• Articles

    The myth of Thor’s journey to the land of giants – Scott A. Mellor

    Thor—son of Odin, god of thunder, and protector of mankind— struggled mightily against his greatest challenge yet: opening a bag of food. It’d all started when Thor, along with his fleet-footed human servant Thjalfi and Loki, the trickster god, set out on a journey to Jotunheim, land of the giants. Along the way, they’d met a giant named Skrymir, who offered to accompany them and even carry their provisions in his bag. But when they made camp, Skrymir dozed off and Thor couldn’t untie the sack. Frustrated and hungry, Thor tried to wake the giant three times by striking his head with his hammer Mjolnir as hard as he could.…

  • Fred Jansen: How to land on a comet
    Articles,  Blog

    Fred Jansen: How to land on a comet

    I’d like to take you on the epic quest of the Rosetta spacecraft. To escort and land the probe on a comet, this has been my passion for the past two years. In order to do that, I need to explain to you something about the origin of the solar system. When we go back four and a half billion years, there was a cloud of gas and dust. In the center of this cloud, our sun formed and ignited. Along with that, what we now know as planets, comets and asteroids formed. What then happened, according to theory, is that when the Earth had cooled down a bit after…

  • Magical houses, made of bamboo | Elora Hardy
    Articles,  Blog

    Magical houses, made of bamboo | Elora Hardy

    When I was nine years old, my mom asked me what I would want my house to look like, and I drew this fairy mushroom. And then she actually built it. (Laughter) I don’t think I realized this was so unusual at the time, and maybe I still haven’t, because I’m still designing houses. This is a six-story bespoke home on the island of Bali. It’s built almost entirely from bamboo. The living room overlooks the valley from the fourth floor. You enter the house by a bridge. It can get hot in the tropics, so we make big curving roofs to catch the breezes. But some rooms have tall…

  • The myth of Oisín and the land of eternal youth – Iseult Gillespie
    Articles,  Blog

    The myth of Oisín and the land of eternal youth – Iseult Gillespie

    In a typical hero’s journey, the protagonist sets out on an adventure, undergoes great change, and returns in triumph to their point of origin. But in the Irish genre of myth known as Eachtraí, the journey to the other world ends in a point of no return. While there are many different versions of the otherworld in Irish mythology, the most well-known example occurs in the story of Oisín. Oisín was the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill, the leader of a group of pagan warriors known as the Fianna. As Oisín rode with his companions one day, he was visited by the immortal princess Niamh. The two fell instantly in…