A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 12, 2017
“An engineer, a physicist, and a statistician are all sleeping in a hotel…” (joke)

"An engineer, a physicist, and a statistician are all sleeping in a hotel” is the start of a popular joke. A fire starts in the hotel, and the engineer and the physicist propose ways of putting it out. The statistician spreads the fire, shouting, “We need more data!”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 2011.


I was wandering...AND I FOUND
(Date unknown, but cited below on July 1, 2011.—ed.)
An engineer, a physicist and a statistician are in a hotel when a fire starts.
“Pour water on it!” Cries the engineer.
“No, remove the oxygen!” Says the physicist.
The statistician, seeing their disagreement, frantically runs round the hotel starting fires.
“What the hell are you doing?” the other two ask.
“Creating a decent sample size.

Twitter
David‏
@adlhancock
“An engineer, a physicist and a statistician are in a hotel when a fire starts. “Pour water on it!”...” http://tumblr.com/x4739nmxgi
3:09 AM - 1 Jul 2011

Reddit—Jokes
An engineer, physicist, and a statistician in a hotel room…
submitted February 20, 2016 by a10killer
So an engineer, a physicist, and a statistician are all sleeping in a hotel room when suddenly an outlet catches fire. The engineer wakes up first and says to himself “this is an electrical fire, water won’t work!” And runs to grab a fire extinguisher. The physicist wakes up next and thinks to himself “we have to cut the electricity off!” And runs to the power panel in the basement. The statistician wakes up and looks around, he then screams “we need more data!!” And he sets the curtains on fire.

Reddit—Jokes
An engineer, a physicist and a statistician are on vacation ..
submitted November 1, 2016 by TheHickoryDickoryDoc
...staying in a hotel, when a fire breaks out.
As a fire squad enter the engineer’s room they see that he’s already at work, broken the electric supply and dousing the fire with a bucketful of water.
So they go to the physicist’s room; he greets them with a broad smile and a mathematical proof written on a paper. “I’ve conclusively proved that this fire can be put out using the extinguisher in the lobby, no worries!”, he exclaims.
At last when they open the statistician’s room, they are surprised to find him running about like a madman, throwing curtains and sheets in the fire. “We need more samples! we need more samples!!”, he shouts.

Reddit—Jokes
So an engineer, a physicist, and a statistician are all sleeping in a hotel
submitted October 13, 2017 by Transonik
suddenly an outlet catches fire. The engineer wakes up first and says to himself “this is an electrical fire, water won’t work!” And runs to grab a fire extinguisher. The physicist wakes up next and thinks to himself “we have to cut the electricity off!” And runs to the power panel in the basement. The statistician wakes up and looks around, he then screams “we need more data!!” And he sets the curtains on fire.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityHotels • Thursday, October 12, 2017 • Permalink