How pottering about in the garden creates a time warp

What’s not to like about gardening? It’s a great way to get outdoors, away from everyday routines, and to exercise your creativity. It’s good for your health, whatever your age, and gardeners tend to be happier on average. But gardening is more than just a relaxing hobby. Psychology research suggests that tending to a garden …

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Why do you believe what you do? Run some diagnostics on it

Cover: A public school serving the Mennonite community in Red Run, Pennsylvania, March 1942. Photo by John Collier Jnr/Library of Congress Many of the beliefs that play a fundamental role in our worldview are largely the result of the communities in which we’ve been immersed. Religious parents tend to beget religious children, liberal educational institutions …

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Red Cross nurses in San Francisco, 1918. Wikimedia

Face masks: what the Spanish flu can teach us about making them compulsory

Cover: Red Cross nurses in San Francisco, 1918. Wikimedia Face masks: what the Spanish flu can teach us about making them compulsory Red Cross nurses in San Francisco, 1918. Wikimedia Samuel Cohn, University of Glasgow Should people be forced to wear face masks in public? That’s the question facing governments as more countries unwind their …

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If machines want to make art, will humans understand it?

Assuming that the emergence of consciousness in artificial minds is possible, those minds will feel the urge to create art. But will we be able to understand it? To answer this question, we need to consider two subquestions: when does the machine become an author of an artwork? And how can we form an understanding …

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For the full life experience, put down all devices and walk

Pedestrian: a word fitted to the most drab, tedious and monotonous moments of life. We don’t want to live pedestrian lives. Yet maybe we should. Many of history’s great thinkers have been pedestrians. Henry David Thoreau and William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Walt Whitman, Friedrich Nietzsche and Virginia Woolf, Arthur Rimbaud, Mahatma Gandhi, William …

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The fashionable history of social distancing

Cover: Crinolines, by design, made physical contact nearly impossible. Hulton Archive/Stringer via Getty Images The fashionable history of social distancing Crinolines, by design, made physical contact nearly impossible. Hulton Archive/Stringer via Getty Images Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, Case Western Reserve University As the world grapples with the coronavirus outbreak, “social distancing” has become a buzzword of these …

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Ditch the ‘destiny’ mindset – a ‘relationship growth’ one is likely to deliver better romantic partnerships. Laura Ockel

Have you found ‘the one’? How mindsets about destiny affect our romantic relationships

Cover: Ditch the ‘destiny’ mindset – a ‘relationship growth’ one is likely to deliver better romantic partnerships. Laura Ockel Have you found ‘the one’? How mindsets about destiny affect our romantic relationships Ditch the ‘destiny’ mindset – a ‘relationship growth’ one is likely to deliver better romantic partnerships. Laura Ockel Gery Karantzas, Deakin University If you …

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Winter solstice. Photo by Julian Stratenschulte/Dpa/Getty

Behold the power of the Sun, at its peak on winter solstice

Cover: The sky is powder blue, and the sun magnificent, as I stride through glittering grass and fallen sycamore seeds to Dowth, a Neolithic passage tomb in County Meath. Unlike its more famous neighbour, Newgrange, there are no tour buses here, no glitzy visitor centre, and – apart from today – no public access; only …

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The humble origins of ‘Silent Night’

Cover: This undated score, written by Joseph Mohr and titled ‘Weynachts Lied’ (‘Christmas Carol’), is the earliest known surviving copy of ‘Silent Night.’ Salzburg Museum The humble origins of ‘Silent Night’ This undated score, written by Joseph Mohr and titled ‘Weynachts Lied’ (‘Christmas Carol’), is the earliest known surviving copy of ‘Silent Night.’ Salzburg Museum …

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Photo by Getty Images

Cheers! How the physics of fizz contributes to human happiness

Cover Photo by Getty Images Think of the last time you had something to celebrate. If you toasted the happy occasion, your drink was probably alcoholic – and bubbly. Have you ever wondered why it’s so enjoyable to imbibe a glass of something that sets off a series of microexplosions in your mouth? A glass …

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