Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 21 August 2009

New invention not needed

You can boil, fry, scramble or poach them. I like poached best but the process sets me on edge and it makes sense to turn to Mrs BB, the household’s ace poacher. I’d prefer to do it myself, but without hassle.

Yes, there’s a pan thing with detachable saucers but the result is not a poached egg. Baked, perhaps, or steamed. Time for technological ratiocination. I concluded I needed a bun tin with a separable bottom. Paying for this at Cooks Galley in Abergavenny I mentioned the reason. “Haven’t you heard of this?” they said. This was was a floppy plastic simulation of the outer petals of a water lily: Eddington’s Poach Perfect, £5.95 a pair. Does what it says it does. Hope I haven’t rediscovered the wheel.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR LIFE Physics gets a regular work-out on our minority appeal TV channels, biology less so. That’s why I grabbed the three-part series, The Cell, with both hands (Plutarch has already posted on the first installment). The disadvantage with physics is that, at particle level, it’s theory and maths; biology is the visible world. Installment two took us up to the thrill of the double helix, but setting everything beautifully in context.

Together with poignant support for Newton’s tribute to Descartes: “If I have seen further it’s because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” Cell division was visible microscopically in 1875 but not understood. Nevertheless the viewer recorded, in pen and ink, the migration of stick-like things to either end of the cell. Now we know these sticks are chromosomes and video cameras record the moving process – exactly like those nineteenth-century drawings showed. The eye of the scientist and the eye of the artist: both wonderful