last update 03.09.2006 12:01
Introduction Online Articles Download Section Special Links About
Top Runners' Quarterly
Frisky's Corner
Neal's Last Words

[Close file]

Did You Know?
Bits and Pieces from the NR Trivia Collection
#13: HQ Interface and R&D Interface

by Jens Kreutzer

Perhaps the two most basic multi-access cards for the Runner, R&D Interface and HQ Interface share a lot of features: Both are of course "Interfaces" and Hardware, have a similar ability and the same installation cost, but the most interesting bit about them is perhaps their card-spanning flavor text, which starts on R&D Interface and is continued on HQ Interface:

"I have a friend in Oaxaca who sells to Ops in Cuernavaca who supply a tech at Arasaka ... from Arasaka to Cuernavaca to Oaxaca - to me the gear does come."

Now, Oaxaca and Cuernavaca are cities in Mexico, while Arasaka is a ruthless corporation in the Cyberpunk world (which was used as the background for Netrunner). But to understand the joke, you must know that this flavor text is a reference to a song by Tom Lehrer (born 1928), an American singer-songwriter who is famous for his satirical and humorous compositions. Mainly active during the 1950s and 60s, his songs have always been somewhat controversial. The following are the lyrics of the song Lobachevsky (from the album Tom Lehrer Revisited, 1959):


    Who made me the genius I am today,
    The mathematician that others all quote?
    Who's the professor that made me that way,
    The greatest that ever got chalk on his coat?

    One man deserves the credit,
    One man deserves the blame,
    and Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name. Oy!
    Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache...

    I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky.
    In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics: Plagiarize!

    Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
    Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
    So don't shade your eyes,
    But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize...
    Only be sure always to call it please, "research".

    And ever since I meet this man my life is not the same,
    And Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name. Oy!
    Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache...

    I am never forget the day I am given first original paper to write.
    It was on Analytic and Algebraic Topology of Locally Euclidean Metrization of Infinitely Differentiable Riemannian Manifold.
    Bozhe moi! This I know from nothing.
    But I think of great Lobachevsky and I get idea - haha!

    I have a friend in Minsk,
    Who has a friend in Pinsk,
    Whose friend in Omsk
    Has friend in Tomsk
    With friend in Akmolinsk.
    His friend in Alexandrovsk
    Has friend in Petropavlovsk,
    Whose friend somehow
    Is solving now
    The problem in Dnepropetrovsk.

    And when his work is done -
    Haha! - begins the fun.
    From Dnepropetrovsk
    To Petropavlovsk,
    By way of Iliysk,
    And Novorossiysk,
    To Alexandrovsk to Akmolinsk
    To Tomsk to Omsk
    To Pinsk to Minsk
    To me the news will run,
    Yes, to me the news will run!

    And then I write
    By morning, night,
    And afternoon,
    And pretty soon
    My name in Dnepropetrovsk is cursed,
    When he finds out I published first!

    And who made me a big success
    And brought me wealth and fame?
    Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name. Oy!
    Nicolai Ivanovich Lobache...

    I am never forget the day my first book is published.
    Every chapter I stole from somewhere else.
    Index I copy from old Vladivostok telephone directory.
    This book, this book was sensational!
    Pravda - ah, Pravda - Pravda said:
    "Jeel beel kara ogoday blyum blocha jeli," ("It stinks").
    But Izvestia! Izvestia said:
    "Jai, do gudoo sun sai pere shcum," ("It stinks").
    Metro-Goldwyn-Moskva bought the movie rights for six million rubles,
    Changing title to "The Eternal Triangle",
    With Brigitte Bardot playing part of hypotenuse.

    And who deserves the credit?
    And who deserves the blame?
    Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name. Oy!

This song is a humorous take on plagiarism in the world of science, and the reference fits really well, since plagiarism (i. e., theft of data in a broad sense) is just what the Runner does for a living (and he or she does it even better with an R&D Interface installed). Note also the parallelism of research in the song and R&D (short for Research & Development) on the card. Incidentally, Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky (1793-1856) was a real Russian mathematician, mainly famous for his achievements in the field of geometry. As the album Tom Lehrer Revisited has since been republished on CD, why not listen to some Tom Lehrer while making that HQ run next time?

[Previous Did You Know] [Close file] [Next Did You Know]

TRQ #24
- 2005 -
TRQ #23
- 2004 -
TRQ #22
TRQ #21
- 2003 -
TRQ #20
TRQ #19
- 2002 -
TRQ #18
TRQ #17
TRQ #16
- 2001 -
TRQ #15
TRQ #14
TRQ #13
TRQ #12
- 2000 -
TRQ #11
TRQ #10
TRQ #09
- 1999 -
TRQ #08
TRQ #07
TRQ #06
TRQ #05
- 1998 -
TRQ #04
TRQ #03
TRQ #02
- 1997 -
TRQ #01