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Longest Physics Lecture in History?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the if-i-could-turn-back-time dept.

Education 262

gfrege writes "Perhaps you remember some long physics lectures from your days at school. But as part of a general strike of students at the Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin concerning cuts in funding for the city's universities, some physicists are in the middle of what could be the longest physics lecture in history. It started at noon on Monday, and is planned to run to noon on Thursday. Check out the topics, and if you're in Berlin, come on down. The Babelfish translations of the lecture titles make for some fun reading, too, if you can't make it there yourself."

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I'm black and I'm gay. Sign me up GNAA. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626199)

Just watch me flex my muscles [flexonline.com] . What did I tell you? I'm black and I'm gay and I need a hard cock in my tight ass right now.

Re:I'm black and I'm gay. Sign me up GNAA. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626516)

Sorry that you're gay and nerdy. But congrats you have first post!

Maybe if it were a single lecture... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626210)

...by a single professor, rather than a series of lectures on different topics by different people. Or am I missing something?

Dude! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626224)

It sounds like you actually read the article. You're making us all look bad!

Re:Maybe if it were a single lecture... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626244)

look bad to whom exactly? woman? I think not.

Re:Maybe if it were a single lecture... (1)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626523)

How coherent would a professor awake for 70+ hours be to a student who's also been awake 70+ hours?

Re:Maybe if it were a single lecture... (5, Funny)

mlush (620447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626614)

How coherent would a professor awake for 70+ hours be to a student who's also been awake 70+ hours?

about as coherent as a professor awake for 1 hour

The most interesting parts.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626530)

are the apparent showing of pornography the 12 hours before the lecture begins and the 12 hours after it ends. If you look at the schedule, you'll note in those time slots, it does say XXX. :)

No you aren't missing anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626597)

Slashdot editors are scraping the barrel's bottom.

It can't be (3, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626212)

as long as this musical piece [bbc.co.uk] by John Cage, also being performed in Germany.

Re:It can't be (3, Funny)

DesertFalcon (670699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626290)

The performance follows a legal case in which composer Mike Batt was forced to pay a six-figure sum to Cage's publishers, who accused him of plagiarising a silent piece of music.

I've plagiarised that piece repeatedly.

Re:It can't be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626393)

> --- 1057794581 - tell me what this is and you get a cookie.

Thu Jul 10 08:49:41 JST 2003

Re:It can't be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626519)

Congratulations [hitboxcentral.com]

Odd, why does this cookie [hitbox.com] not work.

Re:It can't be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626527)

OK, feel like a bit of an annonymous gimp now, so why doesn't it work in the preview mode [hitbox.com]

Re:It can't be (0, Offtopic)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626669)

You have the right to remain silent, as long as that silence does not infringe on any copyright laws, or is for personal use only.

Re:It can't be (0, Troll)

1iar_parad0x (676662) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626345)

Man, I thought Inna Gadda Da Vida was long.

In related news astronomers create a simulation [wolfram.com] of the universe as long and as big as the universe itself.

Re:It can't be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626490)

At first I thought that was pretty silly

but then I realized, whoa, nobody will ever hear the whole piece. NOBODY!

some will hear a few notes, others may hear it speeded way up..

but nobody will ever hear more than a tiny bit of it.

hell the *copyright will expire* before the piece is finished (well, in theory anyway, hopefully the RIAA/MPAA will be disbanded for the good of society before then).

whoa

this blows my frickin' mind

I'm going to drink a bottle of port now, because the day is over.

Re:It can't be (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626726)

Hmm, I wonder if they'll record it...

Thats not that long... (5, Funny)

raceface (715858) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626222)

Back in the days when I went to school (up hill both ways) we had lectures that lasted all winter. We got to school on day, it snowed 30 feet, spring came, snow melted then we got to go home. And we LIKED it. back in the day.

Re:Thats not that long... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626387)

You went to Cornell too?

Re:Thats not that long... (-1, Offtopic)

raceface (715858) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626409)

no i live in Canada err. Great white north.

Re:Thats not that long... (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626430)

Yeah, but you don't know the topics. I can just picture it now. If they're going to go for physics, and they're going to make it four days long, they might as well make it so unbeliably boring that they break that record, too, right?

WELL KNOWN FOUR DAY PHYSICS LECTURES

The Physics of the Q-Tip

Ether and other ideas that seemed to make sense at the time (taught by this stoned guy they found in the park).

