A Brain Scientist, an Editor, and an Agent Walk Into a Bar

My husband, astronomer and literary snob J Blackburne, welcomed the new year by growing his "winter coat." He argued that beards were basically de rigueur in academia now.   All the respectible academics have one. 

Given that news, I figured I should probably get one too -- might help me graduate quicker.  But alas, after weeks of not shaving, my chin was still silky smooth.  I think it's because I'm Asian.

Then later in January, I learned from Simon Larter that it was de rigueur to have a blog contest once you reach 100 followers.  Still smarting from my facial hair failure, I thought "By golly, I may have to disappoint academia, but I don't have to disappoint the blogosphere!"

So with that little story , I'm announcing the Neuropublishing Joke Contest.  Here are the details:

Open to:  Residents of any country for which shipping from Amazon is $10 or less (That includes US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.)  You can find more about their shipping here.
Since most of my followers are on RSS rather than Google Friend Connect, I won't make following me a requirement.  But if you do use Google Friend Connect, follow me, will ya?  It'll give you good karma.

Prize:  The winner can choose any book that's been reviewed thus far on my blog.

1. Complete one of the following beginnings.  You only have to complete one, but feel free to work more than one in.

a) A brain scientist, an agent, and an editor walk into a bar. . .
b) How many brain scientists does it make to write a bestseller?
c) Why did the neuroscientist cross the editor?

2.  Post your entry as a comment.

3.  After your entry, post the book that you would like if you win.  You must specify your book before the judging occurs if you wish to receive a prize.  Pretty much any book mentioned in any post is fair game.  You can browse through the archives on the right hand sidebar.

4.  Up to two entries per person.  If you submit more than two entries, I will judge the first two.

5.  The contest will end on February 13th 2010 at 11:59pm EST.

6.  Tweeting or linking the contest is not required, but encouraged.

7.  If you know me personally (ie, I have real life conversations with you on a regular  basis), please enter under a pseudoname with a hyperlink to your real website so I'm not swayed by your dashing personality.

Thanks all!  This should be fun :-)


  1. Great idea!! I'll be back once I find my sense of humour. It appears to be asleep at the moment... :)

  2. A brain scientist, an editor and an agent walk into a bar.

    The brain scientist says, "I'm not buying."

    The editor says, "I'm not buying either."

    The agent says, "That's nothin new. You haven't bought since The Catcher in the Rye."

    The brain scientist says, "Oh, they serve Bavarian here?"

    Sorry, I don't know what books you have to choose from...

  3. Oh, I'll be back, fo sho. I just have to go find teh funny somewhere... :)

  4. Hey Liz,

    Yay, first entry! You can browse the archives, and pretty much any book I linked to is fair game.

  5. How many brain scientists does it take to write a bestseller?
    Only one. Any more than that and you get the Stroop effect.

  6. Ahh, great contest. Very original too. I have to find my funny before I participate. I just wanted to thank you for hosting it!

  7. How many brain scientists does it make to write a bestseller?
    -- One, but her name has to be Livia...

    Okay, I'll be back with my second entry when I can think of something actually funny as opposed to just blatantly sucking up to the judge.... ;)

    If I win, I think I'd go for "Will Write for Shoes", simply because chick lit is a genre I've never touched, so it would be interesting reading.

  8. How many brain scientists does it take to write a bestseller?

    everyone knows you CANT AB more than one!!!

    Still thinking about which book....

  9. Q: Why did the neuroscientist cross the editor?

    A: He didn't! As all good neuroscientists know: you don't cross -- you decussate!


    Q: How many brain scientists does it take to write a best-seller?

    A: Thousands! Of course, after you correct for multiple comparisons, only a handful are doing any real work.

    A brain scientist, an agent, and an editor walk into a bar...

    The brain scientist stubs his toe on the bar and yells, "Ouch! I really felt that in my free nerve endings! My somatosensory cortex is going nuts!" The agent says, "Your screaming has far too much jargon. I can't sell it." And the ScienceDaily editor rewrites it to, "Leading scientists prove toes cause pain; suggest removal."

  10. Anonymous Feb 1 2010 -- Two entries per person! Please pick your best two.

  11. omg, anonymous, you are cracking me up right now. gloria

  12. @Anonymous, February 1, 2010 8:09 PM

    Those were absolutely hilarious! I laughed at every one. "Multiple comparisons" jokes ftw.

  13. This is just for IF, I would choose When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

    You'll probably have to explain these jokes after the contest ends.

  14. How many brain scientists does it take to write a bestseller?

    Two. One writes, which leaves the other to lobotomize enough readers.

    Thanks for the fun contest!

  15. Why did the brain scientist cross the editor?

    Because a sample population of one isn't nearly enough on which to base any defensible conclusion.

    Um... Seriously, I'm stumped. I've got nothing funny to say about neuroscientists. However, I only know one neuroscientist, so my statistical sample can't be trusted to provide any reasonable conclusions as to whether neuroscientists in general are funny. Oh, I'm shutting up now...

  16. Hmm. Perhaps I'll choose number 1 and 2. :)

  17. (and if I should happen to win, I'd love _The Graveyard Book_)

  18. a) A brain scientist, an agent, and an editor walk into a bar.

    The Catholic priest, the rabbi, and the lawyer look up. "Hey! This is our joke!"

    b) How many brain scientists does it make to write a bestseller?

    None. They taught the lab rat to do it.

    c) Why did the neuroscientist cross the editor?

    To get extra credit on her genetics homework!
    (no word on what the editor was crossed with... an octopus maybe because they need an extra hand?)

    --- I'd love The Graveyard Book :o)