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Showing posts from July 11, 2010

scientists' dinner table conversation - and a one-liner for the real dorks among you

What do we talk about at the dinner table in the field every night? How do we come up with new topics of conversation, after spending weeks on end together, 24/7, especially without current events to fall back on (though some of us do check the news online fairly regularly)? Some of us have spent years together, collectively, in this camp, 24/7....

We can basically divide our conversations into three catgeories: field stories, work, and food. Oh, and just getting-to-know-each-other kinds of conversations, especially with students/visitors/etc.

Much of the time we tell and re-tell field adventure stories. Two of the scientists here, John and Alison (who are married), have spent years doing work in a variety of places in Africa (Congo, Botswana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania,  and more) since the 1970s. Kay and I have probably had the most time on game reserves with wild animals, including ones that could kill people with one well-placed foot (hippos), tusk (elephants), horn (buffaloes), or t…