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though these are just jokes already contained under the Jokes item, I find it worthwhile to put them up separately, because I keep reading supposedly scientific studies "proving" that time travel is possible, e.g., most recently a harvard physicist was quoted (or misquoted) as saying that in some of her experiments  particles would mysteriously disappear, and she thinks they went down a time tunnel to some other dimension of the universe...

when my son was still in high school and daughter not yet out of primary, they asked me whether time travel was possible, and I gave the reply "if so, you can return to the past, stop your parents marrying and prevent yourselves from being born" which settled the issue for them, because not only is the scenario ridiculous, it is also circular - if they were not born, there would be no one to return to the past to prevent their parents marrying and themselves from being born, so they would be born after all and could return to the past to prevent birth .....

in addition, the example was valuable in that it showed them that sometimes you can cut through complex nonsense with just a simple observation; another of my favorite points is about UFO and aliens: why do they come to the earth? what is so special about us? if they have machines that can come here from another planet/solar system/galaxy, hover above us for long periods, fly around at high speeds with amazing acceleration and deceleration, and stay up there without running out of energy/food/oxygen (or whatever they need to sustain themselves), their technology must be much more advanced than ours, so why do they choose us to look at and not some other creatures more clever than these primitive earth beings? you will only get yourself further into dilemma if you reply "maybe there are no other creatures for them to look at" (then why do you believe in UFOs/aliens? maybe there are no other creatures besides us) or "maybe earth IS special" (which makes your belief religious, not scientific).

This was the reply I gave when someone emailed me about my article on Chinese ancient history, whether Fuxi/Nvwa might be aliens since they were half human and half snake - I did not hear from her again.


Time Machine

Scientists have invented the time machine, allowing them to go to the future or back to the past. While some people doubt this, archaeologists have discovered evidence like finding up fragments of Coca Cola bottles among ancient ruins. Since producing such material is beyond the level of technology of the ancient people, they must have used a time machine to travel to our world as tourists, and for sovenirs they bought Coca Cola bottles to take back. Similarly, we sometimes meet people who say they are 250 years old, or who we heard already died. Clearly, they are actually people from the past who used a time machine to travel to our times.

Recently, Leslie Cheung was sighted in South America, together with Teresa Teng and Adolf Hitler. Some believe they had doubles who died and they themselves escaped, but actually, I believe they used a time machine to go to the future before dying, so though they are actually dead, they could still reach us afterwards. In fact they can come and go back many times before they died, so we might see them again next time.

Having settled this scientifically, we clearly see great benefit in having a time machine; for example, you can go back to the past and be present at your own birth, even do a DNA test to prove that you are really you. If you dont like yourself very much, prevent your parents from getting married and stop your own birth. If many people did this, there will be no problem of overpopulation.

If you dont know how to prevent a boy and a girl falling in love, you can just kill one of them, which is equally effective for stopping your own birth. Also, you can kill any of your ancesters before he/she has a child. But this would prevent not just yourself, but a whole tree of descendents from being born. You should have the courtesy to ask your cousins whether they would like to be born or not, and carry out a consensus decision.

Also, if you go 10 years into the future and retrieve stock prices from databases for the previous 10 years, then come back; you can buy shares low and sell them high for 10 years, making yourself billions of dollars. You will be richer than George Soros, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates combined, maybe even richer than Saddam Hussein. Another method is to collect the numbers of winning lottery tickets, come back and try to find them; unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to know which shop was given ticket with particular number, so if you have a solution, let me know.

I once went to the future, but unfortunately, I discovered that in ten years I will be old, fat, bald and ugly, and no girl wants to have sex with me. What's the use of having billions of dollars but no sex? It depressed me so much that I forgot how to come back. So I am stuck in the future. I was worried that my employer, without me, would not be able to achieve worldclass excellence. So I got Iraqi scientists to make an exact double of me and it took my place. So if you see me walking around, it is actually not me; the real me you will only see 10 years from now.

I really look forward to meeting my clone in 10 years; want to pitch my chinese brain against the iraqi copy... 



Cell Phone Deals




Scientists have just invented cloning. You take the cell of an animal and produce a new animal from it that is an exact copy, by recycling its genes. You can do this with frogs, sheep, cattle, etc., and soon the method will be used to allow infertile couples to have biological children by putting their genes into donated eggs.

But actually this is not new. Many religions believe that when people and animals die, their souls get recycled into new people and animals, except that they call it reincarnation. Of course souls are not copied, just get new bodies, but I am sure scientists can fix that up soon.

In fact, it is possible that soul duplication has already happened without us knowing it. For example, when the Dalai Lama dies, he is supposed to be reborn, but usually several babies come forward all claiming to be the next Dalai Lama, and the monks have to find ways to choose one. This is a difficult task, and if two of the babies have cloned souls, then the job becomes even more difficult.

The soul of a bad person can be reincarnated into an animal, and vice versa. Princes, for example, get recycled as frogs. When the dinosaurs went extinct, their souls got reincarnated as different animals like birds and mammals, and some of them might have become humans later. Perhaps that is why there are the occasional people who remember seeing coughing Brontosauruses catching bronchitis, when a big meteor hit the earth and raised a huge duststorm.

When Hong Kong killed one million chickens to prevent the spread of birdflu in 1997, and Thailand and Malaysia in 2004, a large number of souls were made available for recycling. Malaysia also had to kill a million  pigs to save people from Hendra virus in 1999. Because of the law of supply and demand, the price of new humans dropped. Applying economic principles to biology can produce unexpected results. Like, frog legs from recycled souls of princes command a premium price because of rarity. If they were recycled from Hong Kong chickens, that would not be the case.

But the most significant scientific discovery is that both genetically and environmentally, good parents have important beneficial effects on their children. This is why when your soul is recycled, be sure to choose your parents very carefully. A mistake can give you an unhappy life...

Hairy Potter and the Golden Chamberpot

Once upon a time there was a boy with long hair who learned to do pottery; people called him Hairy Potter. He was most proficient in making and repairing chamberpots.

As you know, chamberpots are used to hold urine, and urine contains salt and is corrosive. If you use base metals like copper or iron, the pots would soon rust and develop holes. This is why Hairy Potter invented the golden chamberpot: Gold does not rust, and his chamberpots lasted a lifetime. In fact, they can be passed from generation to generation, and were family heirlooms.

Soon, it became fashionable to collect antique chamberpots, and to study how their designs evolved over the centuries since Hairy Potter first invented them. You immediately notice a difference in the shape after a bi-sexual version was developed - previously, chamberpots were only used by women, because the men were able to go out at night and pass urine in the street, and did not require internally deployed hamberpots like women needed. However, after the invention of beer, men often developed an urgent need to pass urine at night, too hurried (and too drunk) to go out to do it. The bisexual version of the chamberpot also reduced road deaths, since men concentrating on the effort of passing in the street were often knocked down by passing carriages and horse riders.

Not long ago, scientists were able to invent new types of material that are equally corrosion resistent but lighter weight and less expensive than gold. This has made chamberpots, whether unisex or single sex, accessible to the masses. Even people who can afford golden chamberpots now prefer to buy ceramic or acrylic based products.

Recently, there was a new institute named after Hairy Potter established in Singapore, to study consumer behaviour with chamberpots and related products. It shows the vital place chamberpots hold in modern society.