Friday, December 21, 2007

(242) The Lady in the Water

On July 20th 2008 I visited Cala Cortina beach, a couple of kilometres from my home.

I chatted with a Spanish lady called Florentina who had once before helped me there with my attempts to acquire Spanish.
After a while she was joined by a friend whom she introduced as "Encarnita".

I remarked that there were many religious names in Spanish culture, and that this sounded like a soul in a body - "Una alma en un cuerpo".

She laughed and agreed.

Presently I fetched an English/Spanish dictionary from the car and our informal lesson stumbled along until I bid the ladies farewell.

At home that evening I sifted through our desultory collection of DVDs until my eye alighted on one which I had noticed several times but never yet watched: La Joven del Agua.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_in_the_Water

Plot summary

After falling beside the swimming pool of an apartment building, the caretaker, Cleveland Heep, is rescued by a mysterious girl named Story. Cleveland tells her that she must return home, and takes her outside for fresh night air. Something in the bushes growls, waking Story up, and chases them. She screams all the way to his door.
In Heep´s apartment, Story discovers his journal, and in it his secret; that he was once a medical doctor but gave it up – along with his sense of purpose – after his wife and child were murdered.

While talking to a young Korean tenant, Young-Soon Choi, Cleveland asks her the meaning of "narf", a term Story uses to name herself. Young-Soon replies, that in an old Korean fairy tale such a creature occurs, but she has forgotten it. With the help of her mother and Young-Soon herself as translator, Heep finds out that narf is a rare type of sea nymph or water-faerie. A narf is occasionally sent from the "Blue World" to "awaken" a human (called a "vessel") who will help change the world for the better. He also learns there are creatures that try to kill any narf that leaves its world, called "Scrunts". In order to control these and other spirits, there are laws in our world upheld by three bloodthirsty creatures called "Tartutic", which are the only things scrunt fear.

Heep then asks Story for the description of her human "vessel". She says it is a writer and that once she finds her vessel, she can be returned home by a large eagle called "The Great Eatlon".

Heep asks tenants if they are writers. A man called Dury is completing a crossword and asks out loud for the answer to the clue "In human form; 9 letters". A few moments later he hits upon it; "Incarnate!"
Heep wonders if this could be the writer he seeks, and says that Dury is very good with words.
He replies that it is only with crosswords.

His son then says that he is at Grandmaster level, and that one day he too will be.

Heep eventually finds out that Vick (played by writer and director M. Night Shyamalan) is presently writing, but suffers from writer's block. Believing that he has found Story's vessel, he arranges a meeting between the two. When he meets Story, Vick feels an "awakening" that clears his mind and allows him to complete his book, which is a compendium of his apparently clear-sighted political paradigm. Story's task now accomplished, she is free to return to the Blue World.
As she attempts to go home, a Scrunt attacks, breaking the law, and badly injures her.

With the help of some humans who, according to the story, have special powers which may aid a distressed narf, Story is healed, and The Great Eatlon carries her back to the Blue World.


I watched the DVD through but was not very taken with it.
Yet my attention was caught by some coincidences.

The first to grab my attention were, naturally, to do with the crossword -

(1) Nine letter word for "In human form".
´Incarnate´ and the Spanish ´Encarnita´ both fit, but Encarnita is a familar form of the lady´s true name; Encarnacion,

and
(2) He is at Grandmaster level.
I am one at chess. There is no such thing as a crossword Grandmaster.

But then I go on to note -

(3) The lady in the water.

and
(4) A sea nymph.

Encarnita was on the beach.

(5) Cove

The name of the apartment block in and around which the whole film is set is The Cove.

Cala Cortina means Curtain Bay. But the type of bay it is could also quite accurately be described as a cove.

Then
(6) Writer´s block.
As this Blog (and particularly the last few years) show, I was apt to encounter about nine record-worthy coincidences per annum. (Many of the examples are verifiable.)

But I had noted to my wife a few weeks before the events of this example that I had gone some nine months now without an outstanding coincidence (although it was true that I had perhaps met with three or four in that period which could yet come to fruition).

I wondered what might lie behind the drought.

In the film the role of vessel is played by writer and director M. Night Shyamalan, and his meeting with the sea nymph cures his writer´s block, just as my coincidence drought came to an end that day, enabling me to add more to my Blog.

On July 24th 2008 another (smallish) one arrived thus: -

I noted through the Statcounter at this Blog who had been viewing it and saw that on July 24th 2008 one viewer had arrived via entering ´Tim Vaughan-Hughes´ into a search engine. (See Entries 233 and 93.)

Following, through curiosity, the same entry, I discovered that it throws up references to a writer of whom I had not previously heard; Pip Vaughan-Hughes.

One of these read -

Amazon.co.uk: Relics: Pip Vaughan-Hughes: Books -
Relics by Pip Vaughan-Hughes is a decent a debut novel and an entertaining start to .... Similar in standard and genre to the Tim Severin 'Viking' trilogy. ...

Tim Severin was a name I only knew through having worked with Brian Watkins at Cornhill Publications in 1992, the same time as I worked with Tim Vaughan-Hughes.

Brian said that Severin was his brother and an adventurer and sea voyager, á la Thor Heyerdahl, whom Brian told me Tim had met.

Through this Google hit I discovered that he had now recently turned his hand to writing fiction.

(7) The date

The Lady In the Water was also reportedly responsible for the director´s break-up with Disney, whose Buena Vista Pictures produced and distributed his previous films.

The tumultouous behind-the-scenes drama was detailed in Michael Bamberger's 2006 book The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale.

The publication date of that book was also, like the date of my coincidences, July 20th: July 20th 2006. That was a deliberate date, the opening weekend of the film itself being 21-23 July (2006) in the United States.

Shyamalan, who credits the development of the movie to a bedtime story he told his children about what happens in their pool at night, wrote the 72-page children's book Lady in the Water: A Bedtime Story (Little, Brown, New York, ISBN 0-316-01734-5) to coincide with the movie.

It was released on the same day as the film, July 21, 2006.

(241) The Internet Chess Club handles

In September 9 2007 I was chatting with Andy Kitchlew on the Internet Chess Cub http://www.chessclub.com/
whilst I used the handle Parsifal and he his real name.
I mentioned something very peculiar which had happened to me on the ICC years earlier - at least five.
There were over 20,000 registered handles at the club.
One evening, in a distracted manner, I began typing in random small letter sequences just to see if any happened to be real registered handles of any ICC members.
To find out any information which members might have chosen to reveal about themselves you typed in "Finger so-and-so", e.g.
http://www.chessclub.com/finger/Parsifal
Almost all drew blanks. But then to my astonishment I found that typing in the computer command
"Finger dmmg" not only hit upon a real handle but the accompanying note said that it was that of Andy Kitchlew!

