I always thought this might be quicker…

People have a deep desire to communicate with animals, as is evident from the way they converse with their dogs, enjoy myths about talking animals or devote lifetimes to teaching chimpanzees how to speak. A delicate, if tiny, step has now been taken toward the real thing: the creation of a mouse with a human gene for language.

I mean, if we want to talk to animals or see animals evolve, let’s just go ahead and do it. Now. Before anyone stops to ask questions, because after that it will take a mad scientist, and they can be unreliable.

Also: a generation of scientists who grew up watching The Secret of NIMH, anyone?

I always thought this might be quicker…

Tumblarity: 3

Go a week or so without posting, and you literally drop from around the 8,000th tumblr in the great culture juggernaut, America, to the almost lastest.

This metric is just some thinly veiled, and ultimately pretty weak, popularity crack to keep the tumblrs a tumblng.

Oxford’s First Female Professor of Poetry Resigns – NYT

Ms. Padel’s admission that she sent e-mail messages to two reporters last month alerting them to allegations of sexual harassment against her main rival for the Oxford post, the Nobel literature laureate Derek Walcott, was a stunning turn in a saga of skullduggery that had opened a bitter schism in Britain’s literary world.

Just as much, it has scandalized the ivy-walled cloisters of Oxford, exposing a culture of jealousy and mean-spirited connivance at sharp odds with the university’s public posture of academic tolerance and reason.

That last half-a-graph is a little riposte-y, as if academia weren’t a place where humans worked. Besides, reason implies that someone else is an idiot, otherwise it would be unnecessary.

Oxford’s First Female Professor of Poetry Resigns – NYT