martin's marine engineering page logo The sun sets on a Maersk box ships sailing in the Indian Ocean, picture by M Leduc, May 2015

The Officer's Lounge

...a little place for ship's engineer to relax and laugh

Engineers have a reputation of being direct, methodical, dry - even boorish. After all, spending four hours clearing the 265 pounds of mussels from the strums boxes does, sometimes, give that appearance.

"A rather dull yet productive species, these engineers."
-Capt. Silverton, MV Springtide

Popeye the sailor tells a storyI would like to submit to the rest of the world that, yes being methodical, careful, even maybe - anal, isn't the best of reputation for a profession. But it's the attention to details that makes great engineers. Really, it is !

This page is here to


Sailors are simple, light hearted souls, whose load of yesterday is airy as thistle-down today.
- Arthur Mason


Let's begin with practical jokes . . .

The key to a good practical joke is execution - well of course, you say.

Generally, most practical jokes involve getting some newbie/greenie to do something, which, on shore, would seem absurd, but since it's a ship -it's a custom !

"go get the keys to the chain locker"

The joke is...
the chain locker is a compartment where the anchor chain is stored. It has no keys, doors, or other real need for a "lock" therefore the person will scurry about the ship aimlessly looking for the key.

"go get a gallon of prop wash"

The joke is . . .
There are many chemicals on ships, and every job practically requires a special product. Prop wash is water turbulence aft of the ship created by the propeller therefore a waste of time since its just seawater.

"get me the left handed crescent wrench"

The joke is . . .
There is no such things as a left, or right, handed crescent wrench. Some tools like the crescent and the pipe wrench are designed in a way where someone, i.e.: "deck ape", may find them to be for a left or right hand application. This is not the case. Also works with "brass magnet"

"get me ten feet of shore line"

The joke is . . .
well... seems pretty obvious until your are new to the marine world where every piece of rope has a name, heaving line, spring lines, tie up line, rat line, etc. So it may be easy for the prey to be hesitant, especially if it sounds like an order from a superior.

"go water the captain's rose"

the joke is . . .
Once again the scepticism of the sailor may be quashed by the all mighty authority of your accomplice, the captain. Generally, maps have an insignia designating the position of "north". On a nautical chart, this reference contains a bit more information and is called the "rose" -"chart rose". If the captain plays along, the victim should be running up to the captain's cabin countless times, as the captain is "too busy right now", to water his "garden".

"go grease the relative bearing"

The joke is . . .
Relative bearing is a nautical term - the position of a vessel, navigational aid or such in relation to your vessel. So the victim should get an ear full from the chief engineer when they try to find out where on the ship they should applied the grease they are carrying.

"go blow out the sound powered telephone"

The joke is . . .
This is where naval heritage and modern communication clash. Most ships have modern communication between the compartments, but they also have a simple back up system which is there but seldom used. It's called the sound powered telephone. This device which is very much like a telephone but with a built power supply is a far cry from the sounds tubes used to belch orders from the bridge in old war movies. Some older navy ships may still have them, and unless you're on them, the victim will look silly looking for something to blow out.

"get the HT punches"

The joke is . . .
HT's is the naval designation for "hull tech's" (welders, metallurgists, handymen, gen purpose engineers) These guy would gladly beat the crap out of some poor newbie who came by asking for an HT punch.
Submitted by Mike C.

"get the skyhook"

The joke is . . .
Once again, there is no such thing. A sky hook is an utopian dream of where a block, tackle or anything else could be secured to. Can't secure anything to thin air, so unfortunately, it's just a wish. But it doesn't hurt to send the new guy looking for it.
Submitted by Roger, at

"you get the spark watch"

The joke is . . .
You assign the most eager beaver deck cadet to keep an eye on the ships funnel. This will keep the deck cadet busy up on top of the house. Be sure to give him a bucket of water and mop to put the sparks out as they leave the stack. It works best when it is raining. just never know when hot air is going to set a steel ship ablaze!
Submitted by mydk

"go fill the port and starboard nav lights"

The joke is . . .
Obviously this one is gonna get your prey to ask, "huh ?" And at this time you state very officially that they need to take the green oil, and the red oil up on the bridge, then go fill the lenses of the nav lights on top of the bridge. Yeah I know, it's a stretch, but the delivery is crucial for this joke to work.

"Sunday services in #1"

The joke is . . .
It's sort of tradition to have fire and boat drills on Sunday. So when the new cadet, with his / her fancy uniforms, #1s, shows up on Sundays expecting to offer grace to the big guy up in the sky, they will end up greasing up their uniform during the boat drill.

"The long weight"

The joke is . . .
When a new "Tiff" joined our ship, one of the first things he was required to do was assist the Chief in calibrating some piece of equipment or other. It didn't really matter what. At some stage, he'd be told to "nip down to the stores for a long weight." The store man, of course, would nod sagely, and go and see if there was one to be had. Our "wet behind the ears" tiffy, you've guest it, was hanging around for ages. -He had gone down to the stores and got "a long wait".
Submitted by Chris Hartwell

"Cooling Water/Steam for the Hand Rails"

Many senior cadets had many other junior cadets searching high and low for the valve to turn on the cooling water/steam for the Pipe hand rails. It was with great enjoyment we would watch some poor seasick fellow or gal wander all over that little vessel looking for the valve I believe that some are still searching for that valve.
Submitted by David Winsor

"Go bilge fishing"

The joke is...
When cleaning the strainers, little critters and fish get into the bilge. When these critters get bigger, they can get into trouble and wreak machinery. So the cadet should hunt them down - well at least be a couple hours under the deck plates.

Crazy Bearings

One for an annoying deck officer (or just someone you dislike)...
Lift up one of the tile panels on the deck head of the persons cabin, begin to throw copious amounts of ball bearings on top of the remaining panels. Lower panel and exit cabin. Pray for bad weather and extreme rolling of the vessel....... Sweet Dreams!!!!
Submitted by Matt Forster

Calibration of the Radar

..get a newbee to dress out in tinfoil jacket and gloves and hat, send them to stand out on the bow lifting his arms every so often. Make sure to get pictures!
Submitted by Chad Friend

Get the Port List

There is always some list to check off when doing our day to day business. Arrival list, departure list, garbage list, fire list and now the Port List. But of course the engineering cadet will be shooed away as the Mate is too busy to draw it up right this minute, keep em coming back again and again. Of course a few up and downs to the bridge, will tune them in to the fact that the ship may be listing slightly to port or starboard - mmmm, port list.

"Running away to sea" is so romantic

For the seasoned crew

Ok, so the green guys are getting wiser and things are once again boring ! It's time to start playing the nasty practical jokes. Now, the usual slew of practical jokes you learn in college can be very well applied at sea, on a ship. The saran wrap around the toilet, the grease on the door handles, short-sheeting bunks and the likes all do very well. Additionally these other tricks might do. . .

Wake ! wake !

Little things matter on board, and a relief who can't drag his butt out of bed to relieve you on time is high on the aggravation list. This is effective for a repeat offender. Break up a large ball bearing, something along the lines of one from the slip ring end of a generator. The bigger, the better as it will hold the cold much longer. Put the balls in the freezer a couple of hours ahead of watch change. When your recalcitrant relief won't get up, roll those very cold steel balls into the bed with him, and watch the fun! There's no getting away from them except to get out of bed. If you don't have ready access to bearing balls, "C" cell flashlight batteries will do nicely in a pinch.
Submitted by Tom Winkle (aka BilgeRat), April 2010

Wake ! wake ! Part Deux

One deckie regularly slept in, way past the calling of the watch. His relief, being more than fed up with the situation, followed John Paul Jones's adage of "Drastic situations call for drastic remedies". He set up a 2" gas engine powered portable pump, just outside the offender's window, and then stripped back a length of electrical cord. One end was wrapped around the (sound) sleeper's big toe. The other end went into the connector for the spark plug on the small pump's gas engine. Our perpetrator, not being completely cruel, had removed the sparkplug from the engine so it wouldn't actually run, but would spin a while with a healthy yank on the starter cord. The cord got the pull and the sleeper was standing in the middle of the floor in his shorts screaming, "What the hell are you doing to me!!??!!" or words to that general effect. The treatment was only required once. All they had to do after that was flip the lights on and he was out of bed, not just awake.
Submitted by Tom Winkle (aka BilgeRat), April 2010


Tell em' some funny stuff...