On September 9th 2007 I at last got around to asking Kitchlew the explanation of this mystery.
He explained that he had bought the PC from a mutual acquaintance, David Gunter, and that the handle was his old one.
It was the initials of his name.
Thus my dabbling had hit upon the unlikely handle of not just one but two friends.

(240) Q+A

At 10:46 a.m. on September 25th 2007 I contributed, as Parsifal, to this thread

CHANGE & ADAPT OR BECOME EXTINCT???

at the General Chat section of the torrevieja.co.uk forum.

imyaman Posted: Sep 25, 2007 7:34 am
Recently, I saw a discussion prog on TV, relating so called global warming to consumption. Thats the fart of a cow contained more CO2 than your cars emission for one day not to mention all nuclear explosions & wat effect they've had etc. That these new criteria were being put down to consumption by an ever increasing population world wide demanding more from a finite resourse, there was something that came to mind viz our animal kingdom. That is survival. Races, species, plants etc all become extinct if they dont adapt & have new species or survival of those that can adapt to new environmental conditions. If this were the case, why get involved in other countries problems who have failed to adapt? Should we be sending missionaries etc or leavce to their own way????

Parsifal Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:47 am
Adapting as part of survival is not an observed fact; it is a supposition prioduced by Darwinists to support their creation myth.
But then there are NO other observed facts to support the Darwinian theory.
The simplest of all organisms is, of course, one cell.
Monocellular bacteria survive ANYWHERE on Earth; in the Sahara, the arctic, the Himalayas, the ocean depths.
The idea that the blue whale, the aardvark or the human being are each adapted to suit their niche and have evolved to fit those is just nonsense.
But then, all of the rest of Darwinism is nonsense too. Harmless nonsense...

kevin tyler Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:23 am
you keep going on that darwin was wrong james, what is your theory? i like the theory that all human life began in africa, and that if it wasnt for differing doses of sunshine and migration to warmer and colder climes, we would all be the same size shape and colour.

Parsifal Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:46 am
Fair enough, Kevin: i think Darwinism is a specious but ultimately baseless creation myth.
What is advanced to support it looks like evidence, but collapses when subjected to critique.
The only alternative explanation ever advanced - and one to which I personally subscribe - is that God went ZAP!
But, since there are an enormous number of problems with that idea, too, and since I don´t greatly care, and since Richard Dawkins is absolutely right in claiming that it ought to be possible for an omnipotent God to do His own proving of His existence, I do not get my knickers in a twist about people believing in silly Darwinist ideas.
It´s the other extreme who suppress people because of their gender or sexuality or who fly aircraft deliberately into buildings, and they are the ones who ought to concern us.
Not the harmless Darwinists.
I do get worked up about misczrriages of legal justice, such as the conviction of the Millionaire Three. MIsassessments of scientific evidence trouble me far less, Kev

I then went into an adjacent room and saw that a book I had ordered had just arrived in the mail.
It was Q+A by Vikas Swarup,

http://www.google.es/search?sourceid=navclient&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLJ,GGLJ:2006-38,GGLJ:es&q=Q%2bA+book+Vikas+Swarup

and I had been moved to buy it by a reference to its being the source of the screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire (see Entry 238).

On reading the book I was struck by certain coincidences it contained.

For instance:

a) It begins with a man relating how he has been incorrectly arrested for winning the top prize on a TV quiz show.

I, almost single-handedly, had championed the defence of Charles Ingram, who was also incorrectly arrested (and indeed convicted) for winning the top prize on such a show.
The format of this quiz is almost identical to that of the modern Who Wants To Be A Millionare?, in that Millionaire? had recently altered so that now only 12 correct answers to questions, as opposed to the previous 15, were needed to win the top prize.
The show in the book was also one of 12 questions to the Billion Rupees top prize.

b) The contestant was able to answer those questions not through book learning but rather via events and coincidences he has undergone. It is success founded upon such empiricism which arouses the suspicions of the programme makers.

I myself was only able to answer my 8th question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? -

In what county are the standing stones of Avebury? -

through having them pointed out to me by Bob Woffinden when misdirecting him back to the M4 after our visit to Charles and Diana Ingram in September 2005.
(See Entry 224).

c) The central character of Q+A, Ram Mohammed Thomas, is helped out with the answer to his second question by the host, who explains that it would not look great if a competitor were to go home empty handed.

In the same week as I read that I also read, at http://www.torrevieja.co.uk/ , that Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi of pop group Status Quo, had just been given a second bite of the cherry after having given an incorrect answer to a chess question, when playing for charity on WWTBAM?.

Their 500 Pounds question was -
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/article262762.ece http://music.guardian.co.uk/rocItalick/story/0,,2203257,00.html

d) The Apollo 13 theme
My own appearance on Millionaire? is detailed in Entry 224, where I also write of how my inability to get a video of Apollo 13 to play a couple of months before the show was what prevented me from being able to answer my £500,000 question.
Incidentally, the very fact that I was trying to watch the video was something of a misdemeanour on my part, as my wife and son had gone out for the day to an area 30 miles or so to the south to which we had aspirations to move in the event of my winning a good sum, and where indeed we were to move the following year.

I was supposed to be left to do general knowledge study for the show.

But instead, with characteristic laziness, I decided to just watch a video.

In Q+A there is a reference to Apollo 13, e.g. on page 87 -

´Just then the central spotlight goes out, plunging me and Prem Kumar into darkness.
"Oops! Houston we have a problem," says Prem Kumar. The audience laughs. I don´t get the joke.
"What did you just say?" I ask Prem Kumar.
"Oh, that is a famous line from the film Apollo Thirteen. I am sure you don´t see English films.
You use this line when you suddenly have a major problem, and we do have a major problem here. The show cannot proceed till we fix the spotlight." ´

But the line was not initially one from the film: it was a real statement, actually spoken from the stricken spacecraft, on April THIRTEENTH 1970.

It was later included in the screenplay.

It emerges that the show´s makers now want Ram out, and the host whispers to him that this next question will be unanswerable for a mere "waiter" like himself.
But, via an earlier event in his life, he is able to answer that ´Pluto´ is the smallest planet in the solar system.

I was stopped by an astronomical question (see Entry 224).

I note also that, re lights going out in the novel, they did go out, both in the home of the Phone-A-Friend and in the studio, when I appeared as a contestant in 2000 (see Entry 170).

And then right at the book´s end, in the chapter headed The Thirteenth Question, as Ram susses that there are going to be snags apropos his getting the billion rupees he just won, he observes

Houston, I think we have a problem.

The reason that there is a thirteenth question is that the makers of the show have attempted to con the player by first telling him the answer to the twelth and last question, and then making out that it was a dummy question.

I also answered thirteen questions.

In the quizzing community of the UK, those who won 250,000 Pounds on Millionaire are sometimes termed members of the ´Thirteen Club´.
And, as seven people had won 500,000 Pounds on the show prior to my win, and four had legitimately won the million, that made me supposedly the twelth highest prizewinner up to that point.
But, as many entries in this Blog make clear, I believed that Major Charles Ingram had won the million Pounds prize fairly.
So, if Ingram were innocent, then I was actually the Thirteenth highest prize winner ever.

Later in 2006 , of course, I would become formally acknowledged as the Thirteenth highest prize winner when someone else won the Million: INGRAM Wilcox.
And there is also this Apollo link, which brought Jon Ronson to write his piece for The Guardian of April 19th 2003 -

... when Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and... Tecwen Whittock, were charged with attempting to cheat... Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?... , my mother called me to say, "You know them! You were at school with... Diana Ingram's brothers, Adrian and Marcus Pollock," she said. "You must remember Diana Pollock..."
...
The next day it dawned on me that this was an in money couldn't buy...
Still, it was odd. Diana, Adrian and Marcus Pollock attended the same synagogue I did. They were well-to-do in an ordinary way. What happened to them? I did, in fact, have some vague memory, some Pollock-related to-do that rocked the local Jewish community when I was about 10. It was something to do with a car with the number plate APOLLO G and the manufacture of watch straps. But I couldn' remember anything more than that, and neither could my mother. I decided to attend the trial at Southwark crown court.

There are the tie-in links noted here in Entry 213 -
Lawrence Garman... e mail...

-James, I learn that, by way of an extraordinary coincidence that the trial Judge of the millionaire three, Jeffery Rivlin ,is first cousin and close personal friend of none other than Charlie Gale. In fact I recall getting some feedback on this from Charlie the day prior to the verdict, Rgds, L.

Charles Gale was a Londoner we had both known for years....

... On December 3rd 2004, Bob Woffinden visited the Ingrams again in their Wiltshire home. This time Diana´s brother, Adrian Pollock, was also present.Another link to the judge came out, and on December 7th Bob e mailed me, mentioning -It was confirmed (don’t know if you know this) that the Pollock family & the Rivlin family (i.e. the trial judge) used to attend the same synagogue in Cardiff.

e) Q+A is related in the first person.
Despite considerable pressure from myself and Woffinden to be co-authors with him on a book examining his false arrest and conviction, Charles Ingram had rejected the triumvirate and insisted that he alone write the exposition.
This was now, he said, to appear circa September 2008 entitled Major Injustice.
And that would be approximately the release date for the film of Q+A: Slumdog Millionaire.

(In fact his book had not appeared by then, and new legislation brought in in 2009 meant that it would have been difficult for him to have kept any income derived from such a book.)

f) The Goldilocks value
I had chosen the same access code for both my Bank accounts, e.g. my Deutsche Bank and National Westminster cards: 0007.
It was a jokey and easy to recall variant on James Bond´s ID.

When reading the book in late September 2007 I noted that in Chapter Five this same 4 numeral security sequence, 0007, is cited. Here it is the one to be entered in a home to silence an alarm should it accidentally go off.

On March 26th 2007 I commenced internet Banking with Deutsche Bank, and as my password took the usual: 0007.
(Would-be thieves despair: I have since altered all!)

A day or two later, as I was carrying on ploughing through my wife´s Christmas gift copy of Richard Dawkins´ The God Delusion, I came across references to the significance of 0007.

On page 113 begins Chapter Four which Dawkins heads Why There Almost Certainly Is No God.
He gives the sub-heading The Cosmological Anthropic Principle.

http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/barrow.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle

On page 141 there is the sub-heading The Anthropic Principle: Cosmological Version.

Here he writes of the "fine tuning" of the universe, i.e. how suited it is for life, but then invokes the celebrated Anthropic Principle as a way of dismissing the argument that these so precise conditions indicate a Divine hand.

"Physicists have calculated that, if the laws and constants of physics had been even slightly different, the universe would have developed in such a way that life would have been impossible...
Martin Rees, in Just Six Numbers, lists six fundamental constants, which are believed to hold all around the universe. Each of these six numbers is finely tuned in the sense that, if it were slightly different, the universe would be comprehensively different and presumably unfriendly to life.


An example of Rees´s six numbers is the magnitude of the so-called ´strong´ force, the force that binds the components of an atomic nucleus: the nuclear force that has to be overcome when one ´splits´ the atom. It is measued as E, the proportion of the mass of a hydrogen nucleus that is converted to energy when hydrogen fuses to form helium. The value of this number in our universe is 0.007, and it looks as though it had to be very close to this value in order for any chemistry (which is a prerequisite for life) to exist."
... ... ...
"If the strong force were too small, say 0.006 instead of 0.007, the universe would contain nothing but hydrogen, and no interesting chemistry could result. If it were too large, say 0.008, all the hydrogen would have fused to make heavier elements. A chemistry without hydrogen would not generate life as we know it. For one thing, there would be no water." The Goldilocks value - 0.007 - is just right for yielding the richness of elements that we need for an interesting and life-supporting chemistry. ....

I may have heard of Rees´ book, but I certainly had not read any of it.
g) There was also a coincidence that links with my screenplay involving the use of something akin to the Phone A Friend lifeline of Millionaire?.
In the penultimate chapter, Ram Mohammed Thomas seeks the answer to this question: -

The character Costard appears in which of Shakespeare´s plays?

The four options are -

a) King Lear b) The Merchant of Venice c) Love´s Labours Lost d) Othello

He is stumped, but then, whilst nervously fumbling in a pocket, chances upon the card of a teacher of English to whom he had given money to pay for a life saving operation for his child.

He calls him and is told the answer must be either King Lear or Love´s Labours Lost, and the latter is advocated.

Ram goes for it and is right.
My screenplay Games of Skill, written in 2003, also contains a similar crucial plot twist in Scene Fifty.

(It may be viewed at the beginning of this Blog.)

There too it is a big money question involving a correct Shakespearian identification and The Merchant Of Venice, although there a quote.
The player, Stan Bassany, finds himself talking to the mafioso whom he must pay off that evening through his wife´s mixing up the cards with the names of the friends he may call.

I sent copies of Games of Skill to various people before Q+A was published.

Charles Ingram, Bob Woffinden and Colin Watkeys were all unable to trace my e mail of it on their computer records.

But Watkeys http://doollee.com/PlaywrightsW/WatkeysColin.htm%20%20is is prepared to go on record that he definitely remembers the device of the hoodlum´s card being produced by accident in my script when he received it in 2003.

I contacted Watkeys in his role as literay agent, hoping he might want to punt the script.

The theme of The Merchant of Venice deliberately permeates my script in e.g. the names of the characters.

The central figure, Stan Bassany, has a name inspired by Bassanio, the character in Shakespeare´s play who is lent money for the winning of the hand of the fair Portia by the unfortunate merchant, Antonio.

