Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott listens to Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper during the second test between New Zealand and England at Basin Reserve on March 15 in Wellington, New Zealand. Cooper's trumpet will be silent at Trent Bridge, in Nottingham, England, because the ground doesn't allow musical instruments.
The English national character is an eternal mystery. But from time to time we get a glimpse of some of its components. The story of Billy The Trumpet is one such occasion.
Billy is the embodiment of English eccentricity. He belongs to a boisterous ragtag band of sports fans called the Barmy Army. They're considered "barmy" for very good reason: These people follow England's national cricket team everywhere.
We open our hymnals to Hymn 379, and we begin to sing. "God is Love, let heav'n adore him / God is Love, let earth rejoice ..."
Lifting voices together in praise can be a transcendent experience, unifying a congregation in a way that is somehow both fervent and soothing. But is there actually a physical basis for those feelings?
The defense is expected to wrap up its case Wednesday afternoon at the murder trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer accused in the February 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe it was the stress of a long trial, but last night came one of the most intense courtroom exchanges so far in the trial of George Zimmerman. It ended up with Judge Debra Nelson walking out of the courtroom.
(SOUNDBITE OF ZIMMERMAN TRIAL)
DEBRA NELSON: I'm not getting into this. Court is in recess. I will give my ruling in the morning. I'll see you at eight o'clock in the morning.