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Beautiful chemical reactions

The site Beautiful Chemistry is a collaboration between the University of Science and Technology of China and Tsinghua University Press, and it aims to ‘bring the beauty of chemistry to the general public’.

There’s no moral difference between a wall and a migrant visa

A large portion of the world’s population lives in conditions that are hard to fathom for people in developed countries.

The open mind

The most vivid part of the mind bubbles up through sensation and new experience when unencumbered by analytical thought By Daniel J Siegel Read at Aeon

The high five

In 1977, Glenn Burke, a rookie outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, lifted his arm high above his head and slapped palms with his teammate Dusty Baker to celebrate a milestone home run, marking what is widely regarded as the first documented instance of a high five.

How the cute Pikachu is a chocolate milkshake for the brain

Cute things are usually vulnerable, fragile and weak. But cuteness itself is mighty indeed. Morten L Kringelbach and his colleagues at the University of Oxford recently described cuteness as ‘one of the most basic and powerful forces shaping our behaviour’.

Tick-tock cold cold clock with Bill Phillips

From sundials and swinging pendulums to vibrating quartz crystals, humans have many ways of measuring the passage of time.

In a highly indebted world, austerity is a permanent state of affairs

By 2010, everyone had heard the ‘austerity’ rallying cry. Immediately following the 2008 financial crisis, especially in Europe, it resounded: ‘Stimulate no more, now is the time for all to tighten!

Bookish fools

The book has always been a sign of status and refinement; a declaration of self-worth – even for those who hate to read By Frank Furedi Read at Aeon

Why women with heart disease get a raw deal in medicine

Cardiovascular diseases represent the main cause of death in the European Union and in the world. Yet, compared with men, women suffering heart attacks are less likely to get treated on time, and their chances of being diagnosed correctly, and receiving beneficial medication and advice, are much ...

Conscious exotica

From algorithms to aliens, could humans ever understand minds that are radically unlike our own? By Murray Shanahan Read at Aeon

Stranger aliens

Humans have long imagined beings in other worlds or on other planets whose emotions, motivations and physiologies closely mirror our own.

Being moral means you can never do enough

‘I didn’t do enough.’ This is a conclusion we all hope to avoid, especially as our lives close. It is, perhaps, the ultimate regret.

The be all and end all

Being with someone in death entails more than just physical wellbeing. Can end-of-life care make space for spirituality?


Growing up in a poor, violence-stricken section of Baltimore in Maryland, Coffin Nachtmahr was bullied for having a stutter and not fitting into ‘any specific molds’.

Now it’s time to prepare for the Machinocene

Human-level intelligence is familiar in biological hardware – you’re using it now. Science and technology seem to be converging, from several directions, on the possibility of similar intelligence in non-biological systems.

The Soviet InterNyet

Soviet scientists tried for decades to network their nation. What stalemated them is now fracturing the global internet By Benjamin Peters Read at Aeon

Stephen Fry hates dancing

‘Not so much an accomplishment as an affliction...’ Stephen Fry Hates Dancing turns a monologue on the myriad ways in which the British comedian and actor hates rhythmic human movement into a strange celebration of the art through a spirited interpretive-dance reenactment/rebuttal.

Can liberal values be absolute? Or is that a contradiction?

Is liberalism an idea fit only for the contemporary West, proper to this particular historical, social and geographical context?

Barkley 100

‘I only regret you could not have suffered longer.’ One of the most storied and difficult 100-mile races in the world, the Barkley 100 takes place every March or April in the rugged terrain of Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park.

The economy is more a messy, fractal living thing than a machine

Mainstream economics is built on the premise that the economy is a machine-like system operating at equilibrium.