The Sassy Scientist – Egghead Entertainment

The Sassy Scientist – Egghead Entertainment

Yu-Seok has depleted his streaming service queue, thrown all of the stocked board games off the table, and eagerly seeks new ways to squander his energy after a long workday of couch-surfing underneath his laptop:

What should a scientist do as a pastime?

Dear Yu-Seok,

Where can you find the time? And the energy? Aren’t we all simply working continuously? I go to extremes to even find the energy and time to then be dissipated ever so quickly when responding to the questions in this online blog setting. Well, if you’re certain you’ve got some leftovers, I can provide you with a few, genuine suggestions. Strap in.

Carrot in a box. Remember those Christmas afternoons, a couple of hours before that monstrous dinner, where you didn’t have anything but a couple of boxes, some carrots and that cousin who seems a bit thick to keep you company while the adults are drinking? Get out those boxes, put a carrot in one of them. Shuffle the boxes. One person looks in their box, and tries to convince the other whether or not they have the carrot. The other may choose to switch boxes. The winner is the one who ends up with the carrot. Exhilarating, isn’t it?


Theft and shrubbery. With a group of people, take advantage of the twilight during evening times and creep into the back-garden of a house of your choosing to watch whether people are glued to their tv’s. From the back of the garden, slowly sneak towards the window whilst uttering the words: “We do beg your pardon, we are in your garden”. Don’t forget to stepwise increase your volume. Upon being spotted, leave the garden. You’re not allowed to leave via the front of the property. That’s one way to get your daily exercise in!


Snorkel parka music practice room. Originally designed for those in high school, one seeks a room where a student undertakes a musical instrument instruction. You, and a small number of your friends, put on your hooded jackets and tighten the hood so that only your eyes/sunglasses show. You then creep up under the window to the room, and slowly pop up. The winning price is the terrified look on the person’s face at the other side of the window. Fingers crossed for that instant explosion of tears and a dent in that irreplaceable instrument…


Welly wanging. Get your Wellington boots. Go outside and meet up with some people at a clearing. Make sure there are no kids playing with frisbees, or couples enjoying a picnic. Imagine their surprise by the sudden appearance of a Wellington boot astride their face: the game is to throw the boot as far as possible and the winner takes all. Pride, glory, a dislocated shoulder.


Ukabong. This only works for a group of people. Everyone should bring a sock, stuffed with a bunch of other socks: an Ukabong. You all occupy a single room, and dim the lights so that it’s completely dark. Every time you hit someone with your Ukabong, the hit only counts if you also utter “Ukabong!” at the same time. The winner is the one with the most points. Obviously, this requires some honesty from the participating members, but extensive bodily harm is not likely to be done to you.


Squirt. Admittedly, this one is just for those with good connections in the community and a fortunate countryside location: one needs two teams of firemen and a river/ravine. You’ll span a rope across the river/ravine; trees, lanterns or poles would come in handy. Thread a barrel on the rope and maneuver it towards the middle of the river/ravine. The winner is the group that manage to squirt the barrel to the opposite bank successfully. That’s some jollity in water, right there.


The human skipping rope. Ok, some silliness on my end. How could you ever do the Double Under Criss Cross like that?


Spine in a sack. Not for the weary or feeble of heart, and an utter no-no for vegetarians or vegans. This is for those located in a secluded domain, where nature roams free. And where a little bit of nature gets hit by your car every now and again. You take the roadkill, debone it and put the pieces of the spine (only the spine) in a sack. Now you’ve got the spine in the sack. So, what’s the game? Get some friends over and let them sit in a circle with their eyes closed. You walk around them and tap the sack gently on their heads singly. They now have to guess which animal was the original owner of said spine. A fun learning experience for everyone involved!

Well, that’s all for me. Please enjoy one of the games through the detailed descriptions above, or give some suggestions in the comments below.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written as a proper game connoisseur. If you don’t like it, you could always play bingo.

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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