Forced vacation, Day 2

Two words:

New T-shirt.

Ive had my eye on these shirts for a while, but it took an ‘I hate all of my clothes’ moment, plus a plug from Skepchick to get me to finally order one of these (taken with a digital camera from 1992 Mom and Dad still cant figure out how to use):

I really wanted to get one of those ‘teach the controversy’ shirts… But I was genuinely worried that some in OK might not ‘get’ the joke… I also loved the ‘SCIENCE!’ with the scientists cheering over a mushroom cloud… but again… afraid no one would get the joke…

So just the microbe wrangler for now 🙂


  1. #1 Jared
    July 31, 2008

    I rather like the “teach the controversy” shirts, I think I’m going to get the invisible pink unicorn one…

  2. #2 Darek
    July 31, 2008

    That’s funny, I was looking at those shirts few days ago and I thought you’d love that particular one.

    I’m thinking of getting the T-Rex burger one, as well as the ‘planted evidence’ from teach the controversy.

  3. #3 Dr. J
    July 31, 2008

    Having spent the longest 2 years of my life in Oklahoma, I’m pretty sure they won’t get the joke.

    I’ve never been anywhere that I was so often asked what church I go to…and never so much moral indignation when I said “I don’t”.

  4. #4 joy
    July 31, 2008

    I saw the shirts a while back. They made my day (and resulted in hopeless giggling), but most people that I know wouldn’t get the joke.

  5. #5 Alex M
    July 31, 2008

    These shirts are excellent! I’m a big fan of the mushroom cloud.

  6. #6 kc
    July 31, 2008

    So jealous, although what I really want is the devil-burying-fossils Teach The Controversy shirt.

  7. #7 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 31, 2008


    I meant to order one, but then my ADDHD took over and I moved on to looking for braised short rib recipes.

    Time to refocus.

  8. #8 David Broome
    July 31, 2008

    Ya, I got all the SCIENCE! shirts, but i got them in the standard grey and red format. Since I own a cafe here in Ponca, I make my own dress code, and I wear them to work all the time. Dont really care if they get the joke or not. But, it is a way to constantly promote science, and at least make people think a little bit.

  9. #9 The Chemist
    July 31, 2008

    Yes, it’s true some people might not get the other shirt, BUT there is a definite increase in the coolness power of people who DO.

  10. #10 wazza
    August 1, 2008

    You need, NEED the xkcd shirt which says “Stand Back, I’m Going To Try SCIENCE!”

    I’d recommend “Science. It works, bitches” but that’s physics…

    I have both, and I’m a political philosophy major.

  11. #11 Johnny Cache
    August 1, 2008

    Lots more here. You can even design your own shirt.

  12. #12 John Kwok
    August 1, 2008

    Hi Abbie,

    Pretty cool shirt, but I think a really cool one would have a picture of Chuck Darwin on it.



  13. #13 Terry Small
    August 1, 2008

    I’m sorry to get off topic (enjoy your vacation, btw!), but I’m trying to find a post that I could have sworn I read at ERV, either here or back at blogspot, that dealt with HERV involvement in mammalian placental development. Unfortunately, searching the blogs isn’t turning up the post I thought I was looking for.

    Does anyone know a good reference for that sort of discussion? I’m trying to write an email on the subject to non-science-oriented family, and google only turns up stuff that’s too technical for me to wade through (I’m still a filthy undergrad), so I’m afraid to even try PubMed at all. Any pointers would be appreciated. D:

  14. #14 zer0
    August 1, 2008

    I picked up both the geocentrism and the satan-fossils “teach the controversy” shirts and I love sporting them around in Kentucky. I don’t particularly care who gets the joke, I get some funny looks… it’s totally worth it.

  15. #15 zer0
    August 1, 2008

    P.S. I want today’s XKCD on a t-shirt… NOW!!!!!!!!!!1111111one

  16. #16 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    August 1, 2008

    You’re just sitting around, twiddling your thumbs, trying on T-shirts, and meanwhile Barack Obama is preparing the world for the Antichrist.

