It’s not the end of the world

 

apocalypse ahead

The latest in a long line of supposedly doom-filled dates passed without incident last weekend. I’m a little concerned that I’ll end up oversleeping and miss the event, if and when it finally does come to pass. I’d hate waking up late to discover half the planet on fire before I’d had my morning coffee and croissant.

Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day”

I guess eventually one of these silly end of the world predictions might actually get it right, purely by chance. Of course those who share this nonsense won’t have much time to enjoy their brief moment of triumph. They’ll be too busy running from all the giant tsunamis, earthquakes or general planetary disintegration to do much gloating. It’s hard to feel smug when you’re up to your arse in a lake of molten lava.

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Creatures of habit

gorillaOur lives tend to be ruled by habits. I’m not just talking about a fondness for junk-food, booze, or cigarettes et al, I mean the tendency to repeat any rewarding (or at least not-too-painful) behaviours, over and over again, ad nauseum.

It often seems to be our lot to follow the path most travelled and to boldly go where we have been many times before.

Of course one can try consciously to break free from the habit of being habitual, perhaps by cultivating the more impulsive and adventurous aspects of one’s nature. Although this in itself could become a habit.. You just cannot win.

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”

Mark Twain

I heard about this guy called Gary, who grew bored with the same old routine every day. So he started trying to shake things up by breaking old habits and diligently trying new approaches. Two months in and he was spotted leaving his office job in the city by abseiling down the outside of the building, dressed in a gorilla costume (no mean feat when you work on the twenty-third floor).

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Star struck

green men
As a kid I was ever so slightly geeky, and rather obsessed with space. My parents, always keen to support my quest for knowledge, bought me a telescope one birthday and I used to spend many an evening gazing up at the moon and the stars in awe. Eventually hormones kicked in, and my interest in heavenly bodies shifted somewhat closer to home.

There are approx 300 billion stars in our galaxy. And there are more than 200 billion galaxies in the known universe. So, doing a quick bit of maths, there are a shitload of stars out there. And although not all of them support intelligent life, a heck of a lot of them surely must.

Of course whether ours can be said to do so is increasingly debatable in the age of Trump, Brexit and the ongoing spectacle of a race seemingly intent on bringing about its own extinction. On the plus side, Donald Dumpf is a gift to comedy, although in the minuscule cluster of neurons that passes for his brain, he probably thinks we are laughing with him and not at him. How deluded can one person get?
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Me, me, me!

dali_metamorphosis-of-narcissus_med

There was a survey a while back that showed that a quarter of the American population believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, and not the other way round. This was of course the mainstream view until our old chum Nicky Copernicus upset the apple-cart with his heliocentric model, published in the 16th century. At last the Earth was put in its rightful place, although not everyone was thrilled with this particular advance in human knowledge. There were certainly some major grumblings from the Catholic church. Still, at least Mr C managed to avoid the fate of his defender and fellow astronomy clever-clogs, friar Giordano Bruno, who apparently was just too much of a rebel for the church and had his chestnuts roasted on an open fire, along with the rest of him.

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Halfbananas awards – the winners!

The agonising wait is over at last! Here are the winners in the very first ever halfbananas awards.

halfbananas award
There are so many amazing blogs out there, it’s hard to keep up. I hope you enjoy discovering some great new ones, and if you’ve won a coveted halfbananas award, congratulations!

The dedicated awards committee have tried to recognise the best examples in various categories, but inevitably there will be lots of other fabulous blogs that missed out this time around. But never fear, there will be more awards, accolades and virtual pats-on-backs coming soon. Let’s spread the love people!

I look forward to seeing all the lucky winners and honourable mentions, at the lavish Hollywood party I will be hosting, assuming awards condition #3 is met (see below).
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Sunday Supplement #2

After another depressing week of news and a Danish Summer that is currently awol, I thought I’d look for some things to cheer about. It wasn’t easy.

As the good ship UK begins to slowly sink beneath the icy, post-Brexit waves, the news from the rest of Europe is a little more heartening. A number of countries, including Denmark, are seeing an upswing in support for the EU. Polls suggest there is less enthusiasm for a referendum here than pre-Brexit and a more EU-friendly vibe among the people. Hopefully the referendum shock will make other euro-sceptic members see sense and pull back from the brink of following the UK to Davy Jones locker.

With the surge in racist attacks in the UK and the awful violence in the US, it’s been good to see citizens responding with gestures of kindness and solidarity. If every cloud has a silver lining, or at least every fifth cloud, we may see a great swell of unity and of people finally waking up to the fact that black lives matter, that immigrants lives matter and that no life is worth less because of where you were born, or because of some minor variations in hair or skin pigmentation. We are all in this together.
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The gene genie

‘There is only one race – the human race’

Genetically we are very similar – there is only a small variation among humans and the concept of different races is largely a social construct, not a biological one. We’re also not so different from our nearest relatives the apes  – Chimpanzees share over 98% of our DNA.

We are related to all life on Earth in all its staggering diversity. Even bananas, which share 50-60% of our DNA, are distant relatives. I suspect this is why some people bruise more easily than others, and some quickly turn brown, or peel after sunbathing. They are a bit more bananas than the rest of us. (I’ve certainly encountered a few 100% bananas individuals online..)

One might think that the appreciation of all the wondrous diversity of life among our global kin would be hardwired. That Homo Sapiens would celebrate and embrace all the many forms life takes. Yet the history of our species is a bloody tale of intolerance, hatred and exploitation of our fellow man, and of the other species with which we share the planet.

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