Random Asides

Department of Corrections

On behalf of both Skepchick and the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, I’d like to make the following admissions, apologies, and corrections.

  • On last week’s SGU, we discussed a news item concerning the discovery that bees participate in a kind of “Mexican Wave” to ward off predators. I stated that I was aware of the Mexican Wave though I had only ever called it “The Wave” because I’m not a racist. I’d like to apologize to the people of Mexico and clarify that I was only kidding.
  • Immediately following my Mexican Wave comment, I called Steve a “cracker.” I apologize to all our saltine-colored listeners for that remark, which I was fairly sure would be edited out of the show before airing.
  • On another recent show, the men of SGU mentioned someone at Dragon*Con wearing a stuffed animal on her head, implying that the costume was less than stellar. I suggested at the time that they were incorrect, but had no evidence by which to judge. I recently was able to see the evidence and would like to state for the record that Steve, Bob, and Evan were dead wrong and that kid ROCKS.
  • I made myself a promise to start writing solid skeptical articles for posting every Tuesday morning, but have been foiled the past few weeks. Today’s excuse: I was out all day yesterday filming a fun project, and am now bogged down with worky work. I will attempt to correct this in the near future.
  • Thanks to Mip on the SGU forum for that amazing Mexican bee drawing. You rock as much as the kid with the head crab.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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  1. I followed the link to the SGU fan who was talking about his daughter wanting to be a headcrab zombie at Dragoncon. He seemed a little surprised that his loving daughter would want to be something gross, deadly, and terrifying. Let me just point out that kids are gross.

    I’m not saying that I dislike them in any way. I am saying that kids like gross stuff and don’t have a problem talking about death and dismemberment. We seem to teach them to be horrified as a part of their acculturation.

    I was babysitting a five year old girl on Sunday. We were building a zoo/farm/wild animal condo, and she kept smashing blocks down and declaring that she had just killed this animal or that one. We then had to make a place to keep all of the dead animal bodies. Her parents were horrified. I thought it was hilarious which might explain why my own kids tend to stick out in the crowd.

  2. It’s freaking weird that anyone especially a little kid would know what the hell that thing was. I always think of South Park when people start talking about these video games. “I don’t have a World of Warcraft account. I have a life.”

  3. A quick second note:

    Thanks to Rebecca, I plan to start categorizing all people based on which snack food their skin tone most resembles.

    I can’t wait to meet my first Cheez-it!

  4. @durnett: I disagree, kids are just plain gross. ;)

    As to the head crab costume, sure it rocked, but remember, when there were people with the full on lab-coat wearing, long fingered, head-crabbed scientist costumes walking around with a Gordan Freeman look-a-like it can totally cause one to be somewhat underwhelmed by what appears to be a lackluster attempt at a costume, though I might not have been as harsh due to the fact that it is just a kid.

  5. I don’t want kids, particularly, but if I did they’d better:

    a) Be small polite children with English accents who call their mother “Mummy”


    b) Want to wear a head crab. AWESOME.

    Also: I guess I have to once more be the one that brings the discussion down, but I had no idea that the Wave was called “the Mexican Wave,” which to me sounds like a euphemism for something dirty:

    “Oh man, she went from Reverse Cowgirl to Mexican Wave on me…incredible!”

  6. @Expatria:

    a) Be small polite children with English accents who call their mother “Mummy”

    No dude, that is creepy as hell. Those are the kids who get killed and then come back to haunt your every waking moment, waiting in long hotel corridors asking you to play with them.

  7. @durnett:
    Ah, but they don’t REALLY have English accents? Hmm… may not cut it for me. Part of the fun in having English-accented children is the implication that they’d have an English-accented “Mummy,” which (as we all know) is sexy as all get-out.

    Point taken. But at least, as they beckon me onward into an eternity of torment and cruel, disturbing horrors the likes of which no one deserves to see, they do so with impeccable grammar and diction!

  8. We Mexicans deserve better than a mix of Spaniard and “Pocho” bees. Besides, the national insect is the cricket.

    I demand.. Uh… Heck, you owe me.

  9. @Rebecca:

    Yeah thanks for that image I already have an irrational fear of the undead, now I’ve got to loose sleep over pale black eyed polite british zombies… Crap I just creeped my self out.

  10. @teambanzai & @durnett:

    “Terribly sorry, but, err, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind…that is… would you be so kind as to perhaps let me nip round to yours and bite your head for a spell? It’s only, well, I’m feeling a bit peaky and I’ve had a devil of a craving for brains, you see, and it would be ever so nice if only I could eat some of yours. If it’s not too much trouble, mind. I’ll pop in and out, I daresay you won’t even know I’m there! What’s that? No? Oh, well, right-o. I say, I’m in a bit of a bind and no mistake!”

  11. “I called Steve a “cracker.” I apologize to all our saltine-colored listeners for that remark

    As the official spokesperson for the “Lets all Cover Ourselves in Sea-Salt Association”, (or, NAMBLA) we accept your apology.

    I’m thirsty. REALLY thirsty.

  12. @LOLkate: I don’t think you have much to worry about in nerding out — that was probably my 2nd fave episode (um, 2nd and 3rd b/c I think it was a 2-parter, wasn’t it?).

    #1 was Blink of course.

  13. @Rebecca: STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! Creepy British gasmasked zombie kids, and now FREAKIN FANGED STATUES THAT SNEAK UP ON YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT LOOKING!!! I’m so sleeping with the lights on tonight with my Conan Atlantean Sword by my side.

  14. @Rebecca: My kids had it playing when I got out of the shower this morning. They all three of them really like this new series of the good doctor.

  15. Ohhhhh, that Dr. Who episode completely creeped me out! *delicious shiver*

    I am doing my best to raise polite children who are just weird enough that I would want to claim them in public. I only hope they turn out as coolly weird as the Head Crab kid. (Has anybody sent that mom the link to this thread? I hope so. Maybe she could print it out for the baby book.)

  16. Coincidence time: I’m one of the sysops for the Netscape Science/Math Forum, and I had just posted a message on the giant honeybees doing the Mexican Wave. There’s a cool video showing it. Here’s a copy of my message:

    Have a look at this video of giant honeybees performing a Mexican Wave, exactly as if they were in a soccer stadium (but minus the drunkenness and hooliganism)


    And here’s why they do it:


    Also, you need to check out the Feyenoord Mexican Soliton:


  17. @Rebecca: AH yes, I do believe you may in fact be correct, or I am just to lazy to go back and verify and choose to concede to your position, either way…

    “1, 2, 5! ”
    “3, sire”

  18. Funny, I came here tonight with the intention of being the only one to comment on the Gogol Bordello line… I am pleasantly surprised. Good thing I randomly chose this thread to comment in.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go procure some vodka and marinated herring.

  19. I have no frame of reference for understanding the head-crab zombie idea, but that little girl is freakin’ adorabubble. Her grin just seems ideal for melting adults’ hearts.


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