Think before you ruin another restaurant outing with your complaints

In restaurants up and down the country, it seems to have become acceptable for customers to send back a dish because they don’t like it. Not because it was cold, or too salty, or because of an untimely delay in the kitchen, but purely because they happened to make the wrong call. I have some sympathy. I bought a pink ... Read More »

In jungleland, the journey is the destination

It’s worthwhile to wonder what millions of birds living in the northern temperate zones of the world would be thinking and feeling at this time of the year: Why am I so restless and hungry all the time, stuffing my face and putting on enormous amounts of weight? Why are so many of us gathering together in huge excited flocks, ... Read More »

In crowded Hong Kong, dead find no space to rest in peace

After Chui Yuen-sing’s mother died in April, she was cremated and her ashes put in storage while he tried to find a final resting place. He was willing to wait up to 18 months for a pigeonhole-like ‘niche’ in a memorial building. If none was available, he was considering putting them in mainland China, where his father’s ashes are already ... Read More »

2020: A Space Odyssey

If the houses we inhabit today blur the divide between the public and the private, what will tomorrow’s homes look like? Three design studios look into the future and tell us how we may live. In 1936, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to build a family home in Mill Run, Pennsylvania in the Bear Run Nature Reserve. A ... Read More »

The Science of the Snare

We scream whenever we walk into one, we brandish the broom ruthlessly in our homes so that not a trace of them remains anywhere, and filmmakers have used them traditionally to convey moods of suspense, evil and mystery. In doing so, we are all showing the grossest disrespect for one of nature’s most fantastic products: spider’s silk. Just think: It ... Read More »

People posting inspirational quotes on Facebook are actually dumb: Study

“Bullshit is a consequential aspect of the human condition,” said the authors of the study titled “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bulls***t”. (Source: Thinkstock Images) Are you a Deepak Chopra fan and love to bombard your friends’ Facebook wall with inspirational quotes? This may sweep the floor off your feet. According to interesting research, people who post motivational ... Read More »

First women elected to Saudi local councils

Women rest after casting their votes at a polling station during municipal elections, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 12, 2015. REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER Saudi Arabians voted 17 women into public office in municipal elections in the conservative Islamic kingdom on Saturday, the first to allow female participation, a state-aligned news site reported on Sunday. The election was the first in ... Read More »

Why some people distinctly recall that school picnic after 20 years while others don’t

People who are used to retrieving richly-detailed memories may be very sensitive to subtle memory changes as they age, whereas those who rely on a factual approach may prove to be more resistant to such changes. (Source: Thinkstock) Why is it that some people have a richly-detailed recollection of past experiences (episodic memory), while others tend to remember just the ... Read More »

Thousands dressed up in red-and-white for SantaCon 2015

Revellers dressed in Santa Claus and other holiday-themed outfits take part in the annual SantaCon event in the Brooklyn borough of New York. SantaCon came to New York in 1998, when a “young San Franciscan strapped on a fake white beard, donned a $12 red suit, and led 200 Santas as they went caroling up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan,” to ... Read More »

More access to Internet makes people feel dumb

The Internet is making us rely on our intelligence lesser and lesser. In the study, people who had access to the Web were about 5 per cent more likely to say that they did not know the answer to the question. (Source: Flickr) People are less willing to rely on their knowledge and say they know something when they have access to ... Read More »