re: your research proposal

ROSE GARDEN is a new dynamic approach for investigating the full potential of the human mind. It aims to discover new applications for industry, intelligence, and space travel. The United Nations has pledged financial support for the project, and the United States and the People’s Republic of China have jointly committed their top parapsychologists. ROSE GARDEN is grounded in good science, peer review, and safety for all involved.

We have reviewed your application for funding. Your application is REJECTED. Unfortunately, we cannot grant you funding at this time. Our budget and research space is limited, and as such, we can only support a handful of projects. We hope you understand.

Thank you for participating in ROSE GARDEN, and we wish you the best in your future scientific endeavors.

To the stars!

[Do not reply to this message. If your proposal received feedback, please find it reproduced in the space below.]

Reviewing Officer: Dr. Mackenzie Huang

Dear Applicant:

It is seven in the morning and I have no idea what I just read. If you have some free time, please stop by and explain this application to me, because about half of my brain cells just died and I’m never getting those back.

First, you cannot conduct on a human experiment on the entire population of New Zealand. I do not understand why you think this is possible, but it is not. China does not possess a “New Zealand-sized dome,” and even if it did, I have a hunch it would not provide it for this project. Second, I have been to the moon and I can tell you right now that China does not, quote, “hide the dome there under a big grey tarp.” Finally, while all good studies need a control group, we simply do not have the resources to make an exact copy of New Zealand right next to the real one. Sorry.

While I found your plan to “pelt those Kiwis with gamma rays until they can do telepathy” exciting, I regret to inform you that melting people’s brains does not give them superpowers. When I read the line about boosting hypnotic sensibility by “plac[ing] all New Zealanders on a diet of raw honey,” I knew what I had to do. I contacted the registrar at the Stanford Department of Psychology. Guess what? They’ve never heard of you. Pro-tip: lying about your qualifications is not a great way to ask for billions of dollars in funding.

You walked into this ROSE GARDEN and started eating the roses. I cannot express the joy I felt when I brought that red stamp down on your application. The firm press of it, the angry ink it left behind, the force of the word REJECTED. I felt chills as I imagined your sweet disappointment.

Hold on. Kris just stopped by my office to ask if I’m okay. She says I’m “kind of growling” and “banging on the keyboard like it owes me money.” No one asked you, Kris. Go back to your hole and let me seethe.

Where were we? Right: in a way, your proposal does teach us a lot about the potential of the human mind. It proves that a person can be so deluded to earnestly believe that a “combination of honey and high-energey [sic] waves will open the bee dimension.” Thank you for your contribution.



P.S.: Please donate your body to science so we can understand what went wrong.

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