Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 things I have loved about 2009

1. Falling in love with Swedish pop music
2. Eating a “classic” club sandwich (with curry!) at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen
3. Pulling off a sick combat roll amidst the 7-foot waves that make up Triple Bridges Rapid in the Alberton Gorge (the later swims at Tumbleweed and Fang do not make this list).
4. Riding “The Daemon” at Tivoli – sans shoes.
5. Camping with the Warner family in Montana, under the parachute, in the rain.
6. Eating deep-fried dill pickles in Eatonville for the first (but definitely not the last) time.
7. Beating my Bloomsday personal best!
8. Flying home from Europe in a nearly-empty plane (Lots of leg room, great customer service, and we saw Greenland!)
9. Watching hours and hours of fireworks on the beach July 2nd-4th.
10. Getting caught in the craziest downpour I’ve ever seen…while up on the roof (or lack there-of) of my parents house.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Favorite Song of the Moment

Don't go making assumptions about my relationships, just 'cause I like the song. For some reason, I just can't stop grinning whenever I hear it!

Thanks to Mom and the Bloggess for turning me on to the Mountain Goats.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Great Canadian Flag Debate

What most of you probably don’t know (because you have very busy and exciting lives that, unfortunately, inhibit the amount of useless historical factoids you can accumulate), is that the classic Canadian flag—complete with signature maple leaf—was only adopted by the Great White North after a bitter, 6-month debate in the House of Commons, which ended in cloture on December 15th, 1964. For much of its post-Confederation history, Canada used both the Royal Union Flag (Union Jack) and the Canadian Red Ensign (somehow both cluttered and empty—see below). The Royal Union flag was the premier national flag until the mid-1920s; it was the heavy favorite of the pro-imperialists. In the 1940s, however, the Red Ensign became the national flag. Still, there were several national political movements over the years that were built specifically around the idea of creating a unique Canadian flag. In 1958, an extensive poll was taken of the attitudes that Canadians held toward the flag. Over 80% of people polled wanted a national flag entirely different from that of any other nation, and 60% wanted their flag to bear the maple leaf.

Finally, after much ballyhooing and whatnot, a committee was formed to come up with a new Canadian flag. During the next six weeks the committee held 35 tormenting meetings. Thousands of suggestions also poured in from the public.
3,541 entries were submitted, many containing common elements:
• 2,136 contained maple leaves
• 408 contained Union Jacks
• 389 contained beavers
• 359 contained Fleurs-de-lys

At the last minute, a flag designed by historian George Stanley was slipped into the mix. The design put forward had a single red maple leaf on a white plain background, flanked by two red borders, based on the design of the flag of the Royal Military College. The voting was held on October 22, 1964, when the committee’s final contest pitted the Pearson’s Pennant (see below) against Stanley’s design. Assuming that the Liberals would vote for the Prime Minister’s design (Pearson’s), the Conservatives backed Stanley. They were out-maneuvered by the Liberals who had agreed with others to choose the Stanley Maple Leaf flag. The Liberals voted for the red and white flag, making the selection unanimous (14–0).

Since the adoption of the flag, some have pointed out that by the process of figure-ground reversal, the flag design can be seen as a profile picture of two angry men, who have been nicknamed Jack and Jacques in an allusion to Canada's linguistic and cultural duality.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why Adventure is Good for You

Hello World!

Welcome back to Think Like a Jillian (honestly, I can’t believe you are still checking this blog. Don’t you have life??). Yes, I’ve been off-line for awhile. There was a minor blip in my professional life that has since been worked out and I am back to being your favorite blogger!

As many of you know, travel is one of my favorite hobbies. I recently read a fabulous article about travel and the science of travel. Excerpts are below. (Via Jonah)

It's 4:15 in the morning, and my alarm clock has just stolen away a lovely dream. My eyes are open but my pupils are still closed, so all I see is gauzy darkness. For a brief moment, I manage to convince myself that my wakefulness is a mistake, and that I can safely go back to sleep. But then I roll over and see my zippered suitcase, bulging with too many little tubes of toothpaste. I let out a sleepy groan: I'm going to the airport.