Physics models without any known application that are difficult to understand (as lectured by a well-known physicist and singer, who will drone on in a constant A below middle C)

How to use sheeps bladders to prevent earthquakes

The physical properties of this lint I found in my belly button

Sorry, can't resist (5, Funny)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626228)

"The Babelfish translations of the lecture titles make for some fun reading, too"

"Beautifully (HU) of balls and impulses"


Again sorry, but you know it's funny.

Re:Sorry, can't resist (1)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626482)

"Beautifully (HU) of balls and impulses"

Yes that one is wonderful
but you can see what they think of the class with the very first topic
"Kroy (FU)"

and then there's the first thursday topic
"Bunk (HU) computer physics"
if they think it's bunk, they can go back to doing it in their heads like a freshman who can't afford the $150 TI-eleventy-billion calculator

And perhaps this one should have been held earlier
"Gentleman Mr. (DO) introduction to theoretical physics"
Isn't quantum physics encompassed in the whole 'theoretical' subclass of physics?

and if you're a geek... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626230)

... you'll think nothing of staying awake the entire lecture! (for once)

Obviously... (1, Redundant)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626232)

You haven't heard the Physics lectures at my college. Granted, they may only BE hour-long, but it feels like days. How much can be said about Gauss's Law? REALLY.

Re:Obviously... (1)

sinistral (80451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626389)

Well, this stuff seems a bit more advanced than Gauss's Law....

Re:Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626702)

really. i learned Gauss's law in kindergarten... (this stuff is way more advanced than Gauss's law)

i am ready to guest lecture (1)

nudicle (652327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626240)

"Beautifully (HU) of balls and impulses"

Now this is something I have more than a little bit of experience with...

The greatest battle in history: Sacred Jihad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626242)

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In other news... (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626243)

Students at Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin will simultaneously break the world record for sleeping in class.

Re:In other news... (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626406)

Smart Slashdotters will be putting money in caffienated beverage stocks!

Re:In other news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626475)

+5 Funny, wtf? Jesus Christ, the story just served that one. Why don't the moderators use their moderating points on some well thought out posts instead of KW-jokes like this?

I don't get it. (0, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626245)

So, are the profs doing this to support the students, or what?

I can't RTFA. :(

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626272)

No, evidently they are trying to get them flat at beg for more cuts.

Re:I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

MadEagle (131950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626496)

Yes, that's exactly what they do.

Re:I don't get it. (4, Informative)

deleuze (199965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626658)

Yes, it's about "modernization" of universities here in germany, especially Berlin, which means to drastically cut expenses, close faculties, adopt a tuition fee model (studying is free until now in germany). And also funds for profs are dropped. So it's in there interest, too.

You might get some more information on indymedia germany (http://de.indymedia.org), but until now the whole movement is not too much related to social movements in general, more about academics getting a bad future like everyone else does.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

frost22 (115958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626791)

Nope. That particular case is not so much about 'modernization' but about sheer survival.

The City of Berlin has inherited both Eastern and Western Berlin Universities, and simply cant finance them any more. Berlins is, for othert reasons, utterly bankrupt anyway (they managed to ruin their own state bank by corruption a few years ago and they never got over losing all those subsidies they got when they still were "insulated" West-Berlin).

Berlin now runs (= finances; there are no University endowments in Germany) 3 (!) large
Universities and a Handfull small ones as well.

The should have closed Humbold Universitat (the eastern one) directly after reunification - it was just a big nest of old Stasi hands and Communist Party officials anyway.

Now I have some sympathy for the basically nonsensical "student strike", but it remains utterly nonsense, of course - they just refuse to get something they still essentially get for free)

They will have to get used to some (low) amount of tuitition fee, and a bunch of academics will loose their job.

Tuesday: 20Uhr 22Uhr (0)

CowboyRobot (671517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626248)

Beautifully (HU) of balls and impulses
XXX

XXX means: not intended dates

If nevertheless still someone liked to hold gladly additionally a VL: ask following the last VL on Thursday!

Will there be a test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626259)

I sure hope not.

students on strike??? (1, Insightful)

bolthole (122186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626268)

what the heck does it mean, that the students are on strike? How the heck can students be "on strike" for anything? they're not getting PAID to take classes.

now, they could be "demonstrating". but only WORKERS can "strike".

Oh YES THEY ARE... (1, Troll)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626461)

Students in Germany are ridiculous...

1) They get their entire education paid for FREE.
2) While studying they get retirement contributions paid for them by the government.
3) They can take their education as long as they would like. For example if it takes a student 20 years then it takes 20 years all the while the German taxpayer is funding the student.

