6 May 2011

Asking questions for fun and profit. Especially fun!

Since I’m the one getting blamed for this blog in the Welcome message, I should probably introduce myself.

Hi, everyone! I'm Claire, and it’s great to be here.

I’m the blogger in the upper left-hand corner. I live in the Yukon, the most northwestern bit of Canada, and – in a way – it’s living in the Yukon that got me into writing about science for kids.

I’ve been writing about science for a long time. It’s part of my semi-nefarious plot to get people to pay me for doing what I want to do anyway. Basically, I’m curious. I was the kid whose nose was always buried in a book. If books didn’t have all the answers, I asked questions – of my parents, my teachers, my aunts and uncles and cousins, even the world-famous physicist who lived next door.

When I lived in Saskatoon, I convinced CBC Radio that its morning show urgently needed a weekly science feature. The producer believed me, and the series lasted for two and a half years, or about 125 glorious weeks of getting paid to ask questions about everything from bugs to relativity.

Then, in 1984, I moved to the Yukon and found a whole new set of questions. You see, the Yukon is a peculiar place. Twenty thousand years ago, when most of Canada was buried under kilometres of ice, much of the Yukon was ice-free and full of life. There were woolly mammoths, camels, muskoxen and caribou, dire wolves, giant short-faced bears, scimitar cats, and weird giant ground sloths.

There’s a ground sloth skeleton in a museum just up the hill, and it fascinates me. (Check out the photo. That's my cool running shoe next to the giant sloth claw!)

I wanted to know more. How could something so huge be related to the tree sloths from modern-day rainforests? What was it doing so far north? So I started reading and asking questions. And I found more animals that fascinated me: dragonflies as big as hawks, huge crocs from what’s now a desert, bear-sized beaver, and rabbit-sized camels.

All those questions led to my first science book for kids, Super Crocs & Monster Wings: Modern Animals’ Ancient Past. Because, who appreciates weird, giant animals more than kids? (And me, of course.)

More books have happened since then, but I’ll talk about about them, and plenty of other stuff, in later blogs.


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jozien said...

Hi,who is this :)where did this blog come from, why didn't i see it before. :) i will read it later add it to my blogroll and find out all the answers to my questions.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Hi Claire! Those of us in the Yukon are awfully glad you made your way up and decided to stay!

Great blog, great bloggers. Keep up the good work, Sci/Why!

The Sci/Writers said...

Welcome, Jozien! We're a new blog, and we're excited to see where the future takes us.