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Thread: What a skull.

  1. #1

    What a skull.

    OK this one is a goodie, the story behind this is... There's this nutball
    who digs things out of his back yard and sends the stuff he finds to the
    Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that
    they are actual archeological finds. The really weird thing about these
    letters is that this guy really exists and does this in his spare time!
    Anyway... here's a letter from the Smithsonian Institute to this man who
    sent the Institute one of his 'major finds'.

    Paleoanthropology Division
    Smithsonian Institute
    207 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, DC 20078

    Dear Sir:

    Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled "211-D,
    layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid skull." We have given
    this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you
    that we disagree with your theory that it represents "conclusive proof of
    the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago."
    Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll,
    of the variety one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be
    the "Malibu Barbie". It is evident that you have given a great deal of
    thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain
    that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were
    loathe to come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel
    that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might
    have tipped you off to its modern origin:

    1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically
    fossilized bone.

    2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic
    centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified

    3. The dentition pattern evident on the "skull" is more consistent with the
    common domesticated dog than it is with the "ravenous man-eating Pliocene
    clams" you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.

    This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you
    have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence
    seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much
    detail, let us say that:

    A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed

    B. Clams don't have teeth.

    It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request
    to have the specimen carbon dated. This is partially due to the heavy load
    our lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly due to carbon
    dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record.

    To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956
    AD, and carbon dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.

    Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National Science
    Foundation's Phylogenic Department with the concept of assigning your
    specimen the scientific name "Australopithecus spiff-arino." Speaking
    personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your
    proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the species name
    you selected was hyphenated, and didn't really sound like it might be

    However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating
    specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid fossil, it
    is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work
    you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our
    Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of
    the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the
    entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your
    digs at the site you have discovered in your back yard. We eagerly
    anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you proposed in your
    last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it.

    We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories
    surrounding the "trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous ions in a
    structural matrix" that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex
    femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty
    9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.

    Yours in Science,

    Harvey Rowe
    Curator, Antiquities

    { Recieved Via Email }

  2. #2
    PHP/PostgreSQL guy
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    DUDE, that is hilarious...I have no doubt that said "shelf" is the mocking laughing stock of the Director. "Hey, check out this dumb@$$' 'collection' of found stuff in his backyard!"...
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.

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