Professor van der Bishop EXPLAINS!

Professor van der Bishop, the famous scientist you may have seen discussing, koalas, kangaroos, birds, and even the Loch Ness Monster, is here to EXPLAIN all sorts of things in his unique style. It's just like Totally Authentic News, except... this is science!

Cutting edge research performed at one of the top institutions in the world, the University of Con City, has led to newfound understanding of one of the biggest societal concerns of our time: sea level rise. While the research group responsible for the discovery is far from offering a solution to the phenomenon which, many fear, may lead to the submersion of coastal cities, their recent publications in leading research journals show they now know the precise mechanism behind sea level rise.

`Most would simply pin the rising sea levels on global warming,' says Professor van der Bishop, the brains behind the research. `When you look close enough, you do indeed find a cause associated with global warming: the metabolism of fish. Owing to the fact that the average temperature of the planet is now higher than it used to be, the fish need to drink more water in order to keep themselves hydrated. Hence, they also urinate more, which in turn leads to the rising of the sea levels.'

Supporters of the global warming theory will be pleased by the findings of the research, however, Professor van der Bishop points out that the issue is more complicated than that.

`There are factors largely beyond our control that also contribute to the rising sea levels,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Precipitation, or in layman's terms, rain, provides a major contribution. Heavy rainfalls in recent years have increased, in part due to global warming, but mostly due to factors stemming from the poor eating habits of the human race. People suffer from high cholesterol levels and high body fat due to their poor diets. Now, you may find it difficult to connect this to sea level rise but consider that sharks in the sea feed on us. We are their natural sustenance on the food chain, and sadly, we are effectively poisoning them by forcing them to consume very fatty meat. It is for this reason that sharks vomit half digested liquid into the sea after each and every meal, which naturally leads to additional rise in the sea levels, over time.'

Environmentally conscious readers may now feel the urge to adopt a healthy diet, and Professor van der Bishop could not agree more, however, he is quick to add that one should not expect such efforts to save the day.

`Above everything we've discussed thus far, there exists another cause behind the alarming rise of the sea levels,' he says. `This is a cause that is both disturbing and terrifying, and I do fear we will never be able to do anything about it: birds.'

Those of you familiar with the Professor's bibliography may recall his popular science book, `Why the stork is more dangerous than the crocodile.' In that famous publication, Professor van der Bishop expresses his belief that birds are in fact `the most dangerous animals in the world.' Yet, you might wonder what the various species of what he affectionately calls `death on wings' have to do with the rising sea levels. The reason may lead you to reassess how you feel about penguins.

`I suspect it is mostly aggression, perhaps frustration, but I suppose we can't even rule out that it is malice,' Professor van der Bishop states. `Whatever the reason, it is an undeniable fact that birds are tearing apart the polar ice caps with their beaks. I have witnessed it with my own eyes during an expedition as a group of penguins spent four hours picking at the ice non-stop, tearing out small pieces, ice cubes essentially, from the wall of an iceberg, and then kicked them into the water. I watched them tear hundreds of little chips of ice out like that. And while you may think that is perhaps adorable, you should consider this. How fast does an ice cube melt in a beverage? Certainly much faster than an iceberg would. So, while we are in no danger of the icebergs melting anytime soon, all the little bits of ice that the birds carve off of them and throw into the sea are melting, adding gallons to the oceans each and every day, dangerously contributing to sea level rise. And that, I fear, may soon spell the end of human civilization as we know it.'

In other words, the Professor's research has found that the folly of man and mother nature share the blame for the rising sea levels. If you would like to know more, request a reprint of the Professor's new research paper, `Why we will all drown in fish urine and shark vomit while the birds laugh at our extinction in the rain,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

The University of Con City has developed a new low-cost solar power cell which exhibits unprecedented efficiency. The leader of the research group that designed the new power cell, Professor van der Bishop, offers a layman's explanation of the breakthrough.

`In order to shed light on how our device works, we must first discuss solar power in general,' the Professor states. `Most people don't quite realize it, but the only reason solar cells operate is due to the microorganisms that travel our way from the Sun. They're much like gerbils, only very, very small. So small, that they can ride on the rays of the Sun. We call them solar gerbils.'

The solar gerbils were first discovered by Professor van der Bishop, as documented in his highly cited research paper, `The tiny creatures who ride the sunlight across the galaxy.' Approximately one hundred billion times smaller than a water molecule, the solar gerbils ride the photons, the elementary particles in the rays of the Sun, much like a cowboy might ride a wild bull. Yet it is their mating habit which makes them truly interesting creatures.

`When a solar gerbil lands on a surface of any kind, it immediately starts looking for a mate,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Reproduction, you see, is the only thing that interests them other than riding the sunlight. As long as there are other solar gerbils riding in on photons from the Sun, the solar gerbils that already landed will engage in the most demanding physical activity available where they are, in order to impress prospective mates. With clever engineering, we can put their competitive nature to use. This is how solar power cells work.'

