Mourning Blue Collar Scientist

After he first linked to me I’ve learned to get a sinking feeling whenever I notice an influx of visitors coming to this blog from Blue Collar Scientist’s blog. The first time when such a random influx happened was when he was first diagnosed with cancer. The next time when he finally passed away. Today I was reminded again of the loss of Blue Collar Scientist in a post on his final days of life, and damn it, what a splendid time it seemed he was having. But all good things come to an end…

So, we have lost a wonderful person. Someone who fought for better education and loved to teach kids himself. I know that I will miss him. Somehow, everything seems a little smaller.

But of course, I got to the sad sad end of the story and started tearing up. Once I had gotten my sobbing mostly under control, fellow skepchick Jill was able to lend me some sympathy over Skype which calmed me… but I was still in a rather disheartened mood.

I’ve always sort of had this strange assumption that all these bloggers would stick around, give me time to meet them in person at the next atheist convention or something. I think that if I had met Jeff in person I would have made a point to thank him for those kind words, but while he was still with us the thought never really crossed my mind. Even when I’d heard about when he got diagnosed with cancer I thought he’d make it. It wasn’t until after I’d heard the news when I felt the regret and shock at having a voice in the blogosphere fall deafeningly silent so suddenly.

See, when I get disheartened like that I like to play piano and I decided that this time I’d actually share some of my music with the world so I recorded some random songs and posted it on my Atheist Nexus profile where you can listen to it. The songs are:

  1. Für Elise by Beethoven – Like you’ve never heard that one before.
  2. Piano Sonata in C Major Movement 1 by Mozart – Movements 2 and 3 I butchered too bad to justify uploading.
  3. Sonatina and Romanza by Beethoven – I just really like it.
  4. Sonatina, Pastorale, and Rondo by Theodore Latour – I wonder why more people don’t know about him… and why I don’t know more about him.

I haven’t edited them so if you’re skeptical of my having made those choppy little versions of a few of my favourite pieces you can probably hear my numerable errors if you listen closely. If it’s that bad I would recommend banging your head against a desk with the rhythm until it ends.

I don’t really know if this is a tribute to him, and if it is I don’t know why it’s music that I have chosen to honour a scientist (after all, us scientists are just un-human heartless villains who can’t enjoy art in any form, right?), but if it is I think he deserved better.

Whatever the reason it helped me calm down about the blogosphere’s recent loss. I hope that… maybe… it will lighten up the hearts of others… despite the poor sound quality and dreadful errors that were inevitably made.

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One response to this post.

  1. Beautiful, Elles.

    I hesitated a lot about responding to this or anywhere else about Jeff. We blogged back and forth a bit, and with Zach mentioned our lung ailments (Jeff had asthma) as a tiny part of our make-up of who we are. I was delighted when he’d make a comment or when I was granted his blog-comment award. His cycling enthusiasm made me want to go back to the bike I’ve neglected the last couple of years.

    I spent a day thinking about it. Like you, I turned to an art. Did a little sketch, Medkeff, Asteroid Hunter! in an old 50’s sci-fi style, wearing a blue jumpsuit and with a ray-gun-style telescope, hands on hips. I knew a bit of him the last few months, not enough of him. It probably won’t go past the sketch, I can’t intrude on his loved-ones more than this, I think. Thanks for a tribute I felt similar to my own, Elles.

    I hope his blog is preserved for posterity somehow. A joy to read and go back to.

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