St Anthony's School Hampstead

St Anthony's Girls School Hampstead

Our Ethos

St. Anthony's aims to provide high quality education in a caring, supportive and Catholic environment, infused by Christ's Gospel, in order that each of our pupils is able to develop fully as an individual, well-adjusted to the wider community.

Headmaster's CorneR

"My ninth year at St. Anthony's is proving to be almost as exciting as the first. Last year, our leavers once again achieved excellent results to the leading schools in the country, including:  Mill Hill, Highgate, UCS, City, Eton, St. Paul's, Haberdashers', Harrow, Merchant Taylors', Winchester, Charterhouse, Aldenham, Forest, St Albans, The London Oratory, Cardinal Vaughan and JFS.

We also again achieved a pleasing number of academic, music and art scholarships including: Winchester, City, MTS, Mill Hill and UCS.

We are proud that the school maintains its special, family ethos and has faired impressively in the changing landscape of new examinations.  We continue to feel blessed to have such a supportive parent body and delightful pupils, who are allowed to develop their individuality, creativity and moral vision.

Do explore the various pages to get a feel for this unique institution, much beloved by its current and ex-pupils and energised by a committed and talented common room."

Ball Brochure 2016

The Antonian Christmas 2018

Christmas Cracker 2018

The Antonian: Summer 2018

Year 5 Learning Enrichment 2018

Year 6 Learning Enrichment 2018

Year 7 Learning Enrichment 2018

Scholarship Enrichment

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The Antonian: Easter 2018

Headmaster's Newsletter - Christmas 2017

Headmaster's Review - Easter 2017

Headmaster's Review - Summer 2016

Headmaster's Review - Easter 2016

Headmaster's Newsletter - Christmas 2015

Headmaster's Newsletter - Summer 2015

Headmaster's Newsletter - Easter 2015

Headmaster's Newsletter - Christmas 2014

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Paul's Puzzle

Each week the Headmaster sets puzzle questions to provoke discussion.  Pupils may answer in any form they think fit: answers include poetry, animated films, cartoons etc.

 

Paul's Puzzles this week are: 

Either

 Should the personal morality of a composer or songwriter affect whether we listen to their music? (What about artists or footballers too?)

Or

 Would it really matter if I never listen to any music composed or books written after tomorrow, (after Sibelius' death?). Aren't there enough great examples of both to last whatever lifetimes we have left, if we listen to them properly?

 Or

 Is there a good, compelling  reason to read fictional novels when historical truths and other factual writing reveal such an extraordinary world anyway?!

 Or

 

Why are we so enraptured still by modern stories and films of mythological creatures, and superhuman characters, yet we are told repeatedly that science has replaced religion and superstition?

Many thanks to all the staff and the boys for making the National Book days such fun

      

Previous puzzles:

Either

 Should we be worried or delighted that David Walliams' Bad Dad apparently tops the best seller list for children's books?!

 Or

 Should mountain climbers who need to be rescued pay for the often extremely expensive cost of their rescue? (Surely they deliberately put themselves at risk?)

 Or

 How do you explain, scientifically, how singing can raise team morale? The support for the Welsh team at Cardiff, last Saturday, came over powerfully, even on TV? Why does such vibration of the air affect players so much, psychologically?

 Or

 Is the media attack and challenge on the cost of Meghan Markle's baby shower reasonable, given the duty of the Royal Family to set a good example for the whole nation, or another example of the bullying of the latest Royal, simply to sell papers?

 Or

 Isn't it amazing that the hymns I sang at my primary school (n years ago) are still seeming to inspire and uplift the  young boys and young staff in the Junior House assembly, today? ('Forty Days and Forty Nights', 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind'; Be still for the presence of the Lord.)

 The boys sang beautifully! (and staff!)

 

Either

 

Will history ever produce another Leonardo da Vinci?

 Or

 Why do rainbows delight us so much?

 Or

 

Can I  explain convincingly how a helicopter works to my son? (I think he he senses I am bluffing!) Can you?

 Or

What motivates someone to become a  fireman or bomb disposal expert? (Are they brave or a bit mad or both?)

Or

 

Why do rugby players cheat and whinge less than footballers? Or am I romanticising the sport?

 

Either

Will we ever be able to fully predict the weather? If not, does that say something significant about the future of human knowledge? 

Or

Can you explain how you hear music in your dreams? 

Or

Can something be infinitely small and still a thing? 

Or

Why do waves in the oceans keep going on? Why don’t they run out of energy?

 

Either

 

Why are snowballs such fun?

  

Or

 

Would it really matter if humans became extinct?

 

Or

 

How can you be sure you have not forgotten something?

  

Or

 

Why does the word giggle, make me giggle?

 

Either

 

Is there an important  and significant answer to the question; 'Why are some people left handed? What is it?!

 

Or

 

Is it possible that a tree (and its neighbour trees) really does (do) feel things when it is (they are) chopped down? Should  that change our attitude to Christmas trees?

 

(To you defiant Treeists out there, I suggest you click this link  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWj1tWZ2_tg  (It is a wonderful book!))

 

 

Or

 

Why do we refer to The United Nations when they are so disunited? Isn't the idea of world peace evidently a dangerous dream to anyone who has studied history or reads a daily newspaper?

 

Or

 

 

How can I explain to myself that 'England 77 All Out' has occupied my feelings, thoughts and interests much more than 'End Brexit Feud Queen tells warring Politicians?' Or 'Trump increases risk of Cold War Conflict'?  (How can sporting conflicts have such a disproportionate influence on human consciousness?)

 

 

 

Either

 

Should the country which first puts an inhabited space station on the Moon, or Mars, have the right to claim it as their territory? If not why not? 

 

Or

 

Isn't  luck the key factor in how life turns out: for example, the luck of being born in a stable democracy, rather than an occupied territory; the luck of being born in 1946 rather than 1896; the luck of inheriting the genes for being naturally good at maths and 6 feet tall etc...? 

 

Or

 

Steve Coogan

 

'It is mysterious that people who disagree about almost everything, and are disunited, can yet still laugh together when watching Laurel and Hardy.' Humour is one of the most important forces in life.'

 

Is that taking comedy a bit too seriously?

