Apparently, some segments of the media are just catching up to The Great Duck Penis Meme of 2007
and the video-enhanced version from 2009
. If you've somehow managed to erase this from your memory (and lucky you), it turns out that duck penises are pretty freaky looking and can teach us a lot about how evolution works. Like a lot of basic research — the stuff that isn't directly about creating new products — duck penis studies have been funded by federal science grants. And this has put science writer Carl Zimmer in the awkward position of sticking up for duck erections
. In a great piece at The Loom, he explains why silly-sounding research matters and why duck penises are not a waste of your tax dollars.