Class, today we will cover all things smelly and peculiar.

Dear Bob,

I have one more query for you this week. What in God’s name is that rancid stench in the bathrooms of the second floor in Cabell’s library?

It smells like a vanilla-coconut air freshener gone bad. It needs to be dealt with by the authorities, as the state of California probably finds the odor to be known to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Any information you have on this matter will be received with infinite gratitude. I anxiously await your reply.

Your friend for life,
Jimmy Boombada

What VCU does not want anyone to know is that bathroom is the secret testing ground for a new biological weapon.

VCU is doing secret testing with our military to determine which scents will disable the enemy. Instead of bombing or shooting, we are engaging in scent warfare.

VCU hopes to come up with the ultimate mix of smells that will cripple the enemy with one whiff. This will not kill the enemy, but merely disable him so he can be taken hostage.

This way, no civilians will be harmed, well, not for too long. None of them will die. The only side effects are crippling stomach pains, which go away once the air is cleared.

This new form of warfare is set to be used in Iraq as early as next week. Keep your nose and eyes open. If you see any yellow or green fumes emanating from a bathroom, run away!

This can only mean impending doom for you and those around you. These smelly fumes will be your downfall, because that is what smelly fumes do.

In return for developing and testing this substance, VCU is going to receive a huge amount of government money to be spent on new labs and classes for the development of further unconventional weaponry.

This money will, however, be spent on something far more important. My sources do not know exactly what, but they are sure it is at least on par with the Ram Cams and the Winston Cup stock car.

Both are far more worthy investments of time and money than more class offerings. Perhaps some paper and chalk for the English department. Even exploring the possibility of keeping the computer science school around.

Dear Bob,

I am greatly dismayed by an army of Port-O-Potties that has assembled at the edge of Monroe Park-specifically in front of the engineering building. They look particularly menacing and I was wondering if you could comment on what their evil plot might be.

Also, I partook of some “extreme” Jell-O just today and it seemed only partially intense and marginally tremendous.

I was curious if the Jell-O was once extreme before having a mid-life crisis and mellowing out.

In a related question, what is the half-life of Jell-O.

Yours remotely,
Mike Stormo (A.P.T.)

The Port-O-Potties are plotting certain smelly doom upon all who pass by. They cannot be trusted and must be stopped at all costs.

They are also wanted in connection with a certain smell in the library. Based on intelligence Pixel Man was able to gain from an unnamed VCU official, these mobile smelly units are part of the plan to deploy the smellological weapon of doom VCU has cooked up in the library.

The new X-Treme Jell-O lacks very much in its extremity. I too have tasted this purported extreme snack and was also greatly disappointed.

Jell-O had its start in 1845, making it 158 years old this year. The snack enjoyed by millions hit its peak some time ago and has since settled nicely into old age. It just relaxes now and lets other younger foods take center stage.

It is a sad tale, but Jell-O is not gone for good. It still remains strong with its tight hold on the gelatin market and its planned takeover of puddings and other snack areas.

Also, Jell-O has a half life of…

*BULLETIN* Due to national security, Bob cannot be allowed to release this information. *BULLETIN END*

Dear Bob,

What is pi, and why is it so long. Why do mathematicians take random numbers and give them names?


Pi is a transcendental number, approximately 3.14159, represented by the symbol, that expresses the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle and appears as a constant in many mathematical expressions.

Pi has been calculated to 6.4 billion digits. Pi is unique in that it simply does not repeat. Those 6.4 billion digits include no repeating patterns at all.

If there ever were a random number, this would be the king of all random numbers. So random that is never repeats.

Pi is also the title of an excellent movie by Darren Aronofsky. If you wish your mind to be thoroughly messed with, I highly recommend this movie. Rent it, buy it, love it. Just a fair warning to all, if I ever get another week with no questions you may see an entire page filled with pi.

This is made possible by the tireless efforts of many mathematically inclined people who try to determine just how accurate they can get pi.

I would have given up at the the 3.14. It’s close enough for me. But that will just not satisfy some in the math community. They have to go and calculate it out to 6.4 billion digits.

What do they plan to do with those digits? Even the Commission for Large Numbers and Tons of Digits released this statement today: “We believe that pi is a silly number and trying to calculate it past 6 billion digits is just madness. Please stop before you hurt yourselves.”

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