PerSpective: From mud pools to plumbing problems

IT is the question which has been puzzled over by man since the dawn of time: Where do we come from?

I suspect that an answer acceptable to all will never be found, which is why people can keep coming up with wildly different theories.

If you believe the latest, life on our planet may have begun in a mud volcano in Greenland 3.8 billion years ago.

It had been believed that life began in underwater geysers, but now some scientists are discrediting this, saying that these hotspots could not have sustained life.

These clever clogs reckon they have discovered the chemical elements essential to the formation of life in mud volcanoes at Isua in south-west Greenland.


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The rocks there were found to contain the mineral serpentinite which is formed when sea water breaks through the earth’s mantle, allowing amino-acids to stabilise and form organic molecules.

I do not have a scientific brain, but this sounds very reasonable to me. So I readily believe the researchers when they say that the mud volcanoes at Isua represent a particularly favourable setting for the emergence of primitive terrestrial life.

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Another theory, gladly believed by generations of people of a more mature age, is that life begins at 40 but now it seems that we Brits are not waiting until then.

.A survey of 2,000 adults found that, on average, people were content with their lot at 38. But, not unsurprisingly, older respondents said happiness reached its peak at 48.

Those who were married said that they felt happiest at 42 but single people said “true contentment” came at 27.

On average, those questioned felt that they achieved a good balance between work and family life at 34, although older ones gave 41 as the age when they made the most of life.

Forty per cent said they worried about getting older, with the ratio higher among the 18 to 24-year-olds which just goes to show that there is no point in spending one’s youth being concerned about aging.

Talking about younger people, here’s something they may wish to worry about: a new survey found that half of Britons under 40 do not know how to bleed a radiator.

This is because the mild winters of the 1980s and 1990s meant they never needed to learn in their formative years.

Three quarters of young adults also haven’t a clue how to check the pressure of their boiler (neither do I, come to think of it).

But I think I know how to deal with a frozen pipe, unlike 81 per cent of younger people questioned.

Of course, one way of avoiding cold weather problems is to move abroad. I know that people are not too happy in Britain these days but I was astonished at the results of another survey which revealed that 88 per cent of Brits are dissatisfied with life in their homeland and would consider moving to warmer climes within the next five years.

But they don’t want to get away from it all – English speaking nations with a similar culture and close ties with the UK filled four of the top five spots for relocation.

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