I commence tapping this in my (shared) office, at my desk littered with papers, various magazines, product info, and diary; below messily organised shelves, one of which, not occupied by books, theses, and sundry lab spares, supports an unopened bottle of Champagne and my toy otter. This space is adorned with one or two photographs stuck up here and there: my mother’s fresh-out-the-packet (well, four months old), cartoonishly cute Miniature Schnauzer (aka “Tasmanian Devil”, which I met for the first time last weekend); a Light Emerald moth on my palm (‘avatar’ for this blog, to remind me I have one in need of attention); a printout of the facsimile of Darwin’s ‘I think’ branching tree scribble; a wheelbarrow full of colourful fruit on a cobbled street in Salvador; a clipping of a concocted Mona Lisa baring her ass (‘Moon-er Lisa!’). To my right, carelessly perched on my desk-top, my large ‘Science/Faith’ mug (for coffee); my small ‘Heathen’ mug (for tea). Etc, etc…
It was ‘RNA day’ today! Which commenced with the news that one of our -80°C freezers went udders-up in the night – somewhat alarming (which the freezer wasn’t, by the way), following recently repeated incidences of things being switched off at ‘accident-proof’ plug sockets. This freezer contained my main stash of various RNA ‘preps’, now decanted elsewhere and to be worried about later, if I need to. Today, I happened to be working with ‘fresh’ preps left safely at -20°C last night. I hate RNA work: ever since a problematic episode during my Ph.D., it always has me on the precipice of stress’s abyss. But, I was steadily getting on with it… until (having beaten the ‘youngsters’ to the radio) I listened to Radio 4’s hypertension-inducing Crossing Continents. If you ever wonder at the irrationalising lengths our self-deceiving species will go to, you might find it interesting. For me, this highly disturbing report was encapsulated in one interviewee’s comment late in the program (forward to ~ 26.38). Go figure.
Why do I let such stuff bother me? When my life is far removed, and separately ‘conditioned’, from that alternative world. Or is it? Maybe, when it comes down to a question of survival, it is rational. And in the smug, decadent, ‘developed’ west, otherwise seemingly intelligent people will believe any old bollocks. And then I listen to three party leaders all equivocate on the state-funding of the forthcoming UK visit of an anti-science untouchable who bleats on about dignity no less.
Don’t know about any cross-relevancy there. Just stuff I’ve been thinking about today. Anyway, I’ve some good dark chocolate in the fridge – which should sort out my blood pressure, apparently.