Last month, on 27 March to be exact - a Yemeni man was beheaded in the Saudi Arabian city of Jizan and then had his body 'crucified' (ie displayed in public on a pole). It wasn't a one-off. Last year the Saudi authorities also crucified a Sudanese man after his head had been severed by the executioner.
An analogy that might be easier for us to relate to is to consider an individual driving their car every day of the year. If the risk to the driver was the same as that in a steeplechase like those at Aintree - six deaths in 1,000 - then you would be lucky to still be alive after six months. I doubt many of us would accept this, and yet it is still seemingly acceptable for horses to be exposed to such risks. We should also note that this risk is more than doubled in the Grand National Steeplechase.
Seabass very nearly made history last year when finishing third for jockey Katie Walsh and she must have every chance again this year with the shorter trip a plus for a horse whose stamina gave way at the elbow last year. Ireland haven't won the big race since Silver Birch in 2007 but they have a very strong hand this year.
Britain might be in recession, or on the brink of it, or just recovering from it, depending on which economist/s you're inclined to believe, but that didn't stop the nation reaching into its collective pocket on Saturday to have a flutter on the Grand National and FA Cup Semi-Final. According to the bookies, nearly half the British adult population will have had a flutter of some kind this weekend, with nearly £300 million placed on bets. The £1 I threw into the office sweepstake suddenly seems rather miserly, although as someone who grew up obsessed by ponies and practically weaned on National Velvet, the thought of a woman winning this year's race meant there was even more reason to tune in. If we are a nation of gamblers, we are also a nation that loves to moan. Let us count the things that have collectively upset us this week.
This weekend, millions of Brits will be betting on one of the world's most spectacular sporting events. The Grand National will be watched by about ten million viewers in this country alone - once a year punters will be placing a bet and people who don't normally watch horse racing will be watching the big race.