Laurie Taylor Column

August 17, 2007

"If universities stop investigating parapsychology... then society will be poorer for it" - Editorial, The Times Higher, August 10

University of Poppleton

From: Jamie Targett, Director of Corporate Affairs

Subject: Chair in Parapsychology

I am delighted to say that this university has once again shown its readiness to keep up with contemporary academic trends by appointing its first professor of parapsychology. Our new appointee, Doctor W. R. Striebling, has a distinguished record in all branches of parapsychology and will commence his term of office by investigating a number of anomalous experiences that have recently arisen on the Poppleton campus.

Reverse ESP. Conventional ESP research investigates the successful transmission of messages by other than conventional means. Reverse ESP refers to the largely unstudied psychic phenomenon recently recorded in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies in which messages sent by Maureen (Departmental Secretary) using all available means of transmission (e-mails, faxes, telephone calls, letters, texts, personal contact in corridors) singularly fail to reach their intended recipients or to have any discernible effect on their conduct.

Near-Death Experiences. Professor Striebling has indicated an interest in the above-average number of in situ "near-death" experiences by members of the General Academic Board.

Automatic Writing. This refers to writing over which the author seems to have no conscious control. On the basis of preliminary research, Professor Striebling believes many recent communications from the Department of Human Resources to staff may well fall into this category.

Telekinesis. The capacity to transport oneself psychically from one location to another is a controversial area in parapsychology, but Professor Striebling has already expressed an interest in Doctor Piercemuller's long-standing ability to be simultaneously present in Poppleton University and the Hotel Martinez in Cannes.

Levitation. The vice-chancellor has generously indicated his readiness to assist Professor Striebling's research into the capacity of some human beings to acquire elevated positions without any apparent means of support.

Professor Striebling welcomes staff thoughts on these matters. He can be reached on extension 229 or by letting your mind go blank and concentrating hard on the colour blue.

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