Madagascar’s tar sands may be its downfall

One of the largest islands in the world, Madagascar is home to thousands of species of plant and animal life, about 80% of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Now, its status as an ecological Noah’s Ark is again been threatened by its arch-enemy: humankind.

Continue reading Madagascar’s tar sands may be its downfall

The next revolution may be right around the corner

Nelson Mandela believes that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The trouble is education for all might lead to equal rights for all – and who wants that? Continue reading The next revolution may be right around the corner

If you go down to the woods (in Sri Lanka), you’re sure of a big surprise

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 If you go down to the woods (in Sri Lanka), you’re sure of a big surprise

Mapping the world (and Manchester)

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 Mapping the world (and Manchester)