thread's post-count increases, the chances of a pun approach 1. :)

Edit: Changed name of the law. Like this one better. :)

Tucson_Tim
2009-Feb-03, 09:24 PM
Cole's Law: No matter how you slice it, it still smells.

That is definitely against Ape Law! :)

kleindoofy
2009-Feb-03, 09:37 PM
... "Murphy's Law" that, if we're realistic, we know aren't real, but that every experience seems to prove otherwise. ...
Simple minds often reduce Murphy's Law from a description of the "remnant risk" to a total misrepresentation as "everything always goes wrong." Don't even bother trying to explain it to them.


... this Universal Law: Fazor's Law of Interruption. ...
Oh yes, a law I'm well acquainted with.

I won't have a call for about 90 minutes and will have finally been able to work through to the complicated bits of whatever it is I have on the desk, and not only will a call come in at that moment, but during that call one or two more will knock in the background. When the first call is finished and I call one of the others back, further calls will knock in on that call. This will cascade for a while and then it's back to a silent phone.

Or, when I finally find time from my own work to explain some difficult bits to one of my employees and discuss them with him, the phone will ring off the hook - exactly 90 seconds after I start speaking with the employee.

Fazor
2009-Feb-03, 09:41 PM
Thank you Kleindoofy. It's reassuring to know that it's not just me. I mean, my phone calls and walk-ins will be non-existant for three hours, but the second I get up to get food, or a good song comes on, there they are. Every time.

cosmocrazy
2009-Feb-03, 09:50 PM
*LOL*

A couple of days ago,
i have 3 phones, my personal mobile my works mobile and my land-line. I hadn't had 1 call all day, which is very unusual for me since i run my own business, just as i sat down for dinner. Guess what all three of them rang almost simultaneously!!:lol:

closetgeek
2009-Feb-03, 10:16 PM
Fazor, mothers experience a very similar law. I can be on inivisible to my three little...angels, for hours at a time. Any attempt at a conversation is quickly smacked down by single word answers. The very second I enter my bathroom, answer the phone, or put headphones on, a fight erupts between any two of them.

hhEb09'1
2009-Feb-03, 10:29 PM
Which brings me to Fazor's Law of BAUTulism. It's a take on Godwin's Law. As a BAUT thread's post-count increases, the chances of a pun approach 1. :)

Edit: Changed name of the law. Like this one better. :) What? was the first one Spaminella?

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-03, 10:33 PM
I've noticed that my dad tends to call at really annoying moments. Be it when there's a good song on the radio or when my dog has made a huge mess that I'm struggling to clean up, he tends to call at the moment it is least convenient.

tdvance
2009-Feb-03, 10:41 PM
Sturgeon's Law seems to apply to an awful lot of things (and it might be an emergent principle of the universe).

A watched pot never boils--admit it--do you REALLY have a counterexample?

Everything you search hard for is found in the last place you look. Oh, wait a minute.

The slot machine pays off for the next customer after you give up.

Time is dilated when you sit on a hot stove relative to sitting with a pretty girl.

Dryers send one of a pair of socks to some unknown dimension, while invariably sparing the other of the pair.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Feb-03, 11:44 PM
A watched pot never boils--admit it--do you REALLY have a counterexample?
Sure, just requires patience.


Everything you search hard for is found in the last place you look. Oh, wait a minute.
Duh. How often do you keep searching once you found the thing?


Dryers send one of a pair of socks to some unknown dimension, while invariably sparing the other of the pair.
Well, it's by having one sock you know it happened.
If both get lost you don't really notice unless you know all your socks.

korjik
2009-Feb-04, 12:44 AM
Oh come on man, that joke stinks. :)

Which brings me to Fazor's Law of BAUTulism. It's a take on Godwin's Law. As a BAUT thread's post-count increases, the chances of a pun approach 1. :)

Edit: Changed name of the law. Like this one better. :)

Technically, Fazor's Law of Interruption is simply a correlary of Murphy's Law.

Consider it a Murphy's Law of the Office, sort of like how If it is Stupid, But it Works, It isnt Stupid, is a Murphy's Law of Combat

Tobin Dax
2009-Feb-04, 01:39 AM
Fazor, mothers experience a very similar law. I can be on inivisible to my three little...angels, for hours at a time. Any attempt at a conversation is quickly smacked down by single word answers. The very second I enter my bathroom, answer the phone, or put headphones on, a fight erupts between any two of them.

