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devil duck

dream journal

I walked into the office of my postdoc supervisor J, who was having an altercation with a co-worker played by John Cleese.  She was filling out paperwork for a patent on a human gene they had discovered jointly, and showed it to him.  He said "I don't understand -- how is this different from the gene I just filed on?"

She replied, angrily, "The difference is that this one produces a growth hormone!  Now get out!"  And he did.

I was surprised that J, whose background is mostly in computer science and logic, was patenting a gene, and was about to suggest that she collaborate with hrj, whose line of work was more closely aligned with this sort of thing, then realized that hrj was already in the room.  They were drawing up plans for a startup to commercialize the discovery, with hrj as 50% owner -- a rather larger percentage than J planned to buy herself, since (as mentioned above) it was closer to hrj's line of work.  shalmestere showed up and also invested a bit, although not planning to be actively involved, as a show of support.  As they tried to figure out who was paying how much for what percentage, they started leaving bras and socks on the table as tokens for different amounts of investment.  I mused to myself "How long will they spend doing this in their heads until they decide to work it out on paper?  It's a one-variable high school algebra problem."  J overheard me and snapped "OK, YOU try it."  So I sat down with a piece of paper and started adding up the amounts invested, and realized I wasn't sure of the exchange rate between a bra and a sock.  Just then my student Alex walked in and decided he wanted a piece of the startup too, paying a pair of socks.  Increasingly bewildered, I woke up.


Well it might have been awkward for Alex to go in for a bra's worth, you have to admit. But just for future reference, the exchange rate is 3.5 socks to the bra, if it's a C-cup or less, and 4.5 socks for D and up. Sports bras have a fixed exchange rate at 4 socks even.
Yes, that's roughly what I guessed. I'm sure this will be immensely helpful the next time I'm in such a situation :-)