Karishma Attari

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Scientists discovered an absurdly easy way to seem convincing

AMC via NetflixIf you want to convince someone that your explanation for something is the best way to explain it, you might want to tack on some …

Five ways your brain is fooling you, courtesy of neuroscientist Dean Burnett

You’ve probably found yourself in situations where you felt like either your memory or your perception was somehow distorted. Maybe you’d confess to …

The Brain

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.<p>What is the Islamic State?<p>Where did it come from, and what …

Osama Bin Laden

10 Common Fiction Problems and How to Fix Them

<b>Guest Post by Jack Smith</b><p>When you write and revise your fiction, you deal with a host of problems. With some novels, it’s hard to decide on the right …

Celebrated Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary

<i>“You want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you,”</i> Madeleine L’Engle counseled in her advice to aspiring writers. W.H. Auden once described his journal as <i>“a discipline for [his] laziness and lack of observation.”</i><p>Journaling, I believe, is a …

Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words with 21st-century terms sparks outcry

Margaret Atwood and Andrew Motion among authors protesting at dropping definitions of words like ‘acorn’ and ‘buttercup’ in favour of ‘broadband’ and ‘cut and paste’<p>• Five simple ways to get your child into the wild<p>“A” should be for acorn, “B” for buttercup and “C” for conker, not attachment, blog …

Train Your Brain to Think More Clearly

Neuroscience says that honing how you speak and write also hones the way you think.<p>According to the latest neuroscience, the human brain uses neurons in the left visual cortex to process written words as whole word units. The brain combines these words and their stored meanings to remember and …

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014: what's on for teens?

It's that time again. The Edinburgh International Book Festival throws open its doors once more for two weeks of sheer literary goodness. To name a few out of this year's eclectic mix, best-selling authors Matt Haig and Marcus Sedgwick are chatting about their recent thrillers; the brilliant, …

7 Bizarre Predictions That Actually Came True

<i>The following is an excerpt from Unbelievable!: The Bizarre World of Coincidences [Michael O'Mara Books, $16.95]:</i><p>Whether or not you believe in the power of prophecy, it’s always unnerving when predictions turn out to be true. Surely they’re nothing but lucky guesses -- right?<p><b>Nosta-damned-us</b><p>Michel …

Fifty Shades of the Least Titillating Crap Ever Published

The trailer for the film adaptation of the novel that started the "mommy porn" craze, <i>Fifty Shades of Grey,</i> was recently released -- and for the past several days, no one has been able to shut up about it. The movie starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornon (a.k.a. Christian Grey Number Two, as he …

If You Like 'Downton Abbey' You'll LOVE These Books

Four years ago I published my first novel. In the U.K. it is called <i>My Last Duchess</i>, a fancy reference to a poem by Robert Browning, but the U.S. title, <i>The American Heiress</i>, makes the subject matter clear. <i>The American Heiress</i> is about a "dollar princess" called Cora, who to satisfy the social …

100-Year-Olds Moms Share Insights On What It Means to Be a Mother

This Mother’s Day, why not take some advice from three women who’ve been moms for a very, very long time?<p>In honor of the 100th anniversary of the …

Watch 'Game of Thrones' mysteries explained (or disproved) with science

Sure, works of fiction are hardly subject to the rules of science, but the folks behind <i>It's OK To Be Smart</i> set out to explain many of the enigmas surrounding <i>Game of Thrones.</i> In the PBS digital short that awaits after the break, topics like the plausibility of Daenerys' dragons, winters that last a …

7 Things Remarkably Happy People Do Often

Happiness can be a choice -- especially when you take the right actions.<p>Happiness: Everyone wants it, yet relatively few seem to get enough of it, especially those in their early 40s. (I'm no psychologist, but that's probably about when many of us start thinking, "Wait--is <i>this</i> all there is?")<p>Good …