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Atul Gawande: The Smiling Angel of a Happy Death

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It is said that victorious Roman generals, on city parades following battlefield triumphs, would be followed by a servant. “Memento Mori,” the servant would say over and over. “Remember that you have to die.” Later, still-life paintings were punctuated by symbols of the finite – rotting fruit, wilting flowers, bubbles – as reminders of life’s transience. Early self-help books, with ... Read More »

Immigration is changing character of UK schools, claims Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith claims non-English-speaking children are changing the character of British schools. Photograph: Alamy

Work and pensions secretary says report setting out the billions of pounds that EU migrants had added to the economy is ‘silly’ Jump to comments Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has said that non-English-speaking children are changing the character of British schools, as Ukip looks likely to gain its second MP in the Rochester & Strood byelection. ... Read More »

Living in cities makes you look older: Polluted urban air will make you age 10 per cent faster than in the country new research shows

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Women who live in the countryside look younger for longer, a study suggests. Research shows those in cities age up to 10 per cent more This effect is shown despite other lifestyle aspects being the same The 224 pollutants in city air damage proteins in the skin called keratins These are essential in protecting the skin from losing moisture City living makes ... Read More »

Was van Gogh Killed? New Research Says He Was Shot

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The troubled life and demise of Vincent van Gogh follows a well-known trajectory: the precocious genius, the art world’s indifference, the onset of angst and madness, and then, tragically, his suicide at age 37. Or so we thought. But according to the groundbreaking research of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the painter didn’t shoot himself: he was ... Read More »

Denying problems when we don’t like the political solutions: Why conservatives, liberals disagree so vehemently

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There may be a scientific answer for why conservatives and liberals disagree so vehemently over the existence of issues like climate change and specific types of crime. Summary: There may be a scientific answer for why conservatives and liberals disagree so vehemently over the existence of issues like climate change and specific types of crime. A new study finds that people ... Read More »

New Scans of the Voynich Manuscript, a Medieval Book No One Can Read

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The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most obsessed-over historical enigmas. A medieval book dating from the late 15th or 16th century, its strange, flowing script has never been deciphered, its origins never determined. The 113 plant illustrations it contains seem to depict no flora found on Earth, and throughout its vellum pages are visuals of the cosmos, a small army of naked women cavorting ... Read More »

Australians and New Zealanders should be free to live and work in UK, report says

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Commonwealth Exchange report proposes bilateral mobility zones between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada Jump to comments Australians and New Zealanders should be granted special status to live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction, a new report says. The Commonwealth Exchange report proposes bilateral mobility zones be established between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The ... Read More »

New study suggests only 8.2% of our DNA is functional

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Controversial new research claims that only a small fraction of the human genome is actually doing something important. Over the years, there’s been plenty of back and forth over how much of our DNA is important – for decades much of it was thought of as “junk DNA”, but geneticists have gradually come to believe that some of these seemingly ... Read More »

Dr George Vaillant on the formula for a long and happy life

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Why do some people flourish in later life, finding happiness and contentment while others become grumpy old men and women full of woe? If there’s a formula for a good life one man, Dr George Vaillant, knows it better than many. He was in charge of the world’s most famous, long-running study on human development. And he’s coming to Melbourne ... Read More »

Calls to Ban Toxic Chemicals Fall on Deaf Ears Around the World

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When Denis Bibeyran was diagnosed at the age of 47 with bile tract cancer – a rare form of the disease usually found in men at least 20 years older than him – his sister Marie put it down to bad luck. Around the vineyards of Bordeaux, where they lived and worked, cancer among men his age was common and ... Read More »