Preview: New Scientist Magazine – Dec 3, 2022

ISSUE 3415 | MAGAZINE COVER DATE: 3 December 2022 | New Scientist

New Scientist – December 3, 2022 issue:

  • FEATURES – The search for Britain’s lost rainforests and the battle to save them
  • FEATURES – How postbiotics could boost your health and even help reverse ageing
  • FEATURES – The strange quantum effects of twisted, graphene-like materials

Historic Walks: Magdala, The Sea Of Galilee, Israel

Relaxing WALKER – The Magdala hotel is one of Israel´s newest and most uniquely situated hotels in the Galilee. Found in the recently discovered first century town of Magdala, at the shores of the Sea of Galilee, guests can experience an ambience of serenity, extraordinary natural beauty, and ancient history.

Magdala was an ancient Jewish city on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, 3 miles north of Tiberias. In the Babylonian Talmud it is known as Magdala Nunayya, and which some historical geographers think may refer to Tarichaea, literally the place of processing fish. It is believed to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. 

Walking Tours: Prague In The Czech Republic (4K)

Tourister (November 2022) Prague, Czech Praha, city, capital of the Czech Republic. Lying at the heart of Europe, it is one of the continent’s finest cities and the major Czech economic and cultural centre. The city has a rich architectural heritage that reflects both the uncertain currents of history in Bohemia and an urban life extending back more than 1,000 years.

The physical attractions and landmarks of Prague are many. Among the finest is the Charles Bridge (Karlův most), which stands astride the Vltava River. The winding course of the Vltava, with its succession of bridges and changing vistas, contrasts with the ever-present backdrop of the great castle of Hradčany (Prague Castle), which dominates the left-bank region of the city from behind massive walls set high on a hill.

The narrow streets and little taverns and restaurants of the older quarters contrast with the broad sweep of Wenceslas Square and modern parks and housing developments, while the great 18th-century Baroque palaces have their own elegance and splendour. Seen from the surrounding hills, the many church towers make up a unique perspective, giving Prague its description as the “city of a hundred spires.”

This architectural harmony was enhanced by post-1945 planning, which preserved the ancient core of the city as a major monument and carefully supervised all modern building. In 1992 the historic city centre was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Village Walks: Riquewihr In The Alsace, France (4K)

Tourist Channel (November 2022) – Riquewihr is a town located on the Alsace wine route, in eastern France. Its cobbled streets are dotted with half-timbered winemaker’s shops and tasting rooms. Winegrower’s tools and a restored kitchen are on display in the Maison de Vigneron, dating from the 16th century. The Dolder Tower from 1291 houses the Dolder Museum and centuries-old weapons.

The Tower of Thieves is a former prison from the 14th century where instruments of torture are kept. Between the Crêtes des Vosges and the plain of Alsace, Riquewihr is a medieval city, located in the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, classified among the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”.

Reviews: New York Times ’10 Best Books Of 2022′

NOVEMBER 29, 2022

The staff of The New York Times Book Review choose the year’s standout fiction and nonfiction.

You don’t need to have read Egan’s Pulitzer-winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad” to jump feet first into this much-anticipated sequel. But for lovers of the 2010 book’s prematurely nostalgic New Yorkers, cerebral beauty and laser-sharp take on modernity, “The Candy House” is like coming home — albeit to dystopia. This time around, Egan’s characters are variously the creators and prisoners of a universe in which, through the wonders of technology, people can access their entire memory banks and use the contents as social media currency. The result is a glorious, hideous fun house that feels more familiar than sci-fi, all rendered with Egan’s signature inventive confidence and — perhaps most impressive of all — heart. “The Candy House” is of its moment, with all that implies.

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Bennett, a British writer who makes her home in Ireland, first leaped onto the scene with her 2015 debut novel, “Pond.” Her second book contains all of the first’s linguistic artistry and dark wit, but it is even more exhilarating. “Checkout 19,” ostensibly the story of a young woman falling in love with language in a working-class town outside London, has an unusual setting: the human mind — a brilliant, surprising, weird and very funny one. All the words one might use to describe this book — experimental, autofictional, surrealist — fail to convey the sheer pleasure of “Checkout 19.” You’ll come away dazed, delighted, reminded of just how much fun reading can be, eager to share it with people in your lives. It’s a love letter to books, and an argument for them, too.

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Kingsolver’s powerful new novel, a close retelling of Charles Dickens’s “David Copperfield” set in contemporary Appalachia, gallops through issues including childhood poverty, opioid addiction and rural dispossession even as its larger focus remains squarely on the question of how an artist’s consciousness is formed. Like Dickens, Kingsolver is unblushingly political and works on a sprawling scale, animating her pages with an abundance of charm and the presence of seemingly every creeping thing that has ever crept upon the earth.

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After losing her brother when she was 12, one of the narrators of Serpell’s second novel keeps coming across men who resemble him as she works through her trauma long into adulthood. She enters an intimate relationship with one of them, who’s also haunted by his past. This richly layered book explores the nature of grief, how it can stretch or compress time, reshape memories and make us dream up alternate realities. “I don’t want to tell you what happened,” the narrator says. “I want to tell you how it felt.”

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Diaz uncovers the secrets of an American fortune in the early 20th century, detailing the dizzying rise of a New York financier and the enigmatic talents of his wife. Each of the novel’s four parts, which are told from different perspectives, redirects the narrative (and upends readers’ expectations) while paying tribute to literary titans from Henry James to Jorge Luis Borges. Whose version of events can we trust? Diaz’s spotlight on stories behind stories seeks out the dark workings behind capitalism, as well as the uncredited figures behind the so-called Great Men of history. It’s an exhilarating pursuit.

