Ben Lupinetti


In a stunning upset, the team from UC Davis has taken home the blue ribbon at Elon Musk’s “Be All That You Can Science” engineering competition in Washington D.C. The UC Davis team was up against heavily favored teams from MIT, Berkeley and Stanford, but in the end it was Davis that found the most effective means for one of science’s most elusive goals: rendering a time machine completely invisible.


“You literally can’t calculate the excitement we’re feeling right now,” said Renee Montblanc, captain of the Davis team. “Everyone on the team is just so proud. And we’ll be even more proud when we learn what the practical applications of turning a time machine invisible are.”


Dr. Gail Danvers called the Davis team’s achievement “A potential game-changer, assuming the game you were playing was called ‘Only use clearly visible time machines like a chump.’”


Hours before the deadline it looked as though the team from MIT had clinched the title, but things took a turn when the faculty head of the team, Dr. Johann Svennson, accidentally activated the machine sending him back in time one million years. Students working on the project raced to stop the machine’s time travel initiation sequence but were unable to, due to the time machine’s almost completely invisible state. 


“There are a lot of mixed feelings,” said MIT Senior in Electrical Science & Engineering Alexandra Zanderzweit. “On the one hand, Dr. Svennson has been hurled back to a time before human civilization, probably to be hunted by his own ancestors, and the time machine will be too invisible for him to use it to return home. So in a cruel twist of fate our scientific advancements might have doomed him to become dinner for some cavemen. On the other hand, the reason we were unable to stop the machine was because by that point we had turned so much of it invisible.”


Despite the disappointing turn of events Zanderzweit remains optimistic. “There’s always the chance that Dr. Svennson will be able to demonstrate his scientific knowledge to the the un-evolved proto-humans he encounters, and maybe if he can start a fire or something they’ll revere him as a god. You never know with these things!”


The Stanford team also made a strong showing in the contest, but was disqualified due to only making their time machine that sort of shimmery, Predator invisible where you can still sort of see it.


Elon Musk himself stopped by to comment on the action. “When I started this competition as an extension of my very public mid-life crisis, I never dreamed that it would inspire so many brilliant people,” Musk stated from inside the cockpit of his rocket-powered stapler. “But I feel like we’ve managed to motivate an entire generation of young scientists to do things because they can.” When asked for comment about the unfortunate losing-in-time of Dr. Svennson Musk responded “Never forget: philosophers ask ‘Should we?’ Scientists ask “When can we?’” before teleporting away in his stapler.

Ben Lupinetti