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Croak & Dagger: Following the Trail of a Herpetologist Spy 40

bmahersciwriter writes "When Rafe Brown started doing field research in the Philippines, he constantly found himself in the long shadow of Edward Taylor, an irascible giant of herpetology (the study of amphibians) from the mid-20th century, whose legacy was tarnished by accusations of fraud, questions about his naming methods, and rumours of a double life working for the U.S. government. Brown forged a bond with his predecessor and has begun to restore a collection of Taylor's specimens that were lost during the Second World War, and which could aid in allocating resources for conservation. He has meanwhile found out more about Taylor's extracurricular activities, which included work with the organization that would eventually become the CIA."
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Croak & Dagger: Following the Trail of a Herpetologist Spy

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  • Doctor of Archaeology finds himself battling Nazis for possession of a relic of supernatural power...

    • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

      Oh man, what a great movie plot. If they ever make it into a movie, I hope they cast Harrison Ford, he did a great job playing Han Solo in Star Wars A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

      • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

        Oh man, what a great movie plot. If they ever make it into a movie, I hope they cast Harrison Ford, he did a great job playing Han Solo in Star Wars A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

        Yeah, but I just remembered something ... he hates snakes.

      • Dude, did you just dial in from 1980? Tell me which week, and I'll beam you the lottery numbers, OK? Oh, and if you could do something about that horrible fashion trend coming up, that'd be great!
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Bob from '80 here. I'm worried about where the fashion is trending, too; it'll be a dull future with everyone in plain white robes and shaved heads. I'll get right to work on changing that --- see if I can turn it in a completely different direction. A bit of lottery money would probably help with that (March 3, if you please).

      • by gfim ( 452121 )
        Sorry, none of the three Star Wars movies is named "A new hope"...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I really thought it was the study of Herpes.. me and my cold sore are sad :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by WarJolt ( 990309 )

      Nope....but it also includes reptiles.

      • by cervesaebraciator ( 2352888 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @02:15PM (#44821393)

        But herpes and herpetology are etymologically related. The Greek verb herpyzo means to creep or crawl (apologies for using Latin letters, I've tried Greek on /. before and it isn't pretty). So a herpeton is a creeping thing: i.e. snakes, lizards, salamanders, etc. Thus we end up with the study of creeping things or herpetology.

        Herpes became the Greek word for shingles (herpes zoster in the medical books) because it was a creeping (or lurking) disease. It would seem to be gone but would lurk about only to resurface again. It was only natural, therefore, to apply it to what we commonly call herpes now (herpes simplex).

        • I wish we'd go back to medical names that are whimsical and memorable like that rather than boring and forgettable. H1N1, for example, we could have done better. We could have called it "Tiger Woods Flu" or something.

          Gene names, they're working on replacing the ones with memorable names as well. Catch22 and sonic hedgehog, for example.
  • Herpetology (Score:4, Informative)

    by LMariachi ( 86077 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @01:42PM (#44821103) Journal

    Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians.

  • > herpetology (the study of amphibians) err... Batrachology is the study of amphibians alone, Herpetology is the study of both amphibians and reptiles.
  • he only studied herpetology until he croaked.

  • Somebody just wanted to write "Croak & Dagger".
  • by snookerdoodle ( 123851 ) on Wednesday September 11, 2013 @02:22PM (#44821469)

    And yes, it WOULD make a great movie plot. The protagonist really is a spy. And he really is a herpetologist, And he's pretty good at both. His character flaws could easily be written to develop from his time in secrecy and from the unfair disqualification of his research. Brown is just an epilogue: 35 years after his death, it turns out his research was right. They don't even need good writers if they stick to what actually happened.

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