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Top 10 Reasons My Faster-Than-Light Car Rules:
10) Stephen Hawking always wants to carpool.
9) Breaking the laws of physics is only a misdemeanor in most states.
8) Traffic enforcement is pretty much limited to cops with Ph.D.'s in Quantum Physics.
7) Bugs - they never see you comin'.
6) I can get to the good hookers before Charlie Sheen.
5) I made a fortune selling pizza with the slogan "It's there before you order or it's free!"
4) I sleep until noon and still get to work by 8:00am!
3) I'm never in the car long enough to hear an entire Madonna song.
2) My cigar butts don't land in the back seat, they land in last week!
... and the number one cool thing about my faster-than-light car is ...
1) I get a license plate that reads "ME = MC^2"
What Cool Scientists Are Listening To - Click Links Below
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:: The Ark - One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young
:: The Donnas - Roll On Down The Highway
:: Billy Joe Shaver - Georgia On A Fast Train
:: Phish - Gin And Juice
:: The Whigs - Technology
:: Marit Larsen - Only A Fool
:: Euphoria - Back Against The Wall
:: Richard Swift - As I Go
:: Snowglobe - Rainbow
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Making The World Safe For Science - One Supermodel At A Time




End Global Warming By Stopping The Burning Man Festival



Sacred flaming temples, gas-guzzling RVs that converge for a week on the dry Black Rock Desert lakebed - The Exxon-Mobil National Convention, you are thinking?

Not at all. It's the Burning Man Art Festival in Nevada and it causes global warming. For 21 years this ecological disaster has been using gas-powered generators, up to 37,000 of them, so that smelly hippies can gorge themselves on wasteful fossil-fuel consumption. San Francisco scientists are unsure how much this contributes to global warming but they intend to find out.

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They created Cooling Man, an online calculator that determines how many tons of greenhouse gases each of the "burners" will produce with their art projects and community camps.

Once you know how much global warming you are causing, you can either trade for or buy 'credits' to offset your consumption. That's right, so the richest, most wasteful companies can continue to wreak havoc on the environment, completely unchecked, by exploiting the "have-nots" at Burning Man.

"We think Cooling Man is pretty cool," said Marian Goodell, Burning Man's director of communications and business and overall corporate shill. Marian would think that, because clearly the wastrels who attend Burning Man have no intention of policing their own rampant consumption.

Money raised by volunteers paying for their part of the 37,000 burners? $1,000. $.03 per burner. That's it. And that money is going toward, of all things, a wind turbine for an Indian Casino in South Dakota.

Yes, they are contributing $1,000 to saving the environment by making an Indian Tribe even richer. I suppose gambling addiction and crime are okay if it makes a few attendees at Burning Man feel better about themselves.

"Maybe one day Burning Man would add a small surcharge to the ticket price, less than $1, to offset all emissions from the event," said David Shearer, an air-quality scientist with California Environmental Associates in San Francisco who helped create Cooling Man in his spare time. A ticket to Burning Man ranges from $185 to $275, becoming more expensive closer to the start of the event.

Let's hope they buy themselves out of trouble before they wreck the planet.


posted by Buckaroo at 9:27 AM |

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Evil Veterinarians Retaliate Against Snitch Cat



Fred, the Undercover Kitten who gained fame by posing as a would-be patient to help police nab a phony veterinarian in New York, has died, authorities said recently.

Fred had been a stray before he rocketed to fame by helping to implicate some immigrant doing unlicensed veterinary work. An undercover investigator posing as Fred's owner summoned Steven Vassall, 28, to an apartment rigged with a hidden camera and pretended the kitten needed to be neutered. Vassall was arrested as he left carrying Fred in a box and cash for the operation.

Fred's fame would be his undoing. He appeared at a press conference, where he sported a tiny badge on his collar. He then received a Law Enforcement Appreciation Award and was honored at "Broadway Barks," the theater district's adopt-a-thon benefit hosted by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters.

Next up for Fred - a career in education and even movies.

Clearly Fred was bragging a little too much and evil immigrant veterinarians don't forget so easily. One recent morning neighbors spied his body in the road. Cause of death; a car that just happened to be driving in the road when Fred happened to have escaped from his home.

This picture was found next to the corpse:

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I think Fred is the Sonny Corleone of immigrant-veterinarian-busting cats. This is just way too much coincidence for it to be ... coincidence.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:01 AM |

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Science Detemines The Discovery Channel Is Bad For Your Relationships



Nothing brings a couple together like science programming ... you'd think. Not necessarily, my friends. Sure, it sounds like gold. What healthy, educated man and woman wouldn't want to enjoy scientific programming together, right?

The scientific programming I am talking about is the 100 Greatest Discoveries that originally aired on the Discovery Channel ... or the Science Channel ... I am not sure. I was just happy that the Discovery Channel had some programming that had nothing to do with loud, fat men building motorcycles. Maybe that's why they created the Science Channel - to have a place to air programming that had science. Kind of like MTV having to create MTV2 to show actual music videos. Now, I am not criticizing MTV. There's no way I could have been smart enough to create "Rock & Jock Softball."

Anyway, I never saw it when it first ran but I recorded the finale of it this time and we sit down in front of the handy Replay DVR to take a look. That's right, scientists don't use Tivo because we're not educated by advertising ... but you go ahead and use Tivo and enjoy your Ipod also. I don't want you to use Replays because if they get popular mathematicians would start using them and we would have to abandon them.

I only recorded the top 10 of the 100 because, really, the bottom 90 aren't all that important. I don't know who came up with the 100 since there are about a million scientific discoveries that are important ... but if people voted you can bet the only people who had time to vote were students and university professors, i.e. people who don't do actual science or otherwise work for a living.

Immediately Lady Scientist and I had to discuss what we think should be number 1. This is important stuff ... if she picked something dopey like the cuckoo clock it would put a serious dent in our relationship.

"Bernoulli, fluid dynamics, flight," she says.

Well, I suppose I could almost respect that. If she was 14.

"Are you insane? Clearly, there is no other answer than Newton's Laws of Motion."

