Cultures & Languages


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Art
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Rituals & Celebrations
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Idea/Cultures & Languages

Whatever you do, don’t call this an ‘interesting’ idea

Simson L Garfinkel

Essay/History

The Masada mystery

Have archaeologists proven the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert or twisted science for political end?

Eric H Cline

Video/Stories & Literature

The welder-turned-poet who fell in love with words in a Glasgow shipyard

11 minutes

Video/Music

Melody, rhythm and piety: the rich forms and meanings of Indian classical music

17 minutes

Essay/Philosophy of Language

Chomsky, Wolfe and me

I took on Noam Chomsky’s ideas about language and unleashed a decade of debate and ridicule. But is my argument wrong?

Daniel Everett

Essay/History of Ideas

How not to be a chucklehead

Saturday mornings with J L Austin in postwar Oxford were a golden time for wordplay, silly jokes and serious philosophy

Nakul Krishna

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Idea/Cultures & Languages

Shitloads and zingers: on the perils of machine translation

Arthur Goldhammer

Idea/Stories & Literature

When the stories add up: the six narrative arcs in fiction

Veronique Greenwood

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Idea/History of Ideas

Arabic translators did far more than just preserve Greek philosophy

Peter Adamson

Video/Music

A rare glimpse into the world of North Korea’s classical musicians

13 minutes

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Idea/Neuroscience

Some people really are wired better for learning languages

Angela Grant

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Essay/Making

Chabuduo! Close enough ...

Your balcony fell off? Chabuduo. Vaccines are overheated? Chabuduo. How China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting

James Palmer

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Essay/Cultures & Languages

Street talk

People who can switch between street dialects and standard language might have the same cognitive advantage as bilinguals

Michael Erard

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Idea/Rituals & Celebrations

Why we need to bring back the art of communal bathing

Jamie Mackay

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Idea/Stories & Literature

Simplicity or style: what makes a sentence a masterpiece?

Jenny Davidson

Video/Cultures & Languages

‘Whose language is it anyway?’ The evolution of English, from ‘loaf’ to ‘LOL’

11 minutes

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Idea/History

What happened when a Muslim student went to Cambridge in 1816

Nile Green

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Idea/Cultures & Languages

How the end of democracy made the Greeks more polite

Eleanor Dickey

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Essay/Travel

Boldly go!

In thinking about faraway travel, the ability to assess risk falters. It's probably safer than your morning commute

Henry Wismayer

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Essay/Cultures & Languages

Euphemise this

Euphemisms are like underwear: best changed frequently. What work are they doing in our language and why do they expire?

John McWhorter

Video/Family Life

What family means to the world’s longest-married couple after 88 years together

7 minutes

Video/Mood & Emotion

Music might be quintessentially human, but does it serve a purpose?

4 minutes

Video/Space Exploration

Embark on an interstellar, operatic adventure with the Voyager spacecrafts

15 minutes

Video/Cultures & Languages

‘Grief bacon’ and other untranslatable words for the highs and lows of love

4 minutes

Video/Rituals & Celebrations

The Japanese festival that’s one of the world’s most spectacular – and dangerous

2 minutes

Idea/Stories & Literature

Is ‘devouring’ books a sign of superficiality in a reader?

Louise Adams

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Essay/Travel

The parlance of pilots

High above London, Tokyo and Cairo, the language of the cockpit is technical, obscure, geeky – and irresistibly romantic

Mark Vanhoenacker

Idea/Neuroscience

How memory research can help you learn a new language

Angela Grant

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Idea/Stories & Literature

How philosophy came to disdain the wisdom of oral cultures

Justin E H Smith

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Essay/Biology

The songs of the wolves

Wolves’ howls are eerie, beautiful and wild. But what are they actually saying to each other?

Holly Root-Gutteridge