The most expensive painting ever sold, one of a handful of intact Da Vinci masterpieces, was bought for almost half a billion dollars, and a lot of people are butthurt about it.
Here’s the thing. Well, two things, really. Someone with half a billion dollars can spend it legally however he wishes. The real evil, I think, is that we have a world that allows a person to accumulate that extreme amount of wealth.
But the other thing is this: of all the things that half a billion dollars could be spent on, I am thrilled that it was spent on a work of art. A Virginia class nuclear submarine costs four times that amount. Or, for the price of a Da Vinci, one could acquire 100 predator drones.
Why aren’t we more butthurt about such wasteful spending on items that cause nothing but misery and destruction?
Back to books…
One of the singular joys of retreating from my minute-by-minute life on social media is all the time I now have to *think* without interference from the Facebook political echo chamber. I’ve even found more time and enthusiasm for reading. I’m presently reading three books:
- Robert Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
- John Gimlette’s Wild Coast
- Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire
Which will I get through first? Stay tuned to find out!
Epidemiology Research Day
Every year, my 4th year Epidemiology class rounds off its semester with a simulated conference hosted by the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology & Biostatistics. This tradition predates me, and was invented by my colleague Dr James Gomes.
I’m proud to report that this year’s installment was a roaring success, but featured a slight change in format. Instead of having students pay $100 or so to print a physical poster, their virtual posters were projected onto classroom screens; and they were interrogated by a panel of judges in an otherwise mostly empty room.
This was a cheaper solution, but lacked some social enjoyment. So in the future, we might go back to the more enjoyable, but expensive, format. We actually published an evaluation of the event in a previous year, and will likely do so again very soon.
In the mean time, you can check out some of pics from the 2017 event here.
My glorious locks…
When my beautiful, loving, perfect girlfriend moved to another city earlier this year (you reading this, dear?) she left behind some of her shampoo. I finally used it up a couple of weeks ago, and was relieved to retreat to my standard male standby: soap. That’s right, I of the glorious hair-obsession wash my magnificent locks with soap. Not just any soap, mind you, but environmentally friendly, non-perfumed glycerin soap.
Well, said GF came for a visit recently and was shocked to see that I was devoid of shampoo, so took it upon herself to re-stock my supply. Sigh. So now I have more shampoo to get rid of. What else can I use it for? Hmmmm….
That’s all I have for today. I promise, there will be something a LOT more substantial tomorrow!