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We meet Boga in a lonely corner of rural Argentina, the Paraná Delta, where he cuts reeds in the company of a taciturn old man. Life is dull but peaceful, and there is ample catfish for the dinner table
Siena is a sensationally beautiful city with an illustrious history, a true rival to Florence in the Middle Ages. It is a city of excitement, home to the Palio, a bareback horse race around the city’s conch-shaped Piazza del Campo
Living in stable Western democracies, it's sometimes possible to see how Francis Fukuyama concluded we had reached the 'end of history'
It might be argued that humanity’s limited capacity for noble self-sacrifice and its puny reserves of foresight are never going to save the planet. I’d prefer to think our better angels will prevail, and I suspect Nicholas Stern would agree
‘Most wonderfully oriental and novel to English people,’ was the verdict of Miss Riggs of Hampstead on visiting Cairo in 1869, one stop on a whirlwind tour organised by the young Thomas Cook
According to Roberto Saviano, cocaine is the world’s ‘white oil’ underpinning all corners of society, from the grey blocks of Wall Street to the wealthy neighbourhoods of London, ‘the narco-trafficking, money-laundering capital of the world’
Water really is weird. As it freezes, it expands. It freezes faster when hot than when cold. Even just being a liquid at room temperature is strange when many heavier molecules become gaseous at much lower temperatures
‘These are nothing like the swashbucklers from Pirates of the Caribbean.’ That’s what people used to say about Somali pirates. We were to understand that piracy had slowly built up an undeserved romantic reputation

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