At least sometimes, the folk cures had roots in biology or chemistry

Further to the subject of cures, which we were discussing yesterday, Wicklow-born reader Mattie Lennon reminds me that certain Irish families used to (...)

The three towers at the old port of La Rochelle.

We hadn’t all been on holiday together since the 1980s, when our Volkswagen Jetta was a regular fixture on the Irish Ferries boat to France as soon as(...)

Busts of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and Habsburg nobleman Miklos Zrinyi, whose forces clashed here in 1566. Courtesy of Norbert Pap. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

On a sultry late-summer day in southern Hungary, Prof Norbert Pap forged on through snagging branches and tangled undergrowth, disturbing dragonflies,(...)

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin gestures as he walks by US president Barack Obama
, front row second right, as he takes his place at a group photo outside of the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. World leaders are discussing Syria’s civil war at the summit but look no closer to agreeing on international military intervention to stop it. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
 at the G20 meeting in Russia.

Russia is pursuing its own national interests in Syria and the most pressing of these is the fear that a rebel success could lead to further destabili(...)