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In the beginning
Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?
Life on Mars
In a white dome on a bare mountain, six of us are road-testing life in a Martian colony. This is what I’ve learned so far
Doing more with less: the economic lesson of Peak Paper
How do polar bears find their love match? Flirty play in the snow till they drop
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Is infinite growth possible on a finite planet?
Do modern, computerised neurothrillers create a more visceral, direct sense of panic than classics?
What is the best way to prepare for life on other worlds?
Is the concept of ‘species’ outdated, especially when it comes to human evolution?
Is awesomeness a kind of moral virtue?
If, as Shakespeare suggested, all the world’s a stage, do we have a ‘true self’?
The significance of football in the fight over what is France
The migrant’s tale
Sure it’s progressive to sympathise with young undocumented migrants, but it also locks them into a victimhood narrative
The urge to explore is what drives us to land on alien worlds
Creepy masks, boozy baths and chicken chases: the mayhem of Courir de Mardi Gras
Why, in the entire history of human life, did awesomeness become the great virtue of our age (and suckiness its vice)?
Standard interrogation techniques lead to false confessions
Finding alien life raises huge ethical questions. Finding we’re alone does, too
It’s not just your imagination. Horror films are much more scary than they were in the past. Here’s how they do it
Human evolution is more a muddy delta than a branching tree
Heated rivalries and (pigeon) sex: the passionate world of Scottish doo fleein’
A fake of art
Museums display perfect reproductions of fragile works and visitors can’t tell the difference. Is nothing in art sacred?
How looting in Iraq unearthed the treasures of Gilgamesh
Let the Sun’s invisible solar winds wash over you in ultra high-definition video
Lessons of Demopolis
Wisdom from classical Greece: democracy and liberalism are both better off if we understand the difference between them
What lies behind the myth of the strong, self-reliant loner?
Refugees flee to Australia only to be detained in squalid and abusive conditions
Dispatches from the ruins
The human world has become bafflingly complex and strangely fragile making apocalypse the easiest thing to imagine
Don’t ‘do’ the National Parks – let them do something to you
A bird-of-paradise must become a lord of the dance to woo a discerning mate
The superfluid Universe
Quantum effects are not just subatomic: they can be expressed across galaxies, and solve the puzzle of dark matter
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