12 June, 2009

Waffle, Groffle, Air Guitar!

When our experiment isn't working quite right or our data is running right at a p-value of 0.05001, we get frustrated and angry. This is only natural, because we are human scientists and that's how we roll. The data being bastardy isn't always your fault, sometimes it's the fault of your tools, your undergraduate minions, or even the organisms/molecules in question. We've all been there. Some have been there for a long time and have reached the breaking point of despair where, in their deepest heart of hearts they want nothing more than to dump all their notes in a large pile and light it all on fire whilst dancing about it, singing happily in tongues.

But what can we mere mortals do to break out of this rut?

Some prefer to rail at the PCR Gods and Cloning Faeries. Some prefer to vandalize their advisor's personal property. Some prefer to stick everything in the freezer and leave it until later when they maybe feel like trying again. But none of these are guaranteed. In fact, the only sure-fire way to give your experiments that little extra puff of wonder, whimsy, and badassness that they need to succeed is to INVOKE THE ELDER SCIENTISTS' SPIRITS*.

How does one do such a thing?

Why, with a dance, of course!

Figure A: How to summon the Elder Scientists' Spirits.

There are 3 simple steps to this dance, as illustrated clearly above:
1) Waffle.
2) Groffle.
3) Air Guitar.
In the Waffle step you throw your jazz hands into the air, lift one leg, and then hop from one foot to the other whilst continuing jazzy hands. In the Groffle step you do a modified version of The Sprinkler, but you have to be on the verge of tearing out your hair with your left hand and very violently swing your right arm about while moving the right leg up and down to make sure it's not too easy to balance. And finally, in the Air Guitar step the spirits start to gather (see gathering gloom in illustration above) as you wail away at your imaginary axe. It helps to make guitar sounds and run around on top of your bench the stage, gyrating furiously and windmilling. In case you need help envisioning, planning, and/or executing the last step, Toaster's got your back with some inspiration:

I hope this helps you in your Quest For Science.

*h/t Arikia Millikan's wit.


This post brought to you by the generosity of the generous people who have donated to the Silence Is the Enemy fund for Doctors Without Borders.


quietandsmalladventures said...

ye gods i'm trying this today! pcr gremlin, i will vanquish thee!

ktbug Ladydid said...

excellent post. I'm a little confused on the actual performance of a waffle though. Is it like a triple step, a la Charlie Brown's little sister?