It will be the inability to repay a loan on time that - nearly - costs Antonio his life.

Just as in my script.

I gave the show´s host the surname Court, because of the theme of the reversal of a miscarriage of justice.

And the theme of The Merchant of Venice had already appeared, and will persist, in the name of the Ingrams´ daughter; Portia.

And the very genesis of Games of Skill stemmed from my wife recommending that I write something about my first two (unsuccessful) Millionaire? appearances.

Hence my screenplay.

h) There are also parallels between the escape from threatening criminals in my screenplay, Games of Skill, - which I wrote in 2003 in the unpleasant Spanish urbanisation of Amapolas 3 - and how we would come to escape the real life criminals of Amapolas 3.

We had been subjected to various threats and acts of vandalism, including slashings of the car´s tyres, and were desperate to get away from so vile an environment and neighbours.

Just as in my screenplay, it was a big win on WWTBAM? that did the trick.

i) My first version of my essay defending Charles Ingram, Playing The Game, was posted at http://www.quizzing.co.uk/ , see -

http://www.iqagb.co.uk/trivia/viewtopic.php?t=103&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=ingram&start=45

where I pop in with what were my first ever contributions to any quizzing.co.uk thread towards the end of p.4.
Right from this first sally, I was concluding with the codicil that Celador ought to be preparing a different ending for their projected film.

Indeed that final line has persisted through all amendments to the essay.
So you may, if you wish, track the evolution of my arguments and of my essay.

And that this has now, in a very real sense, come to pass in the form of the film Slumdog Millionaire, which commenced shooting in November 2007 funded by Channel 4 and Celador.

This although Celador had by then sold the rights of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

In that film, based on Q+A, the winner of the top prize is accused of cheating but is ultimately exonerated.
The film with the cheat having a happy ending, "a Love Story", as director Danny Boyle describes it,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/entertainment/6972243.stm
has, of all parties, Celador partly funding it.

So, ultimately, Celador Films DID make a film about someone accused of cheating his way to the top prize on WWTBAM?, but this time with a happy ending.

Just as I advised them to do in my essay in defence of The Millionaire Three, right from its earliest drafts of October 2003.


And the author of Q+A, Vikas Swarup, said he was inspred by the story of Charles Ingram.

j) The signature which imyaman attached to his forum posts appends the one which begins this Entry.

It seems remarkably apposite.

It reads -




















I want to know the number of QA tests done b4 writing the Kharma Sutra
... ... ...

In conclusion, I might note a rounding out of the theme of anti-Darwinism in that I had earlier been in comunication with Colin Watkeys in 1997 in his role as agent for Ken Campbell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Campbell_%28actor) when trying to get something anti-Darwinian on TV.
Campbell had already presented several offbeat TV science shows, and expressed interest in my idea, but our pitches to TV Channels met with little enthusiasm.

(239) The Science of Belief, and £10 the price and prize of a quiz on meaning.

On May 31st 2007, this Guardian blog went up -
The science of belief by
Inayat Bunglawala
Believers and scientists have moved on: now the debate has turned to an exploration of how faith and science can be compatible with each other.
It continues
... Bill Clinton spoke
... concerning... decoding of the human genome: "... more than just an epoch-making triumph of science and reason... when Galileo discovered he could use... mathematics and mechanics to understand the motion of celestial bodies, he felt... that he had learned the language in which God created the universe. Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift."
But was Clinton wrong... to refer to God?... Francis S Collins - who headed the Human Genome Project... , believes... Clinton was right.
In The Language of God, Collins seeks to reconcile the findings of science with faith in God. "Science's domain is to explore nature. God's domain is in the spiritual world, a realm not possible to explore with the tools and language of science. It must be examined with the heart, the mind, and the soul - and the mind must find a way to embrace both realms."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwA2nVYTR2A
... Collins... rejects the bleak worldview that Dawkins espoused in his River Out of Eden:

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is... no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference."
... Stephen Jay Gould ... remarked, just as it was important for religious scholars not to overstep their boundaries by making unsupported assertions about issues... within the domain of science, it was also unhelpful when scientists made similarly unsupported atheistic claims about what science had to say regarding questions of meaning and purpose. So, the same data that Dawkins used to advocate his atheistic worldview can also be interpreted in a quite different way. "
... And Collins makes... this case... ie God caused the universe... and set its laws and physical parameters precisely right to allow the creation of stars, planets, heavy elements and life itself. Such a belief ... is consistent with both science and faith. ... the scientific method has been astoundingly successful at investigating the natural world.
Still... the tools of science are powerless to answer some of our profoundest questions such as "Why did the universe come into being?", "What is the meaning of human existence?" and "What will happen to us after we die?" and yet there is clearly a deep-rooted human desire to seek answers to these questions.

It spawned a substantial thread, which had reached this comment

- cynicalsteve Comment No. 614821 June 2 13:57GBR ...
I'm not too proud to learn, but I do like my info to come from the real, verifiable world....I don't think anyone here has yet made a case that we should treat religious teachings as on a par with rationality....

- when I chipped in with my jokey post -
JamesPlaskett Comment No. 614862 June 2 14:32ESP
If you want scientific proof of the spiritual reality, just read my book, Coincidences. And, if you are unenlightened afterwards... well, at least I´ll have your money.

I then discovered, when I looked at my post, that almost simultaneously this had gone up (the only posting by the handle BusinessPages on the entire thread) -

BusinessPages Comment No. 614864 June 2 14:33SAU
ooo - I love quizzes. "Why did the universe come into being?" Because it did - remember lots of stuff hasn't come into "being" too. "What is the meaning of human existence?" -there isn't one "What will happen to us after we die?" It will all get very dark and quiet. Do I win ten pounds?

The thread continued with a variety of opinions on what it´s all about and whether or not science can determine anything about that. Some were humourous, even allowing for the antagonism -

Biskieboo Comment No. 614875 June 2 14:43GBR
BusinessPages Sorry, all your answers were incorrect. You win the booby prize - a night out with Richard Dawkins - and you have to pay. The correct answers are - 1) don't know 2) don't know 3) don't know

spk76 Comment No. 614912 June 2 15:21GBR
1) There is no why. It happened. Of more interest is 'how did the universe come into being', something we may never know but about which science is nevertheless providing increasing knowledge.
2) Other than providing a means to pass on genes to the next generation, there is no meaning to human existence.
3) When we die, that's it. Best make the most of it while you can.

doesnotexist Comment No. 614917 June 2 15:28AUS
Biskieboo, well yes, "don't know" is as good an answer as any to a pointless question. (But why should a question have a point?) Booby prize? ... hmm, depends on how you envisage "booby" - Richard Dawkins does not necessarily spring to mind.

