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Dan Schwartz | Outside | 3rd May 2021
Is the ancient practice of dowsing for water a science, a kind of magic, or a charlatan's trick? This writer investigates, and ends up dowsing successfully himself. "The rods begin to close... They close like strong hands have grabbed them and are twisting them in. They close like rain must fall and wind must blow, like it’s their natural course, like they always have and always will" (5,152 words)
James Cameron | Stained Glass Attitudes | 7th May 2021
Succinct and illustrated account of how the Norman conquest of England in 1066 produced an extraordinary programme of cathedral building, resulting in "a string of churches of often dizzying scale and increasing complexity". As well as laying the architectural foundations for future Gothic additions, these structures expressed an imperial might that harked back to the Roman Empire (962 words)
Nicholas Wade | Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists | 5th May 2021
Wade, who knows his stuff, weighs evidence that the Covid virus originated in the wild, perhaps among Chinese bats, against evidence that the virus was leaked unintentionally from a Wuhan laboratory that was conducting research financed by the US government. Wade warns against drawing final conclusions, but the preponderance of evidence in favour of a lab leak is overwhelming (11,100 words)
Long but worth every minute. This nerdy show about music production welcomes cult British radio favourite Adam Buxton, now best known for his eponymous podcast. Over two hours, Buxton takes listeners through his personal archive of jingles and comic songs. An absolute goldmine of behind the scenes detail for fans, but very enjoyable even if Buxton is entirely new to you (122m 54s)
by Ian Leslise | Courtesy of Five Books
A British journalist who sets out to reduce personal conflict discovers, in the course of his research, that it’s essential to our well-being. Arguments, it turns out, make us closer to our loved ones and and more creative at work. Passive aggression, however, serves no useful purpose, merely conveying that "we are hacked off but are too anxious at the prospect of confrontation to be upfront about it” (257 pages)
"Truth springs from argument amongst friends"
— David Hume
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