Ryan

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The Amazing Truce: Christmas in the trenches

When war broke out in 1914, thousands of men rushed to join up - little thinking that they would still be at war, with no end in sight, at Christmas time.<p>However, that first Christmas in the trenches also bore witness to the humanity of the soldiers at war when, disregarding any official orders …

From Campfire to Haute Cuisine: How Food and Flavor Drove Human Evolution

Future of Food<p>"We owe our existence and our humanity to taste," says author John McQuaid.<p>Taste is often dismissed as the most primitive of the senses. But new research reveals it is in many ways the most subtle and complex of them all.<p>Reporting from kitchens, farms, restaurants, and science labs, …

Getting hooked

CICERO once said that “Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable desire to see the truth.” These days it would be truer to talk of an insatiable …

Slot Machines

An Artist Has Done Something Incredible With Legos

Nathan Sawaya used to be a lawyer, and now he spends all his time with Legos.<p>Sawaya travels the world showing off his incredible art delicately pieced together in the medium of a child's toy. His latest exhibit has come to New York City.<p>It's called Art of The Brick at Discovery Times Square.

Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History

Here's a stumper: How many parts can you divide a line into?<p>It seems like a simple question. You can cut it in half. Then you can cut those lines in half, then cut those lines in half again. Just how many parts can you make? A hundred? A billion? Why not more?<p>You can keep on dividing forever, so …

Does Sigmund Freud still matter?

Psychoanalytic theory has changed a lot in the 75 years since his death, but literature still feels the strong influence of Freud's ideas, argues Jane Ciabattari.<p>Freudian slips. The Oedipus complex. The ego. The id. The superego. Sigmund Freud’s writings changed how we perceive human behaviour. The …

Literature

Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers

Liberal arts and the humanities aren't just for the elite.<p>Once, when I told a guy on a plane that I taught philosophy at a community college, he responded, “So you teach Plato to plumbers?” Yes, indeed. But I also teach Plato to nurses’ aides, soldiers, ex-cons, preschool music teachers, janitors, …

People Prefer Electric Shocks to Being Alone With Their Thoughts

A new study finds we're not very good at entertaining ourselves.<p>Considering the many challenges life has to offer, entertaining yourself with your own thoughts for a few minutes seems like one of the easier hurdles to overcome. You could recall your favorite childhood memory, plan your weekend, or …

How Family Game Night Makes Kids Into Better Students

Matching up cards and planning the next chess move can help develop a child’s executive function—a set of skills that may be more important for success than IQ points.<p>There has been a lot of recent attention focused on the importance of executive function for successful learning. Many researchers …

How to identify a narcissist with one simple question

Researchers have discovered the quickest way to tell if someone is a narcissist: Simply ask them.<p>A new study describes a single question that appears to be nearly as accurate at identifying narcissists than a commonly used narcissist diagnostic test 40 items long.<p>And that single question is this: …

Is Google Making Students Stupid?

Outsourcing menial tasks to machines can seem liberating, but it may be robbing a whole generation of certain basic mental abilities.<p>One of the oldest metaphors for human interaction with technology is the relationship of master and slave. Aristotle imagined that technology could replace slavery if …

Clocks Make Workers Less Creative

And less happy, too<p>I love the phrase "It's 5 o'clock somewhere." For most people, the saying conjures up an image of an over-eager happy-hour partaker, but it's always made me think of someone, somewhere, leaving their office after a hard day's work. The length of the workday, for many workers, is …

Health Tip: Find Purpose in Life

The growing science on how a body imbued with meaning becomes physically healthier<p>There are a handful of junctures in life when a person’s sense of purpose is prone to twinkle and fade. In unemployment or professional stagnation; in financial or romantic straits, or after the death of a loved one; …

17 Ways to Age-Proof Your Brain

What’s good for your body is good for your brain. That means eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies and not much sugar, saturated …

Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history

In 1878 Van Gogh was a struggling would-be preacher. At his lowest ebb, he began to draw. Alastair Sooke looks back at this pivotal moment in history.<p>In the spring of 1878, Vincent van Gogh turned 25. As he looked back over his short life, the Dutchman found little to celebrate among the meagre …

Vincent Van Gogh

The Ideal Work Schedule, as Determined by Circadian Rhythms

Humans have a well-defined internal clock that shapes our energy levels throughout the day: our circadian process, which is often referred to as a circadian rhythm because it tends to be very regular. If you’ve ever had jetlag, then you know how persistent circadian rhythms can be. This natural — …