The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’
Mistakes are the stuff of great stories. Think about it. No one rehashes a regular day at the office where things just work out the way they should. We don’t retell events over and over just to develop a punchline of “everything went the way it was supposed to.” Future generations won’t remember that time where “the copier functioned properly and I got all my work done.” Nope, you’ve got to mess up. We like the stories with conflict. We like the stories when someone (but certainly not me) walked into a sliding glass door, or mistakenly got bit by a sea otter, or accidentally discovered penicillin. The best way to learn in life, as in science, is to make mistakes. Maybe one of the best ways to avoid messing up again, is to tell other people about it. So here you go…
In a handful of places, I will change the names of a few people and locations in order to protect the guilty. The stories here are as I remember them. The scientific information in these stories is researched and can be referenced. That said, my memory is often an amalgam of emotions and half-images, and science changes as we learn more. Should you as a reader see yourself in anything written here that offends you, please let me know and I will remove the post. I come from people who tell a lot of stories. I am writing for all of the times that we have thought or said, “I should write this down”. I hope we can all see a bit of ourselves in some of these stories, and maybe learn a little on the way. Thank you for stopping by.
…Also, sea otters are really mean.
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No Real Ending