2012.04.04 It's a science joke, get it?

Written by David Green.


A couple bacteria walk into a bar and order a drink. 

“We don’t serve bacteria here,” the bartender says.

“But we work here,” says one of the bacteria. “We’re staff.”

That’s the problem with a lot of science jokes. They need an explanation for the non-science-minded person. “We’re staph” as in a staph infection.

A neutrino walks into a bar and the bartender says, “We don’t serve neutrinos here.”

The neutrino says, “Hey, I was just passing through.”

I was just driving over to the elementary school Friday afternoon and “Science Friday” was on the radio. It was their second annual April First joke show in which they attempt to demonstrate that science can be funny. They even had a science comedian, Brian Malow, on the show.

Malow spouted off a series of bad jokes supposedly told by Albert Einstein, such as, “I had a dream that I made love to Rita Hayworth for an hour. Well, for her it was an hour. For me, 35 seconds. That’s relativity.”

Schrödinger and Heisenberg are out for a drive and they run over a cat. Schrödinger asks, “Is it dead?” and Heisenberg says, “Get this, I can’t be certain.”

Malow does have a problem. He needs a special audience to appreciate his material. Sometimes, he will tell a joke and the audience is silent except for one person who is laughing his head off. Actually, Malow said, he kind of likes it that way sometimes.

Did you hear the one about the phlebotomist who wrote a romance novel? It’s about two corpuscles who loved in vain.

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the participate.

Pure geek: If I were an enzyme, I’d be DNA helicase so I could unzip your jeans [get it, your genes].

How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? None; the light bulb has to want to change.

What was the greatest biological experiment of all time? It’s when Luther Burbank crossed the Rocky Mountains with his wife. [As in cross breeding].

Steve Mirsky was also on the show. He writes a humorous column for Scientific American and once wrote a column about the funniest joke in the world. A study determined that it was the one about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson camping.

Holmes asked Watson to look up at the stars and tell him what he can deduce. Watson begins talking about the infinite universe and our tiny lives on this small planet, etc. 

“No, you idiot,” Holmes says. “It means someone stole our tent.”

One atom says to the other atom, “Hey, I just lost an electron!”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive!”

How do you tell a chemist from everybody else? He’s the guy who has to wash his hands before he goes to the bathroom.

So much of TV science is so watered down, it’s almost homeopathic.

A student pushes a full grocery cart to the express checkout lane in Cambridge, Mass., and the clerk just stands there. “What’s the matter?” asks the student.

The clerk points to the sign about the 12-item limit and says, “I’m trying to decide if you’re Harvard and can’t count or M.I.T. and can’t read.”

By the way, only in Cambridge does the sign read, “Twelve items or fewer.”

How do tell the difference between a wet brunette and a wet blonde? One smells like H2O, the other smells like H2O2.

I went to a magnet school for bipolar students.

Why isn’t base 12 funny? Because 9, 10, 11. Hmmm, no one on the show even understood that one.

It was decided on the show that scientists get a bad rap. Of course they can be funny, but with a different sense of humor, perhaps.

Here’s my favorite science joke. I heard it probably 30 years ago and I still think it’s an excellent one.

It was the final exam in an ornithology class [study of birds] and the professor surprised his students by asking them to identify the footprints of 50 birds.

One poor student wasn’t prepared for that at all and finally wadded up the test, walked to the front of the class and tossed it on the professor’s desk.

As he walked away, the professor said, “Hey, what’s your name?”

The student lifted up one of his feet, pointed at it and said, “You tell me.”

Well, it’s great to be here, and as they say in the world of jokes, it’s great to be anywhere.

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