Beauty Beyond Words – The Magic of England’s Winter Wonderland February 2021

Picture by Anna – East Sussex, England

Verbal abuse incoming? A tip from a USAF female combat fighter pilot

Photo by Pixabay on
I don’t know which jet fighter Sn. McSally flew.

You are in an important discussion. You are about to demolish your opponent’s argument, Your opponent knows it and starts to abuse you verbally instead of dealing with the issue. Lots of verbal flack is coming your way.

You can be sure of one thing: You have found the weak and vulnerable spot in your opponent’s argument. You are at the jugular.

This was very well summed up by Senator Martha McSally, a former USAF combat fighter pilot and squadron commander, who said:

“We fighter pilots have a saying: You know when you are over the target when you are getting flack”.

There we have it!

Take care next time you are in verbal combat.

Source: CNN 27 May 2020 and here.

The Word Genius of John Keats

Below is the ode “To Autumn” by the poet John Keats

Here is a short, fun exercise that will show you what a genius Keats was when he chose words.

I have deleted some words in the ode.

Choose some words yourself. What would you put in?

Have a go and then at the bottom of the post I have printed the original ode with Keats’s words on bold red.

Then, compare your choices with Keats’s choices.


Ode with some words taken out

To Autumn

John Keats – 1795-1821

Season of mists and ……fruitfulness,
  Close ……….friend of the ……….sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves …….;
To ….with apples the …..cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To ….the gourd, and ….the hazel shells
  With a …..kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think ….days will never cease,
    For summer has ……….. their clammy cells.

Keats’s version with Keats’s words in bold red

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.


How did you do?

You can do the same exercise for the rest of the ode.


PS My late Uncle told me about the above exercise. He learnt it from a teacher in Southern Rhodesia, probably in the 1930s.



Spoiler alert: I am about to punch light years above my weight!

Let us go.

“Antinomy” is not a word that pops up a lot when we are reading, unless we may be reading about logic, philosophy or theology.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines “antinomy” as:

“Antinomy, in philosophy, contradiction, real or apparent, between two principles or conclusions, both of which seem equally justified; it is nearly synonymous with the term paradox.” See definition

Let us look at some examples of some antinomies. There are apparently plenty of them in the Bible and in Science.

Biblical antinomies are behind “God’s sovereignty vs. free” will debate (compare John 3:16 with Ephesians 1: 11).

In Science, the question is asked: Is light a particle or a wave? Can it be both?

(Take it easy. I warned you that I would punch above my weight!)

So, how are antinomies dealt with?

A humble theologian might say:

“Scriptural antinomies arise out of revealed truth beyond the capability of our finite minds to comprehend. There may be theology above our anthropomorphized understanding of God and His ways that will show that there are not contradictions. I gather this may be the road down which Immanuel Kant may have traveled. To reject Kant’s approach may require Biblical interpretation worthy of a gold medal in verbal gymnastics to resolve Biblical antinomies.”

A humble scientist might say:

“The contradiction between two laws of science may only be apparent. Science may one day come up with an explanation. Perhaps one or both of the laws will be shown to be wrong. Let us keep an open mind,”

An open-minded logician or philosopher might say:

“There may be laws of logic beyond our finite ability to reason which show that there is logic beyond the law of contradiction which states that “contradictory propositions cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time”. The perplexing antinomy may not exist in this higher logic.”

Who knows?

Antinomies are here to stay!

How do you deal with them? Good luck!

Oh yes- Don’t forget my spoiler alert!


Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash








Adjectives are Clues


Adjectives describe nouns.

Yes, we learned that long ago!

But did we ever learn, or even realize, that an adjective is also a clue?

It is a clue that gives away the attitude of the user.

For example:

In a battle, the soldiers on both sides fight bravely and refuse to budge.

The TV News anchor says:

“Our troops were resolute; the enemy troops were stubborn.”

On whose side is the TV News Anchor?

Enough said!

Adjectives are clues. They give away plenty about the attitude of the user.

Look carefully at adjectives – they contain clues!

joao-silas-I_LgQ8JZFGE-unsplash (1)

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash