Arts and Entertainment

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

Wrong medicine

Petrov makes most of second best

Uefa Cup is a poor substitute, but Celtic see the benefit. Phil Gordon reports

Yearning for a simpler age

While some people struggle to keep up with the latest new technology, Julie Myerson prefers to stay in touch with the real world and just have a word processor that works.

MIRACLES AND MASSES

Business is booming at the pilgrimage site of Lourdes, with an unprecedented 7 million visitors expected in the coming year. John Lichfield travels to the town and asks what really draws people there: faith or superstition?

Mathematical Notes: Zero tolerance and Saracen magic

MATHEMATICIANS HAVE kept the secret to themselves for too long. Theirs is the most beautiful of the arts, and the most accessible, yet bad teaching has made it seem boring at best and more often frightening. How many of us still break out in a cold sweat at the mere sight of an equation?

Columns: A good idea from... Theophrastus

A FEW DAYS ago, I met a woman who told me, "I know someone just like you." "Really," I said (offended). "How do you mean, just like me?" "Well, you know, little hair, a bit gauche, into books. He even wears a big grey coat like yours in winter. It's uncanny." This kind of thing should make one happy. It should be lovely to hear that there is a near clone out there, a soulmate, someone to talk to and go clothes shopping with. But, in actuality, it can be quite horrible, given the strength of our desire to feel special, different, unique.

Leading article: Heavenly omens

SHOOTING STARS are one of the most spectacular sights in astronomy and, like most celestial events, they attract their own brand of superstition. When the Leonid meteors come crashing through our skies tonight they should, if the clouds part, produce more than a dozen streaks a minute. Spectacular yes, but not quite the show of 1833 when the Leonids caused thousands of shooting stars to fall like a heavenly fountain, leading many to believe that the Day of Judgement was at hand.

The Irritations of Modern Life 64. Weatherspeak

HELLO. IT'S been a lively few days at the annual party conferences. Next week sees much of that activity continuing, with the parties competing to dominate the agenda... hang on a minute. Stop everything. Cut. This sentence isn't going to work.

Letter: Measles kills

SUZANNE TIBURTIUS's GP (Letters, 5 September) may have a 100 per cent success record with his homeopathic measles vaccine, but this is solely due to the benefits of "herd immunisation", which results from the widespread use of the MMR vaccine. These benefits would also be seen with an injection of saline - the ultimate homeopathic vaccine.

The Eclipse: Russia - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

VISITORS TO the Black Sea resort of Sochi - where the eclipse was 98 per cent - peered skywards through chunks of smoke-blackened broken glass or ordinary glasses with film negatives Sellotaped over them.

The Eclipse: Germany - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

BERLIN'S SPARROWS paid no attention, twittering away as darkness descended on the city. Humans, though, stopped in their tracks.

The Eclipse: Italy - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

THE POPE joined millions of Italians scrutinising the sky yesterday after cutting short his weekly audience so as not to miss the last eclipse of the millennium. "I'll stop now, as I know that some among you are in a hurry to view the eclipse," he told his audience in the Vatican before flying by helicopter to his holiday residence at Castelgandolfo in time for the event.
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How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

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Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
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The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

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This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
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Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
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Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

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Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

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The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

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Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

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'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

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Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue