Anyway, I spent the last Saturday in April emceeing the main stage at the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Overall, it was mostly fun, but there were a few annoyances. One was a guy who showed up claiming to be one of the emcees who was really supposed to be at a different stage. That just meant some quick reshuffling. Another was that the sound system was set up in a way that limited the emcees to using the podium microphone, rather than handhelds which would have let us go out into the audience. One big problem was crowd control. There were huge crowds for the big name performers on the stage (e.g. The Mythbusters and Bill Nye, the Science Guy) and people filled the aisles and every inch of available space. Frankly, I believe this was a real safety problem. Another problem was keeping people on time. The Mythbusters arrived late, but finished close to on-time, since they were mostly doing a Q&A. Bill Nye, however, had a complicated set-up and tear down and ran about a half hour over his time. The person who followed him (Science Comedian Brian Malow) very graciously cut his presentation down to about 10 minutes, but it really wasn’t fair to him. I understand that the big names draw people in, but there needs to be a better way to manage both them and the crowds that come to see them.
I should explain why the inability to use a handheld microphone was an issue. We had various things to give away – periodic table posters, candy, and a few t-shirts. The other emcee opted to use trivia questions for these. My brilliant inspiration (which worked very well) was to print out slips of paper with various child-suitable science jokes and have volunteers draw a slip from a bag to determine which joke I would tell. I then gave posters to all the volunteers. This would obviously have been easier if I could have gone out into the audience to do it, instead of having kids come up to the edge of the stage (which also meant I had to go back to the podium to read the joke they’d chosen).
Overall, I’d say the event was a success. The glitches didn’t seem to have a serious impact on anyone’s enjoyment of the event.
Why are chemists perfect for solving problems? Because they have all the solutions.
Why do chemists prefer nitrates? Because they're cheaper than day rates.
Atom: I’d like to report a missing electron.
Policeman: Are you sure?
Atom: Yes, I’m positive!
A neutron walks into a bar and asks, “How much for a drink?” The bartender replies, “For you, no charge.
Does a radioactive cat have 18 half-lives?
Where does bad light go? To a prism.
Who solves mysteries involving electricity? Sherlock Ohms
Why is electricity so dangerous? Because it doesn't know how to conduct itself properly.
How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb? None, astronomers aren't scared of the dark.
What do you think of that new restaurant on the moon? The food’s great but it has no atmosphere.
Why did the weather forecaster move to another country? Because the weather didn’t agree with him.
Why would a geologist take his girlfriend to a quarry? Because he wants to get a little boulder.
Did you hear about the industrialist who had a huge chloroform spill at his factory? His business went insolvent.
Why do white bears dissolve in water? Because they're polar.
Q: What do you get if you cross a pig with a dinosaur?
A: Jurassic Pork!
Q: Why did the Apatosaurus devour the factory?
A: Because she was a plant eater!
Q: Why did the dinosaur cross the road?
A: The chicken hadn't evolved yet!
Today in genetics lab, I crossed an owl with a goat and got a hootenanny.
Q: Why did the weather want privacy?
A: It was changing.
What was the name of the first satellite to orbit the Earth? The moon.
Ya' hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch the rays and became a tangent?
It was Sherlock Holmes who organized all those elements into today's modern tree structure. He always patted himself on the back by repeatedly saying "Element tree, my dear Watson".
Never call your chem lab equipment nasty names. You might get an angry retort.
Q: What do you get when you cross a snake with a Physicist?
A: A Bohr Constrictor.
If you broke the law of gravity, would you get a suspended sentence?
Q: What do you call a tyrannosaurus that is afraid of his own shadow?
A: A nervous Rex.
A photon walks into a hotel. The bellhop says "Do you have any bags I can grab for you," to which the photon replies, "No thanks, I'm traveling light."