21 February 2011 / submitted by Sage, United States of America
Q.  I wanted to know if you set your mind to something very important like a dream or passion, do you believe anyone can succeed in it? Even with people around you that are discouraging you? This question haunts me all the time, I just don't know if you give your all towards something, will I get it?
Not necessarily, no. I think strong passion and determination help as well as talent and even luck to a degree. I have to say that one thing you mention that would be guaranteed to motivate me is trying to prove the discouraging mob wrong!
In my opinion giving your all and not succeeding is better than not trying and never knowing if you could have.

18 February 2011 / submitted by Laura, Italy
"I've got a problem concerning my friend. She's been dating this guy for about a year and she's 19 years old. She's currently planning her wedding.
I'd like to be happy for her, but I'm afraid that she's rushing into this. I don't feel like I can just watch her get married with someone she might not know well enough and possibly end up miserable in a marriage she can't get out of (her faith doesn't approve divorce).
What should I do? She's too in love to listen to the reasons not to get married. Should I just ignore possible problems and go shop for a wedding gift? Laura"
It's extremely difficult to be on the outside looking in and feel like you can see more clearly from there. Your friend may only be 19 and only have known this man for a year - which probably feels like long enough to both of them in their love for each other - but it's her decision, her life and her mistake to make IF it turns out to be one.
The thing is Laura, you ask if you should ignore the "possible" problems which identifies that there aren't any at the moment; you're projecting into a future YOU expect. I do agree with you as I would feel the same trepidation if a friend of mine seemed to be rushing into such a huge commitment at such a young age but maybe it's us being cynical. In your shoes I would get involved with the planning and support her. However I'd both acknowledge and own my feelings by telling her how I think I'd feel in her shoes, that I don't think I would ever be able to do what she's doing for all the reasons I feel. You have to remember this is what she wants or at least thinks she wants so try to just accept whatever she decides and be her friend no matter what happens. Buy a present.
Over to you...

You said your friend is a person with a strong faith and conservative, I guess she might be doing this because she wants to live her relationship as people usually do and her faith wouldn't allow her without being married. And besides that she is sure that her boyfriend is the one and that he feels the same way about her.
Although it can be a big mistake for her (because getting to know someone really well takes years), for the things you said I think there's nothing you can do to avoid it. You can talk to her, as you already did, but it's more likely that she stays in the same position. Sometimes the best you can do, besides talking and advising your loved ones, is letting them make their own mistakes so they can learn.
I know people who got married being really young (at 18, 19), who advised me not to do the same; to get to know the other person better. But in this case your friend is very attached to her faith (I'm sure her boyfriend too), and maybe things can work in a different way for her. She has a different vision of the world. Maybe she's ready to renounce to certain things we can do at this age and embrace an adult life and things work for her.
This may be hard for you, because it means you'll spend less time with her or won't do some things that you are used to do together anymore. But you two will still be friends and will still be able to spend time together. You are gonna have to accept her decision, though you are not happy with it. So buy her a present :) and be there if she has any trouble.
Love from Argentina. Noelia

My friend married her husband when they knew each other for 6 months. I knew it was rather soon but I was happy for them because she was happy. Divorce rates are going up period, there's always a chance no matter how old she is or how long they have been together.
My advice for you is to be there for her. I wouldn't express to her that you think it's too soon, unless she asks you. Support her through her decision and if she ends up getting divorce, don't think you could have stopped it. Everyone takes a different path in life.
I wish the best for you and your friend and I wish them a happy marriage. Caitlin

Ok, I got two thoughts: first, your friend is too young to get married and second, one year is not enough to know a person, but I think you know that. If she didn't listen to you, maybe you should let her realize about what she is doing. You know your friend's boyfriend? You know how is he? A great guy or someone you don't marry? Maybe he is the right guy, or maybe not. If you think that he shouldn't marry your friend, talk to her, about the life of a wife and how difficult it could be. Also, you know what her parents think? Sometimes they have the best opinion, and you should follow their thoughts, because parents want the best for their daughter. I hope this could be useful for you, and whatever happens to your friend, remember that you tried do the best for her. Very luck, sorry if my English is too bad. Trini.