I came back in to point out the coincidence which is the reason for this Blog Entry, (238)

JamesPlaskett
In his book Revelations Of Chance, Dr Roderick Main speculates that the essentially spiritual origin of synchronicity is revealed by the tendency of coincidences to themselves generate coincidences, something he termed "synchronicity?s self-referring tendency".
Q.E.D. My light-hearted post about my book proving spiritual reality goes up at 14:32 ... and a minute later we get this from BusinessPages -

BusinessPages ooo - I love quizzes. "Why did the universe come into being?" Because it did - remember lots of stuff hasn't come into "being" too. "What is the meaning of human existence?" -there isn't one "What will happen to us after we die?" It will all get very dark and quiet. Do I win ten pounds?

A tenner is exactly the cost of a copy of Coincidences. BusinessPages... how apposite a handle. Money for meaning... ? ...
See also
://james-plasketts-coincidence-diary.blogspot.com/

And it carried on in similar vein -

spk76 Comment No. 614964 June 2 16:11 GBR
1) Sorry to be the one to break it to you but in truth, there really is no meaning to the universe, no underlying intention - it just exists. How that came about, however, that's certainly up for debate.
2) Again, I'm just the messenger here, but human existence is at its root no different to the existence of any other life form on earth. The only purpose of life is to propagate genetic information. That's it. It may be your opinion that you'd like for there to be more to life than this but in truth there is not.
3) Likewise, when you're time's up, you die, that's it. Make the most of it now. Of course there are certain rules we must abide by, mainly the natural laws of the universe... You seem to be searching for a moral framework to live your life. The following essential tenets should provide you with the basics to live a happy, worthwhile life in the short time you have here. "The greatest happiness for the greatest numbers," and, "People should be free to engage in whatever behaviour they wish as long as it does not harm others." None of this requires subservience to or intervention by supernatural forces...

PassingStarship Comment No. 615182 June 2 19:15 GBR
Biskieboo wrote: 'This is your OPINION. You are entitled to it. Nobody else has to agree with you because it is not "truth".' Nobody *has to* agree with anything... The question to ask is: what makes some people agree with spk76's opinions, while other people agree with yours?
Another question for the science of belief to examine.


- until the author summed things up with a nice quote -

Inayat
... from ... Rock of Ages by... Stephen Jay Gould...: "Darwin did not use evolution to promote atheism, or to maintain that no concept of God could ever be squared with the structure of nature. Rather he argued that nature's factuality, as read within the magisterium of science, cannot resolve, or even specify, the existence or character of God, the ultimate meaning of life, the proper foundations of morality, or any other question within the different magisterium of religion."

(238) What´s IN a name? (and The Parallels between the Explorations of Space and the Spiritual)...Earthrise...

On May 18th 2007 I, at long last, received in the mail from Dr Roderick Main a copy of his new book, Revelations of Chance, which is subtitled Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience. (See Entry 192).
An accompanying card was dated May 1st
- Here it is at last! The discussions of your coincidences occupy a large part of the whole - so thanks again for making them available to me...

On May 23rd 2007 I e mailed Roderick that his book had arrived "... with attendant coincidences", and, in response to his inquiry, outlined them -
"... there were two involving people reading my book Coincidences and my name. The first, outlined here by GM Simon Williams was sent to me at the Internet Chess Club where my handle is Parsifal - Psycho-Cowboy ( 06.17 16 May -07 EDT ) was reaing your book on the train looked up and was passing "J Plaskett roofing and scaffolding in London" ... I read that on May 18th (possibly the 17th).
Later Williams said that it was either precisely my surname, or something which differed from it by ony one letter.
The other was in this e mail from top quizzer Trevor Montague, which arrived whilst I was reading Chapter Five of Main´s book


- 18 May 2007 20:05:55 +0100
... thought you might like this coincidence this evening. ... at about 5.45... i was... reading your book and was up to page 174 (ref: 55 about The Wolfman) and beyond in fact... up to p 179. My phone rang and it was a... friend... from my local church. ... Ruth... rang to tell me there was a... programme on C5 at 8pm called The Wolfman that i might be interested in... bizarre not just because i had just read your Wolfman coincidence but because Ruth had never phoned... before to tell me of... programmes she thought i might be interested in! In case you think i am pulling your leg... ring Ruth... on 01883 - - - - - - and she will confirm... I have a few more pages to read but am going to watch The wolfman now : )

The Wolfman coincidence is Entry 149 here.
I had shortly before sold Simon a copy of Coincidences and sent one as a gift to Trevor.


Chapters Five and Six of Main´s new book are about me and my Narrative material.
Chapter Five is entitled Multiple Synchronicities of a Chess Grandmaster and includes the incidents involving William Hartston.

At page 113 Chapter Six begins -
The self-revelation of synchronicity as spirit
A Modern Grail Story

It is a continuation of his analysis of my Narrative material, much of which, of course, is in Coincidences. Indeed Appendices Three and Four of my book are here within Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices.
Those two Appendices are comprised largely of the material upon which Main now comments in Chapter Six of Revelations of Chance: Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience.
I had read Chapter Five and then started Chapter Six on the evening of May 22nd 2007.

By about 12:30 a.m. on May 23rd I had reached p. 123 in Main´s book.
On p. 119 he writes of how he will now be making a kind of "experiment in interpretation of the self-revelation of synchronicity".

By p. 123 he is quoting Jung and drawing comparison with his methods as outlined in Psychology and Alchemy where he speaks of how he analysed, not isolated dreams of an individual, but rather a whole series of them.

But here we are not dealing with isolated dreams; they form a coherent series in the course of which the meaning gradually unfolds more or of its own accord... Of course the interpretation of each individual passage is bound to be largely conjecture, but the series as a whole gives us all the clues we need to correct any possible errors in the preceeding passages.
"Though with somewhat less confidence than is implied in Jung´s concluding statement, this is essentially the method I endeavoured to employ in regard to Plaskett´s synchronistic experiences, which likewise seem to form a "coherent series" whose "meaning gradually unfolds more or less of its own accord."

He then lists the four conceptual themes which he detects in my Narrative, as also listed in Appendix Three within my Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices Entry, which is after Entry 22 here.

Identity
Transformation
Spirituality
and
Synchronicity.

At the bottom of p. 123 he starts with -
Identity
The concept of identity is emphasised repeatedly throughout Plaskett´s material. It emerges first through the highlighting of his surname in the two coincidences involving Plaskett´s Crater and Plaskett´s Star.
I paused and, prompted by what I had been reading, entered - "Synchronicity Plaskett" into Google. Although I had several times Googled my own name in some or other context, I had never before entered that precise wording.

