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The nature of life is experimentation

A common question while doing outreach work to try to get kids to consider a career in science is, "What made you want to be a scientist when you were a kid?"
Honestly, I never really thought of myself as the scientific type. When I was nine, I wanted to be a lawyer because they make lots of money. Then I found out there were already lots of lawyers. When I was ten, I wanted to be a commercial airline pilot because I had seen the inside of a cockpit and it was awesome. My guidance counselor took one look at my Coke bottle glasses and gently suggested I explore other options. I considered marine biology (okay, that one is sciencey)when I fell in love with a coffee table book of deep sea creatures, but there's not much ocean in Pittsburgh and I already was fairly certain I wouldn't want to relocate that far. Then I took piano lessons. What budding musician doesn't dream of a life filled with their new love, supported by adoring fans? Dad suggested engineering as being more marketable. Chemistry was a compromise, and one I haven't regretted.

In hindsight, abundant natural curiosity and tendency to experiment were there all along. I still find myself treating life as a series of experiments. Notable experiments have included: What exactly does unmedicated natural childbirth feel like? How do I spin this raw fleece? What happens when I dye wool with this combination of dyes? What happens when I dye my hair with this dye? How do I fix what this dye has done to my hair?

Today I bring you the latest in "Sarah Experiments So You Don't Have To": will duct tape really remove a wart?
I'm not happy to admit I have a wart. It feels like some sort of personal shortcoming. Upstanding, organized, attractive (airbrushed) people don't have warts*. But I've had one under my left upper arm for five years and it's time for it to go away.
I'm happy to report that after one week of duct tape coverage, my viral blemish appears flatter and . . . unhappy. I can't quantify it, but it seems that it might be working. Average time for resolution in the studies I've read was 28 days with an 80% success rate. Stay tuned for all the breathtaking details.

*I was somewhat reluctant to explain my duct tape in mixed company (read venerable in-laws) for fear of grossing them out, but inadvertently started a group recital of memorable skin abnormalities that was enough to turn my stomach.

80% success rate? Seriously? WOW! I hope it really does work for you, and promise to never make fun of someone wearing duct tape ever again.

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  • I'm Sarah
  • From Pittsburgh, United States
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