St Anthony's School Hampstead

St Anthony's Girls School Hampstead

Our Ethos

St. Anthony's aims to provide high quality education in a caring, supportive and Catholic environment, infused by Christ's Gospel, in order that each of our pupils is able to develop fully as an individual, well-adjusted to the wider community.

Headmaster's CorneR

"My eighth year at St. Anthony's is proving to be almost as exciting as the first. Last year, our leavers once again achieved excellent results to the leading schools in the country, including:  Mill Hill, Highgate, UCS, City, Eton, St. Paul's, Haberdashers', Harrow, Merchant Taylors', Winchester, Charterhouse, Aldenham, Forest, St Albans, The London Oratory, Cardinal Vaughan and JFS.

We also again achieved a pleasing number of academic, music and art scholarships including: Winchester, City, MTS, Mill Hill and UCS.

We are proud that the school maintains its special, family ethos and has faired impressively in the changing landscape of new examinations.  We continue to feel blessed to have such a supportive parent body and delightful pupils, who are allowed to develop their individuality, creativity and moral vision.

Do explore the various pages to get a feel for this unique institution, much beloved by its current and ex-pupils and energised by a committed and talented common room."

 

Headmaster's Review - Easter 2017

Headmaster's Review - Summer 2016

Headmaster's Review - Easter 2016

Headmaster's Newsletter - Christmas 2015

Headmaster's Newsletter - Summer 2015

Headmaster's Newsletter - Easter 2015

Headmaster's Newsletter - Christmas 2014

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Paul's Puzzle

Each week the Headmaster sets puzzle questions to provoke discussion.  Pupils may answer in any form they think fit: answers include poetry, animated films, cartoons etc.

Paul's Puzzles this week are:

Either 

  1. What do you call Santa's little helpers?
  2. Subordinate Clauses!

Can we ever fully explain why laughter is so important to the human species?

 Or

 I have never understood why Tintin or Asterix are funny?  Can you help me? (My son loves both..) Do countries or nationalities have a distinct sense of humour?

 Or

 Why do some people feel  'a bit cold' and others say they feel: 'It is really really freezing!' yet, appear, to have the essentially the same physical bodies? Is there such a thing as cold or hot, or do we create them in some way in our minds? Is how you experience feeling pain at the dentist similar?

 Or

 Why is the song  'We're Walking in the Air' so moving? It seems to affect adults and children every time it is sung? (Just like Paddington  2 too!)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubeVUnGQOIk

 Have a good Christmas. Whatever you do, make sure you watch: It's a Wonderful Life and Alastair Sim's  Scrooge!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJfZaT8ncYk  Wonderful original Trailer

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97PwRDfHBlg   Original Trailer

   

Previous puzzles:

Either

Why do people seem so genuinely interested in who Prince Harry marries? Isn't it bizarre given other much more important national and world events?

Or

Should a US general ever overrule his/her elected President and Commander-in-Chief

Or

To many people, there is no sane or humane scenario for the rational use of Nuclear weapons: or is there? 

Or

Is cutting down Christmas trees against the true spirit of Christmas? 

Or

What must it feel like to be a Polar Bear or Arctic Whale in Winter? Can we ever truly grasp or understand another animal's experience? (And, don't even mention centipedes!)

 

Either

How can you decide whether a painting is really worth £341 million pounds?

Or

Can you justify spending £341 million pounds on a painting when  the money could be given to victims of famine?

Or

When I typed '341', I wondered if it is a Prime Number; why are number patterns so fascinating? 

Or

Does God make the laws of maths or does God have to obey them too?

 Either

 What actually happens when I remember or forget? For example, that I have  forgotten to set my puzzles but now remember? Or, ...the smell of fireworks when I was seven. In the first case, I wanted to remember, but forgot; in the second case, I made no attempt to remember but remembered vividly!

 Or

 Could there be aliens who learn a completely different set of times tables? (Or, will all of us, across this and every other  universe have the same? If you say no; what will be the answer to the question: 'How many universes and different aliens are there?)

 Or

If we stopped playing and watching sport, what would we do with all the spare time? Is it a channel for our animal energy and aggression, or something  else?

 Or

 When I watch Blue Planet 2 with my wife and son, I move between being enraptured, excited and uplifted by nature and terrified by it and the creatures in it.  What about you?

Either

 Is it wrong to enjoy sports which involve a high risk of those taking part dying or suffering from concussion and brain damage? (I love boxing and American Football?)

 Or

 If a fox has a right not to be hunted for sport, does a chicken have a right not to be served up as a roast?

 Or

 Can we really explain why somebody is 'naturally' gifted' in music or maths. Does the word natural suggest we should not praise them? (Nobody says 'Well Done' to a tall person for being tall.)

 Or

 Why do so many people, especially parents, not see how pointless, bizarre and weird it is to celebrate Halloween?!

Either

 Can you measure the time a thought takes to be made or experienced;... such as: "This coach  journey is taking such a long time!''

 Or

 What do flees feel when they leap in the air?

 Or

 Why is itching such fun sometimes? What explains the fun of the word 'tickling' and the experience? Do any other animals tickle each other?

  Or

 Can you explain to yourself what smell really is and its impact on your mind and even heart. (Weren't you overwhelmed by the 'smell of Autumn leaves today?) 

 

Either

  Why do some words seem to be or embody what they mean: for example: precious; tenderness; sophisticated; cherish, apt, effervescent ....etc?!

 Or

 Does it make sense to sense to say an animal is cruel? If so, which is the cruelest?

 Or

  Can I prove that you are definitely not a highly sophisticated robot?

 Or

 Why are conkers SO beautiful and evocative of childhood?

 

Either

How is it that  the  words 'ice lolly' encapsulate childhood so incredibly well in only 8 letters?

Or

Is it possible to really work out the most sensible and fulfilling age to live up to? (80, 100, 150,.. 200?) Epicurus argued it was the quality of life not its  longevity, length, that matters most? Is that a cop out?  (My son and I were watching Dr Who and trying to work out the average life expectancy of a Dalek or Cyberman and ended up discussing the human life span...) 

Or

Teaching history has made me realise that I do not really know where most places are, even in England; and, most human beings, even the most significant and famous ones, will never ever be part of my reflection or consciousness.  The same goes for 99% of scientific knowledge. I cannot work out whether that should worry me or not? Should it? How much should an educated person strive to know? Can we ever keep up with what is becoming known?

 Or

 Are the hours spent watching and playing  cricket really worth it? I think so, but close friends  taunt me for the sheer waste of time?

Either

 Why can't I explain sense of smell? I have tried to understand how smells affect me, but cannot, especially the ones which really delight me, but are neutral, or cause indifference to many of my friends. (Fragrance of roses; excitement caused by smell of Terry's Chocolate Orange; creosoted fences....) { I am convinced that my increasingly blind dog now maps the world through smells and sniffing; how does that feel from then inside?)

