Drama On Odyssey: Bernard And The Mechanist

Drama On Odyssey: Bernard And The Mechanist

Winning the hand of a proud young lady seems about as impossible as time travel... Or is it?


[Setting is an old-fashioned workshop. BERNARD enters. ALGERNON appears to be working on some kind of vehicle]

BERNARD: Algernon? Algernon? Hello?

ALGERNON: [Sits up] Did you tell Professor Deshaies what I told you?

BERNARD: Well…. Not exactly. I doubt a teacher of the physical sciences would believe you had something called "prima-veritis," so I told him you had a slight case of the Measles, nothing serious, you'd recover by the end of Winter Holiday.

ALGERNON: Thank you… I guess. I was able to do some extra work on my time machine.


BERNARD: A time machine. Are you being serious?

ALGERNON: That I am, friend.

BERNARD: That's… You've said some insane things in the three years I've known you, but this-

ALGERNON: If I recall History lecture, people called Lemuel Pankhurst insane, and look where he is now.

BERNARD: You mean the inventor of airships? I would still call him insane.

ALGERNON: Only because you hate flying. That's why you stay here for Winter Holiday.

BERNARD: I stay in Lochere because I like it here. Although airships are crowded, they are never on time-

ALGERNON: Not to mention your fear of heights.

BERNARD: I am not afraid of heights.

ALGERNON: Yes you are. Remember that trip to Pennington's cabin last autumn? You were the only one who didn't want to hike to the cliffs.

BERNARD: I was under the weather.

ALGERNON: Of course you were. And I am currently in bed, wallowing in my own sick.

BERNARD: And you're going to go down in history as the inventor of time travel.

ALGERNON: And I shall.

BERNARD: If you say so. [He pauses, and picks up a small music box from a nearby table] What's this?

ALGERNON: Oh… That. It was supposed to be a gift for someone.

BERNARD: For Lady Clarice? Weren't you courting her?

ALGERNON: Not as of three days ago. She left me. In a letter of all things!

BERNARD: A letter?

ALGERNON: For Ingram. Ingram of all people!

BERNARD: Ingram? With his pride? He would make Veronica Halifax look like a pious nun.

ALGERNON: And yet you said you had your eyes on her since you were children.

BERNARD: At least she has more to her than her pride.

ALGERNON: Wasn't it you who said she was arrogant and impossible to impress?

BERNARD: Indeed. Say your "Time Machine" is successful. You could take her to Rome, the Enlightenment, even the distant future, and she'd do nothing but scoff at you. I'd do well with a Latin reading, she'd roll her eyes. When we played Lookabout as children, she'd pout if I found her item faster than she found mine. She would even scowl if I beat her at chess, and let me say, she was a worthy opponent. To beat her takes practice.

ALGERNON: Yet you like her. My apologies, but I think you lost me.

BERNARD: That's the difference between us. You'd prefer a lady think you're a god. I'd prefer to be human sometimes.

ALGERNON: Somehow, I find that hard to believe, Bernard.


BERNARD: She seemed to as well. Veronica Halifax likely thinks me far less than human.

ALGERNON: Once again, you've lost me. Remind me why you're fond of her.

BERNARD: I've told you she is impossible to impress. But, if you knew her like I do, despite that, you'd still try. When she wasn't competing with me, she had a good sense of humor, and a good heart, even if she would rather not show it. I remember when we were young, she enjoyed helping the wayward cats.

ALGERNON: Wayward? You mean stray?

BERNARD: Oh, yes, of course. Back home in Odira, we call them wayward. If it were up to her, no cat would be wayw- I mean stray. As I've said, she is intelligent, and… musical.

ALGERNON: Songstress?

BERNARD: No, a pianist.

ALGERNON: Like Beethoven.

BERNARD: As far as I know, she has not written any masterpieces yet, but…

ALGERNON: Go ahead and turn the key on that box.

BERNARD: [Turns the key on the music box, it plays Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata] Huh.

ALGERNON: It's truly a shame that Clarice will never receive that.

BERNARD: Veronica used to play this. I'd go as far to say it was her favorite. If she had to perform, she would always find a way to include this song.

ALGERNON: Really? Well then, why don't take it? Give it to her, I think she would appreciate it.

BERNARD: If a well-executed chess strategy, or even your so-called "time machine," if it works, won't impress her, I doubt a mere music box will.

ALGERNON: First of all, it will work. Second, you said she liked that song. When you hear it, you think of her? It's meaningful. If it doesn't impress her, it will at least make her look your way.

BERNARD: I suppose.

ALGERNON: When you give it to her, you need to write me to tell me what she thought.

BERNARD: I shall. I hope you are "better" by Yule Tide, Pennington invited us up to the cabin once again for a feast.

ALGERNON: Don't worry, I'm sure I will be. And you'll be sure to not look down while you're there.

BERNARD: Very humorous. I wish you luck… And a miracle on your "time machine." [He exits]

ALGERNON: Mark my words, it will work! [To the audience] I'll honestly never understand his countrymen. Always wishing to make things so complicated…

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?


With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.

We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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