 

{For parents. I am a devotee of L&H. If you like the Coogan & Reilly film, can I recommend these two BBC radio programmes about them!

Free Thinking - Landmark:  Laurel and Hardy's The Music Box - @BBCRadio3 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001xwd

Great Lives - Series 28, Stan Laurel - @bbcradio4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mdf0d }

 

 

Or

 

Do feel free to ignore these!

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODIvONHPqpk&list=RDODIvONHPqpk&start_radio=1#t=0  Beetles Free as  Bird!

 

 

Either

 

Do you really understand how and why snowflakes can have such an intricate structure? Can their beauty really be the result of chance?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02d9fh7

  

Or

 

Why do we waste so much money on Christmas wrapping paper which we then RIP off like savage animals!  Isn't it akin to buying a new suit ...and then throwing it in the bin? (Should it be banned as Eco unfriendly?)

 

 

Or

 

Should yucky sentimental Christmas-add-films by supermarkets be banned? (I love Elton John but... PLEASE!)

  

Or

 

Why is there no boxing on Boxing Day? Why do we like bad puns so much?

  

Or

 

Is it not amazing that the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft craft have survived this long without being hit? Why haven't Alien Voyagers found us yet?

 

https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/

 

The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. Continuing on their more-than-40-year journey since their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago. Voyager 2 entered interstellar space on December 10, 2018 and scientists hope to learn more about this region. Both spacecraft are still sending scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network, or DSN.

 

 

Best Wishes for Christmas!

 

Either

 

Is wanting to win the National  Lottery and, secretly knowing you will not give the money to charity, an immoral want? If you do win by chance, should you give a proportion to those whom chance condemns to poverty and starvation?

 

Or

 

Are things REALLY PROBABLE? What is the probability of there being no REAL RELIABLE probability?

 

Or

 

Why are 'Walking in the Air' and Raymond Brigg's The Snowman, so moving? What explains how some songs and images haunt us from childhood to adulthood! (My three are in the links below!)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb-pX7sIjFY   Walking in the Air

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR1-UFrcZ0k  ET Bicycles taking off.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOJtLC2pRII Superman takes Lois Lane Flying

 

Or

 

Why are candle flames so mesmerising and captivating?

 

 

Either

 

How might an alien species interpret football and rugby, and the amount of time humans spend on sport? Can you imagine a developed intelligent life form that did not have sports? (What would it/they do in its/their spare time?)

 

Or

 

Is it wrong to derive pleasure from watching ice dancers fall, players miss penalties and pole vaulters hit the bar or part of the fun?!

 

Or

 

Is chess the most aggressive and mentally demanding sport? If not, which is?

 

 

Or

 

'The swish sound of a basketball going through a hoop';  'the sound of a cricket bail lifting after a perfect googly being delivered', and 'the final drop goal of the England victory in 2003' have given me as much pleasure as almost anything else in life, including becoming a dad, being in love and Bach, Shakespeare, Schubert and Miles Davis. How can we ever explain this? 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuLprHh_BRg  Michael Jordan

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVk-PybLfgs     Shane Warne

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqswfjkPm2k            Go Johnny Go!

 

  

For parents!

 

PS

 

One of my heroes is Mike Brearley, philosopher, England Cricket Captain (during the great 1981 Ashes Victory) and now a child psychotherapist. You may be interested in the attached article where he reflects on sport.

 

If you are a genuine obsessive, and and appreciate good old fashioned literacy and are patient, I would also thoroughly recommend this brilliant lecture he delivered in Glasgow. He has a beautiful voice, simply stunning use of language and reflects so graciously on the deeper question of sport.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE_1vhdfsdg    Mike Brearley: What Do They Know of Cricket Who Only Cricket Know...

 

 

Either

 

Was it wrong to use horses in warfare? (They had no choice?)

 

Or

 

Can you really explain how tickling and laughing work...are caused? (Physiologically or psychologically?) I think they are mysterious gifts!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bui05mM7o04        Stan being tickled

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oFHoK2THZQ      Stan and Ollie laughing

 

Do check out my evidence base!

 

 

Or

 

Do we invent languages or discover them? Do we invent languages or do they invent us?

 

Or

 

What perfume would a skunk like? Are all smells possibly nice or possibly disgusting? (The smell of fish makes me wretch: my son and wife love the aroma of salmon and mackerel!)

 

 

Either

 

What must it be like to be a 225 year old whale? Do you think they actually 'know' they are that old?

  

Or

 

Do you really understand how The World/ Planet Earth rotates/ turns? Really? (When I think about it, I feel rather wobbly!)

 

 Or

 

Might we have evolved, successfully, without any musical instruments being created or songs? 

 

WELL DONE TO ALL OUR MUSICIANS FOR LAST NIGHT.

  

Or

 

I am about to put up a boxing poster in my new office. Is it wrong for a headmaster to celebrate a sport which is seemingly so brutal? If yes, should I be forbidden from putting up Rugby Union Posters too?

 

Or 

 

In Flanders Fields

By John McRae

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

 

Why do we so often need to turn to poetry when  we commemorate and remember? What explains its power and poignancy? Are poets more important than computer programmers?

  

Thank you to Ben for his moving assemblies given to the Junior and Senior Houses today. We felt really privileged to hear his family's stories and see the historical artefacts.

 

 

 

Either

 

Does it make sense to claim a fox is sly or cunning? What about saying a dog is affectionate? How far do we project our feelings on to animals?

 

Or

 

Should we be more astonished than we are that Shakespeare and Vivaldi and Bach et al are still so important and popular? Why don't plays and music wear out in the way that old scientific 'truths' and 'theories' do?

 

 

Or

 

Does a great team breed a great manager or a great manager breed a great team? (Is Jose past his sell by date?) Why is such chemistry so unpredictable?

 

Or

 

Can you imagine a future robot really getting the joy of tap dancing, ballet, jazz or the jokes in The Simpsons? If so, how long in the future will it be before they do? How will you check they aren't faking it?

 

Either

 

Why are Autumnal leaves so moving? Do those living in countries without significant changes of season miss out on how beautiful changes in nature can be?

 

Or

 

What makes an animal repulsive? I HATE and FEAR any snakes; Dana likes them. I love watching spiders, others run away from them?