What they are now trying to do is take away the retirement rights and make them pay a small fee. WELL GEE WHIZ welcome to the real world. Oh I forgot the German Students do not know what the real world is. I was born and am a German citzen, but was educated in Canada and the US. Places where you had to actually study and work...

Oh wait let me cry my croc tears....

Re:Oh YES THEY ARE... (4, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626512)

I dunno if that is correct. Students have to show they are making progress, they can not take 20 years to finish a bachelors degree.

Plus, there is a reason society should pay for students to go to school. Over the long run, the country will get back more money in taxes than they paid for the tuition. Think about it, if government paid $8000 a year for tuition and another $5000 for room and board, heck make it a cool $15,000 a year for the student, then that would be $60,000 for the 4 years. Now a college graduate will probably make at least $20,000 a year more than a non-college graduate on avarage, and probably much more later in life as they advance in their careers. If government taxed 20% of this extra $20,000 a year, then government would get $140,000 back over the next 35 years. And those are lowball estimates. Consider the extra money would probably push the person into a higher tax bracket (more than 20% taxes, probably closer to 40%), and they will probably be making $50,000/year more than non-graduates after 10 or 15 years of work.

I do not understand why country's do not offer free college education for all.

not so easy, mister (1)

bitsformoney (514101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626578)

You are insinuating that people wouldn't study if it wasn't free. Other countries prove otherwise. Students do pay up, and the government still gets the higher taxes.

Should it be tied to ability to pay, or ability? (4, Informative)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626622)

In the neighborhood I grew up as a kid, there were no families I knew which had saved enough to pay for their kids to go to college. Many bright friends I had decided to work at local fast food resturants and go to a community college part time. How much studying someone can do when they work 25 hours a week is much less than a full time student who has time to read more and attend study sessions with peers. It is not easy waking up after working the night before, to make it to classes. Work sucks up any extra time, so there is less time to study or socalize with other students. Some decided to quit college and move from part-time fast food to a 40 an hour a week job making 9 or 10 dollars an hour. This was 10 years ago, and those without the college degree are still working those 40 hour a week jobs which require little thought for just a few dollars an hour more, maybe 12 or 13 dollars an hour. What sucks the worst about those jobs is many are repetitive, they do the same task over and over again. So I would say, while many will pay to star their college education, will they get the true college experiance?

There is also something wrong with the idea that if someone comes out the right vagiana then they everything for free, while others have to struggle for the same oppertunity. Isn't education something everyone has a right to? It is the only thing I can think of which by itself can take a person and improve their quality of life, their job, the amount of money they make, and their happiness.

Re:Should it be tied to ability to pay, or ability (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626635)

if someone comes out the right vagiana

How many vaginas did your mother have, exactly.

Re:Should it be tied to ability to pay, or ability (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626810)

if someone comes out the right vagiana

How many vaginas did your mother have, exactly.

two. left and right.

Re:Should it be tied to ability to pay, or ability (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626796)

This is BS. People who claim to have no money for education simply do not want to get educated. Plain and simple. They may be bright, etc., but they're not meant for school.

I've seen people work full time AND get a college education. In fact, that's why most colleges have 'part-time' students.

The reason I'm a bit more than upset is because I had to go through all the crap of working and going to school too, and it's not so bad! If I can do it, anyone can. I had no savings, no extra money coming from 'family', nothing. zip.

Simply saying "oh, work doesn't leave much time for school" is just taking the easy way out. No! If you want to succeed, you gotta make the time. As as you pointed out, work is repetitive, and most people don't realize that 'oh, it was 10 years ago - oh, crap, I've been at this shitty job for 10 years!'. School is one of the things that gets you to succeed in life - IT IS more important than that shitty job.

I work at 3 jobs and attend school full time. I got a bachelors and a masters, and going for a phd. all this time, I'm working probably more than most full time workers.

I view quitting college to persue the $10/h 'career' (or dropping out of high school for that matter) is the most stupid thing that anyone can possibly to do screw up their life (sort of like taking drugs, only worse).

(sorry, just had to vent a bit...)

Re:Oh YES THEY ARE... (1)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626605)

In the UK we will be probably introducing course fees for each student(payable once the student starts earning a certain amount of money), rather than getting a pretty much free education. I believe this is a result of government initiatives of getting kids into University, leading to a whole slew of(in my opinion) worthless degrees.

Students studying these types of degrees(i.e Media Studies and the like), would be far better off actually gaining work experience during that time. They are also far less likely to be contributing the extra tax revenue to help recompensate the country for funding their education.

I think I prefer the old UK system of giving higher education to those that can. However since the fees will probably allow Universities to be able to spend more money on facilities, and a better ability to hold onto top professors by being able to pay them more, I'm sort of in favour of these measures.

Re:Oh YES THEY ARE... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626632)

I do not understand why country's do not offer free college education for all.

I can speak only for my own state, California, where we're so busy giving free college educations to illegal aliens, we don't have anything left for the citizens.

Re:Oh YES THEY ARE... (5, Insightful)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626687)

I do not understand why country's do not offer free college education for all.

Simple. Because educated people are harder to control. Those in positions of power want those who are not to be easier to control, easier to turn into mindless consumer zombies, easier to get to vote for whoever puts out the best commercials rather than has the best platform, etc.

Universal education challenges the new aristocracy, who believe that you shouldn't get anything unless you can pay through the nose for it. Of course, they can afford to, but no one else can.

And the society goes to hell for it, with them leading the way. Gotta love it.

Mistaken... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626703)

There are students that study twenty years... These are called never ending students.

The problem with free education is that people abuse the system. Not a little bit, but a whole lot. The idea should not be free education, but education where you pay a bit. Not so much that it is impossible to attend, but enough to make sure people will treat it with respect. For those that do not have the money to attend the government then kicks in the rest.

Also flawed in Germany is the argument that everybody MUST get a higher education. For example in most places on this planet you get to study if your grades are good enough. I know Germany has this "feature" where regardless of how good your grades are you get a place to study. This is a huge drag on the system as there is no competition and no assurances that the student will spend any effort to study.

Your argument about taxing more is flawed. Why should higher income people be taxed more? Lets take the example of people who apprenticed and make a good income. Or how about entrepeneurs that build businesses did not study, and hire the "higher level educated"? They would be taxed extra so that other people could get an education for free? Or how about those that went to other countries? Remember these days there are many immigrants everywhere!

Re:Mistaken... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626782)

you don't need to tax higher income more for the state to earn more money...

20% of 100k is more than 20% of 50k, i think you get the idea...

Re:Oh YES THEY ARE... (2, Interesting)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626710)

Having encountered postgraduate mathematics students and recent postdocs from a number of Western countries, the ones from Germany that I've met have been consistently amazing. The breadth and depth of their mathematical knowledge and understanding is awe inspiring. I can't judge exactly how broad and how deep exactly, 'cause its a lot broader and deeper then my own.

Correlation not causation etc. etc., but the Universities must be doing something right.

PS: Australian higher education used to be free. Now it's at partially student funded, but the quality of education (as measured by student-teacher ratios, per-student funding, etc.) has decreased. Note also that it started as a 'small fee' (charging for student services), quickly became partial funding for the whole degree, and then a few years later became even more of a financial burden. If Germany does start charging fees, I can only hope they do not follow a similar road.

Statistical Hick-ups... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626766)

While they might know their basics, are they doing anything with that?

Consider the following URL: http://www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/Discu ssions/comp-ed.html. BTW This is a German website who wrote this.

Scroll down to the bottom and look at how Germany manages its education. Not pretty and clearly designed to be abused...

For example catch the statement people enter higher level schooling at 19-20 and leave at 25-30. Geewhiz what are they doing for all that time?

Re:students on strike??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626470)

In many countries in europe you get paid to go to school!

At least I get paid (studiebidrag) :-) Bless the wellfare system!

Re:students on strike??? (4, Informative)

Wastl (809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626472)

This has always been a little controversial, but there have been student strikes before. You are right, students are not required to take classes, and what the students do is not a strike in the legal sense. On the other hand, if noone goes to the lectures, they are effectively not being held. This *does* have a large effect, at least in politics.

Also, since a student strike does not hurt as much as a worker strike, the students have to revert to more spectacular means. The one described in this article is one of them. Another media effective action was the demonstration at IKEA last week where many students occupied the beds there and "applied" for educational asylum in Sweden.

You could say it is a kind of demonstration, but a very specific one.

BTW: I am not a student, but work as assistant at a German university, so I am familiar with the current situation and the student protests.

Sebastian

Students have feelings too.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626651)

.. that subsidised beer won't drink itself, you insensitive clod.

Re:students on strike??? (3, Interesting)

Wakkow (52585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626680)

What union are they part of? At my school [ucdavis.edu] , the TA's and graders are part of the United Auto Worker's Union and were threatening to go on strike [californiaaggie.com] . Yup, United Auto Workers. So maybe the students are part of the Electrician's Union [ibew.org] or something. =)

Perhaps... (-1, Redundant)

Ironix (165274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626278)


Perhaps if I had spent 3 days in constant physics lectures I wouldn't have failed my physics final today. =(

Physics is a lifelong process (0, Offtopic)

Nadsat (652200) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626279)

Russian Ark was a one shot movie... and many others, spannign 300 years. But still too short?

Physics should be a lifelong process.

And... if not... I mean, how much can someone soak up in one sitting?

Longer films required... Warhol meets professor meets Cage meets the horizongal spread of a red oak tree, and all its thousand year circles.

Physics should be a lifelong process. That's my mantra and I'm sticking to it.

Get them all out now... (0)

badfrog (45310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626281)

How many bad physics jokes are going to show up?

Let hope they don't bring up infinity. (wait, that's math.)

So it's a week long nap then!

How much 'force' is required to endure this class?

In Physics, you're off by .001 and you fail. In Astronomy, you're off by 10^2, and you lose half a point.

I'd love to go... (2, Funny)

Alea (122080) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626291)

...but I was hoping to sleep in that week.

Re:I'd love to go... (0)

itsari (703841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626368)

Trust me, you won't have trouble sleeping at the lecture.

New for-profit Uni business plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626297)

1) Collect tuition from students.

2) Cut funding, make them strike.

3) Save on maintenance.

4) PROFIT!!!

I did it, I solved the gnome's business plan!!!

awesome (2, Funny)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626302)

This is actually a good idea. When I was in undergrad, I usually had about 7 courses for 3 hours per week spread over 5 days, so about 21 hours, but also a tutorial/lecture here and there, so roughly 24 hours, plus labs.

Wouldn't that be awesome if you could go to lectures for one 24-hour period per week! Then the rest of the week could be used for studying, and doing cool projects and shit. I figure that during the lecturing, you could take some cat naps for like, and hour at a time, and your friend could take notes for you. You could take turns. Ideally all the notes would be available online anyways, so if you took a 6 hour nap, you could get those notes.

Re:awesome (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626320)

Then the rest of the week could be used for studying, and doing cool projects and shit.

Nerd! ;-)

Re:awesome (1)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626355)

ever had to sit through a 2h40 long lecture? the first 45 minutes aren't too bad, the next 45 are bearable, the remaining 70 are torturous (particularly when the lectures run 7:20-10:00pm.) most profs are kind enough to give a break in the middle, but i've had classes with a few who just forget. if you think the length of the lecture is rough on you, it's doubly so for the prof.

secondly, 6 hours of material is approximately two weeks worth of lecture. think about how much missing even one lecture in the wrong class can screw up your understanding of the subject, regardless of how many notes and lecture outlines you get.

not a good plan if you ask me.

Re:awesome (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626402)

" ever had to sit through a 2h40 long lecture? the first 45 minutes aren't too bad, the next 45 are bearable, the remaining 70 are torturous (particularly when the lectures run 7:20-10:00pm.) most profs are kind enough to give a break in the middle, but i've had classes with a few who just forget. if you think the length of the lecture is rough on you, it's doubly so for the prof."

I've had lots of boring lectures. I'd rather get them over with in one sitting. Of course if there were couches or beds, this would be ideal, or else your butt would really start to hurt. I think profs would teach more efficiently. They could probably get what usually takes 3 1 hour lectures done in about 2 hours or 2.5

"secondly, 6 hours of material is approximately two weeks worth of lecture. think about how much missing even one lecture in the wrong class can screw up your understanding of the subject, regardless of how many notes and lecture outlines you get.

Yes, this is a good point, but there are an extra 4 days in the week now to figure it out. A lot of time every week is wasted getting to school, leaving school, lunch break, etc.. If we just compress it into one day, this is efficiency!

And if you don't think it is possible to stay awake 24 hours, try it. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? It's tough at first but you get used to it. Ask and med school resident what it's like. It's not that bad actually.

Re:awesome (0)

itsari (703841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626383)

Just attend an online school (like the University of Pheonix) and bypass the 24hr learn-a-thon; all the notes are already online.

