Friday, March 19, 2004

PART OF THE JOB

Late last year, Scientific American published an article that lists the worst jobs in the scientific field, all of which run the gamut from outright disgusting to seemingly pointless. I’m listing some of the jobs featured in that article. What’s your fancy?

PLANETRARY PROTECTION OFFICER
Job Description: Prevent alien microorganisms from wreaking havoc on earth, and vice-versa.
Why: If rock samples from Mars are brought in, we want to make sure that they don’t have dangerous Martian germs on ‘em, which can potentially cause strange diseases and wipe out mankind. Conversely, we want to make sure that our astronauts and equipment are really clean when they’re sent out there. It can be dangerous having Earth microbes running around in space.

FLATUS ODOR JUDGE
Job Description: Inhale fart samples with gusto! Rate how noxious each sample is.
Why: According to Minneapolis-based gastroenterologist Michael Levitt, the chemical responsible for the highly-offensive smell is hydrogen sulfide, which in itself is an extremely toxic gas to mammals. Hydrogen sulfide levels can be an indicator of a person’s overall gastrointestinal health. I guess the odor judges are initally needed to filter out the really horrible samples for further analysis.

BARNYARD MASTURBATOR
Job Description: Risk your life by approaching mating cows. Slip the bull’s massive thingie in a latex vagina till he blows. Or, give a pig a hand job.
Why: For animal fertility studies or for artificial insemination of livestock. Another option is shoving an electric probe through an animal’s rectum and induce ejaculation through electricity.

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