Vol. 1, Issue 4, June 3, 2003
Dodo: the Other Other White Meat

Starbucks Expansion Theorem Proven

One of the most famous mathematical conundrums of our time has apparently been solved, according to mathematicians at the California Institute of Technology.

Assistant Professor Yannick Bryce, a fast-rising star in the Mathematics department at the California Institute of Technology, has unveiled a proof for Buck's Last Theorem. This theorem, which was found jotted down in the margins of an espresso machine operating manual, posits that the total number of Starbucks locations will always increase at a rate that exceeds the expectations of American society by a rate of exactly [(x+1)/100] +y percentage points, where x represents milligrams of caffeine consumed per day and y represents the average number of espresso shots added per drink consumed in the continental United States.

The theorem was set forth by Anthony "Buck" Rogers, who founded the popular coffee shop with his lover of 21 years, comic strip heroine Brenda Starr. It was his last, and indeed only, theorem. He used it to demonstrate the growth potential of the company to potential investors in the 1970s. Although Rogers later admitted shortly before his death that he had made the theorem up to placate his financial backers, it has correlated with Starbucks' actual expansion to an astonishing degree of precision.

"This is a significant day for mathematicians everywhere," said Professor Eric Folsom, chair of the mathematics department at Harvard University. "The solution is counterintuitive, because most people assume an upper limit to the amount of caffeine a human being can consume." This is now known to be false, following the startling December 2002 study published in Nature which documented blood levels approaching 110% pure caffeine in several California communities. "The Nature article really opened up possibilities, and Bryce ran with them."

Starbucks has expanded from one location in 1971 to 5,886 as of 5:17 p.m., EST yesterday. The distinctive green and white logo now forms a pattern across the country which is reportedly visible from space.

Neither Bryce nor Starbucks would comment for this article, since reporters could not find the former in the phone book and Jeanne, the barista at the Starbucks down the street, stated she had not heard of Bryce or his work. This reporter did not care, however, since Jeanne is cute and makes a fairly drinkable latte.

Bookmark and Share