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Einstein Envy

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by Sheldon "Antimatter" Brown

The 80's were an era of junk bonds, cocaine and novel exploitations of physics.
That the three of these cultural phenomena would unite in one object, and that this
object would be a bicycle is only logical. So, what is a "Positron Front Free Uniglide"
system anyway? For the answer, we'll look to the deceptively simple sounding equation,


You've seen them at every intersection. They litter the bikeways and rule the velodrome. That's right... The ubiquitous Kawamura Diver with its Positron Front Free Uniglide drivetrain. Often imitated but never duplicated, the Kawamura Diver drivetrain is a thing of mythic power that any discerning cyclist can have not just between her legs, but lap after lap, right there...bobbing at her feet.

In 1986, following the dismantling of Ronald Reagan's pet "8L0-3M-VP" terrestrial weaponry program, decades of top-secret Pentagon R&D were purchased with junk-bonds issued by the Lincoln Savings Bank. The Pentagon's benefactor was none other than Yoshi Katakana, the infamous one-legged cyclops salary man at Kawamura Bicycles. An ounce of Bolivian cocaine, 2 pink highlighters, a yellow crayon and 70 hours of speed reading saw Katakana through the voluminous tome that a briefcase of junk-bonds handpicked by Michael Milken had afforded him.

What precipitated out from Katakana's efforts in textual voracity was what would come to be known as the "Positron Front Free Uniglide" drivetrain. Realizing that the cycling market had failed to effectively tap the power of positrons as antimatter, Katakana made a bold and visionary series of scientific assumptions that would ultimately see Kawamura on to internationally iconic status. Katakana, realizing that positrons are antimatter, assumed that if he could create a cheap and plastic enough rotating chainring cover, upon reaching a certain speed, the cover would begin to produce positrons. Obviously cognizant of the fact that the electrons in the atoms of air molecules entering his high-tech "FF Turbo Fin" wouldn't be able to "front" upon colliding with the positrons, Katakana understood that the positrons would call the electrons on their shit and then annihilate them. E=mC^2 told Katakana that the combined mass of the positrons and electrons would have to be converted into energy. He then calculated that the resulting gamma ray photons would propel a Kawamura bike utilizing such technology at such super-human speeds that any rider would be forced to wear full-body aerodynamic protection. In lab studies, the most effective rider clothing was determined to be a classical deep-sea diving suit and helmet. Katakana dubbed the prototype cycle the "Diver" and the development name stuck through to production. During a late night marketing meeting sometime in 1987, the topic of decals for the Diver arose. Immediately, Katakana insisted that the drivetrain be labeled as "Positron Front Free." At the urging of company mechanic, Takuji Watanabe, the Diver's "Uniglide" quality was appended to the decal design. Watanabe and Katakana both agreed that consumers must be made aware that the gamma ray photons produced by the positronic and electronic collisions would propel the Diver in only one direction.


"The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds."
--Marvin the Martian


I have a related document, a Database of Plutonium-Cast bottom brackets available on this site.


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