Not the Science/Kung Fu Combo I Envisioned…

A few months ago I wrote a post about the relationship between Science, Kung Fu and Pandas. It was meant to be inspirational. The combination of Science and Kung Fu should be ultimate achievement in a particular research area* where all minutiae focus in harmony with the universe and a new level of clarity is achieved. Today, I came across another Kung Fu Science combination in the form of a very bizarre commercial for lab equipment from IKA laboratory technology. Viewer beware, it is somewhat amusing with some weird themes. Please refer to the breakdown and analysis that follows:

0:05 Yes, that’s just 5 seconds into the commercial for lab equipment, and those technicians’ lab coats are very short, too short to pass any kind of safety guidelines. I wonder why they are going to work at the Jade Palace.

0:08 That PI must have gotten tenure during WWII.

0:14 This looks like a really cool Kung Fu movie. I bet this character has a troubled past.

0:20 I bet his character has something against science. That tech must have dealt with pre-med students before because she is not budging.

0:26 No doubt. Totally unimpressed.

0:32 Is it just me or does she look a little like Lindsay Lohan before she did too many drugs?

0:38 This was supposed to be a commercial for lab equipment, right?

0:42 He could use a Tosh.0 web redemption.

0:48 Classic scientific ad cleavage shot. When scientists bend over this far in real life, we are kissing the feet of our funding agencies. We don’t do it too often because all of our pens, sharpies and notes would fall out of the breast pocket of our lab coats. Hmm, suspiciously missing from these techs’ uniforms.

0:56 Wearing only a bandini bra under your lab coat is not recommended.

0:59 Oh my, it looks like that top is paired with nothing but boy shorts. I have no doubt they are emblazoned with the letters PHD across the backside (in a classy font like Old English or Engravers).

1:02 He really should have used a kim wipe.

1:07 Oh no, he’s going monk! He’s sure to win the walk off.

1:14 Plot twist! There’s the disperser commercial.

1:27 That’s how you pipet! (As opposed to this.)

1:34 She looks very happy using that instrument. If I bought one, I would be happy too. Now, I kind of want one. Plus, her hair is nice.

1:49 Oooh, a briefcase accessory would go perfectly with the dreamlab!

1:58 If she were that worried about contamination, she would put on a pair of gloves.

2:58 Those were peanuts.

3:04 That looks delicious. This instrument would make perfect hummus for the departmental holiday party. With that kind of versatility, I’m sure it would pay for itself in no time!

3:19 Meatshake anyone? No problem! Set it and forget it! Still thinking she should wear gloves.

3:37 Sangria? Mimosas? A lemonade stand to fund your research? With ease! Still, it doesn’t seem to be blowing her labcoat off. Maybe at the highest setting.

4:00 Did she just wink at me? Yes. Now, I’m just thinking, “Stay classy, San Diego!”

Let me just start by saying that this is nothing like any lab experience I’ve ever had. Not even remotely close. But also… a lot of respect for the German engineering in those dispersers! The whole commercial is quite strange. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, and I’m not exactly sure who the target audience is supposed to be. I’m snarky enough to find it amusing. I laughed because I was so flabbergasted that it was a real thing. Should I be offended? Maybe a little? Is this the overly-sensitive female scientist in me? Meh. Hard to say, but the paranoid part of me wonders why the blonde one just got her lab coat blown off and the brunette is running all the cool equipment in the lab. I’m sure it’s a conspiracy. Well, I’m not the only one thinking that it may not be sending the right message…

Creative and fun, OK. Yeah. I can even buy that (even though I could never afford one of those magic homogenizers). But I still have this nagging feeling about potential impact. Why would female scientists think it’s a little bit sleazy? As scientists we already place unreasonable expectations of ourselves- working way too hard with sometimes few resources for little returns. The imagery used in this commercial and several other videos from IKA also seem to indicate that I must also be beautiful, well-manicured, and flawless at the same time. Great. Now science is only for the overworked, the lucky, the well-funded and the beautiful people. That’s the direction we should be headed. Then again, maybe I am taking this feminist view too seriously. IKA doesn’t seem to limit its objectification to just females, just watch this video. Now, that reminds me, I still need to complete the mandated annual sexual harassment on-line training session before the end of the year. Because, y’know, in real life we like to keep sexual harassment out of the workplace. But thanks for the reminder IKA!

*winks* Stay Classy and Thanks for stopping by!


*Kinda like a Nobel prize. There’s no monetary reward or medal, but the inner peace is worth attaining.


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