Who Makes the Running? ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS

Daily Mail (London), August 19, 2009 | Go to article overview

Who Makes the Running? ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS


Byline: Compiled by Charles Legge

QUESTION Do women ever run with the bulls at Pamplona?

THE running of the bulls is the main event of the annual Fiesta of San Fermin and is held at 8am each day from July 7 to 14.

Usually those taking part are young men who run in front of the bulls to lead them from their pen into the bull-ring, although you don't have to be young or a man to take part. The runs often last just two to three minutes, although if there are complications due to loose bulls, it can last much longer.

The length of the run is 800 metres (about half a mile) and you don't have to sign up to take part - you just choose the street where you will go for it.

Women have never been barred from running with the bulls, but in the Seventies they were actively discouraged from taking part. The foolhardy feminists who did enter would get short shrift from other runners, and those who looked vulnerable - men and women - would be hauled out by the police.

Since the Nineties the number of women has increased, although these are largely foreigners, especially Australians, Kiwis, Germans and Brits, who are usually fitter than the men anyway.

The event is dangerous. Since 1925, 15 people have been killed, and every year between 200 and 300 people are injured, although the majority of these injuries are just bumps and bruises. Having been running with the bulls on and off for the past 30 years, I can say that it is one of the most exhilarating events in the world and hugely addictive.

John Sanders, Iffley, Oxon.

WHILE in the square in front of the town hall in Pamplona waiting for the run to start this year, I got talking to some attractive Australian girls and found myself running alongside them, with the bulls behind us, and I found them again later in the bull-fighting arena. These girls were very fit.

To my mind, the bulls enjoy the run as much as the runners; they are not frightened or scared. I have worked with cattle all my life, so I should know.

Oli Whittall, Hereford.

QUESTION Is it true that Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon synchronises exactly with the action in the film The Wizard Of Oz? If so, was this deliberate?

THIS apparent phenomenon is sometimes known as the Dark Side Of The Rainbow.

To observe the synchronicity, get your CD player ready and start the movie, then start the album when the MGM lion finishes its third roar. When the CD finishes, immediately start again (at 42.5 minutes, the running time is significantly shorter than The Wizard Of Oz's 101 minutes). You should be able pick out some of the many coincidences.

The best known include the following: the chimes in Time begin at the appearance of Almira Gulch (who tries to take Toto away) on her bicycle and stop when she dismounts, and the 'cha-ching!' of Money is heard as Dorothy steps out into Munchkin Land.

Floyd sing 'the lunatic is on the grass' just as the Scarecrow begins his floppy dance near a green lawn.

The line 'Got to keep the loonies on the path' comes just before Dorothy and the Scarecrow start dancing down the Yellow Brick Road. During Time, Dorothy breaks into a trot to the line 'No one told you when to run.'

When Dorothy leaves the fortune-teller to go back to her farm, the album is playing 'Home, home again'. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, appears in her bubble just as the band sing: 'Don't give me that do goody good bull***t.' A few minutes later, the Good Witch confronts the Wicked Witch as the band sing: 'And who knows which is which?'

The song Brain Damage starts as the Scarecrow launches into If I Only Had A Brain, and at the end of the album, which tails off with the insistent sound of a beating heart, Dorothy has her ear to the Tin Man's chest, listening for a heartbeat.

Members of Pink Floyd have repeatedly denied any intentional relationship between the two. …

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