Thinking allowed and crocuses

Now that I am back on my bike and hoping to get fit again, now that I have more time for longer cycles, I like to listen to podcasts when out on my bike on my own. Yesterday, I listened to an episode of the excellent Thinking Allowed which is hosted by the entertaining and thoughtful Laurie Taylor, a very well-known sociologist. The programme covers a wide variety of topics, often focused on sociological topics and reporting on research e.g. this week’s one featured research conducted on ‘outlaws’ which can be defined in different ways. The main topic I listened to was about ‘What are universities for’ and it was interesting that the professor interviewed, who has written a book about this, argued that universities were not necessarily to be seen as increasing students’ knowledge, but to be seen as increasing their understanding. So, whereas knowledge might seem to be finite in some cases, understanding was a much wider concept. These podcasts are not just available in the UK as I downloaded many for my wife in Australia, who listened to them when out running.

There are a variety of crocuses out in my garden now and I was in Edinburgh at the weekend and Princes St gardens have a vast array out at the moment, I took a close up of some as seen in the picture below. When they bloom, crocuses have a short, if colourful life and it does your heart good to see them in flower as you know that Spring is well on its way. They are delicate creatures however, and the winds of the last few days have already toppled many in my garden.

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