"You see that degree up on the wall?" she asks.

"Sure."

"What does it say?"

"Ummmm ... Cal Poly?"

"No, it says you don't know what you're talking about, that's what it says. Without flight, you don't have international mass transit, tourism, McDonald's in Hindu countries and the space program. Without Bernoulli you don't have ..."

"Aren't Euler's Equations actually more ...?"

"Read that degree up on the wall again."

"I get it, I get it."

So we start to watch and right there at number 10 is ... Newton's Laws of Motion.

Wow. That's a shocker. There must be something really big I have just forgotten in those other 9. Maxwell? Well, yeah, but not many people have heard of him and it's not the kind of safe choice homeless people or university professors would pick. Einstein? Sure, everyone has heard of Einstein ... but did E=MC^2 really change our lives? It led to things that changed our lives but Newton had a much greater impact in that sense.

Bill Nye the Science Guy keeps talking and the list goes on. Molecules, they say. Well, okay, I guess. I feel like that is going to take some justification. Then they come out with penicillin. Now, penicillin is important, sure ... it has saved a lot of lives in the last 60 years. But it didn't help us understand how the universe works.

Germ theory. Wait ... how is that worth being in the top 10? Did only biology students vote on this thing? I feel like they have jumped the shark here.

Then they do a complete triple gainer over the shark with this one: Heredity.

"That's it ... enough," I say. "Who gives a crap about Mendel?? Like people didn't know before Mendel that our kids would be tall."

"You think they didn't know apples fell out of trees before Newton?" she asked.

I stared at her, aghast. My irritation level went to some sort of berserker-rage new level but I kept it in check. Scientists don't let anyone know they have lost their cool.

"You have just cost yourself sweet lovin' this evening with that shot at Sir Isaac," I said.

"No, I didn't."

And there you have it, folks; the secret to why the Discovery Channel is bad for relationships. Without the Discovery Channel we would never have needed to argue about the most important scientific discovery, I would never have stated that her disputing my infallible reasoning was going to cost her sweet lovin' and she would never have been able to prove I was wrong, thus impacting my credibility the next time I try to withhold sweet lovin'. If you don't want to establish a dominant force in a relationship, don't watch Discovery Channel.

But Bernoulli? Nowhere near the top 10.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:33 AM |

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Science Students, Oprah Viewers Still Patiently Waiting Guidance



If I hear one more thing about Pluto ... well, never mind that. "Astro"-physicists have officially replaced mathematicians as the favorite toilet monkeys of real scientists everywhere. Why? Because when something is proven in math, it stays proven. Same way with physics. It doesn't matter how many weeks the International Astronomers Union meets that apple still fell on Isaac Newton's head and it will fall on yours too. Committee meetings and compromises can't change gravity.

Take this quote from Becky Lomax when asked by her kids why there are only 8 planets now; "We just did the solar system last year," she said. "I guess we have to revisit it."

No, the last thing you should do is revisit anything. You are just encouraging these numbskulls. Even 6-year-old David Lieberman of Bethesda knew these sub-literate sock monkeys were out of their gourds. "It has to be considered a planet because it circles the sun," he said. "Pluto's not even the farthest planet." Sometimes, he has learned, Neptune and Pluto switch places.

And he's SIX, people.

posted by Buckaroo at 6:47 PM |

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Science Gets You More Sex - Again



It looked like a close one for the credibility of science today. First, we had the International Astronomical Union acting like a bunch of retarded cats and adding 3 new planets but then demoting poor Pluto.

This made scientists sad but we continued on with our day by heading to the local pharmacy, because Cheez-Doodles are on sale there. While there, a group of girls approached. "You look like a scientist," one said, "Explain string theory to us. That gets us hot."

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Now, the last thing I wanted to do was crush these girls' hopes of getting their own scientist by explaining that my chick looks like one of them, except she's an engineer and would pull their hair and make them cry for even suggesting such a thing, so instead I softened the hurt by saying, "Sorry girls, the pharmacy is all out of Magnum XL condoms, so I can't have sex with you."

Imagine my surprise when these girls revealed that the FDA has approved the 'morning after' pill so they could have sex with scientists any time they wanted in a consequence-free environment.

Scientists, like all men, want to know the easiest, bestest way to get sex.* My advice to fellow scientists used to be, "Go to planned parenthood." This got me some confused looks so I would explain; "Well, you know those chicks are having sex, right?"

Instead I can just tell them to head for the local pharmacy - because science is nothing if not helpful in telling people they have to go from point A to point C. The problem has always been the steps between A and C, like talking to women. If only mathematicians could solve the 'cocktail party' problem - conversation - we would really be getting somewhere. Wait, they did. Oh, no they didn't. They made progress in how to duplicate the ear's ability to separate sounds in a cacophony of noises instead. Well, that is nice too, though we hoped it meant how to see a hot supermodel at a party and have a good opening line that doesn't involve cocaine.

One for three on science achievements isn't bad, I suppose.


*Other scientists, I mean. Clearly I just need to buy Lady Scientist some flowers and a sambuca and she turns into a hellcat.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:10 AM |

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Can't Get A Date? Science Has The Answer




Want to know the best result of a vigorous debate about evolution? It's now okay to talk about how people are different without getting into all of that touchy-feely "you're special too" hoopie. Let's take mathematicians, for example. They have always been toilet monkeys for scientists but in public we had to be nice to them and nod our heads at what they said even though we could do everything they could do ( scribble gibberish on a chalkboard )and we did it with a lot more style. It's not us being mean to say it now, it's just data.

Fellow scientists who aren't concerned about being politically correct are finally laying it out there about differences between men and women too. I don't know about you but this scientist did much of his young schooling in the 1970s when the popular theory was that there were no differences between men and women and if you raised them the same, they would be the same. This was baffling at the time but, hey, if important scientists said it, it had to be true, right? That's why I believe those evolution guys today when they say that micro- and macro-evolution are the same thing and that evolution doesn't require actual evidence, like fossils.

Well, it turns out common-sense people without science degrees may have been onto something after all and scientists are just now getting it. Science has discovered there are some things that women like to do because of their brain differences; flirting, gossiping and getting all up in our business, for example.

No kidding. I hope "baking me pies" is somewhere farther down that list. So if women's brains are fundamentally different from men's now as compared to the 1970s when we were all the same, maybe it's because they are evolving differently. I'm going to reveal some research here for the first time which shows that not only are women evolving at different rates than men, they are actually devolving in some areas.

Take this example. We'll call her "Carol." As you can see, Carol is evolving nicely in some ways, with the blue eyes and the blonde hair and the flat tummy that all women will one day have. Yet either evolution is a fickle mistress or some higher power is having a laugh at us because, as you can see by this evidence, not only are women still hairy in some spots, they are getting hairier.

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Clearly this is deviating from the evolutionary plan of having women smelling pretty and being mostly hairless that we all want.

So what is the solution? Evolution experts aren't sure and say some changes won't matter at all but some do. Giraffes, they say, evolved long necks to reach food but having Carol shave her arms wouldn't make a bit of difference.

So we can't use any chemicals except Miss Clairol to change the hair aspect but we can use lots of chemicals to modify the brain functions. Research is just beginning so we don't have many concrete solutions but Louann Brizendine offers a few ideas in her book, The Female Brain. She suggests testosterone if a woman has a low sex drive, for example.

I would think shots of Jäger would be a lot cheaper but I am not a neuropsychiatrist. She also talks about chemical treatments for mood swings but as long as those pies keep on coming, I am not too concerned about moods.

Anyway, this sounds like an important book and you can order it here to support science.

I hope this helps in your everyday lives because understanding the crucial differences between the sexes can help you get what you want in your relationships with women, like some peace and quiet.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:49 AM |

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USA Scientists Extend Universal Dominance, Make Black Holes Their B*tch



A team of scientists led by Rudy Schild at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have kicked other countries in the crotch by wrecking the notion of black holes everywhere. Dr. Schild's team suggest in The Astronomical Journal that a quasar they observed is powered by a dense ball of plasma called a MECO (magnetospheric eternally collapsing object)and, since black holes have no magnetic field, black holes would therefore cease to perhaps exist.

Governments in Europe immediately rallied to the defense of black holes. It is estimated that authors in at least 15 other countries were working on novels whose scientific premises were based on the existence of black holes and that those science-fiction novels would be in jeopardy if black holes were no longer possible. Other experts contend that if black holes are found to no longer maybe exist, those authors could make emergency revisions and fall back on string theory to satisfy their bullsh*t science quotas.

Sure, it's fine if foreign authors lose some writing time but what impact will this research have on the US science fiction industry?

If the US no longer has black holes:

1) Card Walker's family can stop taking grief about his greenlighting the movie that almost ran Disney out of business. His heirs can now say 'if the physics was bad, how could the movie be good'?

2) Smug scientist Kip Thorne will have to stop milking his design for Carl Sagan's Contact to get free beer at college rathskellars.

3) Stephen Hawking will have to make a Fifth Law: we suggest, Oops, those first four were wrong.

Scientists outside the US are almost certain to fight in a way their armies cannot. Gerry Gilmore at Cambridge University's Institute for Astronomy said the theory was "almost certainly wrong" and had yet to convince most scientists.

Those are fightin' words, for scientists. Still, the most scathing indictment by a a scientist ever came from Wolfgang Pauli, Nobel Prize Winner for 1945 and the guy who helped obliterate Japan in a nuclear holocaust, when he said about a colleague's paper, "This isn't right. It isn't even wrong."

Less well known is his quote about Rita Hayworth that same year, "That is oh so right":

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posted by Buckaroo at 7:22 AM |

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Attention Supermodels



A bunch of us scientists will be attending Snakes On A Plane this weekend so if you'll dress up as snakes we will dress up as planes and give you rides.

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posted by Buckaroo at 7:37 AM |

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Quick Scientific Hits For The Weekend



Enjoying your Ipod? Why not just chain an Asian kid to your radiator and make them work for you?

Scientists will find it a lot tougher to get laid because of this website. Hate the game, not the scientist.

Your kid will never need to watch Thomas The Tank Engine again. Why? Because I am making a kids' series called "The Little Spaceship That Could" and it will be about Voyager 1, because it just keeps going and going and going.

People keep asking me about the three new planets and how we will remember them. I am more concerned about how kids will ever take astrophysicists seriously again. Can you hear a kid asking, "What do you mean last week there were 9 planets and now there are 12? I am supposed to believe you people about vague things like the definition of a point or what a magnetic field is or how there can be Evolution without actual fossils and you can't even figure out how many planets there are?"

I agree it's a huge blow for science. But back to the issue of how to remember the names of these new planets. It's easy. Just make two more sword and sorcery TV shows about lesbians:

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Because there's nothing young scientists like more than shows about lesbians where they can learn things too.

posted by Buckaroo at 2:18 PM |

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Teenage Scientists Have Redefined Sex In Order To Have Less Of It



We've talked about this before. Not only do I think kids today are smarter than we ever were, I pretty much can't wait for them to run the world. Nothing ... and I mean nothing ... in the corporate world compares to trying to get laid as a teenager. And not only are kids today having sex like cocaine-fueled bunnies, they are convincing researchers they're having less of it. That, my friends, is scientific brilliance.

But there's confusion in the scientific ranks about all of this and I will tell you why; it's because teenagers are so smart they redefined sex to fool researchers so they can have more of it. First, the data. Item 1: a new study found that students who think about sex and listen to music about sex actually have more sex than other students.

How can that be true? I thought about sex all of the time as a teenager and I can assure you that thinking about sex - and I even went so far as to post pictures of mostly-naked girls in my bedroom as a hint - actually did less to make real naked women appear.

This is why scientists were secretly happy when well-meaning teachers put sex education in the curriculm. Nothing makes it easier to get laid than showing girls what they would be doing if they were 'grown-ups' - that is the kind of subtle peer pressure we could never have dreamed up. Thanks National Education Association!

