Tuesday, January 3, 2012

HMS Rattlesnake


      As he died, Aldous Huxley may have asked his wife for one hundred milligrams of LSD because he had heard on the radio that President Kennedy had just been shot, an event certain to overshadow his own passing.
 
    He is buried somewhere near Guilford, in the United Kingdom, in what I understand is the Huxley family crypt, which is a sort of compound for dead people who are related.  I liked his book "Doors of Perception" which I made the mistake of reading while at boarding school, and I blame Aldous Huxley for the hours I spent learning how to smoke cigarettes.
  
     Aldous Huxley was the grandson of Thomas Huxley. I remember this because I am a big fan of Charles Darwin, who was a shy person not fond of getting out and about, and when Origin of the Species was published the better established said terrible and sometimes witty things about Charles. 

    Thomas Huxley's defense of Darwin is as close as I have ever come to enjoying a sporting event. And while Darwin's voyage of discovery upon HMS Beagle is well known, Thomas Huxley's own voyage of discovery as the surgeon's mate aboard HMS Rattlesnake is less well known.



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