Monthly Archives: October 2012

The great rock n’ roll brain scramble

It’s not often you see someone licking a brain in a rock n’ roll video and get to think to yourself “well, there’s a funny story behind that”, but this is one of those occasions. The video for singer Candice Gordon’s new single Cannibal Love starts out as a TV cooking programme and ends in […]

BBC Column: Psychological self-defence for the age of email

My latest column for BBC Future. The original is here. Lots of the points made here apply to technology more generally. Here’s a pretty safe assumption to make: you probably feel like you’re inundated with email, don’t you? It’s a constant trickle that threatens to become a flood. Building up, it is always nagging you […]

Come hell or high water

The New York Times has an article on New York’s suicide cops who are tasked with talking down potential ‘jumpers’. If you want to read something that’ll restore your hope in humanity, give this article ten minutes of your time. In Midtown Manhattan or the financial district, for instance, pedestrians are more likely to yell, […]

The luxury of hindsight

“It’s no secret” says the promotional material “that several professional footballers live in Repton Park”, presumably unaware that one of London’s most luxurious housing developments used to be a psychiatric hospital. Repton Park is the new name for what was originally called the London County Lunatic Asylum and was eventually renamed Claybury Hospital before the […]

Brain candle

Like most neuroscientists, when you’ve had a hard day at the lab, you get home and just want to scatter a few rose petals into a warm bath, put on your favourite whale song tape, and sink into the tub. What’s missing? A few candles to shed a gentle ambient glow over your tired body. […]

No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’

The media has been buzzing with the supposed news that ‘internet addiction’ has been added to the list of ‘official mental disorders’. This is nonsense, but it tells us something oddly disappointing about how the media handles tech scare scores. This recent wave of ‘the internet is making us crazy’ drivel stemmed from an article […]

BBC Column: Can glass shape really affect how fast you drink?

My latest column for BBC Future. The original is here. I was hesitant to write this at first, since nobody loves a problemmatiser, but I figured that something in support of team “I think you’ll find its a bit more complicated than that” couldn’t hurt, and there’s an important general point about the way facts […]

I’m just here for the research

My latest Beyond Boundaries column for The Psychologist asks why psychologists don’t immerse themselves in the lives of people they study and whether sociologists think we’re wimps. Plus a bonus question about why strip clubs are so frequently researched. Sociologists must think we’re wusses. While we’re handing out questionnaires, scanning people in labs or measuring […]


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