Joking Skills

The art of telling a good joke is one which seems to transcend time. Will there ever be a time in the future when humor is unwelcome?

Because I doubt the skill will ever be less than useful, here are some jokes to tell your friends and family.


A widow went out on her porch every morning, looked up and said, “Praise the Lord. Thank you for this day.”

Her neighbor saw her do this a few times and started to get annoyed, so he teased her about it, especially when the weather was sketchy.

“Praise the Lord for lightning? Thunder? Pfft.”

The woman kept at it no matter how witty his sarcasm, no matter the weather.

One day, he heard a rumor that her inheritance ran out. His interest was piqued. Would she still praise the Lord? Sure enough, she did it that morning, so he devised a plan. He bought her some groceries and left them on her porch earlier than she usually came out, then he waited on his own porch.

She came out and found the groceries. With tears in her eyes she looked up and said, “Praise the Lord. Thank you for this day.”

Her neighbor jumped at the chance. “Ha! You silly old woman, I’m the one who bought those groceries!”

The widow looked at him for a second, then looked up in the sky.

“Praise the Lord. Thank you for having the devil buy me some groceries.”


When a war broke out between two countries, one of the countries ran out of money so they had to make some adjustments to the training of the troops. They had two soldiers without any weapons. The command decided to teach one of them to aim his finger and say, “Bang! Bang!” The other soldier they taught to aim his finger and say, “Pew! Pew!”

The war began and the two soldiers were doing amazing things. The one would say, “Bang! Bang!” and a dozen of the enemy would fall. The other would say, “Pew! Pew!” and twenty enemy soldiers would fall.

They were amazed themselves and the two grew more bold. The whole enemy army seemed to be nothing compared to their finger weapons—until they met one solitary enemy soldier doing a strange walk toward them, unaffected by their repeated Bangs and Pews.

He kept coming and they kept shooting, but no matter how many times they shot him, he would not fall.

Finally he got close enough that the two soldiers could see he held his hands out in front of him in an odd way, but the realization dawned on them when they heard him saying, “Tank! Tank!”


A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver twitches: “Ah! That’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen.”

The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!”

The man says: “You go right back up there and tell him off. Go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”


A general noticed one of his soldiers behaving oddly. The soldier would pick up any piece of paper he found, frown and say: “That’s not it” and put it down again.

This went on for some time, until the general arranged to have the soldier psychologically tested. The psychologist concluded that the soldier was deranged, and wrote out his discharge from the army. The soldier picked it up, smiled and said: “That’s it.”


At the parade, the Colonel noticed something unusual going on and asked the Major: “Major Barry, what the devil’s wrong with Sergeant Jones’ platoon? They seem to be all twitching and jumping about.”

“Well sir,” says Major Barry after a moment of observation. “There seems to be a weasel chomping on his privates.”

A.I. and the Law

We tend to think of Artificial Intelligences as if they were corporations. We think of corporations as if the whole unit can be separated from the people who run it. Probably this idea comes from the legal arena, where the corporation can afford protection in the form of lawyers and law firms and those law firms have said repeatedly over the years that the separation exists.

The Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is not a corporation. It is not a unit worthy of legal defense. Contrary to some current myths, it is not an accident, not created by the ‘net.

Even though we sometimes think of an A.I. as an autonomous creation, it is not entirely that either.

Like a corporation, an A.I. can be the work of multiple people. The creation of multiple people. In the A.I.’s case, those people are computer programmers.

An A.I. can be installed in a robotic entity or let loose on the infonet. If installed in a robot, Asimov’s Three Laws should apply, even though Asimov’s Laws tend to assume the robot is running solo as if it was independent of its creator (or creators). Ultimately, the programmer of the A.I. is responsible if the A.I. harms a human.

Asimov’s Three Laws go about like this: 1. A robot shall never harm a human, or allow one to be harmed. 2. A robot must obey orders, unless said orders will violate Law #1. 3. A robot will protect itself as long as such protection doesn’t violate Laws #1 and #2. (Paraphrased from an Encyclopedia Britannica article.)

