Funny doctored science fair photos

UPDATE: Photo removed. See this comment.

I got a chuckle out of these doctored science fair photos. I blurred the faces of the kids, and I'm not linking to the site that has the rest because these are recent photos of real kids. I think I picked the funniest two examples anyway. UPDATE: They were created by the wonderful illustrator Travis Pitts.


  1. I hope to god these are not really recent photos, because that kid in the first one has my haircut and shirt from 6th grade (somewhere around 1976). In fact…that might *be* me.

  2. The fact that googling on the subject line of your post brings up the original site as the top hit in about 1.3 nanoseconds undercuts the effectiveness of the approach, sadly…

  3. My obo band, “Experiments on an Obo” will be performing works from our newest piece “Hobo-Obo” this evening in Davis Symphony hall in SF.

    The 2nd movement is my favorite. It’s entitled: “Hobo-rotic Nocturne with canned pork.”

  4. I just saw these, and my favorite, by far, is the cats and electricity one. I honestly don’t think I can ever stop laughing at that.

  5. When my wife was in charge of my daughter’s school’s science fair, we managed to track down a great series of cartoons by David Farley, best known for “Dr. Fun”. With the cartoonist’s permission, we used a number of the cartoons for promos (we avoided a few that might shock the parents, like “The effects of the plague on Ms. Fishbein’s fourth-grade class”).

    Here’s the whole set.

  6. Cpt. Tim@6: “not giving credit is teh suck.”

    Yuo aer rihgt! ¡ credtied teh cretaor. Nwo ti si nto teh scuk!¿”

  7. Cpt. Tim@8: “also basically and precisely are not mutually exclusive. just sayin.”

    You are correct! Now can you please tell me how much vinegar I need to kill the bermudagrass on my lawn?

  8. Mark,
    I think that if you hand-pick the bermudagrass and toss it into a bowl with the vinegar, some quality extra virgin olive oil and a bit of feta cheese you have the beginnings of a nice salad!

    1. Wash and dry the grass, mix it with kosher salt and place it in a non-reactive container. Cover with a weighted plate. Bermudakraut.

  9. No, I mean obo.

    We’re a hobo-obo band, we ain’t got the money for your fancy “e’s”

    Hell, my obo’s made out of soup and bees for crap’s sake.

  10. The first photo is of me. It was taken in 1974 when I entered a magnetically controlled electrical outlet as my science project.

    I don’t appreciate it being manipulated and spread on the internet without my permission. I posted the original on Flickr in 2005 and have the CC license set to disallow derivatives. I would appreciate it if boingboing would remove it and stop helping this idiot that manipulated it into a humiliating image spread it all over the ‘net.

  11. @RadioTube, I understand you speaking up and I appreciate BoingBoing’s removal of the image based on your CC rights.

    Hwvr, wll y pls b s knd t pnt s t th rgnl – s tht w mght stll mk hmltng cmmnts bt th ndctrd pht?

  12. I respect Radiotube’s wish not to have his image used for a joke, though. His actual science project from 1974 is very cool.

  13. Cool science project, funny parodies too.

    By my understanding, you can’t “no derivative” your works out of being parodied.

    Seems like BB’s removal of the images, like the blurring of the faces, was not done because of any precise legal obligation to CC rights, but simply in the interest of basic decency.

  14. oooh, i smell a shitstorm a-brewin’! BB removed content! BB removed content zomfg!!1!

    seriously, i do hope people calm down this time around.

  15. BoinBoing is right to remove the picture, but seriously, why so angry RadioTube? Everyone enjoys it! You should be proud, not ashamed. Learn to live a little.

  16. Someone recently posted a comment (which has just been deleted) with a link to other various images of science fair projects, doctored for humorous effect. After looking at them and noting that the person who did them clearly states that they’re photoshopped and not real, I see it for what it is. It’s parody, and it’s actually pretty funny. I don’t think it’s intended to demean the individual students or their projects.

    @RadioTube, your complaint about the CC license may have merit, and at any rate I can certainly understand your position. But I think it’s clear to anyone who looks at your photo, and the derivative work … his picture is a funny, if somewhat immature joke. Your project on the other hand, was really cool. I hope you can see that there is nothing about this that should be embarrassing to you.

  17. hey guys. this is the guy who manipulated the pictures mentioned.

    at radiotube’s very polite and professional request i also removed the picture from my flickr.

    y’know, i am sorry because we have to remember that just because you found a picture doesn’t mean it’s yours to fuck with. also, every one of these kids is/was somebody. I too was a huge science fair nerd at one point, but thank god there aren’t any pictures of me out there from those days.

    radiotube- the joke was truly more about the times, and not you. jeez if you guys only saw the crap i wore in the eighties. and i had a rat tail.
    i did a project on biolumenescent fish and it failed because the teachers at my redneck school in georgia never heard of them and thought i was making it up.

    yeah. good times.

    the jokes are immature, and i do apologize to anyone involved, but unfortunately anything on the internet is open to exposure, mockery or redistribution.
    like i said, we tend for forget that real people are still involved.
    i’m not making any money off of this goof of mine, nor am i attacking anyone. these examples of children and teens represent all of us in all our forms and imperfections, but most importantly the science fair process itself and how it’s one of the many ways school structure breaks us into categories of popularity and class.

    i hope the internets have not gone so politically correct that we can’t chuckle at a chubby kid or an awkward teenage nerd. i hope not because i was proudly, and still am, both….

