Saturday, March 31, 2012

The soul of an advertisement

Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement. 
- Samuel Johnson, The Idler, No. 40 (Saturday, January 20, 1759)

Friday, March 30, 2012

On the Ball

Freelance science writer Philip Ball is good, very good.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Wisdom of Couplets

Search the parks in all your cities,
Youʼll find no statues of committees.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The West Can't Save Africa

William Easterly was right in 2006 and he is still right in 2012.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"I am thinking now"

2012 is the 10th anniversary of the founding of Ashesi University College by Patrick Awuah. In his 2007 TED talk, Dr. Awuah describes the intense satisfaction he felt when an Ashesi student wrote him a simple note stating, "I am thinking now":

Sunday, March 25, 2012

ELEGY 7051999

I wrote this poem for a friend on the 7th of May 1999, the day of his beloved mother's funeral and burial at their farm on the outskirts of Lusaka. It was a Friday, there was a large throng of mourners, and the weather was fine...


Here in nature's temple,
Amid the wind-ruffled leaves;
And beneath the crestfallen boughs
of the trees.

Here in a marble casket,
Awash in a gentle breeze;
Amid the bereft, the dutiful and
the ill at ease.

Here in this eternal moment,
This emotion, this grief, this loss, afreeze;
This pain and sorrow that neither time nor distance
can appease.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

The search for dark energy and dark matter

Patricia Burchat's excellent 2008 TED talk on the search for dark energy and dark matter:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There must be a God somewhere

Fabrice Muamba's story defies conventional scientific explanation - it is nothing short of miraculous. Shakespeare put it this way: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wistful Thinking

Just added to my book wishlist: