The British and French sprinters and their trainers circled Belgian officials in protest, gesticulating angrily towards the man at the far end of the cinder track with the starting pistol in his hand – the marksman they were accusing of making a false start that had resulted in America’s CharleyContinue Reading

Michael Burleigh discusses his book Day of the Assassins: A History of Political Murder, which considers what we can learn from looking at assassinations as a category of political violence. He also talks about some of the key assassinations through history, from Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln to the mysterious 1986Continue Reading

Beginning around 776 BC, the original Olympic Games featured a single sprint race called the stadion. More events were added later: longer races; boxing; wrestling; the pancration (a form of mixed martial arts); pentathlon (javelin, discus, wrestling, long jump and stadion); horse and chariot racing; a race in armour andContinue Reading

When an ill-conceived experiment at Chernobyl nuclear power station went wrong on 26 April 1986, the consequences were catastrophic. Technicians on Reactor Number Four at the Soviet plant, in Ukraine, hoped to ascertain whether the reactor turbine could power the cooling pumps, in case of electrical failure. They did thisContinue Reading

Alex Renton discusses his new book, Blood Legacy, which offers an unflinching account of his ancestors’ involvement in the slave trade. He also considers how best to deal with this unwanted inheritance, and how the long-lasting impact of slavery still affects the world today. Alex Renton is the author of Blood Legacy:Continue Reading

I read with some dismay the response by Barry Garelick (“What It Takes to Actually Improve Math Education”) to Rick Hess’s interview with Andrew Coulson (“The Case for Game-Based Math Learning”). Garelick unfortunately sets up a straw-dog contest between learning conceptual knowledge or procedural knowledge in mathematics learning. There isContinue Reading

For more than 300 years, the piano has captivated audiences, while composers have pushed the instrument’s boundaries. Susan Tomes, author of The Piano: A History in 100 Pieces, discusses some of the most impressive pieces of piano music ever written, and shares the stories of the composers who penned them. Susan TomesContinue Reading