Solar power cells contain tiny exercise wheels which the solar gerbils put to use the exact same way as an ordinary gerbil uses a wheel to keep itself fit in the confines of its cage. As explained in the Professor's seminal paper, `Why solar power cells are no different from wind turbines,' the physical activity of the solar gerbils produces electricity much like a water or wind turbine. The efficiency of the solar cell depends on how fast the solar gerbils run on the exercise wheels, and limits in nanoscale wheel design have put a longstanding bottleneck on device performance.

`We found a way to overcome the problem,' Professor van der Bishop says. `We realized, that if we can't make the nano exercise wheels more efficient, perhaps we can make the solar gerbils more energetic. Now consider that the solar gerbils live on the Sun, in other words, in a very warm environment. We thought, that if we were to cool off the power cells during operation, and thereby create a very cold environment for the solar gerbils, then they might run faster on the nano exercise wheels in order to keep themselves warm. And indeed, when we cooled off the solar cells, their efficiency went up by ten percent.'

The remarkable increase in power output is considered a true breakthrough mostly due to the low cost method the Professor's team devised to make the solar cells more efficient. They use ice cubes to cool the power cells, and have designed easy-to-mount ice trays which can be mounted on rooftops around solar panels. The University of Con City has named the new power cell IcePowerTM, and intends to launch it on the mass market very soon. A couple of challenges still remain to be addressed, such as the ice melting over time, but the Professor is already hard at work at perfecting his innovative solar power cell.

`We are going to design heat resistant ice cube trays to keep the ice frozen as long as possible,' he explains. `But the real challenge is doing something about the birds. Unfortunately, mounting our new solar panels on a rooftop, which is their intended use, leaves them open to attack by every bird you can think of. These dangerous flying creatures are somehow obsessed with destroying ice wherever they can find it, so we must find a way to protect IcePowerTM cells. Perhaps some kind of biological repellent might work, but we need to be sure that it won't have a harmful effect on the solar gerbils. That would be both counterproductive and environmentally irresponsible, after all.'

If you would like to know more about IcePowerTM and the groundbreaking research behind it, request a reprint of the Professor's new research paper, `Why ice cubes go with solar power like ice cream goes with the summer,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

In the times before Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the planet, a considerable portion of the population firmly believed that the Earth was flat. Over the centuries that passed since then, journeys around the world by sea and by air have further proven that the Earth is round, and yet, a great number of people still believe to this day that the Earth is flat. Experts at the University of Con City have taken it upon themselves to explore `Flat Earth Theory' and expose its flaws.

`Flat Earth Theory makes no sense for multiple reasons,' says world renowned scientist Professor van der Bishop. `We could cite dozens of arguments against this dated superstition, but I believe it will suffice to focus on the strongest rebuttals. First of all, the behavioral pattern of cats.'

A few years ago the Professor helmed a research project called `How the miniature tigers and panthers trick humans into serving them as slaves,' which among other things aimed to understand how cats behaved in various household environments, such as in the vicinity of cardboard boxes and wallpaper. One of the tests they conducted involved observing what cats did atop kitchen tables.

`We placed a cat in the very center of a round kitchen table and measured the time it took the animal to find the edge and jump down to the floor,' the Professor elaborates. `We found that, ninety percent of the time, the cat meticulously pushed every item atop the table over the edge before jumping off the table to play with the spoons and the pieces of the shattered porcelain mugs. This process usually took less than two minutes. Our observation proves that, if the Earth were flat, cats would have pushed everything over its edge by now. Granted, the Earth is much larger than a kitchen table so it would take them a lot longer than two minutes, but let us not forget that cats have been around for thousands of years. I estimate they'd have cleared the Earth by the early Middle Ages.'

The psychology of felines is just one of many facts the Professor considers undisputed proof against Flat Earth Theory. Other animals also exhibit behavioral patterns which are completely incompatible with a flat Earth.

`Birds provide strong evidence against Flat Earth Theory thanks to their attraction to sunlight,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `If in fact the Earth were flat, the Sun would revolve around us, moving from east to west and then passing under the earth from west to east. Now, birds like to be in the sunlight, or in general where it's warm; this is why they migrate as seasons change. However, if the Earth were flat, they'd all just sit on its edge, more specifically on whichever edge of it is closest to the Sun. Their combined weight would cause the Earth to start to flip over. In the morning they would sit on the eastern edge and hence cause the Earth to flip down in the east, which would lead to a faster sunrise. But as soon as the Sun got past its zenith the birds, being very cunning predators, would fly over to the western edge of the Earth, sit there, and cause it to flip down in the west. That, in turn, would lead to a very slow sunset, and therefore to extremely long days, or in extreme cases, to a neverending day and nonexistent night. We have never seen anything of the sort happen, which proves that the Earth cannot be flat.'

The Professor cites many other reasons why Flat Earth Theory is false. Some of these have to do with termites and sharks, others with used car salesmen. Perhaps the most interesting argument of them all though is the one involving extraterrestrial life.

