Category Archives: Blather

Consolations of a hangover

Well, Fishing in Utopia did win the Orwell prize. This is delicious and wonderful. I knew a couple of the judges liked it. I also knew – or at least strongly suspected – that one didn’t. I knew Tony Judt … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Literature, Sweden | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Auden at press conferences

I don’t often go to press conferences nowadays, but whenever I do, I think that Auden had been there too, on both sides. In my edition of the Collected Shorter Poems, the pertinent observations face each other across pages 190-191. … Continue reading

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When life gives you lemons

The fatality rate on the roads goes down. No, Honest. Science proves it. Thanks to Jeremy for the link

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Burned over

I’m sorry not to have posted here much. I have been very busy, but also approaching the condition of upstate New York, ca 1830, when it was known as the burnt over district because of the continual evangelical revivals which … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Housekeeping, Journalism, Literature, nördig | 14 Comments

Wiley Interscience

… may sodomise themselves with spiky reindeer antlers. I am paying their exorbitant charges for article reprints: $34.44 with VAT; and each one comes with the following boilerplate: IMPORTANT: You now have 24-hour access to this content. Access to this … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Journalism, Science without worms | 10 Comments

New and noted from PLOS

I came across this when looking for a report about empathy in mice: The mouse empathy story turns out to be of rather more lasting interest. I had been going to use it as an example of sloppy journalism: the … Continue reading

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Darwinism as religion

One reason I am not writing much here is that on top of everything else I have been sent fourteen (at last count) books on Darwin to review. Well, fifteen, counting the hardback Origin of Species which turned up this … Continue reading

Posted in Blather | 10 Comments

National Character

Not to stereotype or anything but I have just had my first piece of German blog spam and it’s wonderfully fake-professorial: two paragraphs analysing the performances of different sorts of fund in Frankfurt last year. This is illustrated with lots … Continue reading

Posted in Blather | 1 Comment

Nature notes

It was almost my birthday today, so we ate lunch at the Three Horseshoes in Madingley, which just gets better and better. What I liked best this time was a lemon sorbet which tasted of all the different smells that … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Pictures | 2 Comments

Book Search

If this list is Google’s idea of the history books we might want to read on our mobile phones, Amazon can breathe easy. Five books are listed. One purports to be the memoirs of Napoleon; two are by those well … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Literature, Net stories, nördig | 4 Comments