• Do read Elizabeth Kolbert’s Under a White Sky. Accessible, enjoyable, well-written, but terrifying in the sense of foreboding/inevitability it provokes. Everyone should read this book and then do what they can to support efforts to mitigate climate change.
• Neowise is growing dimmer, so if you get the chance, take the opportunity to see one of the solar system’s great shows, a comet close enough to be seen, tail and all, with the naked eye. I took this last night at Sepiessa.
Though I often disagree with Brett Stephens, I certainly am in accord with the main thrust of his most recent opinion piece in the NYT – Donald Trump IS indeed our national catastrophe, a man who generally acts with malice toward all and charity for none: Donald Trump is Our National Catastrophe. These words from the column also resonated with me: “What does one learn when reading great political speeches and writings? That well-chosen words are the way by which past deeds acquire meaning and future deeds acquire purpose.” Among his many other failings, Trump can’t ever seem to find well-chosen words.
• An exploration of why the Canadian response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is considerably better than the one in the US. HINT – it has something to do with leadership and a functioning national government: Canada succeeded on coronavirus where America failed. Why?
• I thought this was an outstanding, thorough, and accessible synthesis of the history and science of genetics, interwoven with stories that demonstrated points made and enlivened the read. I don’t know how Siddhartha Mukherjee could possibly find the time to work as a clinician and research and write both this book and The Emperor of All Maladies; however he managed it, they are outstanding reads. Brilliant work! The Gene, ISBN 978-1476733500.