Greetings meerkats, and welcome back to the latest edition of the Meerkat Muse!
We begin with something referenced in the previous Muse…
On the 5th of May my wife and I saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I wrote a review of it, which represents nothing more than my personal opinion on the events, and quality, of the film. If you agree, great. If you don’t, also great.
On the way to the cinema my wife and I were faced with a pair of geese. They didn’t actually do anything, but geese are unpredictable, and if you happen to have any sort of food on your person, they might be inclined to give chase. Always be on guard around the murder swans!
Not over till it’s over…
But the task became a lot more difficult when Liverpool failed to overcome Spurs at Anfield on the 7th of May. The 1-1 draw granted Manchester City the initiative.
As of writing this (the 12th of May) I can’t believe we’ll win the title, but until it’s over, it’s not over. Football is a strange game, and anything is possible.
A Slow Month
Well, a slow couple of weeks at least. Lately it’s all been about the routine. I get up, go to work, come home, do a little bit of writing, play a few games, rinse and repeat. There are more interesting times to come, but we’re not quite there yet.
The Black Heart
Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, has been imaged for the first time. This stunning photo shows an immense, churning ring of superheated material, caught around an endless, impossibly dense void of darkness.
In many respects, this image is similar to the one captured a few years back, of another black hole. Sagittarius A* is considerably smaller than the one previously imaged (‘only’ 4 million times as massive as our sun, compared to several billion times more massive), but still, our local stellar giant is a daunting object, something that’s virtually impossible for the human mind to comprehend. How can something have infinite density? What happens within the mysterious event horizon? Will we ever have the means to find out?
To try and offer a sense of scale, A* is confined to a spherical area no larger than 44 million kilometres in diameter. The average distance of earth’s orbit around the sun is 150 million kilometres. This object, if placed at the centre of our solar system, would therefore extend nearly 30% of the distance from the centre of the system, to earth. It would hold a density far exceeding even the very heart of the sun itself. To put it another way, Mercury’s average distance from the sun is around 60 million km, and even at its closest approach, Mercury never gets closer than 46 million km to the sun. This black hole is confined to a smaller area than Mercury’s orbit.
The Dead Past
Whenever I take (or collect) my daughter to/from school, I travel past the now-empty (derelict might be a better word) building I spent seven and a half years working in. I have many good memories of working there, and a few not-so-pleasant ones, and those memories surface on my trips past the building. I would describe the job as retail sales, though with considerably more ‘tasking’ than my other, showroom-based roles. I’d describe my former employers as ignorant of the reality of their store staff, though I imagine many head offices have no clue as to what frontline store associates have to deal with.
I miss some of the people I worked with. We bonded, through good times and bad, and I regard some of the people I worked with as lifelong friends. I do not miss the company. I cannot help but feel they played a key role in their own demise. I wonder if any of the bigshots ever considered that?
The Never-ending Fight…
The Tories plan to make 90,000 civil servants redundant, in a bid to tackle the cost of living crisis that they helped create. Here’s a notion – instead of putting people out of work, introduce a wealth tax and windfall tax and you’ll raise considerably more money for public services and Universal Credit.
FA Cup Glory
In Klopp we trust! The quest for the Quadruple might now be extremely difficult (see the earlier bit about Liverpool), but the FA Cup has come to Anfield, following a penalty shootout success against Chelsea – the second such win this year. We’re halfway to achieving a truly remarkable success story, and though wresting the Premier League title from Man City’s grasp may be virtually impossible, until it is over, it’s not over. In football, you sometimes have to believe in miracles. For now though, let’s bask in this latest trophy win!
I originally posted this over on the Coalition site.
At the weekend, one Payton Gendron drove 200 miles, to Buffalo, in New York State. The 18 year-old was heavily armed, and this was for a reason. He planned on killing as many people as possible, specifically black people. Witnesses observed him hurl racist slogans, and it is said he had posted a racist manifesto online.
There are people out there who deny race exists, but it is the reality for millions, and it became a brutal reality last night. If Gendron is guilty (we must let the law determine this, though it seems likely, given his manifesto, and that he was apparently live-streaming the attack), questions should once again be raised about how this kind of hate can grow. There is this perception, this imaginary notion, that race relations in the US have dramatically improved over time. Instead, progress – actual, meaningful moves for equality – has been slow, and people like Gendron (if guilty) would do everything in their power to reverse what little has been achieved.
There’s another issue here – guns. Once again, powerful assault weapons have found their way into the hands of people who should never have had them. I wonder what certain so-called ‘pro-lifers’ make of how easily someone took ten lives yesterday?
With more sunshine and improving weather, comes a personal scourge – pollen. My eyes are starting to itch, and my nose is starting to tingle, and that means the inevitable hayfever season is upon me. The problem is, a lot of hayfever medication makes me drowsy, which is all well and good, but not when I have to go to work!
Let’s end this Muse on a weird note, because why not? The other night I had another classic, strange dream. I was swimming home (yes, swimming), and for some reason, the water was filled with ice. What was even weirder is that we were swimming home from a holiday in sunny Spain. Why was the water filled with big patches of ice? I can only guess. Once again, my subconscious has given me a mystery. At least I can’t call my dreams dull.
On that note, by the time of the next Muse, we’ll know if Liverpool will be champions or if we fall short, right at the end. Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion!