Wednesday, 18 June 2008


by Edwin Hesselthwite

Somewhere in New Mexico, August 1947, two pathologists stand in full surgical attire.

“First incision to the right cranial socket, running to the occipital centre.”

“Excellent suggestion, how do you define the occipital centre?”

“The protrusion at the rear.”

“Ear to lump, understood.”

Some time later:

“Proceeding to remove fluid filled organ from the dextro-dorsal cavity, between the inner and outer carapace-type plating. Will begin by incision and sealing at the anterior to prevent fluid release, followed by posterior.”

“You know Jim, I've been wondering... Let's talk documentation.”

“Sure... Ahem, attending, can you light me a cigarette?”

“Well... We're drawing our subsets from four examples, and there are clearly at least two groups within them. If we send this to Nature, peer-review is going to crucify us for our limited sample size.”

“Unsettling, isn't it? That's not even taking into account sample 3, the charring is going to really interfere with generalisations about tissue structure.”

“Those Huxley brothers on the panel are going to be all over it. ‘Insufficient rigor’ and all that crap.”

“I know, I know, we'll have to talk about this with General Spatz... Tell him we wont fully document it unless he gets us another one.”


“With organ removed, now moving down coronal plane to isolate left-medial elongate nodule, sealed consistency suggests a solid mass. Proceeding with central incision.”



No comments: