At the heart of the appeal of folk tales, movies, cartoons, and books is a bond we all share: We love to be entertained. Who has not once enjoyed losing themselves in the magic of a good story? Or been captivated by a film brimming with fascinations that they, even in their wildest imaginations, could never have conjured? I enjoy movies and books as much as anyone (and, to be honest, probably enjoy cartoons a more than I should), but I also find a source of endless entertainment in what may seem like the most unlikely of places: science. “Entertainment” may seem like an unlikely category choice for science, but I hope that through these posts I can show you what I mean.
Often, real events and phenomena are as fascinating as the creations of even the most imaginative minds.
- Did you know there are ‘girls’ born with a rare genetic mutation that causes them to develop into ‘men” through puberty?”
- Did you know there is a parasite that consumes and then replaces the tongue of its host fish?
- Did you know there is a species of lizard that is entirely comprised of females?
More than just factoids that provide fodder for “Did you know…?” morsels, these pack a double-whammy punch. Yes, they are fascinating, but they are also grounded in reality and thus enrich our understanding of the world around us. You need only to meet a handful of toddlers to garner evidence that our tendency to want to know “Why?” is something we all share. Questions answered in science sate this curiosity.
Curiosity and intrigue aside- science still harbors a forceful appeal. This can be found in its utility and pervasive relevance. Daily, I encounter new ways that science can equip us to navigate today’s world- through debates over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the produce aisle, or competing claims of the next miracle product, through comprehension of alternative energy policies, the use of robotics in military, and even moral conflicts over the nature of stem cell research.
Entertaining, curiosity-sating, and useful?! How could anyone resist?
In college I had the pleasure of coordinating an extracurricular science program with extraordinarily talented, bright, and funny children. The satisfaction gained when their hesitation or [feigned] apathy gave way to genuine, unfiltered excitement was amazing. And while few things could top the moments when they experienced a distinct “A-Ha!”, watching the kids apply information old lessons to new situations was truly amazing. Sharing science and initiating enthusiasm have been the root of some of my most cherished experiences. Now, after graduating, I am fortunate enough to have a similar experience with an amazing program- Science Club.
But science is not just for middle-schoolers- and that is why am here and writing with the hopes that I can pass on even a smidgen of my enthusiasm to you too.
In short: I am here writing this simply because I want to share what I love with you.
If any one entry is truly enjoyed by one reader- I will be happy. However, if a reader shares a “Did you know” moment with friend, I will be ecstatic. (Even if that one reader is my mother: Thanks for reading, Mom!)
What will be on this blog?
I will try to post on topics that are not merely interesting, but that can really captivate attention and have the tendency to stick with you long after you have moved on to bigger and better URLs. I hope to include the kind of posts that have the potential to initiate a “Did you know…?” moment.
While I will choose topics based on headlines and personal favorites- the point of this is to share with you! So if you would like to see anything in particular here- just let me know! I am by no means a human encyclopedia- but the biggest part of learning science is learning how to learn about science. If anything, this endeavor would be remiss if the search itself was not addressed too.
Put me to work- let’s see what we can find! Science is not a padlocked vault of inflexible rules- it is fluid and ever-changing with the waves of scientific inquiry, investigation and progress. It is a process and its success hinges on the questions of the curious. While I will post on great topics- your curiosity will (hopefully) be bigger than what I can provide alone so I will also include links to related articles, podcasts, books, videos, comics, and websites that have been my favorite resources in my own inquiries. I only hope that you enjoy it.
This should be entertaining.
Until next time,