“Who Are You?”

Said the Caterpillar to Alice.

I’m Thea Beckman. And I’m a lady. I was born in the 80’s, but that hasn’t done anything to affect my love for Justin Bieber (because his delicate feminine beauty transcends puberty).

I’ve always had a fierce passion for writing and for science. In fact, the most fun I had during the entire course of my Masters degree (atmospheric science) was writing up my thesis, which was on thunderstorms. I then, in 2010, cashed my chips in and left for Thailand to start a new life, which abruptly ended two years later when I decided it was time to start another new life. But aside from an incredible tan, a love of two-wheeler transport and an addiction to chilli, I also came back to South Africa with a job as an SEO copywriter. Surprisingly enough, producing mind-numbing quantities of content on almost always the same topic didn’t squash my love for creative writing.

In fact, it ignited a raging conflagration within me.

It’s a Living!

The gig I have is brilliant. I can work anywhere in the world. I don’t have office hours or a nagging boss and I can basically work entirely at my own leisure, as long as I get the work done. Of course, it has its disadvantages: you have to be incredibly self-disciplined and I don’t have any benefits or paid leave. But it is, essentially, complete and unbridled freedom. I haven’t always worked for the same company. When I first arrived in Thailand, I got a job working for a freelance agent who basically outsourced writing projects he had collected from the various online job sites. Car guards in Cape Town earned more than I did, but the experience of it all was invaluable. I wrote content that was more varied than a hipster’s sock drawer; more diverse than the Queen’s hat collection; wider ranged than Mariah Carey’s singing voice. I wrote articles about anything and everything and used just about every writing style known to educated man.

Travel, airports, car rental agencies, universities, renewable energy, marketing, business strategy, eating disorders, fashion and film directing techniques were just some of the subjects I covered. I have even written articles about erectile dysfunction, which, for many reasons (not least of all my sexuality), I know absolutely nothing about. But write about flaccid one-eyed trouser snake I did! And I did it with great tact and compassion, even though I was burdened with unmentionably lascivious key phrases. Why did I do this? It was a living. And thankfully, I now write about slightly less, erm, inflammatory subjects.

“Never, ever underestimate how bored people are at work…”

My job as an SEO copywriter is really only the beginning of this story. It gave me the experience necessary to write about a handsome suite of topics; some interesting, some murderously tedious. It also gave me experience in writing in a diverse range of styles.

Then someone said to me (someone very important): “Never, ever underestimate how bored people are at work.” This pearl of wisdom resonated so powerfully within me that I immediately made nefarious plans to steal it and use it at a later date, which today, has arrived. People ARE bored at work! Not all the time, but there are often long stretches of time that people hungrily seek intellectual occupation. I often convince myself that no one really has the time or the inclination to read blogs. But nothing could be further from the truth!

In spite of my inner pessimist (bitch) I wrote my first blog anyway and sent it to someone I consider to be, intellectually, head-and-shoulders above the rest. It was received with much embellished praise and exaggerated congratulations. So now I have been duped into believing that what I have to say is relevant and entertaining and that people will find my blogs interesting.

Here we are!

It hasn’t been a long and gruelling journey getting here. I haven’t combated huge psychological obstacles to get where I am today, although it hasn’t been without its challenges. But my love of writing, specifically science writing, and the experience I have gained over the years has become a very powerful tool of communication and hopefully entertainment and education. In an effort to bridge the schism between science and society, I welcome you to my blog and to the wisdom I have endeavoured to make accessible to one and all. I welcome you to read it, laugh with it, laugh at it and learn something from it. I also encourage you to comment and get involved.

Why? Because Science (is cool).

Happy reading!

213 thoughts on ““Who Are You?””

  1. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find your blog. It’s great! I love the humour and clarity in your writing, you’re definitely an inspiration 🙂

    1. Where have you been odd organism? And why are you odd? Are we not all odd? We’re all different, so that would make us odd, wouldn’t it? Such philosophical thoughts and it’s not even 9am here. Thank you, my dear. I’m glad you’ve finally joined the family and I hope to keep you entertained 🙂

      1. So deep! Haha I write about weird animals hence the odd organisms, but I definitely agree everyone’s a little odd anyway.
        Looking forward to it! 🙂

  2. Hi Thea, I came across a lovely photo on your blog while searching for images of clouds / sky, to use in a non-commercial personal project… specifically, I was drawn to the second photo on
    http://whybecausescience.com/tag/atmospheric-science-2/ just after the header “What is Light”… may I find out how I may be able to use the image?

    That aside, I started reading your blog while trying to figure out how to contact you, and it has been quite entertaining! The one on dental health and bacteria poop was particularly memorable… Would you be keen to take on freelance writing work? Cheers!

    1. Hahaha! Well, that is a FIRST! Thank you very much! I’m all hooked up, I’m afraid. Having said that, I find your directness completely refreshing, so keep it up 😉

  3. I really like your blog. I’ve made some other comments on it but I’m worried they come off, er, let’s say ‘debate-ly’. I just wanted you to know it’s only because you’ve compelled me to ask, to argue and to clarify. I actually really like what you’re doing here. Hope I’ve made that clear now 🙂

    1. Oh gosh, no! I LOVE readers to challenge me and each other. You should see some of the debate that has raged over articles I’ve written in the past – “We are Star People” in particular since it challenged the fallacy that we were created in 7 days by some omniscient being. And, at the end of the day, the people who ask questions and challenge entrenched belief are who become our species’ most important intellectual pioneers. So there. You have full license to be as “debate-ly” as you wish 🙂

  4. Excellent blog, very nice writing style, easy to read, funny, love it.
    I don’t really like “”Combating stupidity since 2012”, the word “stupid” gives me an odd feeling of repulsion, although I do admit to use it sometimes.

    1. Perhaps it should be “ignorance?”… I too am repulsed by stupid people, hence my valiant effort to combat stupidity 😉

      It is all very tongue in cheek though. If you’re sensitive, you’re probably going to find something on this blog that you’ll get sensitive about, so here’s to having a healthy sense of humor!

  5. I like your voice. It’s fast, crisp, honest, and a little badass. As if I’m in a room with you and hearing your monologue. I love sciences too, but I didn’t study it as a degree. I do, in my spare time, read Stephen Hawking’s books written for normal people and Youtube videos about black holes and relativity. I don’t always understand everything. But it helps me put my existence into perspective in the grand scheme of the universe, especially when the going gets tough.

    Following you now. Meaningful blog you got!

    1. Haha! “Normal people”. I have to agree though… scientists can be terribly dry and boring. The lack of interest in the sciences is a travesty considering the answers (and healthy perspective) it provides. But, I blame that on the way scientists have approached communication with the public. Hopefully that changes with far more accessibled information sources such as TED talks and blogs like this one. Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your glowing comment. I hope to post again soon, so stay tuned!

      1. Looking forward to your new material! I love TED too. Makes science all the more digestible and approachable. Not all scientist are that bad. Lawrence Krauss, Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking do a decent job. I agree that science should be the basis for dispelling a lot of the unhealthy concepts and fallacies of society!

  6. Your blog kicks my blog’s ass. Your writing is way better than mine. Your photos and artwork are great, too! Alright, enough compliments already. Keep up the great work! Now you have ruined my weekend because I have a lot of posts to read from you.

  7. Hey Thea I really enjoy your blog! I just started my own blog here and I would really appreciate it if you had a look at some of my posts 🙂
    Keep up the good work and Happy Discovery!

      1. I’d like for you to pitch your own ideas. Take a look at the following criteria: http://www.fusionviralvideo.com/authors-seeking-contributing-writers/

        Obviously it must be science related and you should know that I’m FASTIDIOUS about grammar and spelling. Images must also be copyright savvy and must be fully referenced. Maybe put together a test blog for me and we’ll go from there! If it’s good, I’ll send it on to my business partner who runs the website.

  8. I feel like I’ve been living under a rock, and really missed out on your blog till now! Whew, why on earth did it take me so long? I don’t know. I really enjoy your interesting and funny posts, and like your writing style. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  9. Awesome concept, and, as an aspiring writer, very inspirational! You give renewed hope to people who want their voice to be heard and can’t sit still (thus unable or unwilling to make a living off of a 9-5). Can’t wait to read more.

    1. It’s a luxury though! Let me tell you, it’s taken a lot of hard work and some incredible serendipity to get here. I’ll let you know when I’m raking in millions and hanging out with Ellen DeGeneres, because that’s when this dream will officially have gone nuclear.

  10. Hi there, i love the way you write, you seem like you think a lot and deeply so its something i ca definitely relate to, i will be looking forward to reading more 🙂

  11. I gotta second Lubna’s comment from above – it seems like you’ve managed to actually live your life, in the active sense. What I like best about your blog (and I like your blog a lot!) is that it doesn’t come across as though you’re really reaching for something to write about: your writing is informative, entertaining, and manages to make science easy to understand even for us non-scientific types. Looking forward to reading more!

      1. Bookmarked – thanks for the link and the heads up! I’ll change the link on my “links page” as soon as I get the chance. One question: does your new online home have a URL for RSS or Atom feeds?

  12. Hey Thea, bit late on following likes on my blog to sought out like-minded in mass of billions. Honestly speaking I already pressed the “Follow” button as soon as I encountered word resembling “Science” in title. I am “religious” person and science is my God. Of course you adopted great writing style. Having magnetic force to make others follow. Strong force is better word as magnetism is weaker when compared to molecule level 🙂
    Love your posts.

    1. Thank you so much… if you like this blog, then you should check out Fusion Viral Video, because I’m in the process of moving platforms. You’ll find the same intellectual meanderings, funny pictures and super awesome videos there 🙂 May the force be with you!

