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Reviews >

Radio

In the land of Nod

In the land of Nod

IT MAY have been through a pro­found sense of irony, or an accept­ance of the realities of radio schedul­ing; but the decision to programme the open­­ing lecture of Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival (Friday to Sunday) was certainly a peculiar one

No little green men

No little green men

“THOUGH much is sad on Earth, yet there may be brighter worlds than this.” It might the line of a hymn — a lost verse of “Jerusalem the Golden” perhaps

Thrill of the swear

Thrill of the swear

IN THE world of graphic designers there is a measure, referred to as TTP (time to penis), which re­p­resents the amount of time it takes for a cheeky user to stick a phallus on it

Slave — or master?

Slave — or master?

ALAN WINFIELD is the only Professor of Robot Ethics in the world. You could take that one of two ways: as a mark of distinction, or of redundancy. Professor Win­field reckons that there ought to be more of his type, and that ethics should be taught as part of any undergraduate engineering course. And you can see how the thrill of the unique must wear thin after a while: the keynote speaker at a conference of one

Parental surprises

Parental surprises

JUST as surely as the clergy of the medieval Church developed litur­gies to prompt our behaviour in sacred rites, so the modern media has evolved particular set responses to recurring rituals

Seller of pancakes

Seller of pancakes

AS A research methodology, it would not pass muster nowadays; but, in the early 19th century, it was by counting the empty pews in rural churches that William Cobbett be­­came convinced of the threat of depopulation in England

Due consideration

IF LEGEND is to be believed, the early designs for spacecraft for manned lunar expeditions had just two buttons for the astronauts to press: “Take me to the moon,” and “Bring me back.” So nervous were the scientists that their expensive machines might be trashed by bungling humans that all decision-making was delegated to computers

From dark to light

TO THE chair of tourism, it is “the heart of the North Wessex Downs”. To those under the age of 40, it is an innocuous Berkshire market town. But to those of us of a certain age, Hungerford is something more: the town that, in our historical imagina­tions, was the site of the first mass killing of innocents by a gun-wielding crazy: the proto-massacre

On the sidelines

LIBERAL anger is becoming a bore. Self-reinforcing, all this angst about Donald Trump is so last week. Get over it, and enjoy the ride

Alien protocols

Alien protocols

WOULD you baptise an extra-terrestrial? It is not a question that I imagine the clergy concern themselves with, but somebody has to consider these daunting questions, and that person is Steven J. Dick, the American astro-biologist asked by NASA to devise protocols for engagement with alien life-forms: everything from quarantine procedures to care of the immortal soul

Total disorder

THE post-Christmas season has, for centuries, been a topsy-turvy time. The Roman Saturnalia, the tradition of boy bishops in medieval cathedrals, and lords of misrule in Renaissance courts — all enacted a conceit in which the world was temporarily turned upside down

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Sun 26 Mar 17 @ 20:15
Chapel to be revealed after 125 years https://t.co/HWPwxlYdwB

Sun 26 Mar 17 @ 16:08
No easy fixes for preventing abuse, warns Australian Primate Freier https://t.co/tkI85yUfPi