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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The following is an actual question given on a   University of  Arizona chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student...........

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, which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. There fore, 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.' 

Stand up for CSN. Tell the legislature to vote for funding.

Maybe you read the article about the Funding Formula Legislative Committee Meeting in today's Sun.  Several individuals were quoted in the article, and none said anything positive about the proposed funding formula.  UNLV students were asked to show up in force to ask for increased funding for UNLV.  CSN faculty need to show up in force to ask the Legislative committee to approve the NSHE approved funding formula.  If it is not passed tomorrow, it is unlikely CSN will see increased funding and the chronic underfunding will continue.

Let me put it in numbers.  All these numbers address the general fund appropriations from the state.  I will assume constant dollars over the next years and compare everything to the funding for 2012, which was $77.5 million for CSN.  Without the funding formula, CSN will receive something near that $77.5 million plus a possible small increase based on the hope that the economy will improve.  The proposed funding formula includes letting institutions keep their tuition which benefits CSN about $6 million and this is included in these scenarios.  If the funding formula as written is approved, and they implement the drastic mitigation approved the the Regents for 4 years, over those 4 years CSN will gain about $37.8 million compared  to what we would have gotten without the formula.  We would only lose about $8.2 million to mitigation.  That is about $37.8 million gain to CSN with the formula and about $0 without the formula total for 4 years.  If the mitigation is ended after 2 years, CSN would gain about $16.8 million total for those 2 years, and only lose $5.2 million to mitigation.  That is about $16.8 million gain to CSN with the formula and about $0 without the formula.

I think it is pretty clear that CSN benefits in a big way if the proposed funding formula passes.  The comments from the committee were fairly negative about the proposed funding formula.  There is nothing else that will or can be approved by that committee.  There is no alternative as I see it - it will be an up or down vote on the proposed funding formula with a few modifications.  We need many CSN faculty and students to speak during public comment and support the proposed funding formula.  Public comment starts at 9AM in the second floor ballroom of the UNLV Student Union Building.  Please let faculty who have to get back for a class speak first.  Everyone needs to provide support for the formula, in your own words.  I mentioned several aspects of the formula to mention in a previous email.  Nothing else really matters on this issue.

Dr. Charles P. Milne, Jr.
Faculty Senate Chair
Faculty Senate Office W32E
WC E 314A

Earlier this month, Mitt Romney was welcomed for a campaign event at the Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, by hundreds of coal workers and their families. Now many of the mine's workers are saying they were forced to give up a day-worth of pay to attend the event, and they feared they might be fired if they didn’t, according to local news radio WWVA.

The claims have been mostly denied by Rob Moore, Chief Financial Officer of Murray Energy Company, which owns the mine. He acknowledges that workers weren’t paid that day but says no one was made to attend the event. Well, kind of.

Register to vote

Voting is an important civic responsibility. Make sure you are registered to vote by Oct. 6 so that you can vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

            To register or to update your registration online, go to 

'Star Wars' 3-D releases taking page out of 1997 reissue

"Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" will hit theaters three weeks apart in 2013.

Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox are taking a page out of the successful 1997 re-release of the original "Star Wars" trilogy as they prepare for a 3-D launch of two more movies from the space saga next year.
"Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" and "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," the fifth and sixth movies in George Lucas' science-fiction franchise -- but the second and third chronologically -- will be released in 3-D on Sept. 20, 2013 and Oct. 11, 2013, respectively. Lucasfilm announced the news on itsFacebook page Monday.
To read more on this story go to the Los Angeles Times by clicking on More...

In the past two weeks YouTube viewers have spent over 20 cumulative years of Romney and Obama videos....

From National Public Radio's Morning Edition(click here for audio, print and video access).

