Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Small Biological Sciences NonProfit Linked to Mysterious Global Movement

Last week, the Director of AIBS, Dr. O'Grady, sent us the following, seemingly light-hearted email that said,

"Because when all of sudden there are no more olympic highlights on TV in the evening, you have to do something:

And the following message.


We thought nothing of it.

Until this report on NPR:

"This spring, in a tremendous cult-of-personality wave surrounding a pleasantly professorial avatar with Stephen Hawking's voice, ET's head, and the fashion sense of an Oxford don, named, it is rumored, "Vavilov," or just "V," people all over the planet are adopting ranunculus-yellow bow ties, loam-brown suits, enormous Petri-dish glasses, and polishing their foreheads to a lunar gleam.

Sending a message of "simply doing good in this world," "facilitaing peer review," with the mantra: "We Press on Together," V is thought in reality to be the nom de guerre of Gregor O'Grady, a reclusive author, political poet, adroit humorist, and an outspoken opponent of the balkanization of the world's scientists. But V's true identity remains tantalizingly unknown. Tracking O'Grady to a canopy zip-line in a Costa Rican rainforest as he collected bromeliad demographics, reporters, clamouring in the under story, falling down, getting muddy, and scaring some tapirs, called up to him, "Is V with you now?" O'Grady yelled down "Yes!"

In fact, V seems as ubiquitous as mycelium in an aspen grove. His name has been linked to Jennifer Aniston; Neytiri, with becomingly downcast eyes, says they're "just friends"; and Colbie Caillat says she likes him to wash her hair. Folk rock harpist Joanna Newsom's song, "You have Long Fingers. I Like That," and Patty Griffith's 'Messenger Salamander' are said to be dedicated to him. John Meyer and Alec Baldwin are sporting V-tribute comb-overs. iPhone is launching an app. Congress, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the eight most powerful nations, now called the "V8," are opening their sessions with a gavel-hammer and the shout "So, how about it?!"

Looking back, there were hints of him throughout the winter, like a secret handshake in a dangerous place, like a swelling bud under ice. A lift of a brow that could be a flirt, a crazy graffiti tag that wasn't there last night, a lunatic-poet's street corner howl, murmurs from the coffee shop girl touching your finger hard as she gives you your cup, or that lady on the bus. Were they saying, "I see you"? No. All along, they were saying, "I V U."

What a relief. And it's spring.

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