Research Preview: Nature Magazine – May 25, 2023

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nature Magazine – May 25, 2023 issue:  In this week’s issue, Wenzhu Liu and colleagues present a way to make foldable silicon wafers that can be used in flexible solar cells. The secret to success was to blunt the edges of the silicon wafers, thereby stopping them from undergoing brittle fracturing. As a result, the researchers were able to make 15-centimetre solar cells with a bending angle of more  than 360°.

Oldest known ‘blueprints’ aided human hunters 9,000 years ago

Prehistoric engravings depict vast hunting traps with extraordinary precision.

Photograph of a stone engraved with zig-zag lines.

The oldest blueprints ever found might have been used to prepare for large-scale hunts1.

Engraved lines on a stone in Jordan might depict landscape features near a large-scale hunting structure.

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Travel & Culture: Secrets Of Mont-Saint-Michel

FRANCE 24 (May 24, 2023) – Located in France’s Normandy region, the Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most iconic and photographed places in the country. Every year, the site attracts some 2.5 million visitors.

Built 1,000 years ago, the tidal island and its abbey, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, have stood the test of time and survived through the centuries. Our France 2 colleagues report on some of its secrets, with FRANCE 24’s Guillaume Gougeon.

Travel: Is Seville The Most Beautiful City In Spain?

DW Travel (May 24, 2023) – Have you ever been to Seville? This city in the south of Spain is considered the birthplace of flamenco, and offers in addition fascinating historical architecture and every type of delicious tapas bar.

Video timeline: 00:00 Intro 00:17 Old Town and Seville Cathedral 00:46 Setas de Sevilla or: Mushrooms of Seville 01:16 Royal Alcázar of Seville 02:31 Torre del Oro 02:55 Tapas bar El Rinconcillo 03:44 Flamenco show at Los Gallos

We visited the Andalusian capital to see if it really is as beautiful as people say. And while we are there, we’ll show you round everything you should do while you’re here.

Arts/Books: Times Literary Supplement – May 26, 2023

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Times Literary Supplement (May 26, 2023) – Alan Jenkins on Martin Amis, Young Russian fascists, The Rossettis at Tate Britain, Writers at the Hay Festival, Seamus Perry on ‘Byron’s Voice’.

Taking life sentence by sentence

Martin Amis, a talent for our time By Alan Jenkins

Martin Amis, 1995

In the Foreword to The War Against Cliché: Essays and reviews 1971-2000, a career-spanning collection of his journalism (literary and other), Martin Amis recalled how, when they started out in the early 1970s, he and his friends and colleagues touchingly assumed that literary criticism was as essential to civilization as literature itself was. Furthermore, “the most fantastic thing about this cultural moment” was that, in the debate between the Two Cultures, Art vs Science, “Art seemed to be winning”.

Vietnam: Tràng An Karst Landscape Complex Tour

Edd Lloyd Films (May 24, 2023) – A journey through the Tràng An Karst Landscape Complex. The video features stunning aerial footage of the limestone karsts and caves, as well as close-up shots of the plants and animal life.

Situated near the southern margin of the Red River Delta, the Trang An Landscape Complex is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, many of them partly submerged and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs.

Exploration of caves at different altitudes has revealed archaeological traces of human activity over a continuous period of more than 30,000 years. They illustrate the occupation of these mountains by seasonal hunter-gatherers and how they adapted to major climatic and environmental changes, especially the repeated inundation of the landscape by the sea after the last ice age.

The story of human occupation continues through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the historical era. Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Viet Nam, was strategically established here in the 10th and 11th centuries AD. The property also contains temples, pagodas, paddy-fields and small villages. 

Filmed and edited by Edward Lloyd

Politics: The Guardian Weekly – May 26, 2023

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The Guardian Weekly (May 26, 2023) – Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s surprise turn at last weekend’s G7 meeting in Hiroshima was the climax of a round of shuttle diplomacy in which the Ukrainian president secured yet more funds and equipment from western nations. 

Patrick Wintour ponders the complex wider issues at stake for western leaders who realise that more constructive relations with the global south could also be the key to containing an increasingly belligerent China.

E-cigarettes have been seen as useful and less health-damaging devices for weaning smokers off tobacco. But there are growing international fears at the rise of disposable e-cigarettes, which are fuelling a boom in vaping among children. Michael Safi looks at how different countries are responding, from sales curbs to outright bans.

News: Crisis In Lebanon, U.S. & India In The Pacific Islands, South Korea

Wednesday, May 24, 2023: Political and financial instability in Lebanon; the US and India vie for influence in the Pacific Islands as China looms large; and South Korea’s Nuri rocket is set to launch from the Naro Space Center.

Plus: the biggest news coming out of the 2023 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE). 

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Front Page: The New York Times —- May 24, 2023

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China and Russia, Targets at G7 Summit, Draw Closer to Fend Off West

Beijing’s harsh reaction to the G7 communiqué stems from fears of a U.S.-led coalition in Asia to contain China’s rise, analysts say.

Beijing and Moscow are holding visits this week as alarm grows in China that Western countries backing Ukraine are turning their attention to Asia.

McCarthy, Bracing for Defections, Eyes a Fraught Path to a Debt Limit Deal

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden will need to make compromises in order to reach a deal on the debt ceiling.

With right-wing Republicans all but certain to oppose any bipartisan compromise, the speaker has a narrow path to push one through the closely divided House.

Surgeon General Warns That Social Media May Harm Children and Adolescents

The report by Dr. Vivek Murthy cited a “profound risk of harm” to adolescent mental health and urged families to set limits and governments to set tougher standards for use.

After Uvalde, a Cemetery Anchors Families of Victims

One year after 19 children and two teachers were killed at a Texas elementary school, the families of the victims have forged a new community, channeling their grief into action.

Travel & Photography: Old Quarries In Wales

Kyle McDougall Films (May 23, 2023) – “I’m back in North Wales for two days of film photography, exploring the old abandoned slate quarries and making work for my ongoing project. Lots of rain, a broken camera, and an incredible landscape.”

North Wales is a region within Wales, a country in the U.K. Snowdonia National Park is a vast, rugged area with waterfalls and trails, including routes up Mount Snowdon. Medieval Conwy Castle has 8 huge towers, plus battlements with sea views. It’s near the resort town of Llandudno, with North Shore Beach. Other castles include 19th-century Penrhyn Castle, with Gothic stairways, and waterside Caernarfon Castle.