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!

Daylight Savings

posted Mar 21, 2018, 3:15 PM by Viktor Zólyomi

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.

Computers

posted Feb 22, 2018, 2:40 PM by Viktor Zólyomi

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.

Flat Earth Theory

posted Jan 21, 2018, 9:59 AM by Viktor Zólyomi

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.

Solar Power

posted Dec 22, 2017, 9:33 AM by Viktor Zólyomi

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.

Sea Level Rise

posted Nov 27, 2017, 3:46 PM by Viktor Zólyomi

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 the ever increasing number of commercial aircraft flying above the clouds. The chemicals released from the exhaust ports of jet engines are heavier than the air and thus fall down, directly at the clouds, effectively pushing the water out of the clouds in the form of rain. And I think it's fairly obvious that heavy rainfall leads to a rise in sea levels. This is no different from the floods caused by the rising water levels in rivers, also caused by heavy rain, only in the case of the oceans the process takes a little bit longer.'

In wake of the findings of his research, Professor van der Bishop urges us to fly less frequently in order to reduce the demand and thereby reduce the number of daily flights on the planet. However, he also points out that not even doing this may solve the problem.

`It would be a mistake to think that global warming alone is responsible for the rising sea levels,' he states. `There are other contributing factors, such as 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.

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