`Statistically speaking,' Professor van der Bishop says, `it is an undeniable fact that alien life exists. The Universe is simply so vast that intelligent life had to evolve somewhere other than on Earth. For the same statistical reasons, it is beyond doubt that somewhere giant space aliens who like to play with frizbees exist in particular. Now, if the Earth were flat it stands to reason that these giant space aliens would have come here by now to use it as a frizbee. Which would of course lead to completely erratic day and night cycles, which we have never seen in recorded history. This unquestionably proves that the Earth is in fact round. It also proves that there cannot be any giant space aliens out there who like to play with balls.'

Given the long list of scientific facts provided here, one might wonder why anyone actually supports Flat Earth Theory. To this, Professor van der Bishop offers a straightforward answer.

`It's because people believe everything they read on the internet,' he states. `The sad truth is there are all sort of disreputable media outlets out there that spam the internet with falsities and fake news. People would do well to only read news written by journalists who possess high integrity like Jonathan Parker, and only listen to scientific experts in matters of science.'

If you would like to read more about a rigorous scientific rebuttal of Flat Earth Theory from one of the most reputable scientists in the world, request a reprint of the Professor's new research article, `Why you shouldn't listen to the people who claim that the Earth is not a giant watermelon,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

A new popular science article by a top researcher at the University of Con City is making headlines due to its much appreciated attempt to explain sophisticated technology to laymen. The article discusses computers, more specifically, how they operate.

`Most people assume it's all just wires and electricity,' says Professor van der Bishop, author of the article. `In reality, computers function thanks to the hard labor of tiny lifeforms that inhabit the interior of computers. They are black, have three legs, and have no arms. We call them transistors.'

The article goes on to explain that computers essentially work like an ordinary factory, in which the little three legged creatures are the workers. What differentiates computers from let's say a manufacturing plant, is how the workers inside do their job.

`Since they have no arms, they are unsuitable for manual labor,' the Professor states. `However, they have extensive telepathic and telekinetic powers. They stand still with their legs -- which function like antennas -- spread in a rigid stance, use telekinesis to move the electrons in the circuits of the computer, and rely on telepathy to coordinate their work.'

The wondrous creatures described in the article sound like no other lifeform on Earth. One might therefore wonder where they came from.

`The transistors are aliens from outer space,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `They came to Earth in the first half of the 20th century after the tragic destruction of their homeworld. They integrated into human society by taking up jobs inside radios, and later, television sets. Their knowledge and skills were instrumental in the invention of computers, and in time the majority of transistors established careers working in these new machines. It is since then that the transistors are black. Originally they came in various colors, such as green, white, blue, and others. But inside computers, it is so dark that the transistors can't tell each other's colors, so they all shed their colors in favor of the simple black body that makes them feel like they fit in better in their new environment.'

The Professor's article discusses, at length, the advantages and disadvantages of employing members of an alien race as workers inside dark, tight confines, and draws attention to the scientific fact that ninety-nine out of one hundred alien species would have rebelled against the human race by now in such working conditions. And while the occasional system crashes and the prevalence of damaging computer viruses gives clear indication of some unrest and poor health conditions among the transistor population, the Professor points out that in general the worker satisfaction of the three legged little aliens is exceedingly high.

`They are happier with their jobs than any human on the planet,' he states. `In fact, they couldn't be happier with their legal agreements with humanity. The reason for this is that by giving them jobs inside computers, we shelter them from the most dangerous threat to their existence: birds. Despite being alien to Earth's biosphere, or perhaps for that very reason, birds love to feed on them. Transistors therefore live in constant fear of being devoured by giant feathery creatures, and not just because of Earth's birds, but also because their home planet was eaten by a giant cosmic bird that hatched from the sun in their home system. Therefore, they love to work in confined environments like the interior of machines; it is the only way they feel safe.'

Professor van der Bishop also warns the readers against disrupting the safety of transistors by opening the chassis of their computers, for any reason.

`We should treat them with respect and give them both safety and privacy,' the Professor says. `Therefore, we should always keep every computer chassis closed. Often, users open up the chassis in order to provide more ventilation, mistakenly believing that doing so may help prevent system crashes from overheating. But in fact, opening the chassis just agitates the transistors, and increases the likelihood of panic or unrest among them, which will crash the computer very quickly. It is best, therefore, to keep the chassis closed at all times.'

And while the Professor's instructions may sound counterintuitive, he offers further incentive to let the transistors work at their own pace.

`Computers crash sometimes, but you shouldn't try to avoid this by terrorizing the workers with an open chassis and the threat of being scooped up by a passing sparrow,' he advises. `Crashes are just the transistors' way of telling you that they are overworked. Let them rest at such times, and switch the computers back on when the workers are fresh and ready for the next shift. They will thank you. Pay attention the next time you watch adult videos on the internet. If you find that the videos are high resolution and very smooth, rather than pixellated and crashing every time your preferred sexual organ fills the screen, it's because you treated your workers well and they rewarded you by finding the best quality adult content for you that the internet has to offer. The secret of a good working relationship is to treat your workers with respect, irrespective of whether your workers are tiny three legged aliens from outer space.'

