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The Honeys and Bears

‘I never was a dancer, but I can dance in the water.’ Putting the maxim ‘it’s never too late to learn’ into eloquent practice, the Honeys and Bears is a synchronised swimming team made up exclusively of people over the age of 55 – some of whom never swam until their 60s.

The tree of knowledge is not an apple or an oak but a banyan

In European societies, knowledge is often pictured as a tree: a single trunk – the core – with branches splaying outwards towards distant peripheries.

The island

Located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Australia and south of Indonesia, the Australian territory of Christmas Island is the arrival point for thousands of asylum seekers held in indefinite detention.

The future is emotional

Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable By Livia Gershon Read at Aeon

Cognitive dissonance helps old dogs with their new tricks

How do we get others to change their minds? That is the question many of us are asking in this polarising social and political climate, where the gulf between some people’s beliefs appears almost insurmountable.

Quantum common sense

Despite its confounding reputation, quantum mechanics both guides and helps explain human intuition By Philip Ball Read at Aeon

Being hear

'Nature is music. I'm not asking you to get all theoretical here – I'm saying, just listen.' There are vanishingly few places left on land untouched by human-made sounds, and those quiet areas are shrinking every year.

So I exaggerate a little – am I wrong to jazz up my stories?

Before 8 November 2016, I thought it was okay to stretch the truth in storytelling, especially if you were trying to be funny.

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one By Alexandra Stein Read at Aeon


Created using footage captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft between 2011 and 2015, Sun is a mesmerising, perspective-shaking glimpse at Earth’s life-giving star.

Why does contemporary art make for wildly popular blockbusters?

For Americans who love art by the likes of Hans Holbein, Édouard Manet, Georges Braque and Paul Klee, dark times lie ahead.

The bloodstained leveller

Throughout history, plagues and wars have left greater equality in their wake. Can we get there again without violence?

People in order: love

‘I had his meringue and he had my coffee – and that’s how it all started.’ This instalment of the People in Order series, by the UK directors Lenka Clayton and James Price, presents 48 couples in descending order based on the length of their relationships – from 77 years to what appears to be a first date.

Is it moral to respect the wishes of the dead, above the living?

Imagine what a country would be like if every person could secure a vote in elections that happened after their death.

Visions of Albion

Insightful and wryly observed, the British director Matt Hopkins’s short documentary Visions of Albion joins a group of Chinese tourists as they experience some of the UK’s most celebrated sights, including Buckingham Palace in London, the River Cam in Cambridge, and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The orgasm cure

What if we could expand ecstasy, reduce stress and lift depression, all by delaying and extending orgasm?

The idea of creating a new universe in the lab is no joke

Physicists aren’t often reprimanded for using risqué humour in their academic writings, but in 1991 that is exactly what happened to the cosmologist Andrei Linde at Stanford University.

Had a good think lately?

Not busy work, ticking off to-do lists or keeping up with stuff. Just sitting. And thinking. Is it so hard?

Why it’s impossible to tune a piano

Unlike with guitars and violins, pianos’ strings can never be perfectly tuned to one another. The solution?


The most avid believers in artificial intelligence are aggressively secular – yet their language is eerily religious.