Character Re-Introductions: Professor Clodbottle
Welcome to Character Re-Introductions, a spinoff series of my Character Introductions series! While in Character Introductions I interview newly introduced characters to the site, in Character Re-Introductions I interview an already established character who had recently came back to everyone's attention. This time I'm interviewing the Kougra Petpetpet expert who had recently finished with his experiment, the Habitarium: Professor Milton Clodbottle.
Professor Milton Clodbottle introduced himself and his invention, the Habitarium, to the Neopian public on the 19th day of Storing, Y12 (or November 19th, 2010). Actually Premium users had early access to the prototype of Habitarium, Petpetpet Habitats, but it was different from what the Habitarium became when finally released (though the Habitarium Site Theme is actually based on the Petpetpet Habitats). For 4 years Neopians enjoyed raising their own Petpetpet colony until one day the datacrometer on everyone's Habitarium began to go off. Professor Clodbottle explained to us it meant that all the data he wanted to get from his invention had been collected and it was finally time to end the experiment. We were given about two weeks to finish up & say goodbye to our Petpetpets and, after a transitional period of a few days, Habitarium finally closed. A few months later Professor Clodbottle gave out farewell gifts to Neopians who helped him out with his experiments. After collecting my gift I asked him for an interview which he agreed to do right there on the spot:
Welcome Professor Milton Clodbottle! I'd like to thank you for accepting doing an interview with me, though aren't you busy giving out the farewell gifts?
"Please, you can just call me Milton, or Professor Clodbottle if you want to remain formal. I've been giving out rewards for a few hours straight now and I could use a quick break, so thank you for giving me a chance to do that. *chuckles* Now I'm sure you and Neopia have plenty of questions to ask me."
That we do. First off, many Neopians were surprised when you told them that you were suddenly ending the Habitarium. Why didn't you tell us it was only a temporary experiment?
"That's my fault and I do apologize. I told you all it was an experiment so I assumed you all knew that meant one day it was going to end. I should have known better that not everyone would understand that's what an experiment means and once again I do apologize. Thankfully I was able to give everyone an additional couple of weeks as I organized the data and got everything together before having to finally pull the plug."
Even though you collected all your data could you still have left the Habitarium open?
"Seeing how popular it gotten I wish I could, but sadly even if I did foreseen that it wouldn't have been possible. The Habitarium was maintained by the combined funds of the Brightvale University and the Seekers for the purpose of me collecting data on my Petpetpet research and that's it. Though I was constantly improving the Habitarium, as soon as the datacrometer went off that was my signal it was time to end the experiment. Those last few weeks I kept it open after the datacrometer went off used up the last of the funds. Also I feel it was time I moved on, I don't feel I can contribute anymore to the understanding of Petpetpets with the Habitarium so it's onto new experiment and adventures!.. Right after I write my research paper and submitting a copy to Brightvale University and the Seekers, of course."
Sounds like you got a few busy months ahead of you. I'd like to ask a few questions about the farewell gifts. First off, thank you for giving us gifts which includes a Site Theme. But why is the Habitarium Site Theme based off its prototype, Petpetpet Habitats? And while the prizes are a neat selection of items, they're also an odd selection. Why did you choose the items you did? And out of all the possible items we could have gotten, why isn't one of them a Petpetpet? Also, considering the Habitarium had 50 Levels before it closed, why didn't you have the gifts based off our level? And finally, no Trophy nor Avatar?
"I'm glad that many are liking the gifts and I do understand some complaints I'm hearing. I was just caught off guard as you all were when the datacrometer went off; you all must have done a lot of work to make it collect all the data so soon! *chuckles* But back to your questions, I'll give you quick answers as I got to get back to giving out the gifts. I based the Site Theme on Petpetpet Habitats to give those who never got a chance to experience the prototype of Habitarium a chance to see something they otherwise wouldn't have. The items I gave out were just the ones I was currently working on at the time for the Habitarium and had a chance to convert into normal items before time came to hand out the gifts. I wanted to include a Petpetpet and I wanted it to be that "blue pest" but despite looking through the data I was still unable to identify what it really was thus unable to make it into a Petpetpet. While I would have liked to have based the gifts off levels I didn't have the time to nor were the levels recorded, sorry about that. Finally I did go to those in charge of releasing Trophies and Avatars about the possibility but they're requirements were very strict and I just didn't have the time to jump through their hoops. I apologize if you don't like the gifts, but I just didn't have the time to work on them and I didn't want to force everyone to wait any longer than they already have."
No need to apologize, Professor. As you said, you were caught off guard just as we were and with the limited time you had you did an amazing job with what you gave us. One last question before you get back to rewarding gifts, what do you plan on doing now that the Habitarium is done?
"Well, writing my research papers, obviously. *chuckles* But being serious, after I'm done with all the paperwork I'm thinking on going on an expedition. The location: The Lost Isle. Yes, yes, you may think I'm crazy, as crazy as I thought Professor Hugo Fairweather was when he told everyone about what he and his crew witnessed on the island. However his vivid descriptions and the unidentifiable flower he presented seemed genuine enough that it's worth consideration, at least to me. Also I can't help but feel a childlike curiosity about Petpetpets the size of the Turmaculus! Once I'm done with my papers I plan on chartering a ship and setting out to find the island, Professor Fairweather even gave me a name of a captain I could ask, a Captain Rourke."
And with that the Neopians waiting for their gift started to get a bit rowdy so I wished him luck (especially if he wants to get Captain Rourke's assistance) and moved on to my next segment: interviewing characters that have something to say about Professor Clodbottle.
Professor Hugo Fairweather (Archeolinguist, Seekers member, & Brightvale University lecturer)
"I have great respect for Clodbottle; not only is he a good researcher in his field but also one of the few scholars who do believe I went to the Lost Isle. Obviously before I went to the Lost Isle he had no interest in my studies, but as soon as I came back and started telling stories of giant Petpetpets he quickly became interested. He told me at first he did think I was crazy, but after I described the Petpetpets he told me a few of the details I described were something only someone who did research on Petpetpets would know. I heard he now plans on going to find the Lost Isle himself though sadly I have too much work to join him but I've given him a few names of Neopians who might be willing to help."
Eamann (Alien Aisha & Petpetpet Exterminator)
"Bah, the only good thing that can come from researching Petpetpets is finding faster ways to exterminate the little pests. I'm a research assistant for the Alien Aisha's and one of my many duties is to take care of the Petpets we use in our PPL approved experiments and studies. It's one of the more fun jobs but also one of the hardest, especially when there's a Petpetpet infestation. Those pests are pretty resilient that eventually I had to borrow a shrinking suit an Alien Aisha branch were developing on the Virtupets Space Station to deal with them personally. I do wonder what this Clodbottle plans on doing with all the Petpetpets and Petpetpets Eggs he now has, a wise researcher would dispose of them but I have a feeling he's going to release them into the wild. *sigh* I better start loading up on more Pest-B-Gone before a swarm heads toward my Petpets."
Mootix Warrior (Petpetpet soldier part of the Mootix Clan)
(Despite being a Petpetpet, the Mootix Warrior has learned to speak but needs a voice amplifier to be heard)
"We Mootix have complex opinions about Professor Milton Clodbottle. Many patriotic Mootix consider him a tyrant! He has made it possible to enslave our and other Petpetpet species, forcing them to work for you and your Neopet's amusement! But other more worldly Mootix consider him an ally; he has increased the Mootix population by over a thousand percent and furthered Neopians' understanding of us. As for me, I consider him naive! He does not mean to be a tyrant nor an ally; he is doing this for mere research and that's all! Yes, he has increased our population, but that's only a beneficial side effect and that's all it should be considered. We Mootix should focus our efforts in recruiting these now aimless Mootix into our numbers and forwarding our goals. The Mootix Clan will be the most powerful force on Neopia!"
Sounds like Professor Clodbottle is a much more controversial figure than I ever thought he'd be! That brings a close to this edition of Character Re-Introductions, covering the closing of the Habitarium. Professor Clodbottle introduced us to a very small world which made a very big impact on Neopets, growing an equally as big fanbase. It will be missed and who knows if anything will ever replace it. If you ever helped Professor Clodbottle by caring for your own Habitarium then be sure to visit him for your farewell gift! We thank Professor Milton Clodbottle and wish him good luck in his future endeavors!