 Or

 How large must a creature be to have a sense of touch? 

 

Or

“This is the first thing I have understood: Time is the echo of an axe within a wood.”

Philip Larkin 

 When do we first become scared or worried by time passing? (My colleagues and friends know I dislike my own birthday being 'celebrated' !)

 Or

Having seen the new Alien film, I wondered:

'Is it scientifically possible to predict the percentage  of possible alien life forms which may be hostile to us?  or  '....the probability of our own robots turning on us and challenging us?' (Both seem important questions given our hopes and budget expenditure on, for example,: satellites, space exploration, SETI and the development of AI.)

(P.S. Sadly, the film is so tedious and silly that there is lots of time to think!)

Either

 Is it possible to enjoy summer's sultry warmth without enduring winter's  bitter chill? Do angels experience the beauty of the seasons? (With apologies to Wim Wenders.) 

 

Or

 

Is a tree really one thing/entity in the way I am and have one body and am one thing? (There is a huge, expansive  horse chestnut tree which I walk past every morning and I try to imagine being it; similarly; I wonder if a whale has a sense of its HUGE AND VAST WHOLENESS?!)

 

Or

 

Can you imagine being a mayfly or midge?

  

Or

Is Mourhino lucky or an annoying genius? What explains how some individuals can motivate others, when it really counts?  

 Either

 Could you have science without numbers?

 Or

 Why is it that there seem to be  so many significant examples of mathematical  and musical child prodigies, yet almost no examples of poetry prodigies? (The term child prodigy is normally defined as a person, under the age of ten, who produces meaningful output in some domain to the level of an adult expert performer!)

 Or

 How could you prove that a sheep dog can or cannot be ' ''counting" sheep' ? If they are not, what explains what they are doing?

 Or

 Does the word eternal mean the same thing as everlasting? (What do we mean when we say God or the Big Bang creates time? )

 

Many Congratulations to all those who took part in the UK Maths Challenge and special congratulations to the 8 Gold medallists and  3  Junior Maths Olympian Candidates.

    

 

 Either

 Is it possible to really understand human history, before the twentieth century, if you have not ridden a horse

 Or

 If a man's best friend is his dog, should we expect dogs to be resurrected in heaven to be with their owners? 

 Or

 Why are cats so deceitful and sneaky? Or is that just my bias?

 Or

 Are we the only animals that laugh?  (Q How do you count cows? A: With a cowculator. ...sorry!)

 Either

  How does; how can, a voice move us... even to tears?

 Or

 If you and I are having the same thought, for example, '3 x 3 =9', is the same part of our brain in exactly the same chemical state? If I have  this thought

in a dream, is that also the case? What about a dream which in which I  see colours but my eyes are closed? (I am dreaming about the green trees!)

  

Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,

Withdraws into its happiness;

The mind, that ocean where each kind

Does straight its own resemblance find,

Yet it creates, transcending these,

Far other worlds, and other seas;

Annihilating all that’s made

To a green thought in a green shade.

 (With apologies to my TG1 History set!)

 Or

 Why are some people more curious and fascinated than others? One man's mystery seems to be another man's cause to yawn?

  To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour

 Or

 Is playing an instrument which necessitates using your lungs and lips, throughout, more difficult than  one which doesn't? How did humans think of generating sounds in these odd ways?

 Either

 Why don't we have a strong desire to send men back to revisit the Moon? It was one of my dreams as a child and I had hoped to go there before popping my clogs!

Or

 What makes me still watch Dr Who so avidly? Does it show that I have not grown up properly... or the opposite?!

 Or

 How can anyone take Star Wars seriously once they have watched Dr Who? 

 Or

 How far does being successful depend on luck?

 Either

 Do wasps know how irritating they are?

 Or

 Is it really sensible to spend £4.6 million pounds of Lottery funding to save rare  butterflies, and bees etc., from extinction when innocent humans are dying all over the world? If we protect them, why don't we stop cats killing birds or teeny weeny mice?

 Or

 Watching 42nd Street  at Drury Lane last Saturday, and Sadie's Dance shows this week, gave me as much pleasure and fulfilment as anything I have 'read' or 'thought about' this year. Does that  tell me something  profound about dance or does it reveal a weakness and worrying lack of seriousness in me? (Am I living in Do La La Land?!)

 Or

 Why have beards come back in to fashion? What does a beard tell us about a person? (Or are they pointless?)

Paul’s Puzzles this week are: based on Niyazi and the staff and pupils' brilliant Shakespeare week!

 Either

 “We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded by a sleep.”

 

How can you prove you are not dreaming NOW?

Or

Horatio: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Hamlet: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Why do humans think that their tiny brains could ever understand the ultimate reasons for everything? Could there be aliens looking at us and our science with contempt and other aliens looking at those aliens with contempt too? (And so ad infinitum.....)

Or

 Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

Do any things have to have the names they have? If not, how do we actually know the meanings of any sequence of letters? What language does my brain read in? Welche Sprache liest mein Gehirn? Dans quelle langue mon cerveau est-il lu?

  Or

 Lorenzo: "The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils."

 

Is there any link at all between liking good music, or being a good composer and being a good person?

 

 

Either

Is it possible to measure,  define and explain what causes happiness? (I hate olives: you love them? Adele makes me cringe, yet she sells millions of records. I hate netball... but love basketball?)

Or

Do grey squirrels have a right to life, even if the red squirrels got to England first? How long do you have to live in a country, or habitat, to have a right to live there? 

Or

Can you be accused of cheating if what you do is within the rules of a sport or tax system? ( Think of Italian rugby, Bradley Wiggins, Jimmy Carr??....Greg Chappell!)

Or

At this time of the year, when I hear the first lawn mowers, and smell the first grass cuttings, nature's wonderful rebirth hits me? Will humans ever lose that sense of wonder for new buds and birdsong? Do birds and squirrels and trees 'feel' the new life?

These Larkin poems  have haunted and bewitched me since school; a kind of reticent English Existentialism is within both!

 “The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born again And we grow old? No, they die too. Their yearly trick of looking new Is written down in rings of grain. Yet still the unresting castles thresh In fullgrown thickness every May. Last year is dead, they seem to say, Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.”             

Ignorance

Strange to know nothing, never to be sure Of what is right, or true, or real But forced to qualify: Or so I feel Or: Well, it does seem so, Someone must know Strange to be ignorant of the way things work Their skill at finding what they need, Their sense of shape, and punctual spread of seed And willingness to change Yes, it is strange Even to wear such knowledge---for our flesh surrounds us with its own decisions--- and yet spend all our lives on imprecisions, that when we start to die have no idea why.

