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We seem to tolerate a lot of bullshit behavior from Great Minds. This got me thinking…
What is the mathematical relationship between
science acumen and douchiness?
My analysis of the data has revealed the following…
BMJ, which insists on pulling a KFC, has been in operation for a long damn time. This journal focuses on health and medical things – SERIOUS STUFF. Every month, SERIOUS STUFF. January, Febuary, March, April, May, June – you get the idea. SERIOUS STUFF, month-after-month… except… wait for it… BMJ’s Christmas issue.
BMJ is kinda known for its seasonal shenanigans. Last December, Smithsonian Magazine cataloged The Best of the British Medical Journal’s Goofy Christmas Papers. In December 2012, The New York Times talked about how this Journal Offers Dose of Fun for Holiday. The Wikipedia page for BMJ even mentions this tomfoolery under the section ‘Journal Content’. BMJ has been doing this for a bit over 30 years. That doesn’t stop folks from taking BMJ’s “goofy Christmas papers” a little too seriously. This year is no exception.
This BMJ article is all over the damn place. NPR,The Washington Post, LA Times, Daily Mail, and Buzzfeed – just to name a few. The Washington Post and Buzzfeed articles provided the following heads-up:
Every year, the British Medical Journal puts out an especially, shall we say, whimsical edition in honor of the holiday season. All of the studies therein are subject to the same standards as usual, but they tend to be a bit goofier than the prestigious journal’s usual fare. [The Washington Post]
It’s worth remembering that the BMJ’s Christmas issue is well-known for featuring a rather eccentric selection of articles. While the studies are all peer-reviewed, just like other papers, the topics are…somewhat unusual. [Buzzfeed]
NPR, Daily Mail, and the LA Times did not include such statements. Could be the article authors assumed their readers knew BMJ always pulls something a bit silly in December. Could be the authors themselves simply didn’t know about BMJ’s seasonal shenanigans. I have no idea. What I do know is that I found out about BMJ being a yuletide prankster the hard-ish way.
Back in 1999, the BMJ article Shaken, not stirred: bioanalytical study of the antioxidant activities of martinis‘ was getting all sorts of buzz. At the time, BMJ was not on my journal radar and I was ignorant to its December pranks. I got a few paragraphs into this Bond article and was all…
I mentioned this article to somebody, along with all my feels. Luckily, that somebody set me straight before I wrote a letter to BMJ.
Exactly. So, if you see a BMJ article marked “Christmas”, just remember…
1. Why we do research
2. Why we bust our asses grading papers
3. Why we don’t offer partial credit
4. Our pep talk to students after that bad exam/presentation/report
5. Post-grant submission, pre-grant decision
6. Looking at a room full of busted lab junk when college space is at a premium
7. When your student or postdoc makes a boss move
8. When somebody tries to pull a Armando Córdova at a science conference
9. After learning that there are two faculty/staff meetings this week
10. After pulling a Reviewer #3
11. When office hours are over
12. When writing our NSF or NIH biographical sketch
13. If a student tries to manipulate you into giving them a grade they didn’t earn
14. “But I deserve a better grade!”
15. When somebody mansplains your area of expertise to you
16. Research collaboration, you say?
17. The minute you submit grades for the term
Contribute your own gifs in the comments or tweet to @theJAYFK
After @ChemBark‘s investigations into A Disturbing Note in a Recent SI File and Some VERY Suspicious TEM Images in Nano Letters, plus the recent “unfortunate remark” left in the main body of a paper, we thought a Scientific Publishing Flowchart was in order!
Human Resources Any Company* With Any Damn Sense Any City, Anywhere
We have received some questions about appropriate employee gatherings on the premises after an email from an outside vendor describing ‘Sex Toy After Work Parties’ was received company-wide on September 23rd. I am writing to address questions raised by this email, which is archived here.
