I've spent a lot of the last two days in bed, or at least with my feet up. Charles, having got over last weekend's bug, promptly got whatever I had, and we've both spent a lot of time sitting around looking pale and tired. Charles has exercised his option to revert to extra breastmilk, and consequently I am simultaneously ravenous and queasy most of the time. It's almost like being pregnant, without the heartburn and being kicked in the ribs and bladder. Tony's been a bit under the weather, but as far as I can tell, less bad than me and Charles.
But we are getting better, and Charles has at least eaten some solid food today.
I felt, and Charles seemed, so much better this afternoon that I decided to give him a haircut with Jonny's trimmers. I did this in the summer and it went really well, because he watched Jonny do his own hair first. This time we didn't have that and I made the mistake of starting with a big obvious pass right down the middle of his head, and he hated it but I didn't want to leave it like that. So I insisted on finishing the job and it was all a bit of an upsetting battle. Bad decision really; I note for future reference that haircuts are a trivial reason for imposing my superior physical force, and next time he can just look silly for a bit and we'll all be much happier.
We are going to try to organise Charles getting to watch Tony's hair being cut the next couple of times that happens, so he can learn more about this whole haircutting concept.
This afternoon I finally watched the 3-part BBC series "Earth: The Climate Wars
" which had been lurking on the PVR for weeks. The first episode traces the history of climate change concern from the "impending ice-age" ideas of the 1970s to today. (One of the more interesting bits of historical footage was Margaret Thatcher giving a speech on climate change and how we were not landlords on this world, "but tenants with a repairing lease".)
The second episode was the most interesting, and dealt with the backlash of climate change skepticism, and how new data and new analyses attempted to respond to the criticism. Set among footage filmed at a climate change skeptics conference, it rather pointedly showed the difference between science "ok, that's a fair criticism, now let's find more data/re-analyse the existing data with that in mind" and dogma "your data doesn't show what we think, so it must be wrong/you must be committing fraud". One of the scientists said something along the lines that personal attacks on individual researchers means the skeptics have probably run out of attacks to make on the research itself.
Having established that the world is getting warmer and that human-released carbon-dioxide is the cause, the third episode looked at predictions of the future: how can we tell what this means for us, and how bad is it going to be?
Sadly, this series is no longer available on iPlayer, but it's already had a few repeats, and maybe it'll get released onto DVD like all the good BBC nature series.
On the climate-change theme, I'm currently about half-way through Six Degrees
by Mark Lynas, which won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books this year. The "4 degrees" chapter was so scary I had to stop, and I haven't yet got up my nerve to carry on to 5 & 6 degrees. In the meantime, I've just added mark_lynas
as a syndicated feed to LJ (and I'm quite astonished I'm the first one to do so).