Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (14/08/11)


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The Independent Online


God apparently works in mysterious ways, but He's been slack this summer when it comes to appearing to the masses in hazy images on pieces of toast. This is usually the season for it, but humanity is struggling on this week without any comic relief from little baby kittens who look like Simon Cowell, or pigs on the run in the Midlands. Nobody has spotted a constellation that looks like Rebekah Brooks's hair, although it must be out there, somewhere. The giant carp all live on, uncaught.

Have all the stories that usually fill the Silly Season papers just stopped happening as Britain riots, the world plunges into financial meltdown, and Rupert Murdoch develops Repetitive Strain Injury from signing all those leaving cards? Or are they all just waiting for the attention they deserve?

I do hope that they'll be back in September to provide some much needed levity, and we'll finally get to see some pictures of a council house that looks like Michael Winner. Will Andy Coulson yet be found on the Moon? Stranger things have happened in a British summer.


We have all been in the gutter in the last week or so, but some of us have been looking at the stars. And not just the comedian and physicist Dara O'Briain, who "borrowed" a telescope in Hawaii and gave a star-and-comet-gazing request show live on Twitter, and whose geeky enthusiasm for science and learnin' was an infectious high point in a very low week.

This weekend, the rest of us can look at some pretend shooting stars, as the Perseid meteor shower is at its clearest very early this morning and tomorrow morning between 00:30 and 03:00. The Perseid meteors are really tiny particles that are released as the Swift-Tuttle comet passes the Sun, but on a clear night, if you look away from the Full Moon (and the burning furniture warehouses, and the incandescent fury of right-wing commentators...) they look like a cascade of glitter falling through the sky. Most of the particles are more than a thousand years old.

I dare you to gaze on them without momentarily turning into a soppy old hippie.