That law doesn't ever end, either. I was visiting my parents in September, and my father had to deal with issues from me and each of my two sisters (one of whom lives a few states away) within about six hours. :)

Donnie B.
2009-Feb-04, 02:38 AM
I like Tyler's Law: any software development project will take twice as long as the original estimate, even if you take into account Tyler's Law.

Salty
2009-Feb-04, 03:08 AM
Fazor's Law of Interuption is real. Congratulations for pinning down this universal phenomenum and naming it.
With me, it happens while driving. When I have left early and am not in a rush, the streets are sparsely occupied and no problem. When I'm running late or am in an unprepared hurry for some reason, cars pull in front of me; trucks appear from nowhere to block me; and pedestrians come out of curbs to cross the street in front of me.
Yeah, it's real.

Sam5
2009-Feb-04, 03:49 AM
The reason I bring it up is because of this Universal Law: Fazor's Law of Interruption.

I've often wondered who's law that was. I'm glad I finally got to meet you.

For me, it most often manifests itself when:

1 I've been waiting for an important phone call all day.

2 I've put off going to the bathroom, because I'm waiting for the call.

3 I finally can't put it off any longer, so I go.

4 The call comes in during the minute or two I'm in the bathroom. I call right back, but the person who called me has gone for the day, or for a year, or he just left on a slow boat to China.

Tensor
2009-Feb-04, 04:18 AM
The reason I bring it up is because of this Universal Law: Fazor's Law of Interruption.

I've found it's not universal. I had similar problems at work. But all those interuptions have gone away, since I was laid off.

Gandalf223
2009-Feb-04, 04:43 AM
The Spare Parts Principle: small items such as nuts and bolts, which are accidentally dropped while working on automobiles, will bounce and roll until coming to rest underneath the exact center of the vehicle.

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Feb-04, 06:02 AM
Jagger-Richards Law: You can't always get what you want.

Celestial Mechanic's Corollary: You don't always want what you get.

I know that I chide wannabes for naming their scientific theories after themselves, but these are all humorous "laws" (although based on real-life experiences), so I am not violating the canons of science in doing this.

Paraphrasing Mick and Keith: "You don't always want what you get. And you'll find most times, you get what you deserve." :D

HenrikOlsen
2009-Feb-04, 07:46 AM
I like Tyler's Law: any software development project will take twice as long as the original estimate, even if you take into account Tyler's Law.
That's a specific application of Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account.

For software projects I like Brooks's Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Ara Pacis
2009-Feb-04, 08:39 AM
Here's one I've heard of referred to as Stuart's Law of Retroaction: It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

BigDon
2009-Feb-04, 08:51 AM
Here's one I've heard of referred to as Stuart's Law of Retroaction: It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

That's another one simple minds have fun with.

Middenrat
2009-Feb-04, 12:02 PM
oh dear, I recognise I am frequently recoursing to Stuart's Law, a fine piece of legislation.
Isn't it time Fazor's Law had a Wikipaedia entry?

jokergirl
2009-Feb-04, 12:15 PM
Well I don't know about other engineers, but there are some things that you can count on at least one happening whenever there's a big release, demo or otherwise important milestone in a software project happening the next day:

- the server that stores the checked-in code goes down,
- the main engineer who had just been doing a few last-minute fixes's harddisk breaks,
- or the power goes out for the entire building, causing all of the above.

Extra points for it happening 10 minutes before the demo. The likelihood also rises with amount of changed code before checkin and duration of time it takes to check out again (~2 hours here).

;)


PS: Brooks Law is actually scientifically provable, or at least statistically provable. The time it takes for the experienced engineers to teach new people is just disproportional to the benefit more engineers give.

Fazor
2009-Feb-04, 01:37 PM
I've found it's not universal. I had similar problems at work. But all those interuptions have gone away, since I was laid off.

Ah, but for me it continues even at home where no job is in the equation. My g/f works as a server, at the end of the work-day. Sometimes she is just a "regular" shift, meaning as soon as it slows down she gets to leave. Sometimes she's a "closer" meaning she has to stay until the doors are locked. Regardless, she's also stuck until her last table leaves, which can be before closing or well after.

The point is, you never know when she'll be home. So I devised a cunning strategy to get her home when I want her; just start doing something like playing a video game or recording a song on guitar. As soon as I'm busy, she'll call and say she's on her way home.


