Wednesday, June 18, 2014

TUSCRI – The Insider’s Perspective

By now, everyone has heard that The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is in talks to be acquired by the University of Southern California (USC). There has been rampant speculation on the Internet that this is all about TSRI’s funding problems and USC’s goal of improving its own US News rankings. Some have even speculated that TSRI is incorporated in England, and USC will receive incredible tax breaks following the merger. I’m here to tell you this is all false.

For years, Scripps has been secretly training its faculty and students in the art of “being a college athlete”. Many of you have long known that Phil is a gym rat. As it turns out, this addiction is not the result of an interest in health and well-being, but rather the recognition that if he wanted to matter at all in this world, he would need to become a college football player. Under the guise of being a “chemistry professor”, he has since turned into a frat bro, wearing only tank tops and sideways baseball caps. Secretly, TSRI’s interview weekends have contained 40-yard dash and high jump competitions; the free sweatshirts given away at recruitment were a blatant violation of NCAA policy.

Coach Marletta is prepared to lead the Fighting Butanes to victory.
Like many college athletes before us, we have had minimal class requirements and ample opportunities for help from professors and coworkers. Under the guise of “total synthesis”, Phil, Dale, and Ryan have secretly been pumping their students and post-docs with a special small molecule designed to enhance their football-playing abilities. I bet you didn't know that Jin-Quan Yu was a two-time badminton champion at Cambridge. Barry has tasted Aldrich chemicals all these years, because he believes it will help him throw a better fastball. Other faculty routinely make the trip down to Tijuana to obtain high purity beaver tranquilizers, known in traditional medicine to improve one’s ability to slam-dunk. With Mike Marletta becoming president at TSRI, soccer was eliminated from the training regiment, at which point KC left, enraged that his uniform would no longer be in style at TSRI.

UPDATE 1: It has come to my attention that Ben Cravatt has been elected team captain of TUSCRI's track and field team; he has also enrolled in the famed athlete-friendly underwater basket-weaving class.

Mark Foley is upset that USC will now be able to use TSRI’s infinite resources to beat his home-state’s football team. Which one? Well, when you’re a congressman, you support whichever team 51% of people support on a given day.

An early draft of TUSCRI's logo. 
So, folks, you’ve heard it from someone with the inside scoop. USC and TSRI will merge to form the “TUSCRI Fighting Butanes”, the newest addition to the Pac 12 (Ten? Thirteen?). With Phil Baran starting at starting quarterback AND drum major, we can almost smell the roses – it’s too bad the seal shit in the cove covers it all up.

Phil Baran - Band leader, quarterback, chemist, fashion aficionado.
Note: This entire post is satirical. Everything in it is meant to be a joke. I'm a graduate student - I have no idea what the deal with USC is or what the cove (or anything outdoors, for that matter) smells like. I'm just trying to do electrochemistry.


  1. Does this mean Reggie Bush for commencement speaker next year?

  2. Since Scripps Florida must keep its headcount (or return 600 millions of Florida public money that they took and spent) and the buildings in Florida are extremely expensive to operate because they were poorly designed (A/C having problem with fume hoods, etc.), most of the cost-saving pain will be probably felt in La Jolla...