table of contents
Collected editorials

Our summer of no content

Nothing is permanent

One of the consequences of the great hiatus is that I am going to make some changes. I am going to have a “next month’s correspondence column”. No, it doesn’t contain the letter in the forthcoming month, it will contains letters that will be published in the forthcoming month. In addition I am adding a “possibly in times to come” which lists stories, articles, reviews, and such like that might appear next month.

Since these pages are not part of the table of contents they will be posted when I get around to them.

What is science?

“As a real example for what is science, spending 2.4 million on a complex comparative molecular pharmacology study of the effects of a pair of drugs and a control on 240 rats, discovering that with a statistical analysis using principal component analysis on over 30,000 differentially quantified molecular entities, including proteins, metabolites and transcripts, you can reliably distinguish between male and female rats.”
—- El Cid

42 year old Nigerian actors

When I was 25 I told people that I was a 42 year old Nigerian actor. They would look at me and say, “but you don’t look a 42 year old Nigerian.”

I would reply, “I know, I know, but you see, I am one hell of an actor.”

They didn’t buy it then.

Now that I’ve turned 75 I thought I would dig out that old hack and start again telling people that I am a 42 year old Nigerian actor.

They don’t buy it now, either.

Why we are the purpose of the universe

We weren’t the original purpose of the universe. The Zarkons of Zordax were the original purpose. What happened to them is best not mentioned. Let’s just say that God screwed up really badly on that one. We are, ahem, a do over. God had to scramble quite a bit to make us the purpose of the universe. It was a patch job and the duct tape still shows in places.

The difference between men and dogs

Men seek words to live by.
Dogs seek signs to pee by.

Whatever happened to summer?

Some people, concerned with the missing issues in the summer, have expressed concern about the state of my health. I want to reassure them.

I am okay. At least I think I am okay – the doctors haven’t told me that I’m not. Er, well, they don’t really say anything. They just look at me and shake their heads, turn their backs on me, and talk in low whispers. I take this as a good sign.

The nurses tell me that I’m doing quite well for someone in my condition.

Actually there is some real news on the health front. I had been feeling a little under the weather, some congestion and sinus swelling, that sort of thing – allergy symptoms. I went to an allergist and did the tests. It turns out that I am allergic to the universe, or at least everything that they were testing for. As far as cats are concerned, on a scale of 5 to 10, I’m a 13.

I have a cat.

I have signed up for a series of shots. These are supposed to readjust my immune system. I’m not sure about the readjustment, but they do make me feel a lot better. I suppose I should be concerned about this – I’ve known a number of people who wanted to give me shots to make me feel really good.

The truth is that I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed with projects and life. The “Driving Miss Daisy” schtick keeps me busy – it’s not one Miss Daisy, it’s a whole slew of them. I am also involved with the community garden, with the local farmer’s market, and sundry other community volunteer activities. Never retire – your free time will vanish into thin air.

For a while I was a census worker. This was my contribution to keeping the unemployment numbers down. In the spring they had lots of work for me under seriously adverse conditions. We were supposed to run around the country side dropping off census forms. What the mavens in Washington who assigned all of this work didn’t quite understand was that country roads in the spring time are either blocked by drifting snow banks or, a bit later on, blocked by deep mud and flowing water from melted snow banks.

The upshot of all these activities is that every time I started to do something about the website I found something else to do. I have been informed that this is not proper behaviour on my part and that I had best mend my ways.

I must say that I shall do better in the future.

Give a man a fish

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, make it a fugu and you’ve probably fed him for life.
— el cid

This page was last updated August 31, 2010.

table of contents
Collected editorials