Either

Storm Doris made me feel how vulnerable we are under all our apparent sophistication. Is that an over-reaction or do we overate our mastery of nature?

 Or

Should parents who let their children eat 'the equivalent of 20 Custard Creams a day' (73g sugar!) be prosecuted? (What about Headmasters who hand out Golden Toffees?)

 Or

Do the fates of Wayne Rooney and Claudio Ranieri show how morally vacuous football is or prove its healthy focus on excellence and the avoidance of complacency?

 Or

Does President  Trump's use of Twitter provide the conclusive evidence of what an inherently pointless and stupid thing it really is, or does he simply corrupt a medium and channel of  democratic  expression ?

Either 

Is there a limit to the number of real friends a sensitive human being can realistically have? (If so, what is it?) 

(Year 8 may remember, from the Jean Vanier documentary, his observation that we have had a revolution in the ways to communicate, but a seeming reduction in 'being really present' to each other...!)

Or

In the Junior House assembly on Friday we discussed sustainable growth, and sang All Things Bright and Beautiful and then listened to: Here Comes the Sun, sung by Paul Simon, Stills and Nash. It was joyful moment and the Hall was suddenly irradiated and suffused by sunshine and smiles.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muFOeZSIC2U

 How does music have this power over our minds and bodies?

 Or

 Can you actually explain to your son what sunlight is, and torchlight and candlelight? (I can't!)

 Or

 How can I explain the fact that the colour and taste of BEETROOT continue to stop me in my tracks: whenever we have it in salad, or have beetroot soup, or I chop one up, it strikes me as a mini-miracle of vividness, like my sight of first summer buttercups.

 ( I know it is just BEETROOT.  Oddly, celeriac has the opposite effect and so does celery: creepy and dull and BORING. ((Cucumber used to too, but it too now exercises a similar mystery, but quietly, and subtly. )

 Either

Would you expect all inhabited planets in the universe to have birds on/in them?  (I still find the existence of birds deeply unlikely and queer, even though I did science A levels! (Thank you to Justin for his excellent assemblies on the RSPB today. Do encourage the boys to count the birds!))

Or

Are birds excited by flight or do they simply do it? How could you test if they feel exhilarated or joyful?

Or

Does the existence of giraffes underline the unexpected beauty of nature or its possible absurdity?

Or

Should a civilised country ban people from shooting grouse?

  1.  Why are shadows often more interesting than the things causing them?

 2.  Can God truly believe in something being 'random' yet still be all knowing?

 3.  Does my beloved dog Fred know how smelly he is or to him, does his smelliness have the fragrance of a fine aftershave? (Are 'smells' just subjective?)

 4.  Am I wrong to still be baffled and even astonished by the number and variety of languages human beings have evolved? There just seem to be too many relative to our common experiences? (And 'tenses and moods?)

 

 Either

Does it really matter, in the long run, if Pandas cease to exist?  If so, why? (Are you pandering to a sentimental view of animal life?)

Or 

Is it true that all countries have seven days in their week? If so, is that significant?

 Or

 Wouldn't elections be much more fun and maybe more fair, if polls were banned?

 Or

 It does not feel as if  I am  instructing  my fingers how to type this puzzle, or my 2nd and 3rd fingers,  in my right hand, how to play G sharp, with the 2nd and 3rd valve on my trumpet. I don't tell my eyelids to blink either: all three are still really mysterious to me.

However hard I think, and however many coloured science diagrams I look at, how come I don't feel I am anywhere more close to explaining these, than when I was first struck by them as a child beginning to type & beginning to learn my trumpet?

 

Either

 

Should a singer who receives the Nobel Prize for Literature, but does not acknowledge it for two weeks, be awarded

a Nobel Prize for Disdain? (*******)

Or

 

Why do we never lose our love of rhyme? (Children and adults seem blissfully united in this enduring pleasure?)

 

Or

Do you really understand the night sky and why the planets move as they do, better than the people we mock from the 17 Century?

 

 

Or

 

'Monkeys are so similar to humans, that it makes it  invaluable to experiment on them to save humans.'

Monkeys are so similar to humans: that's what makes it so immoral to experiment on them.'

 

Is there a way to address this dilemma if you really think human life is sacred? 

 

Or

 

If you are against experimenting on monkeys, to save dying humans, must you logically be a vegetarian?

 

Or

In a time of scarce and limited resources and increasing human tragedies, surely we should spend money training doctors rather than vets?

 

Or

 

What makes some sounds so particularly poignant and haunting; for me today: a deep church bell, the rustle of leaves in Autumn, the...plop...of a pebble thrown into a really still pond?

 

 

 

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

I can forgive Bob Dylan almost anything for the rhymes and melody in this perfect work of art!

 

They sat together in the park As the evening sky grew dark She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones ’Twas then he felt alone and wished that he’d gone straight And watched out for a simple twist of fate They walked along by the old canal A little confused, I remember well And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burnin’ bright He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train Moving with a simple twist of fate A saxophone someplace far off played As she was walkin’ by the arcade As the light bust through a beat-up shade where he was wakin’ up, She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate And forgot about a simple twist of fate He woke up, the room was bare He didn’t see her anywhere He told himself he didn’t care, pushed the window open wide Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate Brought on by a simple twist of fate He hears the ticking of the clocks And walks along with a parrot that talks Hunts her down by the waterfront docks where the sailors all come in Maybe she’ll pick him out again, how long must he wait Once more for a simple twist of fate People tell me it’s a sin To know and feel too much within I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring She was born in spring, but I was born too late Blame it on a simple twist of fate

 

 

Either

Can pop lyrics really be considered worthy of a Nobel Prize for Literature? (Next year it surely has to be Leonard Cohen?!!)

Or

If it is legitimate to have a Nobel Prize for Literature, why isn't there one for music?

Or

Would you rather be a hammer or a nail?

Or

Is it possible to explain the joy of music to someone who is deaf?

Or

Is writing a great song a greater achievement than writing a great poem? 

Either

What is the difference between bending  a rule and exploiting it? (Is Bradley Wiggins really less guilty than Maria Sharapova?)

 Or

 Q. 'Why did the melon jump into the swimming pool?' A. 'Because it wanted to become a watermelon?'

 How can I explain the joy that simple shared silly joke gave me, when my 8 year old son told it to me? It was more pleasurable than all the clever jokes I have heard since.

 Or

 'Without hurricanes, we would not have the incentive to do science or geology or reflect on nature. These seemingly cruel natural events are needed if human beings are to be curious and thoughtful...'

 

Is that idea (expressed by one of my Year 8s) the beginning of an explanation of natural evils or a terrible twisting of ideas?