The Spare Parts Principle: small items such as nuts and bolts, which are accidentally dropped while working on automobiles, will bounce and roll until coming to rest underneath the exact center of the vehicle.

Ah, very good one! Though you can expand it to the Dropped Parts Principle. Doesn't have to be while working on a car; I've often been annoyed by how a dropped item will land and bounce/roll to the worst place possible. Size relative to nook or cranny doesn't seem to matter, so long as the object is just barely able to fit but only if it falls at some one-in-a-million orientation to said nook or cranny.

A good real-life example is our fax machine at work. It sits atop a horizontal filing cabinet. Unfortunately the top isn't deep enough to fit the machine and the papers it feeds out very well. Often, if there's more than one page feeding through, the one feeding out will push any of it's predisessors off the cabinent. They'll glide to the floor like a paper airplane. I've observed that about one-in-three of these will "roll" back towards the cabinet and actually slide right into the crack between a drawer.

For a long time we couldn't figure out where some of the pages we faxed were going. Then we opened to drawer to put something away (it's an "archive" file so doesn't get used often) and found almost a dozen random pages that had found their way in.

Trantor
2009-Feb-04, 02:16 PM
I don't know what to call this very annoying observation that I notice almost every day, but it seems that when I'm in heavy traffic, I'm always behind the slowest moving vehicle. Also, if a vehicle goes to pass me and then cuts in front of me; they immediately slow down to the point where I am forced to switch lanes and pass them.

Fazor
2009-Feb-04, 02:26 PM
Trantor, that's a good observation. I'm simply always called it 'Other Drivers are [censored-for-BAUT] Idiots That Can't [again censored] Drive and Have No Business Being on the Road...ism' or ' ODA*ITC*DHNBBOR (But I think a shorter name might be in order)

hhEb09'1
2009-Feb-04, 03:10 PM
Isn't that just a generalization of the Always in the Slow Line (ASL)? Sometimes known as the Always in the Slow Queue or in this case, the Always in the Slow Lane?

jokergirl
2009-Feb-04, 03:55 PM
Possibly is; however the rare talent that my dad has (and I do too in a milder form) of having the cashier being called away or dealing with a particularly obnoxious customer or having to void the whole transaction/run to the back to switch out an item when he's the next in line is still fascinating.

;)

gzhpcu
2009-Feb-04, 04:01 PM
Isn't that just a generalization of the Always in the Slow Line (ASL)? Sometimes known as the Always in the Slow Queue or in this case, the Always in the Slow Lane?

A variant of that is: the other queue is always faster. If you are in a supermarket queue, for instance, the other queues are always faster. This law still holds if you switch queues. Suddenly, the one you were originally in goes faster.

Also: when you are in hurry to get somewhere, you will invariably encounter slow pokes and heavy traffic. If you are not in any particular hurry, traffic is fluid...

ToSeek
2009-Feb-04, 04:13 PM
Thank you Kleindoofy. It's reassuring to know that it's not just me. I mean, my phone calls and walk-ins will be non-existant for three hours, but the second I get up to get food, or a good song comes on, there they are. Every time.

I've experienced the same thing. I mostly listen to classical music at work, and people will interrupt not just during a favorite piece but during my favorite part of the favorite piece. And my wife has an unfathomable knack for calling right when I'm engaged with a coworker or otherwise not wanting to be interrupted.

There's also the eldritch ability our cats have to detect when I'm in a hurry and to demand attention at specifically such occasions.

MAPNUT
2009-Feb-04, 04:15 PM
Love the Spare Parts Principle. I will absolutely provide hard data if you want to write a paper on it.

Speaking of phone calls at inopportune times reminded me of Neil's Law: The probability of my most talkative colleague phoning me has a sharp peak at 4:55 pm, a secondary peak at 11:55 am, and a minor peak early in the morning before I've had my coffee. I'll do a graph of that for graphjam.com.

ToSeek
2009-Feb-04, 04:20 PM
A variant of that is: the other queue is always faster. If you are in a supermarket queue, for instance, the other queues are always faster. This law still holds if you switch queues. Suddenly, the one you were originally in goes faster.

Also: when you are in hurry to get somewhere, you will invariably encounter slow pokes and heavy traffic. If you are not in any particular hurry, traffic is fluid...

