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Murphy's Law Proven (Scott Davies)
(original, chuckle, physics)

		   News From the Physics Frontier:
	      Murphy's Law Proven with Quantum Mechanics

    In a startling new development in the field of physics, U.C.
Berkeley professor Erwin Brodinger claims to have proven the validity
of Murphy's Law--the "law" which states that anything that can go
wrong will do so, and at the worst possible moment--with quantum

    "I won't go into the details," said Brodinger, "because it'd take
you 50 years to understand them (if you're lucky).  Suffice it to say
that computer simulation has shown that, given the universe's most
probable configuration, the quantum mechanical state corresponding to
an intelligent being saying 'Holy shit!  I'm FUCKED!' in its native
language happens to be an extremely likely one.  This is just one of
several theoretical predictions I've worked out which show the
vailidity of Murphy's Law."

    Perhaps the most significant of these other predictions is what
has become known the the physics community as the paradox of
Brodinger's Dog.

   "Basically, the idea behind Brodinger's Dog is that when a poodle
takes a dump, the resulting doodie isn't really here, there, or
anywhere in particular.  It's in a quantum-mechanical superposition of
locations, smeared out exponentially over a 10-foot or so radius--
until, that is, an observer steps into the general vicinity.  Then,
and only then, does it decide where it really is.  As it turns out,
unfortunately, 97.4% of the time it decides it's right under the
observer's foot."

    Does this only hold for poodles?

    "Well, while doing the calculations, I made a minor
simplification: in the models I used, the dog was assumed to be about
half the size of an atomic nucleus.  While I'm positive this
assumption wouldn't prevent my results from applying to small dogs,
I'm not sure about really big dogs, like, say, German Shepherds."

    In collaboration with another Berkeley professor, Wiener
Heifenburg, Brodinger also helped to formulate the Heifenberg
Certainty Principle, which is stated as follows: the certainty that
you are about to make an incredibly stupid and embarrassing mistake is
directly proportional to the total importance of the people currently
watching you.

    Brodinger says his work was inspired by an instance last summer
in which he was maimed by a pack of rabid platypuses marauding the
south side of campus.  "Right before a hot date I had that night,
too," the professor sighed.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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