A funny story or jokes are always welcome on a ship. So here are some engineer/seafarer type jokes. (please feel free to submit any you have)


An engineer, lawyer and CPA go together on a camping trip one summer. After a night of drinking around the campfire, the CPA stood up and said "Watch This!" he took out a pistol, threw his bottle of bourbon in the air and shot it.
The lawyer, not to be out done said, "that's nothing." He threw his bottle of scotch in the air and shot it blind-folded.
The engineer stood up and said "That's better, but it's still not worth a damn." He grabbed the pistol, shot the CPA and lawyer, and sat back down to finish his beer!

Q: How do you drive an engineer completely insane?
A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way.


Here a some common machinist terms explained


Q: When does a person decide to become an engineer?
A: When he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to be an undertaker.


Im an engineerACHTUNG !

alles lookenspeepers
Das machina ist nicht fur
gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. lst
easy schnappender springenwerk,
blowenfusen mit spitzensparken. 1st
nicht fur gewerken bg das dummkopfen.
Das rubberneeken sightseeren keepen
hands in das pockets, relaxen und
watch das blinkenlights.



A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.
Engineer: What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!
Doctor: I don't know but I've never seen such ineptitude!
Priest: Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him.
Priest: Say George, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow aren't they?
George: Oh yes. That's a group of blind fire fighters. They lost their sight while saving our club house last year, So we let them play here
anytime free of charge! (silence)
Priest: That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.
Doctor: Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them.
Engineer: Why can't these guys play at night?

Last week I couldnt spell engineer!

What do you say to a deck officer working ashore?
One Big Mac and fries please....."

Submitted by Dave G., Trainee Engineering Officer

P&O Portsmouth, UK


Who's more important

A Captain and Chief Engineer were having the age old argument about who had the tougher job. Each believed they could perform the others duties without a problem. To prove this to each other they decided to swap positions while leaving port the next morning. The next morning the Captain took over the watch from the second engineer after all the machinery had been brought up.

The Chief took over the watch on the bridge from the mate once clear of the dock. It wasn't long before the Captain found things to be going wrong; all the machinery temperatures were rising to dangerous levels.

The Captain quickly called the bridge where the Chief answered.

Captain : Chief, you'd better get down here quickly. I'm about to lose all of the machinery!

Chief : Relax Captain, we just ran aground!


...did you know Steve McQueen was Oscar nominated for "best actor" for the part he played
as ship's engineer in the 1966 movie, "The Sand Pebble"

Beer is the reason


The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington Chemistry midterm. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, some religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year, "...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then, #2 cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

The student received the only "A" given.

Computer are down, doing it manually

Marine Engineer

taken from the "Ideal Deckhand Manual"

Product name: Engineer
Product code: r-u-up-2-69
W.H.M.I.S. classification: lower class if any class at all
Material use: Not much use at all

Hazardous ingredients:

avoid injury, keep mouth shutPhysical data:

Reactivity data:

Toxicological properties:

Effects of acute exposure

First aid measures:

Additional info:

In the days of sail, this was not a problem, life was good. Now we have to put up with them until an unmanned engine room comes along. Oh what a happy day that will be.


Q: What do engineers use for birth control?
A: Their personalities.


Dear Abby,

I have two brothers, one is a marine engineer and the other was just sentenced to death for killing a nun. My mother died of insanity when I was three. It seems to run in the family. My father sells drugs to kids. My two younger sisters are prostitutes. My former girlfriend died of AIDS. I`ve met this girl who was just released from prison.... (she smothered her illegitimate child ).

I love her very much and want to marry her. My problem is this. Should I tell her about my brother who is a marine engineer ?

Lifeboats not available

Here to Serve

An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, "Ah, you're an engineer -- you're in the wrong place." So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in.

Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, "So, how's it going down there in hell?"
Satan replies, "Hey, things are going great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."
God replies, "What??? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake-- he should never have gotten down there; send him up here."
Satan says, "No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him."
God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue."
Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"



"I want to be a Ship Captain when I grow up because it’s a fun job and easy to do. Captains don't need much school education; they just have to learn numbers so they can read instruments. I guess they should be able to read maps so they won't get lost.

Captains should be brave so they won't be scared if its foggy and they can't see; or if the propeller falls off they should stay calm so they know what to do. Captains have to have eyes to see through the clouds and they can't be afraid of thunder or lightning because they are closer to them than we are.

The salary that Captains make is another thing I like. They make more money than they can spend. This is because most people think captaining ships is dangerous, except captains, because they know how easy it is. There isn't much I don't like, except girls like captains and all the girls want to marry a captain so they always have to chase them away so they won't bother them.

I hope I don't get sea sick because I get car sick and if I get sea sick I could not be a Captain and then I would have to go out and work."

Written by a 10 year old schoolboy
Acknowledgements to the Journal of the AMOU, the IFSMA Newsletter and Bow Wave, Vol. 6, Jan '95, Issue 1

Beer - your style



At +70º - Black Gang turns on the heat and unpack the thermal underwear.
Deck Crew goes swimming.

At +60º - Black Gang starts turning on the heat.
Deck Crew plants gardens.

At +50º - Black Gang shivers uncontrollably.
Deck Crew sunbathes.

At +40º - Black Gang fingers won't work..
Deck Crew starts wearing T-Shirts with short sleeves.

At +30º - Engine Room coffee freezes.
Deck Gang eat coffee flavored ice cubes.

At +20º - Black Gang dons coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and woolly
Deck Crew throws on a long sleeved T-shirt.

At +15º - Black Gang turns up the heat to full.
Deck Crew has a cookout before it gets cold.

At 0º - Black Gang begins freezing to death...
Deck Crew licks the mast.

At -20º - Black Gang evacuates to Samoa.
Deck Crew puts on a flannel shirt

At -40º - Black Gang fingers and toes disintegrate.
Deck Crew kids are back home selling cookies door to door.

At -60º - Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic.
Deck Crew postpones "Winter Survival" classes until it gets cold enough.

At -80º - Mt. St. Helens freezes.
Deck Crew decide to watch some videos instead of fishing.

At -100º - Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Deck Crew gets frustrated because they can't thaw the keg.

At -297º - Microbial life no longer survives.
Deck Crew complain about wearing gloves with fingers.

At -460º - ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero in the Kelvin scale).
Deck Crew starts saying, "Cold 'nuff for ya?"

At -500º - Hell freezes over.
The Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup

That's when things get serious.

Irish email virus


The professional and the sailor

An old retired sailor puts on his old uniform and goes down to the docks once more for old times sake. He hires a prostitute named Sally and takes her up to a room. He's going at it as best as he can for a guy his age.

He asks, "How am I doing?"
The prostitute named Sally replies, "Well sailor, you're doing about three knots."
"Three knots?" he replies, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Sally says, "You're knot hard, you're knot in, and you're knot getting your money back."


Engineers at the pearly gates

3 marine engineers die and go to heaven (of course) where they are greeted by St Peter at the pearly gates.
"What type of engines have you spent the most time working on?" he asks.
"Sulzers" replies one of the engineers to which a hole appears in the clouds and he falls straight to hell!
"Pielsticks" replies the other who promptly suffers the same fate.
"Rustons" says the last, to which the pearly gates swing open and St Peter announces
"You my child may enter heaven, as you have already experienced hell!"

How to write 4 in the middle of five

Top Ten Reasons to Date An Engineer

10) They are used to all niters
9) They get to learn what all those buttons on your calculator are for
8) They are always willing to experiment
7) They know how to decrease and increase friction
6) They know all about heat transfer
5) They do it with more torque
4) Engineering couples have better moments
4b) They know how to deal with stress and strain
3) They know how to test their rigid cantilevers
2) "Lubrication, Friction, and Wear" is really a class
And the number one reason to date an engineer....
1) They design and build larger erections


Are you a professional?

