The Stars: August

In 1974, Frank Drake, director of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, had completed the task of resurfacing the world's biggest radio telescope. This enormous dish, 300 metres across, was now the most powerful on Earth. How to celebrate its switch-on?

Sackable offences: When push comes to shove – the elbow in all its savage guises

General Stanley McChrystal's recent sacking was brief and brutal. Even before his comments in Rolling Stone about President Obama and his aides hit the newsstands, he was summoned to the White House. General McChrystal was told not even to bother returning to Afghanistan to say farewell. He's not the first, nor likely the last, to be sacked, publicly, without any softening of the blow. Here are some others:

The Book in the Renaissance, By Andrew Pettegree

History is what survives. One man's dustbin is another's potential archive. A narrow partition divides the hoarder from the scholar. With this remarkable book, Andrew Pettegree immediately shows gratitude to scattered libraries which have somehow kept scarce books, and pamphlets, absent from earlier surveys of printed books. Paradoxically enough, only with online catalogues have so many near-fugitive works become more apparent. Pettegree not only pursues Continental haunts but "the Library at Innerpeffay, tucked away up a farm track in rural Perthshire".

Taurus, By Joseph Smith

The world through a bull's eye

The Stars: May

Since the Greek astronomer Ptolemy observed Polaris (the Pole Star) 2000 years ago, it has brightened more than two-and-a-half times.

Election highlights of the day: 24/04/10

Insight of the day

The astrologer Russell Grant has come up with his predictions for the three leaders on 6 May.

Everyone's Gone to the Movies...White Cube, London

Both blindingly clever and blinding, Cerith Wyn Evans's show seduces us with its formal beauty but also with its sense of loneliness in a crowd

Amy Jenkins: The writing is on the wall for homeopathy, and not before time

It looks like the New Age might be over before it has even begun. Its most high-profile contribution to modern life – the alternative health therapy – is under threat. Science is back in fashion and the forces of rationality are gathering. The fashion for reflexologists, applied kinesiologists and iridologists may finally be drawing to a close.

Album: Sufjan Stevens/Osso, Run Rabbit Run (Asthmatic Kitty)

Just a couple of weeks after his film soundtrack, The BQE, further proof that Sufjan Stevens is the most protean young talent of the new millennium arrives in the shape of Run Rabbit Run, on which his 2001 electronic concept album based on the Chinese zodiac, Enjoy Your Rabbit, is transposed for the string quartet Osso.

The Raven King, By Marcus Tanner

Bound with his symbol of a raven, the 2,000 volumes in the library of Matthias Corvinus (1443-1490) have long dispersed, yet they continue to be a powerful nationalist symbol in Hungary, which he ruled from 1458.

The stars for July

Summer is here, graced with a trio of beautiful bright stars – the "Summer Triangle". Almost overhead you'll find Vega, the fifth-brightest star in the sky. It commands the constellation of Lyra, the lyre – a stringed instrument constructed by the mythical god Hermes.

Astrologer failed to see twist in political fortune

A popular astrologer who predicted that the President of Sri Lanka would be ousted from office has been arrested.

Games Review: Russell Grant’s
Astrology

DS, Deep Silver, £19.99

Stargazing in May

Spring has sprung – and it shows in the sky. Gone are the in-your-face constellations of winter, to be replaced by the more subtle groupings for the softer days. One is the constellation of Boötes: a kite-shaped pattern of stars just below the "tail" of the Great Bear (Ursa Major). In legend, Boötes was "the herdsman", and the name of its brightest star – Arcturus, visible high in the south – means "bear driver", because this brilliant star appears to herd the bear around the sky as the Earth spins.

Star gazing: The skies in March

'O Moon, when I gaze on your beautiful face, careering along through the boundaries of space... the thought has often come into my mind... if ever I shall see thy glorious behind'.

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Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
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Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel