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.