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And yet, it has worked perfectly for teenagers who get to have buckets of pre-marital sex and blame us if it goes badly. But wait for Item 2 - another study says that students are having a lot less sex than they used to have.

How can they both be true? Science will tell you how. Because kids may be book dumber than they used to be, but they are a heck of a lot street smarter.

We can have studies that give opposite results due to the problem of calibration. What do I mean? The second study uses 1991 as the reference year and, as everyone knows, that was the year before the election of President Bill Clinton. Now, this site is about science, not politics, but scientists will go on record as saying they like Bill Clinton for the same reason students taking surveys about sex do; he redefined what sex means. The study says in 1991 54.1% of students were having sex but today, even with all of that music in the first study and free internet porn, only 46.8% of students are having sex.

How is this possible? It must mean that sex education really works, right? Well, no, it means that the one time teenagers listened to their elders, it was when the President told them some kinds of sex weren't really sex. In the 1991 study, it was sex if it involved two people and orgasms. In the intervening 15 years it changed so that it isn't sex if you don't know the girl's name until your sixth orgasm. That means I was a virgin before I met Lady Scientist.* No wonder Paris Hilton thinks she is celibate.

I know this all sounds a little confusing. Given this new paradigm you probably want to know what the current definition of 'sex' is, in case you have to take a survey. Well, it depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

Conclusion: Not only do I think the future is safe in the hands of such smart kids, I am cashing in my 401K. I think my Social Security will be worth millions in their capable hands and I'd like to buy a big trampoline for the yard right now.


*That's right, you took my flower. Now bake me a pie.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:20 AM |

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When Bad Science Hurts Good Women



Nothing drives me crazier than bad science which gets published in big forums as reliable. No, I don't mean the silliness they publish as science on ScienceBlogs.com. I mean actual science, only badly done, and this one published in a news service.

This German study says redheads get the most sex, not blondes. Now, common sense tells you this isn't true because, as all scientists know, blondes rule.

Heck, my awareness of this fact is so keen I have developed some sort of allergy and/or eye affliction that prevents me from even seeing brunettes.*

But let's not use me as an example, let's approach this scientifically.

Exhibit 1: Sarah Mason, blonde cutie and a terrific actress:

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Exhibit 2: Evangeline Lilly, brunette and also a terrific actress:

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Tell me what you think. The blonde is more attractive, right? ( editor's note: someone wrote me an email and said the picture of Evangeline Lilly appeared empty. I guess that 'not able to see brunettes' allergy is more common than previously thought.)

So how did this study go so wrong? It's easy. The study was done in Germany, where there are lots of blonde women, but they are German women. The redheads in the study were currently living in Germany but moved there from other countries and therefore were less ugly than German women. Had they included the country of origin in the initial study the results would have been as expected.

So we have reaffirmed that 'Blondes have more fun' is scientific law but also have lent support to the 'hotter women of any hair color will get more sex than German women' theory.**

I am happy we were able to solve another mystery of science together. Should you have more blondes to include in the study, please don't hesitate to do some fact-finding of your own.



*What affliction is it? The medical term is 'LadyScientistreadingthisovermyshoulderwithafryingpaninherhand-itus.'
**Except women who dye their hair orange. The jury is still out on that one.

posted by Buckaroo at 1:31 PM |

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Moon Landing Footage "Missing", Replaced With Episode Of Futurama*



Almost any kid today can spot bad CGI a mile away. Have a kid watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark, for example and, when that fighter plane crashes into the tunnel, kids will start giggling because it looks so fake to them.

How is this possible? Eyes are trained by experience like anything else and special effects are a lot better today.

This is why NASA now has to pretend they lost the footage from the original moon landing.

There are two things that all scientists know: first is that Adolf Hitler was an avatar of Vishnu and is even now communing with Hyperborean gods in an underground Antarctic base from which he will lead a fleet of UFOs to establish the Fourth Reich; and second is that the moon landings never really happened.

Sure, they showed stuff on TV but NASA had an excuse for the odd visual quality even then - their equipment was not "compatible" with the TV technology of the day, they said, so the original transmissions had to be displayed on a monitor and reshot by a TV camera for broadcast.

"We've got all the data. Everything on the tapes we have in one form or another," NASA spokesman Grey Hautaloma said. Uh-huh. I guess we'll just go ahead and drink your Kool-Aid then, Grey. How does one lose 700 boxes of precious film of the most important scientific achievement of the U.S. space program anyway? Hautaloma then said it is possible the tapes will be unplayable if they are found because they have deteriorated over the years -- a problem common to magnetic tape, he notes. How very convenient.

Since we're dealing with how technology can make us believe almost anything these days, I submit these pictures of Heidi Klum in September's Esquire magazine:

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Okay, Nazi aliens are in a remote Arctic base and a group of guys with the computing horsepower of a Commodore 64 put a man on the moon? Maybe I can buy that. But asking me to believe Heidi Klum looks like this without an airbrush is too much to ask. Thank you, Hollywood Tuna.



*Which Futurama episode did they find in its place? "Roswell That Ends Well" the one where the crew is mysteriously flung back in time to 1947 and President Truman orders that Zoidberg be taken to Area 51 for study. When they tell him that Area 51 will be used for the fake moon landing, he orders that NASA be invented for that instead.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:47 AM |

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Zany Scientists Make World's Most Expensive Pair Of X-Ray Glasses



Nothing says funny like X-Ray glasses.

And scientists are nothing if not funny. Take those fun-loving guys at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Menlo Park, California. They know that Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois will be shut down by 2010 and that scientists are determined to have the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating in Geneva by 2007. That means the pressure is on if the USA is going to be allowed the privilege of over-paying around $9 billion for the International Linear Collider (ILC), which should begin engineering in 2010.

The guys at SLAC knew they needed to be bold. To quote from the greatest movie ever made; "No bucks, no Buck Rogers."

So what did they do to make a bold splash and get Americans excited about physics again? Did they hire Elisabeth Shue and have her invent cold fusion to solve all of our energy problems?

