The future of the free world depends on thiotimoline research.

This third gag article on thiotimoline is less stuffy in style than the first two ("The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline” and "The Micropsychiatric Applications of Thiotimoline,” which isn’t surprising, since even writing a fake scientific article can be a lot of work. This one is written instead as a speech delivered at the 12th annual meeting of the American Chronochemical Society.

The idea underlying the speech is that by piling up successive automatic thiotimoline cells, you can create a device which will react an arbitrary time before water is added. Not only does this let you tell the future, but attempts to ‘fool’ the cells can lead to natural disasters on a tremendous scale—the story of 1955’s Hurricane Diane is easily the article’s high point.

Less stodgy, perhaps, than the spoofs of formal research papers, this is still a delightful story and a lot of fun. It’s a shame that it’s so relatively hidden, buried inside two books which too few Asimov fans have read.

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