61: Science Ferrets
Need to string some wire through your house or clean a particle accelerator? You might need a science ferret.
Welcome to Brain Junk! I’m Trace Kerr, and I’m Amy Barton, and this is a Brain Storm.
AB:Today I would like to talk about the very special subject of Science Ferrets. In 1999, the BBC UK published an article about a concert in London. There was a big to-do, and they were gonna have also sorts of bands, big venue. But not a normal venue, so they’re stringing wires, because you can’t just have people tripping over wires, and the event planners were discovering ‘we can’t get a long enough pole to get these wires strung through.’ And I don’t know who the person who thought of this was, but somebodie’s like ‘What if put a harnes son a ferret, and we put a wire’ they didn’t use this accent, they had a different accent probably. They attached the wiring to the ferret harness and they put the ferret in the tunnel. And if the ferret didn’t just naturally go out the other end they’d put a little something that smelled good at the other end to lure the little gyus through, and they did all the work.
TK: Ohhh, I like Science Ferrets!
AB: Mhmmm. Those are like Roadie Ferrets. So Roadie and Science Ferrets. We’re going to get to Science Ferrets now actually, because I was excited about this, so much so, that I was willing to show my hand and tell Trace ‘Oh my gosh! Have you heard about these ferrets?!’ And she texts back, she’s like ‘yeah, I know.’
TK: Ooohhh, that’s not…
AB: You totally did. She sent me a link and she’s like ‘I will see your Roadie Ferrets and bring you Science Ferrets.’ So Trace is actually Science Ferrets, and I’m Roadie Ferrets.
TK: You know, I like Roadie Ferrets, because I like the idea of them hanging out by the speakers, and the girls are like ‘Hey, can we get backstage passes?’
AB: And they’ve all got a rat tail…
TK: Yeah, pretty much. So tell me about the Nerd Ferrets.
AB: Yes. They bring great joy to me, because the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland had the same problem as the concert venue. It has long, long, long tunnles of pipes and you can’t just get a guy with a pole to shove ’em through. So they did the same thing. Harnesses, ferrets, wires, send ’em through, a little something at the other end and that is how much of the wiring has been done at the Large Hadron Collider. So here’s what I wonder though. They’re gonna be getting results, and then five years down the road a guy is going to be like ‘I know you’re excited about this, but it appears to be a ferret hair. This is not actually scientific results, it’s ferret hair. Sorry bros.’ There IS an instance, if you google CERN and ferrets, you will not find the Science Ferrets first, you will find the poor ferret that chewed through a wire and got electrocuted at the Large Hadron Collider.
AB: Yeah, But the rest of the Science Ferrets, little harnesses, loving life, going to get snacks at the other end. For science.
TK: I love it.
AB: It makes me really happy.
TK: we’re on Facebook and Instagram as BrainJunkPodcast, and you can find us on Twitter as @MyBrainJunk. Amy and I will catch you next time when we share more of everything you never knew you wanted to know, and I guarantee, you won’t be bored.