Time-Wasting Tip #11 for the Overworked Grad Student

Graduate Division

Got a long incubation time to kill? Waiting for your cells to spin? Bored in-between classes? In class?  This week’s time waster will have you truly wasting your time perusing the sub-reddit r/shittyaskscience (reddit.com/r/shittyaskscience).

For those of you unfamiliar with Reddit, it calls itself “the front page of the Internet” and is a public forum to post everything funny, controversial, newsworthy, conversation-starting — really, everything — from good to godawful.

There’s actually a pretty good sub-Reddit for real science questions (r/askscience) where people get their scientific questions answered by “verified” scientists. It’s not peer review, but many of the answers appear educated, at least. But that’s not what you’re there for — you’re there to waste time, not learn!

Shittyaskscience, the silly contrapositive to askscience, will not teach you anything, but many of the questions are chuckle-worthy and the answers are even better. Is a centipede 100 times more dangerous than a pede? Only the Internet knows.

Here’s what one of the hosts wrote about shittyaskscience last May:

“ShittyAskScience, for whom it may concern, is a mashup of  /r/askscience and /r/shittyadvice (fine subs both). I originally intended it to be a place where those of us who had felt the iron-sting of /r/askscience's legendary rain-of-downvotes could hide out and crack lame jokes about the Circle of Willis, but it has blossomed into something so much more. At turns grotesque, beautiful, irritating and brilliant, the community constantly surprises.”

Check next week for another grad-student approved distraction — suggestions are welcome!