FileTitle: Prose1598.html
Category: Humor
Type: Prose
Description: New Element - Administratum

AMES, IA--The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by
materials researchers at IPRT/ISU. The new element, tentatively named
Administratium, has no protons or electrons, and thus has an atomic weight
of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice
neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of
312. These 312 particles are held together in a nucleus by a force that
involves the continuous exchange of particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is totally inert. However, it
can be detected chemically, since it impedes every reaction it comes into
contact with. According to its discovers, a tiny amount of Administratium
caused one reaction to take over four days to complete; the normal
reaction time is less than one second.

Administratium has a normal half life of approximately three years, at
which time it does not actually decay, but instead undergoes a
reorganization in which neutrons, vice neutrons, and assistant vice
neutrons exchange places. Studies have shown that the atomic mass usually
increases after each reorganization.

Research at other laboratories indicates that Administratium occurs
naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points,
such as governmental agencies, large corporations, and universities. It is
always found in the newest, best appointed and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level
of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it
is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how
Administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but
results to date are not promising.