Here’s a problem that *sounded* impossible… I almost regret posting the story to a wide audience, because it makes a great tale over drinks at a conference. :-) The story is slightly altered in order to protect the guilty, elide over irrelevant and boring details, and generally make the whole thing more entertaining.
I was working in a job running the campus email system some years ago when I got a call from the chairman of the statistics department.
„We’re having a problem sending email out of the department.“
„What’s the problem?“ I asked.
„We can’t send mail more than 500 miles,“ the chairman explained.
I choked on my latte. „Come again?“
„We can’t send mail farther than 500 miles from here,“ he repeated. „A little bit more, actually. Call it 520 miles. But no farther.“