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Korean Thanksgiving

‘Take a photo of the spread,’ my mother says. ‘This way you can remember what to arrange when I’m dead.’ By Mary H K Choi Read at Aeon

Do you remember the ancient history of HIV/AIDS?

How do I teach the history of HIV/AIDS to today’s students? I find myself pondering this question, trying to figure out how to convey the dramatic story of a catastrophic, culturally charged epidemic (one that has claimed nearly 40 million lives) to students for whom HIV has always been a ‘manage...

Dramatic agency

According to the digital interaction designer Janet Murray, we need new forms of media that emphasise interaction, agency and multiple perspectives over linear storytelling in order to make sense of the world we live in and understand each other better.

On the run

Calling for secular reform in Pakistan’s politics earned me the enmity of the political Islamists, who tried to kill me By Raza Rumi Read at Aeon

Samurai, spy, commando: who were the real ninja?

A few people might know a commando, even fewer might know a spy, yet the ninja, or shinobi, of Japan is both a commando and a spy, an instantly recognisable figure from the worlds of combat and espionage who occupies the borderland between reality and the unreal.

Spider dances for his life!

Dancing is hardly a frivolous pastime for male peacock spiders, who must impress females with their brilliant colours and courtship moves, or be eaten if the lady is less than dazzled.

User behaviour

Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?

It’s time to give up on the ideal of perfect privacy online

Many people view the internet as an unstoppable force with regenerative powers. They believe our insatiable appetite for information ensures that even if data gets removed from a particular website, it’s just a matter of time before the vanquished material reappears elsewhere.

Who should have the right to die?

Doctor-assisted suicide continues to be hotly debated in the United States, but the ideas – and specifically the words – used to support it have evolved in fascinating ways.

The interrogator’s soul

An ordinary person becomes a torturer with surprising ease. The hard part comes when it’s time to be human again By Shane O'Mara Read at Aeon

Why is symmetry so important in biological evolution?

The evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, a professor of anthropology and biological sciences at Rutgers University in New Jersey, is one of the most influential thinkers on evolution today.

Why can’t we walk straight?

Strange as it might seem, people are incapable of walking or swimming in a straight line when they are blindfolded.

The Amish are online, onscreen, and multiplying fast. In their battle with modernity, it’s tough to say who’s winning By Kevin Williams Read at Aeon

When a season comes early, it has a deadly butterfly effect

When spring arrives in the north, its warmth induces some species to begin their life cycles. Other species are cued by astronomical signals such as longer days.

American Renaissance

Renaissance faires are a once-a-year chance for visitors to experience an Elizabethan England-meets-‘World of Warcraft’ fantasy land.

Great pretenders

Live-action role-play is venturing into some weighty social topics. Can make-believe really show us possible worlds?

Democracies fail when they ask too little of their citizens

‘He turned out to be the same as every other politician.’ That was the complaint I kept hearing in Athens shortly after the leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had signed up to exactly the kind of bailout deal he once vehemently opposed.

Bad thoughts can’t make you sick, that’s just magical thinking

Wellcome Images The belief that physical illness can be psychosomatic, or caused by the mind, has long been seductive, capturing the imagination of doctors and writers alike.


An impersonal tower block lift becomes a chamber of candid stories, emotional release, and quite a few good laughs.

To dive or not to dive

The best way for goalies to defend against penalty kicks during a football match is to stay relatively still, but they almost always dive.