Easter Sunday overcast. Decided not to go to Balmoral. Got the day underway by walking down to Manly Surf Club and back – about 2.6km very slowly. Swim at Manly pool about 20mins for 1km. 10 laps of freestyle then ten with flippers on, mostly on my back. Shoulders very sore as well as the muscle in my right forearm. It’s been damaged by the wheelchair. Late in the afternoon had my second go on the bike. Did 8.1km in half an hour and never left my front verandah. Very light resistance and am terrified getting on and off that I’m going to tip the bike over. I would be in all sorts of bother as there is no one here to help me. Chain was on the small ring at the front and third ring at the back. Not much pressure but at least I can turn the pedals. Hurts a bit but bearable. Got the cadence up to 68rpm. Not that fast but ok. Bolto wants me to get it to 80rpm.
Had a quiet afternoon after I finished on the bike and started reading Pathfinders – the Golden Age of Arabic Science by Jim Al-Khalili. This covers the contribution of Islamic scholars to scientific research in the 700 years from about the 8th to the 15th centuries. Fabulous read. Recommended to me by Mike Kirkman who thought I might enjoy it after I finished reading the Koran.
Hard to believe the journey the Islamic countries have made from where they were to where they are now. As scientists they were probably as good, if not better, than the classical Greeks. He has a brilliant take on the life of my favourite Muslim – Ghiyāth al-Dīn Abū al-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Nīsābūrī al-Khayyāmī. Crikey that’s a mouthful. We know him better as Omar Khayyam, author of the famous long poem, The Rubáiyát. You know the one:
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Damm, I wish I’d written that. It should be the motto of all people who write a blog. But this old Persian dude was much more than a poet and astronomer. He was also a mathematician, philosopher, and all round scientific pointy head, possibly the greatest scientist of all time. He may actually be smarter than Barry Feyder and Tony Smuts. Maybe not, let’s not get carried away.
Funny book to read on Easter Sunday, I guess, but I’m nothing, if not, ecumenical.