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NuSTAR captures dead star and distant black holes

Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science, By Michael Brooks<br/>Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science, Edited by Ra Page

These days science is either nothing or it's the new religion. But, as both these books show in their different ways, the practice of science inhabits the broad territory between these extremes and exhibits the full Monty of human behaviour. Science is the most reliable form of knowledge we have but it is arrived at by unreliable means. Cutting-edge research deals with the unknown unknowns, as the unwitting philosopher of science Donald Rumsfeld put it, and there is no formula or methodology for achieving that.

Cern scientists shatter antimatter record

How do you store a substance which vanishes into thin air the moment it comes into contact with any material known to man, even thin air itself?

Storm leaves 116 dead in a single American town

Doctors and nurses at the main hospital in the US town of Joplin, Missouri, had just minutes to rush patients away from windows and outside walls before it was ravaged by a massive tornado that ripped a wide path through, leaving at least 116 people dead and countless more injured. Officials said the death toll was expected to rise.

Adjust your compass now: the north pole is migrating to Russia

Movement of the magnetic north is causing problems for aviation, navigation and wildlife

Vatican Radio is told to pay out over cancer risk scare

Italy's supreme Court has ordered Vatican Radio to compensate a small town near Rome following claims that children there were at a higher risk of cancer because of the broadcaster's high-powered transmitters.

Solar storm 'could cause more damage than Hurricane Katrina'

A powerful solar flare hit the Earth last week &ndash; and experts are now warning that the next one could be catastrophic

The Planet in a Pebble, By Jan Zalasiewicz

The very stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare." So laments Mr Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, whose author, Virginia Woolf, had originally plumped for Plato in the novel's manuscript. With his fascinating brief study of the aeons encapsulated in a slate pebble washed by the waves on a Welsh beach, the geologist Jan Zalasiewicz finds so much more than books in babbling brooks or sermons in stones. It is soon evident that the years between the acts of a Greek philosopher and Jacobean playwright are a mere instant.

Simon Carr: Barking and cringeing on Ed's quest for the leadership secret

Sketch: The words "brotherly love" are to Ed like a dentist's drill on an open tooth.

Liam Fox highlights solar flare threat to power grids

Defence Secretary Liam Fox will today highlight the threat to Britain's essential infrastructure, amid warnings by scientists that it could be paralysed by a once-in-a-century solar flare.

Theories of everything: Has cosmic science written its last word?

Stephen Hawking's new book dumps divine design in favour of spontaneous creation

The Stars: September

Devourer of asteroids, swallower of comets: Jupiter is a world to be reckoned with. It's the giant of our Solar System: a planet that could contain 1,300 Earths.

Forget the Large Hadron Collider. All hail Cern's new, straight-line atom smasher

Physicists are demanding a &pound;4.4bn, 31-kilometre tunnel if they are to explain the mysteries of the universe

Album: The Divine Comedy, Bang Goes The Knighthood (DCR)

Unstrapping his shin pads after last year's success with The Duckworth Lewis Method, Neil Hannon returns to his main day-job with Bang Goes The Knighthood, an album on which the cast of familiar Divine Comedy characters are targeted with his usual precision and urbanity.

Sun's magnetic field may have caused freezing winter

It was the coldest winter in England since 1963 – the coldest in Scotland since 1914 – and weeks of ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures from last December to March defied predictions by climate-change scientists of milder, wetter winters. So what happened?

Do try this at home? Science experiments as homework

Teachers say science experiments are disappearing from schools. But that doesn't have to mean the end of the Van der Graaf generator
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A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works