HotAIR - Conversational Catalysts


Conversational Catalysts™

Scientific pearls we've heard dropped at parties

compiled by Stephen Drew, AIR staff

Conversational catalysis occurs at parties.

Conversation Catalysts are ringing sentences that stop conversations -- and/or start them. Conversational Catalysts are best when overheard, especially at parties.

The CCs listed here were uttered by scientists or other researchers at soirees, colloquia, or other gatherings. They were sent in by alert, keen-eared AIR readers who happened to be within earshot.

HOW TO ADD AN ITEM TO THIS LIST: If you have overheard an appropriately noticeable Conversation Catalyst, please send it to: "CONVERSATIONAL CATALYSTS" c/o <> Please include the location and date of the party at which you overheard it.

"Love is a temporal and spatial function."
(Expounded by a colleague while having a snack of oily samosas. Location Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Sometime in 2000 AD. Submitted by N. Sridharakumar.)

"Most people don't perceive the benefits of having schizophrenia."
(Overheard at a party in Boston, Massachusetts, March, 2001. Submitted by investigator Lucille Zimmerman.)

"I love unreliable narrators."
(Overheard at a party in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March, 2001. Submitted by investigator Dany Adams.)

"Art is fascinated by data."
(Overheard at a party in Oxford, England, March, 2001. Submitted by investigator Zvi Gorny.)

"What is your favorite metal?"
(Uttered by a German colleage at a party in Maryland, USA, 1999. Submitted by Mike Spearpoint.)

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