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The Harvard Lampoon, Bow St.'s self-styled humor organization, has completed the manuscript of its latest work, a book that attempts to condense a Harvard education into 150 pages, Lampoon officers said yesterday.
The volume, which is this year's traditional Lampoon summer publication, is slated to appear in bookstores nationwide by the end of the academic year, according to Lampoon President Jon D. Beckerman '91.
The book, he said, takes a light look at each of Harvard's concentrations, summarizing key concepts and defining important terminology.
For example, the text on Philosophy tells students to study the subject because the material is easy and makes them feel smart. 'Poonsters say that with the guide, even the impenetrable text of Kantian philosophy becomes wonderfully clear.
"Kant believes that it is possible to just KNOW things... [such as] I look better if I comb my hair over my bald spot," the manuscript says.
"If you go buy the book, you will get what Harvard students get for [their] tuition," Beckerman said.
Also scattered among the pages are articles on non-academic subjects, such as Harvard's drinking games.
Readers learn about 'Pi', a game in which students take turns reciting the infinite digits of the irrational number, taking a swig of alcohol each time they are wrong. But since Harvard students are never wrong, according to the book, students playing the game just sit around sober.
In interviews yesterday, 'Poonsters were confident the book would make money.
Brian D. Reich '91, one of the writers, said the volume would hold its own against the literary works of other Harvard notables.
"It's funnier than Bok's [book, Universities and the Future of America], it has better jokes about [Dean of Students Archie C.] Epps in it than Bok's book, which is doing well," he said.
Possible titles for the paperback include A Harvard Education for $7.95 and A Harvard Education in a Book,Beckerman said.
Past Lampoon summer projects have includedparodies of Time magazine and Forbes businessmagazine. Last year's Forbes parody, entitled "TheRichest, Best People in America," prompted a BowSt. parade and party in honor of the latemulti-billionaire Malcolm S. Forbes.
When they are not working on their summerproject, the 'Poonsters occasionally publish amagazine that is intended to be funny
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