NOTICE: Posting schedule is irregular. I hope to get back to a regular schedule as the day-job allows.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Funnies [Full link to blog for email clients.][FT:C44]

Today we have a two-fer:

Sidney Harris has been drawing cartoons that poke fun at - and point out the limitations of - sceince for a long time. Sidney's work shows up in all of the science labs sooner or later - in fact, his work is about on par with Gary Larson's The Far Side* in terms of showing up on lab doors, walls, offices, etc.

Today's link is to a comic which tickles my funny bone since it actually hits pretty close to home. When you train a lab rat to perform a particular test, it will get better at that test. Then you have to come up with a harder test. Pretty soon the rat gets good at that test...

Today's Monday Funnies link:

Be sure to go back to the home page and check out more of Sidney Harris' cartoons.

*Now for that Two-fer. 

Here's one of those Far Side cartoons that I have seen in many labs:

Anyone who has ever worked with old equipment in a lab has probably felt like they were working with one of these "early microscopes."  I had one about 20 years ago that looked pretty much the same.  Of course it was already 20 years old by that time.

I have noticed that labs that do not have the latest and best equipment and devices - that have to scrimp and save and do their own maintenance - tend to have this cartoon up somewhere. 

Been there, done that.

And for the sake of official copyright, I found this image on the web, linked and copied many times, but Gary Larson and his publisher own all rights to the image.  I am just passing it along for the humor value.

As a final note, I'd like to provide a link to this outrageous article:

Why am I linking it here?  Because in fact it is funny.  Any scientist reading the article will realize that the content of the article is distorted, even falsified.  The coincidence of the article appearing on the eve of the premiere of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" movie is ... too good to be true.

Why am I laughing?  Because people - especially the press - are gullible.  Because I know a few things about how the science is conducted.  At present "human-animal hybrids" are not viable.  Yes, scientists are looking at genes by inserting a single gene structure into a frog egg or mouse and studying the gene for a better understanding of human disease and medication.  At present there is no way to put "animal genes" into humans - after all, where are they getting the embryos?  Three universities are named, but not the labs, the people or the specific projects - and that's just not like the historical actions of "whistleblowers" and activists that bring unsafe and dangerous research to light.  Someone, somewhere, is laughing at the prank they've pulled on us all.

Be good, be safe, be informed, but above all, learn to laugh.

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