ToSeek's Law: The person immediately in front of you in line is always doing something ten times more complicated than you are. At the post office, if you're buying stamps, they're sending a certified package to Kazakhstan. At the library, if you're checking out a book, they're arguing about an overdue fine, then paying it in pennies that the librarian has to count (true story!). At the pizza place, if you're picking up pizzas you've already ordered, the person in front of you in figuring out right there what they're ordering, then wanting a coupon applied to it, then changing their order when they find out it doesn't (another true story). If you're checking in for a plane flight, the person in front of you is planning and reserving their entire vacation trip (yet another true story, but a very old one - probably couldn't get away with it these days).

Donnie B.
2009-Feb-05, 12:25 AM
That's a specific application of Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account.
Nah... that's a generalization of Tyler's Law. ;)

weatherc
2009-Feb-05, 01:19 AM
ToSeek's Law: The person immediately in front of you in line is always doing something ten times more complicated than you are.I'll let you take the credit for this law because I'm pretty sure you are my senior.

But, yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

And if you're at the ATM to do a fast cash withdrawal, the person in front of you will be negotiating a hostile corporate takeover through the ATM.

BigDon
2009-Feb-05, 02:12 AM
ToSeek's Law: The person immediately in front of you in line is always doing something ten times more complicated than you are. At the post office, if you're buying stamps, they're sending a certified package to Kazakhstan. At the library, if you're checking out a book, they're arguing about an overdue fine, then paying it in pennies that the librarian has to count (true story!). At the pizza place, if you're picking up pizzas you've already ordered, the person in front of you in figuring out right there what they're ordering, then wanting a coupon applied to it, then changing their order when they find out it doesn't (another true story). If you're checking in for a plane flight, the person in front of you is planning and reserving their entire vacation trip (yet another true story, but a very old one - probably couldn't get away with it these days).

I saw a rather grim application of this principle.

I spend a lot of my free time in medical facilities these days it seems. And you would think that a man with a whistle and a clipboard accompanied by a kid in a football uniform with an obvious double compound fracture of the left forearm, would get, oh, head of the line privledges, instead of "Please, have a seat, we will be with you shortly." The coach got all goggle eyed and started doing a carp imitation, as if he couldn't believe his ears.

What could cause this you may ask?

20 minutes beforehand three ambulances showed up with heart attacks. In the resulting excitment two other older male patients, in the ER already for other complaints, also had heart attacks. What, I ask you, are the odds of that happening on the day you are going to break your arm that bad? I saw this myself with my own two eyes.

LaurelHS
2009-Feb-05, 02:32 AM
ToSeek's Law: The person immediately in front of you in line is always doing something ten times more complicated than you are. At the post office, if you're buying stamps, they're sending a certified package to Kazakhstan. At the library, if you're checking out a book, they're arguing about an overdue fine, then paying it in pennies that the librarian has to count (true story!). At the pizza place, if you're picking up pizzas you've already ordered, the person in front of you in figuring out right there what they're ordering, then wanting a coupon applied to it, then changing their order when they find out it doesn't (another true story). If you're checking in for a plane flight, the person in front of you is planning and reserving their entire vacation trip (yet another true story, but a very old one - probably couldn't get away with it these days).

And if you're buying a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven, the person in front of you is buying ten lottery tickets.

weatherc
2009-Feb-05, 02:37 AM
And if you're buying a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven, the person in front of you is buying ten lottery tickets.And cigarettes.

BigDon
2009-Feb-05, 02:48 AM
And if you're buying a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven, the person in front of you is buying ten lottery tickets.

And scratching them off as they get them to turn in any winners to get more lottery tickets.

LaurelHS
2009-Feb-05, 02:56 AM
And scratching them off as they get them to turn in any winners to get more lottery tickets.

Definitely! The same thing happens at the drugstore. :)

Bearded One
2009-Feb-05, 03:08 AM
ToSeek's Law: The person immediately in front of you in line is always doing something ten times more complicated than you are.That law can only work for you or it breaks down. Otherwise, if you are tenth in line, you are going to have a very long wait. Laws must be universal. :p

Each person in line has someone "immediately in front of them".

