On International Talk Like a Pirate Day, here's an eye-patch-witness account of how science helps in all peg-leg walks of life, even piracy
Pirates Needed Science, Too
Arrrrr. Today, September 19th, is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
No, seriously, yo ho ho, check the web. Ya know, matey, anyone could be a pirate, all ye needed was a proper disrespect for authority and a willingness to be seasick months at a time. But to be a truly successful pirate and not just the son of a biscuit eater, well, ye had to know a bit of science, too.
A good pirate captain had to know the astronomy to navigate by the stars. He had to be acquainted with meteorology and know enough fluid dynamics to make sure he didn’t overload his ship with booty. And he needed the psychological skills to manage his literally motley crew.
Your average pirate ship required a buccaneer surgeon to treat stab wounds and cat o’ nine tails slashes, and a swashbucklin’ general practitioner to make sure the men had the right diet to ward off scurvy with foods rich in vitamin C. Plus, your pirate optometrist supplied the men with eye patches. And of course, advanced veterinary practice kept your pirate parrots in fine fettle. So ya see, me hearty, no matter what your chosen path, science is sure to give you a hand. Or at least a hook .
[Originally posted on September 19, 2006.]
[The above text is pretty much an exact transcript of this podcast, more or less, arrrrrrrrgh.]