counting on it

Occasionally a phrase in a news story or online article brings me up short and demands to be noted and preserved in some way.

The phrase that caught my attention this week comes from an article on the current all-time high of double births, which has been so widely reported under headlines that use the phrase “Twins peak” that I can only assume that is an exact quotation from a press release.
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correlations

Way back in the distant past, I studied maths. In fact, due to some bad choices early in my life, I actually got as far as starting to study maths at university, although I moved to a less challenging course after the first year.

Despite not completing the maths degree, I remember enjoying the history of maths module and I have fond – though somewhat blurred – memories of learning about relativity through stories of stick figures who chased each other across the blackboard, one of them flashing a torch at the other with the light never arriving as they were travelling so fast.
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stars and stats

The poetry course that I’m taking started with a discussion of sand and stars. More precisely, with the statement that there are ten times as many stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. (If you’re interested, here’s the maths that backs up the estimate.) I don’t think we mentioned, though, that there are more atoms in a single grain of sand than there are stars in the universe.

Either way, macrocosmos or microcosmos, a number that big is hard to comprehend, and the human brain tends to look for simplifications and ideas closer to home.

I’ve just been out in the garden and, unlikely as it seems, I suppose I’ll just have to assume there are more stars in the universe than there are blossoms on the plum tree.

plum blossom

flying visits

This isn’t the busiest blog in the world, and I don’t suppose it will ever have a huge audience, but WordPress send me notifications of new followers and likes, and it’s always nice to think that a post has appealed to readers, even if it’s impossible to know exactly why.

I check the stats page to see if I can find out a little more about who is reading and clicking, but this often poses more questions than it answers. I happened to look just after midnight the other night, just after the numbers had been reset, and this is what I found:

blog visits & views stats
Dear visitor, whoever you are, can you tell me how you managed to travel half way round the world in a matter of minutes and why you read six pages of my blog from three different countries?

nothing more than feelings

autumn tree
Procrastinating as usual before starting work, my attention was caught by the BBC headline Why feeling guilty may make you a better boss. Having read the article, I don’t feel any the wiser or better informed – so I feel guilty that I wasted my time.
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