Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Science Initiation

You are about to hear about a ritual never before documented by modern investigation: the savage initiation into scientific research.

When men and women of "normal" professions, such as firemen or nurses, go through their daily lives, they are able to enjoy a reasonable amount of comfort. They know that there is vocational transparency in how they shoot water from a hose or stab children in the arm with needles. The public appreciates their service, often showing their gratitude in the form of popular song.

But what of that shady cabal of professionals known as "scientists"? They are universally feared for their excess of evil and unkempt hair, and thus remain a mystery. I penetrated their cult to shed some light on this dark, modern-day magick.

I entered the nefarious laboratory camera-in-hand, ready to capture evidence of hideous mutant, hybrid man-beasts or bubbling cauldrons of corrosive acids for alchemy (now outlawed all US States, with the exception of Massachusetts, where it is mandatory). But I instead found this:

Document A: The laboratory. This was the show-floor, available for public viewing, appeasing the expectations of a gullible populace. The real research was being conducted thirty stories below the earth, in the famous Northwestern science bunker/fallout shelter/fallout generator.

Upon my entrance, I was blindfolded and forced to recite the names of Nobel laureates. When I got to Linus Pauling, I was forced to drink a gallon of orange juice.

After a number of subsequent trials, including one where I had to identify each element of the periodic table by smell alone, I had become one of them. I had truly joined their ranks and become a scientist.

Document B: The trophy. I was presented this coffee mug as a testament to my initiation. Also, the phrase "Neurobiology & Physiology" was branded onto my back with a cattle iron.

My colleagues assured me that the cup will come in handy when I attend lengthy lab meetings or blood oaths. In either, it is important to stay hydrated.


  1. Did you just spell magic with a k?

    I hope you die alone and screaming even if you used it ironically.

  2. Sai, I love reading your blog. It's always something incredible when a scientifically oriented mind can also write something so funny and enjoyable :)

  3. You won't last long with the creative skills cited above. Why do you think some of the most original thinkers, i.e. Stephen Hawking, are characterized by terrible fates? They got to Steve and they'll get to you. In that brand is a neurotoxin that incites creative centers of the brain to release inherent apoptotic chemicals when activated. By even considering this possibility, you have just ruined a small part of your brain.

    Good luck with the next seven years. If you don't give up decorating soon, you don't stand a chance.

  4. Don't worry, Nicole. I'm aware of that neurotoxin, which is formally known as iocane powder, and I spent the last few years building up an immunity to it.

  5. Wait, so...you're the Dread Pirate Roberts?

  6. A gallon of orange juice isn't nearly enough Vitamin C. Pauling would simply chuckle and spoon a few more grams into his morning glass.

    Also, you have two grammatical errors, not counting that appalling spelling of "magic".