The Latest: 19.3 | Nature

Laura Hassan studies how Muslim philosophers approached science and nature; Naomi Foyle seeks nature in Palestine; Shanon Shah discovers nature caters for more than two sexes; Samia Rahman walks the tightrope on the mountains of Dagestan; a short story by Tam Hussein; poems by Tommy Evans; and Ziauddin Sardar’s list of Twelve Postnormal Plagues.

Ba- Dal- Laam. Tinker with these Arabic triliteral roots and it will reveal many secrets. Those who believe language is a construct of the mind must look at Ba-Da-La.

Recently, I came across a photo essay in The Calvert Journal. A stunning array of earthy and breath-taking images brought alive the vanishing art of tightrope-walking in the mountain villages of Dagestan.

It has become rather unnatural to be an ordinary, caring, socially conscious human being. So here are twelve postnormal plagues, some already with us, some anticipated as lurking over the horizon, for you to contemplate.

In English, the word ‘sex’ can refer to biology – the kinds of reproductive organs a living organism has. It can also refer to a particular human act or family of acts that can be reproductive or recreational or both.

I’m in an aeroplane, about as far from ‘nature’ as it’s possible for an ordinary person to get: 30,000 feet above the earth, breathing recycled air in a giant plastic and metal sheath. I’m not even flying to Palestine, but Lebanon – but where are Palestine’s borders?