The taxi is late. There should be an adjective (a synonym of sober, only worse) to describe the state of mind that comes from waiting in the orange glare of a streetlight before drinking a cup of coffee. And then the taxi gets lost. And then I get nervous, be- cause my flight leaves in an hour. And then we're here, and I'm hurtled into the harsh in- candescence of Terminal B, running with a suitcase so that I can wait in a long security line. My belt buckle sets off the metal detector, my four-ounce stick of deodorant is confiscated, and my left sock has a gaping hole.

And then I get to the gate. By now, you can probably guess the punch line of this very banal story: my flight has been canceled. I will be stuck in this terminal for the next 218 minutes, my only consolation a cup of caffeine and a McGriddle sandwich. And then I will miss my connecting flight and wait, in a different city with the same menu, for another plane. And then, fourteen hours later, I'll be there.

Why do we travel? It's not the flying I mind--I will always be awed by the physics that get a fat metal bird into the upper troposphere. The rest of the journey, however, can feel like a tedious lesson in the ills of modernity, from the predawn x-ray screening to the sad airport malls peddling crappy souvenirs. It's globalization in a nutshell, and it sucks. And yet here we are, herded in ever-greater numbers onto planes that stay the same size. Sometimes, of course, we travel because we have to. Because in this digital age there is still something important about the analog handshake. Or eating Mom's turkey on Thanksgiving. Or seeing the girl- friend during her semester break.

But most travel isn't non-negotiable. (In 2008, only 30 percent of trips over fifty miles were done for business.) Instead, we travel because we want to, because the annoyances of the airport are outweighed by the visceral thrill of being someplace new. Because work is stressful and our blood pressure is too high and we need a vacation. Because home is boring. Because the flights were on sale. Because Paris is Paris.

Travel, in other words, is a basic human desire. We're a migratory species, even if our migrations are powered by jet fuel and Chicken McNuggets. But here's my question: is this collective urge to travel - to put some distance between ourselves and everything we know--still a worthwhile compulsion? Or is it like the taste for saturated fat, one of those instincts we should have left behind in the Pleistocene epoch? Because if travel is just about fun then I think the TSA killed it.

The good news, at least for those of you reading this while stuck on a tarmac eating stale pretzels, is that pleasure is not the only consolation of travel. In fact, several new science papers suggest that getting away—and it doesn't even matter where you're going--is an essential habit of effective thinking. It's not about vacation, or relaxation, or sipping daiquiris on an unspoiled tropical beach: it's about the tedious act itself, putting some miles between home and wherever you hap-pen to spend the night.

Let's begin with the most literal aspect of travel, which is that it's a verb of movement. Thanks to modern engine technology, we can now move through space at an inhuman speed. The average walk covers three miles per hour, which is two hundred times slower than the cruising speed of a Boeing 737. There's something inherently useful about such speedy movement, which allows us to switch our physical locations with surreal ease. For the first time in human history, we can outrun the sun and segue from one climate to another in a single day.

The reason such travels are mentally useful involves a quirk of cognition, in which problems that feel "close"--and the closeness can be physical, temporal, or even emotional--get contemplated in a more concrete manner. As a result, when we think about things that are nearby, our thoughts are constricted, bound by a more limited set of associations. While this habit can be helpful--it allows us to focus on the facts at hand--it also inhibits our imagination. Consider a field of corn. When you're standing in the middle of the field, surrounded by the tall cellulose stalks and fraying husks, the air smelling faintly of fertilizer and popcorn, your mind is automatically drawn to thoughts that revolve around the primary meaning of corn, which is that it's a plant, a cereal, a staple of Midwestern farming.

But now imagine that same field of corn from a different perspective. Instead of standing on a farm, you're now in the midst of a crowded city street, dense with taxis and pedestrians. (And yet, for some peculiar reason, you're still thinking about corn.) The plant will no longer just be a plant: instead, your vast neural network will pump out all sorts of associations. You'll think about high-fructose corn syrup, obesity, and Michael Pollan; you'll contemplate ethanol and the Iowa caucus, those corn mazes for kids at state fairs and the deliciousness of succotash, made with bacon and lima beans. The noun is now a web of tangents, a loom of remote connections.

Of course, it's not enough to simply get on a plane: if we want to experience the creative benefits of travel, then we have to re-think its raison d' ètre. Most people, after all, escape to Paris so they don't have to think about those troubles they left behind. But here's the ironic twist: our mind is most likely to solve our stubbornest problems while sitting in a swank Left Bank café. So instead of contemplating that buttery croissant, we should be mulling over those domestic riddles we just can't solve.

