Indomitable Reporters and Suspicious Science Writers

If you thought that covering the Iraq war was a dangerous beat, try test-driving Lamborghinis. In today’s New York Times, Jerry Garrrett approaches the new, 632 hp, 211 mph 2007 Murciélago LP640 conscious of the risks involved:

The motoring press has compiled a frightful record in its testing of Lamborghinis. A colleague at Car and Driver magazine crashed one a while back. A few years before that, at a media event on a European racetrack, a writer took off at full throttle and crashed in the first turn. He and his passenger were killed.

Already, members of the press have totaled at least two LP640’s, which only recently went on sale. Not surprisingly, Lamborghini has become ever more reluctant to turn journalists loose with its cars for solo test drives.

Garrett also has a pearl of a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupéry, “the great adventurer”: “You know you have achieved perfection in design not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away.” How true that is of writing as well.

In the Washington Post, Charles Seife reviews a new biography of Nicolas Bourbaki, the great French mathematician who never existed. Seife points to serious indications of plagiarism, saying that much of the book’s contents appear to be lifted from various sources on the Web. I was seriously tempted to review this book myself, but maybe now I won’t.

Ok, occasionally I too get an urge to do what bloggers do, i.e., provide links to stuff they’ve seen on the Web. My original intention for this blog is still to present mostly original content. An upcoming redesign of will allow me to keep the two separate.

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