Derek Foo

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Should We Trust Economists?

They're fractious, frequently wrong, and have lost much of the public's faith. But their insights are still valuable -- as long as you don't expect them to predict the future.<p>(Reuters)<p>Imagine you are the Royal Physician in England some time during the 14th century. The prince is sick, and you've …

Woolwich Murder: Anti-Muslim incidents soar across Britain after London murder.

In the days following the murder of a British soldier in London, there has been a huge spike in anti-Muslim incidents, according to an interfaith …

The Baby in the Well

The case against empathy.<p>In 2008, Karina Encarnacion, an eight year-old girl from Missouri, wrote to President-elect Barack Obama with some advice about what kind of dog he should get for his daughters. She also suggested that he enforce recycling and ban unnecessary wars. Obama wrote to thank her, …

The modern history of swearing: Where all the dirtiest words come from

As society evolves, so do our curse words. Here’s how some of the most famous ones developed — and a few new ones<p>The 18th and 19th centuries’ embrace of linguistic delicacy and extreme avoidance of taboo bestowed great power on those words that broached taboo topics directly, freely revealing what …

Wikipedia’s Women Problem

There is consternation at Wikipedia over the discovery that hundreds of novelists who happen to be female were being systematically removed from the …

Teenage sleep patterns: Why school should start later.

"Making teens start school in the morning is ‘cruel,’ brain doctor claims." So declared a British newspaper headline in 2007 after a talk I gave at …