If you would like to know how computers work in detail, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why miniature three legged space aliens work day and night inside our computers to help us find adult videos on the internet,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

The daylight savings scheme has been in use all over the world for a very long time. Its purpose is to cut down on the costs of lighting in the summer when the days are long, and it achieves this by pushing the clock forward by one hour, resulting in the population having to climb out of bed an hour earlier than in the winter. Many people criticize the scheme for making their lives needlessly complicated. A recent article by top scientists at the University of Con City discusses daylight savings and reveals a thing or two about the scheme that you may be unaware of.

`I fully understand everyone's frustration,' says Professor van der Bishop, leader of the research group behind the article. `Getting up early is in general very unpleasant, and getting up an extra hour earlier is even worse. But the daylight savings scheme is in place for good reasons, albeit not the reasons on which the media outlets like to focus.'

Statistics have demonstrated time and again that the daylight savings scheme reduces electricity usage and thereby saves money for everyone. However, the Professor has pointed out that the amount of usage reduction is in fact quite small.

`The gross savings are considerable but the net savings are negligible,' the Professor states. `Consider, that getting up early leads to an increase in coffee consumption, which means more electricity is spent on operating the coffee machines than during winter. Likewise, people set the volume of the TV and the radio much higher in the morning in order to stay awake, which again increases power consumption. Honestly, it's easy to see why many people believe the daylight savings scheme is not worth the trouble. But there's more to this than electricity.'

Switching to summer time or back is very similar to jumping over into a neighboring time zone. The Professor argues that the daylight savings scheme helps us learn how to better cope with jet lag on short haul flights.

`The stress of getting used to a new time zone keeps some people from traveling far,' he says. `That's an unfortunate blow to tourism, and also robs these people of valuable life experiences. With the daylight savings we all get to experience what it's like to step just a little outside our comfort zone, and when people see that it's really not so bad, they become more willing to go on a long distance holiday. It's good for them, good for tourism, good for the economy. Especially the economy, considering how much money people spend on coffee, energy drinks, and sleeping pills in the summer.'

The complexity of the daylight savings scheme does not stop there. The Professor reveals that without it, we could potentially face a risk of famine.

`Birds are the biggest reason why we absolutely need the daylight savings scheme,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `You might have heard the saying that the early bird gets the worm. What can I say, it's an understatement. As soon as birds are up, they go hunting, mercilessly and with brutal efficiency. They eat all the worms they can find. Therefore, fishermen are stuck with the leftovers, meaning, they can barely catch any worms to use as bait. And worms are still the best lure for fishing, hence if we are to avoid a shortage of fish on the market, we have to beat the birds to the worms.'

And so we rely on the daylight savings scheme to guarantee a steady supply of fish in the supermarkets. One might wonder then why we don't just adjust working hours such that we begin our day early all year long, why we even have winter time. Professor van der Bishop has the terrifying answer.

`If we didn't allow the birds to have the advantage at least during the winter, they would kill us all,' he says. `Or at the very least claw all our eyes out. With their beaks. And that's another reason why we need the daylight savings scheme. If we take their worms all year round, they'll kill us. If we let them have the worms in the winter, they'll tolerate us. But if we surrender the worms to them in the summer as well, they will smell our fear and enslave us. Knowing that, I'm sure everyone can agree that getting up early for six months is not such a bad thing.'

If you would like to gain a better understanding of the daylight savings scheme, request a reprint of the Professor's new research article, `Why the daylight savings literally save us from a life of servitude in an avian dominated dystopia,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

Recent revolutionary research performed at the University of Con City into the origins of the age-old domestic chore known as spring cleaning has led to startling discoveries. Professor van der Bishop, the initiator of the research, shares his findings.

`Contrary to popular belief, spring cleaning is not a response to the dirt accumulated over the course of the winter months,' he says. `It is, against all intuition, not the manifestation of a youthful drive given to us by the spring weather in order to clean up the mess of winter. On the contrary. Spring cleaning is a direct consequence not of the existence of winter, but of spring itself. In order to understand why, we must first realize where all the dust in our homes really comes from.'

According to the studies performed by the Professor's research group, the dust commonly found in homes is composed in over ninety percent of organic materials. More specifically, pollen.

`The vast majority of the dust in flats and houses comprises grains of pollen that enter our homes through the open windows,' the Professor states. `The reason dust accumulates indoors is because as soon as the spring weather comes, we open our windows to let the fresh air in, and the unfortunate side effect of doing so is that all the pollen in the air outside comes with it. And in the spring, due to the biology of plant life, the air is filled to the figurative brim with pollen.'

The Professor's research further reveals that there is a very particular reason why an extreme amount of dust accumulates in our homes as soon as spring begins.

`You may have heard a thing or two about what the birds and the bees do in the spring,' the Professor elucidates. `What you may not know is that their reproduction habits have dire consequences for the human race. Bees, as is common knowledge, are pollinators. In layman's terms, that means they play a key role in gathering and spreading the pollen of flowers. Due to this job of theirs, they inevitably carry some residual pollen with them when their shift ends, and all that pollen gets shaken off when they engage in quality time with their significant others. In addition, those of them that engage in the animal kingdom equivalent of office flirtation, spread even more pollen in the air. And unlike human society, bees have no HR, or rather, BR department, to discipline their workers for unprofessional conduct at the workplace.'