The larger lesson, though, is that our thoughts are shackled by the familiar. The brain is a neural tangle of near infinite possibility, which means that it spends a lot of time and energy choosing what not to notice. As a result, creativity is traded away for efficiency; we think in literal prose, not symbolist poetry. A bit of distance, however, helps loosen the chains of cognition, making it easier to see some-thing new in the old; the mundane is grasped from a slightly more abstract perspective. As T. S. Eliot wrote in the Four Quartets: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

(There’s more! [here])

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Reason for the Season

Halloween is awesome! I couldn't resist posting this. : )

Thursday, October 22, 2009

30 Second Bunnies

Sometimes a film comes out and the previews look good, but you never get around to seeing it. With so much to do each day, it can be hard to find two hours to spare to sit around watching movies. Realizing this (and also realizing that just about anything can be improved with bunnies), Angry Alien Productions has begun producing 30-second versions of all the hit films, only with all the characters replaced with bunnies. Sounds like the perfect solution, right? My favorites are below. More are here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Update Our Currency?

Countries around the world (and in Europe, especially) have recently been updating or redesigning their paper currency for a more unique, modern look. Though we in the States have made some small changes to our larger bills over the past few years, our dollars still look awfully old-fashioned. Designers around the world have suggestions for us, however. What do you think of these designs?



My favorite:

More info and designs are here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fun with Fonts!

I am a huge fan of fonts. Of the classic Microsoft Word package, I’ve always loved Goudy Old Style, Perteptua, and Century Schoolbook. Most of the rest, however, are either too ridiculous to ever use or just plain boring after all these years. So I’ve taken the time to discover some new ones available on the market.

I usually find script fonts to be obnoxious, either because they are too small to read or too flowery. But these are delicious:

I’ve also found I prefer serif to sans serif:

But here are a couple sans serif fonts I like:

And a few funs ones for you:

More new fonts are here. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Silly Research that I Love

1) Do Dead Fish Think?
Researcher Craig Bennett and team recently did a very interesting study regarding the emotional and cognitive capacity of dead fish. The researchers took a dead pacific salmon and put it in an fMRI machine. They then proceeded to show the dead salmon photos of people in social situations with specific emotional outcomes. After allowing the dead fish to examine the photo for several seconds, the researchers asked it to determine what emotion the person in the photo was experiencing. The salmon didn't speak, of course, but thought processes were recorded on the fMRI. The researchers found that the fMRI did, in fact, light up several times when the dead fish was considering emotions (photo below). The conclusion to be made, however, is less about the thought processes and brain activity of dead salmon, and more about the limitations of fMRI research.

2) The Topography of Breakfast
Researcher Mark Fonstad and team also put together some interesting research recently. They set out to determine if Kansas really is--as many people assert--"flatter than a pancake". Researchers purchased a well-cooked pancake from a local IHOP and collected macro-pancake topography through digital image processing. They then measured a west-east profile across Kansas taken from merged 1:250,000 scale digital elevation model data from the United States Geological Survey. Upon comparison of the two topographies, it was clearly visible that, although both pancakes and Kansas are very flat, Kansas is most definitely the flatter of the two.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I like my wikipedia stir-fried, with pimientos...

This is longish (20 mins), but it's a fabulous talk about kindness and connectivity on the internet. I love it because it relates much more closely with my own experience on the interwebs than do the usual reports that google is making us dumber or that twitter and facebook are giving us all ADD. Also, it's funny!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

Dear Readers, please watch this important safety announcement.
Listen and learn--your life maybe the next to be saved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Hot Dog Primer

Who doesn’t love a hot dog? Even though the ingredient list is a little scary, we still can’t keep from eating them every once in awhile (or in Gordon’s case, constantly). But how much do you really know about hot dogs? Aren’t there are some vast gaps in your knowledge of hot dogs just crying out to be filled? Well, today is your lucky day!

