From humour

THE LAB CULTURE: A TRUE SCIENTIFIC HORROR STORY

My first co-op placement was in a research lab, four and a half thousand kilometres away from my home university. For the first week or so, it was like taking a really intense lab for a university class, except the prof was just judging me instead of grading me. He would ask me questions to probe my knowledge and get me to think hard about things, but the environment and topic were so new that this usually just made me feel silly and lost. I did learn things, but not very quickly. Soon enough, I was set up to do…

10 QUESTIONS I HAVE FOR SCIENCE

1. In the not-too-distant future, a tree will fall in the forest. Is there any chance it will have been knocked over by some kind of rampaging robot? 2. When the world’s armies are finally equipped with laser rifles, how difficult will it be for a civilian to get his hands on one, and do you think it would totally blow up a squirrel or just burn a hole in it? 3. Hypothetical situation: a gigantic black hole is about to swallow the Earth. All human life is doomed. Question: would you happen to know any women who don’t want…

REALISTIC INDIANA JONES MOVIES

Indiana Jones and tomb that had already been looted by robbers in the 19th century Indiana Jones and pottery fragment #1478 Indiana Jones and the site discovered under somebody’s house so there was no way to actually dig it Indiana Jones and the famous treasure that actually turned out to be an ancient chamber pot Indiana Jones and the temple of maybe three damaged columns Indiana Jones and the Intro to Archaeology class for students that don’t give a shit and just want to pass for general education credit – – – (Originally published at Commander of Trash)

DONALD TRUMP WRITES A SCIENCE GRANT

Principal Investigator: Trump, Donald. Title: The Best Biology Aims: Do a lot of things and see what happens. Background and Significance: I did very well in school. I learned a lot of things. Innovation: We will do a lot of things that have never been done before, and then we will do them again. Research Strategy: We will do genetics of really important plants and animals – not minerals, we won’t do minerals. We will produce a lot of data, a lot. Big data. Ten thousand more than everyone else. Summary: Trust me, we will do it. It will be…

SILLY EXAMPLES OF THE INAPPROPRIATE USE OF SCIENCE JARGON

Monday Night FootTESTIS Hootie and the FUGU RUBRIPES Winnie the FECES MASTICATEbacca the Wookie Tchaikovsky’s BERTHOLLETIA EXCELSA-cracker Suite I can’t believe it’s not TWO BUTTOCKS AND AN ANUSer Joani PRODUCES OXYTOCIN FOR Chachi Bye bye Miss American CIRCUMFERENCE DIVIDED BY THE DIAMETER Chairman FELINE VOCALIZATION’s Little Red Book Hey FORNICATE FORNICATE, the Cat and the Fiddle. The Facts of STEM CELL / ZYGOTE / BLASTOCYST / EMBRYO / FETUS / NEWBORN

DISPATCH FROM THE E.R.

I sat down on the folding chair in front of the emergency room admitting nurse and explained what had happened: “I’ve had an accident in my laboratory.” I was expecting a dramatic reaction. Instead I got barely a raised eyebrow. It must take a lot to surprise an emergency room nurse but still, hadn’t she heard about all the superheroes that have emerged from lab experimentation gone awry (Did she not know about Spiderman, who was bitten by a radioactive spider, or The Incredible Hulk, who was irradiated by gamma rays?) Was she not curious as to what superhuman feats…

DARWIN: BEWARE OF JUMPING THE SHARK

Happy Birthday Darwin! In case, you weren’t yet aware, you’re currently caught in a year for scientific giddiness. A year where a collective hurrah can be heard from those who make it their business to hypothesize, analyze, and formulize. 2009 is the year of Darwin. It’s a double whammy – his 200th birthday, and also the 150th anniversary of the publishing of the “On the Origin of Species.” Both celebratory events because, if you remember, Darwin is the dude that said we were descended from apes, themselves descended from this and that creature, and so on, and so on –…