The seasons are shifting into autumn once again. This month’s atmospheric photograph by Stuart Scott reminds us, in the words of John Keats’ Ode to Autumn, that the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us. After an extraordinary summer, we now drift through the four or five months of sleeping foliage, until the glinting yellow daffodils bring us into the promise of spring.
May central heating, log fires, overcoats and scarves keep us warm until the planet shows its Northern face closer to the sun once more, the uplifting rising heat beckoning the promise of summer all over again.
The seasons put one in mind of the forthcoming productivity that will result from the merry and fecund days of spring, which brings us to mathematics and a point in its origins. You may have been taught that the ancient Greek, Pythagoras, with his theorem, was a founder, but this is not necessarily so. It is not so well known that this fundamental relationship within a right angled triangle was uncovered by an American Indian chief in the 18th century. This enterprising chief was a keen collector of animal skins. He even imported Hippopotamus skins from Africa. There came a time when three pregnant squaws were expecting to give birth on the same day. Being a rather special conjunction, the chief offered some of his skins for the squaws to lie on during labour. His favourite squaw was laid on a prized Hippopotamus skin. For the other two, he provided buffalo skins. Come the day, all gave birth successfully and the favoured squaw produced twins which greatly pleased the chief. It was then, in a great moment of inspiration, that he realised that the sum of the squaw on the Hippopotamus was equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides - he had discovered geometry.
The topic of the month seems to be all about communications within the village. The digital world has evolved rapidly since your editor took on the mission to expand this parish magazine’s information content via the printing presses. Fiona Penn, with support from Maggi Bevan and Simon Shaw has kindly assembled a couple of pages to inform readers who are not necessarily aware of all the village communication channels that have developed in recent years. Village pages on Facebook, instant news on Twitter and use of our website are enabling more immediate forms of communications from day to day about what’s happening around us all. If you have a moment to feed back your impressions and needs through the survey offered, that will be most welcome.
No sooner has the magnificent summer eased into autumn that Christmas is already hoving into view. which is always a shock. It’s time to get those shopping lists together once again