Scientific American is shutting down its blog network June 7. I’ve been with the network since it launched in early July 2011, and I started blogging independently back in 2009. I guess even I am surprised I made it this far.
It’s been a fun ride, telling the untold stories about the natural world that I wanted to tell, in the way I wanted to tell them, and hopefully making you laugh (or at least chuckle) along the way. I think it's somewhat fitting my last real post was about an actual (albeit evil) amoeba.
I decided to blog because, in my training as a biologist and plant pathologist, I was frustrated by the enormous number of crazy, wonderful life forms that no one ever talked or wrote about — even (and especially) biologists. Those weirdos are my passion.
On this blog, I got to talk and write about them, and I hope you have enjoyed reading about them. As a result of starting this blog, I got to be on Radiolab twice, once went live on the Weather Channel from my mother-in-law’s breakfast nook, fulfilled my dream of traveling in a deep-sea submarine in Curaçao, and even got a tour of America’s only deep sea exploration vessel, where they used sound effects from the Starship Enterprise aboard ship.
I think my favorite post may have been the one about zombie cicadas flying around (and mating!) without realizing their spore-stuffed bodies are literally falling apart. I almost didn't write it it was so revolting, but I think it turned out to be one of the best things I ever wrote. Another personal favorite was the tale of the ants who fell into a pitch-black inescapable abandoned nuclear weapons bunker, and yet they toiled on faithfully regardlessly, even disposing of their dead in a little ant cemetery. There was something heart-wrenchingly melancholy about it in an existential, post-apocalyptic science fiction way.
Although The Artful Amoeba is going on to glory, as my dear departed great uncle would have said, I still (with luck) plan to make contributions to Observations, the Scientific American staff blog, which will survive the blog network's demise. And I may also occasionally write news stories for Scientific American. Please look for me there. You can also continue to find and write to me on twitter @JenniferFrazer.
My other endeavor is to finish my book on slime molds, which I have been working on on and off for almost ten years. In case you ever wondered, the name of this blog — “The Artful Amoeba” — was meant to describe a slime mold. I estimate I’m about two-thirds done with the first draft. It’s time to finish that sucker and finally become That Lady Who Wrote the Funny, Cool Book about Slime Molds, What’s Her Name?
Thank you to all you readers, to Scientific American, and to all the critters I wrote about (and poked fun at) for a great 11 years.