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No. 106: Jul-Aug 1996

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Fiddling Up Worms

When fishing season arrives in Tennessee, L. Harvey does not get out his shovel to dig for worms, he gets out his saw!

"Using a dull handsaw, Harvey cut a dead dogwood tree down to a 10-inch stump and then began sawing it lengthwise -- an act of worm fiddling that sounded like someone playing the bassoon, and made the ground purr beneath our feet.

"At first, Harvey's sawing seemed to agitate only insects and spiders, but after a while we saw our first fiddled worm. It was 6 inches long, wriggling next to Harvey's boot."

Twenty worms at each site are about average with Harvey's fiddling. His fiddled worms are top fish-catchers; the slime they produce even glows in the dark. Harvey is a purist and eschews modern worm-catching technology, such as those popular iron stakes driven into the ground and connected to a car's battery.

(Simmons, Morgan; "Making 'Music' with Saw and Stump," Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 21, 1996. Cr. J.A. Caywood)

Comment. See SF#65 on how to "grunt" for worms with a driven stake and notched stick -- a variation of Harvey's technique.

From Science Frontiers #106, JUL-AUG 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987