What Do You Know About A Single Drop Of Rain?

Suppose a single drop of rain falls from a cloud base of height of H km. Suppose that at an above-ground height of h metres, it has diameter d mm. Suppose it falls alongside a tall glass skyscraper. Suppose the rain-drop-to-skyscraper distance remains a constant k metres. Suppose the sun is upon the rain drop unobstructed, at angle a to the ground.

Consider the reflective properties of the drop, the glass, and the human eye. Consider the energies acting upon the rain drop. Consider other relevant factors and/or a few irrelevant ones.

Q1. How does the shape and width of the rain drop change over time?

Q2. From what locations and angles would the rain drop (or any reflection of it) be visible to the human eye?

Q3. What determines the temperature of a particular point within the rain drop? What is the formula?

Q4. Does the raindrop reach the ground?

Q5. At what height does it cease to be a rain drop?

Q6. What is altered by the raindrop’s mathematical/existential journey?

No question is mandatory - no answer is wrong


Sample A

  1. It stays mostly round, and gets smaller.
  2. Locations of open eyes looking within the optical range of the observer’s eye, symmetrical to the angle of the sun to the ground, and the glass building wrt to 2k
  3. The sun. f(k,H,h,…) = g(f(k),f(H),f(h), f(…)) = 42
  4. Yes.
  5. 0 + d/2 – x; 0<x<d/2
  6. Dirt.

Sample B

  1. It vibrates and gets smaller.
  2. Near windows.
  3. The average temperature of neighbouring points. sum(temp(points))/sum(points);inclusive
  4. No.
  5. 6ft 8 inches.
  6. An umbrella.

Sample C

  1. It gets smaller over time t.
  2. Anywhere where view of the rain drop is unobstructed.
  3. Atomic theory. f(fhHkd) = shit happens!
  4. No, the ground reaches it.
  5. 0.
  6. The ground and a little weed.

Daylight Savings Disaster Hastens Global Warming

Countries who had previously introduced daylight savings as a hedge against their current economic woes are now paying the price for their greed.


The mutual trading of daylight between countries was first introduced in 1987 as a means of alleviating harsh weather conditions. During severe heat waves, countries could get and give relief by depositing their excess daylight at the Global Solar Exchange. There it would be traded with countries encountering a severe winter.

Scientists had first experimented with the transmission of daylight using geostationary communications satellites as early as 1978, but the satellites would generally be destroyed in the heat intensive process. However, in 1982, an accidental teaming up with a team of cosmetics researchers produced a breakthrough. Although the actual details of the new approach remain proprietary, it is believed to have had something to do with the unique molecular structure of an SP32+ lip gloss.

With success came outrage, however, as members of various weather monitoring authorities surmised that the constant continental drift of daylight would confuse the ecosystem and cause the polar caps to melt. However, the discovery of a hole in the ozone the size of a pea was presumed to be a more plausible reason for such a meltdown, and the technology was ratified.

Then a recent Christmas Day raid by a terrorist illuminati group calling themselves the Wise Crack Of Dawn resulted in the siphoning of most of the stockpile, which was routed to a rogue satellite strategically placed over a once pea-sized hole. Again, in a frightening turn of events, the non lip-gloss-impregnated satellite, becoming, first sentient, then enlightened, lost track of itself and deposited the daylight where it deemed the need was most apparent - the opposing poles of the planet. A raft of meteorological changes has since ensued.

Investment bankers have not been phased by the tragedy though, and have been quick to shift their investment portfolios to property, buying up now desolate but soon-to-be coastal real estate.

(Originally posted Jan 2009)

Paper Plane Sales Refloat Zimbabwe Economy

An enterprising group of students from the Arts Department of the University of Zimbabwe have managed by accident to kick start their country’s economy by selling paper planes made from Zimbabwe bank notes.

What had initially started out as a fraternity dare has turned into a huge boon for the country. Many Zimbabweans have been quick to jump onto the bandwagon by introducing other offbeat uses for the currency, including paper hats, paper boats, Christmas wrapping paper, and wallpaper.

We approached an official from the Zimbabwe Treasury, but he was unable to give comment, saying his hands were tied (which they were).

According to eBay, the new currency craft category is fast becoming one of its top sellers. The only glitch encountered so far, was in PayPal’s currency conversion algorithm, which triggered an overflow of zeroes that forced the online invoice onto multiple screens. A patch was quickly applied.

Update: Other countries have also begun to follow suit as their currencies falter under the current global economic crisis. Various market analysts have raised concerns this new income stream will wreak havoc on the global economy and some have asked that sanctions (such as paper cuts) be imposed.

Insider Reveals Internet Invented By Cosmetics Industry

It is a little known fact that the cosmetics industry has been at the forefront of technological innovation for decades.

