While Murphy's Law is commonly quoted in laboratories all over the English-speaking world, few have heard of the tragic life of the original Murphy, a man whose life makes one of the saddest stories in the history of science. The disasters and near-disasters began almost as soon as he was born, and dogged him all of his days. For example, Murphy was to be named after the novelist Charlotte Bronte, and was only saved the ignominy of being called Charlotte because the registry clerk who handled the case was cross-eyed.
|Henry Handel Murphy, shortly before his death.|
His magnets were another failure, as they tended to change their polarisation without warning, and sometimes even to develop identical poles at both ends, at which point the magnets would repel themselves into a small heap of iron filings.
His critics even offer quotations to prove their case, but we now know that what Murphy actually said was that the bun was the lowest form of wheat. Regrettably, it seems that the agricultural reporter to whom he spoke had been keeping an ear to the ground, and still had mud in his ears.
It is believed that this fragment represents the moment, just before the trap door opens under the lagerphone players. They weren't prepared, either!
The first picture? Enoch Rudder. The second? Look, if you need to be told (and that's above average), you're better off not asking.