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The Science Creative Quarterly and Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique (a.k.a. Science Scouts) started putting together a set of Badges a few years back. They did this for the most obvious reasons: scouts need badges and because they could (I would go with mostly because they could).

Being a sciencey type person who is:

- definitely not opposed to alcohol,
- fond of any report with pictures,
- mostly in agreement with the “truth”,
- really into badges,
- grieving for the loss of future really cool pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope,
- most certainly possessed of supernatural powers,
- not in the business of total world domination (only partial), and
- committed to making people's eyes glaze over by talking sciencey stuff

I had to setup an O.O.T.S.S.O.E.R.A.A.A.P. Badge page. It is my duty. Really. And Badges are cool.

talking scienceThe "talking science" badge.
This is required for all members, so here it is. Although I haven't actually joined, at least not officially. Joining pretty much goes through the Science Scouts facebook page (linked above someplace) and I do not currently have a facebook account. Despite all the personal information I release on this here blog thingy of mine, there is a security line I do not cross. Facebook and MySpace are those lines (granted my daughter did create a MySpace account for me, but that was her crossing the line, not me and I immediately marked it as private). Anyway, this is a required badge for members and I am calling myself officially an unofficial member.


The "who needs a post graduate degree? I can do science… CITIZEN SCIENCE!" badge.
Pretty self explanatory, I should think.

I blog about science
The "I blog about science" badge.
I was a little worried about this one at first, I mean I have a blog and I do talk about some sciencey stuff, but the badge actually requires that at least a quarter of the material to be about science. I initially ruled this badge out as a result, until I made my way through the rest of the badges. Apparently this whole robot thing is a science. Who knew? So I gave the badge back to myself.

arts and crafts

The "arts and crafts" badge.
I play with children's polymer "clay", styrofoam, plastics, liquid latex, wood, duct tape, and paints. If ever there was a badge I deserved in the name of science, it would be this one.

arts and craftsThe "I'm pretty confident around an open flame" badge.
It took a little hard work, sweat (from the heat) and perseverance, but I have officially earned this badge. I even went to far as to wait on awarding myself this badge until after my lab partner confirmed that I was indeed "pretty confident around an open flame," which incidentally followed the use of magnesium. While some might consider excessively talking about highly exothermic reactions and the manner in which each compound is created to be a form of coercion, I am pretty certain my lab partner was in no way intimidated into confirming the awarding of this badge. Granted, he still checks the fire extinguisher before each lab session.

destroyer of quackery

The "destroyer of quackery" badge.
I am a Pastafarian. This is what we do. That and drink Rum. I have a tendency to get under certain peoples skin as a result. That is something I can live with.

I can be a prick when it comes to scienceThe "I can be a prick when it comes to science" badge.
Assuming you have never read my blog and just stumbled upon this page, and further assuming you completely missed my ramblings on the previous "destroyer of quackery" badge, let me be clear: I have a tendency to get under a certain type of persons skin when it comes to science. I am also an arrogant ass at times. All the time. It just is what it is. But I know it and I try to be a little fun about it, which is why I am not an "asshole", but instead, just an ass. And who among you doesn't appreciate a nice looking ass?

has frozen stuff just to see what happens (LEVEL I)

The "has frozen stuff just to see what happens" badge (LEVEL I).
Who hasn't frozen something or another in the freezer to see what would happen? How many objects have I tested to see if they would blow up by freezing water in them...? Aaah, good times.

I bet I know more computer languages than you, and I’m not afraid to talk about itThe "I bet I know more computer languages than you, and I’m not afraid to talk about it" badge.
Adding in all the languages that I have learned that are now obsolete, this is a guarantee. Talking about it is something else. Except when someone needs to be put in their place. As much as I love my own arrogance, I hate unearned arrogance. It is why I made the "I Love Me" wall from hell, and why I will happily ramble off the entire list of computer languages I am fluent in to someone who mistakenly thinks they are a programming god.

I know what a tadpole is

The "I know what a tadpole is" badge.
Look a sperm, I mean tadpole.

I’m a scientist who is fundamentally opposed to administrative duties

The "I’m a scientist who is fundamentally opposed to administrative duties" badge.
Look a sperm, I mean bureaucratic waste of my time, paperwork pile and other such nonsense.

experienced with electrical shock (LEVEL I)

The "experienced with electrical shock" badge (LEVEL I).
Currently the recipient is algae (and other such microbes).

totally digs highly exothermic reactions

The "totally digs highly exothermic reactions" badge.
Mercury Fulminate is your friend.

statistical linear regressionThe "statistical linear regression" badge.
You can't study artificial intelligence for more than ten minutes without running into something related to using linear regression algorithms for decision making. It has its place, but probabilities in general are not the end-all-be-all of AI that many doctored computer scientists think they are. It just happens to be what they are teaching this decade. Heaven help us if any of these CS PhD morons actually had a thought of their own, we might actually have a machine more intelligent than a sea slug. Did I mention I can be an arrogant ass?

I’ve set fire to stuff (LEVEL I)

The "I’ve set fire to stuff" badge (LEVEL I).
This is a gimme. And yes, most of the time it has been out of scientific curiosity.

working on alternative fuels

The "working on alternative fuels" badge.
Fuels. Energy Sources. Same thing.

works with acids
The "works with acids" badge.
Have I mentioned Mercury Fulminate? You think they just sell that stuff? Wait, sorry. Works with acid, not makes stuff with. Ferric Chloride is used commonly for etching PCB boards at the hobby level, and is what I use most of the time. It also is used for making ferrofluid, but that is another story that almost won me the "science has forced me to seek medical attention" badge.

computer programming (LEVEL I)
The "I have written a computer program that I regularly use" badge
There are several computer programs that I have written that I continue to use on a regular basis. Despite it no longer being available from Proverbs, I continue to use Vineyard (diagram software) on a regular basis for the majority of my diagram and charting needs.

computer programming (LEVEL II)
The "I have written a computer program that others regularly use" badge
I have been writing code professionally for about 20 years now and continue to do so while I work towards my second and third bachelor's degrees and eventual doctorate. While the programs I write are not always something I would have wanted to create, doing so does pay the bills and the programs are used by others on a regular basis.

I build robots (LEVEL I)The "I build robots" badge (LEVEL I).
My own personal opinion is that this badge should not include the word "robot" in it, as remote control and robot are not part of the same concept. You can have a remote control device that uses robotic parts, but not a robot that is completely remote controlled. This is a long standing debate that really shouldn't exist, as the origins of the word robot have the meaning of "forced labor," indicating some level of autonomy. A machine that is remote controlled without that autonomy is just a tool operated from a distance.

I build robots (LEVEL II)

The "I build robots" badge (LEVEL II).
Now we are getting somewhere. Most robots built fall into this classification, provided they are actual robots and not R/C toys (see above).

I build robots (LEVEL III)The "I build robots" badge (LEVEL III).
Fully autonomous robots are another one of those hot buttons for me. A robot that qualifies as fully autonomous is "set and forget." That means the only time the robot requires human interaction is to repair parts. Replacing or recharging batteries does not make for autonomy. A robot that can recharge its own batteries is autonomous. Having to completely replace rechargeable batteries from a robot because they no longer function correctly would qualify as a repair, and thus still autonomous. See the difference there? Now that all that is out of the way, I have built several robots that qualify as fully autonomous. You probably haven't.

I am working on the "I build robots" badge (LEVEL IV) with the evolution project. Not exactly working towards that as a goal, but it does seem to be an inevitable conclusion according to many end-of-the-world scientific scenarios and every science fiction movie ever made containing self-aware robots.

I may look like a scientist, but I’m actually also a pirate
The "I may look like a scientist, but I’m actually also a pirate" badge.
Here be Pirates. My favorite-est badge ever. I am a Pastafarian and we Pirates are the chosen ones, we deserve a badge just for us. Did you know there is a direct correlation between the decline in Pirate populations and global warming? I've seen the statistics, must be a fact. Arrr. RAmen.


Posted by Andrew Maxim | on