As the Easter school holidays get into full swing, enjoy a sparkling collection of children’s books… all perfectly created to keep boredom at bay. Age 9 plus:The MiddlerKirsty Applebaum What is it like to be the middle child of a family?Prepare to be blown away by Kirsty Applebaum’s extraordinary debut thriller which explores the trials of being the ‘forgotten’ middle child… the in-between sibling who is neither precious first born nor favourite youngest.The Middler, a captivating dystopian page-turner, stars the memorable Maggie, a girl who feels she has no voice, even in her own family, and whose young, fresh and funny voice speaks loudly to other youngsters who might feel some of her frustrations and resentments. Eleven-year-old Maggie lives in Fennis Wick, enclosed and protected from the outside world by a boundary, beyond which the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam. Her brother Jed is a hero… the eldest child, revered … [Read more...] about Dystopian drama, circus capers and offbeat beasts
Creepy places on google earth
ALIEN-HUNTING scientists have admitted they hope to explore deep Martian cave systems using "space drones". Early tests of the drone technology – which would map underground caverns in the search for alien life – have already taken place in Icelandic lava tubes. SETI – an institute aimed at tracking down extraterrestrial life – managed to successfully map a cave using a Nasa-backed drone with Lidar technology. This involves sending out light waves and tracking reflections to map places too difficult for humans to explore. A team from SETI managed to successfully map the Lofthellir Lava Tube Ice Cave in Iceland, and said the mission could be reproduced on Mars. "We went to Iceland to study a lava tube with massive amounts of ice inside it to understand better both the potential hazards and opportunities presented by the many lava caves we hope to explore on the Moon and Mars," said Pascal Lee, a SETI Institute planetary scientist. "One promising way to explore … [Read more...] about These ‘space drones’ could help Nasa alien-hunters explore deep Martian caves to find life on Mars
arts Published 7th February 2019 Credit: These photographers capture the haunting beauty of ghost towns Written by Abigail Cain This article was published in partnership with Artsy, the global platform for discovering and collecting art. The original article can be seen here. There's a reason that ghost towns are empty. Maybe a nearby precious resource, like oil or gold, was wholly depleted. Perhaps it was a natural disaster, or a man-made one. The highway was rerouted, or the river diverted. Maybe disease struck, or famine. Whatever the cause, the resulting tableaus of decay and desolation have fascinated artists for centuries. Renaissance painters were captivated by Roman ruins, including the Forum and the Colosseum; artists in the 19th century were obsessed with the remains of ancient Egyptian civilizations unearthed by archeological expeditions. Below, we've gathered a more contemporary cohort interested in capturing abandoned urban spaces. Abandoned … [Read more...] about The haunting beauty of ghost towns
Dubliner Jeremy Dixon is convinced. Our phones are being secretly used as tools by Facebook and Instagram to record our physical conversations, which are then mined for ads which we see when we open our social apps. "It happened to me in a pub with mates," the 98FM DJ told me. "We were chatting and an odd topic came up, alpacas. I'd never Googled it or looked it up. The next thing, I start seeing ads for alpaca farms in my feed." Jeremy is not alone. The theory that Facebook, Google, Amazon and other big online tech companies are secretly listening to our conversations through the microphones on our handsets is rife. As a technology reporter, it's the most consistent question I've received over the last three years. "Is my phone spying on me?" "How on earth can something someone said to me suddenly turn up in my ads?" "I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but it's just too big a coincidence." "Let me tell you about the ad I saw after talking to my mam the other day…" Repeated, … [Read more...] about So, is your smartphone really secretly listening to you?
If you have not yet succumbed to Netflix’s innovative, interactive new film, Bandersnatch, from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror stable, then what are you reading this for? Get to it, and choose what happens in the 80s-set adventure in which there are choices, challenges, dangers and consequences. However, if you’re a little too delicate this season to accept a challenge and responsibility like this there are plenty more passive offerings to choose from. Amongst Netflix's original content is the arrival of Sex Education, a new series starring Gillian Anderson as a sex therapist and Asa Butterfield as her socially awkward high school student son, a new round of Grace and Frankie, and part two of season 4 of the wonderful Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, is also launching the third season of The Grand Tour this month and Sky/Now TV have the second series of Living the Dream, Magnum P.I. – I Saw the Sun Rise, Escape at … [Read more...] about Settle in for dry January