Articles

Welcome to my other blog

Why have one blog, when you can have five?

…in fact, make that ‘Welcome to my other other other other blog’.

My blogs have a habit of bifurcating to reflect my different interests. I'm guessing this latest speciation event will be the last, but I've guessed that before.

For my Darwin, science and history of science writing, I have my Friends of Charles Darwin blog, and I occasionally contribute to the HMS Beagle Project blog. For my nature writing, I have my natural history journal, Life's Grandeur. For my idiosyncratic humour and rants, I have Gruts.

Which I guess means this new blog is going to be all about my reading, writing and photography.

Hey! Why have one blog, when you can have five?

richardcarter.com website launched

A new website dedicated to my writing and photography.

I decided that I needed a dedicated website for my writing and photography. I finally have my very own vanity URL: richardcarter.com

The site is somewhat sparse at the moment, but I'll be adding more content over the coming months.

Other than the actual website launch, the main item of news is that I have finally decided to go public with some information about my book.

LRB letter: ‘Darwin’s Flatulence’

How Charles Darwin's legendary flatulence wasn't all it's cracked up to be.

The following letter to The London Review of Books was in response to an article entitled Gutted by Steven Shapin, which reviewed A Modern History of the Stomach: Gastric Illness, Medicine and British Society, 1800-1950 by Ian Miller. The letter appeared in the 28th July 2011 edition of the LRB.

Darwin's Flatulence

Steven Shapin writes that Darwin's uncontrollable retching and farting seriously limited his public life (LRB, 30 June).

Some years ago, to my delight, I worked out that the great man's full name, Charles Robert Darwin, is an anagram of ‘rectal winds abhorrer’.

Unfortunately for my anagram, the meanings of words, like species, can evolve. On the rare occasions that Darwin mentioned his gaseous problems to friends, he always used the word ‘flatulence’. Nowadays, we think of flatulence as being synonymous with farting, but, in Darwin's day, it simply meant (as it technically still does) an accumulation of gases in the alimentary canal.

While I'm sure that Darwin, like the rest of us, must have vented his excess gas one way or the other, there is no reason to believe that his farts were uncontrollable.

Richard Carter
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire