Biology lab humor

DNA: Still single? RNA: Of course ūüė¶

Some more whiteboard humor that some students left in the hall at work.

DNA is the material on which our gene are encoded, in the nuclei of our cells. It is a double helix, as shown by Watson and Crick based on work by Rosalind Franklin.

It is then transcribed into a single strand of RNA, which is then transcribed into protein. So while DNA strands have a partner, RNA is forever alone.

The Guilt is strong with this one

I was just telling StarWarsAnonymous the other day how much I enjoy having Cortana, the Windows personal assistant, on my Lumia phone.  You may be familiar with her if you use Windows 10; she is named after the Halo video game character (and even voiced by the same actress).

Sometimes, though…let’s just say Cortana knows me all too well and makes me come face to face with my life choices. ¬†Twice recently she’s given me major guilt trips that would make a mother proud.

For some background, I’m Catholic and often attend Mass in my hometown—the church I was confirmed and married in. ¬†I play flute in the choir there about twice a month, often at the 11am service.

One Sunday morning, it was an “off” week for our choir, and I had nothing scheduled on my calendar, so I dragged myself out of bed around 10:30 or 11, which, to be honest, is pretty typical for me on the weekend. ¬†If I’m lucky I don’t have to get up until noon.

I grabbed my phone and was checking email, etc., and then pulled up Cortana’s app to check the day’s headlines (she knows I like science news). ¬†Just below the headlines, where she normally tells me my estimated commute time to work on the weekdays, there was a different notification. ¬†It said something like:

“With traffic, it’ll take you about 15 minutes to drive to Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt Church.”

Thanks, Cortana.  Her meaning was clear.  She was telling me: I see you sitting there on the couch in your pajamas, giving no thought to your immortal soul.  Is this how your mother raised you?  You can still make it to church if you forgo showering first!

Yeah, I didn’t go to church that morning. ¬†But boy did I feel guilty about it. ¬†So don’t worry, Mom, Cortana’s got you covered on the church attendance guilt trips.



Yesterday evening was another fun one. ¬†I opened her app, and she pointed out a location on a map, asking: “Come here often? You can nickname this place to get relevant suggestions and easily set reminders.”

This is a helpful feature that I’ve used to label places like my parents’ house (or probably my church…) where I (and consequently my phone) spend a lot of time.

But looking at the small thumbnail map I couldn’t tell what location she was suggesting. ¬†I opened the map to see a bigger area.

It was Taco Bell.

I think I need to go reevaluate my life choices now.


More Star Wars Bad Lip Reading

Since my post about the “Chicken-duck-woman-thing” has been so popular, let’s talk about “Star Wars: A Bad Lip Reading” some more!

In the Empire Strikes Back video, there are 3 fabulous songs. ¬†We open to a rap from Luke during the battle of Hoth (Dak has a slight malfunction trying to turn up the bass). (Edit:¬†CHECK OUT THE FULL VERSION “Hostiles on the Hill” HERE!)

I watched this dozens of times times before I realized it’s actually a diss track. ¬†I don’t know who he’s actually directing this to, but just for fun let’s call him “Wedge.” ¬†Luke makes multiple comparisons between himself and Wedge:

  • Wedge=soup can, while¬†Luke=Superman
  • Wedge touches a pom pom, while Luke touches an A-bomb (atom bomb)

Yeah, that doesn’t exactly paint Wedge in a favorable light. ¬†He also seems to be competing with Luke for a girl named Veronica; looking at the closed captions, the lyrics are “I know you want her, too.” ¬†However, Wedge stands no chance because he so lame he doesn’t even have any shoes.

I think it’s pretty clear now who the baddest pilot in Rogue Squadron is.

And you know what, even Wedge agrees, because in the extended version he repeatedly avows that Luke is so sweet “like cinnamon.”¬† Which technically isn’t sweet, just a spice, but whatever.¬† We all agree, Wedge.¬† Take that, General Veers.