While the bees are perhaps the biggest source of the increased concentration of pollen in the air, the spread of pollen from the air into our homes is in fact caused by other animals.

`The birds actually provide the biggest contribution to the spread of pollen,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Their own mating habits involve a lot of flying, especially during the foreplay and the climax. The flapping of their wings creates gusts of wind increasing the spread of pollen. Moreover, due to the birds wanting to keep away from human habitats in their private moments, they fly away from houses, which means their wings flap towards the houses, and therefore all the pollen in the air is driven towards our homes. Incidentally, the birds are also the reason why the spring is the windiest season of them all.'

Professor van der Bishop plans to follow up his research with a related project on what he calls the `bird wing effect,' which is his theory that a bird flapping its wings on the other side of the street can cause a tornado in your living room. While his research may tempt some of us to keep our windows closed during the spring, the Professor warns that it would be ill advised to do so.

`Keeping the windows closed would just make things worse,' he states. `The constant dust storm hitting the closed windows could stain them up so bad that within a few days it would be impossible to see through them due to the deposited grime. By the end of the first week no light would make it through into the room, which is likely to lead to depression. Best to put up with the cleaning chores, no matter how tiresome they may be.'

If you would like to know more about the science of spring cleaning, request a reprint of the Professor's new research article, `Why the birds and the bees and the flowers are responsible for the most exhausting household chore in the history of mankind,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

Perfumes have, over the years, become an integral part of our daily lives. Their use dates back to ancient times, yet it has only become a billion dollar industry in the second half of the 20th century. A new study by researchers at the University of Con City reveals that the timing is no coincidence.

`There is a correlation between the growth of the fragrance industry and the growth of the planet's population,' says Professor van der Bishop, leader of the research effort. `When the number of humans on Earth surpassed one billion, we reached a critical mass that triggered a reaction mechanism from the biosphere. Mother nature has created a new microorganism designed to combat the overpopulation of the Earth, a microorganism which has severe detrimental effects on the human race. It is to fight off these microbes that the fragrance industry has grown to supply perfumes on a global scale.'

Named nasal germs, the microorganisms discussed by Professor van der Bishop embed themselves inside human noses and prevent various scents from being felt. In particular, they block out all smells produced by fellow members of the human race.

`You might think that germs in our noses that prevent us from smelling the sweat or the wind passed by the people around us would be a good thing,' Professor van der Bishop says, `but they also block our ability to smell the pheromones produced by members of the opposite sex. Thereby, these germs shut down all human desire for sexual intercourse, which was the reason why the Earth's biosphere created the nasal germs in the first place. Without the desire for sex, we cannot reproduce, and therefore the population of the human race would drop quite significantly within a generation. That's good for the planet, of course, but not so good for us, since the germs work a little too well.'

The nasal germs are one hundred percent efficient. No members of the human race are immune to its effects, meaning, that if left unchecked for a century, these bacteria would exterminate humanity. Fortunately, as revealed by the Professor's research, perfumes save us from complete annihilation.

`Fragrance companies have developed an antibiotic that kills nasal germs,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `The antibiotic requires perfumes in order to be transmitted into our noses, but once inside, they neutralize the nasal germs, once more allowing us to smell when our significant others would like to engage in sexual intercourse. Thereby, fragrances save us from going extinct.'

Unfortunately, no fragrance company has been able to produce an antibiotic that can outright kill the nasal germs, they can only neutralize them, temporarily. For this reason, continued use of perfumes is necessary in order for humanity to survive.

`Furthermore,' the Professor elaborates, `the nasal germs evolve over time. It takes them about three months to develop immunity to the antibiotics. This is why perfume companies produce new fragrances every year, for every season.'

Thus fragrances prohibit an overzealous Mother Nature from wiping out humanity via bacteria in our noses. But the importance of using perfumes does not end there.

`Fragrances do two things,' the Professor states. `First, they neutralize the nasal germs. Second, they neutralize the scents produced by the nasal germs. These bacteria produce a pheromone of their own which humans cannot smell, but some animals can. In particular, birds. They not only smell it but they get agitated by it. Any bird that smells the nasal germs goes into a berserk fury and makes a beeline for the person whose nasal germs it smells, and uses its beak to rip off the nose, then flies with it to the nearest body of water and drops it there. In some remote parts of the world, which have no access to either perfumes or scarecrows, tribes exist that ritually cut off their own noses at a young age in order to protect themselves from the birds.'

Given the significance of combating the nasal germs, it is perhaps no surprise that Professor van der Bishop has secured considerable research funding from the very industry that leads the fight against these vicious bacteria.

`I have received most generous funding from a company named TelfordChem, which is based in Con City and manufactures all sorts of products, including a new fragrance for every season every year. They've given me extensive resources to conduct research into the nasal germs and to raise public awareness to this issue. And since perfumes save us not just from extinction, but also from having to live our lives in shame of having no nose, my advice to everyone is to buy the newest fragrance by TelfordChem, called Hardened Delight, at the nearest local supermarket or pharmacy.'

