Mammoths of the Ice Age

It’s winter on the tundra. Temperatures have plunged to 30 degrees below zero while harsh winds cut like a thousand knives across the stark landscape. On a May morning in 2007, on the Yamal Peninsula in north-western Siberia, three young boys are standing with their father in the bitter cold. Despite growing up in this …

Clipperton: the spirit of adventure

Just over a year ago, on the wind-swept shores of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, a young woman from Glasgow stood in the surf and looked out towards the horizon. Only 24 hours before, she’d been in Antarctica, one of the coldest and most impenetrable places on earth. A place where, in the Autumn, the Southern Polar …

Building bridges to the stars

For athletes it might be winning an Olympic gold. For mountaineers it could be that final ascent of Everest or for tennis stars that ultimate grand slam title. But for those not in the know, the ultimate dream of astronomers is to build a really, really big telescope. “It was to be called the Overwhelming Large Telescope,” …

Harnessing the power of silver and light

  In a white painted room lit brightly by spotlights, an artist is pacing. It’s an early winter morning at the Royal Botanic Gardens and Alastair Cook has arrived to see the place where his next exhibition is to be held. Tall and slim with grey-flecked hair and rough bristled beard, he stops mid-stride to …

Paranormal activity: Greyfriar’s ghost hunt

The sky has turned from grey to amber as one by one lights across the city turn on setting the sinking autumn fog alight. It gives the clouds above the old kirkyard a burning glow, like embers left to smoulder as a fire dies out. Damp leaves that have spent the day falling on cobbled …