Monday, March 23, 2009

Darwin’s Evolution of Synaptic Tangent

It is time, my chipper yeomen, that I set you a small puzzle to start the week, and trust me this is a small puzzle. It has been a while since I set off on a trail of synaptic tangents, so I am going to start off small, can you connect Charles Darwin with Melinda Messenger?

Another reason I am starting off small is that I am finding inspiration hard to come by.

I believe that something has subtly changed in the BBC newsroom. This is probably not unique to Auntie. As a bit of a news junkie I do tend to flit from news source to news source like an addicted bee hops from poppy to poppy. (see Note 1)

It seems that the news pages have been slipping towards the idea that they are only supposed to report on the ‘heavy’ news items and that these must be delivered with the most depressing tone possible.

The nearest I came to inspiration over the weekend was a story over the weekend about a portaloo arsonist operating in San Fransisco. Sadly, the company spokesman already managed to deliver the obvious pun. I did note that the police did not state that they ‘have nothing to go on’, so I can only assume that they are following up the leads that point to Malibu and the neighbours of Bob Dylan.

Looking at the BBC news website this morning, there was very little there that could lift my spirits and nothing that sparked a creative synapse. The nearest I could find was a piece on Charles Darwin’s university days and that didn’t seem to hold much promise. After all, it blandly reported that the young Charles didn’t waste his student grant on anything mundane like books. (see Note 2)

Then I found a fantastic synaptic tangent to the pneumatic Melinda!

Have you found it yet? Well, those cheeky journalists at the BBC spotted that while a student, Charles Darwin paid the extra to have vegetables with his meals (see Note 3) and used it to pump the ‘five a day’ healthy eating mantra. For those of you who didn’t realise, Melinda Messenger, when she isn’t dancing on ice (see Note 4), is the face behind the NHSfive a day’ message.

Well, if you excuse me, I must sign off. All this talk of healthy eating has given me the urge to go nibble on a melon.

Note 1: OK, there is no scientific basis for believing that the pollen from the poppy is anyway addictive to bees.

Note 2; It’s good to see that nothing much has changed with student life over the years. Modern students might not collect beetles, but they certainly try to avoid frittering their money away on books.

Note 3: Well, some things about student life have changed. If my son is anything to go by, modern students cross the road to avoid vegetables.

Note 4: I’ve never actually watched this show and never will in protest at the exploitative reality format. Sadly, it doesn’t stop me giving it a plug every now and again. I’m sure a psychotherapist would love the opportunity to explain that.