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The Situation in Hell...

Discussion in 'The Humor Mill' started by Cruentus, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Cruentus

    Cruentus Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    So I was on the author page for a fic I've been reading, It's pretty good imo, but I'm hesitant to post it here, mabe in the future. Anyway he has a lot of little philosophical things posted that he thought was awesome, or funny. At the bottom of all that was this little jewl...

    The Situation in Hell

    The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

    Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

    As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

    With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I go out with you", and take into account the fact that I went out with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

    The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct . . . leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."

    THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A."

    I loled:awesome
     
  2. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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  3. Cruentus

    Cruentus Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Damn you Tehan! Now the laughter has been killed by you're unwanted proof, doesn't make it any less funny though.
     
  4. Fenraellis

    Fenraellis Chief Warlock

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    I first saw it in the early 2000's, but it is still quite amusing.
     
  5. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity Destroyer of Worlds ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I've seen a few of these and a few versions of this one in particular. There are several apocryphal stories of examination questions, though in truth, professors tend to shy away from them after trying them once and dealing with student backlash. (Professors learn very quickly not to give a shit about students; it's a survival trait, once they recognize that teaching fresh, new stuff is the eighth most important thing they might do at the University).

    Case in point: the fury I received from my 300 students when I did my obligatory stint as a Professor and asked on a midterm, "How big does the Death Star have to be in order to blow up the Earth?" then gave a bunch of data that might or might not be helpful: red light sabers emit light at 900 nm; the Death Star is a big capacitor bank with dielectric constant X, breakdown voltage Y, and can drive a laser with efficiency Z; assume the Earth has mass M and albedo of zero to Death Star Laser Light; recall that the Sun is 93 million miles from Earth and that the speed of light is 3 times 10^10 cm/s; etc. I got answers ranging from smaller than a proton to larger than the known universe. And a stern talking-to by the Vice Chair for Academics that students tend to dislike questions outside their comfort zones. This was one of many things that year that convinced me that academia just wasn't for me.

    A friend of mine had a question on his qualifying test at Princeton, "How far can a pigeon fly?" It's a surprisingly hard question, truth be told.

    One on my own qualifying exam at UCLA was, "Imagine you could design a solitary, perfect lens of arbitrary size to focus solar light. What's the hottest you could make the temperature inside the focus?"
     
  6. Scrib

    Scrib The Chosen One

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    If only my teachers had been so accomodating... Most of them didn't give a damn whether I was comfortable or not, they focused on whether I understood the topic. Fancy that...
     
  7. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity Destroyer of Worlds ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This is changing, as Conservatives have come to dominate state offices and Universities are increasingly required to adopt Univ. of Phoenix for-profit structure pricing models for higher education. 300 student lecture courses, where students largely don't complain about highly formulaic teaching? Good. Graduate seminars falling outside the neat little boxes? Not so much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    This is as funny now as it was the first several dozen times -- which is quite funny -- but really I've seen this so many times that at this point I've assumed absolutely everyone has seen it. Are you really only encountering it now OP?
     
  9. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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  10. Cruentus

    Cruentus Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Yes that is the first time I ever saw it, I've no good reason why I haven't seen it before now.
     
  11. Scrittore

    Scrittore Groundskeeper

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    I think is older than most of the posters on DLP.
     
  12. kalespr

    kalespr Fourth Year

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    I saw an older iteration of this back in the good old days of usenet and bbc's. Still good stuff. They just don't make spam like they used to. *shakes stick*
     
  13. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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    The version I first read deduced that Hell must be endothermic because insert-female-here said it'd be a cold day in hell before they'd sleep with the protagonist, and he still hasn't been successful, QED, endothermic.
     
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