News

The growth of Marvel’s universe through “Black Panther” is welcome

COSMOLOGISTS, Eastern and Western, ancient and modern, have on occasion mooted the possibility of an ekpyrotic universe, one which expands, then contracts into fire, then expands again. Like most big cosmic ideas, this one has almost certainly been purloined, ornamented and abused more than once in the vast works of …

Read More
News

By abandoning the Olympics, the NHL has done Russia a favour

EVER since 1998, when North America’s National Hockey League (NHL) began putting its season on hold to allow its players to participate in the Olympics, men’s ice hockey has been a signature sport at the winter games. Elite squads from Canada, the home country of nearly half of the players …

Read More
News

The Prada Foundation will transform Milan’s contemporary art offering

COMPARED with other major European cities, Milan’s contemporary art offering is slight. The Gallerie d’Arte Moderna, housed in a venerable palazzo, contains some important late-19th-century work, but little of note from the 20th century and nothing from the 21st. The Museo del Novecento, despite its name, is meant to consider …

Read More
News

A tribute to John Perry Barlow

HIS rough features resembled the hard Wyoming land from where he came. Sandpaper skin, deep gorges across his forehead and wrinkles alongside the temples like cracked, dry earth. A craggy, stubborn nose. But gentle eyes, narrow as if formed by squinting into the sun over years.  John Perry Barlow, who …

Read More
News

A titan of Facebook considers his good fortune

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. By Chris Hughes. St. Martin’s Press; 224 pages; $19.99. To be published in Britain by Bloomsbury in April; £12.99. THERE are strokes of outrageous luck and then there is the life of Chris Hughes. Having found his way to Harvard from a …

Read More
News

The art born of opioid addiction

AS A photographer, Nan Goldin has been drawn to those living on the fringes of society. Best known for her documenting of queer communities devastated by AIDS in the 1980s, she has turned her attention to another demonised group: addicts. “People are afraid to come out about it. That’s one …

Read More
News

Frankenstein and the war in Iraq

Torn apart and stitched together Frankenstein in Baghdad. By Ahmed Saadawi. Translated by Jonathan Wright. Penguin Books; 281 pages; $16. Oneworld; £12.99. “I’M THE first true Iraqi citizen.” Such is the bold claim of the monster in Ahmed Saadawi’s “Frankenstein in Baghdad”. His misanthropic creator—an alcoholic, bitter junk-dealer—assembled him out …

Read More
News

A riveting memoir of a brutal upbringing

Escape from Eden Educated. By Tara Westover. Random House; 385 pages; $28. Hutchinson; £14.99. IN A lecture during her first semester at Brigham Young University, a Mormon college in Utah, Tara Westover encountered an unfamiliar term. “I don’t know this word,” she told her professor. “What does it mean?” He …

Read More
News

In the world of voice-recognition, not all accents are equal

IN A spoof advertisement on a humorous website, a woman asks her Echo, Amazon’s voice-controlled speaker system and assistant, to play “the country music station”. The device, mishearing her southern American accent, instead offers advice on “extreme constipation”. Soon she has acquired a southern model, which understands her accent better. …

Read More
News

Frankenstein: the monster that never dies

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. By Fiona Sampson. Profile Books; 304 pages; £18.99. To be published in America by Pegasus Books in June; $28.95. Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. By Kathryn Harkup. Bloomsbury Sigma; 304 pages; $27 and £16.99. Frankenstein: How …

Read More