Pecker Floor, dear prefrosh, is the fourth floor on the 290 side of Random Hall, and we are all about mathematics, physics, mathematics, theoretical computer science, and mathematics. One of our lesser known interests, however, is prophesying the future by means of refrigerators.

BEHOLD! pecker fridges

More specifically, behold the ORACLE! choose your fate

All Pecker residents find their destiny on this hallowed piece of paper (recently upgraded to inkjet from dot matrix paper – neat!). Never mind that your destiny changes basically every year – how could you question the oracle? I’ve never heard legends about your psychic powers.

This year, all residents of Pecker will suffer one of four fates:

1) DEATH BY RENORMALIZATION – the self-energy/polarization of the vacuum… a pathological electron-electron scattering mode… Landau pole after Landau pole… you can’t take it any more, and so your run to condensed matter physics, thinking that you might free yourself of those accursed infinities… but when you scrutinize the mathematics that describe second-order phase transitions, you freeze in your tracks as the ghastly, horrifying spectres of Feynman and Schwinger arise from your pages of calculations… it is just too much.

2) DEATH BY HEAVY METAL POISONING: “Teflon’s killed scores of people just like you,” they said, and so you broke out the plastic spatulas and plastic forks every time you so much as looked at a non-stick pan. Little did you suspect the hundred-year-old pipes in Random Hall would do you in. Murphy’s Law strikes again, I guess.

3) DEATH BY INDIRECTION: “It’s duct tape for algorithms,” old, sagely andersk hissed, but you pooh-poohed him. O(n log n) space becomes O(n)? What’s not to like? You implement it in your code, sure that all your friends will think you’re the coolest coder ever to stumble into lobby 7. Too bad you forgot about the complexity of your algorithm. As you wait for your test suite to finish running, you fossilize. Way to go.

4) DEATH BY DYING: Well, that wasn’t helpful. I guess the oracle can’t produce home runs all the time. In fact, the oracle always strikes out in the last at-bat – Death by Dying’s name hasn’t changed in ages. If you ask anyone around here, they’ll tell you that it’s probably more a statement about the refrigerator than the residents who use it.

So, there you have it. Auguring your future: a splendid reason to live on Pecker!