Upon realizing that the lottery results matched your chosen numbers, what emotion would you feel? I’d hazard a guess at saying – happiness. In the medieval era, there was a great deal of philosophical speculation as to how an individual might achieve such happiness.
Augustine of Hippo, an extremely influential philosopher in the development of Western Christianity, had a great deal to say about happiness. Augustine believed that the ultimate aim of all human endeavour was the achievement of happiness. For Augustine lasting happiness could only be attained by the individual by living in God as God is the highest existing happiness a man can achieve, “for God has created us to him and our heart is restless until it rests in God”.
Dionysius the Areopagite, a Christian philosopher in the late 5th to early 6th centuries, also had a great deal to say on the topic of happiness. Dionysius believed that as the human soul yearns for God, happiness can only be achieved when the yearning is satisfied. The yearning is satisfied when one forms a mystical union with God.
I bet the photographers who snapped the shot of the Unknown Rebel in Tiananmen Square the morning after the infamous massacre, were glad their cameras were working well, thanks to their camera cases. The shot of an anonymous man in front of a column of Chinese Type 59 tanks, captured on 5th June 1989, has achieved international fame. The isolated man in the photo placed himself in the middle of the street, with two shopping bags in his hands, as the column of tanks approached. Each time the tanks attempted to drive around the man he repeatedly blocked their path in a show of nonviolent action.
Four versions of the same shot were taken. One version was captured by Stuart Franklin, working for Magnum Photos, from the fifth floor of the Beijing Hotel. Franklin had his roll of film smuggled out of the country by a French student who concealed it in a box of tea. Charlie Cole, working for Newsweek, hid his roll of film which contained the same shot in a Beijing Hotel toilet. Cole won a World Press Award for the photo and it featured in Life’s “100 Photographs That Changed the World” of 2003.
The full title of the much loved book ‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Daniel Defoe is ‘The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un‐inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates.’
During Defoe’s lifetime there were numerous stories concerning real-life castaways. Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor, was rescued in 1709 by Woodes Rogers’ expedition after spending four years on an uninhabited island called ‘Más a Tierra’ off the Chilean Coast. It is believed that ‘Robinson Crusoe’ was inspired by Selkirk’s experience yet there are fundamental differences between the real life tale and Crusoe’s fictional story. Crusoe was shipwrecked whilst Selkirk requested to be marooned; Crusoe found companions whilst Selkirk lived alone; Crusoe stayed on the island for 28 years whilst Selkirk remained on his island for just 4. What they did have in common was neither island had flower delivery Manchester!
September marks for me the peak in retail irrationality. Before the shops have begun to promote the lurid orange and black paraphernalia that heralds the approach of Halloween, they begin decorating the windows with something even more aesthetically displeasing, tinsel.
When did this rejection of the Gregorian calender begin? When I was taught the months, which coincided with classes in execretion control, I am sure that firstly, December fell after October and secondly, that there existed a month that separated the two.
Let us retrieve November from the calendar's dustbin and remember what its thirty days have to offer. Guy Fawkes day, a moment to celebrate or commiserate a failed attempt at destroying the English monarchy. National Heroes Day (in Indonesia), a day to praise esteemed others or yourself. International Men's day on the 19th and for those who aren't too certain, Transgender Day on the 20th.
November is a fantastic month! Let's reinstate it into our conciousness and destroy any cards that aren't r4i gold cards before December.
I am so sick of having so much of my post go missing! In the past few years I've had numerous birthday cards and gifts go missing, I swear someone's nabbing them somewhere along their way to me.
I had to report the R4i card I ordered as not received, so they've sent me another one while they work out where the first one has gone.
I feel a bit bad that they will probably be out of pocket, because it's not their fault that there's obviously a problem with my post, I've reported things missing four times now, and I've had more items than that go missing.
That R4i was for my brother's birthday in mid August, so I still haven't given him it! I had to buy him something else last minute, but I've asked them to send the second one directly to him!
Photo: Ingy The Wingy (Flickr)