The Greatest Lab Report in Human History
                           by Albert E. Newton
                           "Quad, mi vexari?"
                 Boiling Water: A Date with DESTINY
         Throughout human history, great thinkers have wrestled with
    such fundamental questions of human destiny as:  Why are we here?
      What is the purpose of life?  What role are we to play in the
     fate of mankind?  Why does Jello wiggle?  Perhaps we were not
     able to shed a great deal of light on these weighty issues in
       this lab, yet I cannot help but feel that somehow we have
   BETTERED ourselves, that we have contributed in SOME small way to
      mankind's endless quest for truth and knowledge.  In boiling
       water, we were not simply fulfilling a requirement, we were
   following in the hallowed steps of men like Heisenstein, Newtler,
         and Platotle, the weight of the fate of hopeful teeming
      millions yearning to breath free hanging on OUR shoulders!!!
     Yes, we mere mortals wrestled with DESTINY and kicked its butt!
          Tension hung in the air of the darkened laboratory as the
      fateful moment approached, a pregnant silence broken only by
      hushed furtive whispers.  In the center of the room, lit by a
     single golden shaft of the setting sun, sat the beaker of water
    we would attempt to boil, perhaps the very same water once drunk
      by Julius Ceaser, Napolean Bonaparte, or Millard Filmore.  We
       caught sight of the bunsen burner as a team of technicians
     connected it to the gas, checking and rechecking their pre-burn
     list.  It was time for the Lighting of the Burner, and with a
    solemn fanfare of trumpets The Match was brought forth, a small
    sliver of a tree that had given its life for Science, that others
                               might LIVE.
            Struck in a lead lined fume hood to safely dissipate
      its choking gases, the lit Match was held to the burner, and
      after a short reading of scripture and a moment of reflective
       silence, the gas was turned on.  The burner shot to life, a
    sputtered quietly with a pretty blue flame.  As the water, after
     being blessed by the Pope, was brought forth and placed on the
   ring stand, I could not help thinking, what if this simple beaker
      could think?  What thoughts of its great rendevous with fate
     would pass through its mind were it given but a brief moment of
     consciousness, of sentient appreciation?  Would it thrust its
    graduations to the heavens, proclaiming in silent fury, I AM?!?
        My reverie was quickly broken as a round of gunfire annouced
    THE BOILING OF THE WATER, and billions across the globe stopped
       in silent anticipation.  My recollections of the following
       moments are spotty, as I was overcome by the heady rush of
    adrenaline and raw emotion, yet I can still clearly remember the
    ALL IN ITS SCALDING GRASP AND...I regained consciousness several
     minutes later in the arms of my anxious comrades.  "The water,"
      I cried through parched lips and gritted teeth, " did
    BOIL, didn't it?"  "YES!!!" they cried, tears of triumphant joy
     streaming down their cheeks, and as I drifted away into a deep
      and exhausted sleep, I thought I heard an angelic choir, the
       Hosts of Heaven with voices raised in praise of the day...
                                THE DAY WE BOILED WATER!!!
                      Data and Sample Calculations:
     Addition, particularly the combination of small integers, has
       fascinated mankind for millenia, and a great deal has been
              written on the subject.  An example follows:
                                              3 + 4 = 7
    This was well stated by J. P. Frummington and Elsworth Forngorten
    in their Horribly Complex Advanced Law of Divergent Convergence,
                              which states:
         a little number + another little number = a bigger number.
      The excitement factor of this laboratory was calculated using
                          the Glimp Principle:
                                            elapsed time
            excitement = ---------------------------------------
                         number of exciting things that happened
     Thus, the excitement (ex) of an interesting lab would approach
           zero, while a dull lab would be infinitely boring.
                           Conversion factors:
                     1 tad = 4 smidgens = 9.72 hairs
                Table of Completely Irrelevant Elements:
                                Ln - Lint
                             An - Anonymous
                            Pr - Promiscuous
                               Vc - Velcro
                               J  - Jello
                               Ph - Phlegm
                            Sources of Error:
         1)  Temporary suspension of physical law due to divine
                      2)  Spitting in the solution.
                3)  Not attending the laboratory session.
       4)  Repeatedly and violently striking balances when their
                             readings fluctuate.
       5)  Drowsiness due to increased carbon dioxide inhalation
          produced by increased growth of vegetation due to slight
         global warming caused by the greenhouse effect exacerbated
        by increased respiration of livestock due to slight rise in
             air temperature caused by heating of the solution.
         After studying the data gleaned in the experiment, one can
   conclude that no firm conclusions can be based on conclusions not
     concluded as a result of conclusions not drawn from irrelevant
          information.  But this, of course, is quite obvious.
             The implications of the boiling of water are simply
     staggering, so you must excuse me as I wipe the sweat from my
      fevered brow with trembling fingers.  One result could be a
      possible cure for Trekkanosis, a mysterious and debilitating
   disease that causes writers to unconsciously lapse into Star Trek
                            narratives, Jim!"
          "So get down to sick bay and find a cure, Bones.  Scotty,
                      can you give us warp power?"
             "I dunna know if the engines can take i' much more,
                 Captain!  She's givin' it all she got!"
             "Captain!  The enemy vessel has raised its shields!"
           "Mr. Sulu!  Fire photon torpedoes!  Spock, what do your
                             sensors show?"
           "Instruments indicate a 38.5798% chance that many more
     possible uses may be found for the boiling of water including
        even the cooking of food, an application that could have
   widespread implications.  Other uses might include entertainment,
      impressing your friends and family, and breaking the ice at
          On the basis of these observations, this experimenter can
      only recommend the restructuring of third world debt and the
          immediate saturation bombing of the surface of Mars.
                                             -- by Alan Meiss

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