Oh! These Mathematicians

English: Caesar cipher with a shift of 3.
English: Caesar cipher with a shift of 3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a room, there was a small fire and there was a bucket full of sand.

An Engineer entered the room. He took the bucket of sand and sprayed it on the fire and the fire was gone.

In the same situation, a Research Scientist entered the room. He took the bucket of sand and made a ring of sand around the fire and sat in front of the fire and watched the fire.

Now a Mathematician enters the same room with the same situation. He sees that there is a fire. He also sees that there is a bucket of sand. He calculates and concludes that a solution exists and leaves the room.



  1. Software Engineering : The inhabitant enters the room and screamed first and then call the service provider (i.e. fire brigade) and abuse “Why the diesel catches fire when I am paying you…etc etc…”. A junior support staff enters the room.. blow some air from mouth..but the fire is still there and this time it is more than previous. S/He calls the senior.
    Senior : Hellooooo!!!
    JSS (junior support staff) : How to stop fire…
    Senior : Put water in it
    JSS: But there is no water
    Senior : Then u should carry it!!!!! what r u doing there without anything…
    JSS : How can I carry water ???!!!
    Senior : U should..
    JSS : Okk sorry…Now what should I do …
    In the meantime client enters the room and see the fire : “What r u doing..u inefficient fellow ..who is on the line??”
    Jss : Senior
    Give me the phone…”What r u doing there??”
    Senior : We are very close to the solution…Please give us some time
    Customer abuse and give the phone to the JSS…
    Senior : Look there is a bucket of sand
    JSS: Yes Yes..
    Senior : Put that sand on the fire
    JSS does it and the situation under control..
    JSS : Yes …solved…!!!
    Senior : Come and make a documentation on this …
    JSS : 🙁 🙁 🙁

    1. Very nice. Thanks Sovan.

      I have lost count of how many fires we must have doused in this manner. Also, how many piles of documents we must have written which nobody has bother to read. It has only cost the organisation disk space on the Configuration Management System and cost so many trees.

      The documentation would possible be as follows.
      Case: When called for a service to douse a fire.
      1. Look if there is a bucket of sand.
      1.a. If yes, spray the sand on the fire.
      1.a.1 If fire is extinguished, get sign-off and return.
      1.a.2 If fire is not extinguished, call Senior for support.
      1.b. If no, spray the water as suggested to carry by the Senior.
      1.b.1. If fire is extinguished, check if any water is remaining. Also, get sign-off.
      1.b.1.a. If water is remaining, offer a glass to the Customer. Get sign-off for the same and update stock in the inventory management system.
      1.b.1.b. If no water is remaining, do not bother.
      1.b.2. If fire is not extinguished, call Senior for support.

      What if the fire is due to short circuit and the same process is followed because this has been documented?


      1. Hahahahhahh….lol…lol…
        In case of short circuit another tree will be effected as another doc need to be prepared.. 😛 ..
        Stop_Fire_Short_Circuit_Version_0044.doc 🙁 ..

      2. I missed one very important component. When the above document is reviewed, the Quality Assurance Manager would find a flaw in the step 1.a.2. He would possible comment that in this step, step 1.b. should be applied. However, overall solution would be the same.

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