A Ribald Tale of Love and Lice

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LetterYou may have heard that I told a story at the ScienceOnline2012 conference.  If you missed it, here you go!

Listen to the (Slightly NSFW) Story  via The Monti

Everything I said is true; there are even photos. (Think carefully before you click this link. You’ve been warned.)

There are still pubic lice out there, even in a world of Brazilian waxing.  Here’s a recent paper from the New England Journal of Medicine. Can you spot the crabs?

Ben Lillie’s story is right after mine, and is very different, and incredibly powerful. I got a little verklempt.  Ben now runs The StoryCollider, which is an amazing project to collect science stories.

I had been mentally drafting something about storytelling and science, but then Emily at This View of Life wrote something so spot on in summary of ScienceOnline I defer to her:

“I think that this tendency to focus on the sexy or the gross, the morbid or the taboo, is not just a symptom of our four days of very little sleep, more than a little alcohol in some cases and a deep sense of intellectual and cultural overstimulation.

No, this is an integral part of who we are as a group. We focus on duck penises because we almost have to.

We are all story tellers, whether scientists, journalists or educators.  We take data and create hypotheses. We take facts and construct narratives. We take a curriculum and transform it into inspiration.

What she said.  Go read the rest.

I’ll try to put together a more meaningful summary of the Science Online conference later this week, but for the moment I’m enjoying the accomplishment of briefly trending on Twitter.  Even if it is for telling a story about Seamonkeys in your Pants.

Wild Ideas Podcast

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wilderness center logoI did another podcast–this time I was a guest on Wild Ideas, a podcast from a Nature Center in Ohio.   You can listen here.

Before the bug stuff, there is a short discussion of radio isotopes and fracking, which I bet you’ve never heard with a background of owls calling!

They start talking about insects at 19:00, and I arrive to talk about bogus insect control devices at  26:25.  We also discussed insect repellents, spandex, and if mosquitoes bite zombies.

Here’s a link to my review of the plant pollinator app I mentioned.