5-part humor or riddle for science presentation
April 1, 2011 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Help me come up with a five-part joke, riddle, or comic strip to embed in 5 separate data presentations at a science conference.

I'm attending a neuroscience conference with 4 of my friends. We're each presenting posters, and we're all right in a row. We thought it would be fun to entice people to visit all 5 of our posters by posting 1 piece of a 5-part joke, riddle, or comic strip at each one-- the idea being that a visitor to one poster would want to visit the others to read the rest.

Do you have any awesome ideas for me?

Notes: It needs to be appropriate for a work environment. Nerd humor is appreciated but doesn't have to be science-y. I do like xkcd. No PHD Comics. Limericks? Sure.
posted by dino might to Science & Nature (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any of the engineer/scientist/mathematician jokes would work. For example:

(1) An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are shown a pasture with a herd of sheep.

(2) They are told to put the sheep inside the smallest possible amount of fence.

(3) The engineer is first. He makes a square fence around the sheep, declaring it to be the simplest to build.

(4) The physicist is next, and he creates a circular fence around the sheep, arguing that it offers the greatest area for the smallest amount of fence.

(5) The mathematician is last. After giving the problem a little thought, he builds a fence around himself and defines himself to be on the outside.

You can adjust as necessary to include neuroscientists, if you wish.
posted by googly at 4:52 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

They are very corny, but I always liked the elephant jokes that kind of cluster together. Here's a variant:

posted by Gorgik at 4:54 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you want to entice people to visit and study each poster, you could hide little numbered easter eggs somewhere on each one. On a poster for a physiology class back in college, my lab partners and I secretly drew sunglasses onto the phoenix on our school's crest. Most people didn't even notice, but the ones who actually studied our project saw it and thought it was awesome.
posted by phunniemee at 5:19 PM on April 1, 2011

limericks are 5 parts, and there are tons of math and science related ones, from the clean:
Integral Z squared dz
from 1 to the cube root of 3
times the cosine
of 3 pi over 9
equals log of the cube root of e

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Moebius strip quite divine
Said he: "If you glue
The edges of two
You'll get a weird bottle like mine."
to the not-so-clean:
A young engineer named Paul
Had a hexagonal-shaped ball
the square of its weight
and his pecker, plus eight
Is his phone number - give 'im a call!

A young scientist named Fisk
whose stroke was exceedingly brisk
so fast was his action
the Lorentz Contraction
diminished his dong to a disk

posted by namewithoutwords at 5:25 PM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

You could make reference to the five food groups, with each presenter continuing the enumeration. Some could be funny, like caffeine, sugar, or bacon.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:59 PM on April 1, 2011

Oh man, I have a whole series of elephant jokes that work together. More than five, though, so you'd need to figure out what to leave in and what to take out. Maybe the middle butter joke, the "big gray and wrinkly" joke, and the race joke could be excluded.

Q: How do you fit an elephant in a closet in 3 steps?
A: 1. You open the door. 2. Put the elephant in the closet. 3. Close the door.

Q: How do you know an elephant has been in your refrigerator?
A: Footprints in the butter.

Q: How do you fit a giraffe in a closet in 4 steps?
A: 1. You open the door. 2. Take the elephant out of the closet. 3. Put the giraffe in the closet. 4. Close the door.

Q: How many elephants can you fit in a volkswagen bug?
A: Six, two in the front, two in the back, and two in the trunk if you squeeze them in real tight.

Q: How do you know two elephants have been in your refrigerator?
A: Two sets of footprints in the butter.

Q: Why are elephants big, gray, and wrinkly?
A: Because if they were small, white, and smooth, they'd be aspirin.

Q: An elephant and a giraffe are having a race. Who wins?
A: The elephant. The giraffe is still in the closet.

Q: How do you know six elephants have been in your refrigerator?
A: VW tire tracks in the butter.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 12:26 AM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

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