Book Review | ‘Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures’ by Stephen Hawking

IMG_9678Fellow space-nerds might be quite excited by reports over the last month of a brave group of scientists trying the capture an image of the supermassive black hole sitting in the centre of our twinkly Milky Way. It’s a thrilling proposition for many reasons, but my excitement was piqued further after reading Stephen Hawking’s Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures, with an introduction and commentary by David Shukman.

This slim, pocket-sized volume is easy to read in a lunchtime, but might take weeks or years to really comprehend. It illustrates once again that subtle boundary between physics and philosophy – and that black holes are no exception to the true weirdness of quantum physics. Continue reading Book Review | ‘Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures’ by Stephen Hawking

Feature: Orwell, Johnson, Clegg and Blair

orwell2In recent weeks, possibly due to the fact I live in a rabbit warren the sun never hits, I have been forced to tune my body clock to something more reliable than the English winter sunshine.  I’ve been attempting, with varying degrees of success, to use Radio 4 to wake me up in the mornings.  Whether I end up hitting the snooze button or not, it is certainly proving to be excellent company: during yoga, eating breakfast, beginning the day’s research. I confess, I’m becoming a bit of an addict.

Their recent series on George Orwell has been particularly inspiring for me, not only because he is one of my favourite authors, but also because Radio 4’s programs have been both entertaining and insightful in their own right. In particular I point to last Monday’s Start the Week, using Orwell’s essay ‘Politics and the English Language’ as a springboard to discuss political writing. Continue reading Feature: Orwell, Johnson, Clegg and Blair