At work, we’ve been doing less and less calculations and more and more messing with electronic stuff because we’re getting closer to doing our actual experiment soon. So, my boss and I were gathering the wires, connectors, scalars, discriminators, oscilloscopes, blah blah blah that we need and we couldn’t find some. So we decided to go to the accelerator center up on the hill to see if we could find some stuff. Both Dan (my boss) and I were driving to the accelerator center and he started talking about the part we were bringing to match with the stuff we were getting. Now, if this was a regular person telling me this story, there’s no way I would believe him. However, he is the department chair of the physics department at ISU. Therefore, he has the social ineptivity to make up a story (at all), and he doesn’t give a crap about impressing me because he doesn’t care about impressing anyone—he would never even think of it. Therefore, this is the true story of the electronic parts of the ISU physics department. “You know, I got this part during the fall of the Soviet Union (which he thinks was in 1995 but it was 1991). I had been in Russia ten or so years before doing research so I knew some people there. Well, when the Soviet Union was falling, they had no more government funding so they were trying to sell everything they could in order to get money. I dunno…as I think about it, I guess it was kinda shady. I had to pay them through a bank in Finland...hmmmm. Anyway, there were some complications on which bank the money was supposed to be sent to so I was delaying my payment a little because I didn’t want the money to get lost, until my friend called me and said ‘Listen—it costs $500 to kill someone in this country right now. Here’s the bank information and I need you to send me that money today because there are some people that I need to pay.’ ”
He didn’t even blink an eye.