More fascinating results from the legendary research by Peter and Rosemary Grant into Galapagos finches. If you haven't read 'The Beak of the Finch' – why not?
A very interesting talk by Atul Gawande about what medicine can learn from other industries about how good planning can reduce mistakes.
'So, back in the days, if you were a ham radio operator, you had a few hundred QSL cards printed up and sent them to people you met over your radio. Many operators pasted these all over their room, as a hobby—to show how far away your signal was received. I remember my neighbor proudly showing me cards from far away as Puerto Rico and Hawaii.'
'Trevor Paglen visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book "Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World."' These @Google talks are usually worth a look; this is a good one.
I went to the T S Eliot lecture given by George Szirtes today. Having been to Don Paterson’s lecture last year, it was interesting for me that Szirtes decided to pick out some of the things Paterson had said and disagree with them.
In all such disagreements between poets, the terrible temptation is to think that one of them must be right. Even worse, that the other must therefore be wrong, and that it’s necessary to decide which is which. But they both write fine poems, so they must both be right. Or rather: Paterson has come to a way of thinking about poetry which he finds fruitful; Szirtes has come to another way which he finds productive. Not only are neither of them ‘right’, any more than Wordsworth or Hopkins were right, but there is no one right answer at this level of debate.
That’s not to say there are no universally applicable truths about poetry, just that they are rather limited in scope.
The Paterson lecture can be found here, for the moment at least. The Szirtes one will apparently be put on the web tomorrow. I’ll post a link to it then.
I just booked a ticket for George Szirtes’s TS Eliot lecture next month, having been to and enjoyed Don Paterson’s last year. Judging by the Szirtes blog (and indeed his poetry), he should be able to put together a thoughtful and enjoyable lecture. But you never know. I don’t know what it says about me that I find the idea of going to a (good) lecture on poetry more appealing than going to a reading.