Thursday, August 20, 2009

World Mosquito Day

It is true, there is such a day. Ross spent months, years even bent over a microscope, with only buzzing mosquitoes and whimpering natives--feverish volunteers for his grand experiment--for company. In this narrow blinkered world, you start believing the myths you tell yourself to egg you on. One dapple-wing on the microscope and then another and another and another, four in all from his set of ten now offered up clues to the mode of transmission. To mark this moment and in keeping with the tradition of hubris that is the hallmark of European discovery, he declared Mosquito day.

By coincidence I've just finished reading The Calcutta Chromosome. Central to the story, which might be described as historical science-fiction, a medical mystery with traces of Sherlock Holmes, is Ross, and this discovery on August 20th. Coincidences weave through the plot and I'm not entirely sure, if having read the book, I might not now be part of this bizzare tale. There are many reviews on the web, I think the general consensus is that the author was in a hurry to finish the book. I give seven out of nine dapple-wings to this highly entertaining story.

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