I watched some preliminary heats at the men’s swimming world championships recently, and marveled at how close the finishers could be. Laszlo Cseh of Hungary completed the 100-meter butterfly in 50.91 seconds. Tom Shields of the US took second by finishing in 51.09. Less than a second!
It’s not unusual in some sports (track and field, skiing), but consider the fraction of time involved.
What can happen in a second?
A slap. A punch. A kick. A curse.
A devastating bolt of lightning.
A smile. A touch. A kind thought.
Six babies are born.