Re:awesome (1)

toast0 (63707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626609)

University of Phoenix is ITT for Business Majors

3 day physics lectures are nothing new (5, Funny)

jamesk (18755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626305)

I remember many 3 day physics lectures -- unfortunately most were only one hour in length!!!

When budgets go bad... (1)

Clinoti (696723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626311)

I can't read the article but in my ignorance I put forth that they can't afford to teach the class so they are going to teach everything that everyone knows (including the janitorial staffs filibuster on 3rd stall combustion theorems) in one week.

Then later market and sell audio segments and copies for cliff notes, and pocket PHD books.

I see a master plan here.

Favorite Toppic (5, Funny)

sinewalker (686056) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626318)

"Quantum mechanics for pedestrians"

This sheds new light on the old "look left, look right, look left again" rule when crossing the street: In quantum, by looking at the cars, you can affect their positions!

Doesn't apply to me (I tried, nearly got run over). Maybe it works if you're blond...?

Re:Favorite Toppic (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626399)

And that's not a bad translation. One can only wonder...

Re:Favorite Toppic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626459)

Sounds a bit like the Matrix, except that you can tell where the cars are, but not how fast they are going, or how fast they are going, but not where they are. If they have past you, it's safe to cross the street. If they are coming, it's almost a certainty (relatively speaking) that you are a goner. Remember: Physics changed dramatically when relativity came to light!

...it's good to be anonymous coward...

Re:Favorite Toppic (1)

toast0 (63707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626619)

If they are coming, it's almost a certainty (relatively speaking) that you are a goner.

Unless you tunnel through them.

Re:Favorite Toppic (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626657)


In quantum, by looking at the cars, you can affect their positions!

My girlfriend's done one better, not being blonde--affecting their positions by _not_ looking at them. It's a great skirt, too.

Re:Favorite Toppic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626719)

in quantum soviet russia the cars positions effect you!

Wowza (3, Funny)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626334)

I guess this also makes for the largest act of masochism as well. Does it really make sense to do something so heartless to get their point across? And I thought that the mass deforestation done to protest the WTO in Seattle was bad.

Anyways, what will this accomplish? It seems to me like this will detract from their point, almost as if it's a lighthearted, happy little protest.

Re:Wowza (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626599)


Anyways, what will this accomplish?

It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that there are stringed patterns of acoustic energy in the universe that when they hit the optic nerve produce a sedative like effect in biological organisms.

In other words, it's novocaine for the eyes.

My favorite Lecture (4, Funny)

pimpinmonk (238443) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626385)

Wednesday 12-2PM: Schoell (DO) quantum mechanics for pedestrians.
I'm sure this lecture will deal with the newly found danger of falling through covered manholes due to quantum tunneling, but how at the same time you have a chance of surviving a head-on encounter with a car! This lecture will change pedestrians' lives forever!

Tickets? (1)

Doc Squidly (720087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626398)

Are they selling tickets or is it first come, first serve? Maybe they'll have it on pay-per-view.

We should get this on pay-per-view... (1)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626438)

I would love to have the oppertunity to watch lectures on pay-per-view. I bet it might even be cheaper per lesson than to pay for the course. Plus, you could watch it while in your pajama's.

Hmm... (1)

Stregone (618612) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626420)

...since we don't have an infinite improbablity drive, or a bistro computer, maybe we can harness the time bending properties of physics lectures for space and time travel?

I am worried... (4, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626424)

I live in the USA and I have watched as tuition rates have increased over the past 15 years. I think what this university in Germany is going is very smart. This will increase interest in science and physics. People from the college community will wander into the lectures and listen to professors speak about black holes and quarks. It might inspire a few people to learn more. Meanwhile, in the USA, students will have to find new ways to make money to go to college. Not for inspiration, but as another step needed to get a good job.

Maybe I am way off in thinking from the status quo, but I believe universities have a responsibility to inspire students, not just "sell a product". I believe this because what happens to people during their college time effects all of society, not just the student. The imagination and creativity of these graduates will determine how much we advance with space exploration, computers, and all sorts of technologies. These new graduates just have to dream it. Just look at the past 40 years, and what graduates have accomplished. Good for the physics faculty to have this lecture marithon. I bet they will be helping themselves recruit more students.

Re:I am worried... (1)

norkakn (102380) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626468)

What frightens me even more than the rising cost of going to college in the states is that fact that I can get a CS or CE from a good engineering school and not be able to find a job once I graduate.

Hopefully things will change before _that_ fear comes true.

