We have another nominee for The Indiana Jones of the Hard Sciences, and I think he’s going to take the title from Pritchard and his hookworm windbreaker. This is Joe Davis, and his list of accomplishments reads like Slash Fiction about Paul Bunyon and Chuck Norris gangbanging Bill Nye the Science Guy:
Note the new trend: Mad Scientist Aviators.
Davis has a map of our galaxy broken down into a series of base DNA pairs, and is coding it into transgenic lab-mice. To put it more succinctly: Joe Davis is genetically engineering the Milky Way into a mouse’s ear.
To measure the stress levels of certain strains of Bacteria, Davis blasts amplified music at them for extended periods of time. To put it more succinctly: Joe Davis makes E. Coli listen to jazz, just to see if it gets pissed off about it.
An experiment of Davis’ revolves around the spontaneous self-assembly of primitive life-forms. He hopes to see if a usable state can be provoked in simple organisms. To put it more succinctly: Joe Davis is trying to see if he can force primitive lifeforms to evolve…into working clocks.
A very punctual race. ZING!
In protest of what he viewed as censorship, Davis beamed his own, female-friendly version of the famous Arecibo Message toward a distant star cluster. To put it more succinctly: Joe Davis stuck microphones inside the vaginas of the entire Boston Ballet, and shot the sound of them contracting into space. Why? Because fuck Carl Sagan and his SETI bullshit, that’s why! No, seriously. That is actually why.
Davis commissioned fishing hooks 25 microns long, attached them to regular-sized fishing poles, and equipped them with proportionate force-feedback controls, all in order to catch microscopic lifeforms. To put it more succinctly: Joe Davis doesn’t cultivate single-cell organisms for his experiments; he lands them like swordfish…with full-size deep-sea fishing tackle.
Need more evidence? Fine: Joe Davis has three garbage bins; they are labeled Trash, Recycling, and Radioactive. Joe Davis tried to put a 100,000 watt laser on the nose of the Space Shuttle, hoping that when it fired it would trigger a local Aurora Borealis. He was only stopped because The Challenger exploded! Joe Davis has a motherfucking peg leg! He built it himself. It has a test tube stopper for traction and opens beer bottles. If you ask him how he lost the leg, Davis will loudly recite erotic poetry about making out with alligators to you, until you eventually get embarrassed and leave.
If you had to define him – as an artist, a biologist, a physicist, etc. – the closest working term would be “Science Pirate.”
I was going to say “like this, but with more cock.” But there is literally no way to put more cock into this image. This image is 100% cock.
His latest project, however, is why I’m really nominating Joe Davis for Indiana Jones of the Hard Sciences: It’s a memorial for victims of hurricanes. He’s building a ten-story tall tower in Mississippi that harnesses the excess electrical nitrogen in the air, typically brought on by lightning storms. What does this memorial do with that harnessed energy? Maybe light a virtual ‘eternal flame’ in mourning? Maybe power a set of bells that plays a funeral dirge? Maybe run a sound file, reciting the names of the dead? Does that kind of hippy bullshit seem like the man who shoots pussy at aliens?
No, Joe Davis’ memorial will return that energy – immediately – back to the storm in the form of a giant laser. Davis, you see, is sick of nature getting to shoot a bunch of flashy shit at us without fear of reprisal, so he designed something to hit back. He named it “Call Me Ishmael,” because it futilely rages against nature like Captain Ahab.
Note the mad scientist goggles and the god damn peg leg!
The laser, of course, has no tangible effects. It doesn’t break up the storm, or signal a warning, or even gather information. The laser does one and only one thing; it takes a swing back at the storm for every hit it lands on us. The greatest part? It’s not even a visible laser. Nobody will be entertained or actively reminded of a tragedy by this memorial. It exists only to fight back, regardless of whether or not you pay attention to it.
Like this, but the guy on the ground is us, the guy in the black leather is nature, and the shit-faced hobo is a confused alien race. So…not really at all like this, actually.
This is the kind of memorial we need more of, not obscurely symbolic shapes like the Washington Monument, but low-grade weapons that fire eternally when provoked. Because let’s face it, it’s pretty likely that we’re going to wipe ourselves out at some point in the near future – we’re just too weaponized and too stupid to last – so let’s leave a fitting reminder for the extra-terrestrial lifeforms that may visit our planet long after we are gone. We don’t want them to land and just see a bunch of lines and circles commemorating our existence.
No, when they land, let them behold our legacy in the form of a giant middle finger, taking drunken rage swings at the surrounding natural phenomena, because even the earth itself ain’t gonna front on us and get away with it.