Showing posts from November, 2013

Reality is not always probable...

I love this picture.  This is what I imagine these two guys are saying to each other:

"I believe" says Sabato, "that truth is perfect for maths, chemistry and philosophy, but not for life. In life, in this reality we are dealing with on a daily basis, aspiration, imagination, yearning and hope are more important." 

[In passing being said, only a scientist who quit science (nuclear physics, of all...) to  play with  a different fantasy could have come up with something like this.]

Borges (he's the quiet one), seems to ponder, then says, dryly:

"My dear Sabato, keep in mind, kindly, that reality is not always probable, or likely."

He opened up the path for GENETIC ENGINEERING, thus propelling biology from the dark ages into the future...

A scientist who influenced our lives more than we'll ever know, Frederick Sanger has died today at the glorious age of 95.  Although he described himself as a "chap who messes up in the lab", he got two Nobel Prizes for work that reached deeply into curing diseases like diabetes and into advancing the toolbox needed to understand the Human Genome.  Through his work, he opened up the path for genetic engineering, an awesome scientific paradigm that will still bear fruit years and years from now... I remember spending long evenings in the lab as a fresh postdoc, sequencing DNA gels based on the method he developed.  It was tedious work, starting with pouring a finicky gel between two extra-large glass plates and sometimes getting dreaded air bubbles exactly where the most critical part of the DNA sequence was supposed to be  (the so-called  "bubblerama" in postdoc jargon...) But more importantly I remember the thrill of getting clean, useful DNA sequence, that…

What's the best way to kill a novelist's passion for writing?

"Success!" says  in theguardian

The logic goes like this: "If you can't seem to get your novel published, or if it's a commercial failure, never fear: some of the best writers improved as their reputations and sales declined."
..."Ralph Ellison, having written Invisible Man, which was almost immediately recognised as one of the great books of the 20th century, was effectively paralysed for the rest of his career. F Scott Fitzgerald. "He had something of a thirst on him already, but the combination of enormous fame and pots of cash sprung by the success of This Side of Paradise when he was just 24 must have helped tip him into the alcoholism that eventually killed him."On the flip side...

...."By way of sad but happy contrast, there are those writers whose work quietly marinated and matured in neglect. Could Kafka have developed such original vision in public sight? Could Bruno Schulz? Furthermore, a go…