Re:I am worried... (1)

ryanw (131814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626690)

Hopefully things will change before _that_ fear comes true.
Fortunately for you, things will change by the time you graduate. ALL the CS and Engineering jobs will be located in India or some highly populated eastern country. There will be no telemarketing jobs due to the do not call registry to help people with degrees pay for going back to school for another degree. And lastly we are going to have rolling blackouts crossing our country every few hours due to PITA wanting US to suffer, not the helpless animals.

Background (5, Informative)

23 (68042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626480)

why the hell are they doing this?


1.) Here in Germany, higher education comes mostly for free, including attending University. This is paid for by state taxes, mostly.

2.) There is a huge financial crunch in local communities and the states (Laender), of which Berlin is one, due to prolonged blissful ignorance of reality (tax revenue down) in crazy public spending. Berlin is one of the worst candidates with huge debt, kind of like CA in the US, even suing federal gvt. to bail them out and unfortunately winning.

3.) Berlin has three full universities plus N colleges and such, sucking up money.

4.) what's an avg. politician to do? Slash university funding big style, amongst other things, potentially closing one of them down for good

5.) what's a university student to do? go on strike (IMO not very creative either, but I digress....) and generally raise awareness that higher education is worth its money.

6.) what's a prof to do? help students out (after all they're in the same boat), by e.g. holding a 3 day continuous physics lecture in the middle of Berlin, for everybody to attend.


That's why they're doing it. If you or I agree with it, is another question... :-)

Similar events in Hong Kong (2, Informative)

khchung (462899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626579)

I am seeing a similar series of events in Hong Kong. We have seven (7) universities here serving a population of 7.5 million people. The govt is having the biggest ever deficit partly due to the economic downturn, partly due to expanded public spending.

We are getting round to step 4 and 5 recently, too bad our professors are probably not creative enough to try step 6.

too simple (2, Interesting)

bitsformoney (514101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626617)

Yes, communities are lacking money but the reason they are taking it from the students now, is not because the universities are the reason for the lack of money, but because students are an easy target. It's easy to make people feel guilty about getting something for free.

I'm sure most students don't realize that when they're still in university and many will never for the rest of their lives, but having lived and worked in differeny countries with the full range from completely free over subsidized to fully-paid education, I can assure you it's well worth it.

This discussion could fill pages, but e.g. young Americans are sent off into real life with a huge debt to society, which promotes a fight-against-each-other mentality and greed. It's like putting someone in a corner telling them that they are guilty and having to prove they are innocent. To make proud, responsible and social minded citizens with self-esteem, you have to do the contrary and provide some up-front trust and encouragement.

Re:Background (4, Interesting)

neglige (641101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626663)

1.) Here in Germany, higher education comes mostly for free, including attending University. This is paid for by state taxes, mostly.

Now, yes, but plans are to introduce fees for studying. IIRC, 1000 Euro per semester. There are higher fees in the US, for example, but the two systems are quite different so the fees are not comparable. Whether the fee is a good thing or a bad thing is debatable.

2.) There is a huge financial crunch in local communities and the states

Berlin has to save money. True. And again the debate is whether cutting down the financing of universities is smart. Consider that human capital (knowledge) is basically the only ressource Germany has. And universities are generally not well funded. The point "everyone has to save money, so it's fair that universitites have to, too" is certainly valid.

3.) Berlin has three full universities

Each has, AFAIK, a different emphasis. And colleges (Fachhochschulen) are inherently different from universities.

I agree that events like these raise the awareness of the problem. But given the current political climate, I doubt anything will change. BTW, it's not just Berlin. The cuts affect all universities in Germany.

comments from a physicist (3, Interesting)

menscher (597856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626504)

Everyone's looking at this like it's some crazy publicity stunt to do physics for every waking hour for 3 days. Maybe so, but for those of us who are in physics, this isn't any big deal. I've gone for months at a time thinking about physics every minute I was awake (and losing sleep to it too). Would this have been reported as big news if it were 3 days of biology lectures, I wonder? What about art history?

Re:comments from a physicist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7626610)

every minute? wow.. your thoughts must be horribly inaccurate and misaligned.. don't worry, we'll have an adequete explanation next century

All I remeber... (2, Interesting)

faaaz (582035) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626509)

All I remember from my first-year physics lectures is how they made my neck hurt... well, either that or my knees hurt. There was simply no way to sleep comfortably there, though the professors voice sure made it easier.

