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

7Jul/09Off

Mostly Expected Rhetoric from a Discovery Channel Exec

For those of you who don't know, David (WhySharksMatter) over at Southern Fried Science managed to snag an interview with Paul Gasek, Discovery Channel Executive.

David, as his handle implies, is all about sharks and shark conservation - in fact it seems he's been making quite a name for himself in sharkworld. Well, David, as well as many others interested in shark conservation (or even ocean conservation/health) have some issues with the way the DC's Shark Week continues to peddle fear of sharks. I've been personally pretty sick with most nature documentaries these days - catering to the 10 most deadliest this, or the Worst Disease You Can Get From that, or the Freakiest X, or the fear, fear, fear, etc...

David, based on many submissions from his readers, assembled quite an impressive list of questions (pulling no punches, I might add). I highly recommend you check out Paul's answers as it makes quite an interesting read. That being said, the answers were pretty much exactly what you'd expect from the exec of such a huge business as the Discovery Channel - and not all that impressive.

As I stated in the comments over there - it's all a bit moot to me, as I think the Discovery Channel bankrupted the "Discovery" in its name ages ago. Really - just look at the schedule on any given day. How much "discovery" do you see?

Edit: If you think this is a harsh assessment - keep in mind the titles of the first few shows for Shark Week when you read Paul's answers: the 2 hour premier "Blood in the Water," followed by "Deadly Waters," followed by "Day of the Shark 2" (about "when a great white breaks through a 300-pound aluminum shark cage and traps the divers inside. Another shark tackles a former Navy Seal in shallow waters"), followed by "Sharkbite Summer" (about "The bite-by-bite account of America's notorious "Summer of the Shark" in 2001.")

13Apr/09Off

Great Darwin Beard Challenge – Month 2

Oh yes, woolly we be. Check out the latest update on our celebratory Darwin beard contest over at Southern Fried Science.

Great Darwin Beard Challenge History:

19Mar/09Off

Great Darwin Beard Challenge – Week 4 – The Mugshots

Alright, so Kevin at Deep-Sea News got a little busy this past week "laying down the hardwood." He claims this involved flooring installation...

Thus I have taken on the reigns of presenting this week's Great Darwin Beard Challenge images.

For those of you new here (and I know there are several due to my Science Blogging: The Future of Science Communication & Why You Should be a Part of it), check out the links at the bottom for previous installments. The short of it: from Darwin's birthday in February to the anniversary of the Origin of Species in October, we are competing for the title of "Most Darwinesque Beard."

Each week, we generally have some theme for the images, mainly just to keep ourselves entertained and distract us from the itchiness and rejections from our significant others.

Kevin's instructions this week were to take "mugshots. Try to look as criminally insane as possible."

Great Darwin Beard Challenge - Week 4

Great Darwin Beard Challenge - Week 4 (click for larger)

Participants: Andrew, the Southern Fried Scientist of Southern Fried Science, Kevin of Deep-Sea News and The Other 95%, Me, David "WhySharksMatter" also of Southern Fried Science, and David2 marine graduate student without a blog.

Personally, I think that I win the "criminally insane" look. David1 definitely has the "mentally challenged" look going for him. Andrew just looks guilty and perhaps drugged. Kevin and David2 both have the "yeah - I did it - whatcha gonna do about it" look.

Next week will be hosted by David at Southern Fried Science. Thereafter, we will be moving to biweekly updates of the contest. Technically, we are in Week 5 right now - these images are from last week.

Great Darwin Beard Challenge History:

6Mar/09Off

Great Darwin Beard Challenge – Week 3

Stripped of all biologically advantageous or meaningful body hair, there comes a time in every man's life when he ponders just why the eons of molding, shaping, and changing forces of natural selection have left what little remains.

The answer comes, quite naturally, to all who discover that certain magical stage of hirsute facial existence. There is but one purpose - one singular defining function of this keratinized expression of manhood: to look like a bad-ass.

Thus, we now present to you Week 3 of the Great Darwin Beard Challenge in a new order of presentation.

Great Darwin Beard Challenge Week 3

Great Darwin Beard Challenge Week 3 (click for larger version)

Though our voyage of Darwinian proportions has only just begun, in time we shall bridge our initial childish faces with the woolen wisdom of Darwin himself gracing our chins.

Unless I get an interview...

Join us over at Deep-Sea News for Week 4 in our quest to look a little more like the man himself in our Great Darwin Beard Challenge.

Great Darwin Beard Challenge History:

26Feb/09Off

The Great Darwin Beard Challenge – Week 2

This week's installment of the Great Darwin Beard Challenge is live over at Southern Fried Science. We are in week two now, our sandpaper faces replaced by millimeter stubble.

It seems a long way from here to our bushy-bearded Darwinian goals. The "contest" will end on October 1st, the 150th anniversary of the inside cover date of the 1st edition of The Origin of Species - we began on Darwin's 200th birthday, February 12th.

Tiring of simple photographs of our burgeoning bearded faces, Andrew instituted a theme of "hats" this week. Apparently in the Southern Fried Science world, "enormous fake afro" is synonymous with "hat."

What will next weeks theme be?  Who knows. Give us some ideas.

We will be rotating through the blogs of Deep Sea News, Southern Fried Science, and here - so be sure to visit all three weekly :)

Great Darwin Beard Challenge History: