Tracked down in the forests of northern Sri Lanka, a new species of venomous tarantula has been found. Related to the Goliath bird-eater, it is one of the world’s largest spiders with legs like the goddess Kali. Continue reading
The Adoration of the Shepherds is a painting usually attributed to the Italian Renaissance painter Giorgione. Others think it is an early Titian. The two painters were friends and for a time worked in the same studio.
A church in East Sussex (England) has released a CD of the building’s ambient noise to raise its profile and generate funds. Members of St Peter’s Church, East Blatchington, have sold their first copies at an open day and taken orders for more. Continue reading
Maps and map-making have a fascination all their own. The need to know where we are touches an ancient nomadic nerve that anticipates later exploration and conquest. It’s a case of putting the cartography before the horse or car or ship, in which today’s GPS devices digitally transform parchment and compass. Continue reading
The story of Troy has inspired generations. It used to be thought that it was lost in antiquity, but not so. Troy is made up of several cities layered on top of each other, although only one may have known “the face that launched a thousand ships.” Continue reading
Watching the astonishing BBC series Frozen Planet (2011) – for which no superlative is an exaggeration – one is struck again and again by life’s diversity, resilience, and incongruity. Narrated by the inimitable David Attenborough, it is a plum pudding of vistas and facts among which is the astonishing story of the Isabella Tiger Moth. Continue reading