 

Or

 

Can you really explain why you remember some things and yet forget others? Is there a logical pattern? Why do we mis-remember so vividly and convincingly? Is that lying to oneself or having superior imagination?

 

 

Or

 

Can you justify spending so much time looking and playing golf? (I love watching Golf and am enraptured by the Ryder Cup. My non-Golf friends look on with pity and contempt!)

 

 

Either
 
Is it possible that cats and dogs have their own 'language'? If it is not using/employing  words, how would you explain what it is using? (Isn't the word 'communicating' tricky?! Isn't the word information, too?!)
(With apologies to the Y3 Philosophy Group!)
 
Or
 
Is being a Formula 1 Champion less impressive than being a Champion jockey? Which is the most skilful?
 
Or
 
Is a musical score essentially the same thing as a literary text? (What do you think might provoke that question?)
 
Or
Can you adequately describe the pleasure of a really good sneeze or really good relieving  itch? How would you convey it to someone who had not really experienced either in their fully majesty and piquancy?

 

Either

 

Are we the only animals which really sing?  If so, what might be science's best explanation of why we sing? (AND SO MUCH!)

(Thank you to Jonathan and the JH boys for such an uplifting singing-assembly today.)

 

 

Or

 

Why does English tea taste and milk taste so good when you return from your holiday abroad? ...What makes us like some tastes and not others? (This summer, I have developed a craving for cucumber; up till then, I have never liked it?) ((Isn't the colour of beetroot amazing!))

 

 

Or

 

Our ability to predict hurricanes shows how powerful and significant we are!

Our vulnerability to hurricanes shows how weak,  vulnerable and insignificant we are!

 

Will we ever really master nature?

 

Or

 

Is dedicating your life to cricket really justifiable? (What about ping pong or lacrosse or squash?) I admire Cook and Anderson and Federer, et al, but have this niggle in my mind about what they spend so much time, thought and emotion on. Is running a marathon running into something deep about life or running away from reality?

 

Either

 

Why do I believe that I can actually affect the outcome of a penalty taking place in Russia? If I am honest, at some weird level in my mind, I sincerely believe that by 'not watching' I increase the possibility of a miss; I have friends who believe that 'by watching'  they increase the chance of a miss. (I feel something similar when watching tie breaks in tennis.)

 

Or

 

Can any words capture adequately  the delight of the first bowl  of summer  strawberries, lightly dusted with sugar and bathed in cold cream?

 

Or

 

 

Why do footballers show no shame when they lie in front of millions of people in a global audience?

 

Or

 

Why is the word 'Tricky' such a  tricky word to define and translate? What makes something  'tricky'?!!

 

Either

 

Is it morally wrong for me to positively enjoy Messi (and Maradona's) misery? (Revenge for 86!)

 

Or

 

Watching a swallow again, last night, I cannot deny still being amazed by how a bird knows where to fly to. Isn't it bizarre? 

 

British swallows spend their winter in South Africa - they travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco and across the Sahara. Some birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara. Other European swallows travel further east and down the Nile Valley. Swallows put on little weight before migrating.

They migrate by day at low altitudes and find food on the way. Despite accumulating some fat reserves before crossing large areas such as the Sahara Desert, they are vulnerable to starvation during these crossings. Migration is a hazardous time and many birds die from starvation, exhaustion and in storms.

Migrating swallows cover 200 miles a day, mainly during daylight, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour. The maximum flight speed is 35 mph.

In their wintering areas swallows feed in small flocks, which join together to form roosting flocks of thousands of birds. Swallows arrive in the UK in April and May, returning to their wintering grounds in September and October.

Or

 

Can a painting be worth more than a human life? If not, why does the government buy paintings where the money could have been invested in hospitals? Why save a painting for the nation, when you can save a nation's citizen!

 

Or

 

How can a word come to have two completely different meanings? (Swallow!!)

 

 

Either

 

Should we really be playing football in a country whose government we have accused of trying to murder people on British soil? (Maybe we can hold the next world cup in North Korea?)

 

Or

 

Will we ever be able to explain scientifically why geniuses such as Shakespeare appear; and, in the century they do? If not, does that not show that 'science' cannot answer some pretty big questions? (I am happy to bet that Shakespeare's credibility may well outlast the credibility of the Big Bang Theory!)

 

(Many thanks to staff and pupils for the wonderful Shakespeare week.)

 

Or

 

Cricket, golf, football, & tennis are all on the front and back pages: why do you think we spend so much time and money watching and playing these things?

 

 

Or

 

 Should the manager of England be paid more than the Prime Minister?

 

 

Either

 

Would it actually matter if there were no other life forms in the universe apart from those on the planet Earth? (If so, what kind of number of possible life forms should satisfy us?)

 

Or

 

Why do people care so much about their hair or hairstyle?

 

Or

 

Why do people care so much about the style of their shoes?

 

Or

 

What accounts for the sheer pleasure of the aroma of a well polished table or the first newly mown summer cricket square?

 

Or

 

What is the scientific (or evolutionary) explanation of the pleasure we get from singing? Will all developed alien life forms have music?)

 

MANY THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE CHARITY DINNER.

 

Either

 

Why do footballers cry so much when contrasted with rugby players? (They cry over injuries; they cry over mistakes; much more than any other sport I know? Is it genuine or are they manipulating the officials?)

 

Or

 

How often does major success in a sport turn on luck and opponents' stupidity, rather than skill and superior gifts? Does that matter if people enjoy it?

 

 

Or

 

'The Royal Wedding showed Britain at its very best, combining valuable tradition and brave and radical gestures of inclusiveness, which set a moving  example to the world.'

 

The Royal Wedding combined the worst aspects of an outmoded, hypocritical monarchy and the indulgences of celebrity culture; even the preacher seemed to be craving the limelight!' 

 

Which is the rational interpretation of this spectacle?

 

 

Or

 

SOLO! (Indeed Star Wars in general!)

 

How is it possible to spend so much money on special effects in a film and yet create such un-reality and emotional vacuity and emptiness.

 

The  Spitfires in Dunkirk had more emotional impact than any fight scene in the whole of Solo, (or the whole of the Star Wars franchise)!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptJyCGNeNcE

 

 

Or am I being too serious?

   

Hoping you have had a good half term!

