An extremely noisy and irritating fire alarm is scraping across my eardrums here at the lab. We have quite a clever alarm system here, in that there are two types of alarms – the first one (which is what I am hearing right now) means ‘get ready, there might be a fire’ and the second one means ‘get the hell out.’ The other people in the computer room are taking the alarm with enviable composure and haven’t even batted an eye, although there have been some people hurrying across the corridor muttering about ‘what fire?’ and ‘…get some coffee’. I wish the damn thing would just decide whether there’s a fire or not.


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