Our directory of things of interest


There’s a school of thought that suggests that understanding how something came to be robs it of its wonder, the same way that a magic trick, once explained, ceases to impress
Alastair Bonnett was one of psycho-geography’s pioneers, intent on transforming the ‘generic blandscapes’ that surround us. Even the ordinary can become magical once it’s re-oriented
It’s perhaps an open secret that nothing in Iran is as it seems. The regime’s strictures, pressures caused by decades of international isolation, and recent sanctions in response to Iran’s nuclear programme combined have placed extraordinary stress on Iranian society
During the past half-century, Eric Klinenberg tells us, ‘a remarkable social experiment’ has taken place; the long-standing model of behaviour in which humans always grouped together has been overtaken by one in which more and more of us are living alone
The Plan A of climate change mitigation – namely an international agreement to cut emissions – isn’t working, as demonstrated by the unsatisfactory outcome of the 2009 Copenhagen summit. Can science provide us with a Plan B?
There’s a great deal of money to be made from scrap. Adam Minter reports that the global recycling industry can turn over US$500billion every year and that only the agricultural sector employs more people
This beautifully produced volume contains 160 maps from the collections of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Dato’ Richard Curtis, ranging from the early-16th to the late-20th centuries, and tell an extraordinary tale of political change, cultural encounter and the advancement of…
These days, navigation has seemingly been reduced to pressing a button on a sat nav or GPS. But David Barrie’s lively, eloquent history of the sextant is a reminder that this wasn’t always the case

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