No.

Did they build attack ships and set them on fire off the shoulder of Orion or watch C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate?

No again.

Did they at least turn their particle accelerator into giant X-ray glasses and take naughty pictures of Adriana Lima ( pictured ) through her clothes?

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Not quite. Instead, they turned their particle accelerator into giant X-ray glasses to see some old writing by a Monk.

( insert sounds of crickets chirping here )

Scholars believe a scribe copied the Archimedes Palimpsest onto this goatskin parchment, perhaps even from the original Greek scrolls. If so, these might be the only copies of his treatises on flotation, gravity and mathematics. A few centuries later, a monk scrubbed off the Archimedes text and used the parchment to write prayers. That made medieval animal rights activists happy, since it probably took a whole herd of sheep to get 174 pages of parchment, but hasn't pleased historians quite as much.

They have spent years using ultraviolet and infrared filters to reveal much of the erased text but some pages were still unreadable. So the SLAC guys, needing a public relations coup, used the particle accelerator to detect the iron in the mostly-erased-yet-still-present ink. As the electrons whiz around the accelerator they emit x-rays that, quite literally, cause the ink to glow. That mean guy in Lord Of The Rings had a much easier solution to making text glow but I suppose 174 pages was too much to fit on the inside of a Hobbit's ring

From a practical point of view, this cost a real bucket of money. It doesn't seem to matter that, even if it was done 1000 years ago, that's still 1300 years after Archimedes lived. So I'm thinking he didn't add a lot of creative mathematics in those 1300 years he was dead.

But the SLAC guys wanted to be certain they weren't missing anything important in the works of Archimedes. I will help them with all they need to know: a floating body displaces its weight and a submerged body displaces its volume. Me, I think they should have turned the ol' glasses on Adriana. I bet she would get a "Eureka!" out of most scientists.

posted by Buckaroo at 6:27 AM |

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Scientists Reverse Evolution, Reconstruct Ancient Gene



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Oh, they didn't mean Gene Simmons. Instead they mean they have reconstructed a 530-million-year-old DNA strand by piecing together key portions of two modern genes descended from it.

Well, maybe reconstructing Gene Simmons is next. I have been hoping to return to those days when Kabuki masks, shaved legs, and platform heels were COOL on men.

posted by Buckaroo at 8:00 AM |

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From Wondermark



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posted by Buckaroo at 7:13 AM |

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Golden Fiddle Makes The Honorary Scientists List



Because sometimes scientists concede that civilians are really funny too, and this from Golden Fiddle is a classic:

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FADE IN:

INT. A BEACH HOUSE BATHROOM, MALIBU, CALIFORNIA. NIGHT Matthew Mcconaughey and Lance Armstrong shower, shave, wax, pluck, gel, and dress together before for a big night at Sky Bar in Los Angeles.

LANCE: Hey, Matt.

MATT: What can I do you for, LA?

LANCE: You gonna wear the linen shirt tonight?

MATT: That’s right.

LANCE: Yeah, me too. Hey, Matt.

MATT: What now, amigo?

LANCE: How many buttons you gonna leave unbuttoned?

MATT: Well, my friend. I’m fixin’ to go four deep tonight. Give the ladies a little taste.

LANCE: Yeah, right. Four sounds about right… Hey, Matt.

MATT: Che cosa ora mio Amico?

LANCE: You gonna roll your sleeves up?

MATT: To right below the elbow.

LANCE: Hey, Matt.

MATT: What now, Sir Lancelot?

Read the rest here.

posted by Buckaroo at 3:16 PM |

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Important Dating News For Our Young Male Scientists



WorldNetDaily is outraged at the modern culture of promiscuity that is exemplified by the number of female teachers seducing their young male science students.

Yes, the cockblockers in some newspaper are trying to make it harder for you to get laid. As if getting laid in high school isn't already difficult enough they want to take teachers out of the dating pool.

Now, we can't all be lucky enough to have Pamela Rogers as a teacher:

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Click here to see the best video any teacher outside a Van Halen video ever made.

Fortunately WorldNetDaily publishes the whole list of teachers who will have sex with students in one easy-to-read compilation. So, young science students, you know where to move.

Thank me later.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:10 AM |

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Parting The Red Sea - Science Explains That ( And The Rest Of The Bible Too )



James Cameron, who wanted us to suspend disbelief long enough to buy into robots from the future and aliens in our oceans, is worried people might actually have belief in something he didn't create through the magic of film; specifically that the Old Testament God ( not the 'be nice to each other' New Testament one ) was willing to whack some Egyptians when the Jews left there 3000 years ago. I don't know why that's so outrageous ... Mel Gibson was willing to whack some Jews last week and look what God did to him - yeah, that's right, Disney is now shopping his movie about Aztecs. Or Mayans. Or Incans. Whatever.

To back up his theory, Cameron invents a chain of events so bizarre and unlikely ... well, if you can believe the stuff Cameron theorizes, I should be able to convince you the friggin' Easter Bunny heaped 10 plagues on that Pharoah guy.

Now maybe there is truth to it and some volcanoes in Greece caused the water to part and magically un-part once the bad guys were stuck in the mud. Cameron has no insight as to why such a fortuitous coincidence happened at just the right moment and neither do I. All I can say about that is, when I was a kid and I got a birthday cake and I asked where it came from, my mother told me she made it. When I got older I discovered the cake was really made of flour and some water and an egg. This newfound knowledge of the composition of the cake did not invalidate the existence of my mother.

Maybe James Cameron will go back to making movies some day but I wouldn't hold my breath. Until then, get ready to go see Crank. Because it has Jason Statham, who is a legitimately good action hero? Of course not ... is the name of this site "Science And Legitimately Good Action Heroes?" No, it is "Science And Supermodels" and that means you should go see it because it has Amy Smart in her underwear.

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She can't part the Red Sea but scientists definitely detect some movement when we look at her. Magically, Amy Smart just happens to be 30 this year. Her ability to make pie crusts is unknown at this time.

James Cameron is worried you might believe in a diety moving some water. I am worried that we can't even define what a magnetic field is yet a guy in Holland will charge you $1.5 million for a bed that floats on one. James Cameron remains strangely silent on this issue. That, my friends, is the power of belief.

So anyway, back to the title of our post ... if James Cameron didn't part the Red Sea and God didn't do it, how does science explain it? Easy. My mother did it. Thanks mom.

posted by Buckaroo at 6:44 AM |

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Women Cheat Us Again - This Time By Using Evolution



It's no secret what makes the world go round; it's not money or politics or governments. It's vaginas. Sure, we can pretend that men run things and women can pretend that men run things by griping about a glass ceiling or whatever, but scientists know the truth.

And it's not enough that women have all the advantages in life - never having to hit on girls in bars at 2AM, having doors opened for them, getting to date scientists - no, now women have conscripted evolution to help maintain their world domination.

I picked up this month's issue of ESQUIRE, partly because IEEE SPECTRUM was on my nerves ( we'll get to that later this week ) but mostly to find out who the 'Sexiest Woman Alive' is and to be baffled why 2006 fashionistas think that men want to wear pants that are too short combined with suit jackets that are too tight.

And there it is: "What It Feels Like... To Have Two Vaginas."

At first I was like, 'Whatever - getting multiple vaginas happens every other weekend when you're a scientist' but I still glanced at it. Turns out the article isn't about an orgy of unprotected sex with cocaine-fueled supermodels at all. The girl has two vaginas. First things first, I demanded Fernanda Tavares submit to an inspection. I don't like being the last to know:

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Nope, not her. Okay, let me preface things by saying the word 'vagina' itself makes me laugh - mostly because I have never heard a woman use it. I have heard women refer to their vaginas on far too many occasions but they always use some other term and one of the terms they use is either offensive ( my official position ) or sexy as hell ( you do the math ) so I like to use the word 'vagina' because, to me, it's just much funnier that way.

But the girl in this article isn't kidding. Sure, we had heard of this phenomenon but I assumed it was like a Unicorn or Paris Hilton only having sex with two men in her life - stories that are only believed by kids and reporters.

But she apparently does have two of them and, because she has two, she has two periods and she even lost her virginity twice - worse, she beats me to the joke about not saving at least one of them for marriage.

Okay, sure it's interesting, you are thinking, but how is it worthy of science's most important blogger?

Because, my male friends, two vaginas seals our doom. In a perfect world there would be three women for every man - I'd be getting me some pies baked then I can tell you - but the world isn't perfect. Without numerical superiority, men are at a disadvantage because we lack a vagina ... and thus we are always trying to get them. To wit:

Trojan War? Helen of Troy had apparently the greatest vagina ever.
Christianity? I can't make jokes about the Virgin Mary or I will go to Hell but most of you are probably going anyway, so you can do it yourself; Immaculate V----A.
Discovery of America? Queen of Spain's vagina.
Renaissance? Mona Lisa's vagina.
Psychoanalysis? Freud's mom's vagina.
Atomic Power? Pick a vagina and apparently Einstein had it.

I could go on. So now instead of there almost being a sporting chance ... a guy wins, he gets a vagina ... women are using evolution to gain even more advantages. Because as they continue to evolve, women can then allocate a man to each vagina.

What's next? Then I'll be having to bake the pies.

That's it, I am writing me a letter to Congress before this gets out of hand.

posted by Buckaroo at 12:21 PM |

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James Van Allen



R.I.P.


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posted by Buckaroo at 9:10 AM |

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Making Scientific Sense Of The News



This study says obesity harms more women than men while this study says hungry men like fat women.

Do I need to spell that out for you? No, it isn't that hungry men like to eat fat women, it's that hungry men know fat women have food in the house.

Claire Forlani, on the other hand, isn't worried about being too thin or not having a man, she lays awake at night worrying about water. She says there isn't enough of it and she can't sleep because she thinks about it too much. Says Claire, "I have this daily moment of imagining life without water and it terrifies me."

I am with you, Claire. I lay awake terrified about a world without actresses saying dumb things. Then I wouldn't have anything funny to write about.

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Al Gore, on the other hand, thinks more water would be bad so he is against global warming that would melt any ice. Scientists that are employed outside government or schools and thus have to work for a living don't really like what Al Gore is doing with science. If Al Gore had been tribal leader 3,000 years ago and the tribe got big and we started running out of animals to hunt, Al Gore would have said we need to hunt fewer animals.

Scientists would have said we should grow our own livestock and forget hunting. Then every hungry man could find the fat woman of his dreams and we wouldn't need politicians. Thus, scientists don't believe that smarmy know-it-alls flying fuel-guzzling jets all over the world to tell us we should be riding bicycles is a good thing.

Not all women lie awake at night thinking about Al Gore in a fur loincloth circa 1000 BC or Claire Forlani's water issues - some think about other things. Carnie Wilson lies awake at night thinking about donuts. But they don't make her afraid, they make her horny.

We already answered why hungry men like obese women and I think Carnie Wilson answers how obesity harms women more than men. If Carnie Wilson keeps thinking about those donuts, she will never date a scientist. We refuse to rank second to pastries on the horniness scale.

posted by Buckaroo at 8:32 AM |

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What Is The Anagram of ... Solomon Hercules Atlas Zeus Achilles Mercury?



That's right.  It spells S-C-I-E-N-T-I-S-T, baby.  Sure, you are used to me being a science guru and, on occasion, a Formula One race car driver who solves mysteries on TV, but unless you are a long-time reader you are probably not aware I am also a superhero.

I discovered I was a superhero this one time when a guy cut me off on the highway and I followed him off the exit and then we stopped at a red light and I bench-pressed his car and slept with his girlfriend. I knew then I wasn't like other scientists ... namely, because I could get a date.

Like all great superheroes, I have a secret underground lair. It's called "The Lab." And I have a cool costume, but I can't show you that because you already know my secret identity.

