Strip of my dignity

By Phil Plait | January 7, 2010 4:00 pm

smbc_astronomerThe guy in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoon looks familiar, but I can’t quite place him. Still, he’s obviously extremely handsome, brilliant, funny, and charming. And a good parent. After all, we don’t want our folks filling our heads with nonsense and an over-indulgent sense of self-worth.


Comments (38)

  1. Richard Wiseman is an astronomer too?

  2. Cindy

    And I just pointed my Galileoscope at Jupiter and showed it to my 5 year old and 2 year old.

    My husband just told the 5 year old to tell her kindergarten teacher tomorrow.

    I think my kids’ teachers will know both parents are Ph.D. scientists.

  3. D.Rose

    Admit it, you’re squealing like a schoolgirl in delight Phil. 😉

  4. Brian

    Awwww, how cool is that?

  5. Now THAT is fame. And how cool is that message (‘you’re just a spec’) on breakfast cereal? Granted, you might want to have your coffee first though…

  6. Hmm, that might be you, Phil, but I’d need to see him naked to be sure.

  7. idlemind

    Hmmm… So who is the neurologist?

  8. drewski

    I never even thought of you when I read that this morning. But, er, now you mention it…

  9. Absolutely brilliant. This is going on my lab desk.

  10. Steve

    Funny, I just read that comic and immediately thought he looked like you. Glad I’m not alone.

  11. idlemind

    So, is it better to have parents that tell you that unless you follow some arcane set of rules you’ll wind up suffering unbearable torment — forever? I’ll take the cosmic spec, thankyouverymuch.

  12. MadScientist

    You mean Richard Wiseman?

    Aww, dang, Shane beat me to it.

  13. Levi in NY

    You’re a cosmic specification? I don’t get it. 😉

  14. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the strip this morning. I was going to send it to you, but then I remembered that you read it anyways, and I was sure you’d recognize yourself. Now if you could just get yourself into an xkcd…

  15. Shaun

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who squinted and tilted my head at the astronomer. I am somewhat disappointed that the rest of you haven’t recognized him as Jesus. 😉

  16. coolstar

    hmmm, can’t be anyone we know, no Ron Howardish baseball cap to hide the bald pate…..

  17. 13. Levi in NY Says:

    You’re a cosmic specification? I don’t get it. 😉

    Or perhaps ‘spec’ as in ‘spec spot’ – that is, a ‘sample’ commercial to be presented to the advertiser and get a ‘thumbs up/down’ on actually using the ‘spot’ on the air. Of course, if that is the case, we can see that the Dinosaurs were a previous ‘spec’, and didn’t get ‘picked up’ for further existence.



  18. csrster

    Nah, you _really_ don’t want a parent who sells work-clothes and camping gear for a living. “Hey son, you’re off school for the summer and all my staff or on holiday. How d’you fancy spending a week surrounded by denim and workboots waiting for customers who never turn up because they’re all on holiday as well?”

  19. skeptiksnarf

    my favorite is still XKCD, but SMBC is pretty funny, let not forget Amazing Super Powers, how i say, OMG hilarious

  20. Allen N

    My first thought was ‘spec’ – as in eyeglasses…

  21. Classic case of pareidolia, Phil. Although I’m seeing Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

  22. Mapnut

    I object to the characterization of the engineer. We’re supposed to be extremely safety-conscious. That guy’s just a tinkerer.

  23. @Mapnut:
    All engineers are tinkerers but all tinkerers are not engineers?
    Or is it vice versa?

  24. Mapnut

    Of course not all tinkerers are engineers. Like not all stargazers are astronomers. An engineeer is defined by a professional license, or at least a degree. This is an area where we’re always trying to correct sloppy media work.

  25. Antonio

    Ooooo! It’s Adam Savage!!!


  26. @Antonio,

    No, that’d be more like the Engineer parent…. Except he’d be handing the kid C4 to strap to Buster before they both huddled together behind a protective barrier and had a pleasant father-son afternoon of blowing stuff up.

  27. Colin

    Okay I’ll admit it, maybe I don’t get it. Thinking like Carl Sagan, wouldn’t it be “speck”?

  28. OmegaBaby

    The votey on that comic is really good too.

  29. Sili

    You’re so vain you prolly think this strip is about you …

    Can anyone explain the extra joke today? I can see it’s an “eye” pun, but I fear I know too much complex analysis to get it.

  30. How can the astronomer parent be the BA? Isn’t TLA a girl? Or has she got a very drastic haircut?

    For my part, I’d be the Engineer parent. I can’t wait for my son to be old enough to hold things while I try stuff.

  31. OmegaBaby

    i^3 = i * i * i = -1 i = minus one eye, which is what you get if you ogle a mathematicians wife

  32. Quatguy

    Watch out, I got a nasty virus from the SMBC web site. It was at work too so now I am in trouble for goofing off at work!

  33. Gary Ansorge

    I had so many LOLs (OK! I admit it. I tried to read every one of the ‘toons.), I needed a shot of whiskey to slow me down. Thanks for the link, Phil.

    GAry 7

  34. MikeinLondon

    I see they have fixed the spelling of speck at the site of the cartoon strip.

  35. WinchesterWing

    This Life, which seems so fair,
    Is like a bubble blown up in the air
    By sporting children’s breath,
    Who chase it everywhere

  36. Daviticus

    @idlemind: Well, you sound like a lot of fun.


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