The following small quiz consists of 4 questions. It tells whether you are qualified to be a professional. Scroll down for the answers. The questions are not that difficult.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is : open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. (Simple enough ?)
This question tests whether you are doing simple things in a complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator ?

Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.
Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out of the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your prudence.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference, all the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant
The Elephant is in the refrigerator! This tests whether you have comprehensive thinking.
OK, if you did not answer correctly the last three questions, this one may be your last chance to test your qualification to be a professional.

4. There is a crocodile infested river with no bridges. How do you manage to get across it ?

Correct Answer: Simply swim across it. All the Crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting!
I hope you got this one correct. Don't be frustrated, according to the statistics of Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals failed the exam.
But most preschoolers got it correct which disproves the theory that most "professionals" have the brains of a four year old.


engineering flow chartCOROLLARIES TO MURPHY'S LAWS


The engineer and the frog

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and
said "If you kiss me I'll turn into a beautiful princess".

He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up
again and said: "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess,
I'll stay with you."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to
the pocket.

The frog then cried out: "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess,
I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the
frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally the frog asked: "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful
princess, that I'll stay with you and do anything you want. Why won't you
kiss me?"

The engineer said: "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend,
but a talking frog, now that's cool."

Points of view

A toast in the Nelson's Navy era

On the topic of rum...

"grog" was the term use for the British Navy's daily ration of half pint of rum, mix with a quarter pint of water. This tradition started in 1850 with Vice Admiral Edward "Old Grog" Vernon and ended in 1970, officially.

The seafarer and superstitions

Darren Williams submits the following superstitions from his time fishing...



Originally, the saying was "The devil to pay and no pitch hot." In the old wooden-hulled ships, devil seams joined the external hull timbers with the deck planking; there were also references to a devil seam back aft, where the hull timbers join at the rudder post. Seams were caulked, or sealed, by jamming oakum fibre into the gaps, then smearing the seam with melted pitch or tar. If one of these seams worked open in rough weather, a great deal of water could be shipped before it was repaired. This term is probably the origin of the term 'hell to pay'.

Exercise regime aboard a ship

Off watch and need some ideas what book to read?

Well then here are some nautical/marine themed books to look up next time your at your favourite library or bookstore.



Your call...

This is the transcript of an actual radio conversation between a U.S. naval vessel and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again divert your course.

Canadians: No. I say again you divert your course.


Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

Here is a dramatic video re-enacting of the above story...


These are actual evaluation comments of an employee...


Seaman, with their inherent sense of order, service, and discipline, should really be running the world.


The Store Keeper

We were deploying to the Gulf. Time was tight, tempers short. One of our fire-pumps was playing up, the suction strainer was knackered, and needed to be replaced. I knew we carried one, and authorized it to be drawn from the stores. Now, I know that a Store's called a Store because it's for storing things in, and if it was meant for issuing things from it'd be called an Issue, but......

15 minutes later, I got a call from the chief of section. The Dusties wouldn't release it. I went down to find out why. With dead-pan face and irrefutable logic, I was told "Yessir, I've got the part. Nossir, you can't have it. 'Cos I've only got one, and if I give it to you I won't have any left. Wot'll I do if someone wants one then?"

I'll leave what happened next to your imagination, but the fire pump worked fine after that.
Submitted by Chris Hartwell


A prayer for the stressed

Lord. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill today because they pissed me off.

Help me to be careful of the toes I step on as they may be connected to the ass I may have to kiss tomorrow.

Help me to always give 100% at work; 12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday and 5% on Friday.

Help me to remember ... when I'm having a really bad day, and it seems that people are really trying to piss me off, that it takes 42 muscles to frown but only 4 to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me!


Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.


Mechanical bodyMaybe you have heard about the Freedom Ship project.

Here is the Beaufort Wind Scale as it applies to the project ship.

0 All fishing boats are out.
Merchant ships curses the fog.
Freedom ship fully booked.
Badly stressed large bulk carriers collapse in port.

1 Pleasure yachts go out to take advantage of the wind.
Freedom ship applying 2 degrees drift to keep course.

2 Catamarans start shaking.
Pleasure yachts start heeling.
Freedom ship applying 5 degrees drift to keep course.

3 Some yachts head back to marina.
Surfers go out.
Freedom ship applying 10 degrees drift to keep course.

4 Many yachts head back to marina.
Catamaran start bumping.
Freedom ship applying 15 degrees drift to keep course.

5 Only a few yachts remain at sea.
Catamaran start to slow down.
Merchant ships finally get rid of the fog.
Lower windows of Freedom ship washed by sprays.

6 The coast guard is on alert to recover a few yachts still at sea.
Surfers have fun.
First lower windows of Freedom ship smashed.

7 Catamarans consider a critical situation.
On coasters it is not any more possible to eat soup.
Freedom ship drifting in the direction of the wind, rush of passenger to
the flight deck.

8 Catamarans remain in port or are smashed by the waves.
Bulk carriers start shaking as a diving plank.
Surfers consider rejoining the beach.
Freedom ship now taking water through smashed windows, passengers advised
to wear life jackets.

9 All ferry services are delayed.
Fishing boat consider picking up gear.
All ships in the vicinity required to assist in the saving of the 70.000
passengers and crew of the Freedom ship.

10 Catamarans still at sea have their bow plate smashed.
Empty and underpowered bulkers go astern with the wind.
Freedom ship heeling 20 degrees due to free surface.
Old tankers break in two.

11 Bulk carriers have cracks in frames and outer shell.
Catamarans falling apart.
Freedom ship founders taking 60.000 lives.

12 Bulk carriers loaded with iron ore in alternate holds founder.
Roll on Roll off ferries capsize.
Coasters consider heaving to.
Fishing boats stop fishing.


Gear which falls from aloft is usually harder than the head it falls upon.
- John Irving


Experience pays

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion-dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail.

In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past. The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated: This is where your problem is".

The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark: $1.00 Knowing where to put it: $49,999.00.

It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.


Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer.
Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
- Dave Barry



It is with regret and haste that I write this letter to you: regret that such a small misunderstanding could lead to the following circumstances, and haste in order that you will get this report before you form your own opinions from reports in the world press. I am sure that they will tend to over-dramatize the affair.

We had just picked up the pilot, and the apprentice had returned from changing the "G" flag for the "H" and, it being his first trip, was having difficulty in rolling the "C" flag up. I therefore proceeded to show him how. Coming to the last part, I told him to "let go." The lad, although willing, is not too bright, necessitating my having to repeat the order in a sharper tone.

At this moment, the Chief Officer appeared from the chart room, having been plotting the vessel's progress, and, thinking that it was the anchor that was being referred to, repeated the "let go" to the third officer on the forecastle.

The port anchor, having been cleared away but not walked out, was promptly let go. The effect of letting the anchor drop from the hawse pipe while the vessel was proceeding at full harbour speed proved too much for the windlass brake, and the entire length of the port cable was pulled out. I fear the damage to the chain locker may be extensive. The braking effect of the port anchor naturally caused the vessel to sheer to port, right towards a swing bridge that spans the river up which we were proceeding.

The swing bridge operator showed great presence of mind by opening the bridge for my vessel. Unfortunately, he did not think to stop the vehicular traffic, the result being that the bridge partly opened and deposited a car, two cyclists and a cattle truck on the foredeck. My ship's company is at present rounding up the contents of the latter, which from the noise I would say are pigs. In his efforts to stop the progress of the ship, the third officer dropped the starboard anchor, too late to be of practical use, for it fell onto the swing bridge operator's control cabin. After the port anchor was let go and the vessel started to sheer, I gave a double ring full astern on the engine room telegraph, and personally rang the engine room to order maximum astern revolutions. I was informed that the sea temperature was 53 degrees and asked if there was to be a film tonight; my reply would not add constructively to this report.

Up to now I have confined my report to the activities at the forward end of the vessel. Back aft they were having their own problems.

