Sometimes it feels like scientists aren’t even trying to make learning fun. They’ll be all, “Global warming is a very real problem that will have dire consequences if we don’t blah blah blah.” It’s like, jeez you science dorks, way to put everyone to sleep with your nerd talk. So it’s pretty cool that a couple of scientists finally pulled their microscopes out of their butts and did something cool—naming a kind of snail after The Clash’s Joe Strummer.
The Los Angeles Times’ Science Now section (whose editors probably had a fight over who was going to be the lucky one to write about the one non-snoozeworthy topic that’s happened in science all year) published an article about the Alviniconcha strummeri, whose name was inspired by the late punk icon. The snails have thin shells, can grow to be between the size of a golfball, and can change their chemical makeup according to the environment, the article says.
Shannon Johnson, a science-type person who published the paper on the snail in some sciencey journal thing, told the Times that the snail was named after Stummer not just for its appropriate spikey look but also for Strummer's work as an environmentalist who strove to be a carbon-neutral artist.
Photo: Robert Vrijenhoek / Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Research Institution
So there is your science news for the day. Feel free to show off your new knowledge at dinner parties instead of just sitting there awkwardly, praying for the conversation to turn towards the latest episode of Scandal.