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Monday 26 July 2010
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?
Sunday 27 June 2010
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:
Friday 25 June 2010
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".
Wednesday 23 June 2010
Monday 26 April 2010
Since the Greek astronomer Ptolemy observed Polaris (the Pole Star) 2000 years ago, it has brightened more than two-and-a-half times.
Saturday 24 April 2010
Insight of the day
The astrologer Russell Grant has come up with his predictions for the three leaders on 6 May.
Sunday 18 April 2010
Saturday 27 February 2010
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.
Friday 06 November 2009
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.
Friday 02 October 2009
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.
Monday 29 June 2009
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.
Saturday 27 June 2009
A popular astrologer who predicted that the President of Sri Lanka would be ousted from office has been arrested.
Saturday 09 May 2009
Tuesday 05 May 2009
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.
Monday 02 March 2009
'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'.
Long after his career in English football has ended, Emile Heskey's impotency in front of goal remains an object of ridicule.
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster