PRINCETON Dec 20 – A dramatic accident in the library shocked the Physics Department of Princeton University. An eight foot high bookshelf, full of editions of “Physical Review D”, unexpectedly crumbled after faculty member and renowned string theorist Andrew M. placed the most recent volume on the top shelf. The professor had no chance when he was suddenly submerged by about six tons of paper and died before rescue forces arrived. Tragically, the weighty 1200-pages volume of PRD contained his latest article “Holographic Walking Technicolor and Stability of Techni-Branes” in which Professor M. had demonstrated that “a large bulk cut-off could destabilize oscillations”. It appears that the paper was the straw which broke the camel’s back.
After preliminary investigations, bookshelf manufacturers Popper & Kuhn Ltd. (Slogan: “Putting research on a solid basis”) stated that their products were designed for “normal science” and denied any responsibility for “shaky constructions piled on top of each other” that had not been subjected to any experimental stability tests for many years.
In an initial statement, the Dean of the Physics Faculty emphasized how differently science and religion deal with matters of life and death. He acknowledged the important contributions of Professor M. to the theory of brane solutions in parallel worlds had demonstrated that events of the above kind represent a null set in a string landscape containing 10500 worlds, in most of which Professor M. is still alive. These words were perceived as providing much consolation for everybody.