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Last sync:2023-04-28 15:00
Let's just ignore the part where I thought the Twitter timestamp was part of their usernames...


The Brain Scoop is written and hosted by:
Emily Graslie

Executive Producer:
Hank Green

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

Teeshirt from STATRIOT! (

Thanks to Martina Šafusová, Rachel Prunty, Santiago Canoura, Katerina Idrik, Kerstin Sievers, Evan Liao, Seth Bergenholtz, Marie-Elsa Beaudon, and John-Alan Pascoe for working on captions for this episode!
It's question time with Emily! (That's me!)

Q. Someone asked, "What's the most disgusting thing you've ever worked on in the lab? Have you ever thrown up in the lab? Will we ever get to see you throw up?"

A. The award for the most disgusting thing probably goes to this fore-limb of an elk that I got to clean. This hunter had claimed an animal and brought this limb to us after noticing there was something severely wrong with it. It appeared that the animal had sustained some form of traumatic injury which had broken the humerus in two places, so there were broken bits of bone sticking out of the skin and it was all exposed to the elements. You had these two pieces that were grinding against one another as it tried to create a false joint, so there was this horrible malocclusion and it became all pussy and infected, and you had these huge swollen bits of growing bone grinding against one another, and then maggots got in there and dirt and all kinds of stuff, so it was just exposed to the air. We estimate that this animal lived for about a year and a half after this injury happened, so then...I got it...and I got to clean it...and it was really disgusting!

I've never thrown up in the lab but if I ever do throw up while we're filming, I sure hope that we catch it on camera!

Q. Adam Kent, @The_Wolf_Spirit asked, "what made you decide you wanted to get into taxidermy?"

A. I really didn't decide on anything. It was more like, when I walked into the museum for the first time, it was like Charles Darwin descended from the Heavens and whispered into my ear, "go forth! And scoop brains."

Q. Someone asked, "are you a taxidermist?"

A. No, I'm not a taxidermist. Taxidermists are artists and sculptors that have earned their prestigious titles. I am merely a lowly specimen preparator.

Q. Emily Farrell was wondering, "do you still enjoy eating meat after dissecting animals?"

A. It definitely took me a while to disassociate the smell of the nasty domestic colony with delicious food but I eventually got over it and went back to eating meat because...bacon.

Q. Emma Coyle, @ECOYLE_13 is wondering what my favorite part of the wolf dissection videos was.

A. My favorite part of the entire wolf dissection process was probably the moment when we were taking out all of the bowels and the smell was really overpowering, and then we cut into the stomach and saw the fur bits, and it was just so gross but so fascinating at the same time. I've never really experienced anything quite like that before.

Q. Kerry J, @HAUSOFKEZZA is wondering what I would have done with my life if I hadn't started volunteering in the museum.

A. I'd still probably hold the record for worst barista in the world.

Q. A lot of you are curious to know who the dapper gentleman in the photo above the sink in the wolf CSI video was.

A. That's Morton John Elrod. He's a founding biologist here at the University of Montana and also the individual responsible for starting our museum collection here. And there's actually a freshwater snail named after him.

Q. Some anonymous person asked "does (sic) your parents watch your show?"

A. parents are pretty much my biggest fans. There's a funny story about my mom! When she was in high school she had this pet hamster that died, and the way that it died, its paws were kinda stuck like this [paws sticking up, claw-shaped], so she thought it was a perfect fit for some of the wheels from one of her brothers' Hot Wheels she took off the wheels, put them in her paws and made this thing, she called it the Hamstermobile, and er...she took it to high school with her, and...someone stole that out of her locker...Yup....

Q. A lot of you are curious to know whether or not we name any of the animals here.

A. We don't intentionally name the animals but we will keep a name associated with an animal if it comes in as a pet or whatever, so we have:

Oscar the wiener dog,
Ramses the llama,
Tango the tabby,

And one time I was looking in the student collection and I found this exotic looking cat and so I looked at the label to find out more information about it, and all it said was "Fluffy".

Q. Emily Ham at @GUARDRONE is wondering, what is one thing I've learned from working here that I would never have learned anywhere else.

A. I don't think any other job would have granted me the opportunity to learn the diverse bunch of odiferous bouquets that can be enjoyed from rotting animals.

Q. Sara Federbush said, "you said penguins are like Sand shrews. If you could scoop any Pokémon, what Pokémon would you scoop?"

A. Mewtwo, duh.

Q. Vi Hart is wondering, "have I ever had to get rid of a specimen that I've loved?"

A. One time I bonded with an armadillo that I found in the freezer and I tried to salvage, but it was too far rotten so we had to throw it out...

Q. A couple of you have said, "Hank Green said that the show is unable to sustain itself. Is it true?"

A. Yes, it's true, unfortunately this is true. As of right now, the show really isn't making enough money to pay the people working on it even minimum wage, let alone be able to afford us the opportunity to visit other museums or do fun things like go to the International Taxidermy Championships, which we would love to do.

We are currently working on some alternate means of fundraising but in the meantime if you would like to show support you can make a monetary donation of any value, just follow the link below [underneath the video].

Q. A-MUG-FULL-OF-JELLYBEANS asked, "do you ever get afraid that the animals are gonna come alive at night and attack you?"

A. ...No, I don't really know why you would ask... [zooms in on stuffed raccoon]