Monday, November 22, 2010

The Extraordinary Vanishing of Captain Conrad

Coppula FF and the Current Revolution Editorial Committee.

Many subscribers may have wondered why the world-wide renowned Current Revolution journal, a key landmark on scientific enlightenment, has ceased publishing for the past few months. The reason is simple. Captain Conrad, a source of inspiration for numerous scientists at the edge, is to be missed. He was last seen attempting what might have been the most extraordinary achievement of Science. He then claimed to have found a protocol that would create life out of dark matter. Furthermore, he confessed his colleagues that such form of life could be induced into living beings by mutating in a directed fashion certain genes. These genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) would not be subjected to aging, leading to a golden era in which creatures would enjoy eternal youth in the long term (unless artificially and deliberately killed). His famous last words were: “Venter will kiss my ass”. Then he grabbed his favorite pipettes, retired into his gloomy lab and never came out. Some of his disciples have been patiently waiting by the door, even trying to break in at some point. The lab was in darkness of such a sort that the light generated by torches was absorbed and nothing could be seen. The feeling of all witnesses is that an absolute void had been created beyond that door. Silence was so overwhelming than it even echoed (physicists are now studying such phenomenon, especially the deaf ones). Objects diverse in weight, shape and consistence such as plastic spheres, semi-sucked lollipops, Ikea tables, vanilla pudding, concave mirrors, graduate students, scooters, blind astronauts, land-land missiles and Tea Party pamphlets have been thrown across the threshold and they all disappeared before our eyes without a trace. Conrad left the following notes, which also are of little help: Grow primary walrus left kidney cells in heparinized Coke medium supplemented with Scotch broth. Sip. Adjust pH to zero with pure atrabilis. Belch. Centrifuge at 100,000 g. But slowly. And gently. Please. Add the mutagenic cocktail, e. g., 3M quina (Sta. Catalina Inc.), butane (two bombones), 0.05 mM gazpacho sulphonate, just a spoonful of sugar and the medicine goes down, 1mg colorante para paella (Carmencita Ltd.). Think deeply. Relativity. Farther, Dr. Kurtz, farther. Concentrate on the sirtuins. The 13th aminoacid in the 7th alpha helix. Now to the left. Scratch there. Now introduce a cuvette full with 5M phalloidine in your mouth, put your tongue in the electroporator, program 2,500 V, turn the light off and press the button. Or was it the other way around? Yeah, that is capital. The raven. Dr. Livingstone in the shape of a raven, I sup-poes. Turn the light off. Now it is dark. Should I light a match? Elvis, is that you there?

We understand that this sort of inspiration must have led Professor Captain Conrad, Ph.D., very deep into a glimpse of Creation. He may have even witnessed the Big Bang himself. Hold on to Current Revolution: he may someday return and write about it.

Or not.