At the moment the port anchor was let go, the second officer was supervising the making fast of the after tug and was lowering the ship's towing hawser down onto the tug.

The sudden braking effect of the port anchor caused the tug to run in under the stern of my vessel, just at the moment when the propeller was answering my double ring for full astern. The prompt action of the second officer in securing the inboard end of the towing hawser delayed the sinking of the tug by some minutes, thereby allowing the safe abandoning of that vessel.

It is strange, but at the very same moment of letting go the port anchor there was a power outage ashore. The fact that we were passing over a "Cable Area" at that time might suggest that we may have touched something on the river bed. It is perhaps lucky that the high-tension cables brought down by the foremast were not live, possibly being replaced by the underwater cable; but owing to the shore blackout, it is impossible to say where the pylon fell.

It never fails to amaze me; the actions and behavior of foreigners during moments of minor crisis. The pilot, for instance, is at this moment huddled in a corner of my day cabin, alternately crooning to himself and crying after having consumed a bottle of gin in a time that is worthy of inclusion in the "Guinness Book of Records." The tug captain, on the other hand, reacted violently and had to be forcibly restrained by the steward, who has him handcuffed in the ship's hospital, where he is telling me to do impossible things with my ship and crew. I enclose the names and addresses of the drivers and insurance companies of the vehicles on my foredeck, which the third officer collected after his somewhat hurried evacuation of the forecastle. These particulars may enable you to claim for the damage to the railings around No.1 hold.

I am closing this preliminary report, for I am finding it difficult to concentrate with the sound of the police sirens and their flashing lights.

It is sad to think that had the apprentice realized that there is no need to fly the pilot flag after dark, none of this would have happened.

For the weekly accountability report, I will assign the following casualty numbers - T/750101 to T/750199 inclusive.

Yours truly,
Capt. I.M.A.Screwup,


To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.


The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Gordon Lightfoot

Hammer Wrench trust testThe legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitchigumi
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
When the "Gales of November" came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feeling?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave tumbled over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck saying
"Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya."
At seven PM the main hatchway caved in, he said
"Fellas, it's been good to know ya"

The captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized;
They may have broke deep and took water.
All that remains are the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her icewater mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The isles and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitchigumi
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early



A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. This new element has been tentatively named "Administratium"

Administratium has

These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Administatium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less that a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization, in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Administratium mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons forming isotopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass".

You will know it when you see it..

Engineering dept complaints process 

Words & Music by Tom Lewis

Poor old landlocked sailor, washed-up on the shore,
Never been so many miles from the sea before,
Is he dreaming of the surging tide, the rolling swell?
Is he dreaming of the ocean? No - is he hell!

He's a happy landlocked sailor living in the trees
He swapped the rolling tide-race for the mountain breeze,
With his wife he lives in paradise in mountains of B.C.,
How I wish that happy landlocked sailor could be me.

He finds that on the lake he's never bothered by the tide,
All his navigation is done on the mountainside,
Waves of ocean-blue have changed to waves of forest-green,
White horses into snow-capped peaks as far as can be seen.

He used to sail the sea-lanes to exotic ports-of-call,
Now he cruises dusty roads down to the local mall,
His roving days are over, his feet upon the shore,
He's never going back, he's on dry-land for evermore.
(Now you know that happy landlocked sailor's really me.)

Tom Lewis is a retired Royal Navy sailor who is presently
happily landlocked in the mountains of British Columbia.
He has a number of excellent nautical CDs out.


Missing the life at sea?

Try these helpful suggestions to bring back the memories.

Remind yourself every day: "it's not just a job, it's an adventure !"



In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon, but prevent them from rolling about the deck. The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem - how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey," with sixteen round indentations. If this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!"


Drinking Trouble-shooting guide

Feet cold and wet. Glass being held at incorrect angle. Rotate glass so that open end points toward ceiling.
Feet warm and wet. Improper bladder control. Stand next to nearest dog, complain about house training.
Drink unusually pale and tasteless. Glass empty. Get someone to buy you another drink.
Opposite wall covered with fluorescent lights. You have fallen over backward. Have yourself lashed to bar.
Mouth contains cigarette butts. You have fallen forward. See above.
Alcohol tasteless, front of your shirt is wet. Mouth not open or glass applied to wrong part of face. Retire to restroom, practice in mirror.
Floor blurred. You are looking through bottom of empty glass. Get someone to buy you another drink.
Floor moving. You are being carried out. Find out if you are being taken to another bar.
Room seems unusually dark. Bar has closed. Confirm home address with bartender.
Taxi suddenly takes on colorful aspect and textures. Alcohol consumption has exceeded personal limitations. Cover mouth.
Everyone looks up to you and smiles. You are dancing on the table. Fall on somebody cushy-looking.
Drink is crystal-clear. It's water. Somebody is trying to sober you up. Punch him.
Hands hurt, nose hurts, mind unusually clear. You have been in a fight. Apologise to everyone you see, just in case it was them.
Don't recognise anyone, don't recognise the room you're in. You've wandered into the wrong party. See if they have free alcohol.
Your singing sounds distorted. The drink is too weak. Have more alcohol until your voice improves.
Don't remember the words to the song. Drink is just right. Play air guitar.


Did you know...

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4' 8.5". That is an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

It is because that was the way railways were built in England, and British expatriates built the US railroads.

So why did the English build them like that?
This is because the first rail lines were constructed by the same people who built the pre-railroad horse drawn tramways, and that is the gauge they used.

Why did they use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd width between the wheels?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would not match the ruts on the old, long distance highways.

So who built those old rutted roads?
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which became the standard rut. Otherwise your wagon would not fit and would break. And long before the EU, it was the same standard for the whole of Europe. The USA standard railroad gauge of 4' 8.5" is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

And why did the Imperial Roman war chariots come up with this standard size?
Easy. So that two Imperial Roman horses could fit into the shafts of an Imperial Roman war chariot (or the back end of two war horses if you prefer).

Now the twist to the story...

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made in a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's rear.

And you thought you had trouble with standardization!

The Cadet Chant

Suck squeeze bang blow that's the way our engines go! Mar eng HOOH!
You had better lube it up otherwise it will get stuck! Mar eng HOOH!
Up down fore aft that's the way we crank our shaft! Mar eng HOOH!
Round and round the turbo goes watch out we might blow our load! Mar eng HOOH!
Submitted by Dave Steel 10.2004

how computers are madeThe Engineer's Song

An engineer told me before he died
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
An engineer told me before he died
And I've no reason to believe he lied
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
He met a maiden with a ......................
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
He met a maiden with a ......................
She couldn't be satisfied
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
So he built a ____ of steel
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
So he built a ____ of steel
Two great balls and a great big wheel
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
A rum, tity bum, tity bum, tity bum
and on it goes as I remember and you all know
Ah, great old times!!

the ginger beers

Bush's WMD

At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator. At a morning press conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft said he believes the man is a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Ashcroft said. "They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'." When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said: "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

Thanks Andy Madge for submitting the next 15 jokes below

(or how to keep an unsafe watch)




Notice Of Return

Issued in solemn warning this ...... day of ...........
To the neighbors, friends and relations of ..........

