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How I was saved from Mongolian torture

My 12-year-old sister shouted, ‘Come and watch this TV programme, you’ll love it. It is all about naked men trying to prove how tough they are.’ She was right, I did like it, so much so that at the end, when applicants were invited to apply for the second series, I filled in the online

This is a true Catholic revolution

Next Friday, 14 September, the worldwide restrictions on the celebration of the ancient Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church will be swept away. With a stroke of his pen, Pope Benedict XVI has ended a 40-year campaign to eradicate the Tridentine Mass, whose solemn rubrics are regarded with contempt by liberal bishops. In doing so,

Clarissa Dixon Wright: ‘I was healed by a holy relic’

I’m tempted, just for a second, to feel sorry for Clarissa Dickson Wright. There she is, with her back to me, 15 feet away, at a table in Valvona & Crolla — a refined little deli/café full of focaccia and Parmigiano Reggiano tucked in beside the lager shops on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk. There she sits,

A chat with the man who invented the internet

Imagine actually meeting Thomas Edison, or the Wright Brothers, or Newton, or Archimedes, or whichever Sumerian it was who invented the wheel in the fifth millennium bc. That, when you think about it, is what it’s like to have a conversation with Vint Cerf. Few people in the history of humanity can say with confidence

The end of the ‘noddy shot’ is a ray of hope for television

Nobody much likes television, especially not the people who work in it. They think it’s a cretinous medium, a sort of institutionalised con-trick, the cultural equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal — processed excrement which everybody, including the consumer, knows to be dumb and bad for you. I suspect that this has always been true.