Happiness and Flow

Modern culture is really bad at teaching us how to be happy. The picture it paints is founded on consumer-driven advertising and fictional movie portrayals of life. It tells us that happiness is hedonistic: becoming a multi-millionaire mega-consumer, having a private jet, living on a tropical beach with a cocktail in hand, and having zero life stress to upset the apple cart. What utter crap. After one month of living on a beach with a steady flow of Margaritas, you wouldn’t be happy. You’d be an alcoholic. Meanwhile all your friends would be running their busy lives back in the real world, oblivious to your sense of emotional isolation. Your days would become hollow and pointless, and you’d have nothing to talk about with your equally bored spouse. So if lavish consumption isn’t the answer, what is the recipe for happiness?

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The Origins of Language

For an awfully long time, hominids lived in hunter-gatherer societies. This highly social way of living is thought to have evolved the origins of language, culminating in our species, Homo sapiens, coming to dominate all others. Was it our language that set us apart? How can we find out?

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What Happened to Gene Therapy?

Most people have heard of gene therapy, especially when research was ramping up during the 1990s. But few have any idea about how gene therapy actually works and where it is today. That’s because the science of gene therapy is kind of technical and the mass media don’t do technical, so we rarely get that side of the story. It’s in the same category as understanding how bioluminescence works, or how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I hate Rubik’s cubes, as much as I hate figuring out where the apostrophe goes in the plural possessive of Rubik’s. Rubickses’ cubes? That could work.

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How Does DNA Work?

The chemical, DNA, is the basis of all life on Earth. The process of evolution has created some mind-boggling systems to record such biological data, replicate it in all living cells, and execute that code in order to create and maintain life. Today I want to give you a glimpse of the amazing facility of DNA.

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Isaac Asimov Quotes

Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest science fiction writers in history, as well as a professor of biochemistry and a prolific author of non-fiction. His best loved works include the Foundation series set in the distant future where humans have colonised the galaxy, and a book of interlinked short stories called I, Robot which he developed into an extensive series of humanity and morality tales during the dawn of the robotic era.

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The Psychology of Facebook

Facebook has taken a lot of flack lately. First there are the revelations that most user profiles (representing about 2 billion people) have been scraped and sold for commercial and political ends. And now the very nature of social media is being exposed as potentially damaging to your mental health. So how does this work? How does a social media website cause psychological harm, when all it’s apparently doing is populating your screen with news and photos from your friends?

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How Do Jellyfish Have Sex?

How jellyfish have sex is really alien and unintuitive, at least in the eyes of humans. If they had vocal chords, or brains, or cognitive processing abilities, jellies would argue that they’re an ancient group of animals who mastered sexual reproduction a long time before us, and we’re the ones who are frankly odd-balling it with our penises and vaginas and miserable, painful childbirth.

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Everything You Need to Know About Elon Musk

If superheroes were real, Elon Musk would be Science Man. Or Technology Chap. Or Business Acumen Person. Either way, he’s a major force behind our industrial and technological evolution, and that’s why we should all know who he is and what he’s doing. Because he’s literally trying to save the human race.

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