Icons of Procrastination

August 10th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, procrastination | 7 Comments »

Taking it to the next level, this evil genius, deployed several hours of lab time on an NMR machine to find out the precise chemical composition of earwax.

“The entire choreographed ballet that is the HMG-CoA reductase pathway being played out in my ear! It’s a beautiful thing.”


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7 Responses



  1. Snoop said,

    August 10, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Ben, have you struck some kind of shady masonic conspiritorial deal with boingboing?

  2. Dr Aust said,

    August 10, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    I love it… curiosity-driven science lives. As a one-time NMR spectroscopist, palms to the man with the ear-wax and the deuterated chloroform.

    This guy was obviously a pro tinkering about, but I would love to see more amateur scientists out there like Theodore the sodium man (threads passim). And what about this one, widely reported a few months back, about the 12 yr-old who tested fastfood restaurant ice machines and toilet water for bacterial contamination:

    www.kidsnewsroom.org/newsissues/022406/index.asp?page=Science2

    … shows you can do proper science even at school…. and better microbioloigy than the late Dr Malywotsit MRSA.

  3. prescience said,

    August 11, 2006 at 6:44 am

    It isn’t procrastination as long as you decide to put it off immediately.

  4. Evil Kao Chiu said,

    August 11, 2006 at 8:41 am

    More to the point what is this “boing boing”?

    Yes, I am too lazy to look them up myself.

  5. bad chemist said,

    August 11, 2006 at 9:05 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has been tempted to start analysing anything they can lay my hands on just to avoid doing real work. One day I will determine what’s lurking at the bottom of my coffee cup…

  6. parttimevet said,

    August 11, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    Done that, no bacteria there (and some of the girls in our lab have VERY dubious coffee cup hygiene).Though we could scrape some of them and and throw the mess at the mass spec! Excuse me I have to visit the Lab :-0

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