Raving Lunatic Obviously Took Some Advanced Physics

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Vol 40 Issue 11

Bush Calls Incumbency Key Issue Of Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC—At a campaign dinner Monday, President Bush identified incumbency as the key issue in the upcoming presidential election. "Look at my opponent's record on incumbency," Bush said. "John Kerry is not the president at this time. That's an indisputable matter of public record." Bush added that the American public should seriously consider whether it wants to risk electing a president who has no experience heading a nation, has never resided in the White House, and does not have even one State Of The Union address under his belt.

Leftover Christmas Billboard Stirs Seasonally Inappropriate Emotion

ST. LOUIS—Local architect Steve Burillo felt a momentary flush of seasonally incongruous holiday spirit Tuesday when he saw a Christmas-themed billboard on South Broadway. "The sign was advertising the St. Louis Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker, and for a second, I felt a stirring desire to volunteer for a charity and spread goodwill amongst my fellow men," Burillo said warmly. "But then I was like, 'Screw it. It's March. I should get to the gym and get in shape for summer.'" Burillo added that they really ought to take the billboard down before someone goes out and spends quality time with loved ones.

Confusing Insult Awkwardly Clarified

BOZEMAN, MT—Prudential Insurance administrative assistant Becky DuBois, 24, was forced to explain herself Tuesday morning after an off-hand insult was not understood by coworker Kimberly Spellman. "Oh, I just meant, 'This is what a bill looks like,' as in... Well, you said that your parents still pay your credit-card bill for you," DuBois told Spellman. "So, I just sorta meant... you know, that you don't know what bills look like." DuBois then said she didn't mean it as an insult, because she knows that Spellman said she hates it that her parents do that, and that she's totally sorry if Spellman took it that way.

Sheets Changed After Every Breakup

ITHACA, NY—Michael Pelske changes his bed sheets after every breakup, the 24-year-old bicycle messenger announced Monday. "I'd never bring some woman I just met home to a set of filthy sheets," said Pelske, who changed his sheets Saturday before hitting the bars following his break-up with Linda Keely, his girlfriend of four months. "But then, a few weeks into the relationship, you start to let things like that slide." Pelske's cotton-twill, 180-thread-count, light-blue sheets have been washed 13 times since his mother bought them for him in May 2001.

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A remake of the 70's horror film Dawn Of The Dead hits theaters this weekend. What changes were made in the new version?

Your Dog Is In Heaven Now, With No One To Feed Him

Come over here and sit on Mommy's lap. I've got some bad news, Tommy. Are you ready? Tommy, while you were at school today, Sparky got out of the backyard and ran in front of a truck. I rushed him to the vet, but there was nothing she could do.
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Raving Lunatic Obviously Took Some Advanced Physics

STANFORD, CA—Known throughout the community for his verbal outbursts and his shopping cart full of trash, area street denizen "Cosmic Stan" must have studied advanced physics at some point, sources reported Monday.

Cosmic Stan asks for enough change to take a bus to the Riemannian manifolds.

"Where's my cheese? Don't take my rowboat! Got no room!" the lunatic screamed from his regular spot near the Campus Drive bus stop. "I need space! Gimme space! Infinite dimensional separable Hilbert space!"

Though his rants seem nonsensical to most passersby, some astute listeners say they contain evidence of higher learning.

"I'd always see him around that bus stop, dressed in his ragged wool clothes, duct-taped shoes, and that plastic sheeting covered over with symbols drawn in magic-marker," Stanford Ph.D. candidate James Willard said. "Then, a few days ago, he was out there waving his tin-foil wand at random strangers, and I heard him yell, 'I demand that you buy me an ice-cream cone! My third-favorite flavor is strange! My second-favorite is top! My favorite flavor is anti-charmed!' Suddenly, I realized the guy was talking about quarks."

Willard said he spent the next several minutes listening to Cosmic Stan's rant.

"Mixed in with the usual stuff about CIA mind-control beams, talking dogs, and monkey-people, I heard him mention beta decay, instantons, density matrix, and subspaces of n-dimensional Riemannian manifolds," Willard said. "I'm not sure where he got it, but he definitely seems to have had extensive schooling in theoretical physics. Man, what could've happened to him?"

Stanford theoretical physicist Carl Lundergaard seconded Willard's theory on the loonball.

"He's definitely had some advanced training, though I'm not surprised that it went unnoticed for so long," Lundergaard said. "It's hard for the layperson to differentiate schizophrenic ramblings like 'Modernity chunk where the sink goes flying on the ping-pang' from legitimate terminology like 'Unstable equilibria lie on the nodal points of a separatrix in phase space.'"

Lundergaard said he first became intrigued by Cosmic Stan in December 1999, when the homeless man threw a chicken bone at him and said, "Components of the Weyl conformal curvature tensor." The professor said he initially suspected that Stan was repeating a phrase "from a textbook he'd found in the garbage." Then, several weeks later, the screaming nutcase shouted some things that indicated a strong grasp of high-level science.

"As I was buying coffee in the quad one morning, Stan came by waving those roller skates he sometimes wears on his hands," Lundergaard said. "I distinctly heard him say, 'I can't be in two places at once! I can't meddle in my own affairs! I can't destructively interfere with my own future plans! What do I look like—the uncollapsed wave function of an electron?' He was referring to the seemingly paradoxical aspects of wave/particle duality as illustrated by the 'two-slit' experiment in electron diffraction. Stan wasn't just mouthing phrases: The crazy homeless man knows his stuff."

Added Lundergaard: "I almost approached him the other day to see if he had any ideas regarding the general solution for the relativistic force-free equation describing the structure of the pulsar magnetosphere, but he was busy smearing a plastic doll with glue."

Cosmic Stan also appears to be versed in other academic subjects, Lundergaard said.

"He seems to have a working understanding of several of the higher maths, including Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, category theory, and algebraic topology," Lundergaard said. "He also seems to be quite interested in the subjects of religion, sexuality, fast-food restaurants, Ferdinand de Saussure, malevolent evil, '70s TV shows, and shadowy authority figures."

Lundergaard said he has no knowledge of Cosmic Stan's past, but theorizes that his nickname derives from the physics term "cosmological constant."

"You have to wonder how this happened to him," Lundergaard said. "Was he calculating the transition amplitudes between the unperturbed eigenstates due to the presence of the perturbation in order to determine transition probabilities in time-dependent quantum phenomena, and the next day, strapping a TV antenna to his head?"

Perched atop a bicycle rack on Marquette Street, Cosmic Stan was asked for comment.

"Who you? You've been balderdashed! Doodads! Wood glue, dammit!" Cosmic Stan said, glancing around wildly and cradling a partially disassembled transistor radio. "Fock space! Spin polarization! The Clausius-Clapeyron equation obtains! The incident field is representable by a plane wave vector potential! You gotta believe me!"

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