“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” William Wallace.

William Wallace (or Braveheart for those of us from a certain generation) was a leader, a warrior, a knight and someone who ultimately died for his beliefs in Scottish independence. I have just made the mistake of reading about how he was killed-if you are at all squeamish, then don’t bother!

The small matter of life is the theme this week, which means I can talk about pretty much anything! Obviously the answer is 42, so let’s just leave it there…

I did an assembly last year about magic in which I performed 2 tricks. Both of them required a lot of preparation and amazed the students! Very silly tricks, very simple tricks and as Abraham Lincoln said, you can fool all of the people some of the time…In the assembly, I said that the earth is 141,912,000,000,000,000 seconds old, if we accept that it is 4.5 million years old. And that got me thinking, as these things do, about life, the universe and everything else.

I saw a video the other day all about space-Earth is the 4th largest planet in the solar system but is dwarfed by the sun which in turn is dwarfed by other stars. Eta carinae is over 5 million times larger than our sun-imagine what factor you’d have to wear if that were our star! V Y Canis Majoris (as its name suggests) is also rather large-5 billion times larger than the sun. There are 10s of billions of solar systems in our galaxy, therefore goodness knows how many stars, most of which have at least 1 planet circling them, and that is just in our galaxy. We have so far seen 100s of other galaxies out there. By now, my head is spinning, but just think how many other planets there are out there that have conditions suitable to sustain life. Maybe not life as we know it, Jim, but life, nevertheless.

How much longer will our own planet support the current crop of life? We know that man is destroying it and most things that live on it. What will happen in a post-human world? Will other animals take over? Will man eventually come back? If so, in what guise? How many years will it take for Earth to right itself? I could go on, but that’s plenty depressing enough!

Have a great weekend wherever you are and don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area

Best Wishes

Chris Randell