The law needs work. :)

mike alexander
2009-Feb-05, 03:21 AM
A corollary of the Parts Principle is the inverse relationship between size/rarity and post-drop accessibility. While that may seem obvious, I'm always struck by the ability of, say, a 3/128ths hex nut to drop and roll 15-20 feet easily, finding the only drain in the whole room. Momentum is not conserved in these situations.

I don't say Spare Parts because if you have a spare the original will stick to you like glue.

closetgeek
2009-Feb-05, 01:16 PM
And if you're buying a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven, the person in front of you is buying ten lottery tickets.

The 7-11 near my house in NY used to enforce the "lottery is a separate line" rule. I loved it. That included scratch-offs. I always get that person. The one who buys the scratch-offs, and then proceeds to scratch while the cashier is ringing up, then using winning money to buy more. That has happened more than once, but only when I am in a rush.

closetgeek
2009-Feb-05, 01:20 PM
I don't know what to call this very annoying observation that I notice almost every day, but it seems that when I'm in heavy traffic, I'm always behind the slowest moving vehicle. Also, if a vehicle goes to pass me and then cuts in front of me; they immediately slow down to the point where I am forced to switch lanes and pass them.

That reminds me of a scene in the beginning of that movie The Office. One of the funniest scenes ever because it's just so true!

Fazor
2009-Feb-05, 02:50 PM
Wrt the "scratch-off" things; "scratchers" in these parts started to evolve towards civility, but somewhere went horribly wrong. They move out of their way to let the next people go while they scratch. Nice. But as soon as they hit a winner, they basically push whoever's being helped out of the way, scratch themselves and spit (pointing out they're usually rednecks), and go "'ey! Got a fiver! Gemme five more'dem things, darlin'!"

So, they almost figured out that once you pay, the next person gets service. Just somehow they got the impression that since they made it to the front of the line once, they retain the right to jump back there whenever they want.

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-05, 10:52 PM
Stone's Law: You will never have a flashlight, binoculars or a paperclip when you need them.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-05, 11:02 PM
I carry a flashlight on my key chain.



Breakin the law! Breakin the law!

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-05, 11:10 PM
But do you ALWAYS have it when you need it?

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-05, 11:12 PM
Yes, I also carry one in the car, and have a back up or two at home.

I'm a rebel I tell ya!

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-05, 11:21 PM
I wish I was you.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-06, 05:43 AM
I get that a lot.

Trantor
2009-Feb-06, 02:10 PM
You get seated at a restaurant. It's been a while since your last meal, so you are ready to put some delicious food in your stomach. The server comes by and takes your drink order, while you look over the menu selections. You notice that the previously empty tables around you, are now filling up with new customers. When the server returns for your food order, you pick something simple, something you know won't take long to cook. So, you're sitting down talking to the person you're with, passing the time, waiting for your main meal; and then you notice that other tables around you, that were seated after you, are happily eating! Not only are they eating, but they are eating stuff you know was more complicated to prepare, then the simple meal you ordered so long ago...

bunker9603
2009-Feb-06, 03:07 PM
My kids have a built in radar:

My wife and I have been married for awhile and we are both very busy. Like a lot of married couples we are not as "romantic" as we use to be for several reasons; jobs, kids, projects and so on.

I have 2 older children (16 and 19) from a previous marriage who live with my ex. I don't see them very often and talk to them a couple of times per week. On the rare occassion that the stars align correctly and my wife and I find the time to act like young lovers, it never fails that one of my kids will call on the phone or stop by the house at the worse possible time.

I tried to get around this a few times by calling them first to see how things are going in hope that this would prevent the interruption, but it actualy made it worse. It never fails that I will attempt to call them and they won't answer the phone and the next thing you know they call me back to see what I wanted, again at the worse possible time.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Feb-06, 04:57 PM
That's one good reason to go to cellphone only, those things have off switches.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-06, 05:18 PM
And locks on doors. They can be useful as well.

Tog
2009-Feb-06, 05:44 PM
Tog's Law of Karmicly Inverse Hope:
For as long as I've had jobs. Coming up on 20 years now, anytime I have ever been particularly looking forward to a day off, scheduled or not, the more I look forward to it, them greater the odds are that something will happen to screw it up. It happened most recently last week. I can almost guarantee that the person that covers my day off will call in sick, get hurt, or be fired, if I simply utter the phrase, "I can't wait to be off this weekend" out loud.

Arneb
2009-Feb-06, 08:11 PM
From a doctor's perspective (I hesitate to call them Arneb's laws, I am just reporting what every doctor knows).


There is never one emergency (BigDon just proved that a page ago).
The healthier, the more demanding.
Complications do happen, but only in interventions that had a marginal indication anyway.
The more important and the more difficult to come by a lab sample is, the more likely it is to get lost (OK, that's just Murphy, but it's totally uncanny).
You never drop cheap equipment.
The medical version of Fazor's law: Your pager will ring when, and only when a) you just started the ward round b) you just started an important and sensitive conversation with a patient about a grave prognosis, c) you are doing an intervention, standing at the table in sterile gown, d) you are on the phone, e) you are in the canteen f) you are on the loo, g) you are leaving h) you start to fall asleep during an on-call night.
Teacher isn't a profession, it's a diagnosis (man, do I hope my wife never reads this).
The colleague before you always poured the last cup of coffee.

Which reminds me, if you ever happen to find yourself on the business end of a hospital bed, beware of the four great lies of the doctors:


I'll be right with you.
Now come one, this isn't the first time I'm doing this.
This won't hurt at all.
Don't worry, it'll be right over.

You hear one of those, you're in trouble.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-06, 08:58 PM
Don't get me started.

kleindoofy
2009-Feb-06, 09:11 PM
... On the rare occassion that the stars align correctly and my wife and I find the time to act like young lovers, it never fails that one of my kids will call on the phone ...
Contrary to popular belief, there is no law which requires one to answer the phone every time it rings, especially when on has an urgent call on the other, err, line. ;)

Ara Pacis
2009-Feb-07, 04:56 AM
I wish I was you.I get that a lot.

"Men want you, women want to be you." Maybe that's the law of Grass is always Greener on the other side.

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-07, 03:21 PM
Tog's Law of Karmicly Inverse Hope:
For as long as I've had jobs. Coming up on 20 years now, anytime I have ever been particularly looking forward to a day off, scheduled or not, the more I look forward to it, them greater the odds are that something will happen to screw it up. It happened most recently last week. I can almost guarantee that the person that covers my day off will call in sick, get hurt, or be fired, if I simply utter the phrase, "I can't wait to be off this weekend" out loud.
This describes last night so well it's not even funny.

BigDon
2009-Feb-07, 06:20 PM
My kids have a built in radar:

My wife and I have been married for awhile and we are both very busy. Like a lot of married couples we are not as "romantic" as we use to be for several reasons; jobs, kids, projects and so on.

I have 2 older children (16 and 19) from a previous marriage who live with my ex. I don't see them very often and talk to them a couple of times per week. On the rare occassion that the stars align correctly and my wife and I find the time to act like young lovers, it never fails that one of my kids will call on the phone or stop by the house at the worse possible time.

I tried to get around this a few times by calling them first to see how things are going in hope that this would prevent the interruption, but it actualy made it worse. It never fails that I will attempt to call them and they won't answer the phone and the next thing you know they call me back to see what I wanted, again at the worse possible time.

Easy fix boss.

Just hang a sock over the doorknob like they do at university and your kids will get so "eeewww"ed out that they won't talk to you for at least 36 hours! Heck they will even pretend not to have come over that day!

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-09, 04:52 PM
Or hang a .... wait. Nevermind.

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Feb-09, 06:38 PM
Celestial Mechanic's Minimax Principle:
The maximum defacement of a portrait may be achieved with the minimum of effort by blackening a single tooth.A bit of background:

When I was in junior high school those of us in social studies subscribed to some magazine aimed at teenagers (not naming names). Many of the guys enjoyed defacing photos by adding a number of embellishments such as vampire fangs, devil horns, eye-patches, fake stitches, fake glasses (or fake cracks on real glasses), fake zits, and occasionally swastikas. (Sorry about the last item, we really didn't know any better.) Ultimately I realized that all that was needed was a single, blacked-out tooth.

Every once in a while, I will take pencil or pen to a picture or an ad in the newspaper (my newspaper, not somebody else's) and blacken one tooth. My inner child still lives on! (Though with more self-control than before.) :D

Donnie B.
2009-Feb-09, 09:33 PM
Or hang a .... wait. Nevermind.
Great minds, Robinson, great minds... :sick:

Arneb
2009-Feb-09, 09:37 PM
The maximum defacement of a portrait may be achieved with the minimum of effort by blackening a single tooth.

