Wednesday, 30 October 2013

5 Scary Costumes for Biologists

Halloween is almost upon us and while everyone else is dressing as Miley Cyrus and/or her wrecking ball, here are some costumes that will strike fear into the bravest of biologists.

5) The health and safety inspector

Ours tend to come with a pale green lab coat minus the hat but wearing goggles when necessary. They have an important but little loved role and their presence is as likely to clear a lab floor as quickly as a masked gunman.

4) The Sales Rep

They're only doing their job and often they are helpful but a sales rep can be the science version of "fatal attraction" - you buy a product, give them your number and then they never let go. You try them "it's not them it's you" and it's the fact you don't need to buy anything but they won't listen. You try telling them you are in the middle of an experiment when they call and then they call you at lunchtime. There really is no escape. They know what you bought last summer.

3) Herbivorous T-Rex

For those who like to be a bit more inventive with their costumes how about dressing as a vegetarian T-Rex? You could also try and dress as a creationist but I'm not sure there's a specific look and the dinosaur is more fun. For those who don't know, some Creationists like to find "evidence" that T-Rex was a herbivore. The reason? Because giant lizards are in the Bible but they only graze off the land. So T-Rex is cool as long as he wasn't alive 65 million years ago and doesn't eat other dinosaurs. . I guess people are allowed to have their own opinion - mine is that it would be scary if people with these views were on grant panels.

2) Sarah Palin

This one should scare you if you're a Drosophila researcher but I suspect biologists in general have a lot to fear if this video is anything to go by. Plus it's always a good excuse for a bit of cross-dressing or for some kinky Sarah Palin vs Scientist role-playing.

1) Being Scooped/Ice Cream scoop

By far a biologist's greatest fear - being scooped. The visual metaphor will still be enough to send a shiver down a scientist's spine and turn someone who has been scooped into either a) a quivering wreck mumbling "if only I'd..." or b) a real life Bruce Banner tearing their lab coat off and swearing vengeance against their arch-nemesis. A tricky costume to pull off but well worth the effort.

So if your institute is having a Halloween party here are some last minute suggestions you can take advantage of.

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