Friday, February 07, 2003

Hot as Hell

Bonus Question on a chemistry mid-term at the University of Washington: 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 leaves 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, " will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having an affair with her, then #2 above cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze over."

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

As I Said To Myself At Davos

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has divined the mood of America:

I've had a chance to travel all across the country since September, and I can say without hesitation there was not a single audience I spoke to where I felt there was a majority in favor of war in Iraq. The dominant mood is: "Mr. President, we don't want to be against you in a war on terrorism. But do we really have to do this? My 401(k) is now a 201(k), heading for a 101(k). Osama bin Laden is still on the loose. The Europeans are uncovering new terrorist cells right and left. And I have walked through so many airport metal detectors in the last year that I now glow in the dark. I understand what the Afghan war was about and would have volunteered with a pitchfork — but I just don't get this war."

I don't care what the polls say, this is the real mood.

Mr. Friedman divined America's mood by doing a book publicity tour. Why didn't Dick Wirthlin think of that?


Secretary of State Colin Powell ably represented his country at the United Nations today. You can read the full transcript of his speech by clicking here.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Ellisblog News

The nearly universal reaction to daily weight posting was negative, so out with that. Also, blogging will be light for the month of February. The good news is that Ellisblog is now one year old. The bad news is it still doesn't make any money at all. 224 pounds.

The Odd Couple

John Vinocur has an excellent piece in today's IHT about the impact of the German elections on the German-French anti-war alliance. Grandiosity has now left the leadership of both nations badly exposed.