comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of different organisms;
my use of the phrase ‘on the nature of limbs’ is a reference to a book of that name by Richard Owen (Amazon uk|.com);
Richard Owen was a brilliant Victorian anatomist. An adversary of Charles Darwin, he invented the word dinosaur, and was responsible for the creation of what later became the Natural History Museum in London. Owen believed that the anatomies of all vertebrates shared the same basic blueprint, which he referred to as the archetype;
Charles Darwin was a total dude, who realised that Owen's so-called archetype in fact represented the common ancestor of all vertebrates;
Ernst Haeckel was a brilliant German biologist, who developed his own (mostly wrong) version of Darwinism;
Edward B. Lewis was an twentieth-century American geneticist, who co-received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work on fruit flies;
Horizon is a long-running, BBC popular science television programme.
Or, to put it another way:
Alice Roberts sent me a tweet mentioning Charles Darwin!
Just over five years ago, I finally filled my first ever Moleskine™ notebook. As I admitted at the time, ever since I was a little kid and read Bobby Brewster, Detective, I’ve been a compulsive notebook collector. Seriously, I can't resist: I've got dozens of them.
Before the year is out—or on 31st December precisely, if I write smaller and time it correctly—I shall finish my sixth Moleskine™. Which means it takes me about a year to fill one.
Last night, I dreamt that I caught the end of a piece on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, in which some feminist was spouting bollocks about Charles Darwin. As opposed to spouting bollocks about men in general, I mean. I decided to write a letter to put them straight. But then I woke up.
Letters to Radio 4… Even in my dreams, I am hopelessly middle-class.
The entire print-run of the first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species sold out on its very first day. If you are lucky enough to own an original, it's worth an awful lot of money.
But imagine how much more valuable your original copy of On the Origin of Species would be if the print-run had been not of 1,250 books, but of just two? Priceless is the word you're looking for. Utterly priceless!
Which got me thinking. There's money to be made here, if one can lay one's hands on the entire print-run of a future classic book on the day that it first comes out.
But how? How does one purchase an entire print-run?
And then it dawned on me! You disintermediate and publish the book yourself:
Happy birthday, Stense! Look after your present: it's one of only two copies in existence.
(We'll both be able to retire on this, mark my words.)
Here, the Howgill Fells have been squashed up against the younger, limestone rocks of the Yorkshire Dales, sliding over the top of them, thereby creating the Dent Fault.
If you do happen to notice one of these in your garden, please let me know.
The Dent Fault was discovered by local lad, Adam Sedgwick, who went on to teach Charles Darwin geology at Cambridge University. He was a great geologist, but could never bring himself to accept his famous pupil's theory of evolution by means of Natural Selection.