Science Watch: How to Kill a SealS

Old water! Wind maps! Dry bugs! Fur seals! Science books! Star explosions! Tiny particles! Sea snails! And other wet and wondrous creatures! It's your Friday Science Watch, where we watch science—with scrutiny!

-If you dig down a thousand meters below Chesapeake Bay, you'll find groundwater "is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old." Just imagine if you dove down there with some hoses and buckets and started selling that stuff in the bottled water stores. "Get your ancient seawater here! Oldest salt water on earth over here!" Probably wouldn't be successful—but what a story you'd have to tell.

-Here's a map showing wind patterns over the entire world. Huh. Okay. Cool. Sooooo... what are your hobbies, or whatever?

-How do butterflies stay dry when it rains? That used to be a tantalizing secret. Now, any slackjawed moron can navigate to a double-u double-u website and look up the answer for themselves. Gee, "thanks" a lot, scientists.

-Veterinarians studying Chilean fur seals discovered that studying Chilean fur seals can give Chilean fur seals heart attacks. Ha! That one you just have to laugh at.

-Another day, another bunch of scientists wailing that corporate special interests are "hijacking" science textbooks for their own benefit. Man, if I had a nickel for every time this happened, you know what I'd do? I'd buy a mirror. And then I'd put the mirror in front of your face. And I'd let you look at yourself. And while I was doing that I'd orate, "You know who else is a special interest? You." And I'd probably have a Mannheim Steamroller CD playing while I did it, although that depends on where our budget is after the mirror purchase.

-"The biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed was captured by orbiting telescopes last spring, astronomers have said." And they waited six months to tell us? How would an astronomer feel if we went up to him and said "Oh, by the way, six months ago I cut off your hand?" Serious question.

-Over the course of two years, an isolated research station in Antarctica detected 28 neutrinos and 7,642 acts of masturbation.

-Can you imagine dedicating your life to researching sea snail sex? I bet it's deceptively interesting. You start talking about it to women at parties and as the minutes tick by, the woman's like, "So he knows a lot about sex, eh?" At least that's how Johann imagined it, when he was a grad student.

-Have you ever seen a frog? Well, they're out there. Keep looking.

[Photo: Flickr]