instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Blog

Einstein, Eddington, and Me

There has, and quite rightly, been a fair bit written about Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, which he published 100 years ago yesterday. The man whose observations confirmed the theory was Arthur Stanley Eddington, who spent many of his formative years in my hometown of Weston-super-Mare; many times, as a wee young thing, I would walk past his house on Walliscote Rd, where, I assume, a commemorative plaque remains. (A plaque commemorating Eddington having lived there, rather than my having periodically walked past it.) In fact, it was here that, as I walked home from school one day, a large tile slid off the roof and crashed into the sidewalk just in front of me. This rather shook me up; what if I had left school a second earlier? I was, I recall, quite upset that none of the adults I later told quite grasped the near-calamitous nature of what had happened. Forty years later, I find it ironically amusing that gravity, at the house of the man who confirmed general relativity, nearly snuffed me out (or, more likely, nearly cut my head and gave me a headache). Tl;dr: the general theory of relativity is all about ME, dammit. Read More 
Be the first to comment

My New Friend

Tundra Buggy One, near Churchill, Manitoba, November 2, 2015.
Be the first to comment

Live from the Tundra

Thanks to my friends at Polar Bears International, I've been back in Churchill and on Tundra Buggy One, studying polar bears, shooting videos and writing blogs. Here are some webcasts I hosted with PBI's Steven Amstrup and the excellent Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech.





 Read More 
Be the first to comment

The Great One

Not Mt. McKinley
When I lived in a tiny cabin in Anchorage, on the shores of Alaska's Cook Inlet, I could sometimes - if the day was perfectly clear and I squinted a little - see the peak of the continent's tallest mountain in the far, far distance. And when I did, I would tell friends, "I could see Denali today," and everyone understood. When we spoke of the mountain - as, this being Alaska, we did quite often - it was always Denali. Always. Denali - supposedly, although perhaps not in fact, Athabascan for "The Great One" - is a defining feature of the 49th State, and its name and putative English translation are ingrained in the state's vocabulary. Although there were outliers - deliberate contrarians and establishmentarians - virtually nobody in Alaska would refer to it as Mt. McKinley, its official name. Indeed, that imprimatur offended: McKinley, an undistinguished president, never visited Alaska not had any particular connection to it, yet efforts to have the insult removed repeatedly ran into roadblocks from the congressional delegation of McKinley's native Ohio.

Now, President Obama has taken executive action to write a 98-year-old wrong, and ensure that Denali is henceforth known officially by the name to which it is referred by all Alaskans. In the Great Land, the news was met with overwhelming enthusiasm and gratitude; to judge from the reactions of Ohioans, GOP presidential candidates and the multitude of social media users whose knee-jerk reaction is to oppose everything the president does simply because he does it, he might as well have announced that he was reversing the result of WWII. There are many reasons why perusing Twitter is enough to give a rational person reason to despair for humanity, and it seems strange that this particular explosion of faux outrage above all others has depressed me so. But is a topic that is close to my heart; personally, I am grateful to the president for his symbolic but significant gesture, and in time I hope the wailing and gnashing of teeth will find another target, as Denali continues to stand tall and imperious above the fray.  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Melancholy

For a bunch of reasons, this song is very much on my mind right now. Not much in life more depressing than losing a great thing.
Be the first to comment

Kieran and Miguel

I've long been a fan of Miguel Cotto. He's the first fighter I've followed ringside all the way from prospect/contender status to veteran champion. I enjoy interviewing him, too. Here I am, talking with him and with Daniel Geale, his opponent at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on June 6.



 Read More 
Be the first to comment

Back to the Tundra

I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be heading back to the frigid shores of Hudson Bay later this year, at the invitation of Polar Bears International, who have asked me to host some of their live programming direct from the tundra. It has been seven years since I was last in the Polar Bear Capital of the World; it will be great to see some old, furry friends - and join up with some old, less furry, bipedal friends too. More updates as I have them. Read More 
Be the first to comment

One Day Away

The Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao clash is now just one day away.

Check out the final pre-fight press conference, which I co-hosted, and also the brief interview I conducted with Manny Pacquiao immediately afterward. And meanwhile, many thanks to my friend Stephanie Trapp for the photo of Manny and me.




 Read More 
Be the first to comment

It Begins

After five years of waiting and wondering, the Mother of All Fight Weeks is upon us. Floyd Mayweather will face off against Manny Pacquiao on May 2, and already the hype is at fever pitch. I, of course, am doing my best to add to it:





 Read More 
Be the first to comment

Award 2.0

I could get used to this. Another Friday, another award. :) Tonight, I was honored with First Place in Event Coverage by the Boxing Writers Association of America for this piece about Sergey Kovalev dethroning Bernard Hopkins. With me in this photograph - taken by his wife Liz - is my good friend Ed Mulholland, HBO photographer, who won a photography award at the same annual BWAA dinner. Read More 
1 Comments
Post a comment