Cool Toys Pic of the Day – Belly Button Biodiversity Project

Belly Button Biodiversity Project:
http://www.wildlifeofyourbody.org/

Your Wild Life:
http://www.yourwildlife.org/

The second day of my college Italian class I wore a jeans and tshirt to class. The tshirt was just some little mild bit of comedy, in which a cartoon-style word bubble came out of the bottom center of the shirt, saying, “Belly buttons need love, too.” When the prof entered the class, he nodded sagely and said, ” Ah, gli navelli anno bisogno di amore anche.” I was absolutely baffled, but after many repetitions and some hand gestures I deduced that he had translated the tshirt into Italian. I just love the way that phrase rolls off my tongue. Of course, ever since then I have had a special fondness for
bellybuttons, also known as navels.

That might explain my ENORMOUS fondness for this citizen science project. Of course, by this time, most of you already know what a fan I am of citizen science and crowdsourcing in science. This one is just even MORE special.

In their own words:
“The belly button has captured the human imagination for centuries — it’s made us giggle, it’s made us blush, it’s made us turn our heads in horror (just do a Google images search for belly buttons). It’s the portal through which we were connection to our mothers; and it’s the physical reminder of our evolutionary past.
With the Belly Button Biodiversity project, we transformed the meaning of navel-gazing. We recruited over 500 of you to twirl a Q-tip in your belly button for the sake of scientific discovery. We inspired countless more to pause, ponder, and dare we say appreciate the microbes that call your body home.”

They have a lovely collection of informational links here.

Welcome to the Jungle:
http://www.yourwildlife.org/2012/11/welcome-to-the-jungle/

This includes photo galleries, blogposts, articles, published research, reactions, and news reviews. Fascinating stuff. Quite serious science enriched with a dollop of delight and humor.

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