 Or

 Can you really be 'naturally' good at music or maths? If so, does that mean there is a scientific reason for this natural gift? If you are 'naturally good at it', should you get less praise than people like me who have to work our socks off to get to your level? !

Either

 Is it wrong for someone to swat irritating weirdly whining late summer wasps, if they are unlikely to be genuinely hurt by them? If so, should the beautiful fish ate at lunch today be accorded the same protection?

 Or

 Should we be pleased and encouraged that so many people watch and feel passionate  about the future of a programme about baking, or really worried and depressed about the waste of time thinking and writing about it?

 Or

 

Should schoolchildren in the UK pledge allegiance to the Union Jack in the way that American schoolchildren do their flag?  If not, why not? (If not, should American children stop doing what they do?) (With apologies to my year 8 US students!)

 Or

 Can any scientific theory fully explain why we have organs (musical ones!), bassoons, trumpets, oboes and violins.....?

 Either

 How can I  convince  my son that I actually understand what ultimately causes thunder and lightening?  He keeps asking me what electricity is REALLY? (I failed abysmally around 3.am this morning!)

 Or

 How can I convince my son that I actually understand what causes a heatwave?  (I failed abysmally around 3.am on Wed morning!) 

Or

 Is it possible that other animals are making jokes and laughing with each other?  How could we prove they have a sense of humour? Do spiders spin jokes about the world wide web? Do dogs laugh at doggerel? Can a Moose be amused?

 Or

 What explains why we love dancing and how it provokes such laughter and awe?

 Either

Does the Brexit vote show the beauty of the British democratic  system, or spell the end of it in its most wholesome and decent form?

Or

Do the Euros really matter in a Europe which is so troubled  by the effects of war and poverty and strife; how can we ignore the real news and worry about Wayne Rooney's calf muscles?

Or

Why do people bother to write sonnets? 

Or

A new supercomputer from China has topped the latest list of the world's most powerful machines.

The 93 petaflop Sunway TaihuLight is installed at the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi.

At its peak, the computer can perform around 93,000 trillion calculations per second.

Don't news reports such as this suggest that it is only a question of time before we are replaced or destroyed by machines? Why do we seem so unconcerned about the fact we are creating our own destroyers?

 

 

Either

Who really decides where the border of a country is and do they do it fairly? (Or is it a case of ..'The strong do what they want, and the weak suffer what they must!)

Or

How do  sound waves  become music? Does my dog know I am practising a Paul Simon song? Or does he just hear noises? (Does he secretly like 'You ain't nothing but a hound dog?')

(MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO SUPPORTED THE CABARET DINNER.)

Or

Is it immoral to like boxing because those who box are inevitably destroying each other's brain cells? (Wouldn't teachers who encouraged such activities be sacked?)

Or

Can you fully explain why the first smell of summer's new mown grass, and the sound of cricket, can move someone to tears?

Either

 

Could an all powerful God destroy Jose Mourinhno? If not why not, if so why hasn't he?

 

Or

 

Why don't adults run around and have playtime / breaktime, as children do? Shouldn't they be given breaktime at work, where they play football, skip or simply play hide and seek? 

 

Or

 

Was I wrong to let a spider be washed down my bathroom sink today, when I was shaving, and could have easily let  it out onto the window- ledge?

 

 

 Or

 

Can anyone in your family really explain the origin of electricity and how the electric energy  in your brain works? I have been trying to with my seven year old son and have a headache. I bet computers don't get headaches!

 

 

******************************************************************************************************************************************************* Today brought this lovely poem to mind.

 

i thank You God for most this amazing

by  e e cummings

 

i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any—lifted from the no of all nothing—human merely being doubt unimaginable You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 

Why shouldn't taxpayers know what the Queen says to people, if we feel entitled to know what the Prime Minister says? Isn't the way she is treated undemocratic?

 Or

More people die from horse-riding than boxing; ...does that mean that if boxing should be banned, so should horse-riding?

Or

Does Donald Trump's possible rising to power show the good in democracy or the fatal weakness?

Or

How can you rationally decide what counts as a morally appropriate wage for: Gary Lineker, Graham Norton, Fiona Bruce, Wayne Rooney or Adele? Should Rooney or Lineker be paid more than David Cameron?

Or

Why is constantly making fun of a male politician's hair and interpreting it, considered acceptable, but doing the same of a female politician's, deemed sexist and offensive? 

  

Either

Would aliens understand why we have pets? Do you? How can anyone take gerbils seriously? (With apologies to my y4 sets!)

Or

Do flies know that they are flying?

Or

Captain America Civil War? Captain America; total bore?

Why are so many films like this being made when the characters are just so obviously silly? (OK: I admit I quite liked Antman.)

Or

Are marathons more about mental strength than physical strength? How can we define will power?

 Paul's Puzzles April 22nd

Either

If we found out that monkeys thought about God, how would/should that change our attitude to putting them in cages, or experimenting on them?

Or

If it is true that we can understand how birds talk to each other, is it possible they have worked out how we do? 

Or

If my brain is really running some kind of computer programme, who wrote the code? Is there one super-coder responsible for all the sub codes?  If it is nature, are you saying that coding is the result of random processes?

Or

Is Minecraft more important than Mozart?

Or

Could you  programme a robot to be free? Could you programme a robot to think it were free, when it wasn't? Which is the smarter programme?

Either

Will computers ever be able to write convincing novels? If you say yes, does that mean we should not praise writers so much;  or we should praise programmers of the future even more than novelists!?

 Or

How is it possible for characters in novels to be as 'real' as real people? (Oliver Twist and David Copperfield  are as real to me as the boys I read the novel with at school !)

Or

How is it possible to re-read a novel, if the words have the same meanings?

Or

What happens to the characters in a novel when you close the book having read the last page? Where is Matilda now? Is the Giraffe still dancing?

Paul's Puzzles Feb 26th 2016

 

Either

Why did human beings start to write poetry? How does it help us evolve?

Or

Why do people worry so much about their haircuts?

Or

Will science ever explain why eating my ripe melon at lunch today gave me such a sense of joyfulness? I felt so alive, yet it is such a simple act. The colour of and eating of beetroot, bizarrely does the same!

Or

Elusive, effusive, allusive, illusive; invasive, evasive….how can little marks and ciphers, on paper, trigger the mind so effectively with so much MEANING? (Rig, Rug, Rag, Big, Bug, Bag, Bog, Hive, Live, Love, Lobe, Be, Bee, Been……..) 

 

Either

Do I really know how a battery works? Do you?

 Or

Is it possible that trees might have feelings?

 Or

If there is theoretically an infinite number of universes, is there theoretically a large number of them containing Stephen Hawkings and Brian Coxs… discussing the possibility?

