Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments – not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale…
Bonehead, the dino-kid lookout, raises so many false alarms that when the scary Gigantosaurus really appears, his friends may not believe him… High-energy fun from the exuberant Jonny Duddle.
The NHS collects people’s confidential data to provide their care but how else is it used? Should people be able to opt out of uses of their health data for purposes such as medical research, improving public services or commercial uses? Dame Fiona Caldicott is the National Data Guardian for Health and Care in England; Sir Nick Partridge is the former CEO of the Terence Higgins Trust and Dr Tony Calland is a former GP in Wales. Chaired by Professor Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London.
John presents her novel The Haunting of Henry Twist – a mysterious love story set in 1926 that recalls the power and strangeness of Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Arnott’s The Fatal Tree is set 200 years earlier and is about the true story of Edgeworth Bess, which mesmerised C18th society: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree – the gallows.
Sarah Lean’s debut A Dog Called Homeless went down a storm with Morpurgo fans. Learn how she creates her stories and join in with some ideas of your own.
How are wars conducted today? What happens when you only see your enemy onscreen or driving past an IED? And what effect does digital warfare have on the long-term security of the West? Woods is the author of Sudden Justice – America’s Secret Drone Wars. The investigative journalist charts the deployment of the CIA Predator drones for targeted counterterrorism killings in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. He challenges with damning evidence the assertion that drones minimize civilian casualties and are ‘the most precise weapon ever invented’. Major Hunter is the author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk. He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his work in Iraq as a bomb disposal operative.
On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: ‘I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.’
Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.
Robert Irwin’s books include For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and (as editor) The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabian Literature. Azar Nafisi taught Western literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Iran. In 1981 she was expelled from the University of Tehran after refusing to wear the veil. In 1994 she won a teaching fellowship from Oxford University, and in 1997 she and her family left Iran for America. She is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About.
What and who do we trust with our sense of nationhood? The NHS, the BBC, the PM, the EU? The new chair of the National Trust has been a CEO and board director of many of Britain’s most successful international companies, and he owns the British Pathé Film Archive. He discusses the ideas of ownership, national identity, the interplay of the public, private and third sectors, and the ethical concerns that drive business in an age of social media.
Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women’s rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is – or is not. Here’s an introduction to the basics from the Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Ideas about states of emergency went back to the politics of Ancient Rome in which it was said that ‘necessity knows no law’. This idea took on a series of different meanings during the early modern period and was employed by the Jacobins during the invasion scare of 1793–94. In 1848 the idea was employed again to justify emergency rule after the June uprising in Paris, but in its later usages, particularly by Marx, the idea was inverted. It was no longer emergency that justified dictatorship. Rather, dictatorship was posited as a desirable outcome in a transition to new forms of society.
For the past 30 years or more, the global economy has been run on three big assumptions: globalisation will continue to increase, trade is the route to growth and development, and economic power is moving from West to East. But what if all these are wrong? Livesey is an engineer and a lecturer in public policy at the University of Cambridge.