In Britain recently, a young footballer collapsed and technically died during a game. But he defied the odds and survived to play another day. People soon began to speak and write of a miracle and it was clear they weren't using this as a metaphor; they really meant there'd been divine intervention. A few days ago, a British parachutist smashed into the face of a mountain and, despite having a broken leg, clung to the rock face until, after three hours, he fell and died. As he'd called his fiancée on his mobile phone, I'd say it's pretty certain a few people put in some prayers during those three hours. But no one has since talked or written of an unfinished miracle; or a semi-miracle; or a non-miracle; or, finally, a failed miracle. I wonder why not. I guess it's because divine intervention can only effect a positive answer to prayers. So, absent that, we must assume God decided not to intervene. But why not? Was He busy with something else? Or in a bad mood? Or averse to the particular individual or individuals involved? Maybe he did get involved but, somehow, the Devil got the better of this particular tussle. Anyway, it strikes me as funny that one never hears a discussion of the occasions when miracles don't take place. The worldview seems myopic on this aspect of terrestrial-celestial interchange.
Back down on earth . . . In a Times leader today, the author wrote: "The European Commission has denied that it is working on contingency plans for a Greek exit from the single currency." As I wrote some time ago, "This is implausible or, if true, alarming."
Specifically as regards Spain, the country's credit rating was today reduced to near-junk status and ten-year bond yields came very close to 7%. Not good news. But even worse were the forecasts that the credit rating would soon hit the junk level. Some good news is needed soon.
Here's a bit, though I don't see it affecting the bond markets. A new bit of marine fauna has been discovered. This is Uroptychus cartesi, a crab (or, some say, a squat lobster) between 5 and 7cm in size, found in the underwater mountains facing the Galician coast. Some way away from its closest relative in the Caribbean Sea. Picture here.
Well, I finished James Michener's 940-page Iberia today. I found the book infuriating for several reasons and - to be honest - resorted to speed-reading or simply skipping many of the pages. This is not to say Michener can't write well; he certainly can. But if anyone's read this particular book and found it impressive, I'd be interested to know why.
Environmentalists in the UK - and doubtless in the USA - are going that extra mile. Or at least 6 feet. They're being buried in coffins made of wool. Honest. It puts the mental into environmentalism.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to notice that female is male with a bit of iron. I suppose Mrs Thatcher becomes the prototype female.
Finally . . . As one or two people have been unkind about my owl, I'm giving you a more head-on foto. (Or more eye-on at least). I think it's a benign face. And when I tried to scare my daughter's cat with it this afternoon, she showed nil fear and began to lick her tail. But she did move when I threw it at her.