A hot dog (also, frankfurter, frank, wiener, etc) is a moist sausage of soft, even texture and flavor. Typically made from mechanically separated meat (known in the business as “meat slurry”), hot dogs are always sold pre-cooked, cured, or smoked. Hot dogs are usually placed inside a hot-dog-specific soft, sliced bun and eaten with your hands. These fine delicacies are often accompanied by an array of condiments, including mustard, ketchup, onion, mayo, relish, cheese, and chili. The flavor of the hot dog varies from bland bologna to spicy German bratwurst varieties. They are usually made from beef, chicken, or turkey, although vegetarian hot dogs, made from meat analogue (a good name for an uber-feminist punk rock band, no?), are also available.

It is difficult to assess just when and where the hot dog was invented, in part because various stories assert creation of the sausage, the placing of the sausage in a bun as finger food, the popularizing of the existing dish, or the application of the name “hot dog” to the sausage and bun combination.

The word “frankfurter” comes from Frankfurt, Germany, of course, where sausages in a bun originated. These were similar to hot dogs, but were made from pork. “Wieners” refers to Vienna, Austria (Vienna’s German name is “Wien”), home to a mixed sausage of beef and pork. The creation of the hot dog has also been ascribed to the wife of a German named Antonione Feuchtwanger (go ahead and say that name out loud, you know you want to), who sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis in 1880. Apparently, street vendors used to sell hot sausages and provided little white gloves that customers could wear to keep the treat from burning their fingers. However, when too many customers began making off with the gloves, Mrs. Feuchtwanger (say it!) had the idea of putting the sausages in a bun instead.

The first recorded usage of “hot dog” in reference to the sausage/bun combination appeared in 1893 in the Knoxville Journal:
“It was so cool last night that the appearance of overcoats was common, and stoves and grates were again brought into comfortable use. Even the weinerwurst men began preparing to get the ‘hot dogs’ ready for sale Saturday night.”

I can only assume it was a slow news day in Knoxville.

Hot dogs are prepared commercially by mixing the ingredients (meats, spices, binders and fillers) in vats where rapidly moving blades grind and mix the ingredients together. This mixture is then forced through tubes into casings for cooking. Most hot dogs sold in the US are called "skinless" as opposed to more expensive "natural casing" hot dogs. Natural casing hot dogs, of course, are cooked inside of the thoroughly cleaned small intestines of sheep, however, this type of casing is unusual in the US markets. The more-popular skinless hot dogs are cooked inside a casing of thin cellulose, but that casing is removed prior to the sale of the hot dog. Skinless hot dogs have a softer bite than natural casing hot dogs and are more uniform in size and shape.

Hot dogs may be grilled, steamed, boiled, barbecued, pan fried, deep fried, broiled, or microwaved. Regarding condiments, in the US, the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council conducted a poll in 2005, which found mustard to be the most popular condiment (32 percent). Twenty-three percent of Americans said they preferred ketchup. Chili came in third at 17 percent, followed by relish at 9 percent and onions at 7 percent.

There! You learned something new today! Now don’t you feel better??

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer Reading Reviews

When I left my job for the summer, I fully expected to spend my whole summer filling up the blanks in my time by reading book after book after book. After all, I’d just completed my first quarter of grad school and was sure to need continuing intellectual stimulation throughout the summer, right? Not so much. I didn’t even want to touch a book for the first month. In August, I read my way through about ten Agatha Christie novels, not exactly an academic endeavor. Finally, with only about two weeks left of my summer vacation, it hit me. I was finally hungry for some high-quality, educational non-fiction and I couldn’t get enough of it. Luckily, I found two books to devour during those weeks and both turned out to be fabulous.

1. The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

Reading The Billionaire’s Vinegar is like stepping into another world, the world of old and rare wines and the eccentrics worldwide who clamor for them. The book is primarily an account of the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, a 1787 bottle of Château Lafite Bordeaux that was found perfectly preserved in a hidden cellar in Paris and was believed to have been owned by none other than our own Thomas Jefferson. The bottle was purchased at a Christie’s auction in London in 1985 after a quickly-escalating bidding war. It was purchased for about $156,000 by the Forbes family, and remains the most expensive bottle ever sold. The story doesn’t end there, however. Wallace traces the myriad scandals and mysteries surrounding this bottle and others found in the Jefferson cache, which range from theories about thieving Nazis to insurance fraud to wine counterfeiting. It’s a delicious read (with a mild bouquet of blackberries, persimmons, and burned charcoal!); I suggest reading it with a glass of wine on hand, otherwise you will end up drooling on the pages!

