United Kingdom

Arts, Culture & Media

English might not have become quite so popular, if a 17th-century poet had his way

Back in the 17th century, there was a move to create rules for English, based on Latin. The man behind it, poet John Dryden, thought that Shakespeare and others had turned English into an unruly mess. Dryden failed to establish an English "academy" to impose rules. And that failure may have helped make English the worldwide language it is today.

Lifestyle & Belief

Does the West have a monopoly on romantic love?

Updated

Is love, romantic love, a universal emotion? In the West, it often seems we live, die and even kill for love. Love is passionate, foolish and cherished. But in many cultures, arranged marriages are the norm and romantic love is, well, disruptive. It turns out people across the globe feel romantic love, but they don't necessarily act on it.

Arts, Culture & Media

You wouldn't believe the situations a hard-working Lego photographer finds himself in

Everything is Awesome. That's the theme song to The Lego Movie, a recently released film that imagines a richly detailed life for its animated minifigure characters. But what's it like to be a working Lego stiff, a one-and-a-half-inch tall freelance Lego photographer? Andrew Whyte's been finding out. He's been carrying around a little Lego man for more than a year, photographing him every day, rain or shine.

Global Scan

This artist is taking snow angels to an extreme

Call it snowshoe art or perhaps folly in the freezing cold, but it takes imagination to create patterns that you can only see from a distance. And Alan Turing, the father of computer science, gets a posthumous pardon from Britain. Pakistan's long experiment in natural-gas cars is crashing. We also explore why Muslims and Jews are celebrating Christmas, and more, in today's Global Scan.

Global Scan

This is how many times British cops fired guns all of last year: 3

Updated

As the debate over gun control — and, now, the use of force by police — rages in the US and elsewhere, Britain offers a stark contrast. Police there rarely carry guns, fire them or kill anyone. Meanwhile, Beijing is getting machines that inspire people to both recycle and ride public transit. And Ebola is killing Liberians who don't even have the disease, in today's Global Scan.