Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.
The Murphy Philosophy: Smile ... tomorrow will be worse
Murphy's Constant: Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
Quantisation Revision of Murphy's Law: Everything goes wrong all at once.
O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Law: Murphy was an optimist.
Boling's Postulate: If you're feeling good, don't worry. You'll get over it.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 1 Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 2 Everything takes longer than you think.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 3 If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 4 If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way will promptly develop.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 5 Left to themselves things tend to go from bad to worse.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 6 Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 7 Every solution breeds new problems
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 8 It is impossible to make things foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
Corollaries to Murphy's Law: 9 Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics Things get worse under pressure
Laws of Computerdom according to Golub: 1 Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment of estimating the corresponding costs.
Laws of Computerdom according to Golub: 2 A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long.
Laws of Computerdom according to Golub: 3 The effort required to correct course increases geometrically with time.
Laws of Computerdom according to Golub: 4 Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.
Murphy's Law of Research Enough research will tend to support your theory.
Finagle's First Law If an experiment works, something has gone wrong
Finagle's Second Law No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened to his own pet theory.
Finagle's Third Law In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake
Finagle's Fourth Law Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse
Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology There's always one more bug.
Brook's Law Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later
Gilb's Laws of Unreliability: 1 Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.
Gilb's Laws of Unreliability: 2 Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.
Gilb's Laws of Unreliability: 3 Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.
Gilb's Laws of Unreliability: 4 Investments in reliability will increase until it exceeds the probable cost of errors, or until someone insists on getting some useful work done.
IBM Pollyanna Principle: Machines should work; people should think.
Churchill's Commentary on Man: Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 1 Strive to look tremendously important.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 2 Attempt to be seen with important people.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 3 Speak with authority; however only expound on the obvious and proven facts.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 4 Don't engage in arguments, but if cornered, ask an irrelevant question and lean back with a satisfied grin while your opponent tries to figure out what's going on - then quickly change the subject.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 5 Listen intently while others are arguing the problem. Pounce on a trite statement and bury them with it.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 6 If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 7 Obtain a brilliant assignment, but keep out of the limelight.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 8 Walk at a fast pace when out of the office - this keeps questions from subordinates and superiors at a minimum.
Spark's Ten Rules for the Project Manager: 9 Always keep the office door closed. This puts visitors on the defensive and also makes it look as if you are always in an important conference.
Law's of Computer Programming: 1 Any given program, when running is obsolete.
Law's of Computer Programming: 2 Any given program costs more and takes longer.
Law's of Computer Programming: 3 If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
Law's of Computer Programming: 4 If a program is useless, it will have to documented.
Law's of Computer Programming: 5 Any given program will expand to fill all available memory.
Law's of Computer Programming: 6 The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.
Law's of Computer Programming: 7 Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it.
Troutman's Programming Postulates: 1 If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will malfunction.
Troutman's Programming Postulates: 2 Not until a program has been in production for at least six months will the most harmful error be discovered.
Troutman's Programming Postulates: 3 Job control cards that positively cannot be arranged in improper order will be.
Troutman's Programming Postulates: 4 Interchangeable tapes won't.
Troutman's Programming Postulates: 5 If the input editor has been designed to reject all bad input, an ingenious idiot will discover a method to get bad data past it.
The Snafu Equations: 1 Given any problem containing 'n' equations, there will always be 'n+1'unknowns.
The Snafu Equations: 2 An object or bit of information most needed will be the least available.
The Snafu Equations: 3 Once you have exhausted all possibilities and fail, there will be one solution, simple and obvious, highly visible to everyone else.
The Snafu Equations: 4 Badness comes in waves.
Sattinger's Law It works better if you plug it in.
Andy's Universal Law for Computer Equipment: 1 It needs electricity.
Andy's Commentary on Progress Progress is quantized in very small units which are very rare. Progress therefore takes place in small infrequent steps. (Evidence for an anti-particle is very strong.)
Cahn's Axiom: When all else fails, read the instructions.
Heller's Law: The first myth of management is that it exists. Johnson's Corollary: Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within the organisation.
Putt's Law: Technology is dominated by two types of people: Those who understand what they do not manage. Those who manage what they do not understand.
Gray's Law of Programming: 'n+1' trivial tasks are expected to be accomplished in the same time as 'n' tasks. Logg's Rebuttal to Gray's Law: 'n+1' trivial tasks take twice as long as 'n' trivial tasks.
Weinberg's First Law: Progress is made on alternate Fridays.
Segal's Law: A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
Weinburg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way that programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destory civilisation.
The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it. - John Locke (1693)
Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it. - Samuel Johnson (1775)
What we have to learn to do we learn by doing - Aristotle (c. 325 B.C.)
