The Atom

I have recently been watching the repeated BBC Four documentary series The Atom.

I am not a geek by the way.

When I was at school I was always interested in science, but there was no money or chicks in it, so I gave it up at GCSE level. This was almost immediately after my Biology teacher showed me a pickled baby in a jar. This was during a lesson and in front of the other children, not part of some sort of one-on-one after-class punishment, it was not that sort of school.

It was a real baby though, I kid you not. She claimed the baby would have been older than us had it lived, but someone (another blogger of some repute) who was taught by the same teacher a few years earlier, does not remember the pickled baby. This is not something you forget, so he must have been off the day they brought the preserved foetus out to play.

Anyway, the presenter of The Atom was describing the world of Physics in the 1920’s and 30’s, and how one physicist in particular, whose name escapes me, had become known as something of a party boy and a womaniser.

This is does not strike me as correct. A nerd? With women? The life and soul of parties?

I can sort of understand why he said it. I mean, he is presenting a programme about his vocation, so it makes sense that he is sexing it up a bit. So, making it seem like it was lab coats by day and labia by night might result in him getting a bit of reflected glory. Or an invite to at least one party.

I do wonder though if I made a massive career error in not following the sciences into University? Would a thorough knowledge of protons neutrons and atomic weights have guaranteed me more poontang?

* Yes, I drafted this entire post in an effort to incorporate the word ‘poontang’.


  1. Lin · January 22, 2008

    Poontang indeed – so you are a closit Spike Milligan fan!

    Surely every school had its own pickled baby – I remember seeing one of these. I think this is to interest pupils in cookery as I remember making pickled onions in the same term.

  2. Cat · January 22, 2008

    I thought it was so you could use the line ‘lab coats by day and labia by night’ Utter class.

  3. Oli · January 22, 2008

    Smartness pays off when you leave the teens, I know a fair few geeks who have pulled tehir socks up, figured out how to turn knowledge into jokes and are now awash with women. Bastards.

    I think it should be in all the literature.

    Work hard at school and you will be able to bone as many women as you want when you get older, oh and you get to go to university too! 3-4 years of laying in till 11, smoking copious amounts of drugs, getting hammered constantly, and meeting lots of new women who will most likely want to shag about a bit in the new carefree environment!

  4. Glammer · January 22, 2008

    I saw that show. And, in a sub-atomic theory kinda way, didn’t see it. At the same time! Amazing. Several parallel amazings! Those crazy particles. I mean waves. No, particles.

    Anyway, my mate became the youngest ever professor at a university of world renown and his alt lifestyle would make George Michael blush.

    If you want a famous chick to go mental for you, do a bit of GBH on a bartender. Worked for Blake Fielder-Whatsisface.

  5. Keef · January 22, 2008

    I took a geeky subject and never thought it got me any extra poontang (I love that word!) but thinking back, I might not have realised it. Perhaps if I hadn’t done I might not have got any poontang (I’m gonna use that word all day) at all and now be spending my evenings flashing grannies.
    Do they still do the pickled baby?, we didn’t get to see it when I was at school and neither of my kids have ever mentioned it. Teenagers aren’t big on conversation but I thought they would have mentioned that.

  6. Brennig · January 22, 2008

    I feel deprived. We had neither baby (pickled or othrwise) nor poontang at school. Mind you, it was an all-boys school…

    But still my cup runneth over. Labia and poontang in the same post? What a frison of excitement quivvers through me!

  7. Léonie · January 22, 2008

    The only reason I went to University and then got into blogging was to ensnare myself one of those labia-crazed science geeks. Give me Screech over AC Slater any day of the week.

  8. Cliff · January 22, 2008

    Well played. I once gave someone a laptop at work, having taken it out of the bag, just so they could ask if I had a bag, so I could say ….

    “Do you want a strap-on?”


  9. StokeyPerson · January 22, 2008

    I would rather be pickled than tinned

  10. Mr Angry · January 22, 2008

    Lin – I am not a closet anything and anyone who says I am is lying.

    Cat – Thanks, it’s the only word from biology I remember.

    Oli – But you’re not bitter, right?

    Glammer – This post is only here when you try to read it y’know…

    Keef – I am now beginning to doubt my own recollection of the pickled baby.

    Brennig – that is what it’s like in my head.

    Leonie – I have a friend who looks like Screech, in a boy band sort of way. I will introduce you. (How do you do the acute in your name on a Mac?)

    Cliff – Yes, that is pretty much how I spend my days to. Not thinking about strap-ons, obviously.

    Stokeyperson – really? Have you never spilled pickled onions? It would take ages for the smell to go when they bring you back.

  11. xl · January 22, 2008

    From Full Metal Jacket:

    Animal Mother: If I’m gonna get my balls blown off for a word, my word is “poontang.”

  12. Grumpy B · January 22, 2008

    Full Metal Jacket: If you’re gonna get your balls blown off I think the word you are looking for is “ouch!”

  13. Zorro · January 22, 2008

    It was Schrodinger (of ‘cat’ fame). And he was actually more of a philosopher than a ‘nerd’ 🙂

  14. Shambo's revenge · January 22, 2008

    I believe I heard the story zorro refers to about Schrodinger, he was on holiday skiing with his mistress when he came to some ground breaking conclusion about superposition of waves.

    Maybe the bottom line is that ‘geeks’ zone out and solve truly great problems. Whereas your media student type zones out and thinks about what they read in the daily mirror or heard Chris Moyles say…

  15. Duck · January 22, 2008

    You might want to read this before eschewing geekiness

  16. Sam · January 22, 2008


  17. ninja chinchilla · January 22, 2008

    I don’t think there’s anything I *haven’t* seen pickled. I suppose that’s what you get for working in a pathology lab.

  18. Glammer · January 22, 2008

    When I was a student, my mate, when asked the inevitable “So what are you studying?” at parties, would say divinity. The next question was always, “Does that mean you can’t have sex?” His answer was always, “Only once I graduate.” Best aphrodisiac ever. Every girl wanted to be his last one.

  19. gnarlyswine · January 22, 2008

    Sure it wasnt ernest Rutherford? as I believe he was a bit of a Jock as well as an amazingly accomplished Scientist.
    He once remarked rather disdainfuly that all Science was either physics or stamp collecting. A commonly held view amongst physicists who dont have much respect for the other Sciences (a lecturer once told me this as I studied Physics at University before I became old and decrepit).
    He then went on to win the Nobel prize for chemistry.

  20. Ubermouth · January 22, 2008

    I think all cruelty and killing of ALL animals should be banned, but I do support killing of humans.