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The truth about tarot


Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis By James McConnachie Read at Aeon

The Malmedy trial: how the truth trumped fake torture stories


In December 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, members of a Nazi SS combat division executed 84 captured GIs near the Belgian town of Malmedy.

Beast of man


‘There’s a warrior spirit in us.’ Located near the small western Oklahoma city of Sayre, the Camp of Champions is an evangelical Christian rodeo Bible camp for ages six to 17.

Polar bears need to be fat, and they can’t be without sea ice


Humans are inquisitive and innovative, with an indisputable talent for problem-solving. So when we read about how polar bears are threatened by melting sea ice, it’s natural for us to wonder: perhaps they can learn to adapt to life on land?

Who names diseases?


Swine Flu, Naples Soldier, Ebola. Disease names express fear, create stigma and distract attention. Can they be improved?

To be happier, focus on what’s within your control


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.This is the Serenity Prayer, originally written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr around 1934, and commonly used by Alcoholics Anonymous and similar organ...

Perspectrum


Perspectrum, made in 1975 by the India-born, Canada-based animator Ishu Patel, is like a gently psychedelic geometry lesson.

Resist or collaborate?


The Nazis have occupied France. It’s easy to condemn the collaborators. But be honest: what would you really do?

Solution to the grandfather paradox


The ‘grandfather paradox’ has long been one of the most popular thought experiments in physics: you travel back in time and murder your grandfather before he’s ever born.

Space exploration is still the brightest hope-bringer we have


I am one of the few African-American aerospace engineers who helped design the Apollo spaceships that took men to the Moon.

The valley rebels


‘These are people, for god’s sake!’ An olive farmer by trade, Cédric Herrou became an unlikely lightning rod for the debate around immigration in France when he began housing African refugees on his property in Breil-sur-Roya, close to the Italian border near the Mediterranean Sea.

The mathematics of mind-time


The special trick of consciousness is being able to project action and time into a range of possible futures By Karl Friston Read at Aeon

What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence


One day in 1995, a large, heavy middle-aged man robbed two Pittsburgh banks in broad daylight. He didn’t wear a mask or any sort of disguise.

Sands of time


The North Sea is rich in signs of what made the modern world. It's also a monument to what awaits us in the Anthropocene By David Farrier Read at Aeon

Dispatches from the ruins


In the first two decades of the new millennium, stories of the post-apocalypse have permeated pop culture, from books such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006), Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2009) and Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014) to films and TV programmes such as The Walking Dead (2010-), the Hunger Games series (2012-15) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Marriage should not come with any social benefits or privileges


A previously unknown species – single people – has recently been discovered. First, there was Eric Klinenberg’s book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (2012), followed by Kate Bolick’s Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own (2015) around the time that The Wash...

Democracy needs politeness


Autocrats shouted, cursed, and bullied, while American revolutionaries used politeness as a tool of radical politics By Steven Bullock Read at Aeon

Ryan


Widely regarded as a maverick genius of animation, the Canadian artist Ryan Larkin (1943-2007) seemed destined for a successful career after breaking out with the influential short films Walking (1968) and Street Musique (1972).

We need ecstasy and cocaine in place of Prozac and Xanax


What can doctors do to ease emotional pain? The physicians of ancient and medieval times found many plants and plant-derived substances (ie, drugs) that soothed mental as well as physical ills.

Platonically irrational


How much did Plato know about behavioural economics and cognitive biases? Pretty much everything, it turns out By Nick Romeo Read at Aeon


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