The Scientific Activist

Valinetines: Valentines for Scientists

Two years ago, The Scientific Activist introduced the world to valinetines, scientifically-themed valentines named after the amino acid valine. Last year, I recycled the same valinetines from the first year, but today–on this Valentine’s Day 2008–I bring you all new material:

Your nuclear pore

Is far from a bore:

Let anyone in

And then beg for more.

But your active site

Is perfectly tight,

Evolved so it fits

My substrate just right.

Or, for the more biophysically inclined, here’s an NMR valinetine:

My NMR magnet

Is just inadequate

For globular domains

So impressively sized.

For tumble as they may,

It would take me all day

To obtain good spectra,

As I have fantasized.

Chemical exchange, fast,

RF blast after blast,

You make my nuclei

So hyperpolarized.

That’s about the best I can do, but fortunately there are some much more creative sciencey types out there. Here’s one from Jen Dulin, the visionary who first conceived of the valinetine:

My darling, my dear

You know it’s quite clear

My excitatory vesicles

Flood out when you’re near

You’ve got a new gal

And I do hope you please her

But babe, all this dopamine’s

Inducing a seizure

Erasing your memory’s

A bit of a pain

So I soothe my amygdala

With a little cocaine

Now my limbic system’s fucked

These bad habits, reinforced

I hope you marry the bitch

And end up divorced

–Jen Dulin

Here’s one from my girlfriend, Meredith Clancy:

Such drama, such drama,

I have no need!

I’ve suffered a trauma,

and not from what I read.

This dyspnea’s got me breathy heavy,

and I don’t know what it’s the result of–

perhaps noncardiogenic edema,

or a little heart failure called love.

I’m in a state of shock–hypoxic–

from this valine-tine induced electrocution

The only cure? Your affection

(and some crystalloid and colloid infusion)

–Meredith Clancy

And another one:

I can’t compete with mechanisms,

signals, enzymes or pathways,

but I perceive this anaphylactic reaction

is in its late reactive phase.

This flushing blush, these watering eyes,

the result of severe vasodilation,

has jumbled my scientific mind

and ruined my concentration.

The histamine is flowing

from my head to my toe.

Give me some epinephrine

so my blood still can flow!

I find myself hypersensitive:

Type I, to be exact,

and chronic treatment’s necessitated,

so to you I’ll make this pact:

Since I know I’m not your first valine-tine

and, let’s face it, probably not your ultimate

At least I’ll be your best, darling,

And that’s no idle threat.

–Meredith Clancy

Yep, she’s a keeper!

The next one is just one sample from Digital Cuttlefish, which is a veritable goldmine of science-themed poetry:

I give you my heart on this Valentine’s Day

In a jar you can keep on your shelf,

With your books and your papers, in cluttered array,

Or a prominent place by itself.

It is really my heart–deep within every cell

Are the strands of my own DNA;

I could have just given you chocolates, but, well,

My message is clearer this way:

I love you much more than a card, or some flowers,

Or trinkets you see in the stores;

So it’s off to the lab for a few hundred hours,

And my heart–if you’ll take it–is yours.

–Digital Cuttlefish

And, finally, here’s a submission from Kristin Hugo:

Wapiti Ode

Rutting season’s started and to you I now must say

I could smell your estrus odors up to six miles away.

Ignore me not, nor bugling call, come to my territory–

Where, with the other harem cows, come revel in my glory.

For you I’ll trash the sapling pines;

(I’ll do it with my antler tines)

I’ll spar with bulls, my Valentine,

And so, you see, you’ll soon be mine.

(For you I’d even start a wallow, but only if you swear to swallow)

How beautiful your tapetum that shine through bushes thorny;

Just flehmening your scent makes me feel so damn freaking horny.

–Kristin Hugo

And, for some more visually stimulating scientific valentines, be sure to check out Jacks of Science and Ironic Sans.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Comments

  1. #1 Meredith M. Clancy
    February 14, 2008

    By something reversible and selecive,
    I feel your PDE type five
    Is being inhibited on the dance floor
    Here as we jump and jive.

    The attraction’s magnetic,
    but avoid sympathomimetics
    For I feel growing against my thigh
    your drive parasympathetic.

