It’s been another quiet day in the country, though I had three interviews. The first was by biology student Justyna, who came here from Warsaw to interview me for her science journalism class (and perhaps for her website about primates, which she studies at the Warsaw zoo).
She lives near Dobrzyn and showed up wearing a primate hat, as well as the University of Chicago tee-shirt I gave her when she met me at the airport (Justyna has been very helpful in helping me get around Poland).
She also arrived with a birthday present for me: a plush cat. What should I call it?
In the afternoon I addressed, by Skype, an introductory evolution/genetics class taught by my ex-student (and now chair of biology at Duke) Mohamed Noor. They are reading my book and asked lots of questions. As usual, most of those questions were about the intersection of science and religion—students are really curious about that. Several students had also read ID books and asked me about Haeckel’s “fraud,” as well as more conventional creationist questions about why evolution didn’t violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics (a softball!).
Then it was time for noms. Malgorzata made a stupendous spinach and cheese quiche:
Then another interview, also via Skype, in connection with the Edge Annual Question, which is a good one this year; our answers will be made public in a few days.
After dinner we had a pomelo, which many readers may know, but it’s a fruit I’ve never seen. It’s like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit, and was excellent (and huge). It has the appropriate scientific name Citrus maxima, which sounds like Roman games, and is native to southeast Asia.
The obligatory portrait of the Queen and Editor-in-Chief:
And so to rest. Is there anything more comforting than a good book and a cat?
But before bedtime there is cake and the beverage of your choice. (As I said, Poles are like hobbits, eating at least five times per day.)
Tonight’s cake is Malgorzata’s special Swedish fruitcake, made with dried plums, dried apricots, walnuts, and raisins. I am told that before I leave I will be made a special cake that is called, in Swedish, “Professor’s Cake.”
It is amazing that I have gained no discernible weight on this trip.