Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Intimations of Mortality (Haiku)

Life is an apple.
Death the worm coiled at its core.
I take slow, small bites.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


From the New York Post:

PREGNANT AT . . . 66!


By James Fanelli

May 17, 2009

A wealthy, 66-year-old divorcée has defied her age -- and Mother Nature -- by becoming the oldest woman in Britain ever to get pregnant, setting off a storm of controversy in the medical world.

Elizabeth Adeney expects to give birth in June through a C-section, according to reports, after conceiving in vitro at a fertility clinic in the Ukraine -- because British clinics do not treat women over 50.

The baby is believed to be the first for Adeney, who used donor eggs and sperm, but the pregnancy has kicked off a raging debate over the ethics of helping a woman of her age to conceive.

Professor Severino Antinori, Britain's top medical expert on helping older women bear children, weighed in against the pregnancy -- explaining last week that Adeney's advanced age made it unfair to the child. Adeney would be 80 when her child becomes a teenager.

"I'm shocked by the idea of a 66-year-old woman giving birth," Antinori told The Sunday Times of London. "I respect the choice medically, but I think anything over 63 is risky, because you cannot guarantee the child will have a loving mother or family."

He said he feared the child would end up suffering from the lack of a parent.


Is Dr. Antinori similarly shocked when older men father children? Would he advise men over 63 not to procreate because they might not live long enough to see their children reach adulthood?

Women live longer than men. Maybe 55 should be the cut-off age for fatherhood.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Keep it simple, stupid!

From the New York Times:

Peter de Jonge’s first solo novel, “Shadows Still Remain,” comes with a blurb from James Patterson, who says, “This novel is an absolute knockout and a half.” That’s high praise from an author who so towers over the best-seller lists that a couple of years ago he estimated that he earned royalties on one out of every 15 hardcover books published in this country. In fact, Mr. Patterson now publishes so many best sellers, in so many different genres, that he can’t possibly write them all. So he farms many of his books out to a factory, or an atelier, if you like: a team of co-authors who work from Patterson-supplied outlines and stick closely to the no-frills Patterson formula: short chapters, short paragraphs, short sentences, short words.


Short chapters, short sentences, short paragraphs, short words, and a heavy reliance on italics, so the inattentive or dull-witted reader won't miss what's important.