Oh yes, and the question on your mind right now, I assume, is “So? Did they drink it? Did it still taste like wine?” But the answer is disappointing. The Forbes family brought the bottle—which had been perfectly preserved for two centuries—home to the States and displayed it in their showroom in New York. Standing upright. Under a spotlight. In a matter of weeks the old cork had shriveled and fallen in the bottle and the wine was spoiled.

2. The Canon by Natalie Angiers

The Canon purports to be a “whirligig tour through the beautiful basics of science” which, though laudable, did not necessarily intrigue me. I love science, but I have always felt that Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything pretty much had the bases covered on the subject. But I picked up Angiers' challenge at a bookstore and started browsing the pages—and was soon hooked. Where Bryson is a master storyteller, Angiers is a master of metaphor and elucidation. Rather than smooth over the complicated theories and formulas of difficult science, she finds a way to unlock them so the reader can understand. I feel like I understand electricity now, even at the atomic level. In fact, now I realize that without appreciating how electricity works at the atomic level, you can’t really fully grasp it at all. Not that I drew a complete blank on the subject before reading Angiers' explanation, but I certainly couldn’t have explained it to anyone else with clarity or certainty. Now I can. Angiers wrote the book for all of us adults who love learning and science, but barely passed our high school science classes and then left the topic behind for good (I got a C in Genetics, which I thought was pretty good considering I had actually paid another classmate to complete my stupid drosophila melanogaster project).

My absolute favorite part of this book, however, is Angiers’ enlightened account of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I am not even kidding. She somehow weaves this law into the very fabric of existence, explaining both the tragedy of it and the ultimate hope. It nearly moved me to tears. You have to read this book.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Train Station Silliness

What is it about crazy impromptu dancing in train stations that just makes me smile? This one comes to us from Belgium. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More Swedish Music

My friend Lonny got me on a Swedish music kick, but my sister Jaima found this particular band. I love this song! Tell me what you think (and yes, Troy, there is more funny dancing for you).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Best. Wedding Video. Ever.

A couple dear friends just got engaged yesterday, so maybe that's why I have weddings on my mind. In any case, I hope (and suspect) theirs will be as much fun as this:

Yet Another Paddlesports Post (I need a new hobby)

Here are the promised photos from the Second Annual Ross Lake Canoe Extravaganza 2009!

Wow, just wow. Gordon after a swim near Big Beaver Creek. Okay, ladies, that's enough staring, move on.

One of the most beautiful camp spots in the world, yes? At Tenmile Island.

Jillian paddling with North Cascades views.

A rapid on Big Beaver Creek that Gordon wanted to try running in the canoe. Jillian

What we did when we weren't paddling, hiking or swimming. Gordon reading Agatha Christie. Note: The murderer wasn't who we thought! Damn red herrings!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


For those of you who hadn't heard, my beloved Wavesport EZG 50 developed a crack last week and had to be warrantied. I had only owned it for 10 months, so there were no problems. Four days later I received a new boat (thank you Lonny @ Mountain Goat!). The best part is, because the EZG was discontinued earlier this year, I received the newer, better, awesomer, smarter, and more handsome version: the Wavesport Fuse 48! I was worried about the color--I didn't get to choose and I would have hated to get puke green or something. But, my new boat is beautiful sunshine yellow just like my beloved old one! Photos are below.

Also, just a side note: Captain Awesome and I have been keeping a written log for the past year to track all of our river time, but just yesterday we finally ran out of space in the dang thing. So we've decided to start an online version. I am sure no one will find this an interesting read other than the two of us, but nevertheless, if you want to follow along with our crazy whitewater adventures, The River Log is the place to find us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kayaking Photos--Finally!