 Or

Can we genuinely understand what it must be like to be a Bowhead whale? (And you thought bats were baffling!)

The bowhead whale is second only in size to the mighty blue whale. Its enormous bow-shaped mouth, the largest mouth of any animal, contains a baleen measuring three metres. The 300 plates filter out the tiny crustaceans from the water which make up its diet. Discoveries of ancient ivory and stone harpoon heads in the flesh of individuals suggest bowhead whales may live for more than 100 years, possibly up to 200 years. This would make them the longest lived mammal known.

Either 

('Think big-your brain can store 4.7bn books' … Headline: front page of The Times)

 How can brain cells ‘store’ ideas? (The more I try to think about it, the stranger and baffling it seems. My brain is so physically small, but what is ‘stores’ seems so big! Could someone put my memories on a memory ‘stick’?

 Or

 ‘Mystery of wandering man with no memory’; headline in Times p.23!

 How can you be sure your memories are your memories? If you lost all your memories, would you still be you? How would you know?!

 Or

 Why is it that I can remember some German words without seeming to be trying and yet some won’t…’stick’, however hard I try?

 Or

 Does my dog, Fred, remember his ‘puppyhood’ as I remember my ‘childhood’? (Does he recognise pictures of himself as a puppy?)

 *******************************************************************************************************************

Great is the power of memory, a fearful thing, a deep and boundless manifoldness; and this thing is the mind, and this I am myself. What am I then? What is my nature? A life various and manifold, and exceeding immense. Look, the plains and caves and caverns of my memory are innumerable and innumerably full of innumerable kinds of things, either through images, as all bodies; or by actual presence, as in knowledge of the arts; or by certain notions or impressions, as the emotions and feelings of the mind which—even when the mind does not feel—the memory retains. And whatever is in the memory is also in the mind—over all these different memories I run or I fly: I dive into memories on this side and on that, reaching as far as I can, and there is no end to them. So great is the force of memory, so great the force of life, even in the mortal life of man.

***********************************************************************************************************************

St Augustine

Either

Can pop music really have the significance suggested by the near hysterical reaction and praise of David Bowie? I am a fan; I was genuinely sad,  but, did he really merit the TV & press coverage he received?

Or

Star Wars; Star Bores! Should parents be fined for encouraging another generation of children to have their minds warped by such a silly epic and bank accounts emptied to buy silly squeaky robots?

Or

Can we really explain the pure and simply pleasure of looking at Christmas lights when you first switch them on, while the rest of the room is dark? Or fireworks? (Are they perhaps evoking folk memories of the Big Bang?)

Or

Can you really understand what it is to have a sense of smell? There seems no reason why things smell... as they do to us? (If you think this trivial , just consider for a minute the fascinating use of sniffer dogs by the police, and medics.) 

Either

Is it really possible that men and women have different kinds of mind or are they made to believe they have?

 Or

 Does refusing to use a nuclear weapon, in any circumstances, show moral courage or moral cowardice?

 Or

'If we truly understand the 'meaning of Christmas, shouldn't we donate all our Christmas present money to charity?'

'Donating all our Christmas present money to charity, will lead to massive unemployment at Christmas, for those who make Christmas presents?'

Is there a way to deal with this dilemma beloved of those economists who scorn religious simplicity? 

 Or

Does Santa Claus prove that men can multi-task, contrary to their reputation?

Either

Is it really possible that men and women have different kinds of mind or are they made to believe they have?

 Or

 Does refusing to use a nuclear weapon, in any circumstances, show moral courage or moral cowardice?

 Or

 

'If we truly understand the 'meaning of Christmas, shouldn't we donate all our Christmas present money to charity?'

'Donating all our Christmas present money to charity, will lead to massive unemployment at Christmas, for those who make Christmas presents?'

 Is there a way to deal with this dilemma beloved of those economists who scorn religious simplicity? 

 Or

 Does Santa Claus prove that men can multi-task, contrary to their reputation?

Either

Is it really possible that men and women have different kinds of mind or are they made to believe they have?

 Or

 Does refusing to use a nuclear weapon, in any circumstances, show moral courage or moral cowardice?

 Or

 

'If we truly understand the 'meaning of Christmas, shouldn't we donate all our Christmas present money to charity?'

'Donating all our Christmas present money to charity, will lead to massive unemployment at Christmas, for those who make Christmas presents?'

 Is there a way to deal with this dilemma beloved of those economists who scorn religious simplicity? 

 Or

 Does Santa Claus prove that men can multi-task, contrary to their reputation?

Why are we not astonished, daily, by birds and insects', (...even ants') ability to navigate so well and without refuelling mid-flight? (We need Satnav and petrol! If I disappeared for a few weeks and was filmed migrating across an ocean somebody would comment.)

 Or

We think the Tardis odd & amazing  because it is bigger on the inside, than on the outside: but are not our brains the most amazing version of a Tardis? And, we can time travel in them when we write and dream? (Our minds are  so much bigger than our heads!)

 Or

 

 

 

 

 

All Tim Vine Originals.

 

How can the same letters/sounds MEAN something so different? Will computers ever get these jokes or be progammed to understand them?

 Or

If I don't know the name of a colour, am I actually seeing/perceiving it?

 

Acid green

Aero

Aero blue

African violet

Air

Air Force blue (USAF)

Air superiority blue

Alabama crimson

Alice blue

Alien Armpit

Alizarin crimson

Alloy orange

Almond

Amaranth

Amaranth deep purple

Amaranth pink

Amaranth purple

Amaranth red

Amazon

Amber

American rose

Amethyst

Android green

Anti-flash white

Antique brass

Antique bronze

Antique fuchsia

Antique ruby

Antique white

Ao (English)

Apple green

Apricot

Aqua

Aquamarine

Arctic lime

Army green

Arsenic

Artichoke

Arylide yellow

Ash grey

Asparagus

Atomic tangerine

Auburn

Aureolin

AuroMetalSaurus

Avocado

Aztec Gold

Azure

Azure (web color)

   

Either

Is it possible that some people are 'joke-blind' in the way that some people are 'colour blind'? (S/he just doesn't get it!; the joke-penny never drops?)

Or

 

Why do some landscapes make us tingle with a sense of awe? Is this an animal reaction or 'human' reaction?(With apologies to my RS set.)

Or

How do you explain  the piquancy and sheer joy of a melting Malteser in the mouth. (Had one the other day, and it was as delightful as lunch at the Ivy! I feel the same with Quavers which combine tastiness and nostalgia....)

Or

Am I  mad  to be sad about the lone late November wasp which has haunted my office these past two days; or the spider I accidently washed down my sink this morning when shaving?

(Kierkegaard said that the mere being of a fly terrified him..)

Or

Bonus film buff question for Hunger Games Fans

What explains the power of Katniss Everdeen over adults and boys and girls' imagination. ? Isn't she far more interesting than

Harry Potter or Alex Rider, or James Bond?? 

 

Either

Is it wrong for me to spend more on my dog Fred's pet food than I do on helping starving refugees?

Or

Is spin bowling a proof for the existence of God? Surely, nothing so exquisite and so trivial (and so causally efficacious) could be the result of chance?

Or

Is it scientifically possible that we really are the only intelligent conscious life in the universe? What makes that an unscientific claim? Why is it credible to claim that it is obvious that there are so many others that we should not be surprised by us? (Why don't these n's/millions of other intelligences make themselves known to us?)

Or

Is it possible to imagine a world where Jose Mourinho's luck will really run out and Arsene Wenger's actually kick in?

Does it  make sense to say we make our  own luck?

Either

Aren't the real 'tricks and treats' during Halloween that supermarkets (and other outlets) trick children and  parents out of pocket money, while  they make absurd profits with overpriced and pointless things? Surely the money should be given to worthier causes?

Or

Are we naive to believe that the security services and police don't already monitor all our web browsing and phone calls?

Or

Isn't James Bond about the worst kind of role model for us to look up to?  (...Would a Jenny Bond be any better?)

Or

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things....
It is difficult even to choose the adjective
For this blank cold, this sadness without cause...

~Wallace Stevens

Is it possible to fully explain why nature affects our moods so powerfully? It seems to have a piercing, poignant, poetic impact of its own.

Two beautiful renditions of Schubert's (Autumn) Herbst!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7bE5QCoxmM

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oJWk3DschM

Either

Is it possible that we are genetically programmed to like poetry? How would you prove it?

 Or

 Is it true that some poems cannot be translated between languages? If so, does that mean that some thoughts are unique to different languages?

 Or

 Could we programme a computer to enjoy and feel the pleasure of a great metaphor or simile; won't it just translate the meaning but miss the joy? ( The philosopher feels upon his cheek the tear whereof he cannot speak...)

 Or

 What's the best definition of poetry you have ever heard?

 

My favourite poem is below!

 

On a Drop of Dew 

 

See how the orient dew,

 

Shed from the bosom of the morn

 

Into the blowing roses,

 

Yet careless of its mansion new,

 

For the clear region where ’twas born

 

Round in itself incloses:

 

And in its little globe’s extent,

 

Frames as it can its native element.

 

How it the purple flow’r does slight,

 

Scarce touching where it lies,

 

But gazing back upon the skies,

 

Shines with a mournful light,

 

Like its own tear,

 

Because so long divided from the sphere.

 

Restless it rolls and unsecure,

 

Trembling lest it grow impure,

 

Till the warm sun pity its pain,

 

And to the skies exhale it back again.

 

So the soul, that drop, that ray

 

Of the clear fountain of eternal day,

 

Could it within the human flow’r be seen,

 

Remembering still its former height,

 

Shuns the sweet leaves and blossoms green,

 

And recollecting its own light,

 

Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express

 

The greater heaven in an heaven less.

 

In how coy a figure wound,

 

Every way it turns away:

 

So the world excluding round,

 

Yet receiving in the day,

 

Dark beneath, but bright above,

 

Here disdaining, there in love.

 

How loose and easy hence to go,

 

How girt and ready to ascend,

 

Moving but on a point below,

 

It all about does upwards bend.

 

Such did the manna’s sacred dew distill,

 

White and entire, though congealed and chill,

 

Congealed on earth : but does, dissolving, run

 

Into the glories of th’ almighty sun.

 

  

 

Andrew Marvell

 

 

Either

If you could clone yourself, would you? If the process were successful, who made the decision?

 

Or

If people are impressed,  for the right reasons, by the Pope driving a Fiat, do these reasons for being impressed make it a duty for the Papacy to sell all its painting and palaces and give the money to house the poor? If not, why not?

 

( If you have not seen the film, The Shoes of the Fisherman,  maybe now is an interesting moment...) 

 

Or

 

I am convinced my dog Fred was sad and wistful last night? Is that really possible or am I imagining it? (Was he troubled  by the de-selection of Ford, or something less important such as: 'Why is a dog's lifespan so short compared to their owners'?

 

Or

 

In a documentary watched by Y8 this week, we were told that you cannot be a member of the Papal Swiss Guard, if you are under 174 cm (5 8.5 Ft)? If this is true, should we insist that future Popes are at least 174 cm tall. (That rules me out!)

Either

Is it a sign of rudeness or a sign of integrity for a politician not to bow before the Queen , if he does not believe in the monarchy?

Or

If there is an infinite number of universes does that mean there is an infinite amount of pain or infinite amount of joy.

 Or

What is the difference between happiness and joy?

 Or

Any thing can have a different name in another language: cerveza ; Beer?

Does that mean that the names of things is 'sort of' random? Does that matter?

 

Either

 

If an athlete sincerely repents and apologises for having cheated in, for example, athletics or cricket, should they be given a second chance? Surely a life ban goes against decent notions of forgiveness?

 

Or 

 

Is it really possible to comprehend a sentence such as: '...About 400 million years after the Big Bang, the universe began to emerge from the cosmic dark ages during the epoch of reionization.' *****

 

 (I was watching a documentary last night and my mind was numbed!)

 

Or

 

If you were making Inside/Out 2, what would you add to: Fear; Anger; Disgust; Joy and Sadness?  (Ennui??)

 

 Or

 

How is it possible to make plastic/plasticine creatures such as Wallace and Grommit or Pingu so genuinely moving?

 

 (Quoted  on Last Night's Horizon!!

 

Can you really imagine being transformed into a mouse, as happens to the main character in The Witches?  If you cannot, does that show lack of imagination or that you really do have imagination? What about being transformed into ant? A turtle???

Or

Could it ever be justified to worry more seriously about the destruction of an historic building or work or art, than the death and destruction of a human being? 

Or

Why are ping-pong/table-tennis balls so wilful and irritating Is it possible that they are possessed; or programmed by evil spirits to elude our grasp?

Or

Why are the waves of the sea so mesmerising and sleeping,  where we can hear the sea, so deeply relaxing?

 

Either:

Does it really matter how many species there are? Surely it is the quality, not the quantity that is important?

Or

Why are English people so obsessed by the weather?

Or

How would you prove that someone (something)  is NOT  a sophisticated Android or Robot? (Mums and dads watching Humans or the new  Terminator  film may submit answers too!)

Or

If you had to decide whether to live 200 years ago, in the past, or 200 years in the future, which would you choose?

 

Either

Does the Queen really have a right to use taxpayers money to rewire Buckingham Palace?

Or

Should medals in sport be awarded for effort rather than achievement? If I find it easy to run 100m, do I deserve more praise than someone who runs hard but finds it hard?