  13. Hi! I can’t believe I just found your blog! It’s fascinating and you’ve gotten me hooked on your post :). Your posts are fascinating and has definitely filled in those boring hours! (I checked out your new website too!)

    On another note, I’m a hs student that has just started a science blog too in and was hoping you could check it out! (and perhaps even press the follow button). It would mean a lot to me!

  14. Stumbled here thanks to Freshly Pressed, and I’m so glad I did!!! You are way cool and I’m enjoying everything I have read so far! Looking forward to your next post (will you still be updating this or will you be working solely on FVV?) 🙂

    1. Oh gosh, I am really between worlds at the moment. FVV has become somewhat problematic for me because the other contributors are a bunch of numbskulls who post garbage about religion. While I was hoping for the science side of FVV to really shine, it’s hard to do that under two feet of horse shit. I’m considering transferring all my blogs back to Why? Because Science, cos AINT NOBODY GOT TIME!

  15. Hi! Your blog is awesome and your writing is the inspiration I needed to continue working on my own. Looking forward to reading more from you!


  16. Outstanding writing. Combatting stupidity is indeed a worthy cause but if one is stupid
    it is highly unlikely that individual would benefit from reading your sight as they are…wait for it…
    stupid 😉

    1. Whoa man! That’s like totally amazing! It’s like, if you’re stupid you can’t be combatted… because your stupid.

      Whatever it is you’re smoking, I want some (unless it’s crack) 😉

  17. for real science is crazy but not well appreciated in the bloging sphere, is it because of its complexity, no because people think science blog is not fun bit common i see you are bringig humour from science.

  18. I just created my blog, so I’m really new to the blog world and publications. I came across your blog by searching for blogs to follow and I’m glad to see that there’s already someone else in the other side of the world who had already the same concept than me. (Science and unfounded beliefs). I like your blog and the way you write, it seems so professional. Hope mine will be like yours or maybe better lol. English it’s not my first language, as you can noticed it. I live in Montréal Québec Canada and french is my frist language, nevertheless i can speak english fluently but the wirtting is not as well as my speaking so my blog will be in french.
    Feel free to visit my blog and encourage!

    1. Ah-ha! But you see an important component of my blog concept is also humour… and as long as you fight the good fight against ignorance, I greatly encourage you to strive to be better than Why? Because Science!

  19. Everyone in my family is worried I am going nowhere with my life because I studied science, but not to be a scientist, but because its well, interesting.
    I’m not well overly brilliant or anything, all I have ever wanted to do is travel and write.

    Right now, I am going through a major existential decide-your-career-or-die-broke-on-the-street crisis.
    Mainly because I can’t explain to anyone what I want.
    Then I find, someone has literally lived my dream life.
    You are what I want to be.
    I hope I manage to become half as amazing, and even a quarter as funny as you.

    Here is to hoping.
    Your blog is amazing.
    So are you.

    1. This comment literally made my day… actually, you almost made me cry. But only a little, because my soul is black inside (kidding). To hear that someone is going through what I go through every day is comforting. It’s not always easy. I just turned 30 and I still don’t know what I really want to do with my life, but I guess that’s something you figure out every day you’re alive. There is money to be made in writing, so I urge you to apply to become a freelance writer on sites like freelancer.com and odesk.com etc. This lifestyle will enable you to travel, especially if you manage to earn dollars or even British pounds. I wish you all the luck, courage and perseverance – you’ll need all of them in bucket-loads, but the rewards are incredible and they’ve enabled me to pour my heart into this blog.

      If you ever need any advice, you know who to ask!

      P.S. I shared your comment to my personal Facebook page, because it means so very much to me 😉

  20. Hi Thea! You’re blog is truly refreshing and inspiring! I love it! I am 17 years old with a passion for science as well, and recently created a science blog called: keepinupwithscience.wordpress.com I was wondering if you have any tips or tricks to really develop! and also, I was hoping you could take a look at my blog!!

    1. Hey Olivia!

      I am so sorry I’m only responding now so many, many moons later. I’ve been on a hiatus writing the official Why? Because Science book! I’ve taken a quick look at your blog – looks great! And I see you’ve fleshed it out nicely. If you have any questions, I’m happy to advise. Otherwise, just keep at it, post lots of pictures, and make sure to add those metatags so that Google can find your blog!

  21. What happened to the Science blog? I obviously don’t read it every day, since I just noticed that it stopped, but I miss the content. Have you gone on to a new life? What could turn out to be more interesting than this one?

    1. Dear Valdez, I have been writing the Why? Because Science book! And it’s soon to be self-published. Sorry for only responding to your comment now… it’s taken me a loooong time to get my act together.

  22. I was looking through some cool science quotes and came across this one: “Scientists say that the world is made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons. They forgot about the morons….”

    Immediately reminded me of your blog!

    Obviously in reference to your tagline. In retrospect maybe it’s not exactly the right thing to say…

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