The Earthpigs Meet the Gulls

16 November 2015

By Rose Hendricks.

Last Friday, a group of CogSci Earthpigs cheered on San Diego’s newly re-minted hockey team, the Gulls, as they took on the San Jose Barracudas. We donned our promotional Gulls caps, snagged $2 beers, and took our seats in the terrace. By the end of the first period, we were feeling pretty satisfied. The Gulls were up by 2 and the jumbotron featured goofy people dancing in hopes of winning free food. But throughout the following periods, the Barracudas caught up, the Gulls pulled ahead, and the ‘cudas caught up again, resulting in a score of 3-3 at the end of the third period. The overtime period was a wash, so penalty shots began soon after. 


  • Gulls shooter 1: Miss.
  • Barracudas shooter 1: Miss.
  • Gulls shooter 2: Miss.
  • Barracudas shooter 2: Miss.
  • Gulls shooter 3: Miss. 
  • Barracudas shooter 3: SCORE!


Uh oh. San Diego lost in an anti-climactic instant. Our one win, however, was the presence of cog sci on the ice and in the stands. For one, a cognitive scientist is almost incapable of watching the skill with which the players move on the ice without thinking of embodied cognition. Do their sticks become extensions of their minds? Stepping even further outside the skull, the teams act as beautifully distributed cognitive systems, creating behaviors that are so much more than the sum of all their parts. In addition, the two teams were conveniently wearing opposite colors: the Gulls were in black jerseys and the Barracudas in white. How does this fit with our mental representations of good and evil? And what exactly is the cognitive effect of the little scuffles that break out from time to time? Are they cathartic for the players? Or are they empowering? Linguistically, we discussed whether scum should be added to a list of profane terms (it should). 

With all this cog sci discussion taking place, one might sensibly say we were working on Friday evening. If you’re wondering when you can have the opportunity to do this kind of work, you can find the Gulls schedule here.

Related tags: Earthpigs, Social