I'd say putting a little greenish something into one nostril is even more effective.

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Feb-09, 10:07 PM
The maximum defacement of a portrait may be achieved with the minimum of effort by blackening a single tooth.I'd say putting a little greenish something into one nostril is even more effective.I personally think that is a little over the top. But it's hard to say it's all a matter of taste when it comes to tasteless acts. ;)

Perhaps an experiment should be run to answer the question, "Booger or Black-out?" Why, we might even be able to get a government grant for this "experiment". Sillier things have been funded! :eek:

:lol:

Edited to add: Please, dear readers, let's not turn the above question into a poll.

Arneb
2009-Feb-10, 06:31 PM
Err, no indeed...

I wouldn't have developed this idea by myself, but you know, we have those large billboards (about 2.5 * 3 meters or so) in the streets here that are replastered regularly, and you can by time and area on the billboards. So one tv channel is doing its ads for the first complete free tv screening of the Bourne trilogy, and they have this really cool huge portrait of Matt Damon in it, except someone put a greenish chewing gum where the right nostril is. :sick:

I see it every day on my way to work. I just hope the 14 days of display time are over soon.

I mean, what can I do? You talked about effectiveness, not taste, so....

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Feb-10, 08:51 PM
Here's one with which I'm certain we're all familiar. I won't even name it after myself. ;)
That's OK, I'll do it for you. I hereby move that these two laws be numbered and known as Tesarra's Laws of Pseudoscientific Arguments:

First Law: The stridency and emotion with which an ATM, CT or HB idea is expressed will be inversely proportional to the demonstrable science content thereof.

Second Law: The likelihood of persuading an ATM, CT or HB proponent that their idea is incorrect is directly proportional to the demonstrable science content of their presentation.
Do I hear any seconds?

BTW, good ones. :clap:

Fazor
2009-Feb-10, 09:24 PM
That's OK, I'll do it for you. I hereby move that these two laws be numbered and known as Tesarra's Laws of Pseudoscientific Arguments:

Also definately wins the award for most literal interpretation of thread title.

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-10, 11:45 PM
Kai's Law of Space Shuttle Launches:
All launches will be delayed the day after you finish working out a detailed countdown in ink on your calendar.

jokergirl
2009-Feb-11, 09:55 AM
Oh, I have another, universally acknowledged by professional and amateur artists alike:

The law of artistic acclaim: Every little piece of crap that you cranked out in two minutes because you Just Didn't Care will get dozens of excited reviews, whereas the big masterpiece that you put your blood, sweat and tears in will elicit barely an "aha" from most people.

;)

Tog
2009-Feb-11, 09:59 AM
Works for writers too.

jokergirl
2009-Feb-11, 11:38 AM
Yeah, I meant "artist" to include anyone working in the creative arts, no matter whether visual, writing, music or in fact anything else.

;)

Tucson_Tim
2009-Mar-25, 11:01 PM
We should make up a new internet forum law, something to encompass this behavior, of which we are all guilty:

Only the thread starter and the moderators care about threads going off topic. And most of the time the moderators don't care either.

A corollary:

The thread starter who complains about OT posts in his/her thread will, within an hour or so, make an OT post in someone else's thread.

(I posted this in another thread but it was OT. :))

KaiYeves
2009-Apr-10, 09:00 PM
Law of Inverse Weather:
The states of Florida and New York have inverse weather. Whenever one watches NASA TV on a cloudy day in New York, it is bright and sunny at the Kennedy Space Center. When it is sunny in New York, the video will show it as being cloudy in Florida.

JohnD
2009-Apr-12, 12:38 PM
Fazor,
Nice conversational thread, but no one has challenged your original statement.
Murphy's Law is true - it's called Entropy and it tends to a maximum.

A house of cards has less entropy and more organisation than a pack of cards, so the former is more likely to be knocked to the floor. To borrow ToSeek's example, when he's listening intently to a piece of music, his system of perception is more organised, less entropic than if the music is on in the background. Any interruption will unstabilise that system, whereas it is less likely to when he just has aural wallpaper.

Murphy's Law really DOES rule!
John

Noclevername
2009-Apr-16, 10:46 PM
Savage's Law of the Conservation of Luck.

A corollary of Murphy's Law.

As pointed out by a certain Mythbuster, you can have little things go wrong all through a project, or a lot go wrong all at once. If everything's going too well, watch out.

