Archive for February 11, 2012

Antarctica

Posted in Literature with tags , , , on February 11, 2012 by telescoper

‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’
The others nod, pretending not to know.
At the heart of the ridiculous, the sublime.
He leaves them reading and begins to climb,
Goading his ghost into the howling snow;
He is just going outside and may be some time.
The tent recedes beneath its crust of rime
And frostbite is replaced by vertigo:
At the heart of the ridiculous, the sublime.
Need we consider it some sort of crime,
This numb self-sacrifice of the weakest? No,
He is just going outside and may be some time
In fact, for ever. Solitary enzyme,
Though the night yield no glimmer there will glow,
At the heart of the ridiculous, the sublime.

by Derek Mahon (b. 1941).

Update on the Elsevier Affair…

Posted in Science Politics with tags , on February 11, 2012 by telescoper

No time for a post of my own this morning, as I’m off to the department to help with a UCAS admissions visit day. I’ll take the opportunity, therefore, to point you towards mathematician Tim Gowers’ excellent blog for an update on the Elsevier boycott (and related issues) that I posted about a while ago.

P.S. At times like this I’m so grateful WordPress brought the “reblog” option back, although I’m not sure I like the new format…

Gowers's Weblog

A group of mathematicians have been putting together a statement that explains some of the background to, and reasons for, the Elsevier boycott. This statement, which has been signed by 34 mathematicians (we are confident that many more would be happy to endorse it, but we had to stop somewhere), is now ready for release. If you are interested in reading it, then click here.

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