Saturday, 28 May 2022

Cricket. Parking nuisances! Ruins. And gun control again.

 When I went out running this morning there must have been 30 cars parked on the road - no mostly on the pavement! or half-on and half-off the pavement - on the approach to, outside and beyond the cricket club. Fortunately there is a bit of a grass verge so I was able to run there rather than in the road itself. Mind you, running on the grass leaves you susceptible to looming trees! 

There were hordes of kids on the cricket ground itself, divided into groups, with cricket games or cricket training of some kind going on. Doting parents, the owners of the large cars which were blocking my path, were sitting around applauding every so often. Busy! Busy! Lots of excitement! And they’ve got a fine day for it.

On the other side of the world, near Mérida in Mexico (not Mérida in the south of Spain) they have discovered the remains of a Mayan city full of palaces and pyramids. The photos in this article are quite impressive. Apparently archaeologists were surprised to find it so well preserved as many ruins around there have been destroyed as urban sprawl has spread. It’s on the construction site of an industrial park. I did wonder what would happen to the ruins but according to the article, although  construction will go ahead the ruins will be preserved. Let’s hope so! 

Meanwhile, in North America it seems that the last Salem witch has been pardoned. It’s only taken three centuries and a bit. In 1693 Elizabeth Johnson Jr was wrongly convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. Even though the sentence was not carried out neither was she pardoned. Now a bunch of eighth grade students in North Andover middle school, Massachusetts have done a project which involved finding out how to clear her name. And they succeeded! Hurrah!  

Now the year 1693 rang a bell for me. On one of our visits to Sicily our charming guide insisted on repeating that year to us, complete with hand gestures: 10 fingers for 1,000, 6 fingers for 600, 9 fingers for 90 and 3 fingers for 3. Why? Because 1693 was the year of a famous earthquake in Sicily. It affected an area of 2,200 square miles and caused the death of 60,000 people. 

The extent and degree of destruction caused by the earthquake resulted in the extensive rebuilding of the towns and cities of southeastern Sicily, particularly the Val de Noto, in a homogeneous late Baroque style, described as "the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe”. We have admired those restored buildings on more than one occasion. 

Now, what I want to know is, was Elizabeth Johnson Jr really a witch after all and did she cause the earthquake to happen in that fateful year 1693?

And now, back to guns. A man has been shot by police officers on Toronto Canada. He was reported wandering around with a shotgun. And police shot him dead. Everyone is a bit nervous, I suppose, even though Canada is a safer place than the USA. Canada’s rate of firearm homicides is 0.5 per 100,000 people, far lower than the US rate of 4.12, according to a 2021 analysis by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

In the USA some 55,000 people are expected to turn up for the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston. That’s an awful lot of gun-toting people. Protestors have been turning up to, agitating for changes to the law. One protestor had with her a list of 12 people she knew personally who had been shot, 2 of them, including her daughter, shot dead. Mind you, she herself is a gun owner! But she wants changes to the law. Will things change? We shall see!

I don’t own a gun. I don’t know anyone who owns a gun. I don’t know anyone who has been shot. 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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