Sia Nira

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The man who gets drunk on chips

A few people become inebriated simply by eating carbohydrates – what’s going on in the body? Helen Thomson reports.<p>At first, Nick Hess didn’t really know what was happening. “It was weird, I’d eat some carbs and all of a sudden I was goofy, vulgar.”<p>He would get inexplicably sick, with stomach pains …

Cancer: The mysterious miracle cases inspiring doctors

A few patients have made rare and unexpected recoveries leaving doctors scratching their heads, says David Robson. Can these cases provide vital clues for tackling cancer?<p>It was a case that baffled everyone involved. The 74-year-old woman had initially been troubled by a rash that wouldn’t go away. …

Cancer

How your face betrays your personality and health

We are more than just a pretty face. It turns out the shape, size and even colour of our looks can relay some very important information about our personalities, health and sexuality. David Robson investigates.<p>You might expect a great philosopher to look past our surface into the depths of the soul …

The hidden tricks of powerful persuasion

Are we always in control of our minds? As David Robson discovers, it’s surprisingly easy to plant ideas in peoples’ heads without them realising.<p>Are we all just puppets on a string? Most people would like to assume that they are free agents – their fate lies in their own hands. But they’d be wrong. …

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 …

Nine psychological reasons why we love lists

The internet is awash with information that’s been sliced and diced into bite-sized chunks. But why do we find it so appealing? Claudia Hammond explores the canny mind tricks behind the buzz.<p><b>1. We know exactly what we’re getting</b><p>Whether it’s the 10 ways your body is disgusting or the 100 greatest …

The odd thing that happens when injustice benefits you

It stings when life’s not fair – but what happens if it means we profit? As Tom Stafford writes, some people may perform unexpected self-sabotage.<p>Frans de Waal, a professor of primate behaviour at Emory University, is the unlikely star of a viral video. His academic's physique, grey jumper and …

A five-step guide to not being stupid

Even the smartest people can be fools. David Robson explains how to avoid the most common traps of sloppy thinking.<p>If you ever doubt the idea that the very clever can also be very silly, just remember the time the smartest man in America tried to electrocute a turkey. Benjamin Franklin had been …

Self-improvement

The subtle science of selling – a six-step guide

Salespeople can lure you into buying their products with simple psychological tricks. Tiffanie Wen explores how they work.<p>If I told you this is the most important article you’ll read this week, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But what if I could say that 75% of your friends agreed? Or if I could …

Why we want food so much it hurts

Be it chocolate, cheese or chip shop curry, craving a favourite food is something we’ve all experienced. Why do our bodies suffer such serious pangs? Veronique Greenwood investigates.<p>There's nothing like the salty tang of beef-flavoured Top Ramen broth and a mouthful of slightly overdone instant …

Ice Cream

How to supercharge the way you learn

What is the easiest way to learn? David Robson meets a group of scientists and memory champions competing to find techniques that make facts stick... fast.<p>Face to face with the world’s leading memory experts, my mind is beginning to feel very humble. Ben Whately, for instance, tells me about the …

Language Learning

The hidden psychology of voting

Votes are cast based on rational decisions, right? Not necessarily – we may not be as in control of our preferences as we like to think, writes Zaria Gorvett.<p>It hits the moment you board the train – that unmistakeable tang of stale urine. You take a seat. The passenger opposite sneezes across the …

The mind-bending effects of foreign accent syndrome

A little-known condition causes people to adopt a new accent – and lose a part of their identity in the process, finds David Robson.<p>Julie Matthias’s family have a game they sometimes like to play after she comes home, disappointed, from another doctor’s appointment. During dinner, they pick a …

Picasso is not just a valuable abstract

When a group of wealthy investors compete with each other to buy an asset, surely they have a clear idea of its financial value? Jussi Pylkkänen, …

See How New Google-like Tool Empowers Advocacy Orgs

A new Google-like search engine that is transforming the relationship between advocacy organizations and their government just went live! It's called Digital Democracy. The <i>Los Angeles Times</i> says Digital Democracy is "making democracy more accessible to millennials and everyone else," the <i>San</i> …

Why It's OK to Be the Bad Guy

It's OK to be the bad guy. This is something all good parents know in their bones and live in relationship to their kids. The word "no" is the tool by which we do right by our offspring; the word "no" is also the most divisive word to say. <i>No, you may not watch more television</i> (even though I am …

Time to Make Some Lemonade

It's an old adage -- the making lemonade out of lemons one. But I think it's an appropriate one given last week's "leading the news" results from the latest Pew Research Center study on "America's Changing Religious Landscape."<p>An NPR summary article is here ... but in a nutshell:<p>The Pew survey …

New Zealanders prove they don't deserve to design their own flag

New Zealanders have to fight for ownership of everything — from the pavlova to the Russell Crowe — but no longer will they have to fight for their …

Australia

More passengers than ever will fly U.S. airlines this summer

NEW YORK — A record number of travelers are expected to take to the skies this summer thanks to a rebounding economy.<p>U.S. airlines will carry 222 …

Flying

We've had more Category 5 storms in under 5 months than in a typical year

It’s only May, which means the tropical cyclone season in the Northern Hemisphere is still in its infancy. The Atlantic season doesn't officially …

Court chops $382 million off landmark Apple vs. Samsung verdict

A U.S. appeals court has reversed part of the $930 million verdict Apple won in 2012 against Samsung. The new ruling effectively means Apple will not …

Samsung

Why Mosquitoes Love to Feast on Your Blood

Do you feel like mosquitoes are specifically targeting you? It might be because of your genes<p>In recent years, we’ve been acculturated to think of vampires as svelte, sometimes sparkly biters of necks—or at least biters of Kristen Stewart. Mercifully, the closest most of us will get to a real life …

Biology