Many of you asked if the party described in the aforementioned email would be an appropriate team-building exercise. While this company recognizes the value-added nature of social work team activities, a ‘Sex Toy After Work’ party would be a clear violation this company’s Sexual Harassment Policy (see Section 17 of the Employee Handbook). While approval for after-work external sales parties has been given in the past, sex toys are not Tupperware. To be clear, no ‘Sex Toys After Work’ – or similar such activities – are permitted on company property at any time. As a ‘Sex Toy After Work’ party violates company policy and is thus prohibited, answers to questions regarding the correct timecard entry codes for such a party and exceptions to the company dress code are superfluous.
We hope you find this helpful. Please review the Employee Handbook prior to our newly scheduled mandatory workshop ‘Keeping Work Professional’ next Wednesday at 2:00pm in conference room B.
Any Director of Human Resources from Any Company* With Any Damn Sense
*except, perhaps, sex toy companies
Thanks to @LadyBits for inspiration and for the bit about Tupperware!
BOULDER, Colo. — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that a new clock, called NIST-RD, will replace the atomic clock NIST-F2. While NIST-F2 uses the natural resonance frequency of the cesium atom to define a second, NIST-RD uses the frequency of Richard Dawkins tweeting something asinine.
“Quite frankly, we never thought we’d find something more accurate than NIST-F2,” said NIST scientist Dr. Getta Reele, explaining “NIST-F2 was three times as accurate as NIST-F1, not gaining or losing a second in about 300 million years.” That kind of accuracy seemed impossible to beat. NIST scientists discovered, however, that the frequency of Dawkins’ asinine tweets were nearly two times as accurate as NIST-F2.
While maintaining the most accurate clock is an important mission of NIST, the decision to replace NIST-F2 with a new timekeeper wasn’t without controversy. “We just introduced NIST-F2 for the replacement for NIST-FI in April,” says NIST clock committee member Dr. Totes Fakey. “Introducing a new timekeeper only four months later raised some eyebrows.” Controversy soon died down, says Fakey. “People want to know what time it actually is. NIST-RD helps them do that.”
__________Gif sources: X-files Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto Honey Boo-Boo Karen Walker these gifs were tweeted by me last night
This is a special guest post from @AstroKatie and @DrMRFrancis d
After Ash “The Curious Wavefunction” Jogalekar wrote a mostly-good-before-veering-
into-WTF-territory post on Dr. Richard Feynman, a few of us took the time to patiently explain exactly what was so dickish about Dr. Feynman. Our criticism based on documented facts – and Feynman’s own words – irritated the Feynman Fanboys™ so much that they turned out in droves to tell us Exactly How Wrong We Were to talk about The Great Man That Way.
After Ash “The Curious Wavefunction” Jogalekar wrote a mostly-good-before-veering-
Well…. why should all the Feynman Fanboys™ have the fun? Using actual comments on our blogs and tweets in our social media streams, we’ve created the Feynman Excuses Bingo Card. Play along with us!
So, you’ve realized you’ve got some privilege. Perhaps you’re male. Or white. Or heterosexual. Or Christian. Or highly educated. Or rich. Maybe you’re even a white male immune to hurt feelings. Whateves. You’ve recognized you’ve got some privilege and you’ve decided to use your powers for good. You’re going to help. That group over there. The one you’re not in, but can totes do a solid. Because you’ve got privilege and a plan.
This all seems like a wonderful idea. You’re self-aware. You’ve the means to help. You’ve shown up to help and now…
WHAT THE WHAT?! Some (or all) of the folks you’re helping don’t seem sufficiently grateful for your help. They’re questioning your motives, your approach, your helpful plan. They are not letting you simply show up and fix things. Perhaps they’ve even said…
This is not the reaction you were expecting. Because you have privilege and a plan. And, because…
Are you really? Did you ask them if they wanted or needed your help? Did you ask how you could best help? Oh, you didn’t ask those last two questions? Then…
Really, what are you doing? Because it isn’t ‘help‘.
__________Captain Hammer gif from here Patrice gif from here Star Wars gif from here Doing this for you gif from here West Wing gif from here