Either

 

Should the money being used for the luxuries and extravagant spectacle of the Royal Wedding have been spent on building hospitals (or used for aid for victims of starvation in the Commonwealth?). Wouldn't that show the Royal Family really do understand the plight of their subjects and proper responsibilities in the 21Century?

 Or

 Why does sparkling water sparkle and why are the bubbles so entrancing?

 Or

 How come the word effervescent is so effervescent?

 Or

Is it possible for animals to 'compose' music?

 

BONUS QUESTION

 

(Is it absurd to actually be moved by the unexpected deaths in Avengers: Infinity Wars?  Is the emphasis on the theme of 'self-sacrifice' a good thing, or an utterly trivialising and self-indulgent presentation of an important idea?) I confess I was moved!! But, where oh where was Ant Man??

 

Either

 

How do we explain the pleasure of 'accents' and how they affect us? (During our French themed week, this has struck forcibly.)

 

Or

 

 

Why hasn't France ever produced a great pop group? (If you think that is unfair, name three!)

 

 

Or

 

Is it possible to explain why French footballers and rugby players are more graceful and fluent than English ones. Or is that a prejudice and illusion?

 

Or

Q: Did you hear about the Frenchman who jumped into the river in Paris? A: He was declared to be in Seine.

 

Q: Why do French People eat snails? A: Because they don't like fast food!

Do nations have different styles of joke? (I have never 'got' Asterix? ) Can you define the styles with examples?

 

An Englishman, Irishman and Frenchmen go into a pub.

The barmen looked at them and asked: 'Is this some kind of joke?'  (Quintessentially English?)

 

Enjoy the Bank Holiday sunshine.

Either

 

Does the birth of another royal baby or looming royal wedding really need or deserve so much media coverage? Is it possible to defend the idea of a monarchy, yet also claim our society genuinely believes in equal opportunity and equal rights for men and women? Isn't the use of the word commoner amazing?

 

Or

 

Why does the change of weather affect our moods so intensely? (Can it really affect 'national character'?) 

Or

 

Why do we invest so much emotion in, and conduct such serious discussion about,... football? On one level, it seems really silly and yet....

 

(I was really moved by the tributes to Ray Wilkins on a visit to Stamford Bridge last week. The fall of Wenger has also led to something like communal grief.)

 

Or

 

'I am 10!'; 10! (factorial); $ %; £; @; Pi; π; ∞, ;...How do marks on paper succeed in representing what they represent? Seems magical to me!

 

 

Either

What do animals think when they watch human beings dancing?

 Or

 Why do people play Chess? Or Risk? Or Monopoly? How can the inert pieces become so captivating and powerful. They are bits of wood and plastic and paper and cardboard, but become a matter of life and death!  

Or

 

Why are bolshy drawing pins,  evasive Pin Pong balls, unpeelable milk bottle seals and  slack shoelaces so annoying? What accounts for the variety of things whose unpredictable behaviour irritate us so differently?   

Or

 

When did times tables get formed and imposed on children?

Why do some numbers give me pleasure like a lovely chord: 9X9: 5x8;  but others grate: 8x8, 4X8? Can we explain the pleasure and annoyances in maths?

 

For Parents

Can you actually explain, intelligibly, why Stephen Hawking is so significant? Or do you take it on trust?

   

Either

 

If it deemed right to use secret drones to kill terrorists, on foreign territory, why is it wrong to use a nerve agent to kill a double agent who has betrayed you, in a foreign territory?

 

Or

 

Year 5 were discussing Descartes' and his dream argument today.

 

Is there anything you think you know to be certainly true? If so, what is it?  If you say you are pretty certain there isn't, what does that tell you?

 

 

Or

 

Why do we spend so much time dreaming and have such silly dreams?

 

Or “ 

 

'Five out of every three people have trouble understanding fractions'  (Ken Dodd joke!  RIP!)

 

Could God make 2+2= something other than 4? If not, does that mean there is something which even God is ruled by: Mathematics!

Either

 

Why do people pretend that the words describing the Big Bang Theory are somehow more comprehensible and less baffling than talk of an infinite, eternal, timeless, all powerful God? (Do you really get what is meant by 'infinite' and 'matter' in any of the sentences used?)

 (With apologies to my Year 8 RE Set !)

 Or

 

Should we be encouraged  or worried by the fact that all my year 6 RE set can hum the theme tune to Harry Potter? Will Harry Potter survive in our tradition or disappear? Do things survive for good reasons?

  

Or

 

What is the point of earwigs? (With apologies again to my Year 8! We were discussing Adam naming animals in Eden...)

 Or

Can a fictional character become 'real' if you start to dream about them or take them as seriously as some real people.

 

(***I am reading the Inspector Wexford novels at the moment and he, and I confess, Inspector Morse, seem more real to me, and more fascinating than some of the  'real' people I know or have known? For others, it might be Hamlet, Eastenders, Lady Macbeth, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Oliver Twist, James  (and his Giant Peach)?) 

 

WELL DONE ON ALL THE WONDERFUL COSTUMES ON THURSDAY'S DELAYED WORLD BOOK DAY

GREAT TO MEET THE REAL TINTIN & VARIOUS OTHER CHARACTERS!

Either

 

Why aren't we more surprised by the structures and symmetries in snowflakes? Spiders' webs are surely also taken for granted?

 Or

 

Why are making and then throwing a snowball SUCH FUN??

  

Or

 

What explains the exquisite pleasure of being the first person to leave footprints on freshly fallen pure blazing white virgin snow?

 

Or

 

Q: What do you call ten Arctic hares hopping backwards through the snow together? A: A receding hare line.

 

Could we create a computer programme which generates genuinely fresh jokes?

 

COMPUTER  1:  Do you know how to use Outlook?

COMUTER 2:      As a matter of fact, I Excel at it.

 

COMPUTER 1          What was the spider doing on the computer?

COMPUTER 2            "Searching the web!

