Lowbrow Humor

Back when I was in graduate school, I was taking a class on cellular neuroscience. I remember perfectly the professor saying “OK, the next paper we’ll be discussing is Stoop and Poo”. (Get it?) Everyone chuckled a little and pulled out Stoop and Poo. But, you know those times when something just strikes you as so funny even if no one else is laughing and just sets you off? Once everyone stopped laughing I just couldn’t stop. I would try to stifle my giggling, but once we started discussing the paper I’d would periodically let out a semi stifled guffaw and start cracking up, loudly. And I would shake uncontrollably, tears rolling from my eyes. I just couldn’t stop, and the harder I tried, the more I HAD to laugh! And then other people started cracking up and letting out their own guffaws until the whole class started laughing out loud. But even then I couldn’t stop. Finally I just apologized and left the room and let it all out in the hallway, full bellied laugh and all. Finally I was able to settle down, returning to class al sweaty and embarrassed.

Do you know of any other funny author combinations in scientific papers? There’s always Yankner and Shooter (1979), and Balls and Wood (1956). And the famous Katz and Shatz (1996) of course. And don’t forget Brown, Brown, Butts (1972).

I crack myself up.

Post your favorites in the comments.

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15 Responses to Lowbrow Humor

  1. My favorite is Fatt Katz.

  2. I don’t know about author combos, but there is the PhoP/PhoQ operon in Salmonella, which was always amusing to hear stuffy old professors say out loud.

  3. scicurious says:

    I found an obesity researcher named Fatz. I need to cite him in everything I do. Just because I can.

  4. Alex Merz says:

    Tara, I was there when the late, great Igor Stjijkovic sequenced a giant Salmonella ORF, and christened it bigA. I truly miss Igor.

  5. ecologist says:

    High school biology text: Moon, Mann, Otto.

  6. bahl says:

    Bahl, Cocke, Jelinek, and Raviv, “Optimal decoding of linear codes for minimizing symbol error rate” (1974)

  7. Namnezia says:

    Found another one:

    Ding GH, Dong B. (2010)

  8. anon says:

    I can’t think of author name combinations, but I was a patient for a cardiologist with a fine Italian name, Dr. Vigilante. A urologist by the name of Dr. Seaman was recommended to my husband… I guess it’s along the same lines as Dr. Fatz!

  9. gerty-z says:

    I don’t have an author list, but when I was a wee grad student I had a prof in a biophysics class that lectured about protein denaturation studies. He would sort of end the word “urea” with a “r” sound.

    “So, if you stick the protein in urear…”

    I couldn’t stop laughing.

  10. PUIProf says:

    ooooh thanks so much for this post. Hub and I just totally sat and laughed. Which reminds me of the pore sequence for many glutamate receptors: SYTANLAAF

  11. Dr. Sneetch says:

    Ha ha. Thanks for the laugh.

  12. physioprof says:

    Anis Contractor.

    I feel bad posting this, because he is a really nice guy, but seriously.

  13. Anon says:

    There really is a Chinese-American Professor named Dr. Fat Ho.

  14. Dr24hours says:

    Just cited a bok by Pooch and Wall.

    My favorite all time science name is Taco BM Monster.

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