Justin, Mirdonamy, Sarah,

name: justin
query: hi im really stuck you see my mom and i moved to new york 3 years ago and now its the summer and im spending it with my family in california and soon i will have to go back to new york but i wanna stay here and live with my dad and my dad wants me to live with him i have asked my mom if i can stay but she said no how can i convince her to let me stay with my dad ????????
You need to tell her that a kid needs his dad, and a dad, well, he needs to be a dad to his kid. When a kid and a dad… when a kid doesn’t have his dad around, and that dad is somewhere far away, the dad� that is the KID, ends up with a vacuum… the dad ends up… from the dad’s end, a kid is as crucial as the dad is to the kid, so for the dad to be removed from the kid… at any age really… a kid and his dad, and vice versa… when a kid GIVES his trust to… to… your mom needs to understand about kids and dads and their kids that kids… when kids give… a dad who never… a kid who… a dad. A kid. A dad, a kid, the dad. The kid. The dad. The did. The kid did. Did dad? The kid did. Did kid? Dad did. The “Did Dad” Kid, they called him. He was known as that, and vice versa.
name: Mirdonamy
query: Do yellow and blue really make green?� I mean, what is it to MAKE something anyhow?� Besides, the pineapple didn’t forget to chew the cardboard from last Tuesday, and next week’s diagram of pain doesn’t seem too promising for hamster domination now does it?!
What is this, freshman philosophy class? Really. You can’t let yourself get caught up in these solipsistic tarbabies, kid. Sure, they’re fun to toy with on the subway on the way to work. “The pineapple didn’t forget to chew the cardboard, and either for that reason or in spite of it next week’s pain diagram appears to promise that the hamsters will fall somewhere short of outright dominance in their final campaign” — what a fun line of reasoning to explore! But ultimately it’ll get you nowhere. It’ll detain your reason, lock it up, so that the more you strain against its greasy binds the more you wear yourself out and forget your first principles.
Instead of wasting your time on that crap, build your mental muscles on this powerful Zen koan:

The bear finally reaches the front of the line and it is his turn to go down the waterslide. He is extremely nervous. During the last few minutes of waiting, the kids behind him have been speaking exuberantly and at length about the pure terror they experienced last time they rode this waterslide. The bear overcomes his fear enough to sit down in the small pool at the top of the slide. The water is cold on his asshole.

name: Sarah
query: Dear Scientists,
I have been interested in playing an instrument for years now, and I’m finally getting motivated to learn. I have myself a shitty little drum set which falls apart whenever I strike it, or, I can save some money and buy either a bass or guitar. I just picked up a bass today and liked the way it felt, so I’m now wondering: what is each instrument’s feature/special power? Which one do you fine men believe I should take up?

Obviously you’re going to get near-unanimous disagreement when you ask us, the three members of a band featuring three different instruments, that question. Michael thinks drums are great, but not nearly as good as the guitar or the bass. Keith likes guitars okay, but nods his head as vigorously as a cartoon dog being offered a cartoon steak when you ask him if he’d like to play bass or drums instead. And Chris — while he doesn’t exactly ‘hate’ the bass — would “trade every bass in the world for just one guitar, or just one drumstick.” And although he’s referring to a drumstick of fried chicken, you can see that the jury is very much still out on what you should pick up.
One thing to consider is that female drummers are for some reason fairly rare, and are therefore highly prized. On the other hand, the guitar is really the only one of those instruments you’d be able to do much with if you don’t have a band and maybe just want to put on the occasional show for Grams and Gramps from the airy side of their gravestones. And the bass, of course, makes the best instrument for hitting people with, on account of its size and weight and the spikes that stick out of it.
So what you really need to do is decide what you’re after. What’s your goal? What role do you want music to play in your daily life? The fact is, at the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with any of these three fine instruments, unless you choose drums.
Good luck!

The sweetest, most heartwarming thing he's seen in years, maybe ever

Awwwww… that’s sooo nice! How thoughtful of Coca-Cola to remember Delta’s 75th birthday! And to commemorate it with these tasteful cocktail napkins that Delta customers can actually get some good use out of! And okay, Coca-Cola’s name does kind of stand out up there, so it’s not necessarily the most selfless gift ever, but if you had seen the 60th anniversary napkin they did, you’d realize Coke has come a long way in terms of learning where the spotlight belongs — on the birthday boy! On Delta Airlines, the adorable birthday boy!