Or

Why do Minions make us laugh so much? They are crazy!

Or

How do I explain what a ‘currency’ is to my 6 year old son? (Euro, Pound, Dollar?) If you think it is a trivial question, just you try! (It was difficult enough explaining how radios work! Or electric current!)

 

Either

Why is everyone  expressing such  surprise that football is run by corrupt people?  Just look at all the cheating which goes on, on the pitch: why expect a miracle off it? 

Or 

How do you decide what counts as a fair wage for an MP? Should they be paid more, or less than a Headteacher or Midwife? 

Or 

Is it possible to treat seriously someone who wants to re-legalise fox hunting? If so; consider the following question:  If a large fox successfully hunted a small human being in an area agreed to be overpopulated, should it be celebrated for its sense of freedom of action and tolerance of different ways of having fun? 

Or

Why is jazz so cool? Can God predict every move of a really classy jazz pianist? How??? 

Or 

Is the fact that computers can beat our best chess players significant? Does it indicate that there will be a time in thenear future when we will be less intelligent than machines we have created? Or, is chess in some profound sense trivial or pointless?

 

Either

If an event is random, can there be a reason for its being random? If so, is it really random?

Or

Could monkeys ever take over the world?

Or

How would you explain the importance of songs and singing to an alien who had no ears or vocal chords?

Or

How can science explain the joy of watching a good Test Match? Isn't cricket's beauty and utter pointlessness a proof for the existence of God?

 

EITHER


Can The Times today be right in claiming that a goldfish’s attention span is longer than an average human being’s? (9 seconds versus 8!)

OR

Can any painting really be worth 179 million dollars? Does the sale price say more about money and greed than artistic merit and artistic values?

OR
Does the way Kevin Pietersen is being treated show the honourable nature of cricket or its spitefulness?

OR
Is it possible to truly imagine being a bumble bee: ...from the inside? (With apologies to T Nagel and Monty Python)

OR
Do you smell the same overwhelmingly beautiful scent of summer blossom as I do? (How do you really know? Does the bumble bee?)

 

 

Either

If 50 % of voters were women, should 50% of MPs be women?

Or

Is it really fair if you get 3,875,409 votes, but only one seat/MP in parliament? Is it fair if you get 1,454,436 and 56 seats/MPs in parliament?

Or

If I can enlist in the army aged 16, doesn’t it follow that I should be able to vote at 16? Surely if I can die for my country, I should be able to vote in my country?

Or

If juries are selected at random, (and we trust and assume they will be just and reasonable), might it be sensible to trial selecting MPs at random and pay them a convincing salary to do the job?

 

Either

If there were no physical universe would there still be numbers? (For example: there is no ((0); zero) universe?) Could numbers exist before/predate the Big Bang? Are numbers invisible, but real? If they are visible, how are they seen?

(Thanks to the boys in Y4 Thursday  puzzle club for these.)

Or

How can we explain Shakespeare's genius? Do we act his plays, or do his plays act us?

(Congratulations to all the boys and staff for the wonderfully satisfying production of Romeo and Juliet.)

Or

Given that we are one of the few countries where voting really can affect who governs us, should we fine people for not voting, or perhaps ban them from voting at the next election? 

Or

Are we  testing  the mettle of our politicians by the way we grill and challenge them, or are we bullying them?

 Or

How far does a football  manager's success depend on the psychological  games he plays off the field. (For example, José Mourihno's defining 'boring' as  Arsenal's not winning the league for 10 years!)

 

Either
 
Do animals look at clouds, or waves or the awesome night sky with a sense of wonder as we do? Do eagles get exhilarated  when flying or do we dream that they do? (Fleas??; Midges????)
 
Or
 
Is there a moment when you are growing up when you become the person you will be for the rest of your life; or, can you always change at some point?
 
Or
 
Will we ever invent a brain scanner which could look just at my brain and tell what tune I am humming silently to myself? Would it have been able to hear Mozart's musical thoughts?
 
Or
 
What do birds think when they see aeroplanes, helicopters or drones flying past? Do they know they are machines?
 
Or
 
Is being clever a matter of luck?

 

Either

Why is dancing such fun? Can you really be born with a sense of rhythm?

Or

Shouldn't the mysterious feeling we experience when thinking about, and watching an eclipse, make us realise that, if we are honest, we don't really comprehend that much about our universe and the cycles of time it involves? Are you really that much closer to the truth than ancient men and women baffled and awestruck by the waves of the ocean and majesty of the night sky?

Or

I -phone, therefore I am! Is it possible to be a person in the 21st century without owning a mobile phone?

Or

Is it possible to measure the length and time the duration of a thought? Do thoughts have dimensions or coordinates? (How can something be on the tip of your tongue...?)

Or

Can I explain convincingly (even to myself) how a radio works? (... Really; really!)

Or

Why does time feel so odd and different when you are on a train, especially if you are seated against the direction of travel?

Or

When we think of Easter eggs, why are we not more surprised by how chicks emerge from their eggs? Isn't it fascinating? (Familiarity breeds contempt?)

 

Either

Can you really learn anything significant about a politician from their kitchens?

Or

Is there any justification for dog shows like Crufts; they just strike me as mad, yet I love dogs?

Or

The sunrise this morning was a stunning eruption of orange* and I was reduced to a mixture of joy and tearful wonder: do animals ever experience this kind of response to natural events? Do dogs and cats marvel at the moon or become wistful about cherry blossom?

 (* It brought to mind Ted Hughes great poem, Horses.)

Or

What is the point of ballet? (I tried to explain my love of it to Y4 to their evident amusement and bafflement!) 

  

*Ted Hughes, The Horses

I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
Evil air, a frost-making stillness,

Not a leaf, not a bird -
A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood

Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
But the valleys were draining the darkness

Till the moorline - blackening dregs of the brightening grey -
Halved the sky ahead. And I saw the horses:

Huge in the dense grey - ten together -
Megalith-still. They breathed, making no move,

with draped manes and tilted hind-hooves,
Making no sound.

I passed: not one snorted or jerked its head.
Grey silent fragments

Of a grey silent world.

I listened in emptiness on the moor-ridge.
The curlew's tear turned its edge on the silence.

 

Either

Who first  thought of making up stories and why?

Or

Do characters in books exist once we have read them into our thoughts? (Do they exist in mental spaces in our heads or within the letters on the pages in the books themselves? What happens to them when you switch off your Kindle???)

Or

How can it be that we can cry about sad events in fiction books, yet simultaneously ignore real sad events in the real world which cry out for our tears?

Or

Will Harry Potter be thought about in a hundred years' time? If so, why???

