Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » October 2005 » A Smiley A Day...

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10/17/2005: A Smiley A Day...

Couldn't quite make it through my e-mail and blogging without a SMILEY. ;-)

So, when I was poking through Digg the other day, I found this one:

"Joke" Conversation Thread in which the :-) was invented

17-Sep-82 10:58 Neil Swartz at CMU-750R Elevator posts
Apparently there has been some confusion about elevators and such. After
talking to Rudy, I have discovered that there is no mercury spill in any of
the Wean hall elevators. Many people seem to have taken the notice about
the physics department seriously.

Maybe we should adopt a convention of putting a star (*) in the subject
field of any notice which is to be taken as a joke.


17-Sep-82 13:04 Scott Fahlman at CMU-10A Elevators (*)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the elevator...

Unfortunately, the center elevator now contains what seems to be the
remains of 40,000 two-pound pigeons in an advanced state of
decomposition and the right elevator contains a bear of indeterminate
color. The left elevator appears to be safe, but when you stand in it
for too long, your voice gets squeaky and you start running into the
walls, causing the elevator to rise.

Despite the * in the header of this message, this is not a joke and
should be taken quite literallly. Do not panic -- taking the stairs is
good for you.


17-Sep-82 14:43 Thomas Rodeheffer at CMU-10A Candles in Zero-G
I seem to recall hearing about an experiment with burning candles in
zero-G (skylab?) in which the result was that the candle did NOT go
out, even though, as has been noted, you don't get convection
currents without gravity. According to what I recall, a candle
burning in zero-G doesn't have a real flame, just a globular glowing
area around the wick. Supposedly the explanation was that oxygen
diffuses towards the wick (and carbon dioxide and water vapor diffuse
away) fast enough to keep combustion going. Does anybody remember
anything more about this?


17-Sep-82 14:59 Joseph Ginder at CMU-10A (*%)

I believe that the joke character should be % rather than *.


17-Sep-82 15:15 Anthony Stentz at CMU-780G (*%)
How about using * for good jokes and % for bad jokes?
We could even use *% for jokes that are so bad,
they're funny.


17-Sep-82 17:40 Keith Wright at CMU-10A *%&#$ Jokes!
No, no, no! Surely everyone will agree that "&" is the funniest
character on the keyboard. It looks funny (like a jolly fat man
in convulsions of laughter). It sounds funny (say it loud and
fast three times). I just know if I could get my nose into the
vacuum of the CRT it would even smell funny!


17-Sep-82 17:42 Leonard Hamey at CMU-10A {#} (previously *)
A detailed (i.e. > 1 minute) study of the aesthetic and pictographic
effects of the characters available in the ASCII set has led to
the following suggestion:

I think that the joke character should be the sequence {#}
because it looks like two lips with teeth showing between them.
This is the expected result if someone actually laughs their head off.
An obvious abbreviation of this sequence would be the hash character
itself (which can also be read as the sharp character and suggests
a quality which may be lacking in those too obtuse to appreciate
the joke.)


17-Sep-82 18:52 Jim Crowley at CMU-10A BB Jokes
BB jokes are fine and should not require a marker.
But jokes should not be malicious, obscene, or such that they
appear to resemble real warnings to all but a few.
Last nights elevator hoax was a borderline case of this last


18-Sep-82 20:40 Guy Steele at CMU-10A ! Joke markers again
I hope everyone realized that my previous remark about non-use
of joke markers was a joke, and was flagged as such by the
absence of a marker. This message is not a joke, as indicated
by the exclamation point.


19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use


So, whether ya use :-) or an updated version...Just Keep *Smiling*!!!

Karen on 10.17.05 @ 08:00 AM CST

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