Mere parasite, perhaps … but growing

27 06 2008

Today in an interview process I was asked what I thought had been an area of personal growth for me.

I was always raised to be open minded, but I think only open minded in the way Bianca from Big Brother (hey, have an open mind about TV too…) is “open minded”. I was raised to be aware that other people had opinions and ways, but MY ways were the correct ways. Sports were stupid. Cars were silly. Being smart mattered. Not knowing something made you worthless. Yes. I was an elite geek (elite enough to still reject the term “nerd”, vulgar and American…). Bruised, but proud in my achievements in the rugby-is-sacred culture of an all boys Catholic bording school in regional Queensland.

I’ve definitely moved away from that position. I recognise the value of sports for both kids and adults. It’s entertainment, skill building and fitness. I understand that actions make you a jerk, no matter how smart you are. I even eat vegetables I didn’t eat before. And probably even best of all in the self development column, I can comfortably point out when I disagree with someone.

Many of my science stories used to come from PZ MyersPharyngula – hence the tentacle reference in this entries title. I’m still a big fan, and a daily reader. But I think I need to develop some indie blogger cred, Indie Pete style. We parasites need to stand up against the strongarm oppression of the betentacled overlords, or shameless traffic whores, or whatever.

I’m going to try and expand my repertoire to some other science blogs. Like scibling Carl Zimmer’s The Loom, or Nature’s The Great Beyond, and nice gems, like Science Made Cool.

SMC is home of Zygote Games, an American company combating the rise of Latin pokemon wikipedia entries by “creating games which are fun and challenging, but which are also based on real science”. I’ve recently bought Munchkin. But if this nice little kids game – Parasites Unleashed! – had been available, I would have probably bought it instead. It looks like a great activity for school kids, and could easily be adapted to a drinking game. University students need learning too!

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