Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Little Bit of This 'n That

The Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Shortlist has been announced. This is a reader's choice for the best, you can vote online, and you don't have to be going to Harrogate to do so. So don't be shy, have your say!

The shortlist is:

Strange Blood by Lindsay Ashford

The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards

The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

One Last Breath by Stephen Booth

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin

Go here to cast your vote.

I know you all think this is a no-brainer for me, but it isn't. There are some fantastic books on the list, The Torment of Others is one of my favourite Val books...

Still pissed off about the twisted stuff we call news after today's follow up - Titled "Just a happy two-year-old" followed by the intro, "Whenever his mother took Mark to the Richmond Hill home of Mike and Alla Adler, the toddler would run to the backyard and dip his feet in the pool."

That's how it came into my inbox. I go to see what "news" is actually there. See the side mention? It appears the nanny died trying to save the boy.

But the rest of the article is about the neighbourhood, what Mom did when she went to visit her friend, blah blah blah.

I remember, again, why I left journalism.

Courtesy of my friend Bill, one I'd heard before but if you haven't, you'll enjoy it!

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, 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

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 sleep with you," and take into account
the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two 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."



Erik Ivan James said...

Great story, Samdra. I'd have given the kid an A+ and exempted him from the next exam.

Elizabeth said...

I've read that story before and it makes me laugh out loud every time! Thanks for the chuckles...and, perhaps more important, the reminder of what kept me from going into journalism in the first place!

Elizabeth said...

I've read that story before and it makes me laugh out loud every time! Thanks for the chuckles...and, perhaps more important, the reminder of what kept me from going into journalism in the first place!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

That was good! LOL...I don't think I could get away with it!

JamesO said...

This reminds me of the (apocryphal) story of the Oxford philosophy student taking his final paper, which posed the question 'how can you be sure that the table at which you are sitting still exists when you are not in the room to see it?' To which he answered simply 'What table?'

My preferred answer to this question (which I did use in my psychology finals) was 'put an egg on it.'

ivan said...

Well, you are certainly a gatherer of information. I'm not voting for anybody quite yet, but as a once-Nutty Professor, I can just see myself taking a number of short stories and cross-referencing things with your "Fucked Again" piece.

The footnoting would be a gas.

"Cf "Fucked again'"
"Ibid 'Fucked Again""
"Op Cit 'Fucked Again'"
"* 'Fucked again'".
"+ "Fucked Again'".
"Double Dagger: "Fucked again'".

Would sure brighten a scholarly essay, especially in the footnoting.
Oh well,
Fucked again.

Tanginika-Simone said...

How are the sales of your book going, by the way?