These beautiful reading spots are best enjoyed with no one for company but the inhabitants of your favorite fictional worlds ...
---By Anna Walker Women's Library, Glasgow
Rows of books on women's issues throughout history line the shelves of the only official museum in the UK dedicated to women's lives, histories and achievements and a number of events across the year transform this library into a living social hub, with creative writing classes, performance groups, craft sessions and more.
The library's key aim is to support women, with services teaching literacy, calculations, and handling a range of issues including poverty, and surviving violence.
Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen
The outside of the modern facility is a huge glass structure - made of 760 glass panels and 2,200 tons of steel.
The Sir Duncan Rice is also conscious of its carbon footprint; designed to collect rainwater which is reused to flush its toilets, harvesting power through solar cells on the roof and using timers to control the use of its fluorescent lighting.
John Ryland, Manchester
Created over 100 years ago as a gift to Manchester and its people, the John Ryland welcomes over 250,000 visitors through its doors each year. The project began as a honor by Enriqueta Ryland to her late husband John Ryland, and has grown to become the third largest academic library in the UK, home to over a million manuscripts (手稿)
Modern extensions to the building added since the 2000s create a breath-taking collision (冲突) of historic and modem architecture. Regular events planned with the whole family in mind make this library one to visit time and time again.
Visit library.manchesterac. uk/rylmds
Wellcome Reading Room, Lo
Spend an afternoon studying in the Reading Room of London's Wellcome Museum and you may just find yourself enjoying a side of people-watching with your literature. With drawing classes, pop-up exhibitions and artistic displays accompanying rows of educational books, it's an enjoyable spot to visit, revisit and declare your number one study spot. The impressive stairway and desks are allowing you the perfect spot to pause and reflect, whatever your library mission.
From this issue, we explore why the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute hasn't turned up anything since its founding in the 1980s. (See page 30 for more.) We asked our Facebook followers: Do you think that astronomers will find evidence of alien life in your lifetime?
Loran McCormick: 1 think they already have it. Judging by the sudden industrialization, I figure they found something that's probably been here since before humans walked the Earth.
Jens Avery: We may find life, but it may not want anything to do with us. We are not very advanced and can't even get along with each other.
Steven Buhrow: I think the more important question is — will any government ever publicly admit it in our lifetime? I fully believe that we could discover alien life today and the government would simply say the public is not ready for this information.
Jenna Walsh: I think we already see it, but just don't realize what it is. Intelligent alien life probably doesn't want anything to do with the disaster that is Earth at this point, so no doubt they're playing it safe and observing from a safe distance.
Christopher Harvey: By alien life, do you mean intelligent alien life? Then no. It would be extremely hard to find, short of them coming down to Earth. But if you mean unintelligent alien life, like bacteria or single cell, we might.
Buying clothes for a special event, hiding the price tickets and returning them to the store the next day has for years been the method of economical shoppers. Today people are doing it just for social media.
A survey conducted by the credit card company Barclaycard revealed that nearly one in ten UK shoppers admits to buying clothing only to post photos on social media for likes. After the "outfit (装束) of the day" makes it online, they return it to the store. According to Barclaycard, the "try before you buy" policy of online retailers (零售商) where people pay for clothing they order online after they try it on at home could be contributing to this rising trend.
But the rise of social media has meant that everyone, not just superstars, expects to build and maintain a personal brand. Since we're documenting our lives and posting them online for public judgment, getting caught in the same outfits more than once should be avoided. And the cost of all those outfits of the day adds up, which makes returning a popular way.
There are brands that tailor clothes specifically for social media shoppers, like Fashion Nova. "These are clothes made for social media: meant to be worn once, photographed and abandoned," Allison P. Davis wrote in her report about the brand. Another favorite of the social media age is Rent the Runway, which lets customers rent designer clothing for a fee.
Some, however, are moving in the opposite direction. Groups promoting "work uniforms" have increased greatly in recent years, aiming to free women from "the annoyance of clothing decisions". The concept of the "capsule wardrobe" (胶囊衣柜), which calls for purchasing a small number of high-quality pieces instead of lots of trendy throwaway clothes, is also making a comeback.
C Britons follow the fashion stars closely.
D. Some Britons over-order and return clothes.
Public distrust of scientists stems in part from the blurring of boundaries between science and technology, between discovery and manufacture. Most governments, perhaps all governments, justify public expenditure on scientific research in terms of the economic benefits the scientific enterprise has brought in the past and will bring in the future. Politicians remind their voters of the splendid machines "our scientists" have invented, the new drugs to relieve old disorders, and the new surgical equipment and techniques by which previously unmanageable conditions may now be treated and lives saved. At the same time, the politicians demand of scientists that they tailor their research to "economics needs", and that they award a higher priority to research proposals that are "near the market" and can be translated into the greatest return on investment in the shortest time. Dependent, as they are, on politicians for much of their funding, scientists have little choice but to comply. Like the rest of us, they are members of a society that rates the creation of wealth as the greatest possible good. Many have reservations, but keep them to themselves in what they perceive as a climate hostile to the pursuit of understanding for its own sake and the idea of an inquiring, creative spirit.
In such circumstances no one should be too hard on people who are suspicious of conflicts of interest. When we learn that the distinguished professor assuring us of the safety of a particular product holds a consultancy with the company making it, we cannot be blamed for wondering whether his fee might conceivably cloud his professional judgment. Even if the professor holds no consultancy with any firm, some people may still distrust him because of his association with those who do, or at least wonder about the source of some of his research funding.
This attitude can have damaging effects. It questions the integrity of individuals working in a profession that prizes intellectual honesty as the supreme virtue, and plays into the hands of those who would like to discredit scientists by representing them as corruptible. This makes it easier to dismiss all scientific pronouncements, but especially those made by the scientists who present themselves as "experts". The scientist most likely to understand the safety of a nuclear reactor, for example, is a nuclear engineer, and a nuclear engineer is most likely to be employed by the nuclear industry. If a nuclear engineer declares that a reactor is unsafe, we believe him, because clearly it is not to his advantage to lie about it. If he tells us it is safe, on the other hand, we distrust him, because he may well be protecting the employer who pays his salary.