My Ex-Tobinstock Laser Pointer

Several years ago I came into the possession of a Tobinstock laser pointer (see below).  I won’t divulge how I came to own this; however, I will say that I’m finally glad to pitch it into the waste bin.  I used this laser pointer in a number of general chemistry classes that I taught.  Although it was free in cost (hee, hee {yes, this is sarcasm}) the main problem I experienced was its unreliable performance.  The most frequent issue that I encountered was that the button used to activate the laser did not work about 40 % of the time and the failure rate only increased with usage.  Thus, once I finished my most recent class I pitched it.  This brings up several interesting digressions (which are repetitive themes in academics).

One is the god embossed on the defective pointer is actually from the great white north and not a true American, a common occurrence in our so-called great academicians.  That is, we have a number of people on the dole at our major universities who hold no true allegiance to the country.  Moreover, their prestige is questionably derived from their student’s inventions and not their own.  Why do I say such things?  Well as for the latter, all I can say here is I’ve been told that one of the great findings in the coordination polymerization field was in fact discovered by a Chinese student and was not an invention of a so called great professor.  When time permits I’m going to attempt to find out the name of this person (the supposed inventor) so at the moment I cannot divulge specific information until I verify it is factual.  Likewise, as for the controlled radical polymerization field again my intelligence sources within another great professor’s research groups stated that a student was actually to blame for that invention :).  Again, should you be reading this blog and know specific details of what I am discussing or other instances of where a professor takes credit for a student’s invention feel free to disclose that information to me.  One other thing that I should mention (which is another recurrent theme) is that nobody likes these people at all.  I don’t know, maybe you could find an Asian student who does but my guess is they are the same sort that would be weeping at Kim Jong-il’s funeral.  I can only imagine the sort of negative karma these people are accumulating.

As for the former point above (i.e. lack of allegiance to the U.S.) I recount the following story as it ties into the crappy laser pointer that was handed out at a lame parody of Woodstock (nerd fest would be more appropriate).  While the god from the great white north began exuding his evil dark radiation during a meeting with students (of which I was an attendee) he recounted a recent trip to the vassal slave state (i.e. China).  According to this individual he toured a plant that made acetaminophen and said it was wonderful that they could crank it out so much cheaper than we could here in the U.S. and that was of course why it was no longer made in America (the latter factoid I’m not sure is true, but it wouldn’t surprise me).  In any event, according to him there was only one problem (a minor impurity that caused the product to be pink) and that was why this drug was solid in a solid tablet form with a coating over it (i.e. so the consumer wouldn’t ask questions).  I’m guessing he stuffed these laser pointers in his suitcase on his return back to the states…

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