A year isn't a very long time at all, so I understand why you might be concerned. Your friend really does need to think hard before she goes through with this though. I think you are right in trying to talk to her about this, and how you feel (are your feelings shared with his and her family?) Weddings are exciting and crazy at the same time, so make sure that you're there for her if those plans continue. Mindy

It is very thoughtful of you to share your honest concerns with your friend. If you have presented your argument against her marriage and she still hasn't changed her mind, then odds are more persuasive conjecture won't help your cause. Trying to make someone do something they don't want to do (especially when they are in love) is near impossible. As hard as it may be, you should be supportive of her decision and wish her well in her time of happiness. Blake

As the old adage says 'act in haste, repent in leisure'. There's really nothing you can or should do to prevent your friend from planning a wedding. It I doesn't sound to me like she's actually engaged, so let her dream! If she does get married so young, then she will obviously have to live with the decision. I hope that whatever her faith is that there is some sort of marriage counselling before the final vows are spoken. Sometimes girls are more in love with the idea of being married than in love with the person whom they marry. If your friend has any sense at all, she will wake up one day and realize herself that she's making a mistake. That's when you step in to give you guidance and support. That said, don't let her walk down that aisle if she has any doubts at all. If she believes she's doing the right thing, you have to let her make her own mistakes. Joanne

Thank you once again for all your input.
Click to read this week's Team Oracle question, and send us your answer.

18 February 2011 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
When I answer questions of a personal/emotional nature, readers often get in touch with their own thoughts. So, we now have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday (with the question asker's permission) we open up a question to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I'll post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.
So, if you'd like to join in, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 200 words, to before Thursday 24th February.

"I'm very insecure about my appearance. I think I'm very ugly. I've got acne, protruding ears and glasses. And probably a lot more... I'm just so afraid that I'll never have a girlfriend and that I will die alone. Although I've got a lot of good friends who tell me that I'm not ugly, I know that they're not telling what they're thinking... I just feel so sad. Brian"

Look forward to seeing your replies.
The Oracle
Please email your replies to

17 February 2011 / submitted by Brooke, United States of America
Q.  Did Chris really do this? If he did I love it!
Hmmm well yes and no; they are his vocals. When you see "vs" it means versus and generally means that are two tracks pitched against each other yet spliced together. In this case we have Jay Z versus Nelly's All Good Things.
The latter had an early demo version of the song with Chris not only on backing vocals but the acapella intro that is used here.
What we're left with is neither song in its original form of course, so you can hear samples, vocals looped and repeated etc.

17 February 2011 / submitted by Tomas, Argentina
Q.  Hello Oracle, how are you?
I hope you can answer my question. I was wondering, why is the song Don't Panic call like this?
That's a tricky one Tomas because just to confuse you all, the song was originally called Panic. I'd guess the line "all of us are done for" is saying there's no hope but on reflection the closing lyrics of having nothing to run from and someone to lean on are more hopeful; lifting the song into a more positive mood hence Don't Panic.

17 February 2011 / submitted by Asger, Denmark
Q.  Dear Oracle,

How could Jonny possibly sell his cap?! His cap! :O

Thank you for your time.
One of his caps, ONE of his caps! Thank you for yours...

16 February 2011 / submitted by Arthur, Paraguay
Q.  I want to paint my guitar like Chris's Gibson blues king spare one, is that painted over the guitar or painted over something and then stuck to the guitar? And what kind of paint did Vicki Taylor used? And one last thing, can I have a nice and clear picture of the guitar so I can paint mine?
Thanks a lot mate.
Vicki used acrylics which were painted straight onto the instruments. For close-up photos of the guitar in question, see page 40 of the End of Decade Clearout Sale Kids Company Auction catalogue.

16 February 2011 / submitted by Christine, Mexico
Q.  If I broke up with him, he will say my darkest secret to my best friend...
But, if I don't... I will be so unhappy... I don't love him any more!
Christine, leave him! Don't stay with someone because they are blackmailing you. You can either tell your friend yourself or wait and see what your soon to be ex-boyfriend does; he may be calling your bluff and might not tell her anything.
If your friend really is a true friend she will understand and support you whatever your dark secret is.

16 February 2011 / submitted by Priscilla, United States of America
Q.  Dear Oracle,
A few months ago I told this guy I have I crush on that he was cute (I may have flatteringly compared him to Guy). He knew about Coldplay but the conversation didn't go further. It was random on my part and awkward on both our parts.
I see him every day. How do I get over my humiliation?
Wait. WILL I get over my humiliation?
Well firstly try to stop seeing it as humiliation but rather a kind gesture of offering someone a compliment. Imagine that someone had come up to you and said they think you're cute, I suspect you'd see that as a positive thing. Even if it was awkward I'm sure you wouldn't want that person to feel humiliated months later. Just as I am sure the guy you flattered does not want that for you either so put it down to experience and forget about it.

15 February 2011 / submitted by Billy, United States of America
Q.  Did Phil Harvey, the fifth member of Coldplay, post this picture in the exhibition room?

A few people have asked if was our Phil and yes he did indeed take and submit that photograph. Just to give you a little more information... On Saturday Phil posted the picture on Twitter with the caption "where me and Chris went climbing today".
The more eagle-eyed of you may have worked out from it they were in fact at Worthy Farm, the site of Glastonbury music festival; hence the name of the photo being Fields of Avalon.