Well, my faithful readers — my devoted fans, my loving audience (in short: Mom) — today, I am angry. And it’s not the sissy, liberal elitist, I’m-going-to-make-a-Facebook-page-about-this-injustice kind of anger. Not this time. This time I actually hit a wall. (With my fist.) Hitting the wall hurt a LOT and reminded me why I usually just make Facebook pages when I’m angry.
What happened was I had finally written a compelling article about a real issue — the future of the Michigan Promise Scholarship, which I know every student on campus is worried about. Yet, when I gave it to my editors, they told me it was complete garbage and that I needed to stop being an utter failure at life.
But who am I kidding? I can’t stay mad at people for long. (They were probably joking anyway.) And now I get to write about this fascinating Oct. 4 headline from the Associated Press about South Dakota: “SD town gets rid of 44 tons of stinking bison meat.” (This is a real headline! Google it!)
Actually, I don’t have the privilege to write about such a controversial subject. Today’s exciting and relevant topic that I decided to write about the last possible moment in the Fishbowl late at night is — you guessed it — mutant babies.
According to Maria Cheng of the Associated Press, “Most babies born in rich countries this century,” — sorry, America — “will eventually make it to their 100th birthday, new research says” (Most babies born this century will live to 100, 10/01/2009). Hey, this is some good news. That’s about thirty years more than the average lifespan today. This is great news! But whose new research was it? Probably the University of Michigan’s, right?
This is the alarming part. The research comes not from our prestigious university but from Danish scientists like James Vaupel of the Max Planck Institute. That’s right — once again, the University is letting groundbreaking discoveries go to countries whose last major contribution to humanity was the pastry. Come ON, Michigan! The polio vaccine was great, but it’s been fifty years! Just what is our $7.6 billion endowment going toward?
Cheng’s article continues with some astonishing information from David Gems, an aging expert (probably the easiest area in which to gain expertise, all things considered) at University College London who says, “Improvements in health care are leading to ever slowing rates of aging, challenging the idea that there is a fixed ceiling to human longevity. … A pill that slowed aging could provide protection against the whole gamut of aging-related diseases.”
Now, I’m no Biology or Health major — I’m pursuing Honors Theoretical Particle Physics and a French minor, if you’re wondering — and I may not know what a “gamut” is, but it’s possible that extending our lifetimes may NOT be such a great idea, as it could allow the actors of “Cats” to take the stage AGAIN. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the University needs to step it up if it wants to remain competitive. Can you imagine the amount of press it would receive if it developed the pill of eternal life? Even the pill of extended life, though less catchy, would be a pretty big deal.
Well, so much for that. There’s only so much you can do with that kind of news. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough room now to talk about the Promise Scholarship, so here are some facts about the Fishbowl late at night:
1. At 2 a.m., there are still enough people around that somebody gets annoyed when you scoot around on a chair-break.
2. No matter how long you keep your arm raised, the tech guys won’t come over.
3. Spinning in place on your chair and looking up at your reflection in the windows is amusing, but the more Monster energy drinks you have had, the less amusing it is.
4. After blasting Ricky Gervais’ “Freelove Freeway” for the 73rd time on YouTube, it’s still awesome.
5. Around 4 a.m. you start to wonder about the few people left, and if they’re wondering about you, and if love exists.
6. At about 5 a.m. a person comes around whose job is to spray all the keyboards with a bottle of compressed air, and at this point you realize that no matter how little sleep you get, your situation could always be worse.
Will Grundler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.