Engineer Jokes

First off, if you’ve arrived here searching for engineer jokes, you might be disappointed. There is no engineer joke in this post.

So anyway, I don’t get this deal with the newfound arrogance of engineering I see around these days. Facebook’s full of it. There’s a horde of half-geeky slash semi-witty slash pure roundabout humour stuff with uncountable spelling and grammar mistakes being shared around, with a footnote to the effect of ‘Engineers made this. Engineers understand this. If you are not an engineer, you’re too dumb to get this. How superiorly cool is that?’ I’ll give you an example. The following is being circulated with the title ‘Engineers Rockz!!!’:

Engineers Rockz

Do you realize the problems with this kind of talent? Someone told you to establish that your parents were the same person, and you go through this brilliant but painful twisted logic to prove it. Then you take pride in it and share it around. At the same time you ridicule those who failed to accept this oblique suggestion that they owe their birth to what could only be imagined as some really twisted act of  masturbation (which I think explains why engineers must be a different species). Do you see the problem with being able to prove anything you’re asked to? Do you realize that’s a problem? Do you realize that’s giving away ultimate power to whoever asks you to do this? Do you think being able to dish out a solution, any solution, to any question, is awesome? Not. I’d much rather be the commerce or medical student.

And then this, the awesome ‘Engineer’s clock. Only engineers will understand this.’


(It actually says ‘Sheldon Cooper’s clock’. And he was a… what? Hint: not engineer. Remember the engineer in that show?) I mean, it’s finally a bunch of frivolity, dudes. Settle down, grow up. And relax, science students get it. At least there’s no reason to doubt that a significantly different (and necessarily lower) fraction of science students get it as compared to engineering students.

So who makes this stuff, anyway? To hell with whoever makes them. The creator is inconsequential. Why, my engineer friends (some, not all of them), do you suppose that they consist an argument for your intellectual superiority, and gladly hand it around under that label? Why do you circulate a photo of the German water bridge with a ‘this is what engineers do’ tag? You are not in Germany. You are in India. This is not what you do. You know very well what engineers do in India and what we have achieved till now. Not much, frankly. I’m not condemning having achieved next to nothing. Indian science lately hasn’t achieved much either. My point is, I don’t see ‘superior scientist’ labels slapped on half-baked nerd jokes and circulated on social networks. Why do you think is that?

Simplest Javascript Fade Animation

[UPDATE: There’s now a much better (shorter, cleaner, more modern) solution than using Javascript to fade elements in and out. Add a CSS3 transition property (tutorial here) to the elements you want to fade, then use Javascript only to set the opacity to the changed value. The transition will happen by itself. Although yes, the CSS3 sets a single fixed transition duration. If you want the fade animation on the same element occurring for different durations at different times, this code is still the only way out.]

I needed a simple code for Javascript fade animation, i.e. fading in and out of HTML elements, but couldn’t find online exactly what I wanted. Borrowing on the fundamental animation mechanism from this page, which is the closest I got, I wrote my own short code. It works in all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE). The same code works for both fading in and out, from whatever initial opacity value to whatever final value, depending on the arguments of the function. In the code, the arguments you can specify are the following: eid is the id of the HTML element you wish to run the fade on. The fade goes from the initial CSS opacity value initOp to the final value finalOp in time TimeToFade measured in milliseconds. You don’t have to specify the last parameter, time, which you’ll see if you look at the HTML that I’ve shown afterwards.


function fade(eid, initOp, finalOp, TimeToFade, time)
	if (initOp==0)
	var curTick = new Date().getTime();
	var elapsedTicks = curTick - time;
	var newOp = initOp+(finalOp-initOp)*elapsedTicks/TimeToFade;
	if (Math.abs(newOp-initOp)>Math.abs(finalOp-initOp))
		if (finalOp==0)
	setTimeout("fade( '" + eid + "'," + initOp + "," + finalOp + "," + TimeToFade + "," + time + ")", TimeToFade/100);


<div id="box">;
<input type="button" onclick="fade('box', 1, 0.3, 5000, new Date().getTime())" value="Fade"/>;

If you choose your element to be a div, all child elements in the div also fade. In the HTML, put the last argument of the function exactly as given. On clicking the button, this example fades out the box div from an opacity value of 1 to 0.3. If you fade it from 0.2 to 0.8, let’s say, it will fade in. Usually you would require to set initOp to whatever was the element’s opacity at the time you start the animation, but in general you could set it to something different, in which case the opacity of the element will sharply change to initOp the moment the animation function is called, then start its transition to finalOp.

I can’t include an example in this WordPress blog, but you can see this code in action in multiple fade animations at my homepage. [EDIT: Now I don’t use my code any more; I use the CSS3 transition like I mentioned.]

If you look at the Javascript again, you’ll see that the fade() function calls itself via the setTimeout() in the last line. The setTimeout delay has been chosen as 1/100th of the duration of your fade animation. You could also set this as a fixed number in milliseconds.  This delay does not determine the duration of the animation, only how many times fade() manages to run in that duration and the opacity value is updated. The shorter this delay, the smoother the fade animation; the longer, the choppier. It may however not always be a good idea to set it as something very small like 1 ms, say for long, slow fades, for which the fast, repeated computations for miniscule opacity changes are usually unnecessary.