Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Monster

"Alexander Masters has set himself two impossible problems. The subject of his biography, Dr Simon Phillips Norton, is to a first approximation, personality-free while the matter which has made Dr Norton biography-worthy is so arcane that no-one has been able to explain it to any circle wider than the elite mathematicians who actually work on it."

Continue reading at

This was a pretty good biography of Dr Simon Norton and I also worked the material into an article on 'Monstrous Moonshine' for It's on the stack for September.

The radiotherapy has finally, and cumulatively, caught up with Clare. She has a red 'sunburn' over most of her body - the magic of x-rays - and is feeling a lot more fatigued. I've taken my sister Elaine's advice and bought a Bottle Green cordial of Ginger and Elderberry to pep her up. Don't you think she looks a little like Mother Theresa?

I'm writing this breaking all the rules for electrical goods as a thunderstorm has just swept by leaving a desultory pattering of raindrops in its wake. The summer weather correlates with economic gloom: the Sunday Times today has a four-page pullout detailing minutely the anatomy of worldwide economic armageddon.

I read a few days ago that one in six of Dutch Protestant ministers of the church were either atheists or agnostics. It's all part of a 'radical re-interpretation of Christianity'. I like it - this is a church I could relate to. I'm currently working on a prayer for low-inflation and higher interest rates. Do you think they'd be interested?