  1. Very soon the above named sailor will be in your midst once more, dehydrated, radio-active, and demoralized. Eager to regain his place in society as a human being, entitles to liberty and justice, whilst engaged in the somewhat delayed pursuit of happiness.
  2. In making your preparations to welcome him back to civilization, you must make some allowance for the crude environment which has been his unfortunate lot for the last ... months. In brief he may be suffering from 'tankeritus', 'sweatitius', 'rashitus' or even the shakes, a common local complaint brought on by the consumption of too much Tiger, Green Chicken, or C.S.B., and he may have become a little Eastern in his outlook to life.
  3. His diet, to which he has grown accustomed, should, for the first few weeks at least, consist of tinned milk, watered down considerably, dehydrated potatoes or other canned vegetables. fresh or rich foods, especially milk, should be avoided for the first few weeks and then only introduced gradually. His only meat should be corned beef or spam. if he should prefer to eat his food with his fingers instead of the normal eating utensils please smile nonchalantly in an understanding manner.
  4. Show no alarm if he prefers to sit on the floor instead of a chair, always kicks his boots off before entering the house, wears only a towel and flip-flops when visiting the neighbors, or has a tendency to avoid anyone important. Sidetrack him from partially filled coaches for he will almost certainly regard them as organized parties to the local brewery.
  5. Do not allow him on the roads un-accompanied for it may prove his undoing. traffic he has forgotten and would rather walk, he will sit on the pavement for hours muttering things about 'Fast Black' or waiting for some motorist to take pity on him and offer him a lift.
  6. Do all his shopping for him, and by continual repetition, help him to understand that all kind of bartering, haggling, cajoling or even physically threatening shopkeeper is taboo in your land of civilization.
  7. His wife must be kind, considerate and thoughtful at all time, particularly when he takes a sum of money from his pocket to give her each morning. Always check his socks before washing as you'll usually find a few 'hidden' pound notes, Guilders, Yen etc. he has put there for emergencies.
  8. His language may be rather embarrassing at times, but in a short time he can be taught to speak modern English again instead of his course Anglo-Saxon. Never tell him the chap down the road working with Shell Tankers has got promotion again and never make flattering remarks about the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in his company.
  9. For the first few months, until he has become house trained, be particularly watchful when he is in the company of women, especially young and beautiful specimens, for he is likely to enter discussions on prices, services rendered and money matters in general. His intentions are sincere but entirely dishonourable.

Treat this man with kindness, tolerance and the occasional quart of good whiskey and you will be able to rehabilitate that which is but a hollow shell of the happy person you once knew.


Q. What do engineers and computers have in common?
A. You have to punch information into both of them!




Baby, dont hertz me no moreElectricity Lesson

Now that the Leckys and ROs are to be joined to form the mighty green empire and have all been sent off to college to learn each other’s jobs it has been noted that there is a shortage of both in the fleet.
As a stopgap, Hedgehog House in its infinite wisdom has decided to train some of our engineering friends in the ways of electricity. The following is an extract from the course.


There are two types of electricity, red electricity, used for heating and light, and black electricity, used for fridges and freezers. Both types flow along wires, which are colored to show the type of electricity they carry. Some wires are fatter than others and the fatter the wire the faster the electricity flows. If the red and black terminals (outlets) are connected together the red electricity tries to heat up the black and the black tries to cool the red. Sometimes a few sparks occur when this happens, a good test for the presence of electricity is to short out the terminals with your shifter or oil can and see if there are any sparks. You can sometimes feel the red electricity flowing as the shifter heats up. On other occasions neither the red nor the black win outright but first one wins then the other and a sort of see saw effect occurs. This is called the alternative current and because it moves we use it to drive motors.

As every schoolboy knows, you get electricity when you brush your hair. Generators consist of a number of brushes that sweep past hair as they rotate. A lot of wear occurs. Which explains why Leckys and Ros go bald prematurely from carrying out first line maintenance and why brushes have to be replaced. However, modern generators now use black ebony rods stroking against sheets of silk (the so-called brushless generator). Electricity from these generators is not red or black but, in fact, green (unleaded) and it is this type of electricity that you see on the screen of an oscilloscope. Once generated we can store electricity in batteries and the size of the battery depends on how hard the electricity in it is compressed. 'Wet' batteries, like those in cars, tend to be bulky and heavy and so to save space we dry the electricity, in the same way steam is super saturated, and store it in dry batteries used in torches.

Electrical safety depends on stopping the currents escaping from the wires. Any holes in the covering of wires should be blocked off and this explains why modern sockets have shutters over the holes to prevent the electricity pouring out over the carpet when there is no plug in the socket. It also explains why on board ship, that under the emergency connections in Compartments there is a fire bucket so that any current leaking out will be caught safely and extinguished. Finally. Increasing the fuse rating or doubling the fuse wire does not make the kettle boil faster at smoko.

Army Pipe Specification


You must be a...

"Oh, my," said the bunny, "I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I've been blind since birth, so, I can't see where I'm going. In fact, since I'm also an orphan, I don't even know what I am."
"It's quite OK," replied the snake. "Actually, my story is much the same as yours. I, too, have been blind since birth, and also never knew my mother.
Tell you what, maybe I could slither all over you, and work out what you are, so at least you'll have that going for you.."
"Oh, that would be wonderful" replied the bunny.
So the snake slithered all over the bunny, and said, "Well, you're covered with soft fur; you have really long ears; your nose twitches; and you have a soft cottony tail. I'd say that you must be a bunny rabbit."
"Oh, thank you! Thank you," cried the bunny, in obvious excitement. The bunny suggested to the snake, "Maybe I could feel you all over with my paw, and help you the same way that you've helped me."
So the bunny felt the snake all over, and remarked, "Well, you're smooth and slippery, and you have a forked tongue, no backbone and no balls. I'd say you must be a superintendent."


Q. What is the difference between a deckie and a shopping trolley?
A. You can get more food in a deckie, but a shopping trolley has a mind of its own!


Engineers - for non technical people

People who work in the fields of science and technology are not like other people. This can be frustrating to the non-technical people who have to deal with them. The secret to coping with technology-oriented people is to understand their motivations.

This chapter will teach you everything you need to know. I learned their customs and mannerisms by observing them, much the way Jane Goodall learned about the great apes, but without the hassle of grooming.

Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. The word “engineer” is greatly overused. If there’s somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth.

Engineer Identification Test.

You walk into a room and notice that a picture is hanging crooked. You...

  1. Straighten it.
  2. Ignore it.
  3. Buy a C.A.D. system and spend the next six months designing a solar-powered, self-adjusting picture frame while often stating aloud your belief that the inventor of the nail was a total moron.

The correct answer is “C”, but partial credit can be given to anybody who writes “it depends” in the margin of the test or simply blames the stupid thing on “marketing”.

Social Skills.

dont fix for freeEngineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction. “Normal” people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:

In contrast to “normal” people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:

Fascination with Gadgets.

To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories: (1) things that need to be fixed, and (2) things that will need to be fixed after you’ve had a few minutes to play with them. Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. “Normal” people don’t understand this concept; they believe that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. No engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary. To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toys.

Fashion and Appearance

Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and if no genitalia or mammary glands are swinging around in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.

Love of “Star Trek”

Engineers love all of the “Star Trek” television show and movies. It’s a small wonder, since the engineers of the starship Enterprise are portrayed as heroes, occasionally even having sex with aliens. This is much more glamorous than the real life of an engineer, which consists of hiding from the universe and having sex without the participation of other life forms.

Dating and Social Life

Dating is never easy for engineers. A “normal” person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.

Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest and handy around the house. While it’s true that many “normal” people would prefer not to date an engineer, most “normal” people harbour an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity.

Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than “normal” men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid-thirties to late-forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions:

Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it’s a warm day.


Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can’t handle the truth.
Engineers sometimes bend the truth to avoid work. They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them. The complete list of engineer lies is listed below:


Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, “How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?”

Powers of Concentration

If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.


Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake, the media will treat it like it’s a big deal or something.

Examples of bad press for engineers.

The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this:

Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain. If that approach is not sufficient to halt a project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defence: “It’s technically possible but it will cost too much.”


Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:

The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it is solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal - a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature.

Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem (other times just because they forgot). And when they succeed in solving the problem they will experience an ego rush that is better than sex - and I’m including the kind of sex where other people are involved.

Nothing is more threatening to the engineer than the suggestion that somebody has more technical skill. “Normal” people sometimes use that knowledge as a lever to extract more work from the engineer. When an engineer says that something can’t be done (a code phrase that means it’s not fun to do), some clever “normal” people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines: “I’ll ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems.”

At that point it is a good idea for the “normal” person to not stand between the engineer and the problem. The engineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop.

