Posted tagged ‘transistors’

More on Vacation Recovery: Traveling with children edition

June 30, 2008

From the invaluable xkcd:

This reminds me of the old, old joke about the problem with neuroscientists. If you had a planet on which, for some reason, brain scientists dominated and electrical engineering had never taken off — but which was nonetheless awash in EM signals — imagine what would happen when a passing spaceship somehow drops a transistor radio into the hands of the eager savants. What would they do? They might, at some point they would twist the volume knob past the little click and turn the device on (assume, for the sake of the joke, intact, fully charged AAs on hand). Nothing — the device is tuned to a particular frequency, and happens to pick up no signal. So next, the experts would do what neuroscientists do — open the thing up and start taking bits off to see what would happen. First to go is a transistor, and all of a sudden the little plastic box emits a fearsome screech.

Knowledge! Holding up the transistor in a pair of sterile forceps, the team leader proudly instructs his loyal students: “Here we have,” he the gender-uncertain alien says, “the screech suppressor.”

I do remember the shocking experience of walking out of the hospital with our infant son and wondering where the hell the damn manual had gone.