Heading into 2020, we realized that our Cartoon Lab was reaching a milestone: the 100th cartoon! We asked the “official” Promega Cartoonist Ed Himelblau to list his Top Five Cartoons and what inspired them. See what he has chosen in his own words:
This was the first of my cartoons that Promega published and it’s still one of my favorites. The file on my computer is dated February, 1999. I have been an undergraduate in a lab. I’ve mentored undergraduates in lab. Today I have lots of undergraduates working in my plant genetics lab at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. For the record, I enjoy having undergraduates in the lab and I never make them dress like robots. In this cartoon, I particularly like the centrifuge and stir plate on the right. I’ve always tried to put something in each cartoon (a tube rack, an enzyme shipping box, a desiccator) that make molecular biologists say, “I know that!”
As the point of contact for our social media efforts at Promega, I spend a lot of time scanning science-related Twitter, Facebook, Instagram media accounts. There are some science channel managers who do a great job of bringing delight to their followers. Those managers use their platforms to educate—I follow them because they constantly amaze me with new things. I find information that is useful, fun and makes me think “wow, that is interesting.” On my favorite accounts, that new learning comes along with a wry sense of humor, and some of my favorite social media channels are ones that not only teach me new things but do it with a little fun on the side—often in the form of bad science puns.
Promega has the privilege of sponsoring the Cool Science Image contest run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Just recently @UWMadScience tweeted about the deadline for the contest, tagging @promega in the tweet. Their tweet included a visual science pun which was not lost on their fellow campus account managers:
Today’s #FridayFeeling is one of gratitude for all of those people who do the things that make our lives easier: lab techs, work-study students, undergraduate assistants. They put up with our requests and changes of mind and help keep our laboratory glassware clean, solutions sterile and experiments running. Do you have someone who helps you keep your experiments up and running?
Occasionally, time in the lab passes slowly. There is a two-hour incubation and nothing can be done until the timer goes off. Our science cartoonist Ed Himelblau has illustrated what some creative lab members may have done to fill this time, but is not advised to do:
To see additional lab shenanigans, peruse the collection of humorous cartoons in our Cartoon Lab.
Remember the bubble getter? Siliconizing sequencing gel glass plates? Carrying out sequencing reactions in strip tubes? Diagramming, by hand, your cloning scheme and calculating the cut sizes with a hand-held calculator? Marking plates for plaque lifts with india ink?
This video is for all of you who were in the lab when life was “one gene, one graduate student”. What other oldie but goodies can you think of? Leave a comment or tweet @promega #backinmyday
It is Friday. Maybe you have had a great week, a bad week, or maybe it was just average. No matter what kind of a week you have had, on Friday everyone should have something to chuckle about to end the week. Below are a few cartoons from our Cartoon Lab. I hope that you find one that tickles your funny bone.
At ScienceOnline 2012, Brian Malow also known as @sciencecomedian performed a short routine during the Saturday lunch. He complained that several jokes floating around the web were not attributed to him so I thought I would share a few I remembered complete with attribution. His sense of humor appealed to me as I was raised in a home rife with puns. Yes, my family can carry on an entire conversation dedicated to a single theme, no music necessary.
Fans of the television show “The Big Bang Theory” are likely to understand this reference: Schrödinger’s cat walked into a bar…or did it?
For chemistry buffs: Helium drifted into a bar. The bartender says “We don’t serve noble gases in this bar.” Helium doesn’t react.
If you enjoy reading about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for a certain particle: A Higgs Boson entered a church. The priest said “We don’t allow your kind in here.” The Higgs Boson replied “Without me, you have no mass.”
Microbiologists may appreciate this one: An infectious disease enters a bar. The bartender says “We don’t serve your kind. You’re Staph.”
More wordplay with particles: A neutron enters a bar. The bartender says “For you, no charge.”