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The Origin and Development of the Hole



By Duke Heath

In the beginning there was Ugh and Bah. Bah called Ugh, "Ugh," and Ugh called Bah, "Bah." Now at the same time as Ugh and Bah, there was a race of dinosaurs known as the Holesaurus. The Holesaurus had the most efficient digestive system that ever evolved on earth before or since. The animal digested and absorbed 100% of what it ate. When it came time to defecate, there was simply nothing to defecate, so the Holesaurus defecated nothing.

Soon there were large piles of nothing laying everywhere. The clan of Ugh and Bah found these piles of nothing very useful. They carried them everywhere they went. When threatened by a storm, large piles of nothing would be placed on the side of a mountain to form a cave for shelter. In their natural caves, many uses for the piles were also found. Smaller piles could be neatly folded and placed on the walls of the caves to form shelves for storage. A very, very small pile of nothing could be placed on their animal skins to form button holes. It was here that high fashion was born! Soon hem lines rose and neck lines fell. The population exploded!

The clan of Ugh and Bah named these piles of nothing after the animal they came from. They called them "holes". Soon the clan became very dependent on this technology.

The holes were very plentiful and extremely light. One person of average strength could carry several with him wherever he went. Everything was not great in Ugh and Bah's paradise, however. The holes had two drawbacks. They suffered from rapid bio-degradation. The holes would only last three, maybe four days tops. They also had a very slight fecal aroma.

One day the unthinkable happened. A plague of dysentery swept through the entire Holesaurus race and all the animals died. Though there were plenty of holes for the time being, the leading physicist of the time, Dr. Uwe von Shaman, knew it was only a matter of time until all of the holes degraded into nothing. They would have to come up with a technological substitute, an artificial hole!

Dr. von Shaman immediately stopped his work on the fundamental forces of nature, and began pondering this seemingly impossible problem. After several sleepless days, Uwe met with Ugh and Bah and told them of his theoretical solution.

We know that the force imparted to an object by another object is equal to the object's mass multiplied by its acceleration"explained Uwe. "What I propose is that we fit a piece of metal that has been honed to a very sharp point to the bottom of a 100kg. stone. This contraption shall be raised above a stegosaurus hide that has been stretched very tightly between four poles."

"But Doc," interrupted Bah, "We have dropped boulders weighing twice as much and no holes formed! Your plan sounds like pseudoscience at best, and perhaps even bordering on sheer lunacy!"

"My dear and learned friend Bah," Uwe kindly responded. "When you divide the total surface area of that part of the boulder which makes contact with the steg skin, you find that, though the total force imparted to the skin is great, the force at any one point is less than the structural integrity of the skin at that point, so the shear force required for penetration is not achieved!"

Ugh and Bah were very bright themselves. They contemplated this thought only a moment before breaking out into incredulous laughter, jumping high into the sky, and slapping each other's open palm. (This was Ugh and Bah's way of rejoicing in times of sudden pleasure. They called it "giving each other a high five.) They now also saw! They now also knew!

"So Doc," said Bah, " according to your theory, if we apply the basic physics formula F=MA to this problem, using a mass of 100kgs, dropped from a height of, say, five meters and multi-ply that mass by the acceleration of gravity, approximately 10 meters per second per second, and then focus that force on one point at the tip of the sharp metal?"

"Man, it will go through that sucker like a hot knife through butter!" interrupted an excited Ugh. ( No one likes hackneyed colloquialisms, and Ugh and Bah were no exceptions. At the time Ugh made this statement, however, it had never been made before and, thus, Ugh was not taken to task by the prim and proper Uwe.)

The "Great Experiment", as it was called back then, was a tremendous success, and the artificial hole was invented. Once again the signs of a healthy society, high hem lines, low neck lines and talk of war, were visible throughout the camp. Dr. von Shamen was finally able to get back to the particle physics which he so loved.

One cold winter's night, about a month later, Ugh and Bah paid Uwe another visit. They were wanting to learn how to make fire to keep their camp warm during the exceptionally hard winter they were enduring.

As soon as they entered Uwe's cave they realized it was much, much warmer than the average cave. When questioned about this, Uwe stated he had discovered an isotope of a certain heavy metal which gave off energy in the form of heat as it degraded. He went on to show them two different pieces of the metal he had been working with. One resembled a bowling ball with the core removed. The other appeared to be the core.

"According to my calculations," Uwe said as he wiped blood from his nose and spit out a tooth, "If we place the core inside the larger sphere a critical mass will be acheived and the two pieces together will generate much more heat than either would alone.

"Though I have been feeling a little under the weather, and my calculations might be off by several magnitudes of ten, " Uwe said as he spit out another tooth, " The device should be able to heat our entire camp if you will just slip the core inside the larger sphere.

Bah did, and it did.