    All those commercials might be right:
    Constriction’s the prescription
    this pharmacologically-assisted
    Valentine’s Night.

  2. #2 Dr. Dulin (live the dream)
    February 14, 2008

    Nick you should post this on your blog because I think it’s damn good, also I just skipped a seminar so I could finish writing it.

    ~~~~~

    Hello there, sexy; your style caught my eye.
    Well actually…my cranial nerve XIII
    was processing soundwaves from Dr. Von Svenn’s
    virology course; then–”Could I use your pen?”

    “Of course,” I said sweetly, “I’ve got both black and blue.
    You’re in my lab section, right? Group twenty-two?”
    “Why, yes,” you concurred, “and there’s no one I’d rather
    spend time with dissecting a fresh new cadaver.”

    Later, post-postlab you smiled, like a devil
    and; ready to venture on to the next level,
    in lab coats still stinking of formaldehyde
    we snuck to the darkroom, and stumbled inside.

    You grabbed me and kissed me and squeezed my hand tight,
    and then, with your free hand, turned on the red light
    “Let’s screw on the counter,” I said between sighs,
    displaced some film boxes, and opened my thighs.

    I unzipped your zipper, just brass, not leucine
    and thanked your dear dad for his generous genes
    My my, studly darling, you’ve quite the domain
    to catalyze my pleasure and maybe, my pain.

    But then, oh god! Shit! The post doc down the hall
    turned the lights on; I freaked and slammed into the wall
    and awoke minutes later, face bleeding and red.
    “Diagnosis: concussion,” you worriedly said.

    I croaked, “I feel weird,” and, my throat dry and sore,
    “This isn’t concussive; I’ve had one before.
    No, my stomach feels weird. I don’t know if I can
    swallow; I think I should get a CAT scan.”

    The doctor, much later, sat down and said, blushing,
    “Prognosis is negative, it’s not a concussion.
    I’m afraid, my young lady,” he stated, chagrined,
    “You’ve severed your vagus nerve, cranial nerve ten.”

    There was nothing the surgeons could do, so I learned
    how to live daily life without this precious nerve.
    And I’m glad I did. Why, you ask? ‘Cause, oral sex
    is much more fulfilling without gag reflex.

  3. #3 Dr. Dulin (live the dream)
    February 14, 2008

    Nick post this one on your blog, I skipped a seminar to write it today lol…

    Hello there, sexy; your style caught my eye.
    Well actually…my cranial nerve XIII
    was processing sound waves from Dr. Von Svenn’s
    virology class; then–”Could I use your pen?”

    “Of course,” I said sweetly, “I’ve both black and blue.
    You’re in my lab section, right? Group twenty-two?”
    “Why, yes,” you concurred, “and there’s no one I’d rather
    spend time with dissecting a fresh new cadaver.”

    Later, post-postlab you smiled, you sly devil
    and; ready to venture on to the next level,
    in lab coats still stinking of formaldehyde
    we went to the darkroom, and snuck on inside.

    You grabbed me and kissed me and squeezed my hand tight,
    and then, with your free hand, turned on the red light
    “Let’s screw on the counter,” I said between sighs,
    displaced some film boxes, and opened my thighs.

    I unzipped your zipper, just brass, not leucine
    and thanked your dear dad for his generous genes.
    My my, studly darling, you’ve quite the domain
    to catalyze my pleasure and maybe, my pain.

    But then, oh god! Shit! The post doc down the hall
    just came in; I freaked and slammed into the wall
    and awoke minutes later, face bleeding and red.
    “Diagnosis: concussion,” you worriedly said.

    I croaked, “I feel weird,” and, my throat dry and sore,
    “This isn’t concussive; I’ve had one before.
    No, my stomach feels weird, and I don’t think I can
    swallow, I think I should get a CAT scan.”

    The doctor, much later, sat down and said, blushing,
    “Prognosis is negative, it’s not a concussion.
    I’m afraid, my young lady,” he stated, chagrined,
    “You’ve severed your vagus, cranial nerve ten.”

    There was nothing the surgeons could do, so I learned
    how to live daily life without my precious nerve.
    And I’m glad I did. Why, you ask? ‘Cause, oral sex
    is much more fulfilling without gag reflex.