Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Exams and devious answers

Today has had heavy traffic on the mail forwards front.... especially examples of sarcastic/humorous answers to various exam papers...

Thus... me feels the need to spread such pearls...

Another one I'd got aeons back... good read though

The following is 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.
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 off when it expands and heats up 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 that souls are moving into Hell and the rate
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 Sandra
during my Freshman year, "...that it 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."


* I obvously don't garuntee that these were actual answers to actual questions at actual exams!