Hours not to reason why


One winter afternoon years ago I was writing a profile of a naval architect and I found myself in an unheated shed at a Cape Cod boatyard. My guy was chatting with the boatyard manager, who had a broken and rather arcane piece of boat plumbing in his hand. The problem with the boatyard repair business, the manager remarked philosophically, was that it often took him an astonishing amount of time to figure out how to fix a problem like this, and he couldn’t bill his clients for all that time. I remembered that moment yesterday afternoon, spending hours tracking down some rather arcane details about immune reactions in breast cancer. Once I found them, I could add exactly one sentence to a story on about tumor microenvironments. The good news is that, like the boatyard manager, I enjoy the problem-solving.

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