Archive

The girl and the serpent

Some say she was a little girl with pale eyes, kidnapped five centuries ago by an anaconda when she wandered down to the village lake to gaze in the water at her reflection. The snake died for its sin, and

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Crazy like a hamster

As the primary author of a blog which aims to produce posts at the head-spinning rate of once every day or two (don’t take notes: this may change), and as the editor of a magazine that will produce issues once

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There is no simple

Keep it simple, stupid. “KISS” is one of the most commonly referred to principles in modern business, and its spirit permeates everything from the carefully-considered design of Apple’s sleek user interfaces to the unchecked frustration of a customer returning a

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Versatile engines for art

How to display art in a gallery, in three steps: (1) Pick a room. (2) Paint it white. (3) Hang art. (Note that for variety and dramatic effect, “black” may be substituted for “white” in Step 2.) The above instructions

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The felicitous constraints of “lean” markets

It has often been observed that poetry freed from the constraints of metre and rhyme — a form generally known as “free verse” — does not necessarily enable greater creativity in a poet, and may indeed lead to less. A

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Better living on things that float

At first glance his works appear to be related in some way to clouds, soap bubbles, or even a micro-slice of the human brain in all of its neuron-synapse complexity. To design the work shown at left, which was exhibited

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Nov 9th: Alberto Manguel in London

SCOPE readers of a literary bent who are in London in early November may wish to see Alberto Manguel read from his new book, All Men Are Liars, and discuss both lies and literature with author Tibor Fischer. Hosted by

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A new kind of “information society”

There’s an information revolution going on in India right now — but not of the Facebook/Twitter/Internet-driven kind. Rather, it’s a revolution engendered by the passage of the 2005 Right to Information Act, known as “RTI”, which enables Indian citizens to

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You can never go home again

From Kilkenny, Ireland’s Adrien Merigeau and Alan Holly comes a fascinating, award-winning 11-minute short called “Old Fangs”, which can most simply be described as an animated film about a young wolf attempting to come to terms with his father and

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Chaotic evolution: genes first, climate second?

With the recent death of pioneering mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot — founder of fractal geometry and investigator of the associated idea that very simple formulae can produce very complex results — it seems uncannily coincidental that the New Scientist happened to

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On the ashes of the old

The music industry was among the first of the big entertainment businesses to feel the impact of the Internet, starting with MP3 downloads, ad-free radio, the file-sharing challenge of Napster, and, most recently, the single-channel price-setting domination of iTunes. Today

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Reassurance or re-engagement

In Friday’s Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Polish columnist Jędrzej Bielecki provides a useful overview of the latest chapter in the European debate about the future of NATO and its relations with Russia. An analysis and recommendations paper written by a top-tier

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