January 1998

Columns

HPIn SHE: ...but totally useless!

Two women were crossing the U.S. in a hot air balloon. During the night, a violent storm blew, wrecking all their navigational systems. The storm stopped just before dawn, and as daylight came, they f..

Whetton, Chris, ility Engineering

Two women were crossing the U.S. in a hot air balloon. During the night, a violent storm blew, wrecking all their navigational systems. The storm stopped just before dawn, and as daylight came, they found themselves drifting over a small, sleepy Midwestern town. Greatly relieved, the two women descended to about 50 feet and started scanning the town, looking for some clue as to where they were. Finally, they saw a man walking down the street and one of the women shouted down: "Can you tell us where we are?" "You're in the basket of a hot air balloon, about 50 feet above the ground," came the reply. "Thank you," said the second woman. "You must be a reliability engineer."

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