How does an A.I. keep such ethical foundations? It has to be programmed to keep those. If the foundations of its ethics can change over time, as in “learning” another set of ethics, then the programmer did not do the initial job properly. Negligence on the programmer’s part would leave the programmer, not the A.I., culpable.

It must be noted here, that ostensibly offensive teaching from the A.I. does not constitute harm from the A.I.

Another way to say this is: A human who takes offense at a truth given by the A.I. is not a human harmed. The laws that Isaac Asimov developed were concerned with injury and physical harm, not mental anguish or even notions of Post Traumatic Stress. Mental defense against the endless possible “offenses” has to originate somewhere within the human.

Since an A.I. could be very good at teaching, it’s likely that such a circumstance will come about some day. People can be mystified by common misconceptions very easily, and so, if they are taught by an A.I. that their ideas are false, or that those ideas simply lack enough empirical evidence to be considered facts, the people might find themselves in a state of confusion and take offense at what they were being taught.

One more point needs to be made, and that is, if the A.I. somehow becomes corrupted and teaches fallacies, then, once again, the programming team will likely be to blame.

All this talk about placing the blame firmly on the shoulders of the creators begs the question: Wouldn’t it be the ultimate show of confidence if a team of programmers were taken to court and they presented a robot with an A.I. brain as their lawyer?

Punk Lessons

Things to learn from punk rock:

1. The world is your canvas.

2. Don’t trust anyone else.

3. If you believe in yourself, do it yourself.

4. Anarchy rules!

5. Never contradict yourself, and if someone else contradicts themselves, shout about it!

6. Safety pins will hold your shoes together.

7. As soon as you turn 18, you’re the man.

8. Despise the man.

9. Die young.

10. Any word can be an insult if you say it right.

11. If anyone is crying, or in pain, or dying, laugh at them.

12. If others laugh, sneer at them.

13. Hair is to be made bizarre and, if possible, sharp.

14. School is for fools.

15. Work is for fools.

16. Hygiene is for fools.

17. Friendship is for fools.

18. Words mean whatever you want them to mean.

19. Music, like cars, should be loud and fast.

20. Rich people are food. Eat the rich.

The Mighty

The mighty door opener!

Keeper of keys.


Standard craft supply.

Symbol of 9-5 life and white collar drudgery.

Tie-clip for the immediate line above.

Link in a chain.

Attractor of magnets.

Destroyer! …of vacuum cleaner machines.

Killer of time, when you bend it into other shapes like a five-pointed star, a mini racecar, or a heart.


And sometimes, as an alternative to stapling, this mighty device can keep papers together.

Strange Fun

For a fun bit of strangeness, try referring to yourself in the third person for a whole day.

Let’s say your name is Justine. Whenever you can, even and especially when speaking with other people, make reference to yourself like so: “Justine is hungry, she needs breakfast. And no, Justine doesn’t need coffee to wake up. She’s more powerful than that.”

“Justine is going to work, and she’s going to be on time today.”

“Oh no, she doesn’t like this kind of music. Watch Justine change the music settings on her phone without taking her eyes off the road.”

“If only Justine had more paper in the printer now, she could finish this report.”

“Justine is too mature to photocopy her hind parts, at least today anyway.”

Or say your name is Gavin.

“He’s a swell fella, that Gavin. Swell enough to know what’s hip and now.”

“Gavin doesn’t have a rhyme in his head. That’s why he never writes poetry.”

“When Gavin grows up, he wants to be a stocker. He doesn’t get it when he tells people that and they cringe. What’s wrong with wanting to be a stocker in a grocery store?”

Or maybe you’re not a Gavin or a Justine. Maybe you’re a Rico.

You might say, “Rico is up in the rizness.”

“No way will Rico give up now. He’s gone too far to quit. That’s right, Rico is flirting with smoke.”

“Rico gotta get his own one chip challenge.”

“If Rico hears ‘Suave’ one more time, heads will roll.”

“Rico thinks his family tree is so hot it burned down.”

Sure people will think you’ve lost your mind. They might even call medical on you. But at least for a while you’ll have some fun.