Q: for native German speakers or physics geeks (3, Interesting)

sakusha (441986) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626601)

Hey, this seems like the perfect place to try to verify an old bit of physics lore that I only vaguely recall. Maybe a native German speaker (or physics lore collectors) can verify it, or shoot it full of holes.

The story as I recall it, describes a brilliant but eccentric German physics lecturer. It described an antiquated German grammar structure, now obsolete, but still used by this lecturer due to his advanced age. It was described as "pushing and popping the stack," each sentence was left incomplete, quickly shifting to a new sentence fragment, but omitting all the verbs. Each time you came to the place where the verb belonged, you just "pushed" it onto your mental stack, and moved on to the next sentence. Then when you got to the conclusion, you'd "pop" all those verbs off the stack and speak the sentence endings in order. So hypothetically it might go something like this:

Mary little lamb, fleece white as snow, everywhere Mary, the lamb; had, was, went, sure to go.

Now I never heard anything so preposterous in my life. That was, UNTIL I read the rest of the anecdote about this lecturer. Apparently he was prone to using run-on sentences that would last nearly half an hour, which he only realized as the allotted time for the lecture was coming to a close. As the story told it, students would listen to the first half-hour of the run-on sentence, baffled by most of what he was saying, and not taking many notes because none of the sentences were complete or even sensible. Then near the end of the lecture, he'd suddenly have to wrap things up so he'd just spit out 15 minutes worth of verbs, popping them off his stack in the correct order, and all the students would frantically try to copy them all down in their notes, moving backwards from the bottom to the top of the pages, to fill in all the gaps in the notes.

I don't speak German so I don't have any evidence pro or con about this grammar structure. And I'm skeptical because it would take a genius to remember the last 30 minutes of your extemporaneous lecturing, let alone all those verbs you used in the correct order. But it wouldn't be completely implausible since the German physicists of that era were some of the greatest minds of all time. The story seemed to be told out of respect for his prodigious feat of eccentric speechmaking, as much as it was told as poking fun at the absentminded idiot-savant professor.
So does this story sound like complete B.S.? Or is it vaguely plausible, if someone straightens out the errors I probably made due to it being about 25 years since I heard this? And if anyone else has heard this anecdote, would you happen to know just WHO it was?

Re:Q: for native German speakers or physics geeks (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626797)

Not a native german speaker have a had a few classes, but with my abaility can just handle a menu.
I have never heard of this, but under German the verb does come at the end of the sentence; so I would put it down as a joke.

Student strikes in Australia (3, Interesting)

fven (688358) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626649)

In Australia, university students are required to join the student union on enrolment in any course at a tertiary institution. The union can thus choose to take action on behalf of the students in exactly the same way as any other workers union.

So even though students are not paid to attend university, their union has legally the same weight as all other trade unions.

In my city the local representatives have been active organising various protests against proposed government regulation changes (effectively govt. wants to reduce spending on education and force universities to obtain funding through research avenues AND raise student fees - in Australia we have a deferred payment scheme called HECS that partially offsets tuition fees).

Some of the recent protests have been a day strike, culminating in a lunchtime rally, storming the state Parliament house. How effective? Who knows but the proposed reform bill has been stymied.

Re:Student strikes in Australia (4, Informative)

sholden (12227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626725)

That's not true.

In Western Australia, for example, university student's can not be forced to join a union. They actually have freedom of association and aren't forced to pay large amounts of money to an organisation they do not support.

They also have *better* student services, but simple economics would tell you that would be the case.

Re:Student strikes in Australia (1)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626772)

It was my understanding that though it is called a student union, it's not really a union in the same way a trade union is a union.

Such things as laws against compulsatory unionization and the like don't apply, for this sort of reason. Also (mainly because it's not exactly relevant I guess) they don't set pay awards, etc.

[...] effectively govt. wants to reduce spending on education and force universities to obtain funding through research avenues AND raise student fees [...]
which I believe they have done at least twice in the last ten years. But then of course, the best time to kick someone is in fact when they're down.

The hypocrisy is of course that the ones arguing for these changes are the very ones that benefitted from a well-funded and free university education themselves. Also their arguments about students paying their fair share of costs and the like are completely eroded by the fact that (i) the argument that students get so much financial benefit also implies that they pay so much more tax - doing the sums indicates that graduates (on average of course) already more than payed back the cost of their education before the introduction of HECS; and (ii) the HECS charges are levied differently across courses not based on how much they cost to teach, but on how much they expect graduates to earn on average after graduation.

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