I spoke at length with Fabian (not his real name), a veteran cosmetics researcher, about some of the pioneering work he had been involved in.

“You do not realise the difficulties involved in bundling the latest technologies into beauty products” he said.

“Combining cross-linked elastin in a deep hydrating base is one thing, but when you then try to add intelligent hyper-bionic omni-nurturing eco-illogical agents to the mix, you have to find some way to meet the escalating power requirements.”

“In the early days, to get around this, the more expensive brands of hair shampoo came with a ‘Shake Before Opening’ instruction.”

Fabian went on to explain how shaking would actually kick start a small hydro-electric dynamo in the base of the bottle. This would in turn set off a tiny thermonuclear reaction which linked the base elastin to a heavily doped super-melatonin cupsize-pervoskite. This allowed (by means of mobiate osmosis) the negative steam ions to form small colonies of faith-healing enzymes that would apply an appropriate virtual prosthesis to each follicle.

“The hair is thus encouraged to waver and recoil in the manner of an anionic mobius strip - a configuration that has produced some of the best body-to-bounce ratios achieved to date, even for the most recalcitrant of frizz, brittleness, after-burn and split ends.”

I asked Fabian what happened if people didn’t shake the bottle.

“Well the stuff just does not work! All it does then is clean hair! No body, no bounce, no anti-shimmer, frizz-defrosting, highlight-enhancing, follicle re-welding improvement at all!”

At this point I pondered that for some products, shaking just would not make sense. I asked him about that.

“Sure. We knew we needed to take another approach. Nobody was going to fall for having to shake cutting-edge face putty. (Actually our surveys proved us wrong on that.) ”

He went on to explain that as far back as 1969, it was becoming apparent that an internal power source would be required, and how this led to the invention of the digital watch battery, which in turn led to the invention of the digital watch.

The CR2032 battery (CR being short for cosmetics research) was specifically designed for the cosmetics industry; the digital watches being a decoy market for them.

“Embedding the battery within product lids solved all our power requirements in one go. Well at least until the next power surge hurdle.”

He went on to explain that some more recent beauty products are plug-and-play, and that nutrient meta data updates are now automatically downloaded to each product. These downloads are calibrated from messages sent from miniature response beacons deployed to the user’s skin or scalp during first application.

The downloads used a hybrid strapless infra-mauve elastic-stretch technology, once again achieved through research pioneered by the industry, which was forced to invent the Internet as a side-product, in order to perfect it.

“It’s daunting trying to imagine what we will have to come up with next.” he added.

Indeed it is.

Pascal's Triangle

Pascal’s triangle was invented by Blaise Pascal during his autistic period. Intending to prove that the shortest distance between two points was a metric foot, he stumbled upon the following pattern achieved by adding the sum of the other to the one before and just a jump to the left.

                       1   1  
                     1   2   1
                   1   3   3   1
                 1   4   6   4   1 
               1   5  10  10   5   1
             1   6  15  20  15   6   1
           1   7  21  35  35  21   7   1
                      :    :
                      :    :

Blaise got the idea for this triangular configuration while watching light bulbs flash on the family Christmas tree. Incidentally, when one of these bulbs accidentally landed on his head, he came closer to discovering gravity than a cure for cancer, but managed to avoid both epiphanies with unequal dexterity.


The applications of the triangle are one of none and many. While most have been documented, others have been held in trust by deceased members of the Da Vinci Code of Ethics, hence the obtuse smile on the Moaning Lisa’s poker face. A few follow.

Provides a tracking overlay for relocating ships or socks loitering in the Bermuda Triangle.


The triangle can be used to determine the coefficients of algebraic equations having many solutions for

It has also been used to prove that “89 is really 99″ but this is more of a theological statement and thus not subject to mathematical rigor mortis.


Can be played in any orchestra having as many violins as violinists, as long as the music isn’t two squared. This is especially true when Mars trine Venus. Pascal’s triangle appearance in orchestral pieces has fallen from favour since very few musicians have ever isoscelesed it.


Was used in the Golf War to triangulate the location of missing birdies and bogeys.

An effective method of killing the enemy is to lure them into Pascal’s Triangle with the promise of lots of virgins and then drop lots of virgins on top of them from a great height.


By joining four triangles to form a pyramid it is possible to locate water in any river, as long it’s not the Nile.

Software Engineering

When applied to software that has run adrift of its specification, Pascal’s triangle (also known as the Holy Trinity of the Model-View-Controller, as referred to by the Gang of Three) allows you (or your kin) to reverse engineer all your executables back to a infinite series of poetic goto statements.

(Originally posted on uncyclopedia.org. Altered at whim.)