November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
James O’Solvie, a mathematics professor at Pepperdine University, has completed a long-unsolved mathematical proof which has quickly led to the discovery that ‘faith’ is, in fact, a quantifiable force.
“Well, at least we think it’s a force,” O’Solvie said in an interview last Tuesday, “but it’s hard to be sure. We initially saw faith as a physical force, similar to the Newton, but last week it was really cold here–it was in the 50’s–and faith, you know, kept me warm. Heat is measured in Joules, so that… well, that sort of complicates things.”
Since its discovery, O’Solvie and several others have set out to uncover just how many different types of units faith can be converted into. In addition to Newtons and Joules, research so far has seen faith equivalents in Teslas, Amperes, minutes, meters, grams, and most recently, liters. With its exact qualities still unknown, O’Solvie has decided to call the unit of faith the ‘squint’, after the face people typically make when having faith. The mathematician says that the lack of conclusive information doesn’t bother him, and that he has, “about 17 squints that the answer is out there.”
Generally, when something is proven mathematically, the conclusions that can be drawn are very definitive, which makes this case a particularly unusual one. Graduate student Mike Schmartz suggested this case could be different because of his and O’Solvie’s analytical method.
“Usually when you do a proof,” he said, “you rely on well-defined operators like equal signs and definitions, but that approach was too rigid. We weren’t getting the results we wanted, so we sort of invented a new method.”
Mike explained that the new method defied traditional logic-based steps in favor of ‘approximations’.
“We sort of look at the equations as a whole, and choose what to write next, based on the lines that jump out at us. If we reach a dead end, we pull equations from other proofs and research. Sometimes we don’t actually even use math. This allows us to move forward, even when it’s obvious we aren’t really getting anywhere.”
Mike says the new technique was developed when the traditional method, “kept giving us the wrong answer.”
He mentioned that one of the biggest downsides to this approach is that they tend to reach different conclusions each time they do the proof, but he was quick to indicate that this was only a downside to those who prefer reliability, and that his method works great when you know what you want see before you begin.
O’Solvie’s efforts are expected to revolutionize the marketplace, especially in the engineering industry, where expensive materials can cost billions. By substituting faith for things like screws and steel, architects and structural engineers are able to complete projects for far less than they ever could before.
When asked if he was worried about the structural integrity of these new buildings, O’Solvie said that, “As long as you stick to the conversion guidelines, you should be good. At the end of the day it’s just simple physics. If a building exerts a certain force downward, you just need an equivalent upward force to keep it from falling down. Faith can be that upward force. And sure, with a conversion rate of 15,000 squints to only one Newton of force, the exchange rate might seem sort of steep. But you know,” he added, “faith is free.”
November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
The FDA is considering banning certain styles of coffee drinks like the popular “Americano” due to American baristas’ consistant inability to pronounce the drinks’ names.
“They just butcher our language,” said Italian national Alonzo Bioletti, a major supporter of the initiative. “Between this and Jersey Shore, it is just very obvious to me that Americans do not respect our culture, and it is time we stop this nonsense.”
When asked how they felt about the issue, a group of reasonably intelligent college students was overwhelmingly baffled as to why the drink names were chosen in the first place. Some suggested that the foreign titles helped make Americans experience what it might be like to speak a second language. Others suggested it could be a government program designed to supplement the lack of knowledge that 65% of Americans have of anything more than 50 miles from their doorsteps. But the vast majority had little more to say than, “Can’t we just call it American coffee?”
Those acting in defense of the naming convention frequently point out the influence it has had in media. “Inglorious Basterds could never have been the same if Brad Pitt hadn’t been able to practice his Italian with our employees,” says Starbucks founder Jerry Baldwin.
But the vast majority of coffee drinkers are growing tired of starting every day by buying a cup of coffee, and then feeling like they are contributing to the downfall of society by encouraging retarded youth to speak words they neither know nor understand.
Should the FDA follow through on the ban? And does the nearly guaranteed hotness of coffee shop baristas offset their complete lack of ability to pronounce almost all words correctly? Let us know in the comments.