Charles Griffin Jr

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The truth about superfoods

How hipster is seaweed? Are avocados actually a disaster for the environment? Do goji berries really make you live for ever? We examine the evidence<p>Few lies can be told in one word, but “superfood” manages it. It is such an appealing idea: that some foods are healthy, some unhealthy and some …

Superfoods

The best (and worst) ways to spot a liar

Forget body language or eye movements. There are much better ways to identify the deceitful.<p><i>This story is part of BBC Future’s “Best of 2015” list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list.</i><p>-<p>Thomas Ormerod’s team of security officers faced a seemingly impossible task. At airports across …

Body Language

Nurse Confessions: Don’t Get Sick in July

A secret look inside how America’s health care system actually works.<p>Welcome to the land of health care’s 1 percent. During the four years I spent interviewing and following nurses for my book, I was continually astonished by the red carpet some hospitals rolled out for certain classes of patients. …

Why do we have allergies?

Allergic reactions to everything from pollen to peanuts make life a misery for millions. But why does our body over-react to seemingly benign intruders? Carl Zimmer reports.<p>For me, it was hornets.<p>One summer afternoon when I was 12, I ran into an overgrown field near a friend’s house and kicked a …

H7N9 bird flu has the makings of a pandemic virus, scientists warn

Scientists in China have identified an<p>influenzavirus that they say has the potential to spread around the world, sickening and killing people whose immune systems have never faced a threat like it.<p>The H7N9 flu emerged in humans in eastern China in February 2013, sickening 133 people and killing …

Who are the 20th Century’s 10 best composers?

It was a turbulent and fascinating 100 years in music history – who made the greatest contributions? Clemency Burton-Hill makes her picks.<p>Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Philip Glass on the eve of the world premiere of his new opera The Trial<i>,</i> based on Kafka’s masterpiece. Researching …

Piano

What does a conductor actually do?

The maestro on the podium is one of classical music’s most recognisable figures – but what exactly are they doing up there? Clemency Burton-Hill finds out how conductors translate their visions into glorious sounds.<p>Long before Toscanini or Furtwängler, Bernstein or Dudamel, there was Pherekydes of …

Public Speaking

What Amadeus gets wrong

The beloved film of Mozart’s life and death triumphed at the Oscars 30 years ago. It distorts the truth but we are right to remember it as a classic, argues Clemency Burton-Hill.<p>It is 30 years since Amadeus swept the board at the Academy Awards. Miloš Forman’s 1984 film of Peter Shaffer’s 1979 …

Mozart

Lead Belly: the musician who influenced a generation

Lead Belly is one of great musical influences of the 20th century and his work is celebrated in a brilliant box set Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection<p>"No Lead Belly, no <b>Beatles</b>," George Harrison once said.<p>More than six decades after his death from Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949, the …

No-Subsidy Mobile Phone Plans Gaining Steam, With T-Mobile Leading the Way

An estimated 28 million customers chose to avoid a two-year contract.<p>In the last nine months, some 28 million U.S. customers opted to pay one of the major carriers full price for a smartphone rather than sign up for a two-year contract to get a discounted model, according to a new study.<p>Of those …