Regular Delights

Logos from universities that provide funding and contributions to The Conversation.
The Conversation a selection of Contributing Universities

I haven’t done a favourites post for a long time, a year in fact, so thought I’d do some more recommendations.  I really enjoy at least one of the pieces in the daily digest from The Conversation. This is a news source that is not written by journalists. It has relatively long pieces that are written by academics. The list of contributing universities is impressive and mainly UK based.  You don’t always get the ‘story’ as it is portrayed in the mainstream media and it is most certainly much more measured, and including all aspects of an issue.

I enjoyed a piece today on medical ‘mistakes’ that turned out to be serendipitous. This has been prompted by the news of the Oxford Covid vaccine.  By accidentally giving trial participants half the recommended dose of vaccine for the first round and then the full dose for the second, they increased the effectiveness of the vaccine from 62% to 90%.  Other examples from the past including Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin on an contaminated agar plate, and the astonishing tale of the Australian scientist who was so convinced that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacterial infection, he gave himself one – and subsequently cured it. That really is an example of having the courage of your convictions. They cover a wide range of subjects and includes politics, culture and art. There is a piece on the recently unveiled sculpture of Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ in 1792 along with others such as Why Joe Biden did so well in Giorgia or why tigers have stripes. 

I also enjoy regular reading a number of blogs. One of my weekend favourites is The Cricket Pages, by Rachel Mankowitz. Rachel lives on Long Island with her two dogs. One of the dogs is called Cricket. She is lovely and quite naughty.There is nothing about the summer game played across the old British Empire on here, but lots about life, with comments on the photos and the text from Cricket. Rachel however, is a thinker and a writer and asks herself and her readers some difficult and thought provoking questions. Her religion is an integral part of who she is and her posts are long, interesting and beautifully written. They always make me think and her posts popping into my in-box each weekend are a treat. 

It’s good to live vicariously through someone’s writing and Gilly’s blog is just the ticket. She lives in a village outside the town of Cordoba in Andalusia, southern Spain. They have a finca (which is a small farm I think) and grow olives and their own vegetables. She writes, draws, paints and makes stuff and knows everything about the area. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the world and she brightens my day with photos, posts and classic poems. It is perfect for a dull and dreich day in Yorkshire – and we get a lot of them. It’s a treasure. 

Finally, I follow quite a lot of knitting blogs so don’t want to single out any one of them. They are all lovely, or I wouldn’t follow them.  I am in awe of the stamina and knowledge of the craft of knitting that is evident. There is a convention to have huge stashes of wool that would make me unable to sleep at night. Knitting projects were the only things that my mother finished. Simple things like a bottle of shampoo or packet of tea or coffee were discarded when she was bored of them.  It had a profound effect on me. You know that teacher that you hated because she made you go back and complete the last 2 or 3 pages of your exercise book before allowing you another one?  C’est moi.

The problem with these sort of posts is that their very nature means that I have missed some great blogs. I’ll do some more in the next few weeks.  


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