There are critical times when some emergency calls and I must go from being mild-mannered scientist to superhero quickly. Usually the emergency involves alcohol and strippers but sometimes it involves cats being stuck in trees and stuff. Even if it's a minor emergency like a cat I go anyway - because you just can't take the superhero out of scientists. It would be like taking the chicken wings out of Syracuse.*

So how do I go from ordinary lab to secret underground lair "The Lab" when those emergencies occur?  Well, you've all seen Batman and the bat pole and the bat cave and all that stuff.  My process is remarkably similar.

I just twist these breast-shaped knobs and a hidden passageway opens up and inside "The Lab" I go:

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Originally those were sold for shampoo but I filled mine with Gatorade and, let me tell you, they work just fine.

Things like those cat-stuck-in-tree emergencies I can handle with no problem. When it happened yesterday, I simply said to the old lady, "Just wait, he'll come down when he's hungry."

"How do you know?" she asked.

"Well, have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?" I replied.

That was an easy one but cats in trees don't come along every day. Sometimes things really get difficult and when that happens a good science superhero needs a hottie science teacher/superheroine by his side. The hottest science teacher superheroine - okay, the only one - is Isis who, coincidentally, has made this site for the second time in two weeks. It's okay, because she looks like this:



I can't speak for any of you but when she says "Faster zephyr winds" that way, the little scientist in me goes SHAZAM all over again.


*Email I got within 5 minutes of posting that sentence: I think it's Buffalo.
My reply: No, it's chicken. Spicy chicken.

posted by Buckaroo at 6:00 AM |

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The Science Of Freak Magnets



Know what I love most about science? We have been using magnets for years in all kinds of applications, even multi-billion dollar industries like semiconductor and microprocessing, but no one knows what a magnetic field is.

If you ask a physicist (ahem - a different physicist ) you'll get answers like "a magnetic field is a region in space where a magnetic force can be detected." I would say that's a logical fallacy, namely begging the question, except every journalist in modern America has transmorgified the petitio principii fallacy into something meaning 'demanding that the question be asked.' But kicking around journalists can be a topic for tomorrow. Or, if you simply must see me kick around journalists, try here and here and here. Go ahead. I'll wait.

So while we can't define what a magnetic field is, we can certainly define what it does, namely by the effect it has on its surroundings. Which is good enough because that's all we have for freak magnets too.

A freak magnet, at least according to those who claim to be one, is someone with an unnatural ability to attract crazy people. You're likely to dismiss the 'freak magnet' phenomenon as a bunch of cat ladies bragging about how much attention they get - namely because they go out of their way to get the attention. We all know girls ( and, let's be honest, it's always girls* ) who go out of their way to make eye contact with men only to pretend surprise when the men talk to them. The uglier the girl, the lower she will go. I have one friend who makes eye contact with a homeless guy that smells like urine and has a fake eyeball which is really just a ping-pong ball and a pupil he drew on it with a Sharpie. I'd have believed she didn't want the attention until I found out she gave him the Sharpie.

Obviously as scientists we don't want to dismiss this whole notion out of hand. There are chemical processes in play that make animals jump on some people more than others so there certainly could be a magnetic field that makes some people more attractive to total nutcases. Since we can't define what a magnetic field is it's certainly not possible to define all of the things it isn't.

And what makes supermodels so drawn to scientists? It's not regular Gaussian magnetism and it's ( mostly) not freak magnetism. I guess it's just animal magnetism, baby.

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*Because if a man does it, it isn't out of the ordinary. It's just a guy trying to get laid.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:51 AM |

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Science Offers To Explain To Paris Hilton What Celibate Means



I am not just being flippant - either she truly doesn't know what it means or she found a journalist as dumb as she is. I guess there's even money on that one.

"I'm not having sex for a year. ... I'll kiss, but nothing else," says Hilton who, when not being confused about the difference between celibate and chaste also stated to the British edition of GQ magazine that she has had sex with only two men during her lifetime.

Let's give her a break on that one. I know that most women who have only had sex with two men happen to have videotaped the affairs and thrown them on the internet.

She went on to say she is "very shy" - which is why every picture you see of Paris Hilton involves her drunk and dancing on tables at 2AM:

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I would post more pictures but I figure if you really want to see someone who looks like a cartoon cricket of questionable gender, you can just rent Pinocchio.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:24 PM |

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Science Determines Scientists Are Smarter Than You



The August issue of Scientific American tries to figure out why some people are better at things than other people. This, they contend, will help us teach better.

I don't know why they bothered. I can answer that question in four words: I am smarter than you.* Now, that isn't a value judgment, it's just the way it is. We all went to school ( well, most of us, unless you live in a third world country, like Canada ) and we all applied ourselves in ways that we wanted to apply ourselves. Some people concentrated on getting an education, some focused on nailing chicks. Then there's scientists, who were lucky enough to be skilled in both.

What this study claims they want to accomplish is to improve teaching but what they really want is to try and make equal opportunity mean equal outcomes. Science knows this is not practical because we're all unique - just like everyone else.

No one can quantify why someone who claims to be a connoisseur in wine is barely more skilled than the average monkey at actually knowing one wine from another or why some truly stupid people are gazillionaires in business so they focus on what they can study; chess. We all know lots of dumb people who are great at chess so clearly expertise in that game can be taught. I am terrible at chess, mostly because it lacks originality these days - there is one, and I mean ONE - opening you can win with today. Unless you're a grandmaster up against that wine-sipping monkey you aren't going to win with Giuoco Piano in 2006, and that's just a shame. I played chess once in 2005 and that was only because it was against this opponent:

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For chess, that's a supermodel. It's okay, there aren't many supermodels in science either.** But if studies like this teach us how to teach people better, it means we can teach more people to be better teachers - and that means more teachers who look like this:

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Yeah, that Isis always made my little Captain Marvel go Shazam. No wonder I grew up so smart.


