The Darwin bicentennial oak, 15 years on

Fifteen years ago today, I planted the Darwin Bicentennial Oak in my garden. I am pleased to report that it is still doing well.

I have now spent fifteen years gathering material for the longest time-lapse movie ever. Or should that be shortest?

The full set!

Thirty years ago, in 1993, I treated myself to the first 8 volumes of Darwin’s Correspondence, which was all that had been published at the time. Ever since, one of my ambitions has been to live long enough to collect the full set. Today, on my 58th birthday, I realised that ambition.

The full 30-volume (31-book) set of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin.

Now there’s the small matter of reading them all. I’m currently half-way through volume 12.

The Darwin bicentennial oak, 14 years on

Fourteen years ago today, I planted the Darwin Bicentennial Oak in my garden. I am pleased to report that it is still doing well.

I have now spent fourteen years gathering material for the longest time-lapse movie ever. Or should that be shortest?

A long-desired plan

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve made several small but important improvements to the Friends of Charles Darwin website, pretty much every one of which will go unnoticed by all but the most astute of observers. I’ll spare you the details, other than to say the site now looks more consistent, and I finally managed to track down the source of a problem that was making certain pages far slower than they should have been (which, contrary to all expectations, had nothing to do with any of my own inept programming). So, several minor improvements accumulated over time: how appropriate is that for a site dedicated to Charles Darwin?

The changes are part of a long-desired plan to become less reliant on the outrage manufactories of social media, and to start putting out more stuff both here and on my personal website. This move has been on the cards for quite some time. I’ve made no secret of the fact I would prefer people to follow my websites and newsletters directly, and to cut out the billionaire middlemen. Musk’s recent acquisition and ongoing firebombing of Twitter were not the inspiration for this move, but they provided some much-needed impetus.

I’m not naive enough to think people are going to abandon social media—and neither am I. But I don’t see why I should continue to populate their websites with Darwin-related content, rather than posting it on my own. So, from now on, the plan is to post stuff mainly on my websites and in my newsletters and to link to that stuff via social media.

If you would also like to cut out the middlemen and follow my stuff directly, here are the best ways to do so:

Friends of Charles Darwin stuff:

Richard Carter stuff:

Minor improvements over time… Who knows where this might lead?

Friends of Charles Darwin RSS feed has moved…

For technical reasons I won’t bore you with, the canonical URL (web address) for the Friends of Charles Darwin combined RSS ‘metafeed’ (which lists all the site’s latest articles, newsletters, reviews and blog posts) has changed to:

http://friendsofdarwin.com/metafeed.xml

The (non-technical) reason for the change is to make the feed more user-friendly for people who happen to land on the page, but who don’t understand what an RSS feed is for.

The old feed URL should continue to work just fine. But if you’re already subscribed to the feed, you might want to update to the new ‘official’ version.

Apologies for any inconvenience. I’ll try to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Hello, Ukraine! 🇺🇦

I am delighted to announce that the Friends of Charles Darwin have their first member from Ukraine: Kateryna Ocheretna of Kviy. Welcome! (And keep going, Ukraine!)

We now have members in 104 countries.

Ukraine

The Darwin bicentennial oak, 12 years on

Twelve years ago today, I planted the Darwin Bicentennial Oak in my garden. I am pleased to report that it is still doing well.

I have now spent twelve years gathering material for the longest time-lapse movie ever. Or should that be shortest?