sat 13/04/2024

science

Dorian Lynskey: Everything Must Go review - it's the end of the world as we know it

According to REM in 1987, “It’s the end of the world as we know it”. And while they sang about topical preoccupations – hurricanes, wildfires and plane crashes – they were really just varying a theme that has been around since at least St John of...

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Tom Chatfield: Wise Animals review - on the changing world

Consider a chimp peeling a stick which it will poke into a termite nest. It strikes us as a human gesture. Our primate cousin is fashioning a tool. Just as important, the peeled stick implies a narrative. Chimp is hungry, will deploy this neat aid...

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Brian Klaas: Fluke review - why things happen, and can we stop them?

One day in the early 90s I accepted the offer of a lift from a friend to a university open day I hadn’t been planning to go to. I ended up attending that university and there met my wife, and if I hadn’t done that my life would have been very...

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Poor Things review - other-worldly adaptation of Alasdair Gray's novel

Following their award-scooping collaboration on 2018’s The Favourite, Emma Stone and director Yorgos Lanthimos return with this mind-bending adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s eponymous novel. Also on board is screenwriter Tony McNamara, who wrote (with...

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Caspar Henderson: A Book of Noises - Notes on the Auraculous review - a call to ears

Have you ever considered the sheer range of sounds? You may think of deliberate human efforts to move the air: music and song, poetry or baby talk, cries and whispers. Other human-made noises come to mind: sirens, bells, fireworks; the hum of the...

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Octopolis, Hampstead Theatre review - blue, blue, electric blue

How many hearts does an octopus have? Answer: three. This pub quiz clincher is just one of the many fascinating facts that emerge from Octopolis, Marek Horn’s engrossing 100-minute two-hander which explores the relationship between humans and...

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Helen Czerski: Blue Machine review - how the ocean works

If you cannot even step into the same river twice, how to take the measure of the ocean? Dipping your toes at the beach is irresistible, but uninformative. Sampling stuff out at sea helps more, but you have to get serious. Consider the Continuous...

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Matthew Shindell: For the Love of Mars: A Human History of the Red Planet review - a world of possibility

Humans are unsettled by incomplete data, unanswered questions. Show us dots on paper, and we’ll join them to make a picture. Show us objects in the night sky, and we create worlds.So it has been with Mars, conspicuous to us Earthbound gazers as one...

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Jonathan Kennedy: Pathogenesis - How Germs Made History review - a return to the infections that formed us

The Cayapo tribe, a shade under 10,000 strong, lived in South America unacquainted with humans in the wider world until 1903. That year, they accepted a missionary who, along with news of salvation, brought new disease. By 1918, they numbered only...

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Sally Adee: We Are Electric review - currents that run through us all

All the things going on with me as I type this – fingers moving keys, eye and brain registering characters on my screen, thoughts that will (I hope) generate the next lot of characters – rely on electrical signals.So much has been common knowledge...

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Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of the Imagination, Science Museum review - travel to a galaxy not so far away

Scenes that stay in the mind: Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator peeling back the skin on his forearm to reveal the gleaming machinery within; a beady-eyed, new-born Alien bursting from John Hurt’s abdomen; that all-species bar in Star Wars;...

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Amalie Smith: Thread Ripper review - the tangled web we weave

Sitting in the park on a hot summer’s day, life began to imitate art. I had been soaking up the sun’s now overpowering rays for over an hour and was beginning to feel its radiating effects.Golden green filaments of grass moved back, the trees swayed...

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