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Darwin Wept.

I’m a busy scientist. How busy?
Well, just for the heck of it, I totaled up how many fiction books I read this year: 130. That’s 2.5 novels/week. I know this because I keep detailed records. (Tubes, wires, careful notes, etc. )
Well, now I know why that manuscript never got done! I knew I was locked in an escapist phase, but…err. Really. This is kinda embarrassing.
I am doing my part to keep our regional library circulation figures up, however, so I suppose that’s a good thing. My first resolution of the year: less slacking, more researching.

Of course, I could have spent my time looking up crazy warning labels, like these guys. Are people really this stupid, that these labels are needed? Having worked professionally with the public for over 20 years, I can safely say: Yes.
Yes, they are that stupid. And before our favorite skeptics can write in demanding evidence for that statement, I present the 2006 Darwin Award winners, newly announced this week.


Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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  1. So, are those warning labels that were created after they got sued, or just to make sure they have all their bases covered and don't get sued?

  2. That's quite some reading throughput. I do that myself occasionally, (1.5+ pd over Christmas – it was that or talk to people) although every now and then I read something that blows me away and take pauses (sometimes breaks) to think about it. The kind of books that present ideas that send pleasant shivers down the spine.

    Re labels, I'm not sure that people are really that stupid, it's more that lawyers are that smart.

  3. Bravo bug_girl. I did the exact same thing, including computing books/week (and blogged about it on my exceptionally lame and stupid blog that has nothing to do with science) last august. Except I had read 150 books that year (2.9/week)–from august 05 to august 06. I use librarything to keep track of my books. I worship librarything. Considering that was the first year of my grad school at Stanford, I know not when I slept. Perhaps I did not. Too many nights were spent reading, looking up at the clock to realize the hour past 3 am, with the inevitable cursing "I am soooo stupid."

  4. Sid, you're right, a lot of them are rather suspect, and one has even been disqualified already (after they found out both people involved survived it).

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