Bloog-o-spheroids and blorg roiling

Writers write, words wiggle …

Iconic writer

GQ magazine has named Philip Roth its literary “icon of the year.” The sprawling interview is more musing by the interviewer on the border of self-indulgence than insight from the subject, but the writer salvages the interview by pointing out that Roth has mostly complete disregard for self promotion, so the interview was doomed from the start.

The interview is a good introduction to Roth’s range of work, …

A tip for science writers

Currently, a story about the Hadean Earth is the banner article in the science section of the New York Times. This is good. As the article explains, the Hadean- formally the time from Earth’s formation to 4 billion years ago, and informally the time for which we have no rocks- is traditionally underconstrained (no rocks, no data). But in the last few decades, rocks and individual minerals have been found, and the picture that is emerging is that the Hadean may have been more similar to the modern Earth than originally thought.

This is all well and good, … [but…]

Words to beware of

Some words have good meanings in normal conversation, and different meanings in science. ‘Theory’ is one such. But one that is seriously hazardous to try to interpret until you know the full context is ‘rapid’…..

Obama and Biracial Pride

Check out this Chicago Tribune article about “biracial pride.” I was most struck by this statement:

Like Obama, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, 35, a former professor of political science at the University of Chicago who now teaches at Princeton University, identifies herself as black, although her mother is white and her father is African-American. “I was raised to be a black woman with a white mother, like a tall person with a short mother…

Eddingtoniana … say no more.


  1. #1 the real me
    December 5, 2008

    “I was raised to be a black woman with a white mother, like a tall person with a short mother…”
    sounds alot like the old-school pimpology that I remember: “a woman is just a vehicle for the ideology of pimpology.”

    It is almost as if the woman here is still second rate, second class.Notice the hierarchy of tall and short in her phrase, especially in light of the shortness of a “white” mother.
    Imagine the shit in the fan if it were the other way around-and it almost never is-a black woman or man saying ” I was raised to be white wo/man with a white father and a black mother…like a tal person with a short mother.”
    Just love this evolving race paradigm and all of its flaws…