CLASSICAL GAS --
In Memorium: DR. ELROD HIBBIRD
Founder of Dianautics, the science of flying brains
The man whose theory of flying brains revolutionized science, religion, and international banking practices, is dead. Dr. Elrod Hibbird succumbed to spontaneous combustion, an ailment from which he had suffered chronically, in an alleyway behind his Church headquarters in Oslo, Norway. He was 83 years old.
When Elrod Hibbird was a young man working in a factory in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was assigned to write the instructions for a new model vaccuum cleaner. The experience changed his life, and inspired him to found a new religion. Hibbird felt he had seen, in the machine's irresistable gathering of grey matter, a key to understanding how man's intelligence developed from billions and billions and billions of bits of grimy interstellar matter.
Human minds, Hibbird theorized, are actually distributed throughout the cosmos. Therefore, he concluded, human bodies are illusory, and actions performed toward another person are merely "dream-fictions," for which one need not be held morally or legally accountable. Hibbird quit his job at the vaccuum cleaner factory and devoted his life to this idea.
Hibbird's 1948 book, "Dianautics The Science of Flying Brains," became a bible for teaching the theory and practice of what Hibbird called "brains at a distance." Hibbird, together with several followers, and with financial backing from the venture capital firm of Homburg and Inqvest, went on to found the Church of Dianautic Science.
In ensuing years, the Church grew to include, by its own count, more than 1.4 million people in 65 countries and 335,921 galaxies. From its earliest days, the Church has drawn its membership heavily from the scientific, engineering, and show business communities. Its annual revenues are estimated at more than $3.2 billion, with real estate and other capital holdings thought to be worth approximately $24.6 billion.
Hibbird progressed through a series of experiments with his new science. He arranged for flying brains to run mazes at a distance. Flying brains were sent to do research inside particle accelerators.
Later, Hibbird used flying brains to actually carry out gedanken experiments -- thought experiments -- such as Einstein's well-known twins paradox. Einstein had mentally calculated the relativistic effects, in time and space, on two twin brothers, one of whom took a round trip on a speedy space ship while the other remained on earth. Einstein had believed that one of the brothers would grow older in relation to the other. Hibbird's flying brain experiment showed this not to be the case.
At the time of his death, Hibbird was engaged in a new line of research involving the Mandelbrot set, a complex mathematical shape that, Hibbird claimed, could be used as a "treasure map of time, space and economic psychology."
Hibbird was an intensely private man. Throughout his life he declined to reveal details about his family and upbringing. According to Church of Dianautics officials, Hibbird's passing is "illusory, as are all things human." Previous publications from the Church indicate that Hibbird is survived by several wives, children, grandchildren, and a variety of "granular beings."
© Copyright 2002 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)
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