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Features

  • Citrus fruits, scurvy and the origins of the Sicilian mafia

    Citrus fruits, scurvy and the origins of the Sicilian mafia

    Petr Jilek via Shutterstock   The Sicilian mafia is arguably one of the most famous – or infamous – institutions in the Western world. After its first appearance in Sicily in the 1870s it soon infiltrated the economic and political spheres of...

  • Pietru Pawl Caruana painting regains its original momentum

    Pietru Pawl Caruana painting regains its original momentum

    Conservator Agatha Grima gives a glimpse of what was involved in the restoration and conservation of Pietru Pawl Caruana’s apse painting in the choir area at the Basilica of Our Lady of Porto Salvo (Our Lady of Fair Havens), also known as the...

  • Half a century and counting

    Half a century and counting

    Interviewing three couples, who, between them, have almost 200 years’ worth of marriage experience, is not all laughter and roses. Their words of wisdom are not about how they have kept the romance alive after all these years – they did not tell...

  • Coupling in the digital age

    Coupling in the digital age

    From knowing each other’s passwords to over-sharing on social media, dating in the digital age can be a bit of a minefield. Jo Caruana discovers how best to navigate the wired waters. The last time I shared updates of a new boyfriend with friends...

  • Learning in the digital age

    Learning in the digital age

    Is digital technology encroaching too closely on our lives, or could it be the answer to reducing the number of early school leavers (ESLs) in Malta? One in five students in Malta are ESLs. Many feel demotivated, unengaged, and bored with education.

  • Myth Debunked: Should we give up sugar for Lent?

    Debating what to give up for Lent? Should sugar be on your list? It’s been related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline and cancer. We’re told it’s as addictive as heroin. Interest in all things sugar-free has boomed in the...

  • Photo of the week

    Photo of the week

    The hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum, or bare-hearted glass frog, is found in Central and South America. Its underside has no pigment, so we can see straight through to its organs.

  • Glad To Meet You: North Korea's pop orchestra warms hearts in the South

    Glad To Meet You: North Korea's pop orchestra warms hearts in the South

    When North Korea’s Samjiyon Band took to the stage on the first night of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the 800-strong audience may have expected the orchestra to perform a repertoire designed to extol the virtues of life in the People’s...

  • What did Jesus wear?

    What did Jesus wear?

    Livioandronico2013 / Wikimedia Commons , CC BY-SA   Over the past few decades, the question of what Jesus looked like has cropped up again and again. Much has been made of a digital reconstruction of a Judaean man created for a BBC documentary,...

  • An extreme form of violence against women

    Due to the phenomenon of migration, Europe – including Malta – is experiencing an influx of victims of female genital mutilation, points out Renee Laiviera Over 200 million girls and women today have experienced female genital mutilation (FGM)...

  • 'I live with two rats'

    'I live with two rats'

    Tell people that you got two new pets, and it’s all smiles and “Aww, photos please”. Whip out your phone to oblige and, as soon as they realise that said new pets are rats, the smiles are replaced with shudders of fear or disgust. Yup. Ratties do...

  • New ward at Simblija care home helps residents find their way

    New ward at Simblija care home helps residents find their way

    This week Simblija Care Home in Naxxar has opened its Memory Support Unit, designed to provide residents suffering from dementia a safe and comfortable, home-like environment. It is situated on the ground floor providing easy access to the...

  • Malta and World War I – snippets from April-November 1918

    Malta and World War I – snippets from April-November 1918

    In March 1918, 778 Maltese ratings were enlisted into the Royal Naval Air Service based at HMS St Angelo. This scheme was received with great acclaim, and a training camp for Maltese recruits was established at Spinola. A month later, in April...

  • A new weapon in our arsenal against cancer

    A new weapon in our arsenal against cancer

    These are exciting times for scientific research in our fight against cancer. An effective cancer therapy directly targets tumour cells without being toxic to health tissue. The latter has been a long-standing limitation of conventional therapies,...

  • Myth debunked: Three states of matter?

    Everything in the universe is made up of matter, small non-visible particles called molecules and atoms. At school, we were taught that there are three states of matter; solid, liquid and gas. Examples of solids include objects such as a table,...

  • Photo of the week

    Artist representation of the Immune Synapse. Upon detecting tumour cells or pathogens, immune cells within the body orchestrate an immunological response through molecular interactions that take place in a nanoscale gap termed the immune synapse.

  • Wanted: a new generation at the Casino Maltese

    The exclusive club in Republic Street is looking for new members. Kristina Chetcuti finds out about the history of this hallowed place whose vitality its president would like to revive. The Casino Maltese was born out of a sheer sense of competition.

  • Malta and World War I – snippets from January-March 1918

    Malta and World War I – snippets from January-March 1918

    World War I continued during 1918 in many fronts, especially in Europe. It was nearly four years since the outbreak of what was then known as the Great War. However, by the end of 1918, the Central Powers were forced to surrender after they had...

  • The mathematics of Euclid, Archimedes and Apollonius

    The mathematics of Euclid, Archimedes and Apollonius

    “Like the crest of a peacock, like the gem on the head of a snake, so is mathematics at the head of all knowledge.” (Vendanga Iyotisa) Mathematics has a long story of important human endeavour and is a result of intuitive reasoning combined with...

  • Myth Debunked: Was mathematics primitive in ancient times?

    It might be easy to start believing in the fallacy tacitly assumed by some that mathematics in ancient times was unsophisticated and unrefined. In solving real world problems, the Egyptians had to possess prolific mathematical skills,...