James Owen Weatherall— The Great Pyramid of Giza is more than forty-five centuries old. It has been broken into, explored, and looted by countless civilizations, ancient and modern. But it seems the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still has some secrets left. And while aliens may
Leslie Anthony— It’s fall, and many of us are travelling south—Mexico, the Caribbean, Nicaragua. That’s not unusual. But what might be odd is that most of us have stopped talking about Zika, an emergent disease vectored by invasive mosquitos that persists in these areas, and over which we should still
Leslie Anthony— Life on our planet is changing, of that there can be no doubt. That alien invasive species are a measurable component of this is also clear. The questions raised, then, are simple, and essentially those we began with: do we care about this? And if so, what are
John Gribbin— Who was the first person to realise that gravity is a universal force possessed by every object in the Universe, which attracts every other object? Isaac Newton, right? Wrong! Newton got the idea, and other insights which fed into his theory of gravity, from Robert Hooke, a seventeenth-century polymath
Edward Dallam Melillo— On October 31, 1967, California governor Ronald Reagan addressed seventy-three diplomats, businesspeople, and academics who had assembled in Sacramento for the fourth annual Chile-California Conference. As the former Hollywood actor and future US president told his audience, “Well, Chile is something special to California, and to Californians
John Gribbin— The Universe began. The origin of everything we see about us – stars, planets, galaxies, people – can be traced back to a definite moment in time, 13.8 billion years ago. The ‘ultimate’ question that baffled philosophers, theologians and scientists for millennia has been answered in our lifetime.
Stephen Long— Memory is a capacity both individual and cultural. Think back to when the recent economic downturn began in 2007 and how frequently it was compared to the Great Depression. Some called it the “great recession” to reinforce the comparison. Because so many individuals could tell firsthand tales about
Gavin Weightman— Working backwards from the ‘eureka moment’ offers an intriguing perspective: we find the bicycle an inspiration for the aeroplane, a talking automaton suggesting the telephone, early television dependent on discoveries made with a blowpipe and the microchip manufactured with a printing technique that dates from the nineteenth century.
James Owen Weatherall— Imagine a house with no furniture. Is it empty? Presumably I haven’t given enough information to answer the question. There may be other stuff in the house: people, clothes, food, pets. Take all of this away, too. Indeed, take out all of the “stuff,” big and small.