Or

If you are short of time, isn't it better to read about real events (history, science etc., ) rather than about goblins and worms and lions and wardrobes?

Or 

Will science ever be able to explain why or how a novelist creates a character and plot? Can science explainimagination when science itself depends on it? ...Aren't scientists kinds of storytellers?

 

 

Either 

Today, a colour-blind potential parent asked what seeing green was really like? Can we really answer him?

Or

Can you be sure your dog sees green fields as you see them? (He certainly seems to smell smells differently!)

Or

Some people tell me my allergy to fish is 'all in the mind'? Is that possible? To me the feeling of sickness seems very real?

Or

He was feeling blue? She was green with envy. You are in a black mood. Are the colour words we use for emotional moods random or is there some deep reason for them? Is the future really orange or lilac?

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

– e.e. cummings

 

Either

If adverts for smoking are banned because they promote terrible addiction, why don't we ban adverts for gambling, which also create devastating addiction too? (With thanks to Nicky.)

Or

If chess became a compulsory subject, should it be within the PE/sport curriculum or Mathematics?

Or

Could you test an animal for verbal and non-verbal reasoning? If so, how? (Fetch Fido! Round-up the sheep Lassie; What was that Skippy? )

Or

If something is actually legal, is it fair to criticise someone for doing it or not doing it? (Tax avoidance , for example, or not giving to a worthy charity?)

Or

Is it wrong to send yourself a Valentine's day card, if it encourages others to and cheers you up?

 

Either

The Times, today, claims that Dutch chimpanzees have learnt how to communicate using Scottish grunts from their new location in an Edinburgh zoo: is that really true, or journalistic monkey business?

Or

Would elections be more fair if children from Y8 upwards could vote? If they are expected to listen to the local parliamentary candidates in assemblies, should they get a vote or maybe half a vote?

Or

Why  is it that people feel and experience things like temperature so differently? (Dana keeps saying my office is too cold, but to me it seems too warm and  stuffy?)

Or 

laugh

lɑːf/ verb: laugh; 3rd person present: laughs; past tense: laughed; past participle: laughed; gerund or present participle: laughing

  1. 1.

make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of derision.

"he rarely smiled or laughed"

synonyms:

guffaw, chuckle, chortle, cackle, howl, roar, hah-ha    fall about, roar/hoot with laughter, shake with laughter, be convulsed with laughter, dissolve into laughter, split one's sides, be doubled up;

What makes the way some people laugh infectious and joyful, but other people's laughter grating? Why do human beings make such strange noises and grimaces anyway in response to be being amused? (Is there a chemical that causes you to move from a smile to full blown laughter?)

Either

Why are children in the 21st century still so obsessed by dinosaurs, which apparently died out about 66,038,000 years ago - give or take 11,000 years?

Or

Can we really imagine or predict what creatures will be on the planet earth in about 66,038,000 years in the future?

Or

(Mozart started composing, aged 5.)

Will science be able to predict when another prodigy like Mozart is likely to appear, or was he just a freak?

Or

Can you imagine intelligent aliens who do not have/use numbers or maths?

Or

'Blueberry and Vanilla Scones; Chocolate Sponge served with Chocolate Custard; Plum Tarte Tatin served with cream on the side; Apple and Honey iced Buns; Raspberry Jelly Pots; Earwigs with Beetle-juice; Worms and mud custard; Ant Pie with grated spiders' legs, Aphid cheesecake with butterfly pupae jus?

Is there any important reason why we like certain foods or is taste ultimately just habits we inherit?

 

Either

Why are shops allowed to sell cigarettes when we know they kill people in huge numbers?

Or

Is it possible that bees actually know or understand that they are making hexagonal objects?

Or

Do you have to be ruthless and devious to be a great football manager? Or, is being in a rich club what really counts?

Or

Is it possible that birds, and dolphins & whales and monkeys and dogs have regional accents? If we have different languages and accents, yet the same type of bodies and mouths, might they? (With thanks to Year 4!)

 

Either

Is it really possible to have complete freedom of speech, if you really respect other people’s views?

Or

Is there any real point to chess? (How can our minds make such little wooden objects mean so much while we are playing?!)

 

Or

Why do we love fireworks so much?

 

Or

Is it right that top comedians earn more money than the President or Prime Minister?

 

Either

If Stephen Hawking is right about AI and future robots, should schools ban computing?

Or

Why don't we take the question: 'Which came first, the chicken or egg?' more seriously?

Or

Should we expect there to be laws, behind, the laws of physics and laws, behind the laws, behind the laws, of physics and laws behind, the laws behind the laws, behind the laws, behind the laws of physics?

Or

How can the Muppets' Christmas Carol make us cry almost as much as the fully human versions?

Or

How is it possible for us to see suffering, yet continue to ignore it?

 

Either

Do you have to be pompous and arrogant to become a cabinet minister or does becoming a cabinet minister make you pompous and arrogant?

Or

Did Lewis Hamilton win the World Championship... or did his car?

Or

Why do grown-ups keep giving children books about talking bears, Hobbits and (existentialist) rabbits? (Animals do NOT talk!)

Or

Was Humpty Dumpty pushed or did he fall? (...an eggcentric question from the late P D James RIP?)

Or

Could there be a life form that does not feel pain? If so, would it be happy or simply 'unfeeling'?

 

Either

 
Who is responsible for the ongoing conspiracy  to deny the obvious fact that 'tweeting' does more harm to human beings than good? 
 
Or
 
Why shouldn't parents who allow their children to become dangerously obese get fined? 
 
Or
 
Can we  ever really explain or understand why falling snowflakes are so touching and evocative?
 
Or
 Is it true that ants and termites share more information with each other than dolphins do? (How would one prove that?)

Either

Should there be a maximum age for soldiers?  If so, should it apply to Presidents? (Presidents are Commander –in-Chief.)

(N.B. Joe Biden Vice-President  is 71, Hilary Clinton is 67; Ronald Regan was 69 when he became President.)

Or

Do beards or moustaches have any purpose or point?  (If not, why has evolution not eliminated the need for shaving?)

Or

If we are on the only planet with intelligent life forms, does that make the uninhabited and sterile planets a waste of space?

Or

If there are other planets with intelligent life forms, will they have religion(s)?


Or

If you had to design something to replace the “Poppy”, but it have to be as powerful and moving, what would it be?

 

Either


Are there sounds in the universe which really exist, but which humans will never 'hear' and particles they will never discover, detect or see?


Or

Why do so many of my friends pretend that they understand what the word 'gravity' means, and how it works, when clearly they do not? (!)


Or


Why are fireworks so thrilling to watch? Why are flames so bewitching and mesmerising?



Or


What is the point of a giraffe? Are some animals simply silly? (Does it really matter if they become extinct?)

 

 

 

 

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