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Update & The Canadian Science Grand Slam

Timestamps, References & Transcript


- Metaphorigins Instagram Page -
- Podcast Panel about Digital Media - @sciencenetworkers
- Science Slam Canada - @scislamCA
- Youtube Video of Performance - TBD

Theme Music​

- Flying High by jantrax |
- Music promoted by Switxwr
- Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License |


To my supercalifragilisticexpialidocious family and friends. Near and far. Old and new. This is Kevin Mercurio on the mic. And welcome to a, ummmm, floating episode of the Metaphorigins podcast.

I just wanted to provide an update on the what the heck has been going on. Remember that time I took a month break to work on an academic paper back in the summer? Oh how long ago that feels. Well I am taking yet another break to work on that exact same paper as I now have time to finish the last few experiments in the lab that I work at. Those were my academic responsibilities that I’ve decided to focus on until the new year.

However, during this time I have been working hard on creating the framework for a very ambitious 3rd Season of this podcast. Think one of those long episodes but with metaphorical content, science content and interviews with really cool people! As soon as this paper goes out this will be one of my primary focuses.

I have also been experimenting with other endeavours. I was lucky enough to be a part of a digital scicomm panel hosted by Science Networkers, a great podcast run by two awesome women with the idea of connecting up and comers with people already in the sci comm space. Their episode featuring the panel should be out by now, or at least in the short while, so I will provide a link in the description to keep an eye out for it.

I was also given the opportunity to present at the annual Canadian Science Grand Slam! This is a national event that has the best and brightest communicators from around the country compete on delivering a science-y topic of their choosing to a lay audience. The virtual performance has no rules, except for the fact that you cannot use powerpoint as your vehicle of delivering information. I’m happy to announce that I was 3rd in the audience vote, but lost to two amazing pieces by a fellow poetry slammer and a puppet master. It was a lot of fun and will share their youtube channel in the description for you to check out all the performances.

I wanted to share my poetry piece through my podcast and will perform the poem in this episode. This time I won’t make any mistakes like forgetting my verses, at least that you know of, the power of editing! Anyway, the poem is a new piece titled “This ain’t no nursery rhyme” and is about a boy growing up in the age of technology and social media, along with the unconscious parallels he draws throughout his early life. And I hope you enjoy it.

*Theme Music*

This ain’t no nursery rhyme
What I hope to convey
Through much dismay
Is something of a crime

This ain’t no nursery rhyme

Once upon a time,
there was a boy named Jay,
now Jay, see, lived in a poor neighbourhood
But the best part about it
Was that kids would love to play outside
And Jay loved to play
Like the game called manhunt where, well, just think hide and seek at a massive neighbourhood scale
Nothing was off limits
Locked parking garages, rooftops, treetops, and unfilled pools
yards in the elementary schools
They would shoot some basketball or marbles,
play some beyblade or head to the local arcade
Then one day at school in 1998 Jay looked up and saw all his mates with a new toy
“Mom, can I get the new Gameboy?” Jay would say when he got home
“Ughhh,” his Mom would groan.
And Jay would play that toy every day
Not knowing he would be led astray

This ain’t no nursery rhyme

Now Jay went to a high school similar to mine
While most of his friends went to others closeby,
Some outside of the city or country
Shy and lonely, where did kids like Jay turn to?
That new and exciting thing that the adults keep talking about
That game with the name that the adults keep quiet about
That mobile phone we definitely did not need
Forgot joining clubs, forgot building relationships
Because that guy from the virtual village is loaded with quests
Then came the bullying, the derision,
Jay began to the notice the hierarchy of social status.
The school system that stacks us,
Attacks us,
Into a corner it backs us

This ain’t no nursery rhyme

Jay would listen to the repetitive relay,
“Kids will be kids, bygones be bygones, girls be girls”
That tautological reasoning was perplexing
Jay’s brain was warped, accepting,
crediting that adults have lived through it all and turned out fine
Then something completely new came online,
The advent of Facebook
The idea that if you wanted to be someone’s friend the gist
Was that you had to be accepted and judged on some public list
How measurable, how great for those who belonged,
how such a simple idea metastasized in the minds of young people like Jay
But that wasn’t the only idea
There was also the phenomenon of sharing intimate moments we acquired
Something that Jay absolutely desired
And despite how his eyes ached in their sockets
He stuck to his computer chair
Zombie scrolling with a blank stare
Even when his loving mom called for him to eat the dinner she prepared
And if he wasn’t looking at the illuminated black mirror
Jay was thinking about saving his virtual world from terror
Even when his hard-working dad came to ask about his day
“Stop bothering me!” was the common phrase
And he, without stirring a fight,
hurt but mindful of his son’s stressful life, exits stage right

This ain’t no nursery rhyme

Now don’t get me wrong, there are friends of Jay's
Some of which still last to this day
Some of which Jay met in early life
Some of which Jay met in university
And fully encompassing the concept of serendipity
He even had a few romantic relationships
Despite his immaturity
Not in the context of understanding scientific evidence
But in the context of emotional intelligence
Partners that just wanted to have Jay share
Understand the state of being here
For one Valentine’s Day, the moment before the breakup,
Jay laid on a couch perusing through Reddit headlines of the corrupt,
and Instagram images of people he met at some gathering years ago
How could he know?
That he was about to end something beautiful because the real was more work through and through
A game that he could not stand to play, a platform he could no longer subscribe to
And as she cries while subtly hiding the gift she was about to give in a desk
Jay dives headfirst into an abyss

This ain't no nursery rhyme

The story of Jay
I’m sure you saw it coming from a mile away
This ain’t no nursery rhyme
This is my life, my time
This long winded anecdote articulated
n science experiment we did not sign up for
But inevitably participated
With a conclusion that these technologies are grasping for our attention
Armies of carnies trying to get you to play that rigged game
Under the veil of connection
But you knew that, right?
You saw that documentary on Netflix, right?
Or was it HBO, Vimeo, Youtube, Tik Tok, Snapchat,
Knick knack paddy wack
If we give our attention to all of these platforms,
What about people who matter more?
How can we change these new norms?
I don’t know the answer
But the first step towards change is awareness
And while I may not have triumphed this addiction,
and even promoted this event through the very media I scorn
but am attempting to adorn
hear that I say this after fruition,
after hitting my personal rock bottom
In the moment, let’s remember to use our eyes, ears, mouth, hands and nose
so we could use the senses evolutionarily bestowed

This ain’t no nursery rhyme
Let’s choose what to give our time

Thank you.

And with that, stay skeptical but curious!

*Theme Music*

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