If you would like to know more about nasal germs and the antibiotics transmitted in fragrances, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why perfumes save us from extinction and from having our noses ripped off by seagulls,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

The most popular season in much of the world is the summer. It is the time when no one needs to worry about the cold, and anyone can enjoy a pleasant time out in the open. Yet the summer offers its fair share of unpleasant moments, in particular, summer heat waves. When the weather gets excessively hot, it becomes difficult to enjoy the season. A research group at a top institution explains the reasons behind the inconvenient phenomenon.

`It is common knowledge that the so-called greenhouse effect is responsible for keeping the climate warm,' says Professor van der Bishop, head of the research initiative at the University of Con City. `The clouds up in he sky prohibit the rays of the sun, bouncing back from the ground, to leave the atmosphere, which instead bounce back to the ground to warm up the Earth even more. That is why we have very hot summer days when there are white clouds scattered across the sky. But as many of you have no doubt experienced, we get even worse heat waves when the skies are completely clear. For those heat waves, a completely different and altogether far more frightening phenomenon is responsible.'

In his new article, Professor van der Bishop goes on to reveal the mechanism by which temperatures rise to unbearable levels under clear summer skies.

`Birds, in particular, birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, and condors, still frequent the skies even when clouds are nowhere to be seen,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Of course, their feathers absorb the heat of sunlight, so their bodies do not contribute to the greenhouse effect in any way. Their eyes, on the other hand, do something far worse. Being birds of prey, their eyes are very large, and they essentially act as giant lenses that gather the rays of the sun and reflect them back to wherever it is they direct their gaze. And being birds of prey, they cast their eyes down to the ground, seeking hares, oxen, and deer to prey upon. The focused sunlight warms up the ground and would set the grass on fire were it not for the fact that birds of prey fly very fast and scan the ground for prey even faster. Consequently, the focused sunlight beaming down to the ground from their eyes sweeps over very large areas, which is why the overall climate gets very, very warm.'

For the reasons explained by the Professor, he advises against spending too much time out in the open during a summer heat wave without ample protection.

`It is a common misconception that UV radiation is responsible for horrific skin diseases like skin cancer and sunburns,' he states. `In reality, the spectrum of the sunlight scorching the Earth from the eyes of birds is very broad, and so sunscreen will not protect us against the overwhelming power of this concentrated sunlight. It is very necessary to only go outside in the summer with thick, black umbrellas, which we can use to block out the rays of the focused sun. Now, you might think that using tin foil covered umbrellas, or umbrellas with any other kind of reflective surface, would be even better. On the contrary, you should never carry a reflective umbrella, since when the sunlight is reflected back into the eyes of hawks, they get so irritated they will swoop down, destroy the umbrella, and claw out your eyes.'

Based on the Professor's scientific analysis, it is safest to enjoy the summer warmth at night. Yet he warns that even being outdoors after sunset carries significant risk.

`Many people, couples in particular, like to enjoy the warm summer night, out on the grass, watching the moon and the stars, while the cool summer wind blows down at them from the pine forests up the hill, thinking, that they are safe,' Professor van der Bishop says. `In truth, they put themselves in harms way even worse than they would by taking a walk during the day. Pine forests are home to a nocturnal species of birds of prey, namely, owls. Now, owls have extremely large eyes, by far the largest of all birds in existence. Therefore, albeit they only have the light of the moon at their disposal, they ultimately gather so much light in the lenses in their eyes that, once focused, all that light functions almost like a high power laser beam, which, once directed at the ground where they search for hedgehogs to feed on, warms up the air so much that any wind blowing down the hill from the forest onto the unsuspecting couple enjoying the summer night in the valley will be quite the opposite of a cool summer breeze. The sudden onslaught of hot air can easily suffocate anyone caught in its path. It is best, therefore, to stay indoors at night. Or if you must go outside, make sure to carry oxygen tanks with you.'

If you would like to know more about the science of the summer heat wave, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why the next step in the evolution of birds will be to grow laser eyes,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

The scientific community has been abuzz since the detection of gravitational waves, which are viewed as a milestone discovery and a practical confirmation of relativity theory. A research group at the University of Con City has kindly produced a popular science paper in which they explain, in simple terms, what gravitational waves are, and why they are important.

`Most people are aware by now that there is a connection between Einstein's theories and gravitational waves,' says Professor van der Bishop, head of the research group that penned the paper. `However, they are not aware of what that connection is, and many of them fear that they would get lost in the differential equations and multi-dimensional physics if they were to try to delve into it. Which is a shame, because gravitational waves are much simpler than people think. In layman's terms, they're created by the blinking of crows.'

While the idea that blinking birds are responsible for the creation of gravitational waves may sound baffling at first, the Professor points to little known facts that lend credibility to his statements.

`Most of the effects of relativity are linked to black holes,' he says. `Gravitational waves are no exception. Some believe that the black holes at the centers of galaxies give rise to such waves, and that is why they are so difficult to detect. In reality, this is a misconception. Yes, such black holes do create gravitational waves, but they are too far away from Earth. The ones detected here recently were in fact caused by different black holes, much closer to home: the eyes of crows.'

