Okay, this post is just a dummy repeater for this awesome Onion article, "Scientists Ask Congress to Fund $50 Billion Science Thing."
I'm not proud of that, but it had to be done. It's science.
Hat tip to Julian Hilliard, who was a fellow grad student back at OU, for the term 'ion reflux pronabulator', which he applied indiscriminately to any machine more complicated than a toaster. The thing in the diagram is the Platonic ideal of the IRP.