 

 

************************************************************************************************************************************************

Snow Day

  

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow, its white flag waving over everything, the landscape vanished, not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness, and beyond these windows the government buildings smothered, schools and libraries buried, the post office lost under the noiseless drift, the paths of trains softly blocked, the world fallen under this falling. In a while I will put on some boots and step out like someone walking in water, and the dog will porpoise through the drifts, and I will shake a laden branch, sending a cold shower down on us both. But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house, a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow. I will make a pot of tea and listen to the plastic radio on the counter, as glad as anyone to hear the news that the Kiddie Corner School is closed, the Ding-Dong School, closed, the All Aboard Children's School, closed, the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed, along with - some will be delighted to hear - the Toadstool School, the Little School, Little Sparrows Nursery School, Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School, the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed, and - clap your hands - the Peanuts Play School. So this is where the children hide all day, These are the nests where they letter and draw, where they put on their bright miniature jackets, all darting and climbing and sliding, all but the few girls whispering by the fence. And now I am listening hard in the grandiose silence of the snow, trying to hear what those three girls are plotting, what riot is afoot, which small queen is about to be brought down.

 

 Billy Collins

   

Either

Who actually cares about or watches the Winter Olympics?

Or

Is ice dancing more skilful than ballet?

Or

What explains why moving at fast speeds is so thrilling?

Or

What causes cold weather? (Don't just shrug and pretend you know!) This morning is 'bitterly cold' and I don't know how to explain its bitterness. Is our 'cold weather' a cause of bemusing to Eskimos and Alaskans?

Either

Can you fully explain or even describe the exquisite pleasure of a really good yawn or a really good sneeze? 

Or

Pencil; Earwig, Cloud, Platypus; Quill, Scissors ...(?) Why do some words strike us as odd and others seem to fit the object they name/denote snugly?

Or

Aren't the fact of blushing and the causes of blushing really baffling?

Or

Why do clouds and their movements enchant and mesmerise us? Do other animals appreciate them or is it just us projecting onto them?

Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish,

A vapor sometime like a bear or lion,

A towered citadel, a pendant rock,

A forkèd mountain, or blue promontory

With trees upon ’t that nod unto the world

And mock our eyes with air. Thou hast seen these signs.

They are black vesper’s pageants.

Either

Can you remember the first time you considered the idea of time passing, and it making you sad? Have you worked out what time actually is since then?

This is the first thing I have understood: Time is the echo of an axe Within a wood.

Philip Larkin

Or

Can you really explain how time works and is created...  within your dreams'?

Or

Do you think future robots we create will be incomplete, because they will not know what food really tastes like for us and experience the pleasure we have in eating it? Or, will there be a silicon chip and program for the 'taste of fish and chips' or 'marmite on toast', Glenfiddich or Coca Cola with ice and lemon?

(Who will progam the experience of:

lipsmackingthirstquenching acetastingmotivating goodbuzzingcooltalking highwalkingfastliving evergivingcoolfizzing ... Pepsi) ??/

 Or

 'A bowhead whale was 130 years old when it died in 2007. Eskimos harvested the whale that year during a subsistence hunt monitored by the International Whaling Commission. Scientists were able to estimate its age because the animal had carried a harpoon point in its neck for more than a hundred years. Experts dated the weapon to a New England factory active around 1880.Scientists believe bowhead whales have the capacity to live about 200 years in part due to their slow metabolism—an adaptation to an icy-cold but food-rich Arctic environment.'

Do you think the whale 'knew' it was this old?

 

Either

How would you explain the concept of height, and especially the idea of the height of a mountain range, or aeroplane to a child who was blind?

Or

Almost all children love music and dancing; does that suggest or imply that dancing and music should be at the core of a school curriculum, rather than Maths, English and Science? Aren't musical and dancing fluency and grace just as important as algebra and Bunsen burners and sonnets?

Or

Why is whistling such fun?

Or

Why do seemingly sane people eat: olives, liver, and kidneys? What is the point of aubergine? Is taste just a matter of taste and what causes it?

Either 

  1. What do you call Santa's little helpers?
  2. Subordinate Clauses!

Can we ever fully explain why laughter is so important to the human species?

 Or

 I have never understood why Tintin or Asterix are funny?  Can you help me? (My son loves both..) Do countries or nationalities have a distinct sense of humour?

 Or

 Why do some people feel  'a bit cold' and others say they feel: 'It is really really freezing!' yet, appear, to have the essentially the same physical bodies? Is there such a thing as cold or hot, or do we create them in some way in our minds? Is how you experience feeling pain at the dentist similar?

 Or

 Why is the song  'We're Walking in the Air' so moving? It seems to affect adults and children every time it is sung? (Just like Paddington  2 too!)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubeVUnGQOIk

 Have a good Christmas. Whatever you do, make sure you watch: It's a Wonderful Life and Alastair Sim's  Scrooge!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJfZaT8ncYk  Wonderful original Trailer

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97PwRDfHBlg   Original Trailer

   

 

Either

Why do people seem so genuinely interested in who Prince Harry marries? Isn't it bizarre given other much more important national and world events?

Or

Should a US general ever overrule his/her elected President and Commander-in-Chief

Or

To many people, there is no sane or humane scenario for the rational use of Nuclear weapons: or is there? 

Or

Is cutting down Christmas trees against the true spirit of Christmas? 

Or

What must it feel like to be a Polar Bear or Arctic Whale in Winter? Can we ever truly grasp or understand another animal's experience? (And, don't even mention centipedes!)

 

Either

How can you decide whether a painting is really worth £341 million pounds?

Or

Can you justify spending £341 million pounds on a painting when  the money could be given to victims of famine?

Or

When I typed '341', I wondered if it is a Prime Number; why are number patterns so fascinating? 

Or

Does God make the laws of maths or does God have to obey them too?

 Either

 What actually happens when I remember or forget? For example, that I have  forgotten to set my puzzles but now remember? Or, ...the smell of fireworks when I was seven. In the first case, I wanted to remember, but forgot; in the second case, I made no attempt to remember but remembered vividly!

 Or

 Could there be aliens who learn a completely different set of times tables? (Or, will all of us, across this and every other  universe have the same? If you say no; what will be the answer to the question: 'How many universes and different aliens are there?)

 Or

If we stopped playing and watching sport, what would we do with all the spare time? Is it a channel for our animal energy and aggression, or something  else?

 Or

 When I watch Blue Planet 2 with my wife and son, I move between being enraptured, excited and uplifted by nature and terrified by it and the creatures in it.  What about you?

Either

 Is it wrong to enjoy sports which involve a high risk of those taking part dying or suffering from concussion and brain damage? (I love boxing and American Football?)

 Or

 If a fox has a right not to be hunted for sport, does a chicken have a right not to be served up as a roast?

 Or

 Can we really explain why somebody is 'naturally' gifted' in music or maths. Does the word natural suggest we should not praise them? (Nobody says 'Well Done' to a tall person for being tall.)

 Or

 Why do so many people, especially parents, not see how pointless, bizarre and weird it is to celebrate Halloween?!

Either

 Can you measure the time a thought takes to be made or experienced;... such as: "This coach  journey is taking such a long time!''

 Or

 What do flees feel when they leap in the air?

 Or

 Why is itching such fun sometimes? What explains the fun of the word 'tickling' and the experience? Do any other animals tickle each other?

  Or

 Can you explain to yourself what smell really is and its impact on your mind and even heart. (Weren't you overwhelmed by the 'smell of Autumn leaves today?) 

 

Either

  Why do some words seem to be or embody what they mean: for example: precious; tenderness; sophisticated; cherish, apt, effervescent ....etc?!

 Or

 Does it make sense to sense to say an animal is cruel? If so, which is the cruelest?

 Or

  Can I prove that you are definitely not a highly sophisticated robot?

 Or

 Why are conkers SO beautiful and evocative of childhood?

 

Either

How is it that  the  words 'ice lolly' encapsulate childhood so incredibly well in only 8 letters?

Or

Is it possible to really work out the most sensible and fulfilling age to live up to? (80, 100, 150,.. 200?) Epicurus argued it was the quality of life not its  longevity, length, that matters most? Is that a cop out?  (My son and I were watching Dr Who and trying to work out the average life expectancy of a Dalek or Cyberman and ended up discussing the human life span...) 

Or

Teaching history has made me realise that I do not really know where most places are, even in England; and, most human beings, even the most significant and famous ones, will never ever be part of my reflection or consciousness.  The same goes for 99% of scientific knowledge. I cannot work out whether that should worry me or not? Should it? How much should an educated person strive to know? Can we ever keep up with what is becoming known?

 Or

 Are the hours spent watching and playing  cricket really worth it? I think so, but close friends  taunt me for the sheer waste of time?

Either

 Why can't I explain sense of smell? I have tried to understand how smells affect me, but cannot, especially the ones which really delight me, but are neutral, or cause indifference to many of my friends. (Fragrance of roses; excitement caused by smell of Terry's Chocolate Orange; creosoted fences....) { I am convinced that my increasingly blind dog now maps the world through smells and sniffing; how does that feel from then inside?)

 Or

 How large must a creature be to have a sense of touch? 

 

Or

“This is the first thing I have understood: Time is the echo of an axe within a wood.”

Philip Larkin 

 When do we first become scared or worried by time passing? (My colleagues and friends know I dislike my own birthday being 'celebrated' !)

 Or

Having seen the new Alien film, I wondered:

'Is it scientifically possible to predict the percentage  of possible alien life forms which may be hostile to us?  or  '....the probability of our own robots turning on us and challenging us?' (Both seem important questions given our hopes and budget expenditure on, for example,: satellites, space exploration, SETI and the development of AI.)

(P.S. Sadly, the film is so tedious and silly that there is lots of time to think!)

Either

 Is it possible to enjoy summer's sultry warmth without enduring winter's  bitter chill? Do angels experience the beauty of the seasons? (With apologies to Wim Wenders.) 

 

Or

 

Is a tree really one thing/entity in the way I am and have one body and am one thing? (There is a huge, expansive  horse chestnut tree which I walk past every morning and I try to imagine being it; similarly; I wonder if a whale has a sense of its HUGE AND VAST WHOLENESS?!)

 

Or

 

Can you imagine being a mayfly or midge?

  

Or

Is Mourhino lucky or an annoying genius? What explains how some individuals can motivate others, when it really counts?  

 Either

 Could you have science without numbers?

 Or

 Why is it that there seem to be  so many significant examples of mathematical  and musical child prodigies, yet almost no examples of poetry prodigies? (The term child prodigy is normally defined as a person, under the age of ten, who produces meaningful output in some domain to the level of an adult expert performer!)

 Or

 How could you prove that a sheep dog can or cannot be ' ''counting" sheep' ? If they are not, what explains what they are doing?

 Or

 Does the word eternal mean the same thing as everlasting? (What do we mean when we say God or the Big Bang creates time? )

 

Many Congratulations to all those who took part in the UK Maths Challenge and special congratulations to the 8 Gold medallists and  3  Junior Maths Olympian Candidates.

    

 

 Either

 Is it possible to really understand human history, before the twentieth century, if you have not ridden a horse

 Or

 If a man's best friend is his dog, should we expect dogs to be resurrected in heaven to be with their owners? 

 Or

 Why are cats so deceitful and sneaky? Or is that just my bias?

 Or

 Are we the only animals that laugh?  (Q How do you count cows? A: With a cowculator. ...sorry!)

 Either

  How does; how can, a voice move us... even to tears?

 Or

 If you and I are having the same thought, for example, '3 x 3 =9', is the same part of our brain in exactly the same chemical state? If I have  this thought

in a dream, is that also the case? What about a dream which in which I  see colours but my eyes are closed? (I am dreaming about the green trees!)

  

Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,

Withdraws into its happiness;

The mind, that ocean where each kind

Does straight its own resemblance find,

Yet it creates, transcending these,

Far other worlds, and other seas;

Annihilating all that’s made

To a green thought in a green shade.

 (With apologies to my TG1 History set!)

 Or

 Why are some people more curious and fascinated than others? One man's mystery seems to be another man's cause to yawn?

  To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour

 Or

 Is playing an instrument which necessitates using your lungs and lips, throughout, more difficult than  one which doesn't? How did humans think of generating sounds in these odd ways?

 Either

 Why don't we have a strong desire to send men back to revisit the Moon? It was one of my dreams as a child and I had hoped to go there before popping my clogs!

Or

 What makes me still watch Dr Who so avidly? Does it show that I have not grown up properly... or the opposite?!

 Or

 How can anyone take Star Wars seriously once they have watched Dr Who? 

 Or

 How far does being successful depend on luck?

