The ordinary greatness of Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister’s great achievement was not to attain the impossible, but to make the unattainable realistic.

The claim that typically accompanies a feat of athletic genius—that it may never be equalled—was never said of Bannister’s four-minute mile. The point of his race was exactly the opposite. The four-minute barrier had daunted runners for generations, but Bannister intended to break through it so that others might follow. And they did.


What colour is a tennis ball?

It’s the dress part two!

I make this decision as much on the basis of what I think I know about tennis balls—that they are yellow—as I do on what color I recall that they looked when I last saw one… In other words, like the color of a lot of objects, how we label [a tennis ball] is determined both by perceptual and cognitive factors: the actual physical light entering your eye and … knowledge about what people have typically labeled the objects.

I have to say, it never occurred to me that a tennis ball might be any colour other than yellow.