Ted (merovingian) wrote,
Ted
merovingian

The original question

"I can answer your question," said the professor, "Come over to my computer."

He loaded up some images of old newspaper clippings. "So, back in the 70s, a Las Vegas hotel decided to have a big fishtank in the hotel, and give people diving equipment. They didn't have the right permits for it, and they let people dive while drunk, but they bribed the officials to look the other way. The hotel owners were pretty deeply connected with organized crime, and no one mentioned it, until a federal diving board person checked it out. It got messy. It was a Mafia and SCUBA snafu, or M.A.S.S."

I nodded, thinking about that.

The professor loaded up a primitive program that seemed to show scanner images, out of text.

"Then, in the eighties, some kids bought some old military equipment, and tried to hook it up to a computer. They used the only computer language they knew, and did all the graphics with cleverly-placed letters and punctuation. The program ended up surprisingly good. They called it BASIC ASCII radar, or B.A.R."

I frowned thoughtfully. I didn't really understand, but didn't want to look dumb in front of the professor. He loaded up another file - some elaborate blueprints. "This is from the Roswell crash. Our department reverse-engineered the alien's beam weapon systems, but we didn't have any of their fuel. We didn't manage to solve that problem until the nineties. It turns out that we could get the same results by using a simple trail mix recipe. We called it the UFO GORP laser, or U.G.L."

I nodded. Lasers caught my interest because, yay, lasers!

He continued his story. "Just last year, the managers of the hotel tried to do the same thing with the diving lessons in the hotel, but it got ugly this time. I was taken hostage. I happened to have my reverse-engineered weapon and some trail mix with me, but I didn't have a tracking system. Fortunately, the folks next door were those kids from back in the eighties, and they happened to have their sensory array with them. So, the situation was resolved with a MASS UGL BAR, or MUB."

"Okay," I said, getting back to my original question, "So what killed the dinosaurs? The MUB?"

"Excessively nested acronyms killed the dinosaurs," said the professor confidently.
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