Moving on to Yoda singing about seagulls around 1:49…I don’t have anything else to say about this except that it’s amazing and I know all the lyrics and I wish this were a real song. ¬†Even if he’s “sorta pitchy,” haha. (EDIT: It is a real song! There’s now a full version called SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)–enjoy!)

scary yoda

Last, at 5:57 we have C-3PO’s song to end the video; I don’t think it has a name yet, but it appears that we’ll be getting a full music video of this one, too! ¬†(EDIT: It’s called “Not the Future” and it’s wonderful.) I was trying to figure out what genre of music this song is and the best I could come up with was a mix of 80s rock and EDM.

This song brings up a couple of points.  First, there are several funny lines where characters are simply narrating what they are doing, like C-3PO walking away/turning back, or Han just moving his hand around in Cloud City.  It kind of breaks the 4th wall a little, a different kind of humor.

Also, the Star Wars movies work pretty well for funny dubs because of all the droids and characters with helmets (like Vader, stormtroopers, etc.)—because they have no lips, the actors are just interpreting their body language. ¬†This gives a lot more range to the conversations the characters can have. ¬†It also allows for some good non sequiturs, like Vader’s “spinny chair” song.

Star Wars also has a lot of characters that don’t speak Basic (aka English), often because the alien physiology doesn’t allow it, which lets the writers have a lot of fun with interpreting these more limited lip movements into English words, like Chewie saying UH-HUH. ¬†Or sometimes not even real words…check out Admiral Ackbar in ROTJ haha.

Last, I found C-3PO’s Indian accent to be hilarious and strangely fitting. ¬†But then I started reading comments on the videos (famous last words…) and saw some variations of “Of course he’s Indian, he’s tech support.” ¬†In that light, I kind of feel a little uncomfortable about it now. ¬†But none of his dubbed lines actually have him play into the tech support stereotype, so it’s just a meta-joke, and possibly an unintended one at that. ¬†I dunno. ¬†Thoughts?

Bio Grad Student Humor

Some inspirational advice for the new year:

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,* but anyone can start today and make a new ENDING ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† *except with iPS cells

The motivational part was written by a grad student, and the addendum added a week or so later by another student.

To explain the joke: iPS stands for induced pluripotent stem cells.

Meaning stem cells that have been created through engineering, by taking “regular” adult cells and moving them back to a more elastic state (aka a stem cell) where they can become any other kind of cell.

So iPS cells would indeed be the exception to the maxim that you can’t go back to the beginning ūüôā

We all got a chicken-duck-woman-thing waiting for us: Star Wars Bad Lip Reading

If you like absurdist humor at all, check out “Star Wars: A Bad Lip Reading” to find out about the selfies that Vader’s sending Leia, Han’s pet giraffe, and what happens if you look at a dead spider. ¬†It features guest voice actors Jack Black, Maya Rudolph, and Bill Hader.

Stick it out til the end to hear Ben Kenobi sing about what exactly happened to Luke’s father.

That song at the end is pretty much the best thing ever and I’ve been singing it for days. ¬†There’s even an extended version, with lyrics!

I love how the song functions on two levels, both within the film as the way Ben Kenobi is making up BS about how Luke’s dad died (which I’m sure is all true, from a certain point of view…), and also on a more general level, talking about how there’s always difficulties in life, usually in places we least expect them, even from people and things we love. ¬†SO DEEP.

They’ve also done Empire Strikes Back (which might be the best one), featuring Yoda singing about seagulls (with a full version of the song here). ¬†My husband and I are now going around saying “I don’t like fruit” to each other.

The Return of the Jedi one is also good, in which you can find out about Mon Mothma’s emotional state and the loose screw in Luke’s lightsaber.

I think Ben Kenobi really has some of the best parts in all of these, mainly because Alec Guinness always played him as looking very thoughtful. ¬†So it becomes really funny when he says these offbeat things with that facial expression. ¬†Whether it’s telling Luke about cleaning his father’s blood out of the floor boards, or just humming to the beat (not to mention calmly threatening to choke Luke over his taste in music in ROTJ),

EDIT 1/16/16: This post got like a hundred hits in the past week, mostly from people searching for “chicken duck woman thing,” so I went back and added some more analysis about the video and song to this post, and also did a follow-up post with more thoughts on these videos: More Star Wars Bad Lip Reading. ¬†Add your thoughts/questions/etc. in the comments!