Genius Day

If you swing out of bed this morning and discover an unusual spring in your step it is possible you are about to commit an act of creative genius for wonderful good, spectacular entertainment or hair-whitening ill.

Throughout the 20th century, October 30 has been a day when human beings have displayed dazzling ingenuity and redefined our world.

It was on this day in 1925 that the great Scots inventor John Logie Baird created his first television transmitter. The iPad is about as revolutionary as a three-month-old Flemish sprout in comparison with the cultural impact of this box with its flickering images.

And in 1938 the boy genius Orson Welles demonstrated the potential of mass entertainment to blur the contours of reality when his radio broadcasts of HG Wells’s The War of the Worlds spread panic that human civilisation was imperilled by a Martian invasion.

Jump forward to 1960 and Michael Woodruff – a man who deserves to be a household name – performed the UK’s first successful kidney transplant.

Scientific wonder of an altogether horrifying kind took place the next year when the Soviet Union broke records in nuclear testing. The 50 megaton Tsar Bomba created a mushroom cloud 40 miles high and 25 miles wide.

An cultural explosion of equal magnitude took place in 1974 when boxing legends Muhammad Ali and George Foreman came together in Zaire for the Rumble in the Jungle.

Without wishing for a nanosecond to engage in astrological hooey, if you do have a son or daughter born today, there appears to be more than a morsel of a chance they will prove a true genius. They will share a birthday with John Adams, the man who famously united the United States of America. And perhaps the greatest novelist of all-time Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Plus the astonishing painter Alfred Sisley, and the out-of-fashion but undoubtedly explosive wordsmith Ezra Pound. And let’s not forget football’s incendiary Diego Maradona.

Perhaps October 30 has magical qualities because the fireball sunsets of autumn are about to melt into the dark star-filled nights of November and energy and imagination are shaken together like a Bond Martini in the depths of our souls.

Humanity may daydream about Lottery wins or long to have been born rich, but the excitements that have characterised this day throughout the decades involved the harnessing of training, talent, knowledge, experience and audacity. The men and women who made the date one for historians to remember knew that the greatest colour any artist can wield is life itself.

Have a fantastic weekend in which happiness will transform obstacles into springboards and befuddlement into inspiration and may you make a glorious splash.

A Saturday column