The Test

Please maintain focus on your own test booklet. In the event of an emergency, please raise your hand and await the proctor. Do not leave your desk for any reason. Do not make eye contact with the proctor at any time. Refrain from vocalization, and please keep any coughing or other physical functions to a minimum. The room should already be at a comfortable temperature. If not, please alert the proctor right away — once the test has begun, the temperature will not be modified. Should you complete the test early, re-check your answers. If you are satisfied with your work, please place your hands in your lap and keep your eyes on your desk. Good luck, and remember to enjoy yourself.

1) You are in a room with a gun and a time travel mechanism. You are told to kill either A) Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated the inconsequential noble Archduke Ferdinand, inciting World War I, or B) John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated the great Abraham Lincoln when the Civil War was already over. Which do you choose? What does your answer say about your ability to truly love another person?

2) You find yourself on the banks of a river, where there is a small rowboat. With you are a fox, a duck, a sack of corn, a mime, a notepad, a squid, and an anvil. Given that A) the fox will eat the duck, B) the duck will eat the corn, C) the mime will eat the fox, D) the anvil will sink the rowboat, and E) squids have terrible penmanship, in what order do you ferry everything safely from one side of the river to the other?

3) Jackson Pollock and other vanguards of the abstract expressionist movement brought together elements of the German expressionists' denial of self with the free-form aesthetic of Bauhaus and the Cubists, injecting their own sense of rebellion and anarchy. How can you best use this information to ruin Thanksgiving Dinner? Bonus points if you can tie it in with your sister's alcohol problem.

4) Fill in the blanks. You have 15 seconds.

  • Harpoon ==> Fledgling ==> __________
  • Geosynchronous ==> Paper cut ==> __________
  • Threadbare ==> Sour mash ==> __________
  • Polyglot ==> Hair ==> __________
  • Syntax ==> Hakeem Olajuwon ==> __________

5) Prepare a treatise comparing the fate of Laertes in Hamlet with that of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Read the treatise aloud with a straight face.

6) Walking down a bustling street, you find a money clip upon the ground. There are a dozen people nearby who could have dropped it, but none are looking your way. What do you do? Regardless of your answer, can't we make a pretty good argument that you're full of shit?

7) You have enjoyed a pleasant first date with a prospective relationship partner. After ten business days, the individual has not contacted you. How many texts do you send the individual before asking your friends if you seem stalker-ish? How many friends do you ask before accepting the truth? Show your work.

8) In 1971, as the Apollo 14 mission drew to a close, Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the surface of the moon, using a makeshift club he fashioned from a soil-sampling instrument. Write a 10,000-word essay on the theme, "What is it with golf, anyway? Do golfers not understand that the rest of us don't care?" Be sure to include in your essay an examination of the Apollo program's demise, and the politics behind the development of the Space Shuttle.

9) Two aluminum blocks, each weighing 25 g, stand adjacent in the center of an aluminum disc with a diameter of 3 m, at an ambient temperature of 25°C. The disc begins to rotate at an acceleration of .2 m/s2. After 10 seconds, the ambient temperature is increased to 50°C. Given aluminum's specific heat of 24.2 J/(mol*K), how long before the blocks fall off of the disc? Why on Earth do you know that?

10) Death is not an option: Margaret Thatcher covered in mayonnaise or Buddy Hackett after a week of not bathing. You have 5 seconds to decide.

Pencils down.