What's an IQP?

Background info to explain the following insanity:

During my Junior year of college, while I was working on my IQP (Interactive Qualifying Project, for non-WPIanians), I happened to say to a friend of mine that things weren't going too well, and that I feared it would "crash and burn" at any moment. Sarcastically, my friend asked me what kind of IQP I was talking about that would be prone to such explosive behavior. Many of my friends have learned not to ask this kind of silly question, because it usually causes me to launch into a bizarre rambling exposition on some nonexistant topic. As an example, I present the following.

Zoog's 100% Semi-Complete Guide to IQPs

The IQP, or Insectile Quetzal-Peregrine, is quite possibly the largest insect/bird hybrid creature on the planet. Possessing wingspans reaching up to 40 feet, IQPs have been known to attack and eat prey including elephants, ocean liners, small birds, and 747s.

They are however, incredibly stupid. They have been known to crash into air traffic control towers, mountains, trees, and, occasionally, large flat expanses of the ground. Their unique biology makes for an extremely flammable structure, and killing and eating 747s doesn't really help any. On impact, there is usually an unpleasant squishy crunching noise, followed by a huge exposion. Entire cities have been razed by the fall of one of these great beasts.

IQPs typically travel at speeds approaching 80-90 mph, except when diving at their prey, at which times they can reach speeds of approximately 2 miles per wiggee (for readers unfamiliar with the term, a wiggee is a variable unit of time, the length of which is determined by the user). This terrifying burst of speed allows them cut a 747 in half without even slowing down. It is frequently after these power dives that they mysteriously crash into large, flat expanses of ground, since there is not enough time for the IQP to slow it's descent. IQPs usually possess sufficient speed and mass at this point to level small unsuspecting island nations.

An IQP's talons are razor sharp, and their beaks can cut through steel as if it were cheese. In other words, they have to really lean on it, and eventually the edge slips sideways and cuts off odd, irregularly sized chunks. They possess 2 large sets of antennae -- one for communication with the rest of their kind, the other because a second set of antennae looks really cool, especially the really big multiple jointed ones sported by IQPs.

Once a year, the IQP lays between 1 and 603 eggs at a time, but none of them ever hatch. No one can really figure out why it lays the eggs. Some kind of genetic memory of its component species, perhaps. It reproduces by mitosis, splitting into two virtually identical creatures. This has never been captured on film, although witnesses report you really wouldn't want to see it anyway. It's terribly unpleasant.

IQPs can crash almost anywhere they are attempting to hunt. Their irritating tendancy to try to attach themselves to WPI students as adopted children leads to an inordindate number of them crashing in the Worcester area. The recently constructed student center was obliterated a few weeks ago when one IQP smashed into it at speeds not comfortably envisioned by the human mind.

Obviously this freakish monstrosity cannot be a naturally evolved creature. It's sinister design does make the carrots a likely suspect for their creators. But, other evidence implicates WPI professors themselves, who have lost control of their demonic spawn and are now trying to cover up the mess.

I hope this explains what we're up against down here.

- compiled by Zoog the Nifty, professor of really keen things to know about which no one ever takes the time to study.

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