These are some of the hits thrown up - http://www.universetoday.com/2007/03/01/the-perfect-crater-for-a-moon-settlement/?1402
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMEYGN0LYE_index_0.html
http://www.colonyworlds.com/2007/03/could-plaskett-crater-be-our-first.html
http://digg.com/space/Image_Moon_s_Plaskett_Crater

In the first hit the Universe Today site (Then) had two ads on it stating that "Your Name Is Not An Accident".
They were for a numerology service.
... ... ...
I note some of the coincidental material and also

The Parallels between Space Exploration and Spiritual Exploration

a) My book begins with my discovery, on December 22nd 1984, of the existence of a Plaskett Crater on the dark side of the moon.
Its cover, showing the photo of same crater, may be seen towards the bottom of this page -
http://hem.passagen.se/tjmisha/1066/hostings.html
Also here - http://www.chessclub.com/finger/Parsifal

The date of my discovery I was to deem significant, as December 22nd is, as I had written in Coincidences, "the beginning of Spring and of sunnier times".

And there were also quite a few other happenings on December 22nd, as listed in Appendix One of the book and here in Appendix One of Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices -Appendix One: December 22nd changes for the better
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaskett_%28crater%29#cite_note-0
The crater´s also to be seen here in the ESA Press Release which my Google search of Plaskett Synchronicity threw up -
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMEYGN0LYE_index_0.html
It is the same photo as appears on my book´s cover.

Only this time it is is in colour:


"Earthrise over Plaskett Crater".
The European Space Agency release is dated March 1st 2007.

As mentioned in point d) of Entry 235 , that was also the publication date of Main´s book Revelations of Chance, with its analysis of my material contained in Coincidences.
The publisher chose to use the motif of the mantis for the cover of Revelations of Chance, although without consulting Main.
They used the same mantis motif for the cover of the catalogue in which that book first appears.
"The beginning of Spring and of sunnier times".

Their SPRING catalogue.

The publisher is State University of New York.

SUNY.

I learn of the synchrony of the publication of the ESA Release about the future of Mankind in Plaskett´s Crater, and of Main´s book as I read the chapters in Main concerned with the material in my book, Coincidences.

What clearer verification could I receive of Main´s observation of Synchronicity´s self-referring tendency, i.e. that coincidences tend to spawn coincidences?

And does it not also support - and indeed continue - his insight that
Plaskett´s synchronistic experiences, which likewise seem to form a "coherent series" whose "meaning gradually unfolds more or less of its own accord."
?
It transpires that parts of the dark side of the moon are, when reached, not dark at all.

In fact they are the precise opposite. Unlike any location neither on earth nor on the moon´s visible face, these places are permanently illumined.
Plaskett´s Crater is onesuch.
The ESA release speaks of "Eternal Sunlight" in Plaskett.

I viewed for the first time a broadcast of the Academy-Award winning film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind
at Easter 2007.
See the comments of Steiner in Appendix Four of Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices (see after Blog Entry 22) about the appearance of the sunlight-bearing Grail and how it must make its appearance in the heavens at Easter.

b) The Williams and Montague coincidences each stem from my book. In one I am addressed via a message sent to "Parsifal", and the other concerns a poem of my wife´s in which she dubs me "Wolfman" and each coincidence revolves around Parsifal or Parzifal.

c) The European Space Agency release of March 1st (2007) speaks of Plaskett´s Crater as our new home.
On that very date, one year earlier, I had bought my first house, and that same evening, March 1st 2006, I watched on TV some of the Richard and Judy show where they mentioned comic Dave Spikey and his new CD, Living The Dream.
That, of course, the title which I had already decided to give this Blog, based around my WWTBAM? win of Nov 23rd 2005 (the money that bought the house) and the TV documentary about the family of a friend of my son´s broadcast on that date in 2003. See Entry 200.

Later they went on to discuss a book about the men who have walked on the moon, called MoonDust, by Andrew Smith. http://www.lovereading.co.uk/book/1002

d) ALSO there was a spectacular lunar eclipse, which a 4NCL crowd of us
http://www.4ncl.co.uk/photos04-guildford.htm
viewed late on the evening of March 3rd 2007 -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_March_2007_lunar_eclipse
This was the first lunar eclipse I had ever watched, and as I did so my wife and child watched it with a telescope from our roof in Spain.
Just after the ESA release and publication of Main´s book.
When I viewed it the effect was that the Northern part of the moon was illumined, i.e. where Plaskett´s Crater lies.

e) On May 23rd or 24th 2007 I spotted this article in The Times, which had gone up on the day I read Chapter Five and started Chapter Six, -
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1824283.ece
The success of these two Mars explorers, Spirit and Opportunity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rovers
, albeit serendipitously in the first case, as the Times piece concedes, is to be contrasted with the complete failure of the ESA probe that had been intended to land on Mars shortly before them,
Beagle2on Christmas Day 2003 , but which failed -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_2

Note the names.

The ESA probe is of course a reference to the ship that took Darwin to the Galápagos.
But here´s how the American craft got named -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover#Naming_of_Spirit_and_Opportunity
The exploration of Spirit succeeds.
But the second Darwin craft fails.
And then to note which craft confirmed the precious water on Mars...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasas-phoenix-lander-tastes-and-touches-water-on-mars-882609.html

Also, re man on Mars, the ESA March 1st 2007 Release says -
"SMART-1 views the edge of Luna Incognita: Mars on the Moon? SMART-1... investigated... areas at the edge of Luna Incognita... near the lunar poles... to prepare for... bases on the Moon and... Mars. Mankind did not see... Luna Incognita, until the first probes sent images of the lunar farside.
(The first proto-map of the dark side of the moon, made using those probe images, appeared on the day I was born.)
Plaskett crater sits close to the Moon's north pole... Plaskett crater could play a key role in preparing... for... journeys to Mars. On such a mission, Earth would dwindle to a point and the astronauts would lose the familiar view of home ...
From Plaskett, on the far side of the Moon... Earth can only be seen... for just a few days during a few months every year. "A human outpost there, on the edge of Luna Incognita, would allow us to study the effects of Earth-deprivation on a crew in a controlled way," says Bernard Foing, SMART-1's Project Scientist.
"It will allow us to simulate Mars operations and isolation, on the Moon, at a safe distance from a... base at the north pole." "

f) On May 26th 2007 we watched my son take the lead role of the clown in his school´s performance of El Planeta de la Sonrisa (The Smiling Planet) by Isabel González Muños. http://csbs.csusm.edu/csbs/www.book.book_detail?p_name_0=11288&lang=SP
He had gained the part when the boy who had been to play it dropped out.
Sacha had earlier laughed when someone had slipped during a rehearsal which had led to something of a domino effect as many cast members tumbled over.
This laughter was what had led to the gang spitting at my son, as reported in Entry 237, and the boy who had both instigated the attack and been one of the spitters had played the clown and taken my son´s laughter as a personal slight.

But, as I wrote, it was all just a storm in a teacup.

