Sneaking political commentary into science papers? Glorious!

Via Jonathan Eisen, a simple exercise.

Please take a minute to experience for yourself one of the greatest scientific Easter eggs in a long time.

Step 1: download the PDF of this paper:

Step 2: Go to Page 3.

Step 3: Zoom way way in on the turd in Figure 1.

Step 4: Enjoy and share.

The article is titled “Methylation-based enrichment facilitates low-cost, noninvasive genomic scale sequencing of populations from feces”, in case you’re interested.

For those of you who don’t want to take the trouble, I’ll put the illustration of a baboon turd below the fold. You never know, someone might decide to insist on having it redrawn.



  1. weylguy says

    It’s not political. Certain species of baboons excrete feces with exactly that characteristic. And they’re a lot smarter than we think.

  2. says

    Crap, that was subtle!

    The default pdf reader on Linux Mint does not allow sufficient zooming to see that. Even image extraction utilities don’t work because the Orange Turdigrade is drawn as a vector graphic and they fail to pull out that part from the document. As a result I missed it the first time around from Eisen’s Twitter feed.

    Using Gimp and importing that page at 1000 pixels per inch or importing into Libre Office Draw and viewing at 3000 x magnification shows the Orange Turdigrade clearly.

  3. Rich Woods says

    What all you goddamn pinko leftist atheist Trump-hating commie fascists don’t appreciate is that Trump’s face appearing on a baboon’s turd can only occur if the baboon’s sphincter is shaped in a way which imprints The Donald’s features on the end of the turd before fully dilating and allowing the remainder of the artefact to extrude safely. In other words, this is a genetic construction. It can only have come about if an Intelligent Designer manipulated the genes into specifically complexifying the production of this asshole. Checkmate, atheists!

  4. mastmaker says

    @augustpamplona #3,

    Or you can just open the PDF in Libre Writer and zoom in (which is what I did). The document comes up horribly messed up, but the images are ok, and you can still zoom in on any image.

  5. mastmaker says

    Edit @8:
    Never mind. Libre Office Draw is what augustpamplona suggested in the seocnd part.

  6. mnb0 says

    From your first link: “the mind-numbing blare of “Night on Bald Mountain“ on repeat.”
    Ignoring the rather stupid “mind-numbing” (“blare” is pretty accurate) Indeed there are worse ways to spend Christmas than listening to the genius of Mussorgsky. And they had even the good taste not to link to the Rimsky version! However the version from his opera Sorochinsky Fair is even more hellish.

    Fun for your fundagelical neighbours!