Jessica Jolly Poon

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Scientists now know why popcorns pop

Study unravels physics of kernel – water contained in the shell rapidly escapes as steam under heat, making the corn ‘pop’<p>The popping sound made by popcorn is normally viewed as a pleasing cue that your snack is ready to eat, but for scientists the phenomenon represented one of nature’s significant …

Imaging

Your friends know more about your life than you do, including when you might die

Self-knowledge makes you overconfident in your judgment and emotionally resistant to facing certain awkward facts<p>There’s a troubling truth about self-knowledge and its limits: alarmingly often, when you’re faced with a big decision, you’re better off trusting the judgment of a friend – or even a …

Psychology

Our privacy is for sale, we have to accept that. But what’s the price tag?

On data protection and privacy day, it’s worth remembering that politicians are all too willing to trade in our personal information<p>How cheaply would you trade away your innermost self – whether it’s your childhood memories, that terrible thing you did when drunk and 19, or the identity of that …

Privacy

Stop exploiting young workers

The "intern economy" is a crumbling monument to short-term thinking. The class-action lawsuit filed in 2010 against Fox Searchlight Pictures by former unpaid interns on the film<p>"Black Swan"set off a wave of internship lawsuits that is likely to have lasting consequences for companies with business …

A Tall Order for McDonald's

The McFamily is losing its McFather. After only two and a half years at the helm, McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson is stepping down. …

McDonald's

Why does food taste different on planes?

When your taste buds are way above the clouds, your normal sense of taste goes right out of the aeroplane’s window. Katia Moskvitch investigates why this happens, and how airlines are trying to find ways to get our appetites back on track.<p>If you think the food airline companies serve up is bland or …

American Airlines

Your Online Avatar May Reveal More About You Than You'd Think

My Nintendo Wii character, my Mii, looks a lot like me. She has the same haircut, the same skin tone and even the same eyebrow shape. And while my Mii plays tennis slightly better than I do, I designed her to be a real, virtual me (albeit with balls for hands).<p>But it turns out I might not have …

Psychology

The Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2015

Gadgets and Ideas With the Best Chance of Making an Impact … and What You Can Do to Prepare for Them<p>This was a year of big technology promises—2015 is the year we find out how many live up to the hype.<p>We looked into our crystal ball for the gadgets, upgrades and ideas we think have the greatest …

Gear & Gadgets