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December 4, 2009

The low point of yesterday was not when I realised I had upset a close friend (we sorted it out), nor was it when the door sheared off the freezer (in superglue we trust). It was listening to two young undergraduates discussing the nature of the universe.

I wasn’t eavesdropping, by the way. I was changing for a swim in the university pool and two women in adjoining cubicles were talking very loudly to make themselves heard above the noise of the showers. You could tell from the conversation that they were clearly well engaged with their studies: they  were even discussing the possibility of doing higher degrees.

What made my stomach lurch was when one said: ‘The trouble is, there’s no sense of awe and wonder in our society today. You look at a star and you think, “well, some scientist will have looked at that and named it and that’s that”.’

Really? No sense of awe and wonder in our society? No wonder we’re in trouble.

Imagine my relief when I switched on my computer later and discovered this.

You don’t need a degree in astrophysics to work out who will get more out of life – that jaded young student or this little girl and her mother.

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