Eighty-eight years earlier, the professor was lying in her crib in Scotland when a housekeeper in the next room dropped a vase she had been polishing. The vase shattered and the housekeeper was fired. As she packed up her few belongings, she decided to look for work in the house next door. She went next door and knocked on it (the door). A housekeeper answered. "Yes?" said the housekeeper. The housekeeper asked the housekeeper if this house had an opening for a housekeeper. The housekeeper replied that it did not. The housekeeper shut the door, and the housekeeper left for the bus station. Buses in those days were crude contraptions, and even cruder were the bus stations. The worst bus station in the United Kingdom was probably the one in Thurso, in the far north of Scotland. For most of its history Thurso's main industry was thumbtacks. The gigantic thumbtack factory—their largest thumbtacks were eight feet in diameter, with pins as thick as baseball bats—loomed over the town for over a hundred-fifty years, until the day of the great Thurso earthquake, which leveled not only the factory but every other structure man had built within twenty-seven miles. A century later, a team of scientists from the University of Michigan, accompanied by a NOVA camera crew, traveled to Thurso to investigate why exactly the town's bus station was indeed so dreadfully awful. The scientists had names like Pip, Screwy, and Doctor Doctor. They were quite mad, and in fact were only pretending to be scientists. They were in no way affiliated with the University of Michigan, or any other accredited university. They were, in fact, patients who had escaped from the psychiatric ward at the Olin Student Health Center at Michigan State University. Michigan State University had lost its accreditation in 1978 due to the number of students receiving shockingly poor grades—the student body GPA that year was a mere 1.84. By the late nineties the school had become mainly a collection of buildings for young people to hang out in, and nothing more. High school dropouts would make frequent use of the Chemistry Department's labs in manufacturing illicit narcotics and hallucinogens, some of their own invention! So hey, at least they were learning something. One of these dropouts, however, had even larger ambitions. Named Tony by his parents and called the same by his friends, his goal was to become head of the chemistry department. As there were no longer any professors or administration left at the once-great school, his rise to the top was swift. He declared himself head of the chemistry department on the afternoon of June 8, 1999. Seeing that no one opposed this, young Tony decided to reach even higher. He resolved to become President of Michigan State University. On the evening of June 8, 1999, Tony declared himself President of the University of Michigan. Realizing his mistake immediately, he said, "No! Wait, shit! [convulsive laughter] I did it wrong! That's the [convulsive laughter] that's the wrong [convulsive laughter]", and promptly declared himself President of Michigan State University. Because he was alone in the room—one of the large lecture halls—he took the liberty of swearing himself in, using, in place of a Bible, a copy of Michael Chrichton's Sphere that someone had left lying around.