antony van leeuwenhoek

Giardiasis: Science Writing Can Be Fun

My husband got these little critters in Russia

Ryan is going to Russia. Which made me think of Giardiasis. Some Dutch dude wrote this about the parasite now known as Giardiasis (thanks Wikipedia). I think it is a beautiful description of the inside of certain kinds of shit and a wonderful example of how science writing, as Nabakov, Adrian (not to mention science fiction writers) and many others knew and know, can be great:

Antony van Leeuwenhoek of Delft, Netherlands, described such microorganisms he observed in the stool: “I have sometimes also seen tiny creatures moving very prettily; some of them a bit bigger, others a bit less, than a blood-globule but all of one and the same make. Their bodies were somewhat longer than broad, and their belly, which was flattish, furnished with sundry little paws, wherewith they made such a stir in the clear medium and among the globules, that you might even fancy you saw a woodlouse running up against a wall; and albeit they made a quick motion with their paws, yet for all that they made but slow progress.”

Excerpts / 5 Comments
April 22nd, 2009 / 2:22 pm