The Engineer, Mathematician and Physicist

An engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist went to the races one
Saturday and laid their money down.  Commiserating in the bar after
the race, the engineer says, "I don't understand why I lost all my
money.  I measured all the horses and calculated their strength and
mechanical advantage and figured out how fast they could run..."

The physicist interrupted him: "...but you didn't take individual
variations into account.  I did a statistical analysis of their
previous performances and bet on the horses with the highest
probability of winning..."

" if you're so hot why are you broke?" asked the engineer.  But
before the argument can grow, the mathematician takes out his pipe and
they get a glimpse of his well-fattened wallet.  Obviously here was a
man who knows something about horses.  They both demanded to know his

"Well," he says, between puffs on the pipe, "first I assumed all the
horses were identical and spherical..."

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This message was sent on 24 Jun 1996