A new edition of the laws of physics was released yesterday evening, with sweeping consequences for people everywhere. Anxiety was widespread on campuses around the world as the new laws took effect. Students awoke this morning to a number of inexplicable changes, such as a gravitational constant that had more than doubled, and water that freezes only between 17°C and 19°C. The scene was one of chaos as students attempted to comprehend and function under the new laws. Pinned to the ground by the increased gravity, one bewildered student kept blubbering “I just don’t understand it.” When questioned, however, he conceded that he didn’t understand the old laws of physics either.

The laws take effect immediately and render all older editions of the laws of physics useless. Students had numerous theories about who was behind the switch. “It’s those textbook publishers, I just know it,” explained 3rd year Physics student Eileen Ford. “They ran out of question-numbers to change and interactive CD-ROMS to include, so they went out and tinkered with the fundamental constants of nature. It’s all a ploy to sell more books.” Many others, including noted UBC physicist Dr. Kevin Wong, were inclined to agree. Slouching from the increased gravity, he explained, “We’ve been brought up to believe that if it’s published in a textbook, it has to be true. Well, it seems there’s more truth to that than anyone imagined. They [textbook publishers] really have us by the balls now.”

In a brief press conference held in New York at noon today, representatives of several textbook conglomerates told people to “stop being such crybabies,” pointing out that only a few constants had been affected. When questioned by the press, they conceded that a few typos had snuck in (for example, Nitrogen became highly radioactive for nearly 15 minutes earlier today) but that these were quickly addressed with an addendum to the 3rd edition.

Students were encouraged to buy the 3rd edition, because all their problems sets will be based on it, but not to get too comfortable with it as a 4th edition is planned for next year. “We have sweeping changes planned, including light that travels slower than sound, and at least 3 new dimensions. We’re also getting rid of friction, it’s just too damn complicated.”