Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "All That Was Great in the Past"

This poem came out of the September 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by discussions with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] we_are_spc. It also fills the "mixed media" square in my 9-1-19 card for the Arts and Crafts Festival Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Finn Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: Do not read with mouth full.

"All That Was Great in the Past"

[Friday, January 29, 2016]

Fed up with waiting for his order,
Professor Rutherford finally called
the main office in Italy to complain.

He needed that shipment of
the new Integrated Lab Monitor,
a gizmo the size of a soda can
that measured everything from
atmospheric purity to water
on the floor and reported it to
a designated mobile device.

"There is no problem with
your order, sir," said the woman.
"You simply can't buy that product."

"What?" Professor Rutherford sputtered.
"Why can't we buy Integrated Lab Monitor?"

"I'm sorry, sir, ILM is patented and
the production-distribution contract includes
a ban on your institution," she replied.


"Unfortunately, sir, I can't answer that
in specific," the woman said. "However,
the documentation includes a Tesla quote
for referral in situations such as these.
All that was great in the past was ridiculed,
condemned, combated, suppressed --
only to emerge all the more powerfully,
all the more triumphantly from the struggle."

Then she hung up on him.

Professor Rutherford stared
and the dark phone in his hand.

Then he had remembered that
the gizmo was nicknamed NannyCan.

There had been an irritating freshman
about a year ago, the Finn brat who
should have still been in grade school,
that kept building things inside soda cans
using a random assortment of scrap and junk
because of a bet with some other student.

Unsurprisingly, the kid had quit after
only one semester, not having the guts
for the heavy workload of college life.

No, it couldn't be. The brat had quit.
Besides, the product came from
Italy, instead of from America.

But he couldn't forget those cans ...

* * *


Heinrich Rutherford -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short dark hair going white and also bald. He has a scruffy beard and mustache. Professor Rutherford works at Duke University where Halley spent a semester in Raleigh, North Carolina. He teaches physics and other topics. His students find him intimidating. He takes out his bigotry on everyone he considers lower rank than himself. As a hobby, Professor Rutherford enjoys building all kinds of models.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Good (+2) Building Models, Good (+2) Intimidation, Good (+2) Physicist
Poor (-2) Bigot

* * *

"All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed--only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle."
-- Nikola Tesla

I got the inspiration for this gizmo from descriptions of modular aquarium monitors that would measure things like temperature, salinity, pH, and whether there was water on the floor -- then make adjustments and notify you of anything that needed further intervention. The Apex controller has all kinds of modules you can add. Here are instructions for making your own brainbox, which you can then use to run whatever routines and peripherals you want.

"Why is the rum gone?"
-- Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, education, fantasy, fishbowl, humor, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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