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Yong certainly gave himself a formidable task with this book — getting humans to step outside their “sensory bubble” and consider how nonhuman animals experience the world. But the enormous difficulty of making sense of senses we do not have is a reminder that each one of us has a purchase on only a sliver of reality. Yong is a terrific storyteller, and there are plenty of surprising animal facts to keep this book moving toward its profound conclusion: The breadth of this immense world should make us recognize how small we really are.

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In this quietly wrenching memoir, Hsu recalls starting out at Berkeley in the mid-1990s as a watchful music snob, fastidiously curating his tastes and mercilessly judging the tastes of others. Then he met Ken, a Japanese American frat boy. Their friendship was intense, but brief. Less than three years later, Ken would be killed in a carjacking. Hsu traces the course of their relationship — one that seemed improbable at first but eventually became a fixture in his life, a trellis along which both young men could stretch and grow.

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In this rich and nuanced book, Aviv writes about people in extreme mental distress, beginning with her own experience of being told she had anorexia when she was 6 years old. That personal history made her especially attuned to how stories can clarify as well as distort what a person is going through. This isn’t an anti-psychiatry book — Aviv is too aware of the specifics of any situation to succumb to anything so sweeping. What she does is hold space for empathy and uncertainty, exploring a multiplicity of stories instead of jumping at the impulse to explain them away.

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Through case histories as well as independent reporting, Villarosa’s remarkable third book elegantly traces the effects of the legacy of slavery — and the doctrine of anti-Blackness that sprang up to philosophically justify it — on Black health: reproductive, environmental, mental and more. Beginning with a long personal history of her awakening to these structural inequalities, the journalist repositions various narratives about race and medicine — the soaring Black maternal mortality rates; the rise of heart disease and hypertension; the oft-repeated dictum that Black people reject psychological therapy — as evidence not of Black inferiority, but of racism in the health care system.

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O’Toole, a prolific essayist and critic, calls this inventive narrative “a personal history of modern Ireland” — an ambitious project, but one he pulls off with élan. Charting six decades of Irish history against his own life, O’Toole manages to both deftly illustrate a country in drastic flux, and include a sly, self-deprecating biography that infuses his sociology with humor and pathos. You’ll be educated, yes — about increasing secularism, the Celtic tiger, human rights — but you’ll also be wildly, uproariously entertained by a gifted raconteur at the height of his powers.

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Aquarium Design: Sea World Abu Dhabi (2023)

The B1M – ABU DHABI has built some of the world’s most striking construction projects. And it’s not done yet. Work is underway to build a record-breaking aquarium, one that will blow all the others out of the water.

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago holds about 19M litres of water. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China holds 49M, and is currently the world’s largest – but when Sea World Abu Dhabi completes, it’ll likely contain a whopping 58M litres of water. That’s the same as 23.2 Olympic pools.

Designing and building a tank this big poses an extreme engineering challenge. It has to withstand immense water pressure, let in the right amount of light for tens of thousands of species to survive and immerse millions of visitors in an underwater world.

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Previews: The Guardian Weekly – December 2, 2022

Warning signs: inside the 2 December Guardian Weekly | China | The Guardian

Warning signs: inside the 2 December Guardian Weekly | China | The Guardian

Discontent over China’s zero-Covid suppression policy came to a head last weekend in a series of unprecedented protests across the country. The civil disobedience – remarkable just for the fact it was happening at all in a state where such behaviour is rarely tolerated – seemed to have been smothered by police by the start of the week. Even so it revealed to the world signs of a hitherto unseen fracture in China’s totalitarian political system.

From one Cop to another: hot on the heels of the recent climate conference comes this month’s global summit on biodiversity, which is being held in Montreal. To set the scene, biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston explains how the damage done to the natural world is a tale of decline spanning thousands of years. Can delegates at Cop15 seize their chance to change the narrative?

With five Grammy awards off the back of four albums spanning everything from folk to jazz and pop, the British multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier is a global phenomenon. But despite being feted by music royalty including Stormzy, Chris Martin and Herbie Hancock, the 28-year-old has kept a relatively low profile. Global music critic Ammar Kalia takes a trip into Collier’s colourful, polyharmonic world of quarter-tones and non-standardised pitch.

Contemporary Art Shows: Art Basel Miami Beach 2022

VernissageTV (November 29, 2022) – A virtual tour of Art Basel in Miami Beach 2022 on the occasion of press preview on November 29, 2022. Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 features over 282 of the world’s leading international Modern and contemporary art galleries, which display paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video, and digital art. The 2022 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach is the largest to date. It also marks the 20th anniversary of the art fair that launched in 2002.

Previews: Times Literary Supplement – Dec 2, 2022

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Times Literary Supplement @TheTLS December 2, 2022 issue features Craig Raine on Lucian Freud; @NessaCarey on genetic engineering; @AnaAliciaGarza on vagrancy; @lindseyhilsum on the sacking of the Kherson Art Museum; @irinibus on gluttony; poems by @ColeHenri and Hugo Williams – and more.

News: Winter Support For Ukraine, Turkey In Syria, Qatar Sends Germany Gas

Nato foreign ministers meet in Bucharest to discuss how to support Ukraine in the winter months. Plus: Turkey plans for a ground operation in Syria, Qatar agrees to supply Germany with gas and Art Basel Miami Beach.