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Department of Corrections

On behalf of both Skepchick and the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, I’d like to make the following admissions, apologies, and corrections.

  • On last week’s SGU, we discussed a news item concerning the discovery that bees participate in a kind of “Mexican Wave” to ward off predators. I stated that I was aware of the Mexican Wave though I had only ever called it “The Wave” because I’m not a racist. I’d like to apologize to the people of Mexico and clarify that I was only kidding.
  • Immediately following my Mexican Wave comment, I called Steve a “cracker.” I apologize to all our saltine-colored listeners for that remark, which I was fairly sure would be edited out of the show before airing.
  • On another recent show, the men of SGU mentioned someone at Dragon*Con wearing a stuffed animal on her head, implying that the costume was less than stellar. I suggested at the time that they were incorrect, but had no evidence by which to judge. I recently was able to see the evidence and would like to state for the record that Steve, Bob, and Evan were dead wrong and that kid ROCKS.
  • I made myself a promise to start writing solid skeptical articles for posting every Tuesday morning, but have been foiled the past few weeks. Today’s excuse: I was out all day yesterday filming a fun project, and am now bogged down with worky work. I will attempt to correct this in the near future.
  • Thanks to Mip on the SGU forum for that amazing Mexican bee drawing. You rock as much as the kid with the head crab.

12 comments to Department of Corrections

  • For the record, I was the one who first brought up the lame stuffed animal costume. The girl I saw was a teenager with a stuffed dog on her head.

    The adorable little girl with the cool head crab zombie costume is my new favorite from Dragon Con.

  • Oh, I’m much happier now! So glad you were talking about someone else. Though, if THAT girl should hear or read all this and want to defend herself, she’s free to send me a picture for consideration.

  • IMO, the “Mexican Wave” thing is bogus. It’s not derogatory, and it’s a perfectly accurate description, since the practice is believed to have originated in Mexico, where it was and continues to be seen at soccer matches. The term carries no negative connotation, unlike–say, “Indian Giver” or “Dutch Courage,” or something similar. It’s just a fun thing that actually originated in Mexico.

    Calling the term “racist” is patently false. Apologies are unnecessary, and anyone who says otherwise is simply ignorant.

    (I would have cross-posted this to Skepchick as well, but I’m still having trouble loading the site on my browser.)

  • According to Wikipedia, it’s called Audience wave. In spanish it’s called La ola (the wave), and apparently it’s not mexican but canadian or american, but gained fame at the 1986 mexican World Cup.

    a noble listener from Argentina who didn’t feel offended by Mrs. Watson’s clearly offensive remarks toward my mexican brothers (and sisters). =P

  • Jim Shaver

    I think you may be worrying too much about the “cracker” comment. If the term were really offensive, they wouldn’t sing “Buy me some peanuts you cracker, Jack!” at baseball games.

  • HCN

    I had never heard of it being referred to as the ‘Mexican” wave. I had always heard it being called “The Wave.”

    Though if you look at the wiki article that julianrod posted you will read about the wave that occurred at the University of Washington in 1981. I was in those stands, and I remember the false starts and then the excitement as it took off around the stadium.

    At least I got one great experience out of my short interrupted time as a grad student.

  • Big_K

    I’m a Cracker.

    Originally down south it meant a native-born Floridian, so it was kind of a badge of honor for us when all the Yankees started moving down.

    I’ve been north of the Mason-Dixon line for longer than I was in Florida, so I suppose I’m not much of a Cracker anymore. Sigh…

  • That’s okay, Big_K. You’ll always be a cracker to me.

  • I’ve never ever heard it called the “Mexican” wave. Calling it that doesn’t even make any sense from a racist perspective… it’s not like doing it is reminiscent of any Mexican stereotype, nor is a random adjective needed to distinguish from other sorts of waves, since the context will almost always indicate what you mean.

  • Sion

    For those of us in the UK, what the hell is a ‘cracker’? To us it is something you eat with cheese, but your context suggests something less savoury. Sorry, terrible pun.

  • Sion: It’s an epithet for white people, like honky.

  • matt346

    Here in Australia, everyone calls it the mexican wave. I’ve never heard of it being called just the wave, so I was very surprised that someone else hadn’t heard of it being called the mexican wave. I assumed that was a universal name for it.

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