News From the Face of Boe... er... Bow

The Face of Boe

Yes, a few Doctor Who fan-friends of mine have made that joke. Damn you, Russell T. Davies!

Anyway, here’s the news from this neck of the woods.

Erin and Nora continue to do well. Nora lost only 4% of her birthweight before she started gaining again, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find her back on her birthweight during our one-week visit to the midwife on Monday.

I was surprised to learn that babies lose weight for about a week after being born, but apparently that’s natural. Vivian was back to her birthweight after two weeks. Nora, however, has had a much better time with the breastfeeding. It took Vivian and Erin a couple of days to master this, especially after Vivian had to be intubated after birth.

Vivian seems to be adjusting to the newcomer. She’s fascinated by her little sister and seems to want to mother her. However, especially when she’s tired, she’s somewhat fretful, worried about losing her privileged place in the family. It will be a period of adjustment.

In writing news, I’m putting the finishing touches to the draft of Baseball Science, my second sports science book for a British publisher, and my fourth non-fiction commission this year. I had a lot of fun here, and appreciated this opportunity to indulge in my favourite sport. Now the original publisher, who brought me Rescue Science and Endangered Species has commissioned me for another title to be written over May, a fascinating subject: Extreme Environments.

The Dream King’s Daughter is also going very well. Now past 46,000 words, I expect to have a draft finished by the end of May, perhaps. The question is, does anybody out there want to read an early copy?

Finally, here’s some news items that have caught my attention in the haze of nappies and little sleep.

  • Cameron sent me this Fox News link with the comment “and you thought your baby was perfect. Heh. So somebody saw the face of Jesus in an ultrasound? Who didn’t see that coming? I’m surprised people haven’t found the face of Lincoln either; they already saw that in a sock.

    To be fair to the woman in the story, she doesn’t seem to be taking this 100% seriously, and to be fair to Fox, they did not post a headline along the lines of “Second Coming… er… Coming?”

  • I was surprised to learn that Abbie Hoffman had died after living a long and full live of 102 years. The father of LSD deserves all the retrospectives he gets. He did make a remarkable contribution to culture and science, even though I will kill (or at least severely injure) anybody who brings any similar sort of substance within spitting distance of my daughter’s schools.

    I was particularly struck by this description of the first trip:

    “I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness,” he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.

    “Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror,” he said, describing his bicycle ride home. “I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast.”

    Three days later, Hofmann experimented with a larger dose. The result was a horror trip.

    “The substance which I wanted to experiment with took over me. I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time,” Hofmann wrote.

    To paraphrase Hobbes from that Calvin and Hobbes episode where Calvin’s mother allows him to smoke a cigarette in order to teach him a lesson: “you’d think something like that would be an easy habit to break.”

And that’s all I have for now.

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