Subject: Question

Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 10:45:49 -0500

From: dirk

To: fricker@aecom.yu.edu

Dear Dr. Lloyd Fricker:

Are you the author of "Il Destino ...." If so, congratulations. It is the funniest and most poignant piece of writing that I have seen from a scientist for many decades.

I received "Il Destino ..." as an anonymous work and had it on my website for a year. Last week, I received an e-mail that resulted in some searching that lead me to a URL at Biomednet. I have been recording my search at my website.

The work has gotten a lot of circulation as an anonymous work, and, in at least one instance, a ficticious name has been attached to it.

So my questions are:

Are you the author?

Do you have the Libretto posted somewhere permanently?

With best wishes,

Dirk Wyle

Subject: Re: Question

Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 14:35:45 -0500 (EST)

From: "Dr. Lloyd Fricker" fricker@aecom.yu.edu

To: dirk dirk@dirk-wyle.com

Dear Dirk:

Yes, I am the author of "Il Destino." I wrote this piece about 5 years ago while on an NIH study section - every time we would meet I would bring some written humor and leave it in the back of the room - the goal was to enliven an otherwise dull (and occasionally tense) meeting. The piece circulated amongst NIH officials and grant reviewers as hard copy/fax, but this form wasn't "virulent." In the fall of '98, I was asked by a former student of our school to contribute humor to the HMS Beagle - they were starting a humor section. She liked the libretto and asked for a electronic copy for publication. At the time I was sending it to her, I also e-mailed it to a scientist colleague who likes opera. He sent it out widely, starting the "epidemic."

The Beagle made some minor changes (taking out "R15" in the middle, and adding "unabombo" at the end). They also took out the "Linguini" attribute and put my name. Based on your version, you have the original e-version (not the HMS Beagle-edited version).

The opera was one of my favorites - really off the wall. The fake Italian was based on Dave Barry's idea of making up foreign words.

Another of my favorites was just published in this issue of HMS Beagle - it's a review of a grant application by "Leonardo D. Vinci." Check it out. They've also published a bunch of other things I've written, some are funnier than others (none compare to the opera, but I like the "real scientist quiz").


Lloyd Fricker, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY 10461


My thanks go out to Dr. Michael Barish for insisting that the author could be found and verified and for sending the URL at HMS Beagle which proved it.

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