9 London inches are equal to 8.447 Paris inches .... - Matthew Raper (1760)
Mathematicans are like Frenchmen: whenever you say something to them, they translate it into their own language, and at once it is something entirely different. - Goethe (1829)
It is one thing to shew a Man that he is in an Error, and another, to put him in possession of Truth. - John Locke (1690)
When in doubt, use brute force - Ken Thompson (Bell Labs)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it - Ronald Regean
British Equity welcomes talented foreign artists working in our country even when they are required to play such an obviously British part as God. - The president of Equity
Young's Law: All great discoveries are made by mistake Corollary: The greater the funding, the longer it takes to make the mistake.
Rule of Accuracy: When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.
Peer's Law: The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.
Hersh's Law: Biochemistry expands to fill the space and time available for its completion and publication.
Gordon's First Law: If a research project is not worth doing at all. It is not worth doing well.
Maier's Law: If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of. Corollaries: 1. The bigger the theory, the better. 2. The experiment may be considered a success if no more than 50% of the observed measurements must be discarded to obtain a correspondance with the theory.
Williams and Holland's Law: If enough data is collected, anything may be proven by statistical methods.
Edington's Theory: The number of different hypotheses erected to explain a given biological phenomenon is inversely proportional to the available knowledge.
Fett's Law of the Lab: Never replicate a successful experiment.
Wyszowski's First Law: No experiment is reproducible.
Mr. Cooper's Law: If you do not understand a particular word in a piece of technical writing, ignore it. The piece will make perfect sense without it.
Parkinson's Law for Medical Research: Successful research attracts the bigger grant which makes further research impossible.
Parkinson's Sixth Law: The progress of science varies inversely with the number of journals published.
Whole Picture Principle: Research Scientists are so wrapped up in their own narrow endeavours that they cannot possibly see the whole picture of anything, including their own research. Corollary: The Director of Research should know as little as possible about the specific subject of research he is administering.
Issawi's Laws of Progress: The Course of Progress: Most things get steadily worse. The Path of Progress: A shortcut is the longest distance between two points. The Dialectics of Progress: Direct action produces direct reaction. The Pace of Progress: Society is a mule, not a car... If pressed too hard, it will kisk and throw off its rider.
Sodd's First Law: When a person attempts a task, he or she will be thwarted in that task by the unconscious intervention of some other presence (animate or inanimate). Nevertheless, some tasks are completed, since the intervening presence is itself attempting a task and is of course subject to interference.
Sodd's Second Law: Sooner or later, the worst possible set of circumstances is bound to occur. Corollary: Any system must be designed to withstand the worst possible set of circumstances.
Simon's Law: Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.
Rudin's Law: In crises that force people to choose among alternative courses of action, most people will choose the worst one possible.
Ginsberg's Theorem: 1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't quit the game.
Stockmayer's Theorem: If it looks easy, it's tough. If it looks tough, it's damn well impossible.
Howe's Law: Everyone has a scheme that will not work.
Zymurgy's First Law of Evolving Systems Dynamics: Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger can.
The Unspeakable Law: As soon as you mention something ... ... if it's good, it goes away. ... if it's bad, it happens.
Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations: Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.
Johnson's Third Law: If you miss one issue of any magazine, it will be the issue which contained the article, story or installment you were most anxious to read. Corollary: All of your friends either missed it, lost it or threw it out.
Lewis's Law: No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.
Kitman's Law: Pure drivel tends to drive off the TV screen ordinary drivel.
Etorre's Observation: The other line moves faster.
First Law of Bicycling: No matter which way you ride, it's uphill and against the wind.
Law of the Perversity of Nature: You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
Law of Selective Gravity: An object will fall so as to do the most damage. Jenning's Corollary: The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet. Klipstein's Corollary: The most delicate component will be the one to drop.
Schmidt's Law: If you mess with a thing long enough, it'll break
The Principle Concerning Multifunctional Devices: The fewer functions any device is required to perform, the more perfectly it can perform those functions.
H.L. Mencken's Law Those who can - do. Those who cannot - teach. Martin's Extension: Those who cannot teach - administrate.
Jones's Law: The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame it on.
White's Chappaquidick Therorem: The sooner and in more detail you announce the bad new, the better.
Wyszkowski's Theorem: Regardless of the units used by either the supplier or the customer, the manufacturer shall use his own arbitrary units convertible to those of either the supplier of the customer only by means of weird and unnatural conversion factors.
Osborn's Law: Variables won't; constants aren't.
First Law for Naive Engineers: In any calculation, any error which can creep in will do so.
Third Law for Naive Engineers: In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from engineering handbooks) are to be treated as variables.
