Featured articles


What a tortoise can teach us

‘Are you a dog or a cat person?’ It’s one of those questions that comes up eventually — in conversation, on Blind Date or during an Oxbridge interview. The theory is that either you like a dog’s boundless tumble of affection, or you respect the sleek independence of a cat, and explaining your choice reveals

A secret sperm donor service in post-first world war London

These days there are sophisticated and scientific solutions to the dismal problem of unwanted childlessness — there are IVF, Viagra and well-established egg and sperm donor services. We think of these as recent advantages and give thanks for the modern age. But what only very few people are aware of is that long before sperm

Bats vs people

Imagine: it’s Sunday morning, and the warden of a medieval village church arrives to get the place ready for communion only to find the altar covered in bat droppings. As he gets scrubbing, he reflects on how he rang the officials at Natural England to request help getting rid of these bats — ‘Perhaps they

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood should have learnt from Nasser

Egypt used to be good at revolutions. When Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Free Officers overthrew the monarchy in July 1952, hardly a shot was fired in anger, and jubilant crowds took to the streets of Cairo chanting ‘Long live the revolution’. Even the deposed King Farouq seemed to agree that Nasser had done the right thing.

Why soon we’ll all be vegetarian

I know some lovely vegetarians but could never imagine joining their ranks. Something about a life fuelled entirely by plants fills me with dread. The veggie’s world is a pale planet, an insipid facsimile of the real thing. Think of the fear all true carnivores have of finding out at a dinner party that veggies