There were once three acedimians, an engineer, a physicist, and a
mathematician visiting a small town for a conference. They found themselves
forced to share a room in one of the most dirty, dingy, and really low
quality hotels that they had ever seen. The room that the had was on the
third floor, and the nearest working bathroom was on the fourth.
ate that night, the engineer awoke, and decided to avail himself of the
lavatory facilities. Going up the stairs, he smelled smoke, and indeed, at
the end of the hall he saw a fire. Finding a hose on the wall, he turned it
on, ran down the hall, and extinguished the fire. He then visited the
bathroom, and returned to bed.
An hour later, the physicist awoke, and felt the call of nature. As he
went upstairs, he smelled smoke, and found that there was a fire. Finding
the hose, he whipped out his calculator, figured out the amount of water
needed to extinguish a fire of that size, calculated the flow rate of the
hose, turned it on for exactly 15.24 minutes, and extinguished the fire. He
then used the bathroom, and returned to bed.
ater still, the mathematician awoke and decided that he needed to use the
bathroom. Going upstairs, he too found the olbligatory smoke and fire.
ooking around in a panic, he found the fire hose. He then said, "Aha! A
solution exists!" And after using the bathroom, he returned to bed.