Wendell Richardson

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The 100 best novels written in English: the full list

After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has reached a verdict on his selection of the 100 greatest novels written in English. Take a look at his list<p>A story of a man in search of truth told with the simple clarity and beauty of Bunyan’s prose make this the ultimate English classic.

Literature

Best self-seeding plants: sow once, enjoy forever

Self-seeding plants are a cheap and easy way to bring life, colour and a touch of wildness to any plot, says John Walker<p>Which plants can you depend on for the following? Non-stop colour from spring to autumn; hardy and easy to grow; need sowing just once; help boost populations of beneficial, …

Fritillaries, a flower with the power to make you gasp

Vita Sackville-West called them sinister, but when massed in meadows, fritillaries are an inspiring spring sight<p>The snake’s head lily, leper lily, chess or guinea flower – Fritillaria meleagris – is one of those plants that can make you gasp, especially if you come across it unexpectedly. With …

Gardening

How to grow fritillaries

Ravishingly exotic, fritillaries are easy to grow, come in all sizes, and light up any garden.<p>Imperial fritillaries are the first whopper garden bulb to flower in spring. You've got alliums, lilies and eremurus later, but it's the good old crown imperial which gives you drama early in the year.<p>I …

Plant a Secret Survival Garden - Doomsday Preppers Article

Imagine a garden that takes up very little space, but grows five times more food per square inch than a traditional garden. A garden that you plant once in your lifetime, but provides food for 30 years without any fertilization, pesticides, or weeding... and it's all disguised to look like …

A foolproof guide to growing raspberries

Raspberries are easy to grow, make delicious desserts and are a lot less trouble than strawberries says Ken Thompson<p>I can see why some people aren’t attracted to the idea of <b>growing veg</b>. After all, you do need a few proper tools; various parts of the process can be cold/wet/muddy; a lot can go …

Gardening

The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust

Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.<p>From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and …

Rare Earth

How To Grow Soft Fruit

Getting the most from Blackberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants & Other Soft Fruit<p>For gardeners just entering the spring season there is still time to …

Gardening

10 Flowers To Grow With Vegetables

Companion Planting: How To Deter Pests and Encourage Beneficial Insects<p>Flowers among the vegetables are more than just a colourful addition. They …

How genetic engineering can fight disease, reduce insecticide use and enhance food security: Pamela Ronald speaks at TED2015

Pamela Ronald is a plant scientist, married to an organic farmer. Her talk shows how their goals are the same: to grow good food. Photo: Bret …

Agriculture

The Science of Near-Death Experiences

Empirically investigating brushes with the afterlife<p>Near-death experiences have gotten a lot of attention lately. The 2014 movie <i>Heaven Is for Real</i>, about a young boy who told his parents he had visited heaven while he was having emergency surgery, grossed a respectable $91 million in the United …

Happy Birthday, Einstein: Relativity Faces New Frontier

A century ago this year, a young Swiss physicist who had already revolutionized physics developed a radical new understanding of gravity.<p>In 1915, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity, which described gravity as a fundamental property of space-time. He came up with a set of …

Physics

A meandering tale: the truth about pi and rivers

Pi Day 2015: A well known fact about pi is that it describes the bendiness of rivers. I wanted to test this theory, and so I crowd-sourced river lengths to find out<p>Of the many weird and wonderful facts about pi, one of my favourites is a surprising connection between the number 3.14 and the world …

Mathematics

The 9 Most Romantic Cities In The South

If you're in the mood for a romantic getaway with your significant other but don't quite know where you want to go, then we've got you covered.<p>From a quiet Tennessee town to the mountains of North Carolina, we've picked the nine most romantic cities in the South. Take a look, book a trip, and take …

Fossil Fuels Will Save the World (Really)

There are problems with oil, gas and coal, but their benefits for people—and the planet—are beyond dispute<p>The environmental movement has advanced three arguments in recent years for giving up fossil fuels: (1) that we will soon run out of them anyway; (2) that alternative sources of energy will …

Fossil Fuels

The Best Laptops You Can Buy

Maybe it's a bit more clunky than you thought when you carry it in your bag during a commute. Perhaps the screen is too reflective for your liking when you're watching Netflix. And worst of all, what if the battery life is much shorter than you expected?<p>We've researched some of the best laptops on …

Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read

In December of 2011, <b>Neil deGrasse Tyson</b> — champion of science, celebrator of the cosmic perspective, master of the soundbite — participated in Reddit’s Ask Me Anything series of public questions and answers. One reader posed the following question: <i>“Which books should be read by every single</i> …

How littleBits Engineers Turn Their Ideas Into DIY Kits

From concept to FaceTime tank<p>Every electronic module in a littleBits kit is, well, little. Their small size and ability to snap together in nearly any combination make them useful prototyping tools: Engineers often use them to build rough versions of a new product. In order to pack a variety of …

What it took for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to disrupt Boeing, leapfrog NASA, and become a serious space company

<i>This story has been corrected.</i><p>The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars. The vast metal structure once churned out 747 fuselages for …

Space Travel

Einstein

• <b>Author:</b> Walter Isaacson<p>By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers <i>Benjamin Franklin</i> and <i>Steve Jobs</i>, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.<p>How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his …

The team involved has been criticised for publishing results before they were peer reviewed. But this is what science is: debate, discussion, deliberation<p>It was announced in headlines worldwide as one of the biggest scientific discoveries for decades, sure to garner Nobel prizes. But now it looks …

This Physicist Says She Has Proof Black Holes Simply Don't Exist

Scientists have lots of bizarre theories about black holes. Black holes gobble up everything that gets too close, even light. They can cause time to slow. They contain entire universes.<p>But here's something about black holes you might not have heard: they simply don't exist.<p>At least that's the …

DIY: How to Build a Brute but Bright LED Ring Light

If you’ve been looking to get your hands on an LED ring light but don’t have the cash to burn, this weekend project is just for you. It’s called the …

DIY: Noticeably Improve Your Macro Photography with a Cheap Plastic Cup

Hand-held macro photography presents a lot of challenges, but three of the most prevalent are: subject movement, camera shake, and harsh shadows. …

David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

“David Bowie Is,” the extensive retrospective exhibit of the artist and his fabulous costumes, hit Toronto last Friday (see our post from earlier …

Nikon vs Canon Dynamic Range

After I have published my Canon 6D review, a number of our readers asked if there was a way to show a comparison between dynamic range performance of …

How many Greek legends were really true?

<b>The culture and legends of ancient Greece have a remarkably long legacy in the modern language of education, politics, philosophy, art and science. Classical references from thousands of years ago continue to appear. But what was the origin of some of these ideas?</b><p><b>1. Was there ever really a Trojan</b> …

'Extreme solar storm' could have pulled the plug on Earth

The date of 23 July 2012 could have been the day the lights went out, along with suddenly not-so-smart phones, computers, satellite transmissions, GPS navigation systems, televisions, radio broadcasts, hospital equipment, electric pumps and water supplies.<p>On that day an "extreme solar storm" did …

On the (Very Smelly) Trail of the Skunk Takeover

I bought a striped skunk skull online from a man named Terry. It arrived yesterday from Duluth, Minnesota, in a nondescript cardboard box that weighed almost nothing. I opened the box and removed the skull from a cocoon of bubble wrap.<p>I hold it in my hand now. It’s much smaller than I expected. It …

Microsoft explains quantum computing so even you can understand

Microsoft is offering a quick quantum computing primer that makes the esoteric subject almost understandable.<p>Quantum computing promises to solve unimaginably large and complex computer problems that classical computing could never crack. That is, if it can ever be made to work in anything like a …

Quantum Computing