 Either

 Do wasps know how irritating they are?

 Or

 Is it really sensible to spend £4.6 million pounds of Lottery funding to save rare  butterflies, and bees etc., from extinction when innocent humans are dying all over the world? If we protect them, why don't we stop cats killing birds or teeny weeny mice?

 Or

 Watching 42nd Street  at Drury Lane last Saturday, and Sadie's Dance shows this week, gave me as much pleasure and fulfilment as anything I have 'read' or 'thought about' this year. Does that  tell me something  profound about dance or does it reveal a weakness and worrying lack of seriousness in me? (Am I living in Do La La Land?!)

 Or

 Why have beards come back in to fashion? What does a beard tell us about a person? (Or are they pointless?)

Paul’s Puzzles this week are: based on Niyazi and the staff and pupils' brilliant Shakespeare week!

 Either

 “We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded by a sleep.”

 

How can you prove you are not dreaming NOW?

Or

Horatio: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Hamlet: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Why do humans think that their tiny brains could ever understand the ultimate reasons for everything? Could there be aliens looking at us and our science with contempt and other aliens looking at those aliens with contempt too? (And so ad infinitum.....)

Or

 Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

Do any things have to have the names they have? If not, how do we actually know the meanings of any sequence of letters? What language does my brain read in? Welche Sprache liest mein Gehirn? Dans quelle langue mon cerveau est-il lu?

  Or

 Lorenzo: "The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils."

 

Is there any link at all between liking good music, or being a good composer and being a good person?

 

 

Either

Is it possible to measure,  define and explain what causes happiness? (I hate olives: you love them? Adele makes me cringe, yet she sells millions of records. I hate netball... but love basketball?)

Or

Do grey squirrels have a right to life, even if the red squirrels got to England first? How long do you have to live in a country, or habitat, to have a right to live there? 

Or

Can you be accused of cheating if what you do is within the rules of a sport or tax system? ( Think of Italian rugby, Bradley Wiggins, Jimmy Carr??....Greg Chappell!)

Or

At this time of the year, when I hear the first lawn mowers, and smell the first grass cuttings, nature's wonderful rebirth hits me? Will humans ever lose that sense of wonder for new buds and birdsong? Do birds and squirrels and trees 'feel' the new life?

These Larkin poems  have haunted and bewitched me since school; a kind of reticent English Existentialism is within both!

 “The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born again And we grow old? No, they die too. Their yearly trick of looking new Is written down in rings of grain. Yet still the unresting castles thresh In fullgrown thickness every May. Last year is dead, they seem to say, Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.”             

Ignorance

Strange to know nothing, never to be sure Of what is right, or true, or real But forced to qualify: Or so I feel Or: Well, it does seem so, Someone must know Strange to be ignorant of the way things work Their skill at finding what they need, Their sense of shape, and punctual spread of seed And willingness to change Yes, it is strange Even to wear such knowledge---for our flesh surrounds us with its own decisions--- and yet spend all our lives on imprecisions, that when we start to die have no idea why.

Either

Storm Doris made me feel how vulnerable we are under all our apparent sophistication. Is that an over-reaction or do we overate our mastery of nature?

 Or

Should parents who let their children eat 'the equivalent of 20 Custard Creams a day' (73g sugar!) be prosecuted? (What about Headmasters who hand out Golden Toffees?)

 Or

Do the fates of Wayne Rooney and Claudio Ranieri show how morally vacuous football is or prove its healthy focus on excellence and the avoidance of complacency?

 Or

Does President  Trump's use of Twitter provide the conclusive evidence of what an inherently pointless and stupid thing it really is, or does he simply corrupt a medium and channel of  democratic  expression ?

Either 

Is there a limit to the number of real friends a sensitive human being can realistically have? (If so, what is it?) 

(Year 8 may remember, from the Jean Vanier documentary, his observation that we have had a revolution in the ways to communicate, but a seeming reduction in 'being really present' to each other...!)

Or

In the Junior House assembly on Friday we discussed sustainable growth, and sang All Things Bright and Beautiful and then listened to: Here Comes the Sun, sung by Paul Simon, Stills and Nash. It was joyful moment and the Hall was suddenly irradiated and suffused by sunshine and smiles.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muFOeZSIC2U

 How does music have this power over our minds and bodies?

 Or

 Can you actually explain to your son what sunlight is, and torchlight and candlelight? (I can't!)

 Or

 How can I explain the fact that the colour and taste of BEETROOT continue to stop me in my tracks: whenever we have it in salad, or have beetroot soup, or I chop one up, it strikes me as a mini-miracle of vividness, like my sight of first summer buttercups.

 ( I know it is just BEETROOT.  Oddly, celeriac has the opposite effect and so does celery: creepy and dull and BORING. ((Cucumber used to too, but it too now exercises a similar mystery, but quietly, and subtly. )

 Either

Would you expect all inhabited planets in the universe to have birds on/in them?  (I still find the existence of birds deeply unlikely and queer, even though I did science A levels! (Thank you to Justin for his excellent assemblies on the RSPB today. Do encourage the boys to count the birds!))

Or

Are birds excited by flight or do they simply do it? How could you test if they feel exhilarated or joyful?

Or

Does the existence of giraffes underline the unexpected beauty of nature or its possible absurdity?

Or

Should a civilised country ban people from shooting grouse?

  1.  Why are shadows often more interesting than the things causing them?

 2.  Can God truly believe in something being 'random' yet still be all knowing?

 3.  Does my beloved dog Fred know how smelly he is or to him, does his smelliness have the fragrance of a fine aftershave? (Are 'smells' just subjective?)

 4.  Am I wrong to still be baffled and even astonished by the number and variety of languages human beings have evolved? There just seem to be too many relative to our common experiences? (And 'tenses and moods?)

 

 Either

Does it really matter, in the long run, if Pandas cease to exist?  If so, why? (Are you pandering to a sentimental view of animal life?)

Or 

Is it true that all countries have seven days in their week? If so, is that significant?

 Or

 Wouldn't elections be much more fun and maybe more fair, if polls were banned?

 Or

 It does not feel as if  I am  instructing  my fingers how to type this puzzle, or my 2nd and 3rd fingers,  in my right hand, how to play G sharp, with the 2nd and 3rd valve on my trumpet. I don't tell my eyelids to blink either: all three are still really mysterious to me.

