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The tyranny of the cycle track

If Joni Mitchell were writing her song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ today, about the ruination of the natural world by the march of modernity, the lyrics might run something like this: ‘They paved paradise, put up a cycling route.’ Not content with demanding cycling lanes through our towns and cities, the cycling lobby — by which

The unfair sex – how feminism created a new class divide

James is 15 years old, coming up to his GCSEs; and the researcher he is talking to is clueless about girls. Yes, he tells her, girls at his school, underage girls, do indeed have sex. With guys in their class, like him. The researcher is surprised. Haven’t girls gone studious; aren’t they collecting the top

What it’s like to escape from Colditz

Colditz: Here I am, stuck in the same ventilation shaft that Pat Reid used to escape through just over 70 years ago. It’s a tiny letterbox-shaped hole, about three feet in length, one of the few natural holes through the castle’s monstrously thick outer walls. Captain Pat Reid and his fellow escapers had to strip off

Why France’s gay marriage debate has started to look like a revolution

Paris: Revolutions are often sparked by an unexpected shock to an already weakened regime. As commentators in France remark not only on the crisis engulfing François Hollande’s government but also on the apparent death-rattle of the country’s entire political system, it could be that his flagship policy of legalising gay marriage — or rather, the gigantic