  17. #17 Mandy
    August 1, 2008

    I bought my girlfriend, who is getting her PhD at OU in microbiology, the same exact T-shirt (in red), and she loves it! Her lab mates also love it, although I’m pretty sure that cross-section of people isn’t representative of OK. I bought the “Teach the Controversy” shirt for myself and wore it to McNellie’s one night. I was with the g-friend and some of her friends, and they didn’t say anything about it until we were walking to the car as we were leaving. They said, “Hey, we really like your shirt! We weren’t sure at the beginning of the night if it was ironic or not, though!” i.e., they weren’t sure whether I believed that the Earth was the center of the solar system. Sigh.

    By the way, I live in OKC, and am Oklahoma born and raised. I love your blog! If you see someone else walking around campus (She’s in the building right next to the Lloyd Noble Center that’s next to the new meteorology building. . .my brain can’t think of the name of her building right now) with the same T-shirt in red, say hi for me! It will properly freak her freak.

  18. #18 wazza
    August 1, 2008

    Terry, The Science of Discworld 3: Darwin’s Watch, has an excellent discussion of HERV 3 and its place in the development of placental mammals. I think it might also point you to other books with more details, but I’m sort of tidying my room right now…

  19. #19 Terry Small
    August 1, 2008

    Awesome, many thanks.

  20. #20 William Wallace
    August 2, 2008

    I have an idea for a T-shirt. I got it after reading about the scientist who just killed himself.

    He was researching Anthrax, and not HIV, though.

    T-shirt with feds kicking in door with mad scientist frantically loading envelopes with some genetically modified disease, in a sick twisted effort to cull the population to a manageable, sustainable, Earth friendly size.

    Ah, anyway, enjoy the ride on whatever that thing is…

  21. #21 Dr Benway
    August 2, 2008

    That’s an odd tangent, Mr. Wallace. Are you alluding to the HIV-was-designed-to-wipe-out-undesirables idea?

    Africa’s tragedy will one day be its triumph. In areas hard-hit by AIDS, already we can see an increase in the frequency of HIV resistance genes.

    Master plans are teh fail.

  22. #22 mikeg
    August 2, 2008

    holy christ on a cracker! (+)

  23. #23 William Wallace
    August 2, 2008

    No, I was alludeding to certain personalities who should not have access to dangerous germs.

  24. #24 Logan N
    August 3, 2008

    Dr. J,

    I’ve lived in Oklahoma all my life and very very rarely get asked what church I go to or if I go at all. I do live in Oklahoma City, though, so maybe that compensates.

  25. #25 Sili
    August 3, 2008


    The T-shirt is nice, too.

    There were digital cameras in general circulation in ’92? Damn. We didn’t even get a PC till ’96.

  26. #26 Dr. J
    August 3, 2008

    Logan, I’m sure OKC is a lot different from Stillwater. Spent a good bit of time down in OKC since it wasn’t Stillwater. 😉

  27. #28 Eric Saveau
    August 4, 2008

    As long as someone’s going to be talking about the guy sending the anthrax letters, let’s be clear about the fact that he was a conservative targeting liberals, just like the guy who shot up the Unitarian hall. Enjoy the ride…

  28. #29 Kemist
    August 5, 2008


    That’s some high-grade, frothing at the mouth crazy, that is… I just can’t imagine someone truly thinking those things while not being utterly insane. But then, I’m canadian. When we see such crazy things in our media, they are in interviews in mental asylums.

    Please, please tell me this is some kind of bizarre humor ?

  29. #30 fatherdaddy
    August 5, 2008

    Maybe I’m jaded, but, I see crap like what is linked in #16 all the time. I can’t open my email without finding something just like that. It is more common than you think.

    I got a “Science” shirt with the clones (sure it’s a bit on the sexist side, but, I love it), but, my favorite is the “Prank Heaven”. One guy who checked it out looked like he didn’t know if he was supposed to be offended or not.

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