I am happy to announce that I have been awarded the Jnan Chandra Medal for 2008 by the Association for Plant Taxonomy (India). One of the people who nominated me was Dr. S. K. Jain, former Director of the Botanical Survey of India who has always been most generous in his support for my research into flora and fauna in the Pali Tipitaka. The medal is ‘awarded every two years to a scholar for his or her research publications on the cultural, religious or mythological aspects of plants in Indian life’. Now I want to make it clear that the Jnan Chandra Medal is not the Nobel Prize of botany or anything like that, and that plant taxonomy is a pretty esoteric field. Nonetheless, sometimes it’s nice to get some recognition for the contribution one makes to any particular field of knowledge.
On another subject - a woman in Arizona recently found the letters G, O and D on three slices of salami after she toasted them. Dubbed a ‘miracle’, curious and devote people are coming from all over to see the holy salami slices and the woman is now looking for ways to preserve them. I wonder why she didn’t read the letters as DOG or even OGD, which is the Sami word for underpants?