Scientific American

I have a very definite niche.  Many of the things that I do, not a lot of people do.  And, I document most of what I do – with lots of pictures, which I post online.  So, when people are searching the web for something related to my unusual interests, they often find my pictures.  Then, if I’m lucky and they’re polite, they write me and ask for permission to use the pictures.  I usually say yes, although it’s case by case; sometimes there’s even a little money involved, or a contributor’s copy of a cool book or magazine.  I’m particularly likely to say yes if it’s for a museum supporting science, or for educational materials for schools – the only exception is if it’s for a religious organization promoting pseudo-science.  I think that teaching creationism to kids is an insidious and very damaging form of child abuse.  Sorry about the soap-box, but it’s something I’ve run into hard a couple of times.  If you want to tell children that God made silkworms for the express use of mankind, I respect your Constitutional freedom to say so – but I also have a right to sue if you use my copyrighted pictures without permission.



This time, it was a writer with Scientific American’s website; he was looking for some images to support an article on metamorphosis.  So, now, I’ve got a photo on their website, with links back to mine – and it’s a very cool article!

The article with my photo

Another article, related information, same author. 


3 replies
  1. Carla
    Carla says:

    Michael, I’m glad that one of your beautiful photos is in a place where people who don’t normally visit your website can see it. As a consequence of visiting your website, I am now fascinated by caterpillars and the process of metamorphosis. It surprises me that no one has ever made a pair of earrings to imitate the chrysalis of the Monarch butterfly.

  2. Ravensclaw
    Ravensclaw says:

    Hi Mr Cook

    Greetings from Australia.

    I’m glad to see your profile continues to get raised. I’ve used information from your website to raise silkworms with my four year old boy, and it’s about the best of the web resources I have seen. My son and I have both gained from the bonding and learning experience. So thank you for that.

    I do share some of your concerns for creationism, but I don’t think quite the passion. Creationism in the context of religion and not science is not a big issue in my book.

    However the Bible is not the only piece of “literature” where written theatrics are pandered as fact. Scientific American often strays from the sunshine. Some examples include smear attacks against climate scientist and weather researcher Judith Curry, Statistician Bjorn Lomborg, and perhaps the most knowledgeable of today’s Climate Scientists Richard Lindzen.

    It was both sad and amusing to see Scientific American take an ideological (rather than scientific) stand when criticising these people. Instead of arguing science Scientific American resorted to baseless accusations of “x is in the of big oil” when Shell is flashing in their Ad Banner.


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