I grabbed a newspaper when I was travelling home yesterday, because I was in danger of running out of the novel I'd brought with me (Nobody's Son by Sean Stewart, which is shorter than it looks). This meant I happened to see the obituary of R John Rayner. He was a great man, one of the generation who transmitted the intellectual tradition of the former German Reform world to British Progressive Judaism after the war. He also married my parents. Blessed is the Judge of truth.
I have discovered that I didn't win the New Scientist essay competition I entered a while back. I am mildly disappointed but I didn't have any grand expectations. The good thing about this is that I can now make the essay public, since I'm no longer trying to publish it in the real media. So if anyone wants a basic summary of what I did for my PhD, I refer you to Death of a cellsman. Thanks to everyone who helped me write this, by the way; obviously those who were in the filter I originally used for discussing my competition entry have already read something not very different from this final version.