A cut and paste tool for human DNA

Genetic engineering is one of those fields of science that make people feel queasy.

Determinants of civil war

The last three years have seen a downward trend in deaths from armed conflict. Still, the world has seen 280 distinct conflicts since 1946, with the vast majority being intrastate or civil wars.

The funniest social media parodies

Whether we engage in order to feel more connected to one another and to family and friends living far away, to be updated on the latest news,

Liespotting Series: Decoding the language of lies

Paul Ekman was named one Time Magazine’s Top 100 most influential people in May 2009.

Physics for the philosophical investor

A good share of modern physics is based on the laws of thermodynamics, which help us to understand how matter and energy relate to one another in closed systems, such as the universe.

Will machines ever become conscious?

The nature of consciousness is something that has been debated for centuries by philosophers, neuroscientists, ethicists, biologists and the like, with very little progress having been made.

The bully in the boardroom

If you see bullying as essentially a playground problem – one that doesn’t affect adults in the course of their working lives – you couldn’t be more wrong.

One size fits all - or does it?

Marketers tend to make sweeping statements about entire generations. Is it dangerous to create a ‘one size fits all’ scenario when talking about any group in particular?

Is Neymar just the beginning?

For those not beset with an obsessive interest in football, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is a 28-year-old forward who leads the line for both his country Brazil and the French football club Paris Saint-Germain.

Can we trust the public with decisions?

Any survey worth its salt will clearly illustrate the current mindset of people worldwide.

Some facts about human’s best friend

As a person who grew up with dogs, I have loved some of my quadruped family members with so much of my heart that I grieved deeply when they invariably passed on.

Just because I’m good at it, does not mean I like it.

Psychometric testing is the best known and most highly regarded method for measuring individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioral styles.

What men can learn from women on the sports field

Different gender traits could make the difference between winning and losing on the sports field and in the workplace.

My water, life and surfing…

I am a 36 year old South African Xhosa man. I live in Johannesburg and I was born in Alice, Eastern Cape. My parents are divorced, and I have a 30 year old sister. I am married to an incredible 32 year old Xhosa woman, and she was born in Mthatha.

Why TV is more violent now than ever before (and we love it that way!)

A serial killer drains his victims of blood, chops them into pieces and drops the body parts in the ocean. A horde of hungry zombies rip into the flesh of a wounded victim.

World tapestry

HUMANITY. We exist in contrasting shapes, sizes, shades and guises. We exhibit various characteristics and distinctive preferences.

The art of reading body language

“You talking to me? You talking to me?

Remember the young Robert de Niro’s famous line in Taxi Driver? Oh, the on-screen menace he conveyed physically,

In Defence of Travel

My wheels are coming off. The wheels of my suitcase, that is. It won’t be the first time either. Recently at Cape Town International Airport, Uber driver Alexis helped me with my luggage. He was struggling. “Ja your suitcase, it’s two-wheel drive now,” he said. I concurred.

Nudge Theory

Nudge theory and behavioural economics are terms increasingly used, even by those who are not economics scholars. This is most likely for two reasons:

But like, you know, how did it take over the language?

We all use them… even though we are not specifically aware of doing so.

AI Series: The impact of artificial intelligence on our work identity

The rise of advanced artificial intelligence is real and lurks on the horizon, requiring a significant shift in the way we view ourselves and our place in society.

Moral Money Series: An introduction to faith and finance around the world

Religion affects the lives of adherents and non-adherents in very real, very immediate economic ways.

Anger Series: Kids and anger – let’s get them while they’re young

To address issues of violence, we need to start with children, and boys in particular. As social reformer, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass said: “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

My Special Place Series: Timothy Moloi

“A special place is somewhere you haven’t been for a while, it makes you happy, and you can forget about the world for bit,” says singer and media star Timothy Moloi.

My Special Place Series: Georgina Thomson

Paris and home – two very different places, but both are special places for Georgina Thomson, director of Dance Forum.

The history of IQ

An 11-year-old Harvard undergrad inspired the ubiquitous saying “early ripe, early ruin”.

The unlikely aesthetic premium that millennials are willing to pay for luxury goods

How millennials rent luxury lifestyles – and savvy brands are cashing in.

