Entertainment This Weekend:
The not quite definitive guide to all that is scientifically entertaining for the bored and socially immobile.
There is a lot going on this weekend and even if you are broke or in a body cast, you don’t have to miss out. Just by reading this post you have proved that you have what it takes to enjoy this weekend’s attractions, namely: a computer, an internet connection and a well used Hooked on Phonics kit.
We begin our tour with a little visual logic humor. If you can remember back through the nostalgic mists of ancient math classes, you may recall adding Venn diagrams to the list of “Things I Will Never Use in the Real World.” I know I did, but the ever-amazing Jessica Hagy proves beyond the shadow of a doubt just how wrong we all were. At her site Indexed she reclaims unsuspecting graphs and diagrams the from certain obscurity and turns those boring boardroom paraphernalia on their heads in amusing and flat-out funny ways.
Then for the suburban sportsman, the Harvard team presents the manly and womanly art of squirrel fishing. If you thought that fishing required a boat, or even a license, come get a lesson in rodent retrieval from these mighty masters of the esoteric art. Watch in wide-eyed wonder as the furry fish are hoisted far into the air, held to the bait by molecular bonds of greed.1
Finally, for the more engineering minded we turn our browsers to the scientifical experts at My Science Project, who bravely attempt to bring the time honored figure of speech to reality on their page Nailing Jell-O to a Wall. Their unfunded, yet groundbreaking research raises many questions, such as: Can it be done? Does Bill Cosby know about this? And what new cliché will speech writers use if this is proven possible?
The implications of this experiment are staggering, or at least jiggling with translucent semi-solidity. If Jell-o can indeed be nailed to a wall, is it still safe to serve to school children? Could it be considered inhumane to serve it to convicts or detainees? How does Al Sharpton feel about this?
Not everyone is pleased with this sudden advancement of science.
Some members of the Society for the Preservation of Gelatin Enigma are up in arms over this research, claiming that, “There are some things that humanity was never meant to know.” Science however, has never claimed to be pretty2, and if you can’t handle a little raging controversy now and then, you should probably stick to politics.
Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of Entertainment This Weekend. Just think of all the exciting and frankly baffling contributions you will now be able to make to water-cooler discussions next week as a result of our thorough research into the most esoteric fields of study.
Just another service of the Ominous Comma.
- No animals were hurt during the course of this experiment, but it’s quite possible that a couple of students might have been bitten and had to get shots, or even amputations due to their fishing activities. One of them may even now be reading this dispatch, cursing those savage squirrels from the confinement of his traction bed. There is of course, no mention of any of this on the Harvard site, but it’s not the sort of thing you would advertise, now is it? ↩
- While science itself can be cold and sometimes ugly, many scientists pride themselves on their own personal appearance. Check out the dashing members of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists over at AIR. ↩