Science & Nature

Irish customers cannot buy electronic goods on Amazon

A dispute over the government's interpretation of the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) has resulted in Irish consumers being unable to purchase electrical or electronic equipment from some British websites, like Amazon.

Gizmos for the girls

In a nod to our obviously tech-savvy sisters (see article in Technology News), and in the realisation that this section is a bit too Boys Own sometimes, Village has decided to embrace its feminine side and look at some gadgets for girls. This was harder than you might think, as a promise was made not to just review pink electronic gear. Luckily, it turns out that there are lots of gadgets that girls would love to own, without making themselves look like Barbie.

Cuckoo (Cuach)

Famous (or perhaps infamous) for the female's habit of laying her eggs in the nests of other birds, the Cuckoo is a summer visitor to Europe. The majority arrive in Ireland during April, having travelled from their African wintering grounds. Though still widespread in Ireland, surveys show that the population has been declining, both here and elsewhere in Western Europe.

Resurrection flower

The cowslip flower is one of the more spectacular of our spring flowers – the Latin name, Primula veris, translates as the “Firstling of Spring”. And although it is something of a latecomer amongst the first flowers, its sudden arrival from the long-present leaf rosette is striking. The English name on the other hand is corrupted to obscurity – could it be a “cow's lip”? A “cow slip”? Or even a “cow's leek”? Its sister, the primrose, is simply the Prima rosa – the first rose of the year.

GUT: the answer to the physical world

The 19th and early-20th centuries brought explosive achievements in all disciplines of science. But now, the struggle is to unify all the brilliant theories of the universe into one single, manageable theory – the Grand Unification Theory (GUT), which would not only change physics but potentially every aspect of the world we live in. Einstein spent the second half of his life vainly trying to solve this conundrum. Can anyone achieve it, asks Keith Connolly?

Twin Suns: Science Fact

The setting of the burning twin suns of Tatooine behind Luke Skywalker in Star Wars is one of the most recognised moments in science fiction movie history; with the choral song of the movie's original soundtrack creeping ever higher, the young protagonist peered out across his barren homeland and surveyed the desert heat pouring down from the binary stars. Capturing the imagination of millions of people in its 1979 premier, Star Wars explored science fantasy in a magical space opera filled with entertaining ideals but little real scientific substance.