The child-free life and its unexpected dilemmas

Deciding to not reproduce triggers complex and conflicting emotions.

The profit made from war and words

It is in documenting our conflicts that propaganda first began.

Superhero films − how big genres live and die

Although the superhero genre has been around since the mid-1940s, over the past two decades these films have occupied the top spot among all genres available to us, on the big and small screen alike.

Corporate animals

The notion of a “corporate animal” reminds me of Yann Martel’s idea in Life of Pi that wild animals enjoy the physical safety and food security of living in a zoo more than having to fend for themselves in the wild.

An analysis of President Donald Trump’s use of language

Is Trump’s unique brand of presidential oratory deliberate and strategic, is it the disjointed output of a disordered mind, or is it something else?

The stranger at the gate

It’s ambitious to call your novel Johannesburg, for there are as many versions of this city as there are novels about it.

Dirty John

Dirty John is the crack cocaine of podcasts. Just ask any one of the five million listeners who got hooked on the series within the first three weeks of its launch.

The money tree

Growing up in a strict, very middle-class family in the 1940s and 1950s and learning the virtue of thrift, “money does not grow on trees” was a constant refrain. But there is a tree which grows money.

Climate change

The rise of anti-science discourse: forehead-slapping conversations with climate change deniers.

Weed tourism means big business

Knowing that cannabis and the tourism dollar are fast friends would most likely have Bob Marley rolling about in his grave.

Don’t believe me

In most knowledge systems doubt excludes you from membership. Questioning authority, tradition and dogma is taboo. But in science, doubt is the key to entry.

Science fiction becomes science fact

First the dreamers, then the engineers … how much of the technology in our lives today do we owe to stories of an imagined future?

AI Series: Can machines make ethical choices?

Once we start to see our ethics reflected back to us in the form of machine decision-making, are we going to like what we see?

Travelling through Africa with a salty narrator

Arja Salafranca reviews Zukiswa Wanner’s Hardly Working, a travel memoir brimming with astute observations and wry humour.

Hillbilly Elegy: a memoir of a family and culture in crisis by JD Vance

Appalachia. No place like it. A place often romanticised and, consequently, misunderstood. A place that holds deep secrets and unspeakable tragedy.

Expats and immigrants

“I am German when we win, an immigrant when we lose.” – Mesut Ozil

But what is the difference?

The Blue Zone phenomenon

Where to go to live longer … and happier.

Are genres gendered?

Why are the majority of memoirs written by women? Is it because they relate better to their subjects?

The ethical sources of terrorist power: Understanding asymmetric war

Conventional wars are fought between states. Asymmetrical wars are different, and so are the weapons.

Don’t worry about the last fish in the sea

Catching the last fish in the sea should be the least of your worries. Here’s why.

Nicknames

They may be badges of honour, scars of shame, compliments or insults – and they can only become stamps when seasoned by time.

Have you floated before? Money for nothing

The sensory deprivation tank seems fundamentally different to all other luxuries. It promises nothing.

My TEDx experience

Like most people, I had a wish list of things I wanted to achieve and check off in my lifetime. Speaking on a TED stage was one of them.

Anger Series: Taking a long hard look at anger (and violence)

Read the headlines on any given day and you’ll find a new story in which the violent details take your breath away. How do we begin to fix that?

Why service delivery successes in South Africa don’t always translate into community satisfaction

Despite the refrain to the contrary, living standards in South Africa today are much higher than at any point in the history of the country.

The school shooting

A few days after I turned 15, I was in the cafeteria waiting in line to buy my lunch, when a coach told us to shut up and get down.

Wanting to work – the story of South Africa’s labour market since 1994

South Africa has not been experiencing jobless growth since 1994. Rather, it has been suffering from a skills mismatch.

Killer ratings: our obsession with true crime TV series

Are TV audiences evolving into bloodthirsty voyeurs, desperate for more true tales of violence and crime? Or are other factors propelling the true crime genre up the popularity charts?

10 Evergreen paperbacks

I can remember the first book I read – by myself and because I wanted to. There were always books around, at school or at home. Books of all kinds, including magazines. I suddenly felt a tremendous urge to read something.


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