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Since ancient times, the winter solstice has been seen as an important astronomical occurrence, celebrated as the rebirth of sunlight and the gradual return of spring after the darkest period of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin sōlstitium, which translates to the standing still of the sun, reflecting the way the sun appears to halt its progress across the [more…]
Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!
Since the beginning of recorded history we have tried to forecast the weather. Today, we use sophisticated technology, but for centuries sailors, shepherds and farmers relied on weather lore to make predictions. [more…]
Celebrate 200 issues of Handy Sudoku!
This month we are celebrating a mind-boggling milestone: 200 issues of Handy Sudoku! One of our most popular titles, Handy Sudoku is the best fun with numbers you can have. Though it might look tricky at first glance, Sudoku puzzles require logical thinking, not maths skills – everyone has it in them to conquer the challenge. Read on [more…]
Tragedy is from the Greek word tragoidia meaning ‘goat-song’. Hmm, sounds a bit strange but in ancient Greece, groups of men joined together in a chorus to sing poetry, wearing goat-skins. The chorus would tell a story in song, and one man would separate from the chorus to argue against the story – and thus drama was born. This man was [more…]
From April Fools’ Day to Earth Day and Easter to Ramadan, there are several important dates and anniversaries commemorated in April all over the world.
Did you know that the ancient Romans called April Aprilis, from the verb aperire meaning “to open”? This is thought to allude to April being a season of Spring in the northern hemisphere, a time when flowers and trees began [more…]
Since his first appearance in Lewis Carrol’s classic Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, the March Hare has become a well-recognised and much loved literary figure. A wacky co-host of the tea party that Alice stumbles across, fond of nonsense, jokes, and puns, the March Hare is just one character that reflects the zany madness of Wonderland.
‘Mad as a March hare’ is a [more…]