829: Arsenic-Based Life
Title text: According to a new paper published in the journal Science, reporters are unable to thrive in an arsenic-rich environment.
Arsenic is a chemical element which is known to be poisonous to humans and most other life forms. But NASA announced the discovery of bacteria substituting arsenic. Like most other scientists Randall did not believe in this (it was disproved in 2012). He presents us a poison party, showing the reporters their fail on the hype.
In order to fit the theme of the event, the researchers make cocktails and hors d'œuvres, presumably with arsenic, which poisons all of the reporters at the press conference.
The words "hors d'oerves" at the comic are just a misspelling by Randall for "hors d'oeuvres" (in French "hors d'œuvre" both singular and plural). The pronunciation of these words is awr-DURVZ /ɔrˈdɜrvz/, with the R before the V, not after, which explains the mistake.
The girl with the curly ponytail in this comic is different from the character commonly referred to as Ponytail.
- [Three people, two women and a man, stand looking at a laptop screen, which is sitting on a desk. The woman with a ponytail is pointing at the screen.]
- Ponytail: Our arsenic-based DNA discovery is cool, but these reporters are expecting life on Titan! Our press conference will be such a letdown!
- [Ponytail turns around to face Megan.]
- Ponytail: Okay, we need to make it more exciting for them. How do you make an event entertaining?
- Megan: Dunno, I suck at parties. Music, I guess?
- [Ponytail girl turns back around and leans over to start typing on the computer, while the other two look on. Megan puts her hand to her chin.]
- Ponytail: WikiHow says you can "serve cocktails and hors d'oerves that fit the theme of your event."
- Megan: Easy enough!
- [Ponytail girl stands at a podium on a stage, the man stands amongst the audience with a tray. All the audience members are either dead or dying, having fallen onto the floor or slumped over in their seats.]