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“The main difference between civil engineers and military engineers is that civil engineers design targets and military engineers design various contrivances with which to destroy what the civil engineers have built.”
“Hey look buddy, I'm an engineer; that means I solve problems. Not problems like 'What is beauty?', because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems.”
“Hey there beautiful. If you were a function, could I be the tangent line to your curves?”
Engineers are small furry creatures with buckteeth and thick glasses and professionally vacant stares, and [in Michael Scofield's case] a perpetual scowl.
“An engineer's sole purpose in life is to take simple processes and make them difficult.”
Physiology & General
Engineers are known to have underdeveloped hindquarters, although zoologists are still uncertain whether this is a genetic adaptation to their habitat or simply atrophy from lack of use. Engineers have whiffly noses which are highly attuned to the smell of approaching carnivorous deadlines. Engineers are easily house-trained and make great pets, but don't expect them to play with your children, unless your children are made of wires.
They suffer from hunch backs due to the many hours spent in cubicles (see environment). Despite appearing intelligent, recent discoveries show that engineers merely act intelligent due to their massive inferiority complex (instituted at undergraduate level). Engineer's have the same mathematical background as Accountants but without the personality.
Engineers are a strange specimen who ensure your roof does not fall on your head, they do this by ensuring any structural stability is promptly removed (their favorite way of doing this is by destroying any supporting members in a building, preferably with an axe or dead beaver).
Engineers are descended from geologists and are one of the few living examples of 'backwards evolution'. Some say that removing all reasoning skills, common-sense, relevant and useful intelligence and all social and communication skills from a Geologist will usually result in the creation of a true 'Engineer'. However, this ignores the fact that typical engineers can actually do mathematics, whereas geologists are better known for their ability to drink beer and eat granola bars. Simultaneously. Thus their entry criteria differ.
Engineer's integration into society is one of 'submissive parasitism': though engineers lack the creative resolve to intuit reality from nonexistent evidence which geologists excel at, engineers can enrich geofantasies with data and analysis in the hope of a reward, perhaps additional computational resources or a better selection of those green engineering pads in the supply cabinet. Usually though, this behavior is known to other pack members and the engineer rarely escapes unnoticed.
An increasing number of 'Engineers' are self-styled and the result of an obsession to join the very popular and largely superfluous 'Engineering Fraternity'. To qualify as one of these 'new generation' engineers, one needs only to add the word 'Engineer' after any job title. There are no restrictions and is typically limited only to the imagination. Some popular and common examples include: Waste Disposal Engineer (garbage dump attendant), Mechanical Engineer (grease monkey/mechanic), Electrical Engineer (electrician), Aerospace Engineer (contraption inventor), Maintenance Engineer (janitors & council workers), Safety Engineer (cross-walk attendant), Production Engineer (factory worker), Livestock Processing Engineer (slaughterhouse gun-man), Stock Control Engineer (shelf packer), Petroleum Engineer (Excel Spreadsheet Operator), Mining Engineer (Sandbox Enthusiast), Domestic Engineer (housewife or househusband).
The engineer has an underdeveloped recognition and understanding of the English language, especially grammar and spelling. They are confused by punctuation. For example, the leading engineer Sir Lord Professor Chris Wise once wrote:
"a [sic] enginer [sic] can # do four [sic] an [sic] peny [sic] w2at [sic] anqy f*ool c!n [sic] dofor'?a [sic] pund [sik [sic]]>."
However, they will get upset if you use i.e. instead of e.g. in their presence. This could be due to the distress caused by company rather than their overdeveloped anal retention. Nonetheless, this attention to detail is somewhat desirable. When an engineer is wrong, your car will explode. No wonder they are so drearily serious.
The Battle with the Industrial Designers/landscape architects
One of the longest on-going feuds in our history is between engineers and industrial designers and/or landscape architects. While engineers analyze real world issues and limitations while designing out of practicality, art people usually come in and essentially express their immediate emotions by designing something to "look pretty" that defies all laws of physics. Then, the artist gives a drawing of a small 2 door car with monster truck wheels and a 2 inch tall windshield and kindly requests the engineer to "make this work". Now, wouldn't you be pissed off if you had to make an abstract science-defying art piece work?
