Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Only Two Days -Sorry, One Day- Left!

Every now and again I think most of us see something on TV or listen to something on the radio that we find spellbinding. It was like that for me the other week with Beautiful Minds: Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell was, in her youth, the only woman studying physics at Glasgow University. She went on, famously, to discover pulsars. She is also a Quaker. I'm neither a Quaker nor a scientist, yet the clarity of mind she seems to apply to her life and her science were quite inspiring, I thought. And the pulsars story has a nasty, pre-sexual revolution twist to it.

I had meant to write a post about it when it was first on and was reminded of the fact when I found the programme half by accident on the BBC iPlayer this morning. Sadly, it says the programme is only available for two more days. You can find it HERE. If you can possibly find the time, try to watch it. If it's not your cup of tea, turn it off. Nothing lost.

If you can't get the BBC iPlayer where you are, you'll probably be able to watch the trailer on Youtube:

The last thing I saw that I found similarly inspiring was a Youtube video of the concert pianist Mitsuko Uchida talking about playing a Piano Concerto. Just ignore the odd technical term. I don't think you have to be a musician or a fan of the composer (yes, it's Schoenberg again I'm afraid, but that's just a coincidence, honest!) to get goosepimples from Uchida's focus on and enthusiasm for what she does, any more than one needs to be a Quaker or a scientist to appreciate what Jocelyn Bell Burnell has to say.


On a completely different subject, if you read my post a few days ago, you might like to know Sinbad the cat is doing well. He had one of his front legs removed and is recuperating at home in a large cage. He has to spend most of his time there until his stitches are removed in ten days time. I suppose most people think that cruelty to animals is a terrible thing in the abstract but, like most things, it's when you experience it first hand that you realise just how terrible things are in reality. Bloody guns.


BwcaBrownie said...

oh no poor kitty. I usually censor very quickly to save myself animal anguish but that snuck up on me while concentrating on Ms.Burnell.
oh poor kitty get well soon.

Niamh B said...

Sorry to hear about the cat, that's awful!
Poor thing.

the watercats said...

It's not so much the guns, as the fecking idiots who tend to posess them. In the right hands they are a tool like any other, (and to be honest, I would hate to keep animals and not have a gun.. but that's another story)... It just beggars belief that the police don't take animal cruelty cases seriously enough, perpetarators of it should be given serious psychological scrutiny.. hope you cat gets on the mend a.s.a.p, the poor old lad and a front leg too!

as for the beautiful minds series, I only caught the one about the Gaia theory man, what a fantastic charcter he was! I completely forgot to catch the rest (unfortunately I can't acess the i-player from here, ireland!.. I is miffed!) :-D

Dominic Rivron said...

BwcaBrownie and Niamh: Thanks for your thoughts. He continues to do well.

watercats: Re guns: I'd go with that. Bloody the wrong hands. I would add, though, I do think air rifles -especially powerful ones- should be licenced and harder to get.

It's a shame you can't get the BBC iPlayer in Ireland - I never thought. Quite a lot of bloggers who visit here are from Ireland. I've embedded the BBC4 trailer for the programme, for anyone who can't get it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Good to see Sinbad still looking quite perky - do hope he progresses. Interestingly Wendy had had a similar thing with her dog last year -so it happens all the time.
I personally see no use for air guns at all and think they should be outlawed. Why should young kids - mostly boys - be able to use such things - it is totally unnecessary.

Poetikat said...

Poor boy! I commented below on the original weekend post. I do hope you are continuing to improve, Dominic.


Poetikat said...

Just posted a comment on "At The Zoo". We loved it (Kev's now in the bathroom singing the chorus).

Thank you!

Kat and Kev

Sandra Leigh said...

Dominic, will you please phone the BBC and tell them I'll be in England next Friday? Surely they could hold the podcast that long!

The Solitary Walker said...

Pleased the cat's recovering.

George said...

I recently discovered your blog, Dominic, on the site of the Solitary Walker. Fascinating and interesting in so many different ways. I'm looking forward to following it.

swiss said...

lads and their guns. came across this story in the rspb magazine today.

perhaps not this pair (brave enough ton shoot birds but not to show their faces) but certainly someone like them decided to shoot some eighty of the birds and spell 'death' with them on the beach. at least some jail time tho not enough.

hope the cat's on the mend.

as for the jocelyn bell, watched it and very much enjoyed. somewhat in the same vein you might enjoy this

Sorlil said...

The programme looks right up my street, thanks for that!

Dominic Rivron said...

WG: Quite. I'm not sure where to go from here really. I think "something has to be done" about it, but I don't know what.

Poetikat & Kev: I'm slowly getting better thank you! As for At the Zoo... It great (and I mean it) when you've written a song to think that there's someone somewhere in the world singing it in their bathroom! :)

Sandra Leigh: Sadly they don't seem to do that kind of thing. If only they did.

SW: Thanks. He is, we think. He's been having his ups and downs today, but it seems more up than down.

George: And I yours. Ditto.

swiss: Thanks for the links! Interesting chap, Buckminster.
The cat's had his ups and downs today, but more ups than downs.

Sorlil: It's a good one. Hope you get a chance to wathc it.

Lyn said...

This beautiful kitty looks so much like my Milo..that my heart just jumped..Too much suffering in this world, but lots of love too...bless Sinbad!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Appaling injury , poor Sinbad.I wish for as full a recovery as possible.I can empathise with your feelings about this, Dominic, and you would wonder at the mentality of the fuckers that do this kind of thing.

Poet in Residence said...

The Jocelyn Bell Burnell video got me thinking and I recalled that I had read some years ago about pulsars being like lighthouses. It's all very well her saying there are no little green men. But has anybody joined up all the dots on the pulsar map I wonder?