This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thing To Do Today: pulse.

Hey, how easy is this? I mean, if you're reading this your heart must be pulsing already, mustn't it?

One of the nice things about your pulse (apart from the keeping-you-alive-thing, natch) is that it's allowed to get lazier as you get older. When you were newborn your pulse had to vibrate away at as much as 150 frantic beats a minute, but by the time you're grown up it only has to do a laid-back 60 or so.

It's not just our hearts that pulse, of course. We're affected by pulses of various kinds all the time. Even something as big as a city is said to have a pulse, which most mysteriously sweeps up pretty much everyone in the whole place and has them living to its beat.

Then there's the pulse of the tides, and the pulse of the seasons...I understand that even some of the stars give out bursts of...well, something or other jolly powerful...* and that's why we call them pulsars.

Music has a pulse, too, of course, which is the general speed at which it bumps along, and this is used all the time to manipulate our own pulses and the feelings which come with them. Bach was brilliant at this, and so is a marching band, and so were the Sex Pistols. Practically every advertisement we've ever heard, too, is trying to change our pulse rate: quick quick buy buy you can be beautiful and happy but you must act at once!

Yes, dangerous things, are pulses.

Though not as dangerous as if they stop.

Thing To Do Today: pulse. This word comes from the Latin word pulsus, a beating, from pellere, to beat. Pulsar is a shortened form of pulsating star.

*Polarized radiation, apparently.

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