Landscape architects typically will ruin a civil engineer's work. After many months of planning a street intersection in a major city, a landscape architect comes in and puts in some nice and pretty obstructions so motorists can't see where they need to, everybody dies in the intersection, and the civil engineer is blamed. So, the anger engineers experience towards artists is justified.
Engineers and Attractive Women
While engineers are typically fond of beautiful females, they understand them by far the least of any variant of the human male. For this reason, engineers generally have much fear of these elusive creatures. One piece of evidence is seen when female models come to pose infront of exotic automobiles. Notice that all automotive engineers have fled from the car they created in fear of having to look the model in her eyes, evident in photographs of women posing infront of cars, but never in the presence of an engineer. There have yet to be any documented cases of a female marrying an engineer. In a survey conducted in 2010 in Boulder, Colorado, 92 of 100 women who went on a date with an engineer said they did not enjoy the lectures on multivariable calculus during the dates. the other 8 women said their dates saw either a segway or aerodynamic road bicycle and chased after it.
The only 2 engineers to marry were found in the United States and South Africa. In one rare incident, a man in Tacoma, Washington married his 1994 Toyota Camry 4 door, and another engineer in Cape Town married a washing machine.
In the wild, engineers are most commonly found roaming the forgotten bypasses of the Information Superhighway, much like this one. At night, they are often found attempting to sneak into vacant office buildings and test facilities. Much like raccoons, engineers are not desirable late night visitors. They generally tend to fill their nest with shiny objects such as empty beer bottles, CDs, DVDs, and pocket protectors.
No recorded captive breeding of engineers has taken place. For that matter, there is no record of any engineers breeding, ever. At all. However, once captured in the wild, they have been successfully raised in Cubicle Farms on a steady diet of coffee and Thai food.
When taken out of their natural habitat, Engineers become very wild and are prone to acting out. This is seen in gratuitous alcohol consumption and general anti-social behaviour. They will occasionally gather in packs no greater than the numerical equivalent of the square root of the energy in joules required to stare blankly at a computer screen most of the day in a state of semi-consciousness, happily calling this a 'day's work', plus the number of cups of bad coffee drank times smoke breaks, divided by 1000. Usually 4 or 5, but larger gatherings can sometimes number up to 6.
Unfortunately most engineers either realise their existence is surplus to the world's requirements or simply can't comprehend their own existence, so many lack the self awareness and depth of soul to do anything more than throw feces at other office workers or neighbours, often even themselves.
Engineers in popular culture
The terms "engineers" and "popular" are mutually exclusive, since [sic; should be because] they tend to bite when handled by any human who tries to handle them (now limited to well-meaning animal breeders and environmental activists). The only way to even fake some trace of crossover is for some media elitist to step in and blatantly make something up. Writers only attempt to portray engineers if the very last shreds of originality have been clawed to teeny confetti bits, but it has been known to happen, as shown by the following cases:
Star Trek is famous for its unrealistic, but very exciting, portrayal of engineers. In fact, nearly 83% of engineering students claim that they chose to pursue their specialty with the assumption that after passing their PEng exam, they'd be assigned to a starship (NCC class or higher) and would spend their remaining days reporting warp core status to smooth, attractive captains or having sex with a diverse array of alien life forms. These engineers are incredibly disappointed to learn that their "captains" are mediocre managers who were promoted so the company wouldn't have to clean up their engineering. Even worse, it's uncommon for a real engineer to have sex with anyone but himself. Engineering colleges break these truths slowly and gently to avoid upsetting their retention rates.
My Three Sons
The main character of 60s sitcom My Three Sons was an aeronautical engineer. Given the cold-war time setting of the show, it was clear to viewers that he was plotting to develop mind-bogglingly devastating weapons, which is one of the few intriguing things that can be done with engineering. In reality, he spent his life like any other engineer, digging holes under trees to hide from the sun. The series was true to real-life engineering in that there were no women around... the engineer in this case claimed to be a "widower", which is a more sophisticated way of faking a love life than saying that no one could possibly know your Canadian girlfriend.
