Biochemical Soul Musings on Nature, Science, Evolution, Biology, and Education


Great Darwin Beard Challenge – An Extinction Event Has Occurred

As I have recently shown you all, Spring is here in full force in North Carolina.

I love it more than almost anything, but there are two weeks of Spring that are quite hellish for me.  You see, I am incredibly allergic to Oak pollen (most species but not all).

This fact has lead to a tragic event for me and my place in the Great Darwin Beard Challenge - a mishap involving pollen, drugs, sleep, and ravenous beasts.

I awoke with the tell-tale symptoms: swollen eyes, a Tommy-gun sneezing fit, and a foggy brain. Yes, the oaks were having sex and the fruits of their lust were ravaging my insides.

So I took some pretty hardcore antihistamines and sat in a chair in my front lawn to flaunt my chemical invulnerability to the trees' love weapons. Alas, the antihistamines knocked me out cold.

Now everyone who has lived in the rural deciduous forests of North Carolina knows that you should NEVER fall asleep outside in the daytime.


But in my drug-laden mind I had thrown caution to the wind, leaving my beard as an irresistible free meal to those nasty predators of woolen faces: the native Keratinovorous Dwarf Bears (Hirsutophagous imaliari).

Much to my dismay, my wife had photographed the entire ensuing feast. Apparently she found it too funny to awaken me (in her defense, being an original city-girl she was unaware of the almost certain transmission of virus I was receiving - see below).

Keratinovorous Dwarf Bears making a snack of my beard

Keratinovorous Dwarf Bears making a snack of my beard as I lie unconscious from the antihistamines.

Look what they've done!!

Look what they did to my beard!

Damn you Dwarf Bears!!

Damn you Dwarf Bears!!

Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that the Keratinous Dwarf Bears carry a virus that renders humans infertile (see the 1997 Science article for more info). Thus it seems that I have left this competition in a truly Darwinian fashion: unfit to spread my genes to the population.

Thus, I am saddened to leave this greatest of beard contests disgraced and shamed.

Saddened and rendered impotent, I leave the Great Darwin Beard Contest behind...

Saddened, impotent, and infertile I leave the Great Darwin Beard Challenge behind...

I'd like to thank Kevin Zelnio (Deep Sea News, The Other 95%), Andrew "The Southern Fried Scientist" and David "whysharksmatter" (both of Southern Fried Science), and the also-shaven "David2" for the opportunity to compete with such woollenly adapted men. It has been great fun and I wish those stupid dwarf bears had not eliminated me from the running for "Most Darwinesque Beard."

May the three of you remain bearded and fertile for the remainder of the competition!

Great Darwin Beard Challenge History: