For example, Atlético de Madrid would be left out right now, leaving the champion Liverpool in the ditch in the last 16. It so happens that if the Cholo Simeone team won the Champions League, when it resumes, and was left out of the top four of LaLiga Santander, as it is today, Spain would increase its participants in the group stage in a team the next edition. The same case would occur with Napoli and Lyon if they eliminated, respectively, Barcelona and Juventus. Both, before the postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, were out of the Champions positions and yet they are alive in this edition of the Champions. In addition, Tottenham de Mourinho, Valencia, the great Turkish champion Galatasaray or Leverkusen, in addition to Genk and Lille, are also out of the places that would give access to the next Champions League. Let’s imagine that everything ends as it is in the different European leagues. It is utopian, but it is one more scenario. If that assumption were to occur, half of the 32 teams that started this season’s Champions League group stage would repeat: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig, Juventus, Inter Milan, Atalanta, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow and Bruges. They would have to regain their place in the group stage Olympiacos, Red Star, Dinamo Zagreb, Salzburg, Slavia Prague, Benfica and Ajax. And they would enter right now, if the different leagues did not compete again, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Leicester, Borussia de Mönchengladbach, Lazio, Olympique de Marseille, Porto and Trabzonspor. The outcome of the 2019-20 Champions League is unknown, but of the 2020-21 edition if it is known, for example, that all the countries will again have the same participants by their coefficient, except Croatia, which wins a team to the detriment of Switzerland. Spain, England, Germany and Italy would have, again, four fixed teams. In addition to these 16 teams, The first two classified in the French and Russian leagues and the first in the Belgian, Portuguese, Turkish and Ukrainian leagues would have their place secured. In total 24 teams. The other eight to complete the 32 of the group stage would come out of the previous rounds in which 55 clubs will enter. Namely: the third classified in the French and Russian leagues, the second in the Belgian, Portuguese, Turkish and Ukrainian leagues; the first two in the Dutch, Austrian, Czech, Greek and Croatian league; Y the 39 champions of the countries to which they correspond one place per coefficient. Liechtenstein is the only country to be left without a participant again. We know that UEFA has postponed the Champions League and Europa League finals without a date, but we do not know when competitions will resume in each country, postponed ‘sine die’ at the expense of the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic. Only the Belarusian league is being played and with an audience, albeit with limitations.The return of the round of 16 from Manchester City-Real Madrid, Juventus-Lyon, Bayern Munich-Chelsea and Barcelona-Naples is yet to be disputed in the current edition of the Champions League. Atlético de Madrid, PSG, Leipzig and Atalanta are already in quarters. UEFA works together with national football organizations to reschedule the calendars and the intention is to play again, although, in most cases, there are no dates on the horizon yet.
Isaac Newton was a 17thcentury colossus, whose writings were a driving force behind the way we think about the world today. His work was influential on the Enlightenment, or “Age of Reason,” which took humankind away from magic and towards rationality and scientific principle. Based on this, it’s easy to categorize Newton as a purely rational being and uninterested in the more fantastical side of life. However, that isn’t strictly true. The relationship between science and the occult in those days was more complex and certainly more interactive than some might think.Portrait of Newton in 1689 by Godfrey Kneller.The most famous story about him relates to his theories on gravity, and how he was inspired after an apple fell out of a tree and hit him on the head. This is actually a good starting point for a look at Newton’s occult interests. Whether the fruit incident occurred in such a dramatic way is a matter for debate. If it did happen, there is an intriguing element to this act of Mother Nature that could arguably be called religious.The tree from which the famous apple is said to have fallen. Photo By Fritzbruno CC BY-SA 3.0Just because he was a man of science did not make Newton a non-believer. Milka Levy-Rubin is an academic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2012 she was quoted by the Daily Mail in reference to Newton’s occult writings, which were published online by Israel’s National Library: Surprising things not many people know about Nikola Tesla“Today, we tend to make a distinction between science and faith, but to Newton, it was all part of the same world… He believed that careful study of holy texts was a type of science, that if analyzed correctly could predict what was to come.” A Christian, Newton was interested in Kabbala, an interpretation of the Bible rooted in Jewish mysticism, in addition to other disciplines.Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller.One of the focuses of his studies was the Book of Daniel, with its portents of apocalyptic destruction. Newton himself believed the world would end in 2060. He saw the ancient descriptions of Solomon’s Temple as significant to Mankind’s place in the order of things, and pored over its geometry, leading his own reconstruction of the building.Philosopher’s stone as pictured in Atalanta Fugiens Emblem 21He also had a keen interest in alchemy, or the art of refining substances to recreate them in their purest form. This predated modern chemistry, which had yet to take shape in Newton’s time.Way before Harry Potter heard about the Philosopher’s Stone, Newton looked to make it a reality. Far from being a stone, it was a powder with the supposed ability to transform base metals into gold, the benchmark of alchemical practice.The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771.A National Geographic article from 2016 covers the unveiling of a manuscript written by Newton containing a recipe for “sophick mercury.” Together with other ingredients, this forms part of the Philosopher’s Stone. The piece talks about the extent to which the physicist was invested in alchemy and its methods:“Newton wrote more than one million words about alchemy throughout his life, in the hope of using ancient knowledge to better explain the nature of matter—and possibly strike it rich. But academics have long tiptoed around this connection since alchemy is usually dismissed as mystical pseudoscience full of fanciful, discredited processes.”Newton copied the recipe from American alchemist’s writings. Photo by Chemical Heritage FoundationIndeed, even his admirers were surprised he was toiling away in his laboratory on something associated more with magic than science.Read another story from us: Soviet Union’s doomsday device designed to commence a nuclear strikes across the Northern HemisphereAlchemists gained respect from historians over the years, who came to appreciate their hard work and meticulous efforts. This makes it easier to accept one of the cornerstones of the rational age as a mystical practitioner. It stands to reason however that one day people will look back on the science of this age and wonder how such primitive concepts were ever taken seriously. Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.