Yes, I was never a member of Boy Scouts (no such thing in Yugoslavia, of course), but I will gladly join the Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique, the brand new organization founded by the folks of World’s Fair and the Science Creative Quarterly. Steve of Omni Brain and John Lynch have already signed up.
Above Average Physique? I am super-skinny. But OK, I am tall. And energetic. And have a deep bass voice. That should count…
So, of the possible badges, which ones apply to me? Let’s see…
The first one is obligatory for all members:
The “talking science” badge.
Required for all members. Assumes the recipient conducts himself/herself in such a manner as to talk science whenever he/she gets the chance. Not easily fazed by looks of disinterest from friends or the act of “zoning out” by well intentioned loved ones.
The “I blog about science” badge.
In which the recipient maintains a blog where at least a quarter of the material is about science. Suffice to say, this does not include scientology.
I guess you’ll all agree I deserve this one.
The “arts and crafts” badge.
Because you can’t have a bunch of badges without an arts and crafts badge. This one assumes the recipient has all manner of “craftiness” with a sciencegeek twist.
I can draw a mean horse. And good clear drawings on the blackboard (and even whiteboard) when I teach.
The “I’m pretty confident around an open flame” badge.
Recipients have demonstrated proficiency around open flames in laboratory settings.
Yup. No problem. And not just a little Bunsen burner….
The “inappropriate nocturnal use of lab equipment in the name of alternative science experimentation / communication” badge.
In which the recipient has “borrowed” scientific supplies for the sake of stealth scientific communication.
This has me written all over it, both ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’. Back when I was in the lab, I was there often for 24 hours straight or more, which means at night, when there’s nobody watching….
The “destroyer of quackery” badge.
In which the recipient never ever backs down from an argument that pits sound science over quackery.
Yeah, I know I do not blog about this all teh time like some people do, but try me in person, face-to-face if you dare!
The “I may look like a scientist but I’m actually also a ninja” badge.
Lethal when in combination with the “destroyer of quackery” badge.
I am assuming that black belt in karate is sufficient for this badge…
The “Special Auxiliary Child Member of the Order of the Science Scouts” badge.
A special badge for the many children who are alarmingly smart about things of a scientific nature. Smarter than you and I even.
This one is for both of my kids.
The “sexing up science” badge.
In which the recipient has had experience with things such as selective breeding, crossing, mate selection, prokaryotic conjugation, fertility studies, STD related microbiology, and/or any other acceptable interpretation of the badge.
Yup, breeding quail, making fancy crosses between then, watching them mate, writing down observations about their mating behavior…this sure counts.
The “my degree inadvertantly makes me competent in fixing household appliances” badge.
Not necessarily a good thing.
That’s what my advisor used to say. If I never get my PhD, I can always work as a carpenter or an electrician. I built the darn lab!
The “I can be a prick when it comes to science” badge.
In which the recipient can be so passionate about things of a scientific nature, that he/she may appear surly, rude, and/or unpleasant.
The “I left the respectable sciences to pursue humanistic studies of the sciences” badge.
In which the recipient is now probably having a lot more fun than he/she did before.
May happen in the end. But I hope I’ll get to return this badge to the Scoutmaster one day soon.
The “I work with way too much radioactivity, and yet still no discernable superpowers yet” badge.
…Although not for lack of trying…
That was a long time ago, all those melatonin RIAs….no ill effect, as far as I can tell.
The “knows how to harvest horse pituitary glands” badge.
I have not actually done it. But I have harvested brain parts from other animals and I have dissected horse heads (and brains). If needed, I could harvest a horse pituitary. I was in vet school before, after all. And I grew up working with horses. I know EXACTLY where the pituitary is in the horse’s head.
The “I’ve done science with no concievable practical application” badge.
There are probably more who are deserving of this badge than you would expect.
Of course. Though I can try sell my stuff as potentially useful, I hope, when I sit down to write a grant proposal.
The “knows how to collect semen from more than one species” badge.
That’s two species not including humans.
I was in vet-school before, remember. Bulls, stallions… and later quail and chickens….
The “I know what a tadpole is” badge.
In which the recipient knows what a tadpole is. Basically, an easy way to get a badge that looks a little like the semen one above.
Actually, I do know how a tadpole looks like.
The “have used a dental drill and I’ve never been a dentist” badge
We’re not sure if this is a specialist badge. We do hope so, though.
Sure, how do you think I remove pineals from birds’ heads? But have you ever used Dremmell – the King of All Laboratory Tools?
Wow! That’s a lot of badges – more than I expected when I initially looked at the list. I am almost ready for the Eagle Scout honor. Now you go get yourselves some badges there now as well.