Beauty: what is it? Why do I find some women attractive and others not so? I find it difficult to find a definition which fulfills all eventualities. There are factors such as symmetry, eye size, clarity of skin, age, mouth size which impinge regularly but none of these guarantee either inclusion or exclusion. Am I just being perverse?
Most people have a natural curiosity about where things come from and how they work. It has been so since prehistory. The ancients did not have our methods or tools of enquiry. When they ran out of explanation, it was easy and convenient to attribute to god.
We still don’t understand everything: not even nearly. There’s an argument that says we never will. But the frontiers of understanding grow at a greater rate with every passing day.
A caveman may be forgiven for marvelling at the sunrise and, in the absence of a better explanation, thanking a god. Isaac Newton explained plantary motion three hundred years ago but was unavailable for the caveman.
“Act of god” is enshrined in English law. Even the law doesn’t allow for the intervention of a supernatural being. It’s just a soubriquet for something that we accept as chance and don’t have an adequate explanation for.
Next time you hear “miracle of life”, think about what it really means.
BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme had me howling with laughter on my drive to work this morning. John Humphries was interviewing a doctor who had conducted some research into how playing a little soothing music to patients during minor surgical procedures can make the experience much more pleasant for them. No great surprise there, you might say, and I’d agree. But then John went on to play some examples of the soothing music and first up was Frank Sinatra, My Way “and now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain”! Good choice John!
My present wife, previous wives and girlfriends, sisters, even mother: they all do it. There is a permanent bond, understanding and support network between them and any other woman we might meet. The battle lines are drawn: male versus female. All the signs are there: the knowing looks, the roll of the eyes, the pity. Mostly, it’s on a jokey level: there’s no real plot against me. But I’m guilty before I do anything. They’ve agreed I’m in the wrong before they’ve even spoken to one another. I know how a tsetse fly must feel.
I feel it is worthy to note the way the wider football community has responded to the plight of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspurs’ ground) on 24th March. According to news reports, Fabrice is recovering well.
Football fans have acquired a poor reputation, often deserved, over many years. I was heartened to see so many rival fans, both in England and beyond, declare their support and best wishes for Fabrice. This is no media organised stunt but a genuine coming together of the football community, united in sympathy and concern for a stricken player. Get well soon Fabrice!