You ghostly orcas, skimming the

You ghostly orcas, skimming the surface from below,
The bears are back, and when we say ‘bears’ we mean the gentlemen carnivores of We Are Scientists; and when we say ‘back’ we mean beautiful to look at. Ha ha! No, we mean back in New York, natch. This paragraph so far has been a whole Batch o’ Natch, hasn’t it? Nothing but stuff that goes without saying. Let’s maintain that trend:

  • The L.A. shows went swimmingly, with us giving dynamic, gorgeously flawed performances, and with the kids in the crowd clenching their bodies tightly to keep bowels from relaxing and eyeballs from spinning in sockets. Here is a photograph we took from the stage:

  • Like camels come across a plentiful oasis, bloating themselves with water in anticipation of returning to the sand

Sons and Daughterpersons, Sorry we've

Sons and Daughterpersons,
Sorry we’ve been quiet for a while. It’s not that nothing’s been happening, we’ve just been taking the news page for granted – why aren’t the kids at CNN.com not handling this by now? We’ve been busy working on the new(ish) EP, but also busy forgetting about it (it’ll come out soon, promise), thanks to the myriad distractions that are part and parcel of having pledged devotion to the WAS. We’re now in LA, playing some shows (check that page for more info), doing some more recording (is it common practice to release an album before starting to work on new stuff? We don’t care. You don’t tell us how to record and we won’t tell you how to bag those groceries.), maybe shooting a video or two. Also: the partying. We are talking about some B. E. Ellis-grade action, what with all the near-villainous carousing and skin-baring and drug-consuming (Keith is on antibiotics, see) and the disturbingly pronounced spiritual detachment. Sweet LA.

The Science Diaries #9

Brattlett, Carlene, Tina Murray, Joey Patoony

name: brattlett
query: how do you convince your mom to get you a dog???
Brattlett: A fine question; a noble purpose. The most important part of convincing your mom to get you a dog is to impress upon her that you intend to use the dog for the greater good. A dog is like any tool: its virtue depends wholly on who wields it. A dog confers substantial power, so just by having one a person of flyblown moral fiber can easily be bent toward acts of evil. Your mom just wants to know that by getting you a dog she’s giving a gun to an honest cop, not handing an AK to a member of the Khmer Rouge; that she’s providing a chemistry set to Louis Pasteur, not James McCullen Destro.
name: carlene
query: I am going to get braided extensions for the second time this year.I would like to know what kind of shampoo and conditioner i should use? I would just like to know how to keep my scalp clean and itch free if possible. Oh I am native american so I don’t have some of the problems with braids that the African Americans do.I really don’t know what those problems are. okay thanks
sincerily carlene

Carlene: We agree. What’s the African Americans’ problem with braids? Why must they hate all the time? Braids are great — on the right person, braids are GREAT! And yet some people certainly do seem to have a problem with them. You know what we say about this? To those who would disrespect the braid, we either say “whatever”, or we say “please just talk to my hand about this.” Alternatively, when we’re feeling particularly weary of the complaints, we’ll say, “maybe you’re right.”
But none of that is either here or there; instead it’s all neither here nor there, because you asked a question. Your question, if we cut and paste properly, was, “I would like to know what kind of shampoo and conditioner i should use?” Indeed you would, and so we’ll tell you. You should use Prell, or Pert, or Pantene. Paul Mitchell is also good. The fact is that only shampoos that begin with the letter ‘p’ contain the natural moisturizers and gentle cleansers that your braids need to stay shiny and itch free, all day long. It probably goes without saying that the more ‘p’s the better, so Pert Plus and Pantene Pro-V are the best of the best, although some people don’t like the way shampoos with a ‘v’ anywhere in their name smell, so the ne plus ultra is definitely Pert Plus. Take a look at this stuff in action:

name: tina murray
query: Who spawned Keith? I don’t recognize him, and I am his earth mother – EXPLAIN!
Maybe the more apt question is: Who spurned Keith? We who know him well know that modern-day Keith can largely be traced to a single source : spurning. Getting spurned. The spurnings — the awful, endless spurnings — have had an effect on Keith so formative that, in comparison, who did or didn’t bear him into this world is almost entirely irrelevant. So then, since you are his mother and deserve to know, we offer you the following hopelessly incomplete list of people who have spurned Keith merely during the course of the last week:

