An acquaintance of mine was hired as a research assistant by the physics department of a West Coast university to investigate the thermodynamic properties of wood. Two weeks after starting work he was approached by an encyclopedia salesman who explained that purchase of the encyclopedia entitled the buyer to have any three special questions answered completely. To save himself a great deal of work, the researcher bought the encyclopedia, stipulating for his first free question a full dissertation on the thermodynamic properties of wood.
Three weeks later the head of the physics department called the research assistant into his office and said, "We have a request from an encyclopedia company. One of their customers has asked for a report on the thermodynamic properties of wood. Please prepare the report for them."