Art & History

What is the Big Deal About Finding Richard III?

As skeleton found under a car park in Leicester has been identified as that of King Richard III, who ruled England from 1483 to 1485. Richard has been pictured as a tyrant king. There’s a story that Richard killed his own nephews, the legendary ‘princes in the tower’ in order to usurp the throne.

Nearly a century after Richard’s death, Shakespeare describes Richard as a ‘bottled spider’, a hunchback. Since Shakespeare’s time writers and artists through history have imagined Richard as a terrifying figure, whose physical disabilities are signs of his cruel inner nature.

Some historians argue that Shakespeare must have been writing propaganda to please his queen, Elizabeth I, whose grandfather Henry VII defeated Richard in battle. These historians argue that Richard’s ‘hunchback’ is an insult made up by Shakespeare, but until now, we haven’t been able to know what the truth is.

Read More...

Language & Literature

The Contronym – a Word that Bends Over Backwards

I expect most of you have heard of antonyms, and even if you haven’t heard the word, you know them and use them every day. Antonyms are words that mean the opposite. For example, hot is the antonym of cold, rich is the antonym of poor.
But what happens when we have a word that doesn’t have another antonym – it is the antonym of itself?! You are probably wondering what on earth that could mean. Well, there are some words that have two meanings which are the opposite of each other. This makes the word its own antonym. Words like this are known as contronyms.

 

LEFT 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One very common one that we shall start with is a word that you use all the time without ever thinking about it being a contronym. This is left, which can mean “gone, departed” or “still there, remaining” . If you have gone, then you have left, but if everyone else except you has gone, then you are left!

Read More...

Home, Health & Style

Have you ever wondered…about your teeth?

Have you ever had a tooth pulled out by a dentist? If you did, you may have noticed something odd. The roots were probably still attached to the tooth, unlike when a tooth falls out normally. What happens to the root of a tooth, how do teeth grow and why is it important that you take care of them? Samantha Gouldson investigates! 

Read More...

Popular, Science, Nature and Tech

What is Biotechnology?

Perhaps you have heard of the term biotechnology and wondered what it is. You may think you know already – after all, the parts that make up the word are very familiar: bio + technology. You have seen the first part of the word in biology, antibiotics, all sorts of words. It comes from Greek bios, which means ‘life’.

As for technology, it is not just about computers and smartphones. Technology is the practical use of knowledge to create useful things and solve problems. You might like to think of it as tech-knowledge-y. So, taking it one step further, biotechnology is about using biology in technology.

We talked to Alessandra Iscaro, a biotechnology researcher at the University of Florence, Italy, and she explained to us what it is all about.

Read More...