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MLA Full: "Ask Emily #2." YouTube, uploaded by thebrainscoop, 21 February 2013,
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Wherein I address popular queries about things and stuff, again.


The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Created By:
Hank Green

Written, Directed, Edited, Animated, Scored by:
Michael Aranda

Thank you to Martina Šafusová, Diana Raynes, Arantzazu R. Alcocer Iturria, Marie-Elsa Beaudon, Evan Liao, Seth Bergenholtz, Gaia Zaffaroni, João Henrique Diniz, and John-Alan Pascoe for providing captions on this episode!


Hey everyone! Welcome to Ask Emily Episode #2. First off I'd like to apologize for the grossometer apparently being inaccurate in the last episode. If I could go back I'd probably bump it up a little bit, but you should probably be warned, if there's ever a grossometer; be wary. Secondly, a huge thanks to NPR and Robert Krulwich this week for featuring me on the front page of National Public Radio's website. That was definitely a highlight of my life.

*singing, introduces question time*

Do, do, do question time!

 Question 1 (0:35)

A lot of you guys asked, "What kind of education do you need to do this kind of thing?" 

Here's the thing, you guys. There is no magical academic recipe to end up in a place like this. For example, I graduated with a bachelor in fine arts in studio art - I have a painting degree. I didn't find out about the zoological museum until my senior year, and at that point it was way too late for me to change my major. So, I decided to come here as an intern practicing scientific illustration. Halfway through my internship I picked up on a lot of curatorial tasks and duties in the lab, and have been here every since.

 Question 2 (1:08)

So....what is your education?

So in addition to having an undergraduate degree in fine arts, now I am enrolled in the Johns Hopkins University Master of Art and Museum Studies Program, which is primarily distance learning based, so I can do all of my course work online, and I'm getting my M.A. in Museum Studies

 Question 3 (1:24)

Tumblr user joe2theblogs asked, "As a former art student, how did you become so knowledgeable about biology?"


 Question 4 (1:31)

"Do you have advice on how I could do this?"

I strongly encourage you guys to find a local nature center, natural history museum, or zoological collection in which you can volunteer or intern. Worked for me!

 Question 5 (1:40)

Anonymous asked, "Did you know you don't bend your arms a lot?"

*on screen, Emily keeps arms positioned like a t-rex and opens and closes drawers*

 Question 6 (1:54)

An anonymous user asked, "Why don't you put Vick's Vapor Rub underneath your nose if everything smells so bad?"

Vick's tends to open up my airways, so in addition to smelling the dead thing, I smell the Vick's on top of it, it doesn't replace the smell. It's like spraying perfume on a piece of *beep*.

 Question 7 (2:10)

Twitter user Benjamin, @notthelastzuses asked, "What is one skeleton you could never get but really want?"

*on screen, a shot of an empty shelf with the placard reading, "Platypus" and sad music playing*

 Question 8 (2:22)

Twitter user Elizabeth, @ebeth12345 asked, "Were you squeamish about this before you started?"

Yes, I didn't know I was going to be preparing a specimen that day. I didn't have time to think, just scoop.

 Question 9 (2:33)

Twitter user Rachel, @braunsicle asked, "Why don't you just sell some of the specimens to raise money for the collection?"

This kind of concept is generally looked down upon in the museum world, it goes back against moral and ethical obligations that museums have to preserving and maintaining collections, items - indefinitely.

 Question 10 (2:49)

I don't even know how to pronounce this one, or say this...Haley, Twitter user Haley , @hlycsns asked, "What is the protocol if you find an actual human thumb in a wolf stomach?"

Freak out.
And then call the police.

 Question 11 (3:06)

Twitter user William Wood, @willwood777 asked, "I forgot your question...ohh *laughs* What is the best discovery you ever made in the collection?"

The day I found out we had a Pangolin in the collection, I cried. Tears of happiness.

*on screen, shot of Pangolin*

 Question 12 (3:24)

Emily Brantley on Facebook wanted to know if we ever had any crazy mishaps in the lab.

This one time a few years ago, before I was a volunteer in the lab, somebody was working on removing the brain of a wolf in the sink using a high pressured hose. This person wasn't wearing any eye protection or a face mask, and because of that, they ended up blasting a bunch of wolf brain matter right into their eye. Instead of telling the curator, or anybody about it, they ended up just going home that night and going to bed and when they woke up the next day, their eye was all bloodshot. So they had to go to the emergency room and get all these rabies vaccines and all other kinds of preventative treatment.

 Question 13 (3:56)

Twitter user Maria Blietz @neveahwinters is wondering, "What is the best and worst parts of my job?"

The best part of my job is getting to be all up close and personal with all these animals, which they obviously wouldn't let me do that to them in the wild. The worst part of my job...catalogging shrews. Definitely.

 Question 14 (4:14)

A lot of you guys are really curious how I pay my bills and stuff if I'm a volunteer?

There are a couple different ways, living off of financial assistance while I finish my master's degree, working on some marketing campaigns with the University of Montana, but mostly through t-shirt and poster sales.

*picture of merchandise on screen*

 Question 15 (4:29)

Tumblr user, caribouinacave is wondering, "When will brains be scooped?"

*malicious music playing and a shot of a stuffed raccoon in a locker with text on screen reading, "soon."

 Credits (4:36)

The Brain Scoop

Hosted By: Emily Graslie

Written by: Emily Graslie

Directed, Edited, Animated, and Scored By: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green

Graphic Design By: Karen Kavett

Special Thanks to The University of Montana

Filmed on Location in Missoula, Montana

" still has brains on it."