In the play the clown arrives at an unhappy planet but succeeds, despite the malefic influence of a nasty witch, in uniting it and cheering everybody up. http://www.educa.madrid.org/web/cp.bartolomecossio.madrid/teatro/planeta_sonrisa/planeta_sonrisa.htm_sonrisa.htm Quite early on, when seeing my son playing a clown trying to cheer up a planet, I thought about the REM song Shiny Happy People, although I knew nothing about this children´s play. Neither was I a great fan of that band nor well acquainted with their material.

And then at the finale that very song was played.

Incidentally, when I looked up this song at YOUTUBE, I found that, although it is quite an old video, it had only been uploaded to YOUTUBE on March 2nd 2007, i.e. the day after the ESA announcement that Plaskett Crater could be our new home.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=YbGSDkvh8B0
... ... ...
Main writes of the symbolic significance of heavenly phenomena -
"... the celestial journey of Dante, and analogously that of Plaskett, consists of a series of progressive transformations into ever higher and subtler states of consciousness and insight.
The idea of transformation from normal psychophysical levels of experience to a spiritual level of experience, and vice versa, seems to be evoked quite often. Plaskett´s Crater, being on the far side of earth´s satellite, the moon, lies at the extreme outer limit of connectedness to the terrestrial and faces into the heavenly, or, symbolically understood, spiritual spaces beyond. Plaskett´s Star, in turn, actually is situated out in these heavenly or spiritual spaces."
Revelations of Chance, p.125.

On Sep 3 2006, following its many useful photographs, SMART-1 was deliberately smashed into the southern part of Luna Incognita so that scientists might study the material thrown up by this deliberate making by Man of a CRATER on the moon.

The site chosen for the crash was the Lake Of Excellence.
... ... ...
Sir Laurens van der Post begins his 1976 work Yet Being Someone Other with his conviction that there could be no thrust of inquiry into the physical universe without it being accompanied, if not preceded, by an equal and opposite thrust into the universe of the spirit. I first read this book in 1985.
He refers to the Renaissance accompanying the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco de Gama. He also cites C.G. Jung´s observation that, if one wished to pinpoint a date at which the Renaissance began, one could choose the day when the poet Petrarch decided to climb a mountain in the Alps purely to shatter a taboo. The long held belief of the locals was that the the cloud-capped peaks were inhabited by demons.
Here van der Post is implying something beyond mere symbolic matching: he asserts a direct and even causal correspondence between physical and spiritual explorations.
The Cape, had initially been an ambivalent symbol, indeed it was first dubbed the Cape of Storms. With its rounding came the breakthrough to the world of the East.
He concludes with his thoughts as he watched the Cape slip into the distance whilst he stared from the stern of the last of a line of passenger ships leaving for England.
He noted that the image of Earthrise, which he had seen on a master TV screen at N.A.S.A moments before man first set foot on the moon, would be the replacement symbol.


The oceans had been investigated and mapped. In the future man´s search would be beyond the planet, and he would look back and see something only possible from that height; a world at unity.

"The Cape may have been ambivalent, but the meaning of which it had so long been a dominant image did not change. The thing itself stood fast. Only the images changed in order to inform us of new and deeper levels of discovery and re-discovery. However great its power of evocation of life, and its enlargement of our awareness of the paradox of the truth which alone can transform and set free the explorer in the spirit from the explored, this beautiful and beloved Cape had served its purpose, and the time was upon it to vanish in the sea of time behind us as other loyal images had done.
But as it vanished, there moved into the vacant space entire this jewel of earth that contained it, glowing in the dark night of soul and time and space, no longer ambivalent but single at last, a star of universal and unfailing good hope."

... ... ...
In late 2008 news articles such as this -http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/nov/30/apollo-8-mission led to my realising for the first time that Jim Lovell had also been part of the crew of Apollo 8 and thus had been one of the first three men to see the dark side of the moon. I had lived through the mission, but at eight had failed to take in its especial significance.

In the early hours of the morning of April 16th 2009 I checked to see if there might be any available affirmation that he had actually been the very first. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/forty-years-since-the-first-picture-of-earth-from-space-1297569.html

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2008/12/40th-anniversary-of-seeing-the-dark-side-of-the-moon.ars

http://www.patriotledger.com/archive/x16585911/CHRISTMAS-TO-REMEMBER-The-gift-that-saved-1968

Thus I became aware of more detail of this voyage that brought us our first image of ´Earthrise´, e.g. that the astronauts had read to the world the first ten verses of Genesis as their craft passed over the very site where, seven months later, the first men would walk on the moon; the Sea of Tranquility.

Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit on December 25th 1968.

Several hours later that morning I looked at The Independent on line and saw a trailer for a film called simply Moon that had been directed by David Bowie´s son, Duncan Jones. The trailer had been up at an article by Tim Walker since April 13th, but this was the first I had heard of either the film or his being a director.

It is visible here -

http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/04/09/movie-trailer-duncan-jones-moon/

It ends with a view of ´Earthrise´ seen from the moon.

And further testimony to the effect of seeing our planet from space may be heard here -
http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/seeing-earth-from-space-how-true-awe-changes-you?utm_source=Big+Think+Weekly+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=558419f9f3-Sun_2_10_Brainincloud2_9_2013&utm_medium=email

re Apollo 8
At 18:04 on April 17th 2009, my wife was about to send me a thing ´Tweeted´ by Astronautics on Twitter just as I asked her what things the Greek God Apollo "governed".

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-350/ch-13-5.html

I had asked her something earlier that day about the Greek God Apollo, thinking as I was of her book Journeys to the Underworld and it´s mention of the entire Greek pantheon.
The significance of the ´tweet´ by Astronautics became clearer; April 17th was the anniversary of the successful re-entry of Apollo 13. Fiona then mentioned that just a few days earlier she had begun following a poster on Twitter with the handle ZARG. He had chosen to represent himself by a photo of an astronaut, and, she informed me, had the surname LOVELL.

In view of all of my Apollo 8 inquiries earlier that day I was intrigued and noted his profile -

Name Tim Lovell Location Bristol, UK Bio Science, astronomy, and technology fan

- and later that day I joined Twitter and I too began to follow him. Not long before this I had found myself switching on to the fact that the Jodrell Bank telescope was named the Lovell telescope. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodrell_Bank
Two men of such uncommon name prominent figures in the field of space exploration... Researching it I discovered that the telescope had only been (re)named in honour of Sir Bernard Lovell in 1987.
Now here was a third man of that name in the same field. I ´tweeted´ asking if he were perhaps related (?) He replied -
* @JamesPlaskett I'm not related to Sir Bernard Lovell AFAIK. It's not impossible as he's from Bristol but I haven't traced my tree yet.12:05 PM Apr 18th

I'm not related to Apollo astro Jim Lovell either. I have met him though. Top chap.12:07 PM Apr 18th

And not that long after he ´tweeted´ this -
@TAMLondon Astronaut Jim Lovell is in the UK on Oct 2nd. Any chance of getting him to speak at TAM London? http://www.wyas.org.uk/4:39 PM Apr 19th from TwitterFon
... ... ...

