Skip to main content

Celebra-scientists

Celebra-scientists (the popular television personality scientists) are annoying as all get out. I'm watching the National Geographic channel right now. There's an overly enthusiastic herpetologist (I didn't catch his name) running around the bush on various continents screaming like a five year old on Christmas morning every time he finds something. Then he goes rushing in to pick it up. "It" being a very large and/or poisonous snake. Mean while, the natives that he's using as guides and porters are standing well back of these animals that they have to live with every day knowing all too well exactly what they are capable of. I wonder what they think about the fuss and the film crews?

Celebra-scientists obviously play up to the cameras and for someone who's spent time toiling in the field and lab it really grates on the nerves. (I suppose it's also annoying because I'm generally a reserved person.) Science is exciting but not because you get to go crashing through the jungle facing death at every turn. It's exciting because you get to learn something about the world around you that you didn't know before. The made for television drama of celebra-scientists seems to me to be a betrayal of scientific principal. You observe, you hypothesize, you test your hypothesis, you get your results, and then you do it all over again. You don't go screaming you head off every time you find something.

I totally understand being excited about and dedicated to your field of study. I myself can't help poking in the leaf litter or getting up close and personal with the plant life whenever I go for a walk in the woods (by design I'm not interested in things that are mobile other than to know which things I need to walk/run away from). Many a soul has been subjected to a lecture about this or that plant or fungus by me. I particularly enjoy pointing out things like poison ivy and poisonous mushrooms to unsuspecting city folk.

When these celebra-scientists calm down and get into the nitty gritty of what they study it's fun to watch. But when they're doing the gonzo crazy kid thing it makes me cringe. We've already got a glut of extreme this or that for people who are extremely bored with life. I really don't think we need extreme science too.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Raï: Algerian blues and protest music

This all started because I wanted to find out what "cheb" meant. As I was poking around the internet I discovered several musicians with "cheb" in their names. I realised that it had to be an assumed title. Eventually I discovered that it means young in Arabic but I also discovered that it meant much more than just that.

Many cultures around the world have a tradition of social and political commentary through music. I was born in a place where politicians were weary of the popular musicians. One wrong move and they would be flayed by a skillful lyric. I actually remember singing songs that had been banned because they were critical of the government. The fact that as a six or seven year old I knew the words to the banned songs shows the power of those songs.

I'm sure that many of you are familiar with Sting's collaboration with Cheb Mami in 1999 that gave us Desert Rose(YouTube video). For most of North America that was our first exposure to the Algerian fol…

Theology quiz

When all else fails post a quiz. Via Memento Moron.

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan79%Reformed Evangelical79%Neo orthodox54%Roman Catholic46%Classical Liberal39%Fundamentalist29%Emergent/Postmodern25%Charismatic/Pentecostal7%Modern Liberal4%
What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Compare these results with this and this.

The Racist Nature of Cotton Balls

Yes I said cotton balls. Apparently dropping cotton balls outside of an establishment known to be frequented by black people is a hate crime. And here I thought it was at worst littering.
Arrests Made In Mizzou Cotton Ball Incident: 2 Students Suspended After Their Arrest
Two students have been arrested in connection with the incident where cotton balls were left overnight outside the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Very early Friday morning, someone threw cotton balls outside the Culture Center. The offensive act sparked a town hall meeting on the Campus Monday night. At the meeting, students discussed what to do in response to the racist display. Police investigated the incident as a hate crime. What to do about cotton balls on the sidewalk? Trample them into oblivion or pick them up! All that drama over cotton balls. I'm trying to imagine a mind fragile enough to be offended by cotton balls on the sidewalk. I don't have…