A chemist, an engineer and a mathematician were all asleep in a
hotel when several fires broke out in their respective rooms.
The chemist woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, pulled out
his CRC (chemistry handbook), and began working out all sorts of
fluid dynamics equations. After a couple minutes, he threw down his
pencil, got a graduated cylinder out of his suitcase, and measured
out a precise amount of water. He threw it on the fire,
extinguishing it, with not a drop wasted, and went back to sleep.
The engineer woke up, saw the fire, ran into the bathroom, turned on
the faucets full-blast, flooding out the entire apartment, which put
out the fire, and went back to sleep.
The mathematician woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, began
working through theorems, lemmas, hypotheses, you-name-it, and after
a few minutes, put down his pencil triumphantly and exclaimed, "I
have proven that I can put the fire out!" He then went back to sleep.
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