*Get it???
**However, should you know a science supermodel, send along a pic and contact info and we will do a special 'Supermodels Of Science' posting. If yours gets accepted, you win a free "Jenius" ( see at the top right ) t-shirt.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:45 AM |

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People Still Watch Star Wars



Okay, I will totally invalidate my geek street cred by saying I never got the whole Star Wars thing. I liked Star Wars okay and I thought the first half of Empire was good. I can't have been the only guy in the country who thought that Lucas was goofing on us with the "Luke, I am your father" silliness because no one could be that lame. I was in high school in a small town with 50 people in it so I wasn't the most cosmopolitan guy in the world and even I thought that was a lame plot development - so it had to be a trick. Then he made Howard The Duck and I knew, yeah, there is no limit to how lame George Lucas can be.

But I get why other people get it, at least until that Phantom Menace thing came along and it turned out The Force was the kind of geneticly imposed gift from the Heavens the likes of which Joseph Mengele couldn't have dreamed up and that the Republic fell because some rich guys didn't want to pay their taxes.

What I don't get is why anyone young likes Star Wars now. Let's face it, it is just not cool. Even Jar-Jar Binks imitations aren't cool and, believe me, I have tried. At least with Empire I got to do my Billy Dee Williams voice and tell girls, "You belong with me in the clouds."*

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But to some people, Star Wars is still cool and to prove it, these two dorks put on the greatest light saber battle ever. This is good stuff, people. You can bet George Lucas will sue the bejeesus out of them.

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Nothing makes him angrier than when inspired fans do things for free that he couldn't do for $300 million; namely, make Star Wars interesting again.

*Surprisingly effective. Give it a try. If it doesn't work, fall back on your Billy Dee Williams "Colt 45; it gets the job done" strategy.

posted by Buckaroo at 1:36 PM |

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Turns Out The Aryan Brotherhood Are Scientists Too



When people think of scientists, they don't often picture neo-Nazis or whatever exactly the Aryan brotherhood is today. Because neo-Nazis are often bald and moody and disdainful of people they feel are inferior ...

Uh oh.  Well, not all scientists are bald.

Never mind that for now. We're usually not inclined to make the Aryan brotherhood honorary scientists because of that whole setting-people-on-fire thing they do but science is nothing if not objective so we have to give them credit where it's earned. What did they do to earn such lofty status?

Well, they got scientifically old-school by breaking out cryptography from the time of Shakespeare.   A few things still hold up from those days; Shakespeare, Sir Francis Bacon's binary alphabet, and the world's first super-hottie, Queen Elizabeth I:



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Now there's a queen scientists can get behind. Anyway, these Aryans didn't make honorary scientist status by putting on a Shakespeare play or dressing up like Cate Blanchett, they did it by using cryptography.

Some of you may not know what cryptography is ... or the binary system. Science will give you the 60-second explanation. Instead of using 10 numbers before it goes to the next column, a binary system uses two. Mentally to imagine 695 you keep dividing by 10, right? You have 6 in the hundreds column, 9 in the tens column and 5 in the ones column. In binary instead of 10s you use 2. It ends up being a long number ( 001101100011100100110101 ) because using 10s chews up a lot more numerical real estate but it's quite useful if you have something that can only go On or Off ( like your computer ). So what Sir Francis Bacon invented was a binary 'alphabet' ... it consisted of 5 binary characters' ( A and B rather than 0 and 1, but it's the same thing ) to represent each letter and the 'key' you would use to decipher the code was determined by the font he used.

It was quite lovely:  



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So these guys used this cryptography to ... well, basically to plan the murder of other inmates, which isn't that great, but we're not too happy with what Al Gore does with science either so sometimes you just have to let things go.

Invisible ink, cryptography.  Ahhhh, it takes me back to those halcyon days in the schoolyard.  I know that hot girl Mary was really writing me love notes and not just handing me blank pieces of paper.   I just haven't figured out the code yet.

posted by Buckaroo at 8:30 AM |

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The Science Endorsement: Final Fu



Don't get me wrong, the show is complete crap, even if it does have young Ernie Reyes. They don't even use AAU rules, which would be bad enough ... they have more like pussified AAU rules, which is like being the shortest guy in a family of midgets. I never liked AAU tournaments because you couldn't punch to the face. They were okay with you doing a hook kick and spinning someone's head around like a scene from The Exorcist, they just don't want you to do it with your hands.

So why endorse some crap show on MTV2, of all places? Michelle Spencer, that's why. She's too young for scientists though, like most women, she will insist age doesn't matter. But she looks like this and that's all she needs to make us happy from a distance, really:

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Well, that and the ability to make pie crusts. Because pie crusts are a b%tch. She's majoring in nutrition at UNR so you know that means she can throw together a terrific pie.

And a pretty good kick. She lives in Reno so maybe we have to waive the age thing, just this once.

posted by Buckaroo at 10:10 PM |

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The Science Of Miss Clairol



Pure, un-edited proof that all women look hotter as (a) blondes and (b) long-haired blondes. Let's talk Bryce Dallas Howard, chosen to play Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3. Now, I don't know about the rest of you but as a little Star Trek nerd, age 6, seeing Gwen Stacy as drawn by John Romita was a life-changing experience.

I don't know how they are going to work her into Spider-Man now, since they flopped around the history and made Mary Jane Watson his first girlfriend and had her getting into all the trouble Gwen did in the comics, but it won't matter as long as she looks something like this:

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I guess I could Google and find out the story but if Sam Raimi likes the plot, I like the plot. After all, he did Army of Darkness, one of the greatest movies of all time.

Anyway, on to the science. Look at the pictures of this girl before and after blonde hair. On the left, she looks like her dad, Opie, including the red hair. On the right, she is suddenly a platinum-blonde hottie.

So note to girls: if you want to get men, go blonde. And bake me a pie. Everything you need to know is in this picture:

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Except the pie. I like cherry and pumpkin.

posted by Buckaroo at 10:23 AM |

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USA Scientists Extend Dominance, Make Black Holes Their Bitch
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Parting The Red Sea - Science Explains That
Women Cheat Us Again - This Time By Using Evolution
The Science Of Freak Magnets
Some Scientific Equations Can't Be Solved, Like This One: W*0^M = N
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