Archive for June, 2002
Salon is consumed with discussions about the pledge of alliegance. I also saw a rumour that it’s dying. I hope it lasts at least until I get to SFO in July for a weekend. I like those people. There’s a characteristically trenchant and thoughtful piece by Scott Rosenberg about the flag up today.
Rupert keeps asking if he is the only person here. Not while I’m alive he isn’t. And I discovered this morning that of all the 2 billion sites that Google indexes, there is only one that comes top of the list when you ask for a sleazy piece of trash journalism. And it’s mine. So let’s big it up for Professor Daniel Dennett.
I have long suspected that John Polkinghorne is a bit of a windbag. He was the subject of a truly elegant demolition by Freeman Dyson in the NYRB a couple of months ago. But listening to him trying to explain a scientific concept of the soul on the Sunday Programme yesterday I became certain of it.
Shameful confession time. Here I am, a science writer of sorts, and I can never remember the difference between mitosis and meiosis. They seem to me like “left” and “right”. I know they are important labels referring to different things but I can never remember which refers to what.
I’m never sure whether journalists more resemble prostitutes when dealing with editors or when talking to people who want to be in the newspapers.
In the second case, we get to watch our clients in grip of degrading passions, yet convinced that they and they alone are truly special. In the first case, we get to be degraded ourselves.
a rumour that Nigel McCullough is the second name on the shortlist for Archbishop of Canterbury that has gone to Tony Blair.
This morning, I awoke at six, from a dream in which Francis Crick was talking to me about worms. The odd thing was that I was interviewing him in bed. He wasn’t in bed: he was sitting on the next bed in the room, dressed in dark clothes, and looking like a dolicephalic Berthold Brecht.