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Edward Thomas remembered
Posted on: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Category: Writers

Lucy Milner is dawdling with intent - dropping behind the pack of walkers to study the Hampshire hedgerows. 'I'm foraging for bits,' she says. 'Moss, chalk, flint, feathers. We're doing a family wreath - taking a bit of his beloved Steep to him.'

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For Guernica read Aleppo: why the bombing, and painting, still resonate
Posted on: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Category: Cultures

My two companions, Edorta Jiménez and Irati Agorria, show me a machine built for noise and it reduces me to silence. For this is one of the air-raid sirens that sounded 80 years ago - on April 26, 1937 - as German and Italian planes bombed the Basque market town of Guernica (Gernika in the Basque spelling) in the Spanish Civil War.

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Darkness, an endangered species
Posted on: Sunday, February 19, 2017 Category: Cultures

Darkness on the South Downs. Owls hoot and boy-racers accelerate along distant B-roads. But just how dark is it? To find out Dan Oakley points a 'sky quality meter' at the stars. This, he explains, measures sky brightness in 'magnitudes per square arcsecond'. The read-out clicks beyond 20 - which is good apparently, but means nothing to me. Luckily Dan has another test: 'Can you see the Orion nebula?'

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