You will have noticed I use a flat earth picture at the top of this blog. You don’t need to have someone – Michael Caine or anyone else – to remind you that the earth is round. No one, except the Flat Earth Society, has believed the earth is flat for centuries. The idea of a flat earth was seriously put forward in 1838, and more than a century later the International Flat Earth Society was formed. By the early 1990s its membership was over 3,500.It exists today as a web forum, http://www.theflatearthsociety.org. with around 800 users if anyone’s interested.
I’ve been reading a book called ‘The Book of General Ignorance’ written by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, foreword by Stephen Fry, given to me as a birthday present. I find it absolutely fascinating and recommend the book if you have the time to read it. For instance, in the synopsis it says. I quote –
Henry VIII has six wives – WRONG!
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone – WRONG!
Everest is the highest mountain in the world. – WRONG!
Contained in the book is a reference to marmots. Now marmots are cuddly, benign, pot-bellied members of the squirrel family, not associated with death of humans. The book claims the estimated death toll of humans is over a billion, making the marmot second only to the malarial mosquito as a killer of humans. Read the book if you don’t believe me, the section entitled ‘Do Marmots kill people?’ goes into a full explanation.
When I haven’t been reading the book I have been watching the Wimbledon tennis. One of the commentators was Andrew Castle, Britain’s No. 1 male tennis player in 1986. While I was ‘googling’ about him I found he was the great-great grandchild of Annie Besant, 1847 – 1933, an attractive, prominent British socialist, writer, orator among her many activities.
For Annie Besant, politics, friendships and love were closely intertwined. She began a close relationship with George Bernard Shaw, then a struggling Irish author, living in London. She invited him to live with her. He refused but encouraged her to join the Fabian Society.
. I didn’t know that – did you? I think I am right in saying ‘not a lot of people know that’ – apologies to Michael Caine!