Random AsidesScience

Gratitude, plugs, a blatant appeal for pity, and a hamster.

Thanks again to Lynn Margulis for posting and answering questions here at Skepchick.org! You can read the Q&A right here, and if you’re interested, pick up her new book Luminous Fish.

In other news, there’s a new(ish) Skeptics’ Circle posted over on Scientia Natura. In case you didn’t notice, that blog is run by a total hottie. Look, people, these are the sharp observations you get from a girl who is suffering through her third illness of the winter while working 12-hour days. A friend remarked, “You’re sick again? Don’t you take vitamins?” I responded, “I lick metal doorknobs for iron, does that count?” Apparently it does not. *Sniff.*

I’m also adding this picture of a hamster drawn by Rachel Maguire. Why? Because it is adorable and I haven’t linked to her in awhile.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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  1. Also, please note that I wrote this post early this morning, published it, and mere moments later decided to edit in the hamster. Apparently when I did that, it set the post to "private" so no one could see or, of course, reply with the necessary amount of pity.

  2. There have been a couple of studies that show that living with livestock can improve your immune system by exposing you to infectious agents in the animals that are similar to infectious agents in humans but don't cause illnesses that are as severe.

    Basically, I think that you need to ditch the hamster and get a goat.Or a chimp. But not a bird. [fowl things]

  3. Hamster!

    I used to lick doorknobs for iron, too, but then I realised that my doorknobs are all made of brass. Oops? Of course, that covers my RDA for copper and zinc, but I've had to turn to sword-eating to make sure my red blood cells can keep on doing their thing.

  4. I'm amazed at your dedication, or obsession, with this blog. When I'm sick, I have little inclination to do anything that doesn't directly affect my feeling better.

    Maybe blogging does that for you? If so, then forge ahead. Again, my sympathies for your current unwell state.

    Margulis is interesting. I'll have to do some reading of her work.

  5. durnett, one more bird pun like that and you'll be banned from this blog.

    thad: I really should've seen that coming…

    wright: "obsession" is probably the more appropriate term. I have one of those "addictive" personality things, which is pretty much all that keeps me going most days.

  6. Nah, vitamin pills won't do much for illnesses; according to JAMA's meta-analysis, some of the more common ones actually *increase* mortality.

    How about cast iron pots – there's some evidence that cooking in them can add iron to your diet. Handy for cooking the goat, too.

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