We mixed drank with Red Bull and with a premium French vodka called Pinnacle.

Do you mind me asking why?

Seemed like something other people might try. Public service, if you will. But it created a funny, cockeyed haze. Have you heard of that?

Never. We aren't marketing the product to mix with alcohol by any means.

Is it effective at treating sore throats or the common cold?

We've never tested it for that.

I ask because it was pretty medicinal on the palate.

It tastes pretty good. Dimetapp tastes pretty good, too.

Hmm. Guess we'll put that down on our list of things to taste-test after work. 

Things Are Looking Up
Unreal loves sunlight and blue skies as much as the next person. At the moment, the sky outside our office window is a bland, overcast white and it's making us feel a wee bit sad. Fortunately, we happen to have the phone number for the Sky Factory, a company in Fairfield, Iowa, that manufactures false windows and skylights with eternally sunny and bucolic views and even palm trees, for those who like that sort of thing.

Fairfield happens to be a pilgrimage site of sorts for students of Transcendental Meditation and the Yogic Flying technique, but the Sky Factory has nothing to do with that sort of thing, spokesman Jeff Stone assures us when we get him on the phone. You can actually see the fake sunlight — with your eyes, not just with your mind.

Unreal: Do you have a Sky Ceiling in your house?

Jeff Stone: I can't really afford one. It's about $105 per square foot. But we have one in our office. It's a circle with a fourteen-foot diameter, mostly sky with a few cherry blossoms in the corners. It uses the full spectrum of light and mimics daylight. It's nice having one over me — much better than our old office, which only had one window.

So Sky Ceilings make for happy workers?

Well, the environment is much more enjoyable.

Who else buys these things?

Seventy percent of our sales are to the health care market. A lot of CT and MRI scans are in basements and the rooms are cold and unfriendly. Sky Ceilings make them more enjoyable and less claustrophobic. We've also been selling to the casino industry.

To make people happier to lose their money?

No. Their approach is to keep people in there longer. There are no clocks, lots of bright colors and they pump fresh air through, and it's hard to get out, in terms of finding the exit. The Sky Ceiling plays with their circadian rhythms. It gives the illusion that time is standing still. We also put a ceiling in a PGA Tour golf shop, over the areas where they want you to spend more time and money. It hasn't been scientifically proven that it works. Recently we installed a Sky Ceiling in a prison in France. It's programmable to provide daylight for the prisoners and make their experience better.

Aren't prisoners supposed to suffer?

I can't answer that. It's France. They've got laws about human rights and whatnot.

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