Lethargy, irritability, frustration, impatience: during the current lockdown, millions of people around the world are experiencing the effects of a strange condition called ‘cabin fever’. Luckily it can be ‘cured’ and turned into an opportunity for self-improvement and for re-connecting with others in a meaningful way.
A recent BBC documentary showed how intelligent octopuses are: they can use tools, solve puzzles and pass memory tests. But how ‘human’ are octopuses, and how ‘human’ are other animals? Recent scientific studies shed new light on what animals think and feel and are re-writing our relationship with them.
Recently the Indian Army declared it had found footprints left by a Yeti. The claim renewed the debate over the possible existence of this legendary creature. Despite the lack of truly convincing evidence, belief in the Yeti, as well as in the American Bigfoot, is widespread and the reason for this might be more than simple scientific curiosity.
Last October, the art world was both shocked and amused by Banksy’s latest prank: destroying one of his own paintings live during an auction. Banksy is a mysterious British underground street artist who uses his works to convey social and political messages. His art, which appears unexpectedly on city walls around the world, is deep, humorous and controversial.
This year there’s a new subject in thousands of Australian schools: Mindfulness. The practice of this subject is simple but transformative, and science has proven the beneficial effects it has on the brain. Mindfulness in schools can help students by reducing their anxiety, improving their concentration and enhancing their positive qualities, such as creativity and empathy.
Black History Month, celebrated in February, promotes African-American heritage and history. Established more than 90 years ago, it has played an important role in the Civil Rights of the 1950s and ‘60s. Today its message is echoed in the Black Lives Matter movement, and this year in a Hollywood film: the superhero blockbuster Black Panther.
Twohundred years ago, the novel “Frankenstein” was first published. The story of the mad scientist and the monstrous creature he creates has become a classic for many reasons. “Frankenstein” is a revolutionary book that helped create two literary genres: horror and science fiction. But it also conveys a deep, moral message still relevant to modern readers.