Blaise Pascal

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 Melatu-Uche Okorie: “A lot of creativity will come out of lockdown.” Photograph: Alan Betson

This article is part of a series focusing on hope, courage and resilience in the time of Covid-19 “All of humanity’s problems stem from our inability(...)

Irish doctors arriving back in Dublin Airport from  Australia to help with the Covid-19 crisis. The auspices are good, from the surge of volunteers flocking to the HSE to the neighbourly help offered to the elderly. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Good behaviour is a concept that has come back into the public discourse since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It is no longer a quaint reli(...)

 Photograph: Getty Images

Happy the man, whose wish and care/A few paternal acres bound/content to breathe his native air/In his own ground. (Alexander Pope) I wandered lonely(...)

The Percy French memorial artwork in Newcastle, Co Down, designed by Andrew Todd. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA

The coronavirus epidemic is proving again the wisdom of Blaise Pascal’s famous lament: “All the troubles in the world stem from man’s inability to sit(...)

‘On its own, the question of whether or not there is a God is  interesting in the abstract, but not very relevant to daily life,’ says historian of religion Alec Ryrie. Photograph: Getty Images

New atheists attract a lot of hostility but, if you’re not one yourself, consider how infuriating it must be to see church worship on the rise interna(...)

Smartphones: We blame teenagers for their addiction but parents are often just as addicted. We call it work.

The recent Ana Kriegel assault and murder case has frightened the life out of parents. The immediate response was that the government should do someth(...)


“I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” The French mathematician Blaise Pascal knew that writing succinc(...)

All those years ago, I felt a little bit sorry for Wendy, with her strange longing for shops on Stephen’s Day. Photograph:  Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/ Getty Images

Over the past while, I have been thinking about a Christmas years ago when my American friend Wendy came to spend Christmas with my parents and siblin(...)

'Christmas has a reflective way of condensing the worst of the year into something like the drastically overdone annual sprouts.'

With its fairy lights and family gatherings, Christmas becomes a reflecting pool. In adulthood, its “magic” primarily consists of its ability to heigh(...)

Tweeting been made easier, says Twitter. Is that wise? Photograph: Thomas White/Reuters

Twitter’s doubled character limit is undoubtedly good news – for Germans. Anybody who writes in languages that make even the most verbose English seem(...)

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