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The Post-Docs of Dracula

I like having people round for dinner. Unfortunately, a combination of not actually knowing that many people, having been living in a shoebox and now having our bed in our lounge-room have conspired to stop us actually doing it (not counting people staying from overseas, of course).

So it was with much joy that we had Lindsay round for dinner last week. It was the first time we'd hosted someone for dinner since we arrived in the UK (as I said, not counting visitors and/or chopped liver from overseas). Rebecca cooked a casserole using Stephanie Alexander's my recipe. It was yummy.

I have also had a productive month of experiments. Today I returned the camera I have been borrowing for 4 weeks, enabling me to get lots of experiments done. Quite a wide range, actually. A mix of interesting-in-their-own-right and interesting-due-to-context experiments (as well as the odd basic characterisation tests). All up, the equipment is running well and I am looking for ways to extend the applicability. And new games to play, of course.

There hasn't really been a lot of other personal news though. One month till I go home for a couple of weeks. Yay!

Jonathan Harker, a newly-qualified engineer, was invited to the Professor's crumbling, remote castle lab (situated near the common room on the border of Transylvania and Moldavia), to provide research work on behalf of Harker's employer in London. At first seduced by the Professor's gracious manner, he soon discovers he has become a prisoner and begins to see disquieting facets of the Professor's daily life. Searching for a way out of the lab one night, he falls under the spell of three lecturers, the Post-docs of Dracula, but is saved at the last minute by the Professor who wants to retain Harker as a friend to teach him about Industry, where the Professor plans to get research funding among the "teeming millions" available. Harker barely escapes from the lab with his life.

Not long afterward, a ship arrives in England. The shipment aboard contains boxes of books from Transylvania: Professor Dracula, in his sabbatical form, has arrived in England.

Soon the Professor is menacing Harker's devoted colleagues, Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray, and her vivacious friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy receives three job offers in one day, from Arthur Holmwood (Lord Godalming); an American cowboy, Quincey Morris; and an asylum psychiatrist, Dr. John Seward.

Lucy begins to waste away suspiciously. All of her potential employers fret. After an attack by a wolf, Lucy is bitten. Soon, Lucy becomes a postgrad. Lucy is buried in literature to read. Her former potential employers try to lure her with job offers, but it is too late.

Around the same time, Jonathan Harker arrives home from Transylvania (where Mina joined and married him after his escape from the castle); he and Mina also join the coalition of potential employers, who now turn their attentions to dealing with Dracula himself.

After Dracula learns of the plot against him, he takes revenge by offering Mina some interesting projects. Dracula also puts Mina's name on a paper. She slowly succumbs andagrees to do a PhD with him.

Dracula flees back to his lab in Transylvania, followed by the coalition, who manage to track him down just before the end of the financial year and kill him by shearing through the throat and stabbing him in the heart with a bowie knife cutting off his research funds. Dracula's career crumbles to dust, his spell is lifted and Mina freed to take a lucrative job in the financial sector, where she earns lots of money and supports her husband.


Comment from Gillian

Dracula needs to be stabbed with a wooden stake. I don't think metal can hurt him.:)

I respond

Don't be silly - it is the type and application of the forces that is essential. I should point out as a trained rheologist that extensional forces are far more efficient than shear forces in effecting break-up

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