EDIT: You can of course, have both. But at minimum you will have one of the two.

mike alexander
2009-Apr-16, 11:11 PM
There's a related Law of Doctors, the This Time It Will Definitely Work OK Rule. As in, "We know the last three times you've had a very bad reaction to the drug where you couldn't breathe, but with added diphenhydramine this time it will definitely work OK."

No, after a minute on the drip I couldn't breathe. Again. OK?

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-18, 06:24 AM
A house of cards has less entropy and more organisation than a pack of cards, so the former is more likely to be knocked to the floor.
That has nothing to do with entropy, stop trying to apply thermodynamics where it doesn't apply.

A house of cards has more energy than a pack of cards and is in a metastable configuration.

Kaptain K
2009-Apr-19, 06:58 PM
The Spare Parts Principle: small items such as nuts and bolts, which are accidentally dropped while working on automobiles, will bounce and roll until coming to rest underneath the exact center of the vehicle.

Racing division; the part that breaks is the one you don't have a spare for. This is why the big teams win - they have spares for every thing!

Ilya
2009-Apr-20, 02:36 AM
The though struck me for a thread on this. Things like "Murphy's Law" that, if we're realistic, we know aren't real, but that every experience seems to prove otherwise.
I would say Murphy's Law follows quite logically from law of entropy and laws of probability (actually, law of entropy is itself probabilistic). There are always far more ways to screw something up than to do it right, so without constant expenditure of energy to keep things on track, they go wrong.

mike alexander
2009-Apr-20, 03:40 AM
This is why the checkout line you are on is not the fastest. If there are eight checkout lines, only one can be fastest. Probabilistically, you are not on it.

KaiYeves
2009-Apr-21, 12:13 AM
If only one out of four things stinks, I will get the one that stinks.

absael
2009-Apr-21, 04:34 AM
I hate to spoil the fun, but I don't believe it.

And I'm slightly amused that a lot of folks who are quick to jump all over CT'ers profess to believe, even somewhat jokingly, in what may be the greatest CT of all - that the universe gets its jollies by subjecting them to improbably bad fortune.

Quite often, people call and interrupt me at the most opportune times. Cars move out of my way, for no apparent reason, allowing me to make a light that I thought I was going to miss. Computers crash immediately after I perform a long-overdue backup. Things like this happen to me all the time - maybe because I don't believe that the universe has made it its mission to ruin my day. And I'll bet that if a lot of you start looking for examples of inexplicably good luck, you'll find that strangely good things happen to you about as often as the bizarrely bad - they're just not as much fun to talk about. :)

Fazor
2009-Apr-21, 01:53 PM
I would say Murphy's Law follows quite logically from law of entropy and laws of probability (actually, law of entropy is itself probabilistic). There are always far more ways to screw something up than to do it right, so without constant expenditure of energy to keep things on track, they go wrong.

I don't agree. It's not just that your coffee lid will pop off the cup and spill, it's that it'll do it on the morning that you're in your best suit on the way to the big interview. Entropy might account for a system failing, but not for it always seeming to do so at the worst possible time.

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-21, 02:10 PM
If you look at the history of Murphy's Law, it really boils down to "if it can be done wrong, it will be done wrong." The real meaning to engineers is "design it so it can't be done wrong." That means design parts so they can only go together the correct way. As an easy example, look at most of the connectors we use on computers only go on one way unless you use an inordinate amount of force. Failures to do this lead to the crash of one of the V-22 Osprey prototypes on its first flight (control electrical connections were reversed) and almost resulted in an Airbus airliner accident when the pilot's control was reversed.

mike alexander
2009-Apr-21, 10:13 PM
Eddie Murphy's Law: A funny, talented actor cannot seem to make a decent movie.

Fazor
2009-Apr-21, 10:58 PM
Eddie Murphy's Law: A funny, talented actor cannot seem to make a decent movie.

Lol! You win the thread. Congrats.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-22, 05:35 PM
If you look at the history of Murphy's Law, it really boils down to "if it can be done wrong, it will be done wrong."
From what I've read, Murphy's law originally came in a General and a Special version.

The General Law states that if there is a way to do a task wrong, someone will, at some time in the future, do it wrong.

The Special Law stated that if there is a way to do a task wrong, that guy (specific named college of Murphy) will do it wrong, soon.