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  • The Schranz bottega… and its ‘in-house product’

    The Schranz bottega… and its     ‘in-house product’

    In this eighth, and penultimate article leading to the bicentenary celebrations of the Schranz artists in Malta, John Schranz, a direct descendant of Anton Schranz via Giovanni, his great-great-grandfather, takes a bird’s-eye view of Anton’s...

  • An unknown description of Malta’s surrender in June 1798 by Giovanni Nicolò Muscat

    An unknown description of Malta’s surrender     in June 1798 by Giovanni Nicolò Muscat

    The swift capitulation of the Maltese islands – considered as fortified to the point of being impregnable – has been the subject of a myriad of studies which have delved into the variety of causes that, in combination, led to that momentous...

  • Do girls count?

    Do girls count?

    Concern about gender differences in mathematics achievement is a serious issue because maths is a skill one needs to master in order to function in life and an important ‘filter’ to higher paid jobs. Up to a few decades ago, boys were reported as...

  • Myth debunked: Is mathematics just for ‘maths people’?

    A serious misconception about mathematics is the pop­ular belief that one has to have a ‘maths brain’ to learn mathematics. This often leads many to be convinced that they can never learn mathematics as they are not ‘maths people’. Perhaps not...

  • Photo of the week

    Photo of the week

    A photo of the Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017). As mentioned in the Did You Know? section, in 2014 she became the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. She was a mathematics...

  • Facebook defends itself against social media critics

    Facebook defends itself against social media critics

    Facebook Inc struck back against scientific researchers and tech industry insiders who have criticised the world's biggest social media network and its competitors for transforming how people behave and express emotion. Facebook, in a corporate...

  • Watch: Google crunches data to help NASA find two new planets

    Watch: Google crunches data to help NASA find two new planets

    Alphabet Inc's Google and NASA used advanced computer analysis to identify two new planets around distant stars, including one that is part of the first star system with as many planets as Earth's solar system. The research by Google and the...

  • Swearing helps us battle pain – no matter what language we curse in, author claims

    Swearing helps us battle pain – no matter what language we curse in, author claims

      Shutterstock Swear words have many functions. They can be used for emphasis, for comedic effect, as a shared linguistic tool that strengthens social bonds and maintains relationships, or simply to cause offence and shock. They are words that...

  • Natural history museums distort reality

    Natural history museums distort reality

    Natural history museums are magical places. They inspire awe and wonder in the natural world and help us understand our place within the animal kingdom. Behind the scenes, many of them are also undertaking world-changing science with their...

  • Jellyfish have superpowers – and other reasons they don't deserve their bad reputation

    Jellyfish have superpowers – and other reasons they don't deserve their bad reputation

    Shutterstock People rarely enjoy meeting a jellyfish. On the beach they appear limp, amorphous, and blistered in the sun. In the water it’s often a brush of a tentacle on exposed skin followed by a sting. They hardly evoke the serene elegance of...

  • ‘A somersault for my father’

    ‘A somersault for my father’

    This year’s Thomas Smith Charity Swim will not be seeing one of its eldest swimmers, Alfred Abela, performing his mid-air somersault before diving into the sea – a stunt that has become synonymous with the Christmas season and the annual...

  • Malta’s 1788 Magna Carta for unborn life

    Malta’s 1788 Magna Carta for unborn life

    It was left to Bishop Vincenzo Labini to fire the last salvo against abortion before Napoleon booted the Order out of Malta. Labini, the last non-Maltese bishop of Malta, enjoyed the reputation of a liberal and is said to have sided with the...

  • Looking at the universe through radio eyes

    Looking at the universe through radio eyes

    Our eyes are incredible organs, enabling us to interact with the world around us and to look beyond our tiny planet every time we raise our gaze up to the night sky. For centuries, it was indeed the only kind of light known to exist, and any...

  • All the fun of the fair, at Corinthia

    All the fun of the fair, at Corinthia

    Thanks to the proceeds raised in 2017 by Corinthia Palace Hotel, four local families with a seriously ill child will enjoy a cost-free dream family holiday. The money was raised from various events and initiatives organised by the hotel team,...

  • Stop celebrating Jack the Ripper: he was a serial killer

    Stop celebrating Jack the Ripper: he was a serial killer

    From ghost tours, to books, Halloween costumes to theatre productions – and even a museum – the Jack the Ripper industry is well and truly alive. His is the name given to the unidentified serial killer who was believed to be responsible for a...

  • Blocks are still the best present you can buy children for Christmas

    Blocks are still the best present you can buy children for Christmas

    With Christmas looming, many people will be considering what present to buy for their children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and friends. Soon, if not already, we will be reading lists of the top trending presents for 2017. These lists will...

  • The London-based Maltese architect breaking new ground

    The London-based Maltese architect breaking new ground

    Jonathan Mizzi had it all laid out. Twenty-six, living in London and working for architectural design behemoths Foster + Partners, he was all set for the big leagues. Then one afternoon in 2008, it all came crashing down. “I came back from a...

  • An alternative way to stem sick leave (ab)use in Malta?

    An alternative way to stem sick leave (ab)use in Malta?

    Training managers to care for the mental well-being of their staff could be an effective way for companies to reduce the burden of sick leave costs, according to a recent study in Australia reported in medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry. Sick...

  • The work cycle

    The work cycle

    Among all the types of physical activity I have encouraged others to take up over the years, there is one in particular I was always a little uncomfortable advocating, until now. It’s been about three months since I decided to take the plunge, and...

  • The art of gift giving

    The art of gift giving

    Cooler temperatures herald the start of the festive season. No sooner had we hung up our broomsticks and binned those Jack-o-Lanterns than tinsel and panettone started appearing on the shelves of our local Lidl. With kids in the mix, there’s so...