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Coloured Spots v. Iridescence

Steven Rose: Evolutionary Inevitability, 22 March 2018

Improbable Destinies: How Predictable Is Evolution? 
by Jonathan Losos.
Allen Lane, 364 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 0 241 20192 3
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... field studies. Over a period of forty years beginning in 1973, the Princeton biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant studied the seed-eating ground finches on a small island in the Galapagos, noting the ways in which year by year changes in the weather pattern, from heavy rainfall to drought, drove changes in body and beak size in the ...

Perfectly Mobile, Perfectly Still

David Craig: Land Artists, 14 December 2000

by Andy Goldsworthy.
Thames and Hudson, 203 pp., £35, August 2000, 0 500 51026 1
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... we come on a piece of land art with the same sense of surprise. Grizedale Forest Park, in a leafy dale between Windemere and Coniston, teems with amazing works in wood and stone. When I first walked about in it twenty years ago, there was no leaflet listing numbered pieces, and as we walked along foresters’ tracks, there, unexpectedly, was a channelled tree ...


Inigo Thomas: My Father, Hugh Thomas, 15 June 2017

... by David Hemmings in Antonioni’s Blow-Up is on Pottery Lane. The Grove sweeps down into Notting Dale, and passes several of the large communal gardens that are a feature of the Ladbroke Estate, and which appear in the novels of Alan Hollinghurst. People tell me that one of the characters in The Line of Beauty is based on Hugh. I don’t see it. Many people ...

Politics and the Prophet

Malise Ruthven, 1 August 1996

Lords of the Lebanese Marches: Violence and Narrative in an Arab Society 
by Michael Gilsenan.
Tauris, 377 pp., £14.95, February 1996, 1 85043 099 3
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The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World 
edited by John L. Esposito.
Oxford, 480 pp., £295, June 1995, 0 19 506613 8
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Unfolding Islam 
by P.J. Stewart.
Garnet, 268 pp., £25, February 1995, 9780863721946
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Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion and Politics in the Middle East 
by Fred Halliday.
Tauris, 256 pp., £35, January 1996, 1 86064 004 4
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... social justice largely derived from unacknowledged Western intellectual sources. In a similar vein Dale Eickelman attributes the new Islamist movements to the rise of mass education and the decline of the ‘ulama. The results are tragically obvious in Algeria, where religious autodidacts, rejecting the body of traditional scholarship, murder the innocent in ...


Rory Stewart: In Papua, 20 July 2000

... and difficult as their climate’. In 1968, the Yali killed the Australian missionary Stanley Dale. Not long afterwards they ate 13 Dani lay preachers. But despite the increasing dangers, the missionaries had succeeded in converting most of Dale’s killers by the late 1970s. Now, with the aid of Yali converts, the ...


David Craig: Barra Microcosm, 24 May 2001

... na Mara (‘shieling of the sea’) in Kilpheder (from the Gaelic Cille-pheadair, or ‘church of Peter’). Ten square miles of machair stretch from the western dunes to the eastern rocky moors. This is a plain of shell-sand, where millions of cockles and whelks, razor-shells and buckies, ground into ivory fragments smaller than a baby’s fingernail, have ...


R.W. Johnson, 4 June 1987

Traitors: The Labyrinths of Treason 
by Chapman Pincher.
Sidgwick, 346 pp., £13.95, May 1987, 0 283 99379 0
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The Secrets of the Service: British Intelligence and Communist Subversion 1939-51 
by Anthony Glees.
Cape, 447 pp., £18, May 1987, 0 224 02252 0
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Freedom of Information – Freedom of the Individual? 
by Clive Ponting, John Ranelagh, Michael Zander and Simon Lee, edited by Julia Neuberger.
Macmillan, 110 pp., £4.95, May 1987, 0 333 44771 9
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... knowing even the most elementary facts about the intelligence services their taxes pay for. The Peter Wright trial in Australia has recently brought out the full absurdity of this, with Sir Robert Armstrong attempting at one point to suggest that the very existence of MI5 and MI6 (let alone the identity of their directors) was a secret which could neither ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2004, 6 January 2005

... imprisoned here too. The case comes up on BBC Question Time later on when the sleek and suited Peter Hain, now leader of the House of Commons, maintains that Hamza should be handed over to face justice (sic) in the United States, the same sort of justice (though nobody is indelicate enough to say this) as there used to be in South Africa at a time when ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... schools – and that was only ‘the tip of the iceberg’, according to the report’s author, Peter Clarke. Last summer, when he was still secretary of state for education, Michael Gove floated the idea of requiring schools to teach British values. In November, the DfE issued what it called ‘strengthened guidance’ on ‘promoting British values in ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... this story, comes towards the end of July 2014. Two separate sources spoke to me of emails between Peter Maddison, director of Assets and Regeneration at the TMO, and Feilding-Mellen and others, discussing the colour and type of fixing for the proposed cladding on Grenfell Tower. At the time, residents were putting some pressure on the TMO and the council’s ...

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