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Instrumental Tricks

James Vincent: Prosthetic Brainpower, 5 October 2023

Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator 
by Keith Houston.
Norton, 374 pp., £25, October, 978 0 393 88214 8
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... through space at thousands of miles per hour, gave their laconic report to ground control, ‘Houston, we’ve had a problem,’ Nasa summoned engineers with analogue slide rules, not digital computers, to guide the crew safely back to Earth. And the astronauts themselves were equipped with the same tool, a five-inch metal slide rule, so consistent in its ...


Eric Evans, 26 July 1990

Scottish Society 1500-1800 
edited by R.A. Houston and I.D. Whyte.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £30, February 1989, 0 521 32522 6
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... influential. Both authors pose large questions which require response in a British context. Houston (who has worked extensively on both Northern England and Scotland), Devine and Whyte have followed in this broadening tradition and it is entirely appropriate that this excellent volume of essays should include contributions from all of these pioneers. It ...

Music Made Visible

Stephen Walsh: Wagner, 24 April 2008

Wagner and the Art of the Theatre 
by Patrick Carnegy.
Yale, 461 pp., £35, September 2006, 0 300 10695 5
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... enemies nowadays refer to as ‘directors’ theatre’, Wagner has suffered as much as anyone. Keith Warner has the Wanderer crash-land his fighter plane into Mime’s cave; Phyllida Lloyd has Brünnhilde as a suicide bomber who blows herself up in the immolation scene; Jürgen Flimm turns Nibelheim into a microchip factory. In Ruth Berghaus’s Frankfurt ...

Blackberry Apocalypse

Nicholas Guyatt: Evangelical Disarray, 15 November 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America 
by Chris Hedges.
Cape, 254 pp., £12.99, February 2007, 978 0 224 07820 7
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... Larry King Live. Osteen has written a string of national bestsellers and his congregation in Houston has become so large that he’s converted the local NBA basketball arena into a church with 17,000 seats. Beyond the personal rivalries and posturing of evangelical celebrities, there are deep divisions within the religious right, as there are among ...

On Not Going Home

James Wood, 20 February 2014

... he told me. It was the landscape of his childhood. Dartmoor, not the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It’s not uncommon for expatriates, émigrés, refugees and travellers to want to die ‘at home’. The desire to return, after so long away, is gladly irrational, and is perhaps premised on the loss of the original home (as the refusal to go home may ...

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