From deep within the DeMarco vaults comes this classic work for today’s repost of the week. Enjoy!
A Brush With Greatness
Every once in a while I come across something truly great. I see something, or hear something, or read something, in other words experience something so awesome, so unique, so powerful that I must stop and acknowledge that thing’s greatness. Mostly this acknowledgement is done only with myself in my own mind, like a silent applause, an imagined bow, or a mental gasp. I usually take a note of the thing and perhaps later mention it to a friend, or do a quick Google search when I have the time. Almost never does it go beyond that. Recently however I came across something so great that I cannot remain silent. I must acknowledge in public the utter and complete awesomeness of it.
Today I present to you, my vast and loyal readership the greatest example of science product marketing ever conceived by man. I give you, Panpeha™ by Sigma-Adrich/Whatman, the only pH strip on the market able to give a reliable result (+/- 0.5) across the entire range of pH values (0–14).
Although you, my average reader, are no doubt very well educated and highly intelligent, you may still have only once or twice heard of Pangea and probably have never hear of Panpeha™ until today. It is quite possible you did not even know that pH test strips were a thing or that they are normally confined to measuring a small range of pH values, usually within 2 or 3 units. Therefore you may require a little background reading before you can truly grasp the greatness you are at this very moment in the presence of.
Pangea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 335 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago. Unlike Earth’s current distribution of continental mass, much of Pangaea was in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by water. The important thing is that Pangaea represented the complete and total land mass of the earth all in one supercontinent.
Panpeha™ on the other hand is a line of pH test strips manufactured and distributed by Sigma-Aldrich/Whatman. While not nearly as well known and slightly less important to the history of earth or humanity than Pangea it does represent the complete and total solution to all you pH testing needs. It allows anyone with color vision the ability to measure every possible pH value from 0–14 to an accuracy of within 0.5 all in one convenient disposable strip.
I am certain that right now you are stunned, much like I was when I first came across this product in the very back of a drawer in the lab next to mine while searching for a 3V battery. They are the little flat ones that are round and there are like thirty different kinds but I had no idea there were that many so I bought one and it was not the right one, then I bought another, and it was also wrong and now I am out like 15 bucks and still do not have the correct battery. Without that battery my automatic repeat pipetter remains a useless chunk of plastic and I (one of my technicians) has to pre-fill tubes with enrichment media with a standard manual pipetter like an asshole.
Take a second to recover and take a deep breath, in and out, inhale, exhale, excellent, now continue reading. It really has everything anyone could ask for in a name for a product that will only be seen, cared about in the least or used by the tiniest fraction of people. 1. It requires diverse and broad knowledge of trivia like factoids from two different but partially overlapping subject areas (geology and chemistry) 2. It actually makes sense on multiple levels if you possess said knowledge, i.e. is extremely clever 3. It rhymes 4. It is freaking hilarious 5. It can be/has been trademark protected to prevent idea theft. My only suggestion would be to modify the font slight and write it out as panpeHa©. Don’t get any funny ideas. As you can plainly see, I already have the copyright. I also got protection for every possible variation of capital and lower case letters so don’t even bother. No one can outsmart me in the game of intellectual property protection, no one.
If only I could meet the person behind this for clearly he or she possesses a mind of the highest intellect and creativity. Part scientist, part writer, part humorist, all awesomeness. Promote this person Sigma, give him/her a giant raise, put them on the board, give them a private jet, whatever they want, it is well deserved. If I were this person I would go to the next executive level marketing meeting holding a microphone, saunter slowly up to the front, drop it, turn around and walk out, then retire. Sadly, an achievement like this probably only happens once in a lifetime. It’s only downhill from here. Imagine what could be achieved if this person and the one behind belts with holes are dead teamed up. Now that would be great.