tue 03/08/2021

science

Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre review - a starry revival

A cosmologist and a beekeeper walk into a barbecue. Or a wedding. The beekeeper is in a relationship, or married, or just out of a relationship, or married again. The cosmologist shares the secret of the universe with him: it’s impossible to lick...

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Nichola Raihani: The Social Instinct review - the habits of co-operation

An army on the move must be as disturbing as it is, on occasion, inspiring. In E.L. Doctorow’s startlingly good civil war novel The March, General Sherman’s column proceeds inexorably through the southern United States like a giant organism. It...

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Edward St Aubyn: Double Blind review - constructing 'cognition literature'

If it weren’t for the warning on the blurb, the first chapter of Double Blind would have you wondering whether you’d ordered something from the science section by mistake. It's a novel that throws its reader in at the deep end, where that end is...

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Frances Larson: Undreamed Shores review - journeys without maps

Beatrice Blackwood had lived in a clifftop village between surf and jungle on Bougainville Island, part of the Solomon archipelago in the South Pacific. She hunted, fished and grew crops with local people as she studied their social and sexual lives...

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Book extract: Fat by Hanne Blank

"Ugh, I just feel so fat today," the woman near me in the locker room says to her friend as they get dressed after their workout. I look over – discreetly, as one does – to catch a glimpse of the grimacing side of her face as she zips up a pair of...

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Book extract: Snake by Erica Wright

Ophidiophobia is one of our most common fears, from the Greek for serpent ('Ophidia'). Writer and editor Erica Wright grew up in Tennessee with periodic interruptions from rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads, who were spotted slinking around...

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David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet review - is the end nigh?

At 93-years-old and with a career that spans nearly 60 years, David Attenborough has spent a lifetime transporting audiences from the comfort of their sofas to the dazzling, often bewildering, majesty of the natural world. Now, he offers what he...

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Joseph Mazur: The Clock Mirage review – brief histories of time

The Greek philosopher Zeno’s paradoxes, which have plagued thinkers for around 2500 years, tell us that super-speedy Achilles can never outrun the tortoise and that an arrow in flight must always occupy a fixed position at intervals of time – and so...

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Director Marjane Satrapi: ‘The real question is do you like everyone? No? So, why should everyone like you?’

Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-born French filmmaker, has a reputation that precedes her. Her upbringing was the subject of the acclaimed films Persepolis (2007) and Chicken With Plums (2011). Persepolis won the Cannes Jury Prize, two César awards and...

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A Number, Bridge Theatre review - a dream team dazzles anew

There are any number of ways to perform A Number, Caryl Churchill’s bleak and beautiful play about a father and three of who knows how many of his genetically cloned sons. Since it first opened at the Royal Court in 2002, this hourlong two-hander...

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Albert Costa: The Bilingual Brain review – double-talking heads and what they tell us

Those of us who have to toil and sweat with other languages often feel a twinge of envy when we meet truly bilingual folk. That ability to switch codes, seemingly without any fuss, must confer so many benefits. More than ever, bilingualism blossoms...

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Heston's Marvellous Menu: Back to the Noughties, BBC Two review - ghost of food trends past

Heston Blumenthal, of triple-cooked chips fame, is a mad food scientist. Well, that’s how we’re introduced to him in Heston’s Marvellous Menu. Tonight’s BBC Two programme had a rather theatrical premise: a chef recreating the complete dining...

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