UnNews:Scientist sheds new light on speed of light

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22 November 2006

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - Scientist Professor Arthur Bostrom is again at the centre of controversy in the world of science, thanks to his latest experiment to see how fast light travels inside a toaster.

Bostrom, who is rapidly becoming something of a cause célëbrê, recently announced his attempt to re-evaluate the speed of light. While the science world has branded him a "waste of an idiot" for his efforts, the professor remains convinced that he has uncovered a fundamental inconsistency.

"People always talk about the speed of light in a vacuum," explained Bostrom from the laboratory in his garden shed, "But no-one ever measures the speed of light in any other household appliance."

After saying this, the professor was immediately shot by a madman, a communist and deranged physicist disguised as Albert Einstein. The Professor miraculously survived. The madman was placed in a mental institution with the physicist and the communist got a job as professor of "East Asian Lesbians of the Early-to-Mid-1650s Studies" at University of California at Berkeley.

The professor plans to build the world's largest toaster for his experiment, which he will fill with asbestos-insulated lightbulbs. He even built a customised egg timer for the event. "A typical egg timer has anything up to three minutes of sand in it, which is way beyond my needs," Bostrom stated, "My speed-of-light egg timer contains only one grain of sand, which is more than enough to conduct the experiment."

It is unknown who or what determines the size of the constant grain of sand that will be used, but we assume that all grains of sand are roughly the same size. Or maybe not.

The world of science, however, has poo-pooed the professor's premise, pronouncing it "positively preposterous, profoundly provincial and punitively proofless peppercorn piffling."

A spokesman for Sheffield Hallam Technical College pointed out that even a single grain of sand would be far too large to measure the time taken for a light to move through a toaster. Nerves have been particularly expressed that Professor Bostrom might be planning to cut the sand up with scissors to achieve his ends, releasing a beachload of bother.

"If Bostrom starts splitting atoms of sand, he could accidentally go as blind as a watchmaker and cause a massive sand explosion. It doesn't bear thinking about," commented Senior Physics Tutor Daniel Manual as he thought about it.

"God does not play Twister," he added cryptically.