The Fourth law of Thermodynamics

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


After yesterday’s rant I though it was time for something a little less intense today. So in this post I am going to talk a bit about the Fourth Law Of Thermodynamics.

Say what??? Don’t worry, if you have read any of my previous posts you will already be familiar with this Law as I have highlighted many examples.

The Fourth Law Of Thermodynamics is a derivative of Murphy’s Law, and can be defined as follows:

“If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong, especially under pressure.”


The original Murphy’s Law actually reads:

“If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it that way.”


Although it sounds Irish, Murphy’s law seems to have originated with a Captain Edward A. Murphy, who was an American engineer at Muroc, California (later named Edwards Air Force Base).  In 1949 he was working on a rocket sled project to test the tolerances of the human body to acceleration and sudden braking.  The machinery kept failing mainly due to human error. For example in one experiment that involved a set of sixteen accelerometers mounted on different parts of a subject’s body. There were only two ways the sensors could be mounted and Murphy found that someone had methodically glued all sixteen in place the wrong way. Exasperated by the stupid technician, Murphy said, ‘If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll  find it.’

Air Force Flight Surgeon, John Paul Stapp, picked up on Murphy’s phrase and used at a press conference. After that it was adopted first by others within the aerospace industry, but gradually became a popular everyday saying.


As with any good idea, Murphy’s Law evolved to fit various scenarios.


For example, the 1st Amendment states that,

“If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.”


The 2nd Amendment,

“If you realize that there are three possible ways in which something can go wrong, and cover them all, then a fourth, unprepared for way, will miraculously appear out of thin air.”


The 3rd Amendment,

“When something breaks, the parts damaged are in direct proportion to their value.”


And the 4th Amendment,

“The failure does not appear until the machinery has passed its final inspection.”


Despite whatever else you may think it is quite remarkable just how often one variant or the other of Murphy’s Law holds up, especially when you add an idiot or two to the mix.


Finally there are what have been called the “Lesser Known Murphy’s Laws which include things like,


“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”


“He who laughs last, thinks slowest.”


“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.”


“Those who live by the sword, get shot by those who don’t.”


“Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.”


“The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.”


“If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them, five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.”


“If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.”


“The things that come to those who wait will be the things left by those who got there first.”


“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day, drinking beer.”


“Flashlight: A metal tube used to store dead batteries.”


“The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.”


“A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.”



A Short Moment Of Triumph, And Then An Idiot Walked In

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


When I was writing the post “When One Door Shuts Another One Closes” a couple of days ago it reminded me of a short time I spent on a very small island in the West Indies. I was there with a couple of colleagues to reconnoiter the area for a small development that was being planned.

We were there for four or five days (I can’t exactly remember, it was a long time ago) but I had rented a little island house for us. It was a nice place, spotlessly clean and had everything we needed. There was no air conditioning but there were huge ceiling fans so it was comfortable enough.

The only problem was that the net on the screen door into the main living room from the patio had been torn by whoever was in the house previously and not repaired, It was just a little tear on the bottom right corner where someone had accidently put their foot through it, but it was more than enough to allow the dreaded mosquitoes access any time they wanted. And they wanted access most of the time!

I reported the problem to the guy in charge and he said that he would get their maintenance people to look after it. Sounded good, and I’m sure he meant every word of it, but I had some experience of Caribbean island life and let’s just say urgency is definitely not one of the things they major in. Life on all the islands is very relaxed and easy going, and in my opinion all the better and healthier for it.

So realizing help would not be at hand during our short time in the house I had a look round the kitchen for something I could use to fix the problem myself. I finally found part of a role of duck tape and a few other bits and bobs. It took me a number of attempts, the air was so hot and humid that it was extremely difficult to get the tape to stick to the net and the door frame. But eventually I managed it.

A pretty job it was most definitely not, but I slid the door screen closed, got myself a cold beer from the refrigerator and sat back in one of the living room chairs to admire my hard work and ingenuity.

And then along came Bill and something like this happened. Some days you just can’t win!


When One Door Shuts, Another One Closes!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”



It never ceases to amaze me how really dumb some people are. We seem to have bred an incredibly stupid generation of people, and unfortunately the next generation is showing further signs of further intellectual deterioration too. It’s a good argument for a theory of deterioration rather than evolution!

I’m not just talking about some people not being able to grasp quantum physics theory. I’m talking about morons who cannot grasp the fundamentals of life.

For example, my blog friend recently posted an article about a new app for phones giving people information about how to eat correctly. I know this app was probably more than that, but it made me comment that soon people will need an app to know how to chew and then swallow. It really does seem to be getting that bad.

One of the first things we learn as children, after first words, first steps and all that good stuff, is how to navigate the great barrier that we call a door. Most children master this without too much difficulty  –  the opening bit at least, kids are not so hot on closing doors which does provide more than a little irritation at times. For many years we have had ordinary doors and still do in most places.

I’m sure this is not the reason at all, but I like to imagine that the people who invested the automatic door did so because they recognized that idiots couldn’t handle ordinary doors.

We all know how they work, you walk up to them, a sensor recognizes you are there, the door opens automatically, and you walk through.


For normal people, yes. For the stupid beyond belief, no!

Have a look at the videos. By the way, there’s one showing a woman and one showing a man. There is absolute sexual equality when it comes to morons.

Enjoy or cringe or hide behind the sofa.


 .(Acknowledgements to FunnyEmails for bringing this firs one to my attention)