Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

The Art of the Time Sink

Even though my e-mail address in buried amongst the piles of banana peels and dried bonobo scat that litter the Refuge, I receive various “you might want to blog about this” tips from the media and commercial interests. Don’t interpret this as self-importance on my part since all of my dear, dear sweet SciBlings receive these.

One (via MSN) in particular caught my attention before I jettisoned it from the Inbox:

Great Moments in Procrastination

The site “encourages you to take a break and watch posted videos of people doing what many of them do best: procrastinating. The site just launched yesterday [June 9th] and already there are some great examples up there – one of them involves office chairs and rubber balls…”

I was quite impressed by the shirt-folding contest.

As tempting as it is to be contemptuous of the nerdery so rampantly displayed in these clips and sneer that this is why America is spinning gleefully down the toilet, I remind myself of my own moments of procrastination when I was a post-doc.

Late at night, we would play a hybrid of hockey and “chicken” in the long corridor bisecting the labs. A player, armed with a two liter plastic graduated cylinder, would be seated in a wheeled office chair and pushed by a fellow scientist toward another pair (seated player with graduated cylinder and chair pusher). In the center of the corridor was a large ball of aluminum foil. The object of the game was to reach the ball first and whack it with the plastic cylinder into the respective goal (a wastebasket on its side) at either end of the corridor. This game invariably took place late at night when the principal investigators were away.

Another activity involved hooking up Tygon tubing to a compressed air spigot and shooting blue plastic pipet tips into the ceiling tiles. Fortunately, no one put out an eye.

If only we had compact and affordable video cameras back in the day…


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    June 14, 2008

    This reminds me, I still have to arrange a game of cricket in the ecology corridor. It’s perfect as long as you play with a straight bat.

  2. #2 Sandra Porter
    June 19, 2008

    That’s hysterical! It’s good thing you didn’t break into the dry ice. Who knows what could have happened.

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