August 19, 2005

Silly talk about science

Via InsideHigherEd, a very funny posting from a physicist's strange encounter with his hairdresser. Also lots of comments with other scientists' funny stories.

From the comments, my fave so far (italics mine):

Last year I was on my way back to the US from Canada and passing through US immigration in Toronto. I usually expect to get a few questions and so wasn’t surprised when the immigrations guy asks me what I’m doing in the US. Nor was I surprised when my answer of “I’m a postdoc at Brown University” got a blank(ish) stare either. Then he asks what I was doing in Canada and I tell him that I was visiting the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He asks what it is I study and I respond “string theory”. Then he says: “Do you study string theory or 11-dimensional M-theory? Do you know about black holes? Do they have entropy?”. I pick my jaw off the floor and answer him. To his satisfaction I guess cos he then responds (after seeing a bit of a line forming behind me): “Ok, I want to talk some more about physics so I’m going to look at your passport and the computer screen and you just look a little worried for a bit.”

Anyway, turns out that the guy used to be a librarian in the physics department of some university before joining immigration.

An aside to Christina, yes, I often get the same shocked/puzzled look when I tell people I have a B. Computer Science. There's gotta be a lot of mileage in a silly talk about librarianship thread.

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