Overwined

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What Sells Wine Today: How One Manhattan Retailer is Thriving

“YOU’RE LATE,” said David Lillie to me when I arrived at his store, Chambers Street Wines in Manhattan, at half past ten in the morning a few weeks ago. (The store opens at 10 a.m.) “You missed an elegant ballet of inventory,” he added, referring to the cases of wine his staff had to carry into the …

Mind, Matter And Materialism

Science and philosophy have a long, complicated history.<p>Both are human endeavors aimed at articulating the nature of the world. But where the line between them lies depends a lot on perspective and history. Questions that once lay firmly in philosophy's domain have now fully entered the realm of …

Panpsychism is crazy, but it’s also most probably true

Common sense tells us that only living things have an inner life. Rabbits and tigers and mice have feelings, sensations and experiences; tables and …

4 things you can do to cheer up, according to neuroscience

For everyone, there are times when a dark cloud just seems to be following you around. You may not even even know why. While we don’t mean to …

Neurology

Evolution Made Really Smart People Long to Be Loners

Psychologists have a pretty good idea of what typically makes a human happy. Dancing delights us. Being in nature brings us joy. And, for most …

Psychology

Soon You Won't Be Able to Tell an AI From a Human Voice

Google's WaveNet is bringing computerized speech into the uncanny valley.<p>The choppy, cybernetic voices of digital assistants like Siri may not sound so mechanical for much longer, thanks to a significant breakthrough in using artificial intelligence to generate realistic human speech.<p>In a new …

The Cognitive Science Behind Repeating Mistakes

Being constantly late, losing your phone, spending too much money, dating the same inadvisable people—these are all errors that human beings make over and over again. But it has more to do with how the brain is wired than with a lack of discipline. In attempting to understand where we went wrong, …

Consciousness

Why You Shouldn’t Want To Always Be Happy

In the 1990s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman led the positive psychology movement, which placed the study of human happiness squarely at the …

It wasn’t until John Sutherland lost his ability to smell that he recognised the central role his missing sense played in George Orwell’s fiction – and politics<p>Three years ago, in high hay fever season, I lost my sense of smell. It has never returned and I’m told it never will. Of all the five …

Literature

What It Feels Like to Die

Science is just beginning to understand the experience of life’s end.<p>“Do you want to know what will happen as your body starts shutting down?”<p>My mother and I sat across from the hospice nurse in my parents’ Colorado home. It was 2005, and my mother had reached the end of treatments for metastatic …

Consciousness

David Attenborough accused of being seduced by 'pseudoscience' after criticising 'cruel' animal experiments

Sir David Attenborough has been accused of being seduced by “pseudoscience”, as researchers hit back at his demand for an end to the use of certain …

Primates

Consciousness Is Made of Atoms, Too - Facts So Romantic

In his first lecture on physics to freshmen and sophomores at the California Institute of Technology, in 1961-62, Richard Feynman said:<i>If, in some</i> …

Chris Hadfield: in space 'you recognise the unanimity of our existence'

It is a disorienting business, being in space, and most astronauts in the first days of orbit scan the Earth for reminders of home. The Russians look for their great lakes; the Americans for mountain ranges. For Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station, it was Plank …

The World's Last Telegram Ever Will Be Sent From India

It's one of about 5,000 such missives still being sent every day by telegram - a format favored for its "sense of urgency and authenticity," explains a BSNL official.<p>But the days of such communication are numbered: The world's last telegram message will be sent somewhere in India on July 14.<p>That …