Space exploration has its dangers and pitfalls. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_accidents_and_incidents

So does spiritual exploration.

See Entry 176.

Re the Identity theme, also note the name of the mission which on January 19th 2012 recorded the first continuous video of the dark side of the moon -http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=65931&media_id=130956191

Lastly, I mention a few incidents germane to the common themes of space exploration, spirituality and my win on the show which has become the very seat of modern materialism : Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.

The day before the first part of my appearance was to air, I saw this article -

Guardian Fri 13 Jan 2006 -
Final answer? Not quite as star gets second chance to play for a million · Quiz show question that floored designer 'unfair' · Changing Rooms host tries again for big charity prize

It was about Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Llewelyn-Bowen

... Having breezed... to... £500K... during... WWTBAM? All that stood between the couple and a £1m donation to charity was the question: "Translated from the Latin, what is the motto of the United States?" ... - In God We Trust; One Out Of Many; All As One; or Striving Together - Llewelyn-Bowen ... gave his answer. Sadly, it was the wrong one.
Or was it? Llewelyn-Bowen opted for In God We Trust, only to be told that the correct answer was One Out Of Many.
But fortunately for the Shooting Star Children's Hospice, yesterday, only hours after the show was recorded on Wednesday, Celador announced it would give the Llewelyn-Bowens a second chance as the question did not meet its "usual high standards". In God We Trust is the official motto of the United States, adopted on July 30, 1956. It appears on US currency. But it is not a translation from the Latin. One Out Of Many is another US motto and is a direct translation of the Latin, E Pluribus Unum. It has appeared on the Great Seal since 1782. A Celador spokeswoman said: "We are not satisfied that the question meets our usual high standards of fair game play, so we have invited them back to resume the game with a new question at the same level. The question they answered was ambiguous."
This ruling was supported by the US embassy. "In God We Trust is the motto of the United States, so that part of the answer is right, but it wasn't translated from Latin. So he's right and he's wrong," said a spokeswoman.
The Llewelyn-Bowens, who were appearing in a St Valentine's Day couples special to be aired on Feb 11, welcomed the news. "We feel as if we've been reprieved from the firing squad. How unusual is it to get a second chance in life?" said Mr Llewelyn-Bowen. "But... this charity really deserves this and we're grateful to Celador for the opportunity."
The couple's performance was the best so far by any celebrity pair.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr2rXtYigW4&feature=related

So they were invited back to face another £1m question.
It was - "Who was the first man to go into space twice?"
They were uncertain and so took the £500K.
... ... ...
Shooting Star Children's Hospice
... A St Valentine's Day couples special
How unusual is it to get a second chance in life?"

A couple given a Valentine´s Day second chance...

And they mentioned that they had actually got married twice, i.e. had had a second ceremony essentially just because they enjoyed the first one so much!

See the plot of the film mentioned in point a) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

And here was I campaigning for Ingram and wife to be given his fairly-earned million.
... first man to go into space TWICE.
I was also in legitimate consultation with my wife; she was Phone A Friend.
At my £500,000 question, "Which of these astronauts has never set foot on the moon?"
(Answer: Jim Lovell)
and also my £32,000 one, "The 2004 biopic "De-lovely" was based on the life of which composer?" (see Entry 223) "lovel" appeared on screen.

On Aug 31st 2007 I learned of the existence of the film Sunshine -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6516499.stm
That was through a news announcement of what would be the next project embarked upon by its director, Danny Boyle -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6972243.stm
Also -http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/movie-news/danny-boyle-reveals-his-next-picture.php
... ... ...
And, re parallels between space exploration and spiritual exploration, note that in the Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices entry here (see after Entry 22) we see many coincidences clustered around my reading of Dante´s Paradiso.
That book, as well as being the climax of a journey to enlightenment is also a (fictionalised!) tour of the 14th century model of the solar system.
Earthrise over Plaskett Crater -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy2L9Jti9Z4&feature=player_embedded
And here are both the original earthrise seen from Apollo 8 and that one over Plaskett´s Crater - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmaOcPYCGMA
...   ...   ...
As a codicil I might add that at 22:50 on October 29th 2012 I posted at my Facebook wall
Richard Dawkins just tweeted this - @RichardDawkins
Pete Stark's opponent is ignorant enough to think "In God we Trust" is US motto. Support Pete Stark for Congress http://bit.ly/P85x4n 


Dawkins was championing Congressman Stark´s ¨coming out¨ as the only openly atheist member of Congress. He mentioned that "his opponent was using his atheism against him."
That, naturally, immediately put me in mind of the palaver over the Lewellyn-Bowen´s final question, so I tweeted to Dawkins about that -
Just a few minutes later I was chatting with Deborah Cowley at Facebook and mentioned the film director, Stanley Kubrick -

I had just posted the R Dawkins In God We Trust Tweet + my posting on Twitter of the Llewelyn-Bowens slip at the 1,000,000. I had their performance playing in the background when a coincidence happened as Deb and I had this chat -

sorry, I'm No Kubrick


(He lived in Herts for a decade....not doing all that much, though...)


his last film
Eyes Wide Shut

Yes, loved that movie. Really sexy. went to see it London when it came out and everyone
said he'd lost his touch. I thought it was really good
The Shining is one of my favourite films

STRONG coincidence less than 60 secs ago I went to Youtube looking for shots of Eyes Wide Shut- Kubrick´s last film
as we were just discussing
at the precise moment I uploaded a clip
now playing
the OTHER clip I had playing
which is
appropriate to what I have just uploaded to my FB wall
had Tarrant ask this question
"Which of these films did not feature a married couple?

At 14:11 the £32,000 question came up - Which of these films did not feature a married couple?
The options were -
A Shanghai Surprise
B Eyes Wide Shut
C Key Largo
D Bringing Up Baby

Option B, which he announced within  a couple of seconds of Kubrick´s last film beginning to play on my other opened Youtube panel
was
"Eyes Wide shut"
POWERFUL coincidence

And here´s the prior Dawkins Twitter interchange -

@RichardDawkins Don´t let the bedbugs bite...
@RichardDawkins Christ: is it THAT much of a taboo in the USA!! Frightening...
@RichardDawkins A MOOT point, Senor! And mayhap a costly one ... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-373958/Llewelyn-Bowen-blows-1m.html 

@RichardDawkins
Pete Stark's opponent is ignorant enough to think "In God we Trust" is US motto. Support Pete Stark for Congresshttp://bit.ly/P85x4n