The Maggot Convention
They aren't discussing a cure for cancer, the avian flu, or the origins of the universe. They're discussing little squirmy, nasty, smelly, maggots. Little larvae that become fruit flies. Those little bugs associated with decomposition and death.
Because maggots are very important to science.
Dr. Matthew Cobb of the University of Machester said: "Scientists have been studying fruit flies for 100 years and they have proven a very powerful tool in our current understanding of how genetics works. The first genes involved in biological clocks that help us know what time of day it is were discovered in fruit flies, as were the genes involved in the biological processes of learning and how organisms grow and develop from that initial single cell. The same basic genes that make a fly also make a human baby...so there are huge practical applications here for understanding how humans work."
Huh...who would've thunk it.
They will be discussing how nerves and genes interact within maggots to gain a better understanding of human behavior, activity, and several sensory feats like smell. In addition, they will share vital information concerning how a maggot's nervous system develops as it becomes a pupae. These fascinating topics will hopefully help scientists relate their findings to human studies. Makes you just want to hop on a plaine and head to this convention right now, doesn't it?
"Holding an international conference on fruit-fly maggots might seem like a strange idea but there are major scientific benefits to be had from studying these organisms," said Dr Cobb.
A little strange?
Perhaps in order to gain more mainstream interest and attendance to the Maggot Convention, Dr. Cobb and his associates should adopt education, yet more entertaining events. I'd be more likely to attend this summit if:
They allowed amateur and semi-professional filmmakers to produce great movies with a maggot theme. In the evening, the scientitsts could sit around and enjoy these wonderful and entertaining films. It'd be a great way to portray maggots in many different ways, not just as the nasty flesh eating creatures that they are.
They had merchandising. What's a convention without buying stuff? Maggot hats, maggot shirts, maggot key chains, maggot hoagies, maggot french fries, maggot stir fry, maggot earings (pictured right), maggot corn dogs, maggot ninja costumes. The possibilities are endless.
They had a skit night. Remember skits in boy/girl scout camp? You could divide the scientists into groups, have them draw out several fascinating maggot storylines, and then have them act out their skits. Nothing can be more fun and educational than an impromptu skit competition.
They had an art festival. You think among scientists there are no painters, musicians, or sculptors? The Maggot Convention would be an ideal outlet for these budding artists to show off their love of maggots AND their artistic talents. Imagine maggot paintings, rock songs, and ice sculptures.
There's so much they could do to "jazz up" their Maggot Convention. The popularity would spread like wildfire. I'm thinking in the very near future, there could very well be a Maggotcon near you!