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Paul Jenkins: Painter whose art brimmed with the energy of life

The American artist Paul Jenkins, whose unorthodox application of paint by an alchemy of pouring techniques brought him association with the great Abstract Expressionists, has died in New York City at the age of 88. Born in a lightning storm in Kansas City in 1923, he started as he meant to go on, enjoying a somewhat epic life which found friendship with luminaries such as Jean Dubuffet, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning et al, whose support of him was as noteworthy for its affection as for its endurance – a distinction not always granted to artists at the top of the pile.

Horoscopes: A sign of the times

Whether you're a believer or a sceptic, the allure of horoscopes is hard to ignore. But new findings suggest there may be more to the zodiac than meets the eye. By Genevieve Roberts

The Stars: December

After midnight on 13 December, look out for what promises to be the year's best meteor shower.

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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

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 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.