It took a week, but I have now judged all the entries to my haiku contest scientifically. By which I mean I studied them under a microscope, heated them to a boil, compared them against a control group of other haiku, and then threw out the results due to bias.Thanks to everyone who entered! All your haiku (except the one my dad wrote) were such monumental creations that it was tough to pick the winners. So, in the end I let a nicotine-addicted monkey do that for me.
I shall now unveil my findings, soon to be sent off to a scientific journal. Probably the one I keep in the bookcase in my office. (But hey, if you haven't done so already, make sure to check out all the electrifying entries.)
Not Entirely Honorable Mention
My brother-in-law, Tom, may know a thing or two about nuclear energy, but I believe we may disagree on how many syllables it has.
Ernesto P. Santiago had a lovely haiku... that had nothing to do with science. Alas, including a living creature does not make it biology.
And as for Emilia's? She was clearly pandering.
I'd accuse Marian Allen of pandering as well, but I'm not sure she knows I have a cat named Schrödinger.
My tuna is gone
And yet it is not eaten.
Damn Schrodinger's cat!
My 5-year-old nephew, Solomon, outdid his mom's 5 entries. (Note: There's not one shred of scientific proof that I have a completely legitimate bias against her poetry.)
Mars: a hot planet
Because of all its red sand
So says Solomon.
Rena's entry recalls one of my fondest memories of high school chemistry (although ours was done with cesium).
Is serene in glycerin.
Explodes with water
And Sam Cook nearly took a prize with this one, mostly because of all the big words.
of quantum entanglement
First Place - Humorous
Instead, Sam won with this one. Getting popular culture, "science," and one team's 107 years of futility all into 17 syllables? Well done, sir.
Back to the Future
was wrong about time travel.
The Cubs never win.
First Place - Traditional
Keith A. Simmonds not only got some great prose into this entry, but it was also one of the few in which each line could be read as a separate phrase (as traditional haiku do), rather than breaking up a longer phrase to fit the 5-7-5 scheme. That combo netted him the win.
The ozone layer…
a furnace of desires
sears the heart of man
And that will bring my 7th annual haiku contest to a close. Sam and Keith, if you'll please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I can send the Amazon gift cards your way.
Thanks again to everyone who entered, shared, and/or re-tweeted this contest! Let's do it all again next year!
One piece of advice
For future haiku contests:
Wear safety goggles.