Science Potpourri—The Blame Goes To WordPress

I’ve never once used a writing prompt.  Perhaps that’s obvious, but I’ll ignore the insinuation and move right along, because one of WordPress’s daily prompts recently caught my attention.

Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people, and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all.

Oh my, oh my, oh my. Ain’t we got fun?

Folks, I think you know where I’m headed. Get out while you can, because we’re trekking to old people, ear wax, and poo land. All in the name of science.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Oh, My Nose!

Ever wonder why Tommy Lee Jones has ears the size of Texas? Well, although our bones stop growing after puberty, our cartilage most certainly does not. Those hardy little cells keep right on dividing, blessing us with over-sized noses and ears. And as if that weren’t cruel enough, like breasts and scrota, gravity leads to droopage, until eventually every quadrant of our body is sweeping the floor. Thanks, Mother Nature; you’re sweet.

Zoomin’ Cerumen

Ear wax. Fun stuff, isn’t it?

In the body’s protective attempt to keep debris away from our eardrums, it manages to fill the ear canal with debris. Say what? The wax-producing sebaceous and apocrine glands are housed within the skin of the ear canal, and together they efficiently pump out cerumen. Toss in a bit of discarded skin, and voilà! A nice collection of ear wax awaits. If you’re lucky, this self-made paraffin will work its way out. If you’re not, well, hello petrified driftwood, especially if you carry the recessive gene for dry wax.

“So tell me, Doc, did I inherit the gene for dry wax or wet wax?” (Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art)


What’s that stuff made of?

Like the earth, fecal matter comprises mostly water. But unlike the oceans, that water isn’t for swimming. With all the dead and living bacteria, undigested food residue (fiber), leftover junk from the junk food our bodies refuse, cellular debris, fats, minerals, mucus, and liver-detoxified crap, it’s best to stay shore side.

Why’s it brown?

The iron in our poo shacks up with the yellow-orange pigment of bilirubin, which travels to the intestines after our red blood cells die. But don’t mourn their passing; those little hematologic discs didn’t die in vain. After all, once this iron-bilirubin fusion combines with our crap, they’ve helped form a nice chocolate package.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

But why’s it so smelly?

Those intestinal bacteria harbor most of the blame. Their generated gasses just plain stink. Especially when we tempt them with spices their wee parts aren’t used to or expose them to artificial junk and chemicals. So go ahead, enjoy that spicy frozen burrito in a box. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh, come on, did you really need to go there?

One more tidbit before I depart, and I apologize in advance. But hey, no secrets between us, right? There are some in this world for whom feces triggers sexual excitement. Coprophilia it’s called. Take that word and run with it, why don’t you? It might just be WordPress’s next prompt of the day…

Do you use writing prompts? Do you think WordPress will ever let me use one of theirs again? Have I ruined your appetite for the day? 

References: and

200 Responses to “Science Potpourri—The Blame Goes To WordPress”

  1. Margie

    I never use WordPresses (or is it WordPress’s) writing prompts. I will, though, if I ever run out of ideas – which doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.


    • Carrie Rubin

      It’s funny because ever since I did this prompt, other WP prompts are catching my eye. I guess I’ll save them for a rainy day.


  2. Kourtney Heintz

    I’ve never used a writer’s prompt, and I’ve never seen one used in such a unique fashion.😉 WordPress will either revoke your usage or freshly press you again!😉


  3. Le Clown

    Love me some Daily Prompts, especially when it’s about nuggets… Now imagine if you would lose a writing gig because some potential employers would say your site ranks well with keywords “poopity-doopity”?
    Le Clown


    • Carrie Rubin

      You are so right; it would be very sad. But I refuse to censor my poo-words. I have science to back me up…

      By the way, I’m about to post today’s entries. It’s about my own Facebook ‘friending’ experience and boundaries. You might be interested.


      • Le Clown

        You have all my attention. Looking forward to it.
        Le Clown


  4. Pat

    I do occasionally use the WordPress prompt, and don’t always use it in the way they probably think it should. However, your post takes the – I was going to say ‘biscuit’, but I reckon anything food related is going to have consequences on this post.
    The Coprophilia thing is just disgusting, but it did remind me that coprolite is fossilised dinosaur poo and I know a few children who think that’s pretty wonderful. (Agree that children find much to do with poo pretty wonderful).
    And you can buy coprolite in those shops that sell bits of amber and quartz in little square plastic cubes lined with velvet.:-)


    • Carrie Rubin

      Coprolite–now that’s a sophisticated name for a less-than sophisticated product. Then again, fossilized dinosaur poo IS pretty cool. Much more so than, say, dog poo.

      Thanks for the comment!


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