Recent quotes:

Chance vs God

most Catholics in the region despised fortune games, which represented unknowability in a supposedly all-knowable world, one in which God pulls the strings. In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius introduces a character called Lady Philosophy who explains that “chance” is “an empty word…what room can there be for random events since God keeps all things in order?” Similarly, in Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale,” the first of The Canterbury Tales, Theseus reminds his subjects after a series of misfortunes that “the First Mover of the First Cause” determines all outcomes in accordance with an overarching plan. This is the same notion that Voltaire would later satirize in Candide. The wise man, Voltaire argued, realizes that a reversal of fortune is not part of a divine plan, but rather a kind of horrible happenstance that sometimes befalls one, based on no wish or advice of divine beings.
It’s not exactly rock ’n’ roll, but the woman who really changed Sting’s life – sorry, Trudie – was the Queen Mother. Young Gordon Sumner, dressed in his Sunday best almost 50 years ago, was mesmerised as her Rolls-Royce swished past the front door of his street in Wallsend, North Tyneside. […]The biggest vessels on the planet were hammered, welded and built there long before Gordon became Sting (named for wearing a black-and-yellow jersey, like a wasp).‘The Queen Mum waved and looked at me, and I looked back at her and that was it,’ he says. ‘There and then I thought, I am going to be rich, famous, successful and drive a Rolls-Royce like her.’He decided he would use his voice and guitar to get a big house in the country, great wealth and acclaim. And so it all came to pass