Research Preview: Science Magazine – March 17, 2023


Science Magazine – March 17, 2023 issue: An alpine newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris) walks to a breeding pond in the Alps, France. Many amphibians have a cryptic upper side but a normally concealed, conspicuous underside. These hidden signals have evolved for several reasons, including as a warning display to would-be predators.


Conceptual illustration: a giant heart opens up on a hinge to reveal several gauges. Three of them, labeled HDL, LDL, and ApoB, display low levels. One, labeled Ceramides, displays high levels and is vibrating and letting off steam. Three tiny scientists stand at the foot of the heart, and one shines a flashlight on the Ceramides gauge.

Lipids called ceramides may be better predictors of cardiovascular problems than cholesterol. Doctors and pharma are waking up to their potential

Bacteria require phase separation for fitness in the mammalian gut

The gut microbiota is critical for human health. Understanding how beneficial bacteria colonize the gut enables medical interventions that promote gut health. Krypotou et al. discovered a mechanism that enhances the fitness of a commensal bacterium in the gut. 

Tours: The Lighthouse Of Chania, Island Of Crete

Smithsonian Channel (March 16, 2023) – No one is allowed up the historic Chania lighthouse anymore which, for hundreds of years, had guided sailors along the coast. But historian Bettany Hughes has special permission–and she’s taking us with her.

The original Venetian lighthouse was built around the late 16th century to protect the harbour. A chain could be connected from the base of the lighthouse to the fortress of Firkas in oder to close the harbour.

During the Turkish occupation the lighthouse fell into disrepair and was eventually rebuilt between 1824 and 1832 in the form of a minaret. The modern lighthouse is often referred to as ‘ Egyptian’ because it was built during a time where Crete was occupied by Egyptian troops who were supporting the weakening Ottoman Empire against the rebelious Cretans.

Architectural History: A Tour Of SoHo In New York

Architectural Digest (March 16, 2023) – Architect Nicholas Potts returns for another history-revealing walking tour, this time exploring the ever-evolving look of SoHo in New York City. From stone-mimicking cast-iron details to repurposed mercantile buildings with soaring glass windows, Nick breaks down the surprising history and motivations that led to the distinctive style “South of Houston.”

Check out Nicholas Potts here: Website:

Previews: The Economist Magazine – March 18, 2023


The Economist – March 11, 2023 issue

What’s wrong with the banks

Rising interest rates have left banks exposed. Time to fix the system—again

Only ten days ago you might have thought that the banks had been fixed after the nightmare of the financial crisis in 2007-09. Now it is clear that they still have the power to cause a heart-stopping scare. A ferocious run at Silicon Valley Bank on March 9th saw $42bn in deposits flee in a day. svb was just one of three American lenders to collapse in the space of a week. 

Will Bibi break Israel?

Binyamin Netanyahu and a constitutional crisis

When Israel’s best and brightest are up in arms it is time to worry

Florida’s governor has blundered over Ukraine

By saying Ukraine is not a vital American interest, Ron DeSantis emboldens Vladimir Putin

The New York Review Of Books – April 6, 2023


The New York Review of Books – April 6, 2023 issue:

Here’s Looking at Yew

English Garden Eccentrics: Three Hundred Years of Extraordinary Groves, Burrowings, Mountains and Menageries

By Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

In the English garden, eccentricity and variety went hand in hand.

What counts as eccentric in the garden, and what counts as a folly? As a child I used to be taken on Sunday walks to the Needle’s Eye in Wentworth, South Yorkshire, a kind of sharp pyramid of stone some forty-five feet tall and pierced by an arched passage. 

Descriptions of a Struggle

The Diaries

by Franz Kafka, translated from the German by Ross Benjamin

Kafka’s diaries—made up of false starts, stray thoughts, self-doubts, internal dialogues, dreams, doodles, aphorisms, drafts of stories, character sketches, and scenes from family life—are often very funny.

Profiles: La Seine Musicale Architect Shigeru Ban

Dezeen (March 16, 2023) – Japanese architect Shigeru Ban explains how his egg-shaped music auditorium acts as a western gateway to Paris in the last instalment of Dezeen’s Concrete Icons series produced in collaboration with Holcim.

The video features La Seine Musicale, a music complex that houses a large multipurpose concert hall and a smaller auditorium. The musical facility is located on the Ile Seguin island near Paris’s western suburbs, occupying a third of French architect Jean Nouvel’s mixed-use masterplan of the island.

Additional footage courtesy of La Seine Musicale, by Arthur Maneint, Hensli Sage and Noesys Prod.

Read more on Dezeen:

Cover: The New Statesman Magazine – March 17, 2023

New Statesman | Britain's Current Affairs & Politics Magazine

The New Statesman – March 17, 2023:

After Iraq: the great unravelling

After Iraq: the great unravelling

The breakdown of the West’s rules-based order began with the invasion of 2003.By Peter Ricketts

The road to war in Iraq

The road to war in Iraq

Could a resolute cabinet and a more sceptical press have stopped Tony Blair?

The long shadow of the Iraq War

The long shadow of the Iraq War

How do you mourn soldiers killed in an “unjust” war? For years the town of Wootton Bassett showed us…By Jason Cowley

Arts/History: Smithsonian Magazine – April/May 2023


Smithsonian Magazine – April/May 2023 Issue

America’s Waterways: The Past, Present and Future

The sun sets over the Susquehanna River in northern Pennsylvania.

Scientists endlessly study lakes and rivers, historians document them, artists paint them, and travelers continue to explore them. In a series of articles, Smithsonian magazine highlights all that draws our eyes to our nation’s fresh and coastal waters.


A Nostalgic Trip Awaits at the World’s Largest Lunchbox Museum

More than 3,000 lunchboxes are on display inside the "World's Largest Lunchbox Museum."

Take a journey back to your elementary school cafeteria with a visit to the Georgia outpost

The 70 Million-Year-Old History of the Mississippi River

The Mississippi Delta, seen from space in 2001.
The Mississippi Delta, seen from space in 2001. NASA / Jesse Allen

Dive into the secret past and uncertain future of the body of water that has defined a nation

Front Page: The New York Times – March 16, 2023


Bank Fears Go Global, Sending a Shudder Through Markets


Stomach-churning volatility in stocks, bonds and other assets on Wednesday reflected renewed worries about the state of the economy and the risks lurking in the financial system.

Federal Reserve and Lawmakers Eye Bank Rules After Collapse

The stunning demise of Silicon Valley Bank has spurred soul-searching about how large and regional banks are overseen.

Credit Suisse to Borrow Up to $54 Billion From Central Bank

The announcement came after investors, fearing that the bank would run out of money, began dumping its stock.

Seaweed Is Having Its Moment in the Sun

Seaweed is being reimagined as a plastic substitute, even as cattle feed. But can it thrive in a warming world?