Olivia Bowman

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You think Snapchat is for sexting, but it's actually a giant threat to TV

The strongest cable show was AMC's "The Walking Dead." Its midseason finale, in November, reached 14.8 million people.<p>Big numbers, right?<p>Try this one: 24.79 million.<p>That is the number of people who, on the evening of Jan. 26, 2015, and over the next 24 hours, watched a video broadcast on their …

A New Facebook App Wants To Test Your DNA

Scientists developed the app to help recruit people for a massive genetic study. The project, which could draw scrutiny from ethicists and federal regulators, has the potential to go viral with Facebook's help.<p>A medical research study launched Tuesday aims to screen the genes of at least 20,000 …

What’s the most we can remember?

People with extraordinary memory talents suggest that your mind may be capable of retaining more than you think, says Adam Hadhazy.<p>Unlike digital cameras with full memory cards that cannot snap any more pictures, our brains never seem to run out of room. Yet it defies logic that one adult human …

The Brain

Are you nicer than a child?

It’s commonly held that young children are, well, selfish, but as Caroline Williams discovers, they are often kinder than adults.<p>Last Christmas I took my young son to the theatre. The show, called Antarctica, was for 4-7 year olds and, from an adult perspective, it was all a bit surreal. The actors …

Psychology

Tears of joy: 3D printing lets blind mom-to-be 'see' her son

Without doubt, one of the most exciting and emotional events for parents about to have a child is getting to see their little tyke through an ultrasound. But blind moms-to-be get cheated from experiencing this marvelous moment.<p>Now an advertising campaign (of all things) from diaper company Huggies …

Digital Design

Netflix’s Reed Hastings predicts the future of TV over the next 20 years

Close followers of Netflix should watch the speech that Reed Hastings, its founder and chief executive, delivered in Berlin last week. It’s a guided tour to the future of TV, at least as he sees it.<p>The video is embedded above, and if you’re looking for the predictions, they start at 18:30. Prior to …

The ability to balance on one leg for 20 seconds is a sign of a healthy brain

A lot has been written about the debilitating and potentially deadly after-effects of stroke. That’s why many of us try (or at least attempt) to steer clear of junk food, exercise regularly, keep an eye on the scales, and sit on the yoga mat once in a while. But what about standing on one leg for …

The philosopher who studies the experience of coffee

Is coffee much deeper than it appears? David Robson meets a philosopher who certainly thinks so – he's attempting to use the drink to probe the human mind.<p>It’s like I’m drinking the dying embers of a log-fire – smoky and tinged with the tang of creosote. As I concentrate harder, I notice its …

How to learn 30 languages

Some people can speak a seemingly impossible number of tongues. How do they manage it, asks David Robson, and what can we learn from them?<p>Out on a sunny Berlin balcony, Tim Keeley and Daniel Krasa are firing words like bullets at each other. First German, then Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Croatian, …

Language Learning

Mind-Reading Tech Translates Thoughts Into Text

Ever wished Siri could just read your mind?<p>Technology can reconstruct video based on a person's thoughts and even anticipate your moves while you drive. Now, a brain-to-text system can translate brain activity into written words.<p>In a recent study in <i>Frontiers in Neuroscience</i>, seven patients had …

The Brain

The myth of universal beauty

Would you have been beautiful in another era? David Robson discovers that attractiveness is more malleable and subjective than we might imagine.<p>The plus-sized comedian Dawn French would be unlikely to describe herself as a sex symbol, but was she simply born at the wrong time? “If I had been around …

Psychology

The psychology of emojis

I have a confession to make: I’m a grown woman who peppers pretty much every text and social media post I send with smileys, hearts, stars and various other decorations.<p>Emojis have taken over my communication—and I’m far from alone. According to Swyft Media, 74 percent of people in the U.S. …

The science behind losing weight

There are thousands of diet plans out there with lots of different approaches to achieving the same goal: trim the fat.<p>Are there universal truths about weight loss that we can all learn? The answer is yes. There is an undeniable science behind the process of losing weight, and it all boils down to …

How Your Brain Remembers Where You Parked The Car

If you run into an old friend at the train station, your brain will probably form a memory of the experience. And that memory will forever link the person you saw with the place where you saw him.<p>For the first time, researchers have been able to see that sort of link being created in people's …

Neurophilosophy

Here's How A Newborn Baby Sees The World

How do newborn infants see the people around them?<p>For the first time ever, scientists in Sweden and Norway have simulated how our emotional expressions appear to the dewy eyes of a newborn -- and their finding may lay to rest a longstanding debate.<p>"We have for many years known that newborn babies …