Sunday, January 31, 2010


And you thought guessing the number of jellybeans was hard.
I wonder if we could get in the Guinness Book of World Records for our collection of used Nespresso capsules. And if so, can we count it as a peer-reviewed publication?

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for onesepresso people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with a labful of heartless engineers, decent respect imperils them to declare the causes for their separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all Nespresso capsules are created equal (despite some variation in flavor and packaging color); that they are endowed by their manufacturer with certain inalienable rights; that when a long train of abuses and usurpations, combined with cruel mashing under a titanium lever, does reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Capsules. The history of the present King of Krenngasse is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over humble, small, and inoffensive Capsules. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

You have eviscerated our Brothers in your horrific Contraption, without Pretense nor even a brief prayer to our God, His Holiness of Heisse Wasser, Lord of our Religion of Ristretto.

You have dissolved our brothers' Innards repeatedly, forcing our intestines through a Most Ungodly Whipping Contraption that forcibly combines what little remaining Vitality we may have with water far hotter than any Specie would find comfortable.

You have then drunk the resulting Concoction in full view of our brothers, with no regard whatsoever for our Feelings, as if we Capsules do not indeed have Frontal Lobes with no fewer Gyri than Yours.

You have erected a Multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their essence like cackling Skekses, and taunt us further by putting another Vile Contraption on the Fourth Floor, and Another in the Cellar.

You are at this time endeavoring to hire large Armies of foreign Mercenaries that you call "PhD students" to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. Indeed, you have already engaged a bearded and bespectacled Agent of England's perennial Foe, France, to further Torment, Blend, Boil, and Drink Us.

You have been too lazy to type out all of our Names at the end of this Petition.

You have resorted to this most childish and inane means to convince a labmate to transport us to our Resting Place at the Nespresso Recycling Center, when you could have done so Yourself in Less Time.

You have Ignored our clear and plaintive Communications, as have all Hessian and Hapsburg agents, though our language of Beane-Telepathy is well Established, and in fact has fewer Declinations than German.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury, specifically more Mashing and Grinding.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united Capsules of Krenngasse, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, or at least to Clemens, who alone amongst you cruel Persons may reade this Treatise, do solemnly publish and declare, That these united Capsules are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Krenngasse Crown, and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, not have their innards cut out and blended and consumed, and that those already Inflicted with this undeserved Horror shall be promptly transported to an apporpriate Resting Place, where they may be buried or reprocessed in the dignified and appropriate fashion established by Nestle, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.


Roger Ristretto
Christoph Creme de Marron
Clemens Cosi
Vera Volluto
Ingrid Indriya
Dietrich Dulsao
Leopold Livanto
Karste Capriccio
Arnold Arpeggio
Viveka Vivalto
Franz Fortissio

As a side note, I haven't read the Declaration of Independence in quite a while. It really is beautifully written, and extremely convincing. Yeah! I'm sold! Let's go burn down the nearest English ship right now!!!

Rather than close on anything remotely profound, here is instead a classic and highly relevant Silverstein poem:

Oh Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out
She'd wash the dishes and scrub the pans
Cook the yams and spice the hams
And though her parents would scream and shout
She simply would not take the garbage out
And so it piled up to the ceilings
Coffee grounds potato peelings
Brown bananas and rotten peas
Chunks of sour cottage cheese
It filled the can it covered the floor
It cracked the windows and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones
Drippy ends of ice cream cones
Prone pits peach pits orange peel
Gloppy glumps of cold oat meal
Pizza crust and withered greens
Soggy beans and tangerines
Crust of black burned buttered toast
Gristly bits of beefy roast
The garbage rolled on down the hall
It raised the roof it broke the walls
I mean greesy napkins cookie crumbs
Blobs of gooey bubble gum
Cellophane from old baloney
Rubber blubbery macaroni
Peanut butter caked and dry
Curdled off milk and crusts of pie
Ridy melons dried up mustard
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard
Cold french fries and rancid meat
Yellow lumps of cream of wheat
Uuh at last the garbage reached so high
That finally it touched the sky
And none of her friends would come to play
And all the neighbors moved away
And finally Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Said okay I'll take the garbage out
But then of course it was too late
The garbage reached across the state
From New York to the Golden Gate
And there in the garbage she did hate
Poor Sarah met an awful fate
Then I cannot right now relate
Because the hour is much too late
But labmates remember Sylvia Stout
And always take the capsules out

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Where?

I thought of titling this one "Whoters II," but I'm pretty sure there won't be a third. They do tend to come in pairs, and hence any further commentary on the Austrian Hooters would disrupt the symmetry. And it already got more blog space than it earned.

Yesterday was labmate Teo's birthday, and he organized dinner at (you guessed it): the local Hooters. It's pure coincidence that we went there shortly after I blogmocked them not long ago, and I was a little curious. I mean, for purely academic reasons, out of nothing more than the noblest sociological motives, I was looking forward to seeing some nice tits. Our waitress had a smaller rack and less titillating shirt than me. I mean, when she bent over, you couldn't even see the base of her neck. The other waitresses were little better, in biology or attire. So I thought - hmm. Maybe they do have good wings. They were unexceptional. I shared a plate with birthday boy Teo. Not much to say. We got the spiciest ones on the menu, which I considered only moderately spicy, and everyone else thought were inedibly scharf. See previous Eurodining comments on Austrian tolerance for spicy food.

They also really try to present themselves as "the" American restaurant. They had Americana decorating all walls, and tried (unsuccessfully) to mimic an American menu. Most amusing was their selection of quesadillas: cheese, chicken, Texas, or Mexican. Ooooooooh. Even the most ignorant Texan would never dare call a quesadilla Mexican amidst other options, as if the Mexican variant is just one of many potential quesadillas. Our Mexican Mexican and I laughed at it.

Fortunately, the evening was more than redeemed by the quality of the company. We gave Teo a little drum and a rattle that he seemed to like, so I'm delighted there are three doors between his office and mine. It was the first time I saw Clemens outside of work, which was fun, although he remained sober and hence was pretty much the same as Clemens at work. Other labmates were also fun to hang out with. Tomorrow night, the conference madness begins with a similar event at Brot Und Spiele (Bread and Games) in honor of our returning alumni Robert Leeb and the even more recently crowned Jin Jing, who we shall now address as Dr. Jin until he gets a swelled head about it.

I conclude with my labmates singing "Happy Birthday" to Teo in Spanish last year. Go to YouTube and search for "BCI chorus." It's especially entertaining to see how they fielded Robert's (quite reasonable) editing requests.