Sorry for being absent for so long, and belated Happy New Year! The thing with having kids is, they get all kinds of bugs from their little friends, and then they pass them on us when we're run down - and what parent isn't perpetually run down? - so first my 5 year old was ill with a bug over Christmas, then my 3 year old got it, and then just when we thought we were safe it struck me down over New Year. Right before I have a paper due for my MSc, of course (it's on the MMR vaccine, for those who are interested). I'm studying alongside the editorial work I do for JUNO magazine and the Eco Kids Planet articles I write.. So basically, does anyone else feel like scientists really need to move forward with that cloning technology?!
Btw if you haven't checked out Eco Kids Planet magazine yet, I recommend it. I've just reviewed it for the next issue of JUNO magazine, as well as science mag Whizz Pop Bang! which I really wish had been around when I was a kid. I'd have loved it.
The only good thing about being ill is all the reading I did over new year. I finished I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which blew me away, and made me rethink how critical I am of the British schooling system at times. In fact I even wrote a review:
'Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human' - Malala Yousafzai
This quote is from the book I Am Malala, which tells the incredible true story about a young girl whose drive for learning can't be stopped even by the Taliban, who shoot Malala 3 times because of her outspokenness about girls being entitled to their education.
Malala and her family face many ordeals, the kind that fill us readers with terror, yet they have an amazing spirit and unflinching principles. The humanity that seems so often to be missing from the world is found in this book, and the family's unlikely tale is riveting from start to finish. I found myself somewhat ashamed of my lack of knowledge of the Swat District that Malala calls home, indeed of Pakistan in general... All too often the West forgets the less developed world and is educated about such regions only by war... Yet these are of course also places filled with stories of love and laughter, of children's quarrels and family traditions, even if there may be terrorists around the corner.
Malala says she wrote this book to promote The Malala Fund cause to raise money to ensure equal education of boys and girls around the world, but I think it does so much more than that. Above all this book shows us the power and strength of love and integrity in the face of the worst kind of horror, that unbridled hatred and violence of fellow man. I am an atheist and this book is steeped in Muslim faith, yet I respect it all the same. Humanity comes first. I cannot wait for my own daughters to read this book - and indeed I believe we would all benefit from reading it.
|Malala would paint calculus and chemical formulae on her hands with henna|
I have a backlog of posts I want to write, about new findings in microbes. stargazing, various hikes we've been on this winter, a trip to the Marine Aquarium, a slight obsession with the TV program Sherlock... But for now I will leave you with some photos from December..
|Fingle Bridge in Dartmoor|
|Happy little hiking elf|
|Full moon over the River Taw on a beautiful winter evening|
|What are these webs upto? I haven't the foggiest|
|Spot the Zion|