I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing – their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are longer pauses. To sit alone without any electric light is curiously creative. I have my best ideas at dawn or at nightfall, but not if I switch on the lights – then I start thinking about projects, deadlines, demands, and the shadows and shapes of the house become objects, not suggestions, things that need to done, not a background to thought.
I think we’ve officially reached that annoying time in the year where it’s sweater weather in the morning, but by midday, if you wear a sweater, you die from heatstroke.
You must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: The stupid and the envious. The stupid will like you in five years time. The envious, never.
Poor lab safety is like the third most common superhero origin story. According to comic books, all I have to do is leave my chemicals out near a window and wait for lighting to strike and then I can call up the Justice League for my membership card.
A chemist, a physicist, and a biologist go to the beach. The physicist is intrigued by the waves, walks into the ocean to examine them and drowns.
The biologist is intrigued by the various forms of life, walks into the ocean to study them, and drowns.
The chemist is sitting on the beach with a lab notebook and writes “Biologists and physicists are soluble in water.”