Tag Archives: PNAS

Rupert Contemplates His Mortality

“I’m worried about my mortality,” Rupert Madasheck said with a moan.  He looked down at his feet.  “Ever since the biotech world started banging on our door about that penis size study, [1] I can’t tell if it’s the beginning or the end.”

“Well, Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals is part of PNAS Productions after the reverse merger,” George Contenumbaes pointed out. [2]  “It’s only natural some reporters would call us instead of PNAS the science journal.”

Rupert held his phone over his arm for a second, then held it over his cheek.  Betty tapped her pen on the conference table and asked, “Rupert, what are you doing now?  If you are cracking up, then we need to start searching for a new CEO.”

Rupert put his phone down and said, “I’m checking for skin cancer.  I don’t want to be surprised as I get older.”

Betty looked at George and raised her eyebrows.  George said, “It’s called teledermatology.  An app will analyze skin lesions and figure out if any are cancerous.”

Betty swiveled to face a new face in the room.  “You must be Mantissa Polatis, our newest VP of Research.  What do you know about this?”

Mantissa turned white as a sheet.  “I…that is…those don’t work very well.  But the phone is always right there in your hand, so no one can resist checking.”

Betty narrowed her eyes.  “Why are you so pale? Are you afraid of saying something wrong?”

Mantissa began to shiver.  “Well, yes, I’m the third VP of Research this month and…”  She ceased talking and eyed the door.

Betty rolled back in her chair and laughed.  “It’s not as if we dumped people in the street every day.  We are not like Mylan, you know.”

“Or like Alkermes,” Rupert said.

“Or Bistol-Myers Squibb,” George said.  “Or Unigene, come to think of it.  Or maybe Merck.”

“It’s OK, Mantissa, you can tell them.  Or maybe I should,” Rupert said.  He turned to address the Board of Directors.  “I asked Dr. Polatis to the Board meeting to tell us what’s the latest buzz.  So to speak.”

“There was a study on the health benefits of a vibrating platform for geriatric patients,” Mantissa said. [3]  “Dr. Madasheck wanted to know if we should have a platform installed in the company’s fitness room.”

“Doctor?” Betty asked.  “If Rupert is a doctor, then I’m the Queen of Mars.”

“Fitness room?” George asked.  “We have a fitness room?”

“It seems the best solution is to replace office chairs with vibrating seats,” Mantissa said.  “The study was inconclusive, no one in the entire company uses the fitness room, and Dr. – Mr. Madasheck said he’d rather have a vibrating seat.”

Betty stared at Rupert with narrow slitted eyes.  “Oh really?  And seat strong enough for two?”

Rupert’s eyebrows went up in a picture of innocence.  “Well, I can’t be the only one here trying to stay as young as I can for as long as I can.”

Size Matters, Says PNAS

Rupert heard hoots of laughter from the boardroom as he approached from his office.  As he entered, Betty said, “Of course it matters, we all know that.”  The others gathered around the table laughed.

Rupert said, “Ms. Lidalot, as Chair of this corporation, you should display a much more sober attitude before the Board.”

“Well, that’s about the size of it,” said CFO George Contenumbaes.  The others, including Betty, snickered and stifled giggles.

“Something is going on here,” Rupert said.  “Why is it the CEO is always the last to know?  So let’s hear it.”

Felicity Short, the Director from LotzMooreLute Capital, pushed a journal down the table and said, “It looks like that stuffy old National Academy of Sciences has people with a sense of humor after all.  Check out the bookmarked page.”

Rupert found the page, scanned the large-print title, and gasped.  It read, ‘Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness.’ [1]

Betty said, “The National Academy is a very serious organization, charged with providing scientific leadership for the country.  The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a serious and prestigious journal. But their website does exhort you to add ‘PNAS Direct to Your Inbox.’  Doesn’t that sound a bit rude?”

“Well, there must be a potent evolutionary motivation at work,” said Ima Punk.

“What does any of this have to do with biotechnology?” Rupert asked.  “Must we behave like middle schoolers?”

“We must understand the wants and needs of our customers,” said Betty.