Archives for category: vocation

For awhile, those “My experimental year” books were all the rage:  One year  …living without products made in Chinafollowing the Bible as literally as possibleeating locallymore eating locallyliving with lessgiving up unnecessary shoppingworking minimum wage jobs …and on and on…

To start the new year, I have noticed a mini-theme emerging on television:  Travel shows revolving around a quirky theme.

Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, travels the nation, attempting to eat an array of enormously-proportioned food, including a 2.5 lb Dagwood sandwich (he finished!) and a 7.5 lb hamburger (not quite!).   Here’s a list of his food travels, in case you’re interested in following the fullness.

Wreckreation Nation, from Discovery, features host Dave Mordal travelling the nation, searching out unusual competitions and traditions such as lawnmower racing and catfish grabbing.

Looks like many of these travel with a theme jobs are already well-staffed:  Eating (thanks a lot, Andrew and Tony!), visiting various haunted places (no thanks!), solving ancient mysteries, treasure hunting, visiting the most eco-friendly homes.  If I’m going to host one of these shows, then I’ll have to find some obscure niche somewhere… maybe I’ll bring Sufjan Stevens around to the 48 states he hasn’t written albums about yet for inspiration and hijinks.

… and yet so far!

I recently heard this story on Morning Edition on NPR:

Scientist Douglas Prasher isolated a glowing jellyfish protein gene. When he lost his research funding, three other scientists built on that work. In October, it was announced that two U.S. and one Japanese scientists had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

The crazy this is, after Prasher lost his funding he ended up driving a courtesy van for a living.  But, perhaps even crazier, he says he’s happy doing it.  According to him, research is sort of a lonely enterprise.  However, driving a van gives him the opportunity to connect with people all day long and hear their stories.  Then again, maybe that’s just the story he has to keep telling himself to keep from losing his mind over being that close to winning a Nobel Prize!

There’s sort of a happy ending to this story:

The U.S. scientists who won the prize this week invited Prasher and his wife to Stockholm for the Nobel ceremony. They will thank him in their acceptance speeches and will pay for the trip.