Monthly archives: October 2013

Moocs data offers promise of perfect teaching

When students learn online, every mouse click is tracked. Harness this wealth of data and we can create the ultimate in personalised lessons. One day, Sebastian Thrun ran a simple and surprising experiment on a class of students that changed his ideas about how they were learning. The students were doing an online course provided by Udacity, an educational organisation that Thrun co-founded in 2011. Thrun and his colleagues split […]

Will we ever bring the dead back to life?

Understanding the processes governing death is helping experts try to halt and reverse it. It’s also challenging our ideas about the nature of death itself. Zach Conrad died on a lovely Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia. It was 3 June 2012, and the 36-year-old financial analyst had decided to take a solo bike ride, as he often did on weekends. As the ride progressed, however, Conrad sensed that something was wrong. […]

Ghostly journey through Hong Kong's old Wan Chai district

It was a distinctly unspooky location. A cash point in a bright, blaring underground train station. But there I stood among 20 strangers, all of us on the trail of phantoms. Look at the skyline and all you see of Hong Kong is an ultra-modern city with glistening buildings scraping the clouds or hugging the harbourfront in weird and wonderful shapes. But lurking in between them are pockets of old […]

Trapped and dying in desert, David Welch leaves behind love notes -- and questions

  STORY HIGHLIGHTS A man goes missing after he leaves his house on September 2 Nearly seven weeks later, he is found hundreds of miles away He’s found injured and trapped in a ravine; he used the time to write love letters to his family His death leaves behind many questions David Welch hopped into his maroon Pontiac Montana van last month and drove for hours. Without saying where he […]

Cruising the Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, with headquarters in Miami, is owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings, the market leader in the Upper Premium and Luxury segments of the cruise industry with over 6,400 berths between the Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises brands. The Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet includes sister all-suite, all-balcony, 700-guest ships Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner; and the all-suite, 90% balcony Seven Seas Navigator. Seven […]

Reports: Three former Murdoch tabloid journalists plead guilty to phone hacking

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Three News of the World journalists plead guilty to phone hacking in trial in London Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw plead guilty, report British media Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are accused of conspiring to hack voice mails They both formerly edited the now-defunct News of the World newspaper Three former journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s defunct British tabloid News of the World have pleaded guilty to […]

Yoga with dogs? How barking is that? It's the latest daft fitness craze. JILLY JOHNSON tries 'doga' - with her 14st Great Dane Hugo

Yoga with dogs? How barking is that? It’s the latest daft fitness craze. JILLY JOHNSON tries ‘doga’ – with her 14st Great Dane Hugo Well, this is awkward. I’m arranging myself into what my yoga instructor calls the ‘downward facing dog pose’. I place my hands on the floor, stretch out my arms and legs and lift my pelvis. So far so good. I close my eyes and try to […]

Bus fire in southern India leaves 40 dead

At least 40 people have died after the luxury bus they were travelling in caught fire in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh, police said. The bus, carrying more than 50 passengers, was travelling from Bangalore city to Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh’s capital, when the incident happened early on Wednesday. Seven people, including the driver, managed to escape the blaze. Police say a collision with a culvert ignited the fuel tank […]

Manmohan, Modi share dais, cross swords over Sardar Patel

AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday crossed swords over Sardar Patel as they shared dais here at an event on the first home minister. Modi made a veiled attack on Jawaharlal Nehru as he said the country’s “fate” and “face” would have been different if Patel had been the first Prime Minister. Singh immediately hit back by questioning Modi’s claim over Patel’s legacy, […]

Does a full moon make people mad?

Belief in the Moon’s power over us is widespread, and the basis of the word lunacy. Claudia Hammond examines whether science can shed any light on the ancient myth. We all know a full moon is supposed to bring werewolves and vampires out into the open. Belief in its power to drive us mere mortals a little mad is ancient and widespread. Such notions even gave rise to the word […]