I have been kayaking on the river for about a year now, but we had yet to get any photos of the event. We finally got a few yesterday, thanks to my sister Cait who followed along with us whitewater 'yakers in an inflatable kayak (IK). Unfortunatly, we didn't notice the camera settings were off a bit until we were nearly done with the run (hence the blurry ones). Still--enjoy! I am in the orange kayak with blue gear. Gordon is in the yellow kayak with red gear (with or without a paddle!). And that is Caitlin in the IK.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Absolutly Priceless

My friends El and Curtis are raft guiding on the Clark Fork river this summer and had a great treat last week taking a group of nuns down the river. This picture...there just aren't words : ).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Life Update

First: Kayaking. When I first started kayaking on the river last summer, it terrified me. I was so scared going through rapids that I had a hard time remembering to paddle! Even after doing about 15 river runs last fall, I still had The Fear. I stopped paddling around Halloween last fall, which limited my kayak time to the Wednesday night Open Pool sessions at Eastern. Over the course of the winter, I perfected my roll, got a pretty solid off-sides roll, and even learned a couple tricks. I was still very nervous to get back on the river the first time this spring, but it has turned out to be great! Somewhere between October and June I developed some serious river confidence—I have no idea where it came from! Gordon doesn’t have to drag me out on the river anymore; I am always excited to go. I can read and run rapids on my own now instead of following Gordon through everything. It’s been a very fun spring! So far I have just been paddling the Upper Spokane—a Class II river—but it sounds like I will be trying out some Class III stuff and maybe even a IV or two before summer’s end. Seriously, you guys have to try this sport!

School: I finished my first quarter of grad school earlier this month. It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed myself. I took two classes, Public Administration Research Methods and Public Policy Cycles. Both classes were amazing—I had a great professor and met some really fun folks. There was a ton of reading to do each week and several major presentations and papers, but I got through without too much stress. Actually, considering the fact that I missed a week and a half of class while traveling in Europe, I guess I should feel pretty good. I am really looking forward to starting up again in the fall. I will be taking Concepts and Values of Public Service, Personal Assessment, and Public Personnel Management. I have heard great things about the professors I will have.

Work: Only 2.5 days left and I am off for the summer!!! It still feels a bit crazy; I haven’t had a summer off in a long time. I wonder what I will do with myself. Hopefully, I will get a lot of reading and kayaking done. I have had this job for 10 months now and I really love it. I work with a great team of people and the atmosphere is very warm and friendly. I am sure that I will be itching to get back to work long before I am due back in September.

Which brings us to…
Vacations: I have three planned so far. This week I leave for a girls’ weekend on the Washington Coast. My sisters, a few friends, and I will spend the 4th at a beach house in Ocean Park. I am looking forward to sitting in the sand, reading some great summer books, and watching fireworks on the beach! Two weeks later, I am heading to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. I’ve always wanted to go. We will go camping, see all the cool geographic sites, and explore the lave tube caves!! It’s a long drive to get there, but I am sure it will be worth it. Finally, at the end of July, Captain Awesome and I are planning to head to Ross Lake again for our second annual backcountry canoe trip. We had such a wonderful time there last year; we are really excited to go back!

Well there you have it: my life has been updated. : )

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Science Scouts!!

I am waaay into science. Love reading about it, anyway—-never been very good at actually doing it. So here’s the club for me and all you other science geeks: The Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique. It’s just like Boy Scouts but with way more interesting badges! Here are a few you can earn:

The “quantum mechanics… I soooo get it” badge.
And not afraid to make fun of those who don't!

The “I’m a marine biologist and, to be honest, I kind of f***ing hate dolphins” badge.
A more common sentiment than you would think.

The “broken heart for science” badge.
In which the recipient's passion for science has led to their significant other leaving.

The “I’ve eaten what I study” badge.
Recipients have prepared their object of study as a cuisine item for eating. Hopefully, the minority of MD’s are ineligible for this one.

The “somewhat confused as to what scientific field I actually belong to” badge.
Also known as the transdiscplinary, interdiscplinary, multidisciplinary, or intradisciplinary badge.

The “I work with way too much radioactivity, and yet still no discernable superpowers yet” badge.
…Although not for lack of trying…

The “destroyer of quackery” badge.
In which the recipient never ever backs down from an argument that pits sound science over quackery.

The “totally digs highly exothermic reactions” badge.
Might be best to keep an eye on such recipients.

The “sexing up science” badge.
In which the recipient has had experience with things such as selective breeding, crossing, mate selection, prokaryotic conjugation, fertility studies, STD related microbiology, and/or any other acceptable interpretation of the badge.

And my personal favorite:

The “I blog about science” badge.
In which the recipient maintains a blog where at least a quarter of the material is about science. Suffice to say, this does not include scientology.

More hilarious badges are here.