October 14, 2007

How MIT Students Spend Evenings

In high school I sometimes wondered what type of environment college would provide me. Would I feel out of place? Immature? Not know how to approach new people? Most of all, what happened late at night when everybody was hanging out? Was I to feel out of place with all of the upperclassmen talking about upperclassmen stuff? What happens in college?!?!?!?

Well, I can't speak for every college, but here's what happens at MIT:

Me: "I wonder what kind of grade you'd get on a physics PSET if you converted all of your distance units to smoots."
Jared: "If I were grading it I'd give you a zero"
Me: "Wouldn't it be better if you gave me zero + an ear?"
Me: "Oh, and have you seen Star Wars? Remember how Han Solo bragged about being able to fly a circuit in a certain amount of Parsecs? A parsec is a distance, how does that work?
Rick: "Just hold the speed constant at C and a Parsec becomes a time, it's just astronomical units."
Me: "Oh, I guess that makes sense."
Rick: "Hey, let's play with google!" (Rick proceeds to take out his laptop and go to google) "Let's Convert!"
Me: "Ok, what are we converting"
Rick: "How about one smoot*angstrom*parsec to gallons?"
Me: "Do it!"

We then proceeded to google every convoluted conversion we could think of. Here are our some of our results (in no particular order):



I recommend doing this sometime, it provides a shocking amount of entertainment. Oh, and remember how I was worried about what college kids talk about? Not so worried anymore, because MIT is a cool place where we talk about cool stuff that matters!

4 comments:

Gregory said...

I just died a little bit inside.

Hunter '11 said...

Hehe, we had a conversation that revolved around a toy of an ancient fish. The fish's mouth is really big, and it seems every time we give it to a person, the first thing he/she does is stuck a finger in the mouth.

Ah yes, the great minds of the future ^.^

sammaurer said...

official George Lucas retcon...

the space around Kessel is filled with black holes. Since ships in Star Wars can travel in "hyperspace" anyway, time is less important than the amount of distance it takes to travel to a planet. So Han Solo is able to reach Kessel on a route that is only 12 parsecs long, because he swerves closer to the black holes than lesser pilots do.

I would guess about 2/3 of all MIT students were bothered by the "Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs" line growing up. I know I used to yell at Harrison Ford every time I watched it.

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