Sometimes a picture says a thousand words; sometimes a word says a thousand letters. There are a few instances in the English language where a word is not constructed for the sake of communication so much as to break a world record, for spectacle’s sake. In that way, the English language is much like the Olympics; here are ten words that really go the distance.
1 Curious George by Margret Rey and HA Rey (Houghton Mifflin). The first book of seven, from 1941, about a monkey who is kidnapped by the man in the yellow hat.
2 Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Red Fox). One of my favourites as a child, this has gone on to inspire a generation of illustrators – and a very poor film.
3 Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs (Puffin). The best book about Christmas by some margin, featuring an extremely grumpy Santa. Narrowly beat The Snowman for a place on this list.
4 Gorilla by Anthony Browne (Walker). A beautifully drawn story from the former children’s laureate about a lonely girl who finds company in a gorilla.
5 The Mick Inkpen Collection (Hodder). This edition contains seven stories, including my son’s favourite, Billy’s Beetle. You have to find the beetle hiding somewhere on each spread.
6 There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly illustrated by Pam Adams (Child’s Play). This edition has holes.
7 The Babar Collection by Jean de Brunhoff (Egmont). Here are five of the classic French stories, including the first, The Story of Babar, from 1931.
8 Jim by Hilaire Belloc, illustrated by Mini Grey (Jonathan Cape). The poem is reproduced at picture book length with Grey’s striking illustrations and paper engineering. You could go, if you prefer, for a collection of Belloc, such as Cautionary Verses (Red Fox).
9 Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle (Puffin). This charming verse story about how different animals behave is less well known than The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but more fun.
10 What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry (HarperCollins). Scarry’s immensely detailed books about everyday life can lead to some good conversations, and are great for children who need to know how things work (more or less all of them).
1. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
2. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
3. “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
4. “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
5. “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
6. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
7. “A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.”
8. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”
9. “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”
10. “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”
11. “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”
12. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
13. “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”
14. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
15. “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
16. “Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.”
17. “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
18. “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
19. “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.”
20. “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”
21. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”
22. “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”
23. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
24. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”
25. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
1. It’s the economy, stupid.
2. A week is a long time in politics. Or variants thereof, such as, “If a week is a long time in politics then a month seems an eternity.”
3. What part of x don’t you understand? Although this one seems to have nearly died out already.
4. Way beyond, or way more.
5. Any time soon.
6. “Events, dear boy, events.” (Except as the name of an excellent political blog, currently in abeyance.)
7. Learning curve.
8. Raising awareness.
9. Celebrating diversity.
10. In any way, shape or form.
12. Community, especially a vibrant one.
13. Hearts and minds.
17. Going forward.
18. A forward policy.
19. A big ask.
20. At this moment in time.
21. Not fit for purpose.
22. Hard-working families.
23. Apologies for lack of postings.
24. Black hole (in a financial context).
25. The elephant in the room.
|Collision and convergence in Truth and Beauty at the intersection of science and spirituality.|
EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?
TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.
I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid. Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world. The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man.
EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) The world as a unity dependent on humanity. (2) The world as a reality independent of the human factor.
TAGORE: When our universe is in harmony with Man, the eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as beauty.
EINSTEIN: This is the purely human conception of the universe.
TAGORE: There can be no other conception. This world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it Truth, the standard of the Eternal Man whose experiences are through our experiences.
EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.
TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realized the Supreme Man who has no individual limitations through our limitations. Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of Truths. Religion realizes these Truths and links them up with our deeper needs; our individual consciousness of Truth gains universal significance. Religion applies values to Truth, and we know this Truth as good through our own harmony with it.
EINSTEIN: Truth, then, or Beauty is not independent of Man?
EINSTEIN: If there would be no human beings any more, the Apollo of Belvedere would no longer be beautiful.
EINSTEIN: I agree with regard to this conception of Beauty, but not with regard to Truth.
TAGORE: Why not? Truth is realized through man.
EINSTEIN: I cannot prove that my conception is right, but that is my religion.
TAGORE: Beauty is in the ideal of perfect harmony which is in the Universal Being; Truth the perfect comprehension of the Universal Mind. We individuals approach it through our own mistakes and blunders, through our accumulated experiences, through our illumined consciousness — how, otherwise, can we know Truth?