This morning I read a wonderful post on Alex Brown’s excellent blog, Do You Speak Science?, in which he addresses the questions that people search for before landing on his blog.  I liked the idea so much that I decided to write a similar post over here at Inspiring Science.  Let me know what you think of it — if you like the idea, I might make it a (semi-)regular feature!

Despite its title, this blog doesn’t answer a question that recently brought someone here: “Who is an inspirational scientist?”. I think many of the scientists I’ve met (or read) are inspirational, but I’m guessing “inspirational” is being used in a more public sense here.  Off the top of my head, Carl Sagan & Stephen Jay Gould certainly fit the bill. If you’ve got a suggestion, please share it in the comments! (Note: David Attenborough, though incredibly inspirational, isn’t a scientist.)

I was amused to find out that the question “Why do women in different areas like different guys?” led someone to this blog.  I guess I mention sexism & gender issues pretty frequently, and I did write a post entitled Why do men and women want different things?.  Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for the original question.  Don’t different men/women generally like different people?  I’ve never thought of it as correlating with areas; I thought that’s just how people are.

Someone searching for “Did our ancestors have group sex?” found this blog — probably thanks to my old post Debating our ancestors’ sex lives.  I honestly don’t know the answer to that question (I’m not sure anyone really does!), but I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have.  Modern humans have group sex, as do some of our closest living relatives, so I’m willing to go out on a limb and guess that our forebears did, too.

Whoever asked “Why is it always the most incompetent people promoted to leadership positions?” (or, similarly, “Why do incompetent people get promoted?”) may have been left unsatisfied by my post about the Peter principle.  If you were looking for emotional release and didn’t get it, I’m sorry.  I can only hope that learning about the inherent problems in how people are promoted made you feel better.

This one isn’t a question, but it was so odd that I decided to include it anyway: “peacock tail breast milk”.  I have no idea what that query is supposed to be about, but I hope my post about sexual selection and the brain satisfied whoever found it.  I’m also really glad I was able to tell someone the name for “the earthly smelling substance after first raining”: petrichor.

I’m guessing it was the discussion about parasites and identity that drew in the person who asked, “What is the natural habitat of an emerald cockroach?”.  I’ve never heard of an Emerald Cockroach (is there such a thing?), but if you were asking about the Emerald Cockroach Wasp, you’re in luck — I’m planning to write a whole post about it!

So, how about you?

  • Have you done any unusual searches lately?  What did you find?
  • What strange searches have led people to your blog (or website)?
  • How did you find Inspiring Science?  What brought you here?