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!

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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