Dissertation? I Barely Know Her!

Satirical blogs explore whether a Hollywood sex symbol can make academic pick-up lines seem smooth.

December 13, 2011

In their quest to describe biological phenomena in numbers, biostatisticians face many hard questions, not least procedural ones. For example:

“Hey girl, if I was a non-adherent participant, would you still include me in your analytic sample?”

“Hey girl, would you use Satterthwaite’s approximation if our variances weren’t equal?”

How to quantify this? And how to account for the ultimate confounding variable: the pairing of these inquiries with the unfathomable depths of Ryan Gosling’s blue, blue eyes?

Perhaps there are some questions science was not meant to answer.

Biostatistics Ryan Gosling!!!, which debuted last week, is one of two new blogs devoted to juxtaposing the actor’s celebrated visage with incongruously nerdy pick-up lines.

The other, created to celebrate Gosling’s hypothetical love of libraries and librarians, is called: Hey girl. I like the library too.

Flirtation-themed Ryan Gosling blogs have been trending on the Web for months as Gosling’s reputation as a sex symbol has grown. The “Hey girl” meme, which started when one blogger started writing captions on paparazzi photos of the actor, took a turn for the academic in October when Danielle Henderson, a graduate student in gender studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, started Feminist Ryan Gosling.

That blog, which imitated the style of the original, cast the actor as steeped in feminist theory. “Hey girl,” Henderson would have the Feminist Gosling say through his steely yet tender gaze. “The post-feminist fetishization of motherhood is deeply rooted in classism but I still think we’d make cute babies.”

The library-loving Gosling blog welcomes submissions from readers, many of whom use the platform as a new medium through which to express the well-documented anxieties endemic to the library at a time of technological and economic upheaval.

“Hey girl, I don’t understand the appeal of e-books either,” Gosling intimates, his bicep vein bulging from the cuff of a too-tight shirt. “I like the feeling of a book’s pages between my fingers.”

“Hey girl, I have trouble effectively marketing my services too,” he confesses, locks of blond hair now cascading over his brow. “Let’s snuggle up with a LibQual+ Survey and a bottle of merlot.”

It is unclear whether the blogs are intended as pure irony or as a genuine experiment to test whether the following gambits stand a chance of working even under optimal conditions:

“Hey girl, let’s cozy up to the fire and spend the evening demonstrating the reproducibility of your research.”

“Hey girl, sorry to bother you, but can you tell me the classification number for love at first sight?”

A message to Gosling’s publicist, inquiring about the actor’s actual feelings about libraries and biostatistics, was not immediately returned.


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