By vincelicata

Vince LiCata is a biochemist in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Louisiana State University. His laboratory studies protein structure and function. He owns two Britney Spears CDs, but one of them is an illegal copy given to him by one of his students. He routinely gives out more than 25% A’s in his General Biochemistry and Biophysical Chemistry courses, yet is considered a hard-ass. He is reasonably sure that if Britney Spears got in a fight with Jessica Simpson, that BS would crack JS like a little twig.

SACRED WASTE: A POLYMERIC RITUAL AT THE NEW ORLEANS FRINGE FESTIVAL

I have a small part in a show called SACRED WASTE which was created by LSU Ph.D. student Bonny McDonald – which is playing in the upcoming New Orleans Fringe Fest. The show involves dance, poetry, ritual, elaborate costumes (made of 100% recycled plastic), and explores many aspects of the relationship between humans and plastic – including the manufacture of it here in Louisiana, and some introductory polymer chemistry! SACRED WASTE was one of 30 shows jury selected to play in the New Orleans Fringe Festival (out of > 200 entries). This performance art show is a unique blend of…

IT’S A DEBATABLE CHRISTMAS

Characters (in order of appearance) Sean Connery Her Man Pain Michele Bachward Katy Perry’s Dad Moot Romney Newt Vader Santa HOST Hello, Hello Everyone, and welcome to the Special Christmas Edition of The Sean Connery Show.  I’m your host.  You know, of course, me as the star of Zardoz and Dragonheart, but my friends just call me Sir Sean Connery.  Thank you, thank you – please hold your applause. On today’s Special Christmas Edition of The Sean Connery Show we have a real treat for you Yanks…it’s the First Ever U.S. Public Debate Among Candidates for the Next Director of…

EPISODE 5.5: A JEDI WINTER SESSION

(Wherein the Empire of State Government attacks the Academic Alliance) Characters: Darth Governor (feel free to replace “Governor” with the name of your state’s Governor) Senator Professor Leia Dean Luke Chancellor Yoda The Emperor Queen Amadala – – – Darth Governor and a Senator enter (Darth Vader music). Darth Governor: The Academic Alliance has thwarted you again Senator. They have misled you with all their talk of how the Empire is crippling the university. Senator: But Lord Governor, they say that by crippling the university we are hurting the Empire. Darth Governor: Of course they say that, but you are…

MY EARTH DAY RESOLUTIONS

1. Switch birdfeeders from nuclear to solar. 2. Fill in backyard Superfund pit with cement. 3. Paint cement over Superfund pit green, with cute little flower designs. 4. Adopt one of the polar bears at the zoo (the one that doesn’t look so scraggly). 5. Print out a picture of Al Gore and pin it to something. 6. Get rid of the corpses. 7. Wash dishes by hand, with sand. 8. Will make a Styrofoam replica of the Earth and hang it on the front porch (will pin Al Gore’s picture on it). 9. Will walk to Walmart to get…

HOW THE PINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!

(There are more science Christmas plays by Vince LiCata here, here and here). Cast: Generic Faculty Member Pinch Narrator The Dean The Chair Cindy Lou Who Darth Vader Santa – – – NARRATOR: Every Who Down in U-ville Liked their research a lot… FACULTY: (pipeting): I sure like research a lot. I love running gels, I get bored when I’m not. NARRATOR: But the Pinch Who lived just North of U-ville Most certainly, did not. FACULTY: Now, who wouldn’t love labwork? I’m sure I don’t know. They’d have to be a real jerk, Or perhaps a bit slow. He sings:…

MY TEAM FOR THE RETURN TO THE MOON

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing – – – I have assembled my core team members for the return to, and primary colonization of the Moon. I believe that the multi-disciplinary nature of the core team will afford the highest chances of lunar survival. Both human and engineering challenges have factored into my choices. Lunar comedian: I have chosen Maria Welfarr as my lunar team comedian. Maria’s offbeat humor and simple magic tricks will engender a healthy community environment in the lunar colony. Lunar teenager: I have chose Mark Salacey, son of Will and Beth Salacey, as…

REVIEW OF EZRA POUND’S “ON BIOCHEMISTRY” TEXTBOOK, 6TH EDITION

The long awaited and multiply postponed 6th Edition of Ezra Pound’s “On Biochemistry” continues the tradition of the previous five editions by costing far more than one would reasonably imagine such a book should cost. This is the fourth edition of the text published since Pound’s death, and thus also continues the biochemistry publishing industry’s penchant for postmortem publishing. Although Pound’s poetry and prose are stunningly beautiful, they serve as poor conduits for the conveyance of complex biochemical concepts such as oxidative phosphorylation or the citric acid cycle. The raw emotion of the reproduced hand drawings is nice, but they…

TO TEACH THE CALCULUS, A PLAY

The recent popularity of math and science based plays and movies, such as “Proof”, “A Beautiful Mind”, and “Copenhagen”, has catalyzed the recovery of lost plays from famous mathematicians and scientists themselves. Below is the complete text of “To Teach the Calculus,” which was recently “recovered” from the notebooks of Max Planck. After winning his Nobel Prize in 1918 for work in radiation physics, Planck explored a variety of other fields. This is his only known foray into the theater. Planck had a reputation as a difficult and demanding teacher among the students at the University of Berlin, and several…