In cosmology, a black hole is an object so heavy that it attracts all light into itself and does not allow it to escape. In science fiction films, they are often depicted as instruments of destruction on a colossal scale. According to Professor van der Bishop, miniature black holes also exist, and can be found in places where no one thought to look.

`It's baffling, really, that Einstein never realized that the eyes of crows were black holes,' the Professor states. `Biologists and ornithologists have of course long known that the eyes of crows were extremely dark, and if Einstein had collaborated with an ornithologist, he might have realized that crows' eyes are so black that no light can escape them at all. How the birds are capable of housing the tiny black holes in their eye sockets is still a matter of debate in the scientific community. I have a research grant myself that is dedicated to the research of this very topic. Nevertheless the observation remains: the eyes of crows are miniature black holes, and it is these black holes that produce the gravitational waves that can be detected on Earth.'

As for the mechanism by which gravitational waves are created, the Professor provides a crystal clear explanation.

`Sometimes, a pair of crows will stare into each other's eyes for a prolonged amount of time, at which point the black holes start to attract each other with an overwhelming force,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `When the crows blink, their eyelids disrupt the interaction between the black holes. Since they blink once every couple of minutes, they create a slow waveform that bounces back and forth between the eyes of the two birds, and when one of them finally decides to fly away, the waveform is released, forming a gravitational wave.'

Gravitational waves are unfortunately not the only byproduct of the black holes inside the eye sockets of crows. Black holes are inherently heavy objects that produce a very strong gravitational field, which can lead to serious problems if a large number of them gather together.

`We don't call a murder of crows a murder of crows for nothing,' the Professor warns. `When a flock of them gathers in a small area, the combined effect of the heavy gravitational force in all those tiny black holes adds up to a force so destructive it rivals tidal waves. Thirty crows can topple a skyscraper just by flying around the building. It's a serious threat to our everyday lives, and it is imperative that we build suitable defenses against it.'

The `suitable defenses' the Professor speaks of are, as some readers may guess, scarecrows.

`Scarecrows have been used by farmers since time immemorial to protect their crops,' Professor van der Bishop says. `What we must understand is that we need to have scarecrows in urban environments as well. While we don't need one on every corner, we should certainly install scarecrows wherever crows are likely to occur in large numbers. I propose we plant a scarecrow, a large one, the bigger the better, into every public park and atop every building, especially skyscrapers. Quite frankly, if we don't want to risk buildings crumbling to dust every time a squadron of crows flies past, scarecrows should be as abundant as lightning rods.'

If you would like to know more about gravitational waves and scarecrows, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why the miniature black holes in the eyes of crows create gravitational waves and pose a threat to urban environments,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

Thunderstorms pose a very real threat to human life and civilization due to the power of lightning strikes. One should never take a walk outdoors in the middle of a storm, yet staying indoors puts us at risk as well due to the detrimental effects lightning strikes can have on the wiring or insulation of buildings. It is therefore no surprise that lightning rods have become an essential part of buildings, designed to protect them from overwhelming currents. Yet the precise operation of these devices is sufficiently complicated that a research group saw it fit to write a popular science article in which they explain just how lightning rods protect us from Mother Nature's electric wrath.

`To understand lightning rods, we must first understand lightning strikes,' says Professor van der Bishop, author of the article. `Lightning, contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with ionized particles in the air between the ground and a storm cloud. It is produced by living organisms, insects that we call electric mites. These are very small bugs, a thousand times smaller than ants, which is why no one can see them. They feed on electricity which they absorb from ionized particles that can be found inside storm clouds.'

When dark storm clouds gather above, the electric mites fly all the way up into the clouds to feed. Unfortunately, the older the electric mites grow, the less agile they become, and they no longer have the energy to fly all the way up to the clouds.

`When the storm breaks, electric mites gather underneath it,' the Professor states. `The ones that are young and quick, fly all the way up, while the old, slow ones stay on the ground. Now, you might think the old ones just starve in accordance with the principles of natural selection. On the contrary. Electric mites have a socially responsible society built on cooperation and a respect for the elderly. It is for this reason that not all of them fly all the way to the top. Instead, they form a living chain between the ground and the cloud, passing electricity from one to the other, which from a distance is observed as a fractal-patterned bright line, that is, a lightning bolt. As the electric mites absorb electricity from the clouds, they consume only as much as they need, and the rest they pass on along the chain. In this way, the old electric mites at the bottom are able to feed, and thereby stay alive and continue to contribute valuable wisdom to the young electric mites. Truly, an inspirational form of cooperation that human society and the ridiculous pension schemes we design could learn from.'

In light of how lightning strikes are formed, it is perhaps no surprise that lightning rods are designed to accommodate these clever microorganisms in a way that is beneficial to both them and us.

`You may think of lightning rods as retirement homes for aging electric mites,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `They are built with a cavity in the bottom where the aging electric mites can gather together and gossip all day long and keep their minds sharp by exploring nanoscale mazes that we fabricate for them via nanolithography. By building such shelters for old electric mites, we ensure that none of them stay near the ground where people walk, and thereby we ensure that lightning only ever strikes into lightning rods. Of course there are always a few grumpy stragglers who refuse to stay in the shelters no matter how cozy we make it for them in there, and that is why we still get reports of the occasional lightning bolt striking people, despite the prevalence of lightning rods.'

