“Great Scrabble Words From Science and Nature”

Posted on July 15, 2013


Eureka throws us a lot of vocabulary curve balls, but try to use “Globidium” in a game of Scrabble, and see how far that gets you (no Latin words, thank you). Next time you’re deep in the vowels of an intense game, with precious few spaces remaining, wow your friends and family with some words from the world of science!

Arc (5 pts)
It may just be 5 points, but it’s 5 points you didn’t have before you played it, sucka! An arc is a measurable part of a circle’s circumference, as well as a chartable development of a character. For example: There is Zoe’s arc from trouble making teen to (more) mature young lady.

Chyme (15 pts)
In season 3, episode 5 “Show Me the Mummy,” the examination of the mummy’s stomach contents resulted in the discovery of voracious dehydrating beetles. Most examinations find chyme, digested contents of the stomach.

Farad (9 pts)
The measurements of a capacitor’s… capacitance. So if Back to the Future’s Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) wanted to tell Marty McFly (Family Ties’ Michael J. Fox) how strong his “Flux Capacitor” was, he would give him a number in farads. It was rather a lot, judging by Marty’s amp’s explosive performance! (ahem.)

Hertz (17 pts)
Sheriff Carter would recognize this word, but like most of us, he may not be able to define it. Play this and your opponents will groan discontentedly because they also recognize the word and your superior wordplay. Rub it in by telling them a hertz is measurement units of frequency, or cycles per second. They’ll hate you, but you’ll be all “51 points, cuz I’m playing it on a triple!”

Joule (12 pts)
This is not the classification (joulery?) under which you’d file Allison’s Logic Diamond. If you wanted to measure the amount of energy something—say, Allison’s Logic Diamond—put out, you’d state the answer in joules. One calorie equals 4.184 joules (J).

Qualia (15 pts)
When we describe a color as “red, blue, or green” we are giving physical identities to something that is not technically a physical object. Colors are the result of varying quantum mechanical states of being. Colors are practically verbs! The association we have with colors is visual, when they are happening on a sub-microscopic level, and couldn’t be seen. The cross-sensory visual association is known as qualia. (Play that Q with “Qi” on the other side and, whee, loads o’ points.)

Zephyr (23 pts)
Eureka’s no stranger to out-of-the ordinary weather conditions. But a zephyr is a more mild climate change. If you feel the occasional chilled breeze blow up off a creek on a hot day, you’re experiencing a zephyr.

Zymurgy (75 pts, unlimited bragging rights)
Cafe Diem could undoubtedly supply the snobbiest distiller by producing zymurgically produced fermented beverages. Zymurgy? Eureka’s got people for that. You still not sure what it means? Go look it up!

Kiped from the archives of the SyFy channel’s IdeaLab Blog for the TV show Eureka. Well kinda kiped, since I wrote it to begin with. Edited by Tiffany Lee Brown, without whom I’d be stuck in the land of curly quotes.

Posted in: science, writing