Leaving Cert student  Kevin Holland who is sitting his exams at Castlecomer Community School in Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Laura Hutton.

First, I want to thank the warm and sunny weather of the past week for making it tough to study. I wish I could scoop up the books and head outside, b(...)

Isaac Newton: with no social media to distract him, the young genius retreated to his bedroom during his lockdown to develop the theory of gravity and work on what would become calculus. Portrait: Sir Godfrey Kneller

So, the day of reckoning is upon us. With Covid restrictions falling away, it’s time to audit your lockdown goals. Did you finally write the Great Iri(...)

Z Nation: putting the fun back into the undead

My favourite type of art is “things that are better than they ought to be”. I realised this a few years ago when watching Z Nation, a joyfully silly p(...)

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican: after our mass experiment in sensory deprivation, our senses should be keener and sharper. Photograph: Lucas Schifres/Getty

As we allow ourselves to imagine the possibility of life after Covid-19, one of the things we have to think about is how live art can reclaim its t(...)

No drama: William ‘Bill’ Shakespeare (81) receives the Covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry. Photograph: Jacob King/PA Wire/Bloomberg

Image of the week: All’s Well Ireland’s own Margaret Keenan may have become the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine outside of a drug trial,(...)

Macnas, whose parades are a core part of their work, receive this year’s special tribute award. Photograph: Brian Arthur

There should have been applause. There should have been cheers. There should have been hugs and kisses and jokes and a few convivial jars after. Inste(...)

In a Word . . .

My head aches and a drowsy numbness pains my sense as though of hemlock I had drunk. The weariness, the fever, and the fret, feeling pale and spectre-(...)

Comedian David Mitchell has just published his latest collection of Observer columns, Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy.

David Mitchell has some strong opinions. “Sorry about going off on one about various things,” he says at the end of our interview. I don’t mind. It’s (...)

The  Long Room library in Trinity College Dublin.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room is famous around the world for its stunning collection of rare library books. The fact that all of the 40 marble s(...)

The Big Chapel X runs from August 11th to 17th in Callan, Co Kilkenny.Photograph: Evelyn McNamara

Much Ado About Nothing The Quad at St Kiernan’s College, ends Aug 17th, 8pm (Sat and Sun mat 3.30pm) kilkennyarts.ie Love is a kind of con job in Wi(...)

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