Plays of the day

Patronages are important. I say this because my science-blogging endeavour has come a long way in terms of receiving appreciation, being the basis for which impressions of me (good or bad) are registered, and representing my interests as well as mindset in a fairly balanced way: such wouldn’t have been the case hadn’t it been for the First Patron. Thank you.


One thing I realised today was that “greatness” in journalism is easy to come by because most journalists – in whatever capacities – are as close to doing moderate good as they are to doing immense bad. In fact, I correct myself: not greatness but notoriety. However, irrespective of all the appreciation or ignorance of the people toward this aspect, I’m not sure all journalists are aware of it. Even if they are, how is its knowledge changing them?


The British parliament recently passed a law that does three important things:

  1. Offers protection to peer-reviewed publications that contain articles reviewed by one or more experts and that contain backed-up claims disputing existing evidence
  2. Offers protection to conference proceedings and reports thereof for the same reasons as above
  3. Shifts the burden of proof from the claimant to the party defending the disputed evidence and requires the latter to prove that it has been “harmed” by the claim

Obviously, this law goes a long way in protecting and, very likely, encouraging debates within and without the scientific community.

Do such laws exist in India, though? Or are debates in the country not big enough yet to warrant such protection?


On the bus home from The Hindu, there was a pin-drop silence for about 20 minutes, between Saidapet and T Nagar. No heckling, shoving, jostling, jouncing, shouting or clamouring of any kind. Peaceful. The people around me – sitting and standing and some dangling off the foot-board – could have been thinking of family, friends, some rest. For me, it was the perfect time to think of the technology with which an alien race might possibly defend itself against human invasion, the weapons being containers injected into the planet’s upper atmosphere that fall apart during “re-entry” and release radioactive dust.

Given that, what could the others have been thinking of? Family, friends, some rest?