Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In other exciting news

(I'm a bit late with this one also) my old friend Bruno Maddox is a National Magazine Award finalist for his Blinded by Science columns in Discover: here are some particularly good ones on twins (the author of the twin study he mentions was not very happy with this one!), thinking and a host of other interesting topics.


  1. Did you see the letter from the rat-loving 13-year-old girl underneath the letter from the angry twin researcher? Weirdly adorable.
    - CAAF

  2. So you know Bruno Maddox? I know his father very well as he was my boss for many years, Sir John Maddox, Editor of Nature. A wonderful man.

  3. Yes to both--and in fact, Carrie, I will paste in the text of that letter, it caught my eye also & it really is delightful (almost makes me want to get one for myself...):

    In Defense of Rats

    Hello. I am 13 years old and I am writing because I am deeply offended by the article in the December issue called 20 Things You Didn't Know About Rats. I did not like the way it was written. The people wrote it all about how they want rats to die. I think this offended many rat owners, like me. I own three rats, and I am getting two more soon. I love them deeply. In example #6, at the end they wrote "How sad!" sarcastically. And #10 is telling people to try and kill rats. I am in a rat club, with over 2,000 people in it. There are thousands of people who keep rats as pets. Why didn't you say some of the nice things about rats, such as "Rats are now being used for sniffing out bombs instead of dogs because they can smell better and are trained easier" or "Rats can actually be litter trained" or "Rats are gentle, kind, loving creatures. They will actually lick you like a dog!"

    There are hundreds of nice facts about rats that you could have included. Next time you write about rats, please don't write about how you would love it if rats were dead and how you enjoy that some are endangered. It offends thousands of rat lovers. I do not think you would print an article about how you want puppies to die. Rats are equally as affectionate as puppies.

    Thank you for reading this.

    Zoe Biehl
    Walden, New York

  4. Jenny, if you want to read a deeply disturbing YA novel about twins (and rats), try Sonya Hartnett's Princes.

  5. I've just read some of Maddox's columns - terrific stuff. I don't know the competition - do you? - but he may very well deserve the award. (Except that I'm not partial to awards ...)

  6. In one of those odd coincidences, I found out today (via am email telling me about their revamped website) that Discover magazine was owned by Disney until 2005. As a droll colleague responded "I always said it was a Mickey Mouse organisation". I hasten to add, I have no view as I haven't read Discover for about 15 years.

  7. j,

    thanks for the acknowledgement, and the rat letter. hadn't seen it before. rats and 13 year old girls now solidly ensconced in my top ten species to acquire by lawful means.

    and thank maxine for her kind words. sir dad is in great form and i'm sure would love to hear from her.

    how's the stress fracture? can you drink yet?



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  9. This is Zoe, the rat owner! Just so you know I now own 5 rats. I found this place because I was bored so I typed my name in on Google to see what would come up. Lo and behold, the Discover site and this site came up! I had NO idea they put this on their site until now! It's so cool!

    www.myspace.com/missevilcow (for proof that it is me!)