Prized engineer
Submitted by Harry O. - 12.2009


Chocolate Chip Cookies.
1. 532.35 cm3 gluten.
2. 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3.
3. 4.9 cm3 refined halite.
4. 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride.
5. 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11.
6. 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11.
7. 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of proto catechuic aldehyde.
8. Two calcium carbonate-en-capsulated avian albumen-coated protein.
9. 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao.
10. 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size 10).

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor 1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 BTU/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation.

In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impellor operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six and seven until the mixture is homogenous. To reactor 2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor 1. Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation.

Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.

Using a screw extrude attached to a £4 nodulizer, place the mixture piecemeal on 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm).

Heat in a 460K oven for a period that agrees with Frank & Johnston’s first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.


The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.
- Albert Einstein



Historical information you need to know about shipping Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship. It was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks, and the first time someone came below at night, with a lantern, BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this manner before the cause was determined.

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term,"Ship High In Transit" which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T," which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.



This machine is subject to breakdowns during periods of critical need.

A special circuit in the machine called a ‘critical detector’ senses the operator’s emotional state in terms of how desperate he or she is to use the machine. The ‘critical detector’ then creates a malfunction proportional to the desperation of the operator. Threatening the machine with violence only aggravated the situation. Likewise, attempts to use another machine may cause it to also malfunction. They belong to the same union. Keep cool and say nice things to the machine. Nothing else seems to work.


Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry


What I've learned as I've matured as a Marine Engineer


Real Engineers


In Cabin'd Ships At Sea
By: Walt Whitman

IN cabin'd ships, at sea,
The boundless blue on every side expanding,
With whistling winds and music of the waves--the large imperious waves--In such,
Or some lone bark, buoy'd on the dense marine,
Where, joyous, full of faith, spreading white sails,
She cleaves the ether, mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or under many a star at night,
By sailors young and old, haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read,
In full rapport at last.

Here are our thoughts--voyagers' thoughts,
Here not the land, firm land, alone appears, may then by them be said;
The sky o'erarches here--we feel the undulating deck beneath our feet,
We feel the long pulsation--ebb and flow of endless motion;
The tones of unseen mystery--the vague and vast suggestions of the briny world--the liquid-flowing syllables,
The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melancholy rhythm,
The boundless vista, and the horizon far and dim, are all here,
And this is Ocean's poem.

Then falter not, O book! fulfil your destiny!
You, not a reminiscence of the land alone,
You too, as a lone bark, cleaving the ether--purpos'd I know not whither--yet ever full of faith,
Consort to every ship that sails--sail you!
Bear forth to them, folded, my love--(Dear mariners! for you I fold it here, in every leaf;)
Speed on, my Book! spread your white sails, my little bark, athwart the imperious waves!
Chant on--sail on--bear o'er the boundless blue, from me, to every shore,
This song for mariners and all their ships.


There is nothing that duct tape or roses can't fix.
- Marty's Mantra


So you want to be a drill ship captain?


Tough go

An old drillship Captain and an old Rig Manager were sitting at a bar in Houston, arguing about who'd had the tougher career.
"I did 6 years in India and 4 years in Nigeria" said the Rig Manager.
"I brought the ship through 3 hurricanes and made 2 North Atlantic crossings in the dead of winter" said the Captain.
"I escaped a hostile takeover of Indonesia and was shot in the arm!" said the manager.
"You woos, I was taken over by pirates in the Malacca straight and tortured 3 hours for the combination to the ship's safe!" the old man replied.
"That's nothing while in nigera I caught the plague and spent 3 months in the worst rat hole hospital you've ever seen, I still have scars from the bed sours all down my back and now have to carry around this colostomy bag!" said the rig manager.
"Ah," said the Captain with a dismissive wave of his hand, "lucky bastard, all shore duty, huh?"


Diesel Fitter

Sven and Ole worked together. They were both laid off, so off they went to the unemployment office. When asked his occupation, Sven looked the lady in the eye and said "Panty stitcher. I sew the elastic on to cotton panties." The clerk looked up panty stitcher. Finding it classed as unskilled labour, she gave him $300 a week unemployment pay.

Ole goes in and sits down with the lady. She asked Ole his occupation. "Diesel fitter" he replied. Since diesel fitters was a skilled job the clerk gave the Ole $600 a week.

When Sven found out he was furious. He stormed back in to find out why his friend and co-worker, Ole, was collecting double his unemployment pay. The clerk explained, "When I looked it up, panty stitchers were unskilled labourers and diesel fitters were skilled labourers." "What skill?" yelled Sven. "I sew the elastic on. He pulls on it and says, ’Yep, diesel fitter.’ "

Nuclear beer 
The above is waybill for Guinness Beer on the Nuclear Cargo Ship Savannah


1- Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
2- Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
3- There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
4- The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
5- A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
6- There are more chickens than people in the world.
7- The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
8- On a Canadian two-dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
9- All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" are stuck on 4:20.
10- No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
11- "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
12- Almonds are a member of the peach family.
13- There are only 4 words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
14- A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
15- An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
16- Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
17- In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
18- Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
19- The characters Bert & Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life."
20- A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
21- A goldfish has a memory span of 3 seconds.
22- It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open
23- The giant squid has the largest eyes ! in the world.
24- In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
25- The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
26- The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.
27- There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball
28- The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night.
29- A cockroach can live nine days without its head before it starves to death.
30- A polar bear's skin is black. Its fur is not white, but actually clear.
31- Elvis had a twin brother named Aaron, who died at birth, which is why Elvis' middle name was spelled Aron: in honour of his brother. It is also misspelled on his tomb stone.
32- Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
33- More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
34- Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
35- Shakespeare invented the words "assassination" and "bump."
36- Marilyn Monroe had 6 toes on one foot.
37- If you keep a goldfish in the dark room, it will eventually turn white.
38- Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
39- Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do.
40- The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.
41- The names of the continents all end with the same letter with which they start.
42- TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard.
43- The word racecar and kayak are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left. So is Glenelg.
44- A snail can sleep for 3 years.
45- American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987! by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.
46- The electric chair was invented by a dentist.
47- Vatican City is the smallest country in the world with a population of 1,000 and a size of 108.7 acres.
48- "I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
49- No president of the United states was an only child.
And last and definitely most important:
50- The average chocolate bar has 8 insects' legs in it.


"She's so ugly, the tide won't even take her out !"
Heard after returning to the ship, after some time ashore.


What if...

A drillship is called into anchor to perform a UWILD and the captain decided to quiz a mates & dpos.

"What would you do if a sudden storm sprang up on the starboard?"
"Throw out an anchor, sir," the mate replied.
"What would you do if another storm sprang up aft?"
"Throw out another anchor, sir."
"And if another terrific storm sprang up forward, what would you do then?" asked the captain.
"Throw out another anchor, sir."
"Hold on," said the captain. "Where are you getting all those anchors from?"
"From the same place you're getting your storms old man."


Have you got the Knack ?
If you're here, maybe you do. Have a listen...

Turning on an engineer

The 5 most dangerous things you'll hear on a Drillship


Did you know?

The Slinky was created by a US Navy marine engineer stationed at the Philadelphia Shipyards. He later became an evangelist and Bible salesman in Bolivia, leaving behind his wife, his children, and the Slinky fortune.


Who's in charge...

A chief Engineer I was sailing with, was sharing stories of his time as a cadet on a Russian cargo ship.

He recalls a pompous, green, 3rd Officer who felt that they should be grateful that he was onboard, we all know the type. The experienced bosun quickly tuned in to him, and one day was tasked by the Chief Officer to clean the funnel deck. With instructions in hand, and two seamen to assist, he proceeds to the bridge and request that the 3rd Officer call the engine room and have them switch the exhaust system from the funnel to the underwater - wet system, so they could perform this job.

The Second Engineer gets the call from the bridge with the order from the 3rd Officer, knowing full well something was afoot, replied, "sure... that will be a few minutes". A little while had past, and the 3rd Officer begin to grow angry at the lack of response to his orders; so he phone the Engine Room again. The Second Engineer gets an earful on how important it is that he follows his instructions with immediate dispatch as he is the Officer of the watch and that non compliance will not be tolerated, and will be reported to the Capt and Chief Engineer - "so at once, switch over to the underwater / wet exhaust system". The Second Engineer didn't say anything, as it was obvious who was in charge.