A screenshot of Bill Nye discussing creationism and evolution in a popular YouTube video.
The explosively silly, manically paced music video "Gangnam Style" from South Korea has been getting about three million views a day on . Youtube. The company's trends manager, Kevin Allocca, said yes, Korean pop — K-Pop — is big, which we'vetalked about before.
But Allocca also brought up educational and science videos as major trends. Really.
"Educational videos have been viewed seventy percent more this summer than last summer," he says, citing the popularity of entire channels including Minute Physics and ASAPScience, as well as science star Bill Nye. Nye, Allocca says, happens to be one of the top rising searches on Youtube. That's partly because of a recent video in which Nye provocatively suggested to creationists that they refrain from teaching their kids to deny evolution.
"Because we need them," he explained. "We need scientifically literate votersand taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems."
That video got over a million views in less than a week, says Allocca. Now it's one of Youtube's most-viewed and most-discussed videos. He adds one sign that science videos are trending is when you see famous physicists getting autotuned and remixed.
It's less surprising that presidential politics are also trending. Hugely. "Just in the past 30 days, we estimate that our viewers have spent more than 20 years watching Obama and Romney videos," Allocca says, with the slightest note of rue.
What's really rather amazing is the fact, Allocca adds, is that since April, almost 600,000 videos have been posted on YouTube mentioning one of the candidates in some way. That'squadruple the 136,000 videos posted during the same period during the last election in 2008.

Can You Learn While You're Asleep?

Research suggests basic forms of learning are possible while snoozing.
Research suggests basic forms of learning are possible while snoozing.
If you're a student, you may have harbored the fantasy of learning lessons while you sleep. Who wouldn't want to stick on a pair of headphones, grab some shut-eye with a lesson about, say, Chinese history playing in his ears — and wake up with newly acquired knowledge of the Ming Dynasty?
Sadly, it doesn't work. The history lesson either keeps you from going to sleep, or it doesn't — in which case you don't learn it.
But researchers may have taken the first baby step to making the fantasy come true: In an unusual experiment published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers Anat ArziIlana Hairston and others showed that people are capable of learning simple lessons while fast asleep.

The researchers sprayed volunteers with pleasant and unpleasant smells while they were fast asleep. Exactly like people who are awake, the sleeping volunteers took bigger breaths when there was a pleasant smell and a smaller breath when there was an unpleasant smell.
The researchers also paired each kind of smell with a particular sound. After repeated pairings of, say, a pleasant smell with a high-pitched beep, the researchers played the high-pitched beep without the smell: They found the volunteers took a big gulp of air. At least subconsciously, in other words, they were expecting the pleasant smell.
The researchers similarly paired an unpleasant smell – rotting fish – with another kind of tone. After repeated pairings, the tone alone caused the volunteers to take a smaller breath.
The phenomenon is known as conditioning, a simple form of learning made famous byIvan Pavlov and his dog.
When the volunteers woke up, the researchers played the different tones to them. They found that the high-pitched beep caused the volunteers to take a big breath and the low-pitched beep caused the volunteers to take a small breath.
In other words, the conditioning lesson learned while the volunteers were asleep stayed with them after they awoke. Interestingly, the volunteers had no conscious recollection of having learned anything while they were sleeping.
Hairston said the research could help unlock the effects that sleep has on different brain processes. It's been known for a while that a nap can help cement things you've learned; Hairston said the sleep mechanisms that consolidate knowledge may explain why volunteers in the current experiment were able to bring what they learned during sleep into waking hours.
Practical applications of the conditioning technique are still far off, of course. But speculating about potential future uses, Hairston said: "A medical student can learn a list of body organs. You can perhaps pair different organs with smells. So you pair the thalamus with the smell of lemon, and the hippothalamus with the smell of orange blossom. When you wake up, you will have a better recollection of that list!"

YouTube News

YouTube gives wacky anchorman Philip DeFranco greater exposure


YouTube news
Philip DeFranco does a run-through for a segment of "The Philip DeFranco Show" on YouTube at his studio in Woodland Hills. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / August 21, 2012)

