Scientists have a reputation for not being terribly funny or up to date on the latest pop culture trends. But every once in a while, something comes out of the blue to chip away at that narrative. Geneticists seem to be particularly capable of pulling off culturally relevant jokes. Rather than referring to gene Zbtb7, for example, geneticists went with the much more fun (and easier to pronounce) POKemon. At least until the lawyers forced them to stop.
But many names have made it through the peer-review process, scientifically proving that geneticists are the funniest scientists out there.
Around the world today, hackers are working hard to find vulnerabilities in the information technology systems our lives rely on. They hack these systems by intercepting supposedly secure communication, altering messages, and using that information for personal gain. There are white hat hackers, hacking for good and working for places like Apple and the Pentagon to find weaknesses in their technology and fix it. There are black hat hackers, hacking for bad and doing things like accessing email accounts or stealing credit card information. Some hackers just do it because they can and have no real agenda. But try to imagine for a second who the first hacker was, the first ever person to intercept a secure message and change it or alter it. Are you a picturing a Soviet KGB agent figuring out a way to read communiqués from the Kennedy white house during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Maybe you have in mind a teenager in their parents’ garage figuring out a way into the Department of Defense’s “secure” network in the mid-1980s?
What if I told you that the first hacker was a stage magician?
What if I told you this magician did it to call someone a “diddler of the public”?