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Report: The Discos Of Europe Are Dying

Italian daily La Repubblica charts the decline of European discoteques and nightclubs.

Ciao Ciao disco in Marano Vicentino, Italy
Ciao Ciao disco in Marano Vicentino, Italy

Across Europe, discotheques have lost their groove. Italian daily La Repubblica dedicates a four-part special series to the decline of discos and night clubs across the Old Continent over the past decade. Citing interviews with club owners and others in the entertainment business, La Repubblica attributes the floundering dance club scene to a variety of factors, including competition from locations operating without permits; high taxes levied on clubs; difficulties in landing big-name performers; and the steep costs associated with boosting security.

Some of the report's findings:

  • The Netherlands saw a 38% dip in its number of discos between 2001 and 2011.
  • The number of British discos plummeted to 1,733 today from 3,144 in 2005, and spending in clubs has decreased 500 million euros ($551 million at current exchange) in the same period.
  • In Italy, the number of discos has halved to 2,500 today from about 5,000 in 2005.
  • The one shining spot is Berlin, Germany, which has remained relatively stable at 350 dance clubs. But even in the German capital overall earnings have declined.

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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