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The insatiable hairy frogfish

Don’t be fooled by its cartoonish looks and shaggy charm: the hairy frogfish swallows prey as large as itself The post The insatiable hairy frogfish appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Can we make consciousness into an engineering problem?

The brain is a machine: a device that processes information. That’s according to the last 100 years of neuroscience.

Crooked candy

Kinder Surprise eggs are wildly popular around the world but banned in the United States. Enter the Kinder-egg smuggler The post Crooked candy appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

How the sounds of data and nature join to make sweet music

We might never know when the first set of thuds, thumps and taps were strung together to make music, or when people sang the first songs, but it is incontrovertible that our lives are seeped in rhythms and beats.

Humans need not apply

The robots are coming... for our jobs! Why even the most specialised human workers could be rendered obsolete The post Humans need not apply appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

The appeal of ISIS isn’t so far from that of Tolkien

What accounts for the persistent appeal of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (or ISIS) to recruits from Chicago, Bradford or Melbourne?

Working mom

Working full-time while mothering small children – is the impossible juggling act worth the rewards? The post Working mom appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Was the evolution of our species inevitable or a matter of luck?

In the movie Sliding Doors (1998), a woman named Helen, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, rushes to catch a train on the London Underground, but just misses it, watching helplessly from the platform as the doors slide shut.

Sunday, we’ll see

‘Museum’ should rhyme with ‘amusement’: the playful yet serious credo of a toy collector whose museum is in jeopardy The post Sunday, we’ll see appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Arnold Toynbee shines a light on the humanities’ role today

He was an expert in world civilisations who made the cover of Time magazine in 1947, praised for writing ‘the most provocative work of historical theory… since Karl Marx’s Capital’.

What does it mean to be me?

Jean-Paul Sartre and the existential choice: ‘In fashioning myself, I fashion humanity’ The post What does it mean to be me?

Could we explain the world without cause and effect?

Do early childhood vaccinations cause autism, as the American model Jenny McCarthy maintains? Are human carbon emissions at the root of global warming?

Eleanor Ambos Interiors

‘Everybody should live in a French chateau, or the local equivalent’: how to build a design empire on playing house The post Eleanor Ambos Interiors appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

Does too much pornography numb us to sexual pleasure?

I don’t remember how old I was when I had my first encounter with pornography, but I must have been around 10 – the experience is entwined with the sound of the AOL dial-up tone.

What is life? Is death real?

What separates living things from everything else? From AI to viruses, the line is fuzzier than we might expect The post What is life?

If a poor farmer shoots a raiding orangutan, who is to blame?

When Ricko Jaya first laid eyes on the orangutan, it was crouched in a jackfruit tree and stinking of rot.

Cyborg Foundation

The cyborgs aren’t coming, they’re already here: how the world’s first ’recognised cyborg’ senses colour through sound The post Cyborg Foundation appeared first on Aeon Magazine.

People resort to violence because their moral codes demand it

‘When I was 14 years old, this guy beat me down in the streets. And my stepfather took his life right in front of me.

Growth is not enough

Modern economies are growing, but how can that be a useful measure of economic success when so many people are poorer?

Does heckling improve or destroy the craft of comedy?

Probably the closest thing you can compare it to is the fighting in ice hockey. Think about it: an activity somehow both integral and non-essential that many in the audience consider more entertaining than those parts of the performance that require actual talent.