Understanding a lifetime of passion in 1 hour – IoP Lecture on Birds by Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky

Until a couple of years ago and well into his seventies I watched my father, Muhammed Mukhtar, work 7 days a week 365 days a year and yet showed very little signs of stress. He always has an air of peace and tranquility even at the most frantic of times. I never understood why he was that way, perhaps it was his religious beliefs and convictions.

Apart from work my father has always been fascinated with animals and I have never seen anyone better with them. They seem totally at home with him. His great love however is birds, particularly pigeons. Everyday during spare moments at lunchtime or after work he alway finds time to feed pigeons, watch their flights, clean their space and inspect their wings and coat. As kids we never understood his passion but accepted it. My mother, however always resented the time and devotion my father had for birds. I think she saw them as competition for his attention even though my father provided her and his family with a very comfortable life.

I accepted my father interest in birds as a hobby, however last week I really understood my father’s fascination and hobby in a riveting and breathtaking Institute of Physics (IoP) lecture at UCLAN given by Prof Andrei Zvelindovsky. When I saw the poster initially, I must admit that I was expecting some mathematical equations with a few abstract examples; after all what does a physicist know about birds, bees and football crowds. I expected to be bored and possibly dose off for large periods in the middle of the lecture. I was, however, spellbound with the dynamic lecture, its contents, intricate patterns of birds and bees and strangely with mathematical relationships.

It was quite frankly the most interesting lecture I have heard in many years on any subject and finally I understood by father’s passion and fascination with birds. Thank you Andrei.
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Author:Prof Waqar Ahmed

Professor of Nanoscience

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5 Comments on “Understanding a lifetime of passion in 1 hour – IoP Lecture on Birds by Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky”

  1. December 19, 2012 at 21:25 #

    Reblogged this on Computational Physics Group.

  2. Prof Waqar Ahmed
    December 19, 2012 at 23:43 #

    Reblogged this on Nanotechnology & Nanomedicine Group.

  3. Marco
    December 31, 2012 at 10:04 #

    Reblogged this on Study Physics.

  4. Vladimir
    March 26, 2013 at 11:41 #

    Hi Andrei, maybe you send me your presentation! regards

  5. Tim Mercer
    June 17, 2013 at 09:51 #

    Waqar / Andrei,

    I was annoyed I could not make this talk and now I’m even more frustrated after reading Waqar’s comments. My Grandfather was a champion breeder of racing pigeons here in sunny Preston and like Waqar, I have never understood the fascination. I never met my granddad as he was killed on his motorbike, on the day my Mum and Dad got engaged, follwing an argument with a lorry that he lost of course (this happened only a few hundred yards from the University campus). My Dad continued with pigeon breeding and racing and I can just remember helping him to feed the birds and clean out the pigeon shed at the bottom of our garden. As this was a new-build estate of 1960s semis “in suburbia ” with real front and back gardens instead of back-yards, it caused quite a stir and meant our family was seen as distinctly odd. Anyhow, my father still comes alive whenever he talks about his pigeons and maybe now I can understand this a bit better.

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