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Features

  • The Malta Home Guard

    The Malta Home Guard

    The need for a Volunteer Territorial Force or a Reserve Defence Force in Malta was being considered as early as the Abyssinian Crisis of 1935, when Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia, and in 1936 when Italy sided with General Franco during the Spanish...

  • Pet rabbits

    Pet rabbits

    This week I was inundated with phone calls from concerned pet rabbit owners. One of the calls came from Cupcake’s owner. Cupcake is a five-year-old female lop rabbit. I usually see Cupcake on a monthly basis when her incisors need...

  • L-Imnarja agricultural event

    L-Imnarja agricultural event

    The biggest agricultural event of the year – L-Imnarja – will be held at Buskett Gardens on Wednesday and Thursday. Thousands of farmers and agricultural stakeholders would be impatiently waiting for this calendar show, which has evolved into a...

  • ‘Crashing’ into Saturn: Cassini’s mission and its grand finale

    ‘Crashing’ into Saturn: Cassini’s mission and its grand finale

    Just under 20 years ago, the magnificent result of 17 countries’ expertise, collaboration and tireless effort took to the skies from Cape Canaveral, USA, in one of the most ambitious endeavours of space exploration. After approximately seven years...

  • Is Mercury the hottest planet?

    Is Mercury the hottest planet?

    Being closest to the sun, the planet Mercury was initially also thought to be the hottest planet in our solar system, receiving more energy from the sun than any other body in the solar system. However, it has since been confirmed that the planet...

  • Photo of the week

    Photo of the week

    Maltese astrophotographer Alexei Pace captured the rather rare event of the International Space Station crossing the moon’s surface, as seen from Rabat. The image is a composite made from several video frames captured in just two seconds.

  • Vanity Fair Governors

    Vanity Fair Governors

    The pair of historical articles on these pages mark the start of a short series of five articles by Christopher Grech that will feature the British Governors of Malta who enjoyed the (sometimes dubious) honour of being caricaturised by Vanity Fair...

  • Zebrafish make splashing headlines in scientific research

    Zebrafish make splashing headlines in scientific research

    The study of human diseases continues to be a priority in today’s day and age. Many biological research studies have focused their efforts on trying to identify and interpret the underlying genetic cause of both rare and common diseases alike. In...

  • Petrolheads myths debunked

    Petrolheads myths debunked

    Some people spend their Saturday mornings polishing and waxing their otherwise unremarkable cars, in preparation for the Sunday afternoon ride.  Bucket of water in hand, brand new sponge and expert mechanical advice flowing relentlessly on every...

  • Photo of the week

    Photo of the week

    The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, United States is home to over 126 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks and other artefacts. As with all museums, a disproportionately large percentage of the...

  • Malta Sail Training Association launches youth development programme

    Malta Sail Training Association launches youth development programme

    The Malta Sail Training Association has launched its 2017/2018 youth development programme with the support of the Alfred Mizzi Foundation. The sail training environment places individuals from all walks of life on an equal footing without the...

  • French sailors in Malta during WWI

    French sailors in Malta during WWI

    The outbreak of World War I in 1914 had cataclysmic repercussions worldwide. Among its minor effects was the disturbance of the traditional balances of power in the Mediterranean. The French and the British, together with Russia (the Entente...

  • This week with the vet: Inducing vomiting in dogs

    This week with the vet: Inducing vomiting in dogs

    This week I had one of those emergency callouts that reminded me of my first year in veterinary practice. The caller told me that her puppy had stolen a foil of human prescription drugs and had managed to tear through the tiny blisters to swallow...

  • Virtual reality technology and empathy

    Virtual reality technology and empathy

    We were all children. We think that as adults we are able to understand children because we have experienced childhood ourselves. But not many of us have experienced autism or growing up with a family who felt it safer to traverse treacherous...

  • Myth debunked: Will VR isolate people?

    Myth debunked: Will VR isolate people?

    Virtual reality (VR) and the technology surrounding it can often lead to misconceptions and false claims. Most often, the fear of using VR is that the technology will isolate people and it will turn into a replacement for real-life...

  • Photo of the week

    Photo of the week

    Virtual reality is being used to decommission old nuclear reactors. One of the main uses of VR is for the decommissioning team to get a sense of the space inside the reactor, without being exposed to the hazards found in a facility. Laser scanning...

  • ‘Agostino of the crucifixes’

    ‘Agostino of the crucifixes’

    If one tours the Maltese islands, attends village feasts or visits our churches, one is bound to come across a statue by renowned sculptor Agostino Camilleri. Born on May 2, 1885 in Victoria, to Joseph and Catherine née Bonnet – who both hailed...

  • The fate of a young, polite, fair-haired man

    The fate of a young, polite,   fair-haired man

    HMS Rodney was commissioned in September 1835, and under the command of Captain Hyde Parker, formed part of the British Fleet assigned to patrol British interests in the Mediterranean. Rodney had an official complement of 720, but it usually...

  • Confirmation bias

    Confirmation bias

    Human opinions are formed through rational, objective analysis. Wrong. In reality, we cannot provide a neutral filter for any information we absorb. This data weathers a storm of ignorance, emotions, value judgements and cognitive biases. One of...

  • Myth debunked: Does sunscreen cause cancer?

    Myth debunked: Does sunscreen cause cancer?

    Over the last hundred years, skin cancer risk rates have increased by a factor of 10. Many have linked this to the use of sunscreen rather than increased exposure to the sun. The blame has mostly been placed on a bunch of nasty sounding chemicals...

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