Award for best imagery in a tech article: “worm volcano”

As a frustrated city-dwelling gardener who can only dream of having a compost pile, I happily devoured the Atlantic’s article on Jack Chambers. He’s a former airline pilot who, as a preparation for retirement, bought a worm farm.

A crash course in all things worm quickly followed, including a carefully scheduled layover in Vigo, Spain, to attend the World Worm Conference, and conversations with vermiculture pioneer and Ohio State University professor, Clive Edwards. Trial and error also played a role, with Chambers reminiscing about the “worm volcano” he accidentally created by experimenting with cornmeal as a feed — 50,000 disgusted worms all crawled over the sides of the bin at once, in a scene worthy of a horror movie. “Now, if I’m trying something new,” explained Chambers, “I only add it to quarter of the bin, to leave room for escape.”

I had to pause after reading that, just to properly savor it. What an image! I laughed, closed my eyes to better imagine it, and laughed again.

Alas, the reporter neglected to ask the obvious follow-up question: “How did you recapture 50,000 disgusted worms?” Because that’s another image I’d love to spend time with.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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One Response to Award for best imagery in a tech article: “worm volcano”

  1. xenatuba says:

    That provokes a snort of laughter. At least they’d move slowly enough for me to catch…

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