The anchorman wears "Bite Me" T-shirts instead of a suit and tie, has traded the traditional anchor's desk for a red couch decorated with "Angry Birds" dolls, and delivers hyper-caffeinated headlines like a wacky Walter Winchell for the Web.
He's YouTube's Philip DeFranco. His humorous, opinionated 10-minute news roundup attracts as many as 3 million views per episode — at its best, surpassing the average viewership of such recognizable programs as CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," HLN's "Nancy Grace," MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" and even Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
Now DeFranco's work will get greater exposure with the opening of the Republican National Convention, as part of YouTube's new Elections Hub. He will join ABC News, Al Jazeera English, the New York Times, Wall Street Journaland Univision in providing convention news and analysis and ongoing coverage of the campaign through the Nov. 6 election.
YouTube's political effort reflects the growing importance of the Internet as a source of campaign news for people younger than 30. The campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney have uploaded more than 600 videos to their respective YouTube channels since April 2011, and those campaign videos, and others mentioning the two presidential candidates, have attracted almost 2 billion views on YouTube, said Olivia Ma, YouTube's news and politics manager.
"We've seen there is a huge demand for political news on YouTube," Ma said.
Google Inc.'s YouTube is not alone in recognizing the shifting media landscape. Microsoft Corp. said it would provide live coverage of the presidential debates through its Xbox Live, which is available to the 40 million people who access the Internet service through their game consoles.
Most Americans still get their campaign news from cable news outlets, according to a report released this year by Pew Research Center. Still, the number of people going online to keep abreast of political news has nearly tripled since 2000 — even though the growth has leveled off in the current election year because of a lack of interest among the younger users who are the most avid consumers of Internet news, Pew found.
DeFranco, who works under a stage name for safety reasons, connects with a young, predominantly male audience. Two-thirds of "The Philip DeFranco Show's" 2.1 million subscribers are boys and men ages 13 to 34, who are enticed to the four-day-a-week segments by what DeFranco describes as "shallow news" (think Kardashians or Prince Harry cavorting in Las Vegas in the buff). But he also tackles weightier matters, such as Ecuador granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
On a recent morning, the 26-year-old DeFranco decamped to his studio to record a segment about nine Russians activists suing pop star Madonna for supporting gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg, where promoting homosexuality to young people is banned. He stands in his studio facing a camera mounted on a tripod supported by a trio of paint cans. To his left, propped on a metal step-stool, are his MacBook laptop and a giant iced coffee.
Working without a script or a teleprompter, DeFranco reads online news accounts on his laptop before riffing maniacally about the Madonna lawsuit — starting and stopping eight times before nailing his opening line. "Russia, I love you. You give us flexible gymnasts, mail-order brides and those little dolls that have little dolls inside of them," he says. "But today you're making me do something I hate and that is defending Madonna."
It takes roughly 25 minutes for DeFranco to complete the fleeting segment, which will be edited into the jump-cut, staccato style familiar to his viewers.
DeFranco lacks any formal journalism training. The Brooklyn-born host caught the YouTube bug as a pre-med student in North Carolina, when he began uploading videotaped responses to other YouTubers' videos. He left school in 2007, when YouTube began offering its most prolific content creators a share of advertising revenue.
Initially, DeFranco struggled to survive, at one point living out of his car for a week before moving in with his father in Tampa, Fla. — on condition that he return to college.
"I signed up for classes — but I never actually went. I waited tables and I would make videos when he was asleep," DeFranco said. "It was something that I really, really loved."
DeFranco's passion and perseverance were ultimately rewarded: "The Philip DeFranco Show" has attracted more than 950 million total video views since it launched in 2006, dwarfing YouTube channels operated by such traditional outlets as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and ABC News.
In January, he started a sister channel, SourceFed, financed as part of YouTube's $100-million original channel initiative. Its staff of nine produces four or five topical news videos a day, each exploring a single topic. Now, DeFranco and his staff work out of a new 9,000-square-foot production studio in Woodland Hills, which also houses a T-shirt and poster business that helps support the Web venture.
Last week, he and his team were furiously preparing to cover one of the biggest news events of the year – as first-time, credentialed journalists. A whiteboard in executive producer James Haffner's office is filled with coverage plans for upcoming conventions, with segments including a primer on how to vote and an examination of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's economic plan.
"We've been pre-taping like crazy," DeFranco said. "Because, in a way, we are representing YouTube, and it's something that I take very seriously."
Even his father was impressed when his son hosted a popular Discovery Channel show this month.
"It wasn't until my dad saw me on 'Shark Week,'" DeFranco said, "He was like, 'Oh, OK, I get it.'"