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Blast from the past

The new space vehicle to replace the ageing space shuttles may be retro rather than avant-garde, reports RALPH VARTABEDIAN.

The good-read way to learn


Vital scent

ESCADA#8217;S Sentiment pour Homme is refreshing and gentle yet #8220;daring#8221;. The combination of unusual ingredients, green accords and musky, woody notes gives it a tender masculine scent.

Whatever makes the US grate

DBC Pierre#8217;s first novel is a blistering satire of the United States through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy. The British author talks to JASPER REES.

Harmony in water treaty

Scientists and policy-makers have warned that scarcity of water could trigger war between nations, but the latest report by the United Nations shows that historically water agreements had brought peace and suggests ways to ease future conflict.

The king's astronomer

King Charles II of England, like his French contemporary King Louis XIV, was a patron of the sciences. In 1675, Charles II broke new ground by appointing an #8220;Astronomical observatory#8221; (a title later changed to Astronomer Royal) to take charge of the newly constructed Greenwich Observatory, east of London.

Spelling out inconsistent names

Is it #8220;Melaka #8221; or #8220;Malacca #8221;,#8220;Penang #8221; or #8220;Pinang #8221;?A lively exchange addressing this conundrum is going on via an Internetdiscussion list. While no direct answers have been offered,there are eye-opening suggestions,writes AGATHA MATAYUN.

Bringing the world to American classrooms

The Americans#8217; knowledge of the world, or rather the lack of it, is well documented and is surprising, given that the US is considered the #8220;melting pot#8221; of the world#8217;s peoples.