Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001

Candidate Wonderful,

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen would have been a hundred and ninety years old on April 7th if only he'd discovered the fountain of youth instead of inventing a small gas burner. Discuss.


Dear Dieter Richman,

But would he have a Muppet named after him? I think not.

There is something to be said, however, for the immortality one gains by, y'know, just living forever, as opposed to the immortality of dying famous. For one thing, you can get into more restaurants. On the other hand, most cemeteries have an excellent view. And they accept reservations years in advance.

In any case, the Fountain of Youth is just a metaphor. It represents the same life-giving vessel as the Holy Grail in those French Romances. You know, the Cup… of the Water… of Life. The, uh, Chalice You Next Tuesday? N’est-ce pas? From what I know of Mrs. Bunsen, Robert discovered it quite early, often, and well.