Sunday, August 31, 2008

Boltzmann Constant

Inspired by my dinner table conversation. I'm going to enjoy Stanford if everyone is like this. Cheerful! Is shooting oneself an engineer's death, a poet's, or a mathematician's?

Someone joked that all physicists killed themselves the same way: hanging.

Biologists, the joke went, had many more options for creative and daring suicide.

And medical doctors, well…

When Joseph James Johnson heard this, he was offended. After all, there were a hundred thousand ways he could kill himself using the materials in lab, most of them more imaginative and gruesome than anything a biologist could ever come up with.

When he finally decided to end it all, and activated his black hole generator, he knew critics would wish he’d been a biologist.

That is, if they could wish anything.

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