  18. ROFL fer rills. The ‘post’ in its original state was a total waste by the time I got to it, but I did catch some lovely items on killing grass, making salad and how to ICHcheezeB off people that post images publicly, regardless of what rights or control they believe they have or is implied.

    Not saying that I’d want to cheese you off, RadioTube (or anyone, for that matter), but I can’t imagine anyone seeing posting images to Flikr as being anything less than the internet equivalent of leaving your bike in the street, in a neighborhood that you don’t even live in and just walking away.

    I mean srsly, even if you did leave a sticky-note on it saying ‘please don’t steal’, if you did ever see it again it would have a fresh coat of paint on it, and I’m betting that your Flash Gordon stickers would be gone, too.

    But that’s just my opinion. I’ve been wrong before. December 18th, 2006, for example. Boy was THAT a mistake.

  19. It’s unfortunate when comedy must take a back seat to… whatever Radiotube’s problem was. That grimace he sports in the picture must still be frozen on his face.

    It IS a cool project though.

  20. Conveniently, these have been reposted all over the net now, so if one still wants a chuckle they can still find them. :)

  21. You must respect the No-Derivatives tag in the CC license.

    It’s very hypocritical of anyone who carries the Copyfight-Creative Commons banner to pull the “Cmon, but it’s funny” or “It’s on the internet so it’s fair game” argument.

    Thank you for the removal. It supports the Boing-Boing position.

  22. I’ll ditto the “Thank you Boing-Boing” camp. If we turn around and argue parody even when someone is being kind enough to release stuff as Creative Commons, we just add fuel to fire that copyright should be more strict than it is.

  23. true true.
    however no CC flickr protection has ever kept any of my artwork from being stolen, changed and re-used in print or web. i pick my battles. some thefts actually bring me recognition, others are worth shutting down.
    I’m totally for removing the questionable image even though It was never maliciously used. in fact, i believe i found radiotube’s image not through a flickr search, but through a google search of ‘funny science projects’ that someone had already tagged, which lead me to the flickr account.

    anyway, i hope we can all learn and laugh and lighten up from this.

  24. Last I checked, regardless of the license, fair use rights allow parody, as long as it’s stated as such.

    I didn’t see the image, and if it were me I may be just as miffed, but just like Weird Al uses songs without permission, sometimes it is allowed.

    Of course, the flip-side of the coin is slander and libel, if it’s hurting your public image or career, then there’s always the legal route… but you’re likely fighting an uphill battle. Not to use the “it’s on the internet” argument, but most of the internet (and especially an open site like flikr) is public domain and once it’s gone, forget about it, because it’s gone….

  25. Holy carp batman!

    You disemvoweled my humorous suggestion to link to the original?!?

    After I actually linked to it?

    And RadioTube thanked me for doing so?

  26. knd dfts th blrrng f th fcs nw tht w s yr fc. RdTb. t’s fnny. Gt vr t. W ddn’t knw wh y wr r wht y lkd lk. Thnks, nw w knw wh t thrw ggs t…

  27. What, was Barbra Streisand unavailable for comment?

    Out of all the sources of potential outrage in the world, what an unfortunate thing to object to. I wish I could find some old science fair photos of mine; I’d invite Photoshoppers everywhere to have at them. Who knows, if they make some kid feel a little less nerdy by comparison, they’ll have done more good than they did hanging on my bedroom wall back home.

    Here, check out the sexy tennis shorts in this one. I wasn’t very far out of high school when I committed this electrifying fashion atrocity. Do your worst. I expect to be the next Star Wars Kid by this time a week from now.

  28. We do this stuff all the time over on Photoshop contests. There was a similar science fair contest a few weeks back that had many entries of the same lowbrow but funny nature. Have a sense of humor and have a laugh, otherwise you are the joke for not having a sense of humor about the fashion victims we all were as geeks in the 70s and 80s

  29. Nobody can accuse me of not having a sense of humor. I posted the original because I thought it would be fun to get some reaction to my 1974 wardrobe, but to also let my friends know what a geek I was even back then. I don’t mind making fun of myself, but when my image was photoshopped and posted by Travis, not only did he post it on his stream, he made very personal jabs about my gender and encouraged personal attacks by others instead of focusing on his funny updates to the text on my science project board. Most of the comments on his version of my image were aimed at me personally and not the subject. My first reaction was to be highly offended… mostly because I felt personally violated and humiliated from the comments, not so much the photo. Many of you didn’t see the modified version because Travis was a gentleman about it (as well as Mark from BoingBoing) about removing it.

    Now I realize that it’s pointless to make an issue out of it because it’s in the “wild of the internets” now and it would only make things worse if I raise a stink. (See above comments already)

    That being said… Travis, if you want to resubmit the photo to your stream, go ahead. Post the link here if you decide to do so and you guys enjoy the humor that Travis was able to add to the photo.

    I just want to thank Mark from BoingBoing and Travis for being so understanding in the first place… now I’m OK with it being posted, since it’s out there already anyway floating around the ‘net and that can’t be undone.

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