However hard I think, and however many coloured science diagrams I look at, how come I don't feel I am anywhere more close to explaining these, than when I was first struck by them as a child beginning to type & beginning to learn my trumpet?

 

Either

 

Should a singer who receives the Nobel Prize for Literature, but does not acknowledge it for two weeks, be awarded

a Nobel Prize for Disdain? (*******)

Or

 

Why do we never lose our love of rhyme? (Children and adults seem blissfully united in this enduring pleasure?)

 

Or

Do you really understand the night sky and why the planets move as they do, better than the people we mock from the 17 Century?

 

 

Or

 

'Monkeys are so similar to humans, that it makes it  invaluable to experiment on them to save humans.'

Monkeys are so similar to humans: that's what makes it so immoral to experiment on them.'

 

Is there a way to address this dilemma if you really think human life is sacred? 

 

Or

 

If you are against experimenting on monkeys, to save dying humans, must you logically be a vegetarian?

 

Or

In a time of scarce and limited resources and increasing human tragedies, surely we should spend money training doctors rather than vets?

 

Or

 

What makes some sounds so particularly poignant and haunting; for me today: a deep church bell, the rustle of leaves in Autumn, the...plop...of a pebble thrown into a really still pond?

 

 

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

I can forgive Bob Dylan almost anything for the rhymes and melody in this perfect work of art!

 

They sat together in the park As the evening sky grew dark She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones ’Twas then he felt alone and wished that he’d gone straight And watched out for a simple twist of fate They walked along by the old canal A little confused, I remember well And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burnin’ bright He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train Moving with a simple twist of fate A saxophone someplace far off played As she was walkin’ by the arcade As the light bust through a beat-up shade where he was wakin’ up, She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate And forgot about a simple twist of fate He woke up, the room was bare He didn’t see her anywhere He told himself he didn’t care, pushed the window open wide Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate Brought on by a simple twist of fate He hears the ticking of the clocks And walks along with a parrot that talks Hunts her down by the waterfront docks where the sailors all come in Maybe she’ll pick him out again, how long must he wait Once more for a simple twist of fate People tell me it’s a sin To know and feel too much within I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring She was born in spring, but I was born too late Blame it on a simple twist of fate

 

 

Either

Can pop lyrics really be considered worthy of a Nobel Prize for Literature? (Next year it surely has to be Leonard Cohen?!!)

Or

If it is legitimate to have a Nobel Prize for Literature, why isn't there one for music?

Or

Would you rather be a hammer or a nail?

Or

Is it possible to explain the joy of music to someone who is deaf?

Or

Is writing a great song a greater achievement than writing a great poem? 

Either

What is the difference between bending  a rule and exploiting it? (Is Bradley Wiggins really less guilty than Maria Sharapova?)

 Or

 Q. 'Why did the melon jump into the swimming pool?' A. 'Because it wanted to become a watermelon?'

 How can I explain the joy that simple shared silly joke gave me, when my 8 year old son told it to me? It was more pleasurable than all the clever jokes I have heard since.

 Or

 'Without hurricanes, we would not have the incentive to do science or geology or reflect on nature. These seemingly cruel natural events are needed if human beings are to be curious and thoughtful...'

 

Is that idea (expressed by one of my Year 8s) the beginning of an explanation of natural evils or a terrible twisting of ideas?

 Or

 Can you really be 'naturally' good at music or maths? If so, does that mean there is a scientific reason for this natural gift? If you are 'naturally good at it', should you get less praise than people like me who have to work our socks off to get to your level? !

Either

 Is it wrong for someone to swat irritating weirdly whining late summer wasps, if they are unlikely to be genuinely hurt by them? If so, should the beautiful fish ate at lunch today be accorded the same protection?

 Or

 Should we be pleased and encouraged that so many people watch and feel passionate  about the future of a programme about baking, or really worried and depressed about the waste of time thinking and writing about it?

 Or

 

Should schoolchildren in the UK pledge allegiance to the Union Jack in the way that American schoolchildren do their flag?  If not, why not? (If not, should American children stop doing what they do?) (With apologies to my year 8 US students!)

 Or

 Can any scientific theory fully explain why we have organs (musical ones!), bassoons, trumpets, oboes and violins.....?

 Either

 How can I  convince  my son that I actually understand what ultimately causes thunder and lightening?  He keeps asking me what electricity is REALLY? (I failed abysmally around 3.am this morning!)

 Or

 How can I convince my son that I actually understand what causes a heatwave?  (I failed abysmally around 3.am on Wed morning!) 

Or

 Is it possible that other animals are making jokes and laughing with each other?  How could we prove they have a sense of humour? Do spiders spin jokes about the world wide web? Do dogs laugh at doggerel? Can a Moose be amused?

 Or

 What explains why we love dancing and how it provokes such laughter and awe?

 Either

Does the Brexit vote show the beauty of the British democratic  system, or spell the end of it in its most wholesome and decent form?

Or

Do the Euros really matter in a Europe which is so troubled  by the effects of war and poverty and strife; how can we ignore the real news and worry about Wayne Rooney's calf muscles?

Or

Why do people bother to write sonnets? 

Or

A new supercomputer from China has topped the latest list of the world's most powerful machines.

The 93 petaflop Sunway TaihuLight is installed at the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi.

At its peak, the computer can perform around 93,000 trillion calculations per second.

Don't news reports such as this suggest that it is only a question of time before we are replaced or destroyed by machines? Why do we seem so unconcerned about the fact we are creating our own destroyers?

 

 

Either

Who really decides where the border of a country is and do they do it fairly? (Or is it a case of ..'The strong do what they want, and the weak suffer what they must!)

Or

How do  sound waves  become music? Does my dog know I am practising a Paul Simon song? Or does he just hear noises? (Does he secretly like 'You ain't nothing but a hound dog?')

(MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO SUPPORTED THE CABARET DINNER.)

Or

Is it immoral to like boxing because those who box are inevitably destroying each other's brain cells? (Wouldn't teachers who encouraged such activities be sacked?)

Or

Can you fully explain why the first smell of summer's new mown grass, and the sound of cricket, can move someone to tears?