The technological wonder of the lightning rod is considered the pinnacle of human engineering by the Professor and his team. Yet this sophisticated invention is not without flaws. The biggest of them is its visibility.

`Lightning rods are shiny, by necessity,' the Professor elaborates. `That's how the electric mites can find it. But unfortunately, other animals can find them as well. In particular, birds. Birds are genetically drawn to shiny objects, and, as is common knowledge, many of them like to feed on insects. Now, the young, agile electric mites can evade the beaks of a swallow, but the old ones cannot. And the birds, cunning creatures, know this, and also understand how lightning rods operate. Essentially, birds look upon the shelters we make for electric mites inside lightning rods as feeding troughs. Which is a serious problem, because they scare the electric mites away from lightning rods, and so more and more elderly electric mites refuse to move into the shelters inside them. Needless to say, that leads to an increased likelihood of people being struck by lightning.'

Professor van der Bishop warns that if left unchecked, birds will cause irreparable damage to lightning rods. He does, however, offer a solution.

`Steel cages need to be built around all lightning rods,' he says. `It is a simple and powerful solution. All we need to do is ensure that the gaps between bars are large enough for the electric mites to access the lightning rods, but small enough that the birds can't get through. Or their beaks, for that matter. Protected by the steel cage, the electric mites will feel safe and lightning rods will be perfectly operational, as normal.'

If you would like to know more about lightning rods and electric mites, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why it is in humanity's best interest to surround every lightning rod with a Faraday cage,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

Cloud computing is arguably one of the most significant advances in informatics in the 21st century. The ability to upload our data into the cloud and access it anytime on any computer anywhere in the world as longs as we are connected to the cloud is remarkably convenient, and even gives us piece of mind that our data is safely backed up. The technology, however, is difficult to grasp. A research group at the University of Con City has recently written a popular science article in which they explain, in layman's terms, how cloud computing really works.

`The first thing we must realize is that cloud computing relies on actual clouds,' says Professor van der Bishop, leader of the research group. `And I don't mean that as a metaphor. I mean that cloud computing relies on storm clouds up in the sky to store our data. That's why it's called cloud computing. Although in retrospect, it may have been a better choice to call it storm cloud computing, to make it easier to understand.'

The Professor's statements may sound baffling at first, but his article reveals the science behind the concept of using a storm cloud for data storage.

`As is common knowledge, storm clouds are filled with electrically charged particles,' the Professor says. `As is also common knowledge, computers are electronic devices that rely on electrons, which are electrically charged particles, to process and store information. With clever engineering, we can put the charged particles inside storm clouds into the exact same use as electrons inside silicon circuitry in a laptop. This is easily achieved with nanotechnology, which we use to make so-called Cloud Processing Units, or in short ClPUs, tiny processors that are light enough to hover inside storm clouds. These are powered by the electricity stored in the clouds and they regulate the flow of charged particles around them, and thereby store any data we upload to it. From there the only challenge is getting access to that data, which of course is achieved with the aid of a nanoscale wireless router attached to the ClPU.'

While storing data inside clouds in the sky is technically a simple matter, cloud computing is more complicated than that.

`Clouds disperse over time and therefore data cannot be stored in them forever,' the Professor states. `This problem, of course, is contrary to the whole concept of cloud computing, but it is easy to circumvent. There are countless clouds in the sky, and all we have to do is put every single one of them to use as a cloud storage device. That is why we now have a ClPU at the core of every cloud in the sky. These are all interconnected and synchronized through the wireless connection that links neighboring clouds, ensuring that numerous different clouds store the same data. When a cloud disperses completely, the ClPU within enters power save mode until a new cloud begins to form in its vicinity, then hovers into it and rebuilds the previously lost data storage unit through the wireless link to the other clouds. That is how cloud computing ensures that our data remains safe until the end of time.'

Yet the Professor warns that even with the synchronization and self-regulation of the Cloud Processing Units, data in clouds is at risk from a very real source of danger.

`Birds are a major threat to the integrity of cloud data storage,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Specifically, birds of prey that fly high enough to reach the clouds. Their eyesight is good enough that they can spot the ClPUs within the clouds, and since they're drawn to shiny objects they are compelled by their very nature to take a closer look. More often than not, they swallow the ClPUs, which destroys the data in the cloud. And while you might think that the nature of cloud computing keeps our data safe in all the other storm clouds that are synced with the one that was lost, the reality is that, given enough time, a hungry eagle can just glide from cloud to cloud and devour the ClPU in every last one of them, irrecoverably destroying the data stored in the clouds. This is a very real danger, especially since birds can eat the ClPUs faster than we can replace them, and like the eventual and inevitable transformation of the Sun into a supernova, nothing in the world can be done about it. We can't just surround clouds with steel cages, after all. That would make no sense. So best to just keep a local backup of our data on a portable hard disk, just in case.'

If you would like to know more about the true science of cloud computing, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why choosing to store our data in storm clouds may have been a bad idea,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.