  • Lady Luck

  • The God of Punctuality
  • The Goddess of Respectful Speech
  • The Archduke of Cheap Airline Tickets
  • The Countess of Timely Arrival of One’s Mail

Imagine, if you dare, stumbling through this life, reeling, always aware that you are constantly on the verge of being spurned by Fate, or Time, or the Bartender, or Mother Bonifant, patron saint of parking. What excruciation! What torment to know you live in a world which has turned its back on you! Which, even as it fawns over your neighbor, casts a cup of steaming coffee into your lap! You would — we all would, wouldn’t we? — evolve a certain distance, secrete a shell between yourself and the world. And through it, you would appear to all who knew you in your carefree youth as somehow different, colder, removed, like a vibrant painting behind a sheet of vellum.
And if all that’s not enough, you should be aware that Keith has been watching a lot of Little House on the Prairie lately — he pinched pennies for the better part of a year to buy the deluxe Criterion box set of all 12 seasons on DVD — and we’d be fools not to acknowledge the profound effect these viewings have had on our Keith. Imagine Keith as a mugfull of hot water — you wouldn’t be the first; now, in the form of Little House on the Prairie, add two, maybe three teabags. Let it sit for however long it takes to watch 12 seasons of LHotP. Not so suddenly, the liquid in that mug has lost its clarity, its purity of taste. It is now musky, spicy of scent, exceedingly potent to the tongue, so much so that the average taster of mugged beverages has a hard time not spitting it out. Yes, the mug’s contents have changed. And yet a simple chemical test would reveal that their primary constituent, by an overwhelming margin, remains water. Crystal clear, most refreshing, highly agreeable water.
name: Joey Patoony
query: The old man that lives next door to me, Mr Meekham likes to touch me lots and I don’t like it. How can I get him to stop touching me without risking the loss of sweeties he always gives me?
Joey, friend, it’s time to grow up a notch. The fact is, life is a game of give and take, of this for that, of compromise. It’s all as mindless, amoral, and perfect as an open economy. And you, Joey, friend, need to get used to it. Wise up, kid: If this Mr. Meekham breaks out a package of savories, and you want in, well then you’d better be prepared to break out what you got, and let him in. Does that make sense, Joey? Little Joey? Kiddo?
Hey, now that’s all assuming that you’re at least 18 years of age, by the way, Joey. And that Mr. Meekham is over 18, too. Or that you’re both under 18, we think. Best to check the law in your state, just to be safe.
name: kalos with a k and no r
query: well i recently found a wart on my penis… and i have a wart on my hand… is there a connection?
Yes. One is a metaphor for the other.

The 5 Craziest News Stories So Far This Year

The Internet widens the aperture of our worldview substantially — every day, we’re able to troll the websites of newspapers from nearly every country in the world, to trade links with friends via email, to google years of compiled journalism and commentary in order to satisfy even the slimmest curiosity. Here at the We Are Scientists, we love the news; we love real stories, real human drama. We’re frankly a bit obsessed. It’s to your advantage, though, as we now recap several of our favorite stories of 2004, many of which are obscure enough that you might well have missed them.

  1. Back in January, in Greece, when (a), the scientists discovered a live minotaur — which, like, holy shit! Minotaurs actually exist?! And then (b), there was some sort of miscommunication and the minotaur went ballistic and killed all those tourists. This was one of those news stories that dashes any belief you might have been cultivating that you’ve got the world pretty much figured out. Link to BBC story.
  2. That report that came out saying that not only did Bush know Iraq didn’t have WMDs, but he personally went about trying to sell them WMDs in the weeks before the invasion. Link to CNN story.
  3. The story about the Nazi-hunting crocodiles. It was obvious for a long time, but kudos to the people who finally did it. Link to Reuters story.
  4. The whole deal about that pitcher for the Red Sox who they found out had two cybernetic arms and that’s how he was able to pitch so fast and hit so many homers. Link to CNN story.
  5. The follow-up story to the croc/hunter thing where the crocs wiped out half of Germany because the scientists had put too much emphasis on identifying Nazis based on their accents. Crazy!
    Link to Reuters story.