Some time later, the 3rd Officer grew irate with the "lack of respect" and calls the Chief Engineer to give him an earful about the engine room. Shortly after, the Captain and political officers (Russian ships had political officer at the time), come up on the bridge, from either end, expecting to use the straightjacket. Needless to say the 3rd Officer was quiet for the rest of the trip.



In keeping with the Company's Safety, Health, Welfare and Quality Manual, you will need to fill out this form, before proceeding on any "boys night out".


Who's really in charge...

All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was the one in charge

"I should be in charge," said the brain , "Because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."
"I should be in charge," said the blood , "Because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you'd all waste away.""I should be in charge," said the stomach," Because I process food and give all of you energy."
"I should be in charge," said the legs , "because I carry the body wherever it needs to go."
"I should be in charge," said the eyes, "Because I allow the body to see where it goes."
"I should be in charge," said the rectum , "Because I'm responsible for waste removal."

All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight.

Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic. They all decided that the rectum should be the boss.

The Moral of the story? Even though the others do all the work...
The 'asshole' is usually in charge!

A marine engineer retires to the countryside

One day he's passing the blacksmiths shop and he sees the Smith making horseshoes. "I can do that, " he told the Smith. When he got home, the engineer made four horseshoes in his little workshop. The blacksmith is impressed. Each edge is milled , each hole is perfectly drilled, the finish is immaculate and all four shoes are identical. He tells the engineer to fit shoes to a horse while he goes home for lunch.

When the smith returns, the shoes are fitted, each one set dead centre, each nail trimmed and polished. "That's a great job you've done there, couldn't do better myself, only , why is the horse upside down?" "Dunno", said the engineer, "he's been like that since I took him out of the vise"
Submitted by Graeme Park, 06.2008

The following cultural insights are provided by Yasrnin Prabhudas, as found in the ITF Seafarer's Bulletin 2008


China has a long seafaring tradition, going back 7,000 years. It reached its peak during the Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644. Today there are some half a million Chinese seafarers.

The legend of the Chinese seafaring hero Zheng He

Zheng He lived in the Ming Dynasty. His fleet comprised more than 300 ships, employing 27,000 seafarers and he is said to have voyaged to more than 30 countries and regions in Asia and Africa, between 1405 and 1433. It is believed that the routes he took linked the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, sailing as far west as the Persian Gulf and Madagascar. His voyages have been recorded 87 years earlier than Columbus' discovery of the Americas.

Some Chinese seafaring proverbs


The Philippines is among the largest seafaring nations in the world with approximately 250,000 active Filipino seafarers working on all kinds of vessels. Although they only make up 15 per cent of Filipino overseas workers, they bring in more dollars than any other group in the country.

Filipino seafarers generally prefer:

Filipino myth

Long ago, the earth, sea and sky were ruled by three different gods. The sun god, who ruled the sky, had a beautiful daughter, Luna, the moon. One day she took a path that led her outside her kingdom. She wandered until she reached the place where the sky met the sea. As she admired the beautiful things around her, she was startled by a voice. It asked, "Where have you come from, most beautiful one?"

Turning around she saw a young man. He was smiling at her. She answered, "I am Luna, daughter of the sun god". The man answered, "l am Mar, the son of the sea god. Welcome to our kingdom." Soon the two became good friends. They had many interesting stories to tell each other. When it was time for Luna to go, they promised to see each other as often as they could. They continued to meet. Eventually, they fell in love.

One day, after one of their secret meetings, Luna went back to the heavens full of joy. She was so happy that she told her secret to one of her cousins. The cousin, jealous of her beauty and happiness, revealed the secret to the sun god. He was angry about his daughter's disobedience to the immortal laws. He locked her in the garden and sent a messenger to the sea god telling him that his son Mar had disobeyed the immortal law too. The sea god imprisoned his son in one of his sea caves.
Luna longed to be with Mar again. One day she managed to escape from the garden. She rushed to their meeting place. Mar saw her reflection on the water from inside the sea cave.

His attempts to leave the cave caused the sea to become rough. Luna waited and waited but Mar did not come. She returned home very sad. She tried several times to see him again and went to the meeting place, but he never came. Fishers at sea believe that each time Luna, the moon, appears, the sea gets troubled. "It's Mar trying to escape from his cave," they say.

Some common Filipino terms


Few traditions have a deeper impact on Icelanders than the annual Seafarers' Day, a homage to the heroes of the seas, who generously supplied the foundation on which the country was built.

Seafarers' Day in Iceland dates back to 1937, when the seafarers' unions in the capital, Reykjavik, and neighbouring Hafnarfjordur founded the Seafarers' Day Council. Its purpose was to celebrate Iceland's seafarers by dedicating them one day a year. The first Seafarers' Day was celebrated the following year, 1938,and has been held on the first Sunday in June ever since. It has become such an integral part of the society that it was made constitutional in 1987and is one of only 11 flag days in Iceland.

On this day Icelanders pay tribute to the country's founding industry. Festivities in towns and villages along the country's coastline include an introduction to seafarers' work and a tribute is paid to seafarers who have lost their lives at sea and to retired sailors and pioneers of the industry. On a lighter note, there are rowing contests, craft shows and songs and dance. All fishing vessels are in harbour on the day, as the seafarers join with friends, family and the community in the celebrations.

The Seafarers' Day Council expanded its role in 1939.The board wanted to support seafarers in every possible way and found it worrying that, because of the strain of seafarers' work, their occupational life was relatively short. "To lessen the burden, the council embarked upon building and operating an old people's home in Reykjavik and the Home of Elderly Sailors was opened in 1957", says Gudmundur Hallvardsson, Chair of the Seafarers' Day Council. "Another home was opened in Hafnarfjordur in 1977. Around 700 people live in the DAS-homes, which are the front runners in care for the elderly in Iceland today".


Russia's seafaring tradition goes back to the time of Peter the Great in the late 17th century. Today there are more than 120,000 Russian seafarers.

Special Russian holidays

On 16 June, Russians celebrate Neptune Day. According to tradition, seafarers who cross the equator for the first time must be initiated. The beginner is made to bathe in the sea or others throw him into a swimming pool. The hapless seafarer must then crawl through a compartment on board a vessel that has been deliberately daubed with machine oil. Once he has undergone this ceremony, the seafarer receives the "Neptune" stamp and an initiation certificate. The next time he crosses the equator, he will be able to avoid this ritual, on presentation of the certificate! Mercantile marine and inland water transport workers also hold a celebration on the first Sunday of July.

Toast to seafarers

It is common for Russians to make a toast to seafarers during an occasion. This usually happens after the main toast of the event.

Russian proverb

To drink beer without vodka is to throw money to the wind.

Some common Russian words and phrases

Seafarers' slang

Seafarers from English-speaking nations such as Australia, England, New Zealand and the US have developed a seafarers'slang, which includes some rhyming slang. Here are some examples:

Sea shanties

These are songs that are sung by sailors to make working life a little easier. They are based on a "call and response" lyric and usually involve a whole team of seafarers. The tradition developed out of the Anglo-Irish and African-Caribbean cultures. The songs evolved as the seafarers came into contact with other cultures so that Irish melodies mixed with African and Polynesian rhythms, which in turn blended in American stories.

The kind of shanty that was sung depended on the job that was being carried out. For example ...


A little gem from the Darwin Awards website...

(1999) A US Navy safety publication describes injuries incurred while doing don'ts. One page described the fate of a sailor playing with a multimeter in an unauthorized manner. He was curious about the resistance level of the human body. He had a Simpson 260 multimeter, a small unit powered by a 9-volt battery. That may not seem powerful enough to be dangerous… but it can be deadly in the wrong hands.
The sailor took a probe in each hand to measure his bodily resistance from thumb to thumb. But the probes had sharp tips, and in his excitement he pressed his thumbs hard enough against the probes to break the skin. Once the salty conducting fluid known as blood was available, the current from the multimeter travelled right across the sailor's heart, disrupting the electrical regulation of his heartbeat. He died before he could record his Ohms.

