Who ya gonna call?

MV5BMTkxMjYyNzgwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTE3MjYyMTE@._V1_SX214_AL_We typically do our #SCInema sciencing of movie quotes on Friday. This past friday happened to be Halloween. So, we took a whack at the classic film Ghostbusters, which turned 30 this year*. If you have not watched Ghostbusters recently, you are cheating yourself. It holds up.

Bill Murray. Dan Aykroyd. Harold Ramis. Sigourney Weaver. Rick Moranis. Directed by Ivan Reitman. You owe it to yourself.

Frankly, I had been looking forward to sciencing Ghostbusters all October (yes, I once went as a Ghostbuster for Halloween). It was not, however, until a few tweets into the sciencing that we settled on a hashtag. We tried #GibbsBusters, #IdealGasBusters, even #FadeevPopovGhostBusters, before settling on the relatively pedestrian, but descriptive #GhostBusterSci.

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The first act of the film centers on a trio of disgraced, academic parapsychologists losing their faculty positions and starting a company to catch ghosts. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many lines need no alteration to be applicable to today’s scientific world.

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This also suggests that a plausible backstory for an all-female Ghostbusters 3 team would be composed of graduate students/post-doctoral fellows who are unable to find faculty positions due to the oversupply of PhDs, undersupply of faculty spots, and disparity between the gender equality in some graduate school fields with the gender inequality among faculty.

Like usual, I have Storified our results.

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*File under things that make me feel old.

Trick or Treat! – Mullerian Mimicry Edition

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Taylor (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

You are never to young for a meta-costume*.

To the untrained eye, it may look like my daughter is dressed as a monarch butterfly for Halloween. To the trained eye, you will recognize that half of her parental set is extremely dorky.

She is actually going as the concept of Müllerian Mimicry instantiated in the form of a viceroy butterfly. This costume is occassionally mistaken for Batesian Mimicry by novices.

Butterfly (monarch) on a Penta by Arturo Yee (CC BY 2.0)
Butterfly (monarch) on a Penta by Arturo Yee (CC BY 2.0)
Viceroy by Rodney Campbell (CC BY 2.0)
Viceroy by Rodney Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

Continue reading “Trick or Treat! – Mullerian Mimicry Edition”

Trick or Treat: Meet the Aye-Aye


The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is the very definition of narsty. A nocturnal solitary lemur so weird that it is not only the sole living species in its genus, but also the only member of its family. They lead a solitary existence and try to avoid mirrors, because when you’re this ugly you don’t need a reminder.

Beyond their homely looks, these guys have rodent teeth and the creepy-best middle fingers ever.

Watch this National Geographic video to see them in action:

If you want to learn more check out the Duke Lemur Center website, but do yourself a favor and plan to visit this place to see the aye-aye and other lemurs.

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.

Trick or Treat: Spiders are AmazingTerrifyingHolyCrapWOW!

Not only is this very cool, it helps me know if my arachnophobic mother is actually reading the blog. Cue horrified email in three…two…one…

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