British Prime Minister David Cameron met with US life sciences industry leaders to emphasise the UK’s ongoing and long-term commitment to life sciences and to acknowledge the value and investment that the US companies bring to the UK. The PM highlighted genomic medicine and dementia research as priority areas he would like the companies to consider for future investment.
Companies included Abbvie, Amgen, Baxter, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Covance, Eli Lilly, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Hear me ask my question to the panel of BBC Radio 4's Any Questions?this week. It will be broadcast online and on UK radio at 3:00 p.m. EDT (New York), 20:00 in the UK and available as a free podcast for download.* (Also available for free via iTunes.)
This week's panelists:
Sir Harold Evans of The Sunday Times, US News and World Report, The Atlantic Monthly, and the New York Daily News. In 1986 he founded Conde Nast Traveler. His book The American Century (1998) receiving particular acclaim. He is editor-at-large of The Week Magazine.
Former U.S. Rep. Nan Hayworth (NY 19th Congressional district) who may be considering a re-entry into politics. She was defeated in 2012 by Sean Patrick Maloney (who I've met several times over the course of years, as well as his partner Randy who is a fellow Hawkeye).
U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (MD 4th Congressional district) who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and sits on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
I attended a recording on the evening of April 18th, 2013, of one of my favorite radio shows, BBC Radio 4's Any Questions?, the world's longest-running radio panel discussion program, begun in 1948.** The show traveled across the pond to NYC this week to Columbia University's School of Journalism. Usually the show is broadcast live in the UK, and broadcast from a different location each week.
Attendees' questions are submitted ahead of time and selected by BBC staff. Panelists don't know ahead of time what the questions will be. For this taping, my question was one selected. I got to read my question aloud to the panel. For me this was very exciting.
The show has 3 million listeners a week, and it is part of my BBC Radio 4 triumvirate podcast I listen to each weekend--the other two programs being Friday Night Comedy (The News Quiz hosted by Sandi Toksvig and The Now Show with Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt) and In Our Time with host Melvyn Lord Bragg of Wigton.
*It's rebroadcast at 8:10 a.m. EDT on Saturday, 13:10 in the UK, too. Once archieved, it will be here.
Happy Birthday to The Royal Air Force. Founded 1st April 1918 by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force; the first air force in the world to become independent of army or navy control. The RAF's motto is Per Ardua ad Astra - "Through Struggle to the Stars."
[W]hen in 1963 Ray Cusick was asked to design some villains for a new BBC science-fiction series [Doctor Who], he sought something different. ..... The Daleks—mutant monsters in sinister shells—trundled into the clapped-out studio reserved for children’s programmes. ..... Critics were sceptical, until the fan mail arrived. Children across Britain huddled behind their sofas in squeaking, enjoyable terror....They were among the greatest science-fiction monsters ever conceived. ..... For all their gimcrack genesis Daleks were—and are—no joke. For adults in 1960s Britain, they were Nazis on castors. “Ex-ter-min-ate” was their ecstatic catchword, death rays their miracle weapon.... Their obedience to orders was unquestioning. Obsessed with their own superiority, their goal was to destroy other lifeforms, if necessary enslaving them first. ..... Many a serious British professional has a toy Dalek on his desk. In unguarded moments he may even play with it.
The Daleks’ glory reflected greatly on Mr Cusick. But the colossal sums of money they made went elsewhere..... Mr Cusick was a salaried BBC employee and entitled to nothing but thanks. “Is any of this money coming my way?” he asked. It wasn’t.... Only after a long struggle by a loyal boss did he receive a token £100.
Yes, I own a toy Dalek, but the Hasbro C-3PO and R2-D2 retain pride of place. After all, I'm a Yank. Curiously, British actors inhabited all three canister characters: unnamed tricycle riders, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker respectively. Even Respectably.
Hmmm. My spellcheck doesn't like "Daleks". Stupid machine.
A lot of pubs in Britain outside of urban centers are in crisis. The Brits are staying home and going online. One solution might be the pub as local cooperative and multi-use venue.
In November 2012, the Golden Ball Cooperative Ltd took over the lease at The Golden Ball pub on the corner of Cromwell Road and Victor Street in Bishophill, York.
About 180 investors have raised more than £75,000 by investing £400 each in shares in return for a say in the pub’s running and an annual dividend of up to five per cent. ..... [Investors include] ex-pats living as far away as India, China, Peru and Norway who had decided to get involved. ..... The pub, which is Grade II listed, is regarded as having the most complete inter-war layout of any pub in York, having been remodelled in 1929 by John Smith’s and left virtually unchanged since then.
of St. Benedict...“contained a specific instruction that a certain number of hours in each day were to be devoted to labour in the scriptorium. The monks who were not yet competent to work
as scribes were to be instructed by the others.”