The lesson? The Navy issues very few objects which are designed to be stuck into the human body.

August 2000 Dan Wilson elaborates:

I'm a former Navy petty officer, enlisted for six years as an electrician aboard a US Submarine. I got a lot of training. This story was used frequently during my training in the US Navy as an example of what can happen when procedures and safety measures are not followed. I considered the story an urban legend until I found the incident report referenced in the official Navy electrical safety guidelines. I now know it is true.

The actual event is slightly different than described above, and even more deserving of a Darwin award. This sailor stuck the sharpened ends of the probes through his thumbs intentionally. You see, he had just taken a course that taught a critical concept called "internal resistance."
Internal resistance is resistance to electrical power flow that exists inside any power source. It causes the terminal voltage to drop when load (current) increases. You can demonstrate this concept, if you're careful, by monitoring your car battery's terminal voltage, while someone starts up the engine. The reading will be ~13 volts while the engine is off, but during the period where the starter is cranking it will drop to 8-9 volts. The voltage drop is due to the internal resistance of the battery.

This sailor, like all other electricians in training, had already been through a safety class in which one of the excercises is to measure your body's resistance by simply holding the probes between your fingertips. (Most people read 500Kohms to 2Mohms.) Evidently, adding information from the internal resistance class, this sailor wanted to determine his own body's "internal resistance.". So he intentionally pushed the sharpened probe tips through the skin to elimate the rather high skin resistance and get only the "internal resistance". This, of course, caused his death.

How, you might ask, with only a 9V battery? Easy. One of the "rules of thumb" that the Navy teaches is the 1-10-100 rule of current. This rule states that 1mA of current through the human body can be felt, 10mA of current is sufficient to make muscles contract to the point where you cannot let go of a power source, and 100mA is sufficient to stop the heart. Let's look at Ohm's law. Ohm's law (for DC systems - I will not discuss AC here) is written as E=IR, where E is voltage in volts, I is current in Amps, and R is resistance in Ohms.

When we did the experiment in the electrical safety class to determine our body's resistance, we found a resistance of 500K Ohms. Using 9V and 500K Ohms in the equation, we come up with a current of 18 microAmps, below the "feel" threshold of 1mA. However, removing the insulation of skin from our curious sailor here, the resistance through the very good conducting electrolytes of the body is sharply lower. Around 100 ohms, in fact, resulting in a current of 90mA - sufficient to stop our sailor's heart and kill him.

As my electrical safety instructor said, "The reason we now have to teach the electrical safety course to all electricians at least twice per year is because some joe was bright enough to be the one person in the world who could figure out how to kill himself with a 9V battery.", Submitted by: Brian Lallatin, Enhanced by: Dan Wilson, References: US Navy Safety Publications


Bill H. sent this joke in by email; it pretty much encapsulate what it is to be a marine engineer.

A doctor, a lawyer, and an engineer are sentenced to death on the guillotine.

They put the doctor's head on the block, pull the release, and nothing happens. Then, because the law allows no further punishment, the doctor is set free.

Then they bring up the lawyer. Same thing happens, and the lawyer goes free.

Then they bring up the engineer. Just before they put his head on the block, he looks up at the blade mechanism and shouts "Wait! I think I see the problem."


Q - How can you spot an extroverted engineer?
A - He looks at your shoes when he talks to you.


The Frayed Knot

One day, a loose string went into a bar and asked for a drink. The bartender said:
"We don't serve loose strings in here. Get the hell out right now."

So, then the string went into the men's room and proceeded to tie himself into a knot. Then he messed up his hair really good and went back into the bar.

He bellied up to the bar and asked the bartender for a drink. The the bartender says:,
"Hey, aren't you the same loose string I just threw out of here?"

And the string replied:
"No, I'm a frayed knot."


Having some problems with those upgrade exams... you're not alone


Decky saves woman

A young blonde Portsmouth girl, down on her luck, decided to end it all one night by casting herself into the cold, dark waters off Gunwharf Quay.

As she stood on the edge, pondering the infinite, a young sailor noticed her as he strolled by.
'You're not thinking of jumping, are you babes?' he asked.
'Yes, I am.' replied the sobbing girl.

Putting his arm around her, the kind sailor coaxed her back from the edge.
'Look, nothing's worth that. I'll tell you what; I'm sailing off for Australia tomorrow. Why don't you stow away on board and start a new life over there.

I'll set you up in one of the lifeboats on the deck, bring you food and water every night and I'll look after you, if you look after me - if you know what I mean. You just have to keep very quiet so that you won't be found'.

The girl, having no better prospects, agreed, and the sailor sneaked her on board that very night.

For the next 3 weeks the sailor came to her lifeboat every night, bringing food and water, and making love to her until dawn. Then, during the fourth week, the captain was performing a routine inspection of the ship and its lifeboats. He peeled back the cover to find the startled blonde, and demanded an explanation.

The girl came clean, 'I've stowed away to get to Australia . One of the sailors has been helping me out. He set me up in here and brings me food and water every night . . . and he's screwing me.'

The captain stared at her for a moment before he replied, 'He certainly is love. This is the Isle of Wight Ferry.'


How many engineers to change a light bulb ....what do our engineers say ?

How many first year engineering students does it take to change a light bulb?
None. That's a second year subject.

How many second year engineering students does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the rest of the class copies the report.

How many third year engineering students does it take to change a light bulb?
"Will this question be on the final exam?"

How many civil engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to do it and one to steady the chandelier.

How many electrical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They simply redefine darkness as the industry standard.

How many computer engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why bother? The socket will be obsolete in six months anyway."

How many mechanical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Five. One to decide which way the bulb ought to turn, one to calculate the force required, one to design a tool with which to turn the bulb, one to design a comfortable-but functional- hand grip, and one to use all this equipment.

How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Seven. One to install the new bulb and six to figure out what to do with the old one

How many Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Five, 1 to do a time and motion study on the process, 1 to do the costing, 1 to design and fabricate a fixture to hold the bulb, 1 to get management approval before proceeding, 1 to negotiate with the union for installation .

How many Safety Engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Six, 1 to look at the ergonomics of unscrewing and replacing the bulb, 1 to inspect the ladder and decide whether or not it meets industry standards, 1 to review ASTM ZZ234.98.67.84 – Bulbs, Light, Installation before proceeding, 1 to install the lockout / tagout devices, 1 to secure the ladder and ensure that all safety procedures have been signed off, 1 to change the bulb.


Quit your gripping!

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,' which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget.

That perfect word for the occasion

The marine industry is a global one, and as such, there is many different cultures and language onboard a modern ship. And when the wrench, your fellow engineer is holding, slips off the nut, and jams their knuckles into the gear box they were trying to fix, a magical thing happens, you start laughing normally, and a long series of strange and perhaps rhapsodic chants are emitted by the victim. Wouldn't be great to find out just what was said, in the heat of the moment?

Fear not, has the tools for you to do your job, and communicate more efficiently with your peers. Behold, the universal library of insults and swear words. You can download it here, and start jiving with the best of them, wherever in the world they may be from!


Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one;
a reassurance to those of us who fly routinely in our jobs.


ENGINEERING and MANUFACTURING definitions for corporate communications:


" I'm a horny engineer... i never joke about math or sex "
- Wolowizt, Big Bang Theory

 "Kenny the Sales Weasel" asks an engineer to explain a product's technical specifications.
"Our product is beige. It uses electricity," says the engineer.
"Whoa! Brain overload!" wails the weasel.


" That guys been around longer then the dead sea's been sick. "
- Unknown


Ability to bullshit and be brilliance only come with age and experience

One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!"

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.

"Whew!," says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?," but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says...

"Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Moral of this story...

Don't mess with the old dogs... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!


Arguing with an Engineer is allot like wrestling in the mud with a pig,
After a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it.

Submitted by Rick B. 08/2013

Root beer

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