Farty's Fortunes

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Science Lesson

Apparently standards in teaching science in schools is are falling. Also English.

According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, schoolkids nowadays seem to know little or nothing of phlogiston, necromancy, dihydrogen monoxide, the epicyclic theory of geocentrism or even the steady-state universe. Nope, anything they don't understand is explained by the simple expedient of "Intelligent Design". And no wonder, with the state of education the way it is.

Claim: Carelessness causes fire.
Wrong. Fire is a self-sustaining exothermic reaction between a combustible material and an oxidizer, caused by an initial input of heat.

Claim: Invisibility Cloaks can be applied from a distance, so that the person rendered invisible can still "see out".
Remote Cloak
Nonsense. As any Harry Potter fan knows, anyone wearing an invisibility cloak can see perfectly well without any outside help.

Claim: Using a chaotic design, boffins can create chameleon circuits that change their behaviour according to the task at hand.
Chameleon Circuit
Chameleon circuit? Why does that expression ring a bell? Click on image to find out.

And now we're being told that lemmings are being driven to the brink of extinction by the wrong kind of snow.
Pur-lease! Everyone knows what kills lemmings.

I weep for the younger generation, le sigh.


Self & Co. said...

ooooooo.... the Tardis!

Ed said...

Each generation gets stoopider. It's like we've hit the pinnacle of smart and are on the downswing.

PS - You HAVE to drop by my Tue blog post with your support. It's a call to all international allies to support VE in his time of need. Many thanks...

unmitigated me said...

This is really long, but it gives me hope for the future of science:

Dr. Schambaugh, of the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical Engineering, Final Exam question for May of 1997. Dr. Schambaugh is known for asking questions such as, "why do airplanes fly?" on his final exams. His one and only final exam question in May 1997 for his Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer II class was: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, We postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, then you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and 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 in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. Two options exist:

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 quote given to me by Theresa Manyan during Freshman year, "that it will be a cold night in hell before I sleep with you" and take into account the fact that I still have NOT succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then Option 2 cannot be true...Thus, hell is exothermic."

I've Been Mugged said...

Lemmings - yummy.

Laurie said...

The science standards in this country are WAY worse, and are constantly under attack by IDiots who would like to take us back to the dark ages. And Dihydrogen Monoxide. Don't even get me started. That stuff is everywhere. It contributes to numerous deaths each year in all three of its states, as well as being a greenhouse gas. It's even part of the lemming problem. The Environmental Protection Agency should really set standards for it!

Mr Farty said...

Laura - Cool, huh?

VE - Done.

MAW - I heard he was the only kid to get an "A". There's hope for us yet.

IBM - Lemmings are better than haggis.

Laurie - I'm tempted to sign the petition to ban DHMO, but don't want to be labelled a dumbass.

Vodka Mom said...

That was good, Mr. Farty. Now, why does it stink over here?

Laurie said...

Nobody'd ever label you a dumbass, Mr Farty. Now smartass, on the other hand....

Grit said...

do not worry, mr farty. the gritlets are safe from dumbed down standards. only yesterday we invented a robot to catch the mouse that we saw running across the kitchen floor. we want that mouse. we need to blow it up in the name of science.

Mr Farty said...

VM - See my earlier post It's Not Rocket Salad, where all is explained.

Laurie - I'll take that as a compliment.

Grit - Blowing things up in the name of science. Good times!