This 2001 film starred pop singer Mariah Carey as an ambitious young biochemical engineer, struggling to succeed in the cut-throat Ontario agriculture scene. The main character leaves his woodland forest home to see if a human will adopt him and possibly provide a tiny car for him to drive around and take apart, but throughout the course of the movie learns an important lesson about self-introspection in the face of oppressive socialites. The film was a critical success, earning 4.6 Academy Awards, including one for "Best Stripper Pole Dance Scene". Unfortunately theater and DVD sales were dismal; aside from about 240 people scattered around a few small Eastern European nations, no one saw this movie.
Neal Stephenson's Novels
Many of Stephenson's characters are engineers. Prominent examples include Waterhouse in Cryptonomicon, who is realistically fashion-impaired and emotionally clueless, but somehow still manages to be a sympathetic character. The great Hooke (in the Baroque Cycle) is disparaged by some (including Newton) as a mere mechanic, a forerunner of engineers. In fact, Hooke's love of whoring about and quaffing of quicksilver may be good evidence of the ancestral link joining engineers to a primitive common ancestor of geologists and engineers, perhaps a band of syphilitic alchemists. Like the band of brothers that soared from Abre in Anathem, engineers are grubby, smelly, paranoid -- and educable.
Engineers are rarely found in the presence of any other animals, and generally fear human contact. When forced to, engineers will group together and exhibit meager signs of friendship, though it is generally believed that this is strictly a survival instinct, and that no engineer actually wants to be friends with anybody other than their calculator.
Many engineers - oftentimes the ones that barely complete their engineering degrees - enjoy a good rousing chorus of song. One especial such chant is as follows
We are, we are
We are, we are
We are the engineers
We can, we can
We can, we can
Demolish forty beers
Drink rum, drink rum
Drink rum, drink rum
And come along with us
For we don't give a damn
For any damn man
Who won't give a damn for us
Engineers believe that the Ritualistic Sacrifice of a building or other public asset every decade or so, through it collapse, will bring about a new age where they will be able to exhibit Charisma. There is much confusion amongst members of the public who mistakenly believe structural collapse, even when minor, is the result of incompetence or hubris of the engineer.
Student Engineers often go by the name of 'Danny' and have an abnormally large penis
Little Known Facts
- Engineers may be able to hold a pen, but spelling is certainly beyond their abilities. If they have to identify themselves in writing, the result is invariably injuneer.
- The World Society For Written Communication found engineers to have the writing and grammar skills of a mentally challenged chimpanzee
- The Female to Male ratio among Engineers is approximately 1:e^888888888 which contributes to their dwindling numbers in the wild. It is a common misconception that there are no female engineers. This is not the case. They simply look so alike as to be utterly indistinguishable. It's the beards.
- All offspring of Engineers mutate to become anything other than Engineers at first sight of their parents. Mostly poets or hippies
- Engineers' personalities are the most effective form of birth control known to man.
- The main difference between a Pig and an Engineer is that a Pig does not turn into an Engineer when it gets drunk.
- A recent world-wide study of more than seventeen engineers found 9/10 of them are ashamed to admit they're an engineer, preferring instead to tell others they are janitors, groundsmen, school teachers or pimps, among others.
- This may be due to the fact that Engineers, unlike Geologists, are not real scientists.
Australian Engineers - Adelaide (Aues)
Within Adelaide University there is a battle raging between the Med students and the Engies, led by the Adelaide University Engineering Society. To this date, the engies have managed to defeat the med students in almost every battle, including the AUES pubcrawl (the largest in the southern hemisphere) where many items have been stolen from around Adelaide, including multiple police hats, a duck, and a complete hot water system, and the annual tug of war across the Torrens. Unfortunately it is of little consequence who ultimately wins this battle as they are all still, sad to say, Australians.
Largely fuelled by beer, the Engie is largely capable of completing the course with almost no actual work/study, owing to the fact that someone is always capable of obtaining the answers to all the set assignments from a previous years student organisation. Legend has it that there once existed a student that actually knew how to do the work that was set out, and this knowledge has been passed down the generations. It is thought a forward error correction was used whereby systematically generated redundant data (also known as an error-correcting code)is added to the message coupled with the use of soft-decision algorithms. However, it is not known whether anyone knows what this is, even engineers, thus the method of transference of information between engineers is currently unknown. Attempts have been made to make contact with engineers but communication has proven difficult.