I had never heard of the PhD Challenge until I read about it in today’s Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed, and I figured, we could all use a little humor in our lives right now. (In fact, my first reaction was, “is this a joke?”, which is the first question on their FAQs.)
So the random academic fun phenomenon of the day is that Gabriel Parent of Carnegie Mellon won the PhD Challenge this year. The phrase he had to slip “seamlessly” into his peer-reviewed paper was “I smoke crack rocks.” Admirably, he did. The Chronicle very unsportingly tells you how he used the sentence, but not where, and I won’t either. But you can download the paper and have a look.
The Chronicle reports that next year’s challenge is to get a peer-reviewed paper published with a co-author named “Genital Warts.” This hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I can’t wait to see which journal publishes that!
Mr. Parent’s prizes include “a box of chicken-flavored Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup” and “a pack of leather elbow patches.” I hope he attaches them to a brown corduroy sports coat so they can shine in all their glory.