Notwithstanding the Church’s active participation, the production of knowledge
remained parochial. The copying of books
was also slow, tedious, and very time-consuming; it took years for a scribe to
complete “a particularly fine manuscript with colored initials and miniature
art work.” When Bishop Leofric took over
the Exeter Cathedral in 1050, he found only five books in its library. Despite immediately establishing a
scriptorium of skilled workers, his crew managed to produce only sixty-six books
in the twenty-two years before the
bishop’s death in 1072. Likewise, although the Library of Cambridge
University had a remarkable collection of 122 books in 1424, it “labored for a
half-century to increase the number to 330.”
To make the copying task even more difficult, the working conditions in monasteries
were “far-from-productive.” For
instance, “[t]he weather might be uncomfortable, the light poor..., and the
text difficult to read or tedious to contemplate.” In addition, monks had to “concentrate on
material they [might] not have been
interested in—or even understood,” and they often feared that they would make
an error or would not be able to complete a given work within the specified
time. Under these conditions, it is,
therefore, no surprise that monks sometimes jotted remarks about their
frustration and relief in the margins, or the colophons, of their
manuscripts. Examples of these remarks
included “Thin ink, bad vellum, difficult text,” “Thank God, it will soon be
dark,” and “Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a
drink.” ..... Because the monks focused on the process, rather than the contents, it was not uncommon
to find them writing over materials on the same parchment or copying “useless
texts in illegible scripts.” After all,
the goal of such writing assignments was not to produce or preserve knowledge,
but rather to keep their hands and minds busy and away from sins or idle
thoughts. By the twelfth century, towns emerged, and communities grew in size and
wealth. As a result of the spread of
literacy, the demand for books increased dramatically, and a large number of new texts appeared. “[M]onastic libraries [soon] found it more and
more difficult to keep their collections up to date, and they began employing secular scribes and illuminators
to collaborate in book production.” Meanwhile, schools became independent from cathedrals, to which they
were originally attached, and guilds of
lecturers and students gathered to form universities. With the changing lifestyle and the emergence
of new educational institutions,
[i]t became more and more common for people to want to own books themselves, whether
students seeking textbooks or noble
women desiring to own beautifully illuminated Psalters. By 1200 there is quite good evidence of
secular workshops writing and decorating manuscripts for sale to the
laity. By 1250 there were certainly bookshops
in the big university and commercial towns, arranging the writing out of new
manuscripts and trading in second-hand copies. By 1300 it must have been exceptional for a monastery to make its own
manuscripts: usually, monks bought their books from shops like anyone else,
although this is not quite true of the Carthusians or of some religious
communities in the Netherlands.
As universities began to rely on scribes
to produce and reproduce texts, supervision by the university faculty became
necessary. Ordinances, therefore, were
developed “to regulate the work of the copyists, to lay down the minimum
requirements of formal presentation and substantial correctness, and to prescribe the selling price of duly certified copies.”....
“The English book trade...developed not around the universities, as on the Continent, but in London,
where the stationers formed a guild as early as 1403.” This guild was known famously as the
Stationers’ Company.... Despite the professional growth, medieval
scribes continued to be treated as mere laborers.... “The
average scribe in the later Middle Ages...had to work three
to seven days for the sum earned in one day by a common foot-soldier slogging
through Scotland in King Edward’s army.”
Nevertheless, the commercial book trade continued
to flourish in major European cities, and
the number of scribes and
illuminators increased substantially
as a result. “By the late thirteenth
century in Paris (a century later in England)...[t]he names
of scribes, illuminators, parchment-makers and binders...[can be found] in
tax records, though few names can be linked with surviving books.”
Image: The Monk Eadwine; c. 1150
Illumination on parchment, 457 x 330 mm; Trinity College, Cambridge.
The monk Eadwine, the prince of scribes (as the inscription calls him) is shown in this mid-twelfth-century portrait in a luxury glossed Psalter written at the cathedral priory of Christ Church, Canterbury. Eadwine is working with a pen and a knife together.
In Canada, the Liberal Party elected its new leader on January 26, 2013, replacing Dalton McGuinty--who announced back in October that he would be resigning--with Kathleen Wynne, a Cabinet minister and member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the riding of Don Valley West.
The Premier-designate of Ontario will be be appointed premier by Lieutenant Governor David Onley on February 11, 2013. She will be both the first woman to lead Ontario and the first openly gay provincial premier in Canada's history.
When Ms Wynne, a former federal cabinet minister, takes over in Ontario, she will head a minority government at a difficult time. She must grapple with a budget deficit forecast at C$11.9 billion ($11.9 billion) this year, while finding a way to satisfy teachers and civil servants angry at Mr McGuinty’s austerity measures. ..... Ms Wynne echoed other women premiers when she spoke of finding a new way to do politics, seeking common ground and free from “rancour and viciousness”. But sisterly spirit has not been much in evidence in the spat between Alberta and British Columbia over building the Northern Gateway oil pipeline; nor in the dispute between Ms Marois in Quebec and Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland & Labrador over a hydroelectric project on the Churchill River.