Did you know the winter blues, aka Seasonal Affective Disorder, can be treated with light therapy? You’re probably aware that the blue light emitted by your phone and computer may be wreaking havoc with your sleep. But could light also be affecting your health and mood in other ways? Let there be light Danielle Feinberg, Pixar’s director of photography, argues that light is the magical ingredient that brings animated worlds to life. For example, without […]
We’ve all heard learning a second (or third) language is good for you. And research has shown bilingual brains are different to the brains of people who speak only a single language. But what exactly are the advantages of being bilingual?
Bats, bears and some birds do it, but humans can’t: hibernation. Animals hibernate to save energy through long cold winters. Sounds appealing, doesn't it? NASA wants to know if human hibernation is possible. Why? Because it because it would make the trip to Mars a hell of a lot less boring.
Have you ever had a hug from a stranger? How did it make you feel: warm, happy, comforted? Feeling connected to other people, especially through touch, has been shown to protect us from illness. Something as simple as a pat on the back or a supportive touch on the arm can induce trust and reduce pain and stress. Although often disregarded, touch has a profound influence on how we feel and can communicate complex emotions without words.
It’s late, you’re exhausted, and you’re craving chips. Most of us have experienced midnight munchies, but what makes fatty, salty and sweet foods particularly appealing at night?
I remember being told in primary school that no one else on the planet had exactly the same fingerprints as me. Pretty powerful stuff for a seven year old. Patterns that were uniquely mine and that I’d never really looked at before, despite the fact they had been part of me since before I was born. But is it true? Are each of your fingerprints truly one of a kind?
What’s your earliest memory? Chances are you can’t remember anything before the age of three. Otherwise known as childhood amnesia, it affects us all but isn’t quite the stuff of Hollywood. In the movies, the plot usually revolves around someone being bopped on the head and suddenly having no idea who they are or what they are supposed to be doing. And more often than not, a second whack to the head and the person’s memories return, good as new. But is that an accurate depiction of amnesia?
Remember when Marty McFly desperately tried to warn the 1955 Doc Emmett Brown that in 1985, Doc was going to be gunned down by Libyan terrorists in Back to the Future? Doc insists that he doesn’t want to know about the future. How about you? Would you want know in advance when you are going to die? New research out of the UK can tell you the chances you’ll still be alive in five years based on your answers to some very simple questions.
Did you ever ride the Gravitron? You're pinned to the wall by forces three times that of normal gravity. It’s fun, unsettling can even make you puke. But what happens if your body experiences extreme changes in gravity for long periods, as is the case for an astronaut?
Did your parents tell you to turn off the TV and play outside? Perhaps they threatened that you were going to end up needing glasses if you didn’t stop playing computer games. It turns out your folks may have been right after all, although not quite for the reason they thought.