I have been away from the Global Bioethics blog for longer than usual. It was a matter of converging demands: the end of the semester and teaching duties, plus the grant-writing season was in full swing. The latter is a form of temporary insanity, short-term OCD: your life is consumed not only by designing a proposal, collaboratively with others (and all the give and take that involves), but the mad paper chase of getting up-to-date CVs, writing budgets, budget justifications, scopes of work, letters of support, progress reports, and much else besides, and then packaging it all in the right way to submit it all to the funding authorities, whose pockets are getting shallower all the time. Those who think that academia is all about cushy tenured positions for life with guaranteed income ought to take a look in the trenches at (what I call) us soft money monkeys, i.e. those who spend an inordinate amount of time and energy cobbling together enough soft (grant) money to stay at least 75% employed -- you lose your medical insurance coverage if you drop further than that. But that is over, for the moment, and this blog needs feeding.