Anonymous Overdoing things is harmful in all cases, even when it comes to efficiency.
Law of Communications: The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communication between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased area of misunderstanding.
Farber's Fourth Law: Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.
Lord Falkland's Rule: When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.
Weinberg's Corollary: An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
Glaser's Law: The cost of a complex system is very, very real.
Hoare's Law of Large Problems: Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out.
Peter's Placebo: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.
Skinner's Constant (Flannagan's Finagling Factor): That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to, or subtracted from the answer you get, gives you the answer you should have gotten.
Shaw's Principle: Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.
Watson's Law: The reliability of machinery is inversely proportional to the number and significance of any persons watching it.
Wyszkowski's Second Law: Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough. c.f. Schmidt's Law: If you mess with a thing long enough it'll break.
Rule of the Great: When somebody you greatly admire and respect appears to be thinking deep thoughts, they probably are thinking about lunch.
Clarke's Law of Revolutionary Ideas: Every revolutionary idea - in Science, Politics, Art or Whatever - evokes three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the three phrases: 1. "It is impossible - don't waste my time." 2. "It is possible, but it is not worth doing." 3. "I said it was a good idea all along."
The Golden Rule of Arts the Sciences: Whoever has the gold makes the rules.
Gummidge's Law: The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to the number of statements understood by the general public.
Malek's Law: Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.
Allison's Precept: The best simple-minded test of expertise in a particular area is the ability to win money in a series of bets on future occurrences in that area.
Blaauw's Law: Established technology tends to persist in spite of new technology.
Cohen's Law: What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts - not the facts themselves.
Barth's Distinction: There are two types of people: Those who divide people into two types, and those who don't.
Runamok's Law: There are four kinds of people: those who sit quietly and do nothing, those talk about sitting quietly and doing nothing, those who do things, and those who talk about doing things.
Levy's Ninth Law: Only God can make a random selection.
Miller's Law: You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step in it.
Weiler's Law: Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.
First Law of Socio-Genetics: Celibacy is not hereditary.
Beifeld's Principle: The probability of a young man meeting a desirable receptive young female increases by pyramidal progression when he is already in the company of: (1) a date, (2) his wife. (3) a better looking and richer male friend.
Hartley's Second Law: Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.
Beckhap's Law: Beauty times brains equals a constant.
Mankind always set itself only such problems as it can solve .... - Karl Marx (1859)
Freedom and constraint are two aspects of the same necessity. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery, in La Citadelle (1948)
Pardo's Postulates: 1 Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.
Pardo's Postulates: 2 The three faithful things in life are money, a dog, and an old woman.
Pardo's Postulates: 3 Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you can live comfortably and have everything you want.
Parker's Law: Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
Katz's Law: Men and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.
Steele's Plagiarism of Somebody's Philosophy: Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
Canada Bill Jones's Motto: It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money. Supplement: A Smith and Weston beats four aces.
Vique's Law: A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle.
Persig's Postulate: The number of rational hypotheses that can explain any given phenomenon is infinite.
Cole's Law: Thinly sliced cabbage.
Hartley's First Law: You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back, you've got something.
Weaver's Law: When several reporters share a cab, the reporter in the front seat pays for all. Doyle's Corollary: No matter how many reporters share a cab, and no matter who pays, each puts the full fare on his own expense account.
Johnson's Second Law: If, in the course of several months, only three worthwhile social events take place, they will all fall on the same evening.
Terman's Law of Innovation: If you want a track team to win the high jump, you find one person who can jump seven feet, not seven people who can jump one foot.
Trischmann's Paradox: A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth.
Haldane's Law: The universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it's queerer than we can imagine.
Newton's Little-Known Seventh Law: A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.
Franglais for Beginners: Les baskets (f) - No not objects to throw waste paper into, but training shoes (usually not basket ball boots) N.B. All franglais words are masculine so les baskets are feminine !
Franglais for Beginners: Un parking - A place where a car can fit, can be any type of ground such as pavements or lawns, or the middle of the street.
Franglais for Beginners: Le weekend - The days around saturday and sunday, but often including friday and monday, or thursday, or tuesday, and even sometimes wednesday.
Franglais for Beginners: Un Best Of - A collection of records by some pop singer (usually not French) which someone of often dubious musical taste has decided to compile and tries to sell.
Franglais for Beginners: Le Fun - Dressing up in very colourful and expensive clothing, carrying or being close to very colourful and expensive sports equipment, and making lots of noise.
Franglais for Beginners: Le Feeling - Not the sense of touch, nor bodily contact in the back row of the cinema, but the ability to appreciate "Le Fun"
Franglais for Beginners: Le Footing - Not playing football, but walking around parks, out of breathe, in baggy trousers and matching top