Spectacular doesn’t even begin to describe some of these images!
Here’s my absolute favourite:
This image, entitled ‘Questions’, was taken by New Zealand based photographer Paul Wilson. (Check out his other photos by the way, they are simply mind-blowing!)
Looking at the galaxies above us, one cannot help but wonder how all of this came into existence. All this beauty in the universe, all this majesty, surely it must exist for a reason. I know this is a deeply personal question, one that depends, to a large extent, on your faith and how you view the world around you. For me though, the answer is clear.
The Holy Quran states:
There truly are signs in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the alternation of night and day, for those with understanding, who remember God standing, sitting, and lying down, who reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth: ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose—You are far above that!—so protect us from the torment of the Fire.’
Near to this site stood the King’s houses later known as Beaumont Palace
King Richard I was born here in 1157 and King John in 1167
If you walk down Beaumont Street from the Ashmolean Museum towards Worcester College, you may come across a small pillar near the junction with Walton Street. It’s partly hidden by bushes, but you can just about see it in the image from Google Street View below (on the right side of the picture, next to the man walking on the pavement):
Originally built in the early 12th century by Henry I outside the north gate of Oxford, Beaumont Palace was partly dismantled following the Reformation. What remains of the palace was eventually torn down in the laying out of Beaumont Street in 1829.
All that’s left now is a pillar, and memories of times long past.
It’s that time of the year again! Payback for all the instances you were picked last when choosing teams. Redemption for all the missed kicks, headers, and tackles when you were a kid. A chance for nerds everywhere to finally prove their worth on the football field. Fantasy Football, that is…
If you’re interested in learning about mathematically-optimal strategies for Fantasy Football (and who isn’t?), here’s a lecture on the topic given by Josh Bull from the Mathematical Institute at Oxford.
You may rightly ask, what do scientists/geeks/nerds know about Fantasy Football anyway? Actually, more than you might think. Josh, for example, won the 2019-2020 Premier League Fantasy Football competition, partly using mathematical modelling strategies carried over from his work on cancer cells.
As Jack Black says (or sings) in the School of Rock:
Math is a wonderful thing Math is a really cool thing So get off your act let’s do some math Math, math, math, math, math
Admittedly, it’s strange to see Oxford so quiet this time of the year. Strange, but also nice in a certain way, because it’s often difficult to appreciate how beautiful the place is when there are a million tourists around.
Anyway, here are some pictures from my walk yesterday (click/tap on a picture to see the full size image):