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As long ago as the fourth century BC, Aristotle observed that "man is, by nature, a social animal." It's no surprise then that so many of our most significant inventions - from the telegram in 1792 to the email in 1971 - have been in the pursuit of easier contact over great distances. Today's social media can be considered the...

What do Mozart, H.P. Lovecraft and Jay-Z have in common? In addition to (and perhaps in spite of) the popularity and influence of their main works, all three have engaged in ghostwriting: the act of producing a work which is officially credited to another individual.

The opening salvo of a revolutionary comedy series that began as a cult but whose impact reverberated around the globe to become an icon that influenced comedy for the next 50 years, and still does today. Yes, it's ... Monty Python's Flying Circus! Why so current after all this time?

Even 'the patron saint of translation' got it wrong sometimes. Jerome of Stridon - most famous for supposedly removing a thorn from a lion's paw - was a fourth century linguist who set about translating the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew. As a second-language speaker, he failed to grasp that the Hebrew word for a horn was...

So, Europe has taken on the unenviable mantle of epicentre of the corona crisis. And lockdown has become the word of the moment. But can we find any grain of hope and optimism in amongst the cascade of doom and gloom that pervades the press and media? Though not exactly screaming from the rooftops, various environmental crusades are expressing...

Is communication the capacity to use symbols to refer to objects and states or is it the capacity to use these symbols in an order that creates meaning? "Eat Nim" and "Nim eat" mean very different things but were used interchangeably by Nim Chimpsky the chimpanzee.

The last time I scored 20:20 for my eyesight test must have been in my early teens. Since then, it's been a series of spectacles and contact lenses that have helped me see the world around me. And as we enter 2020, the first year of this third decade, twenty-twenty vision takes on a different and crucial meaning.

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