Eyebrows can turn a smile into a leer, a grumpy pout into a come hither beckoning, and sad, downturned lips into a comedic grimace.
It may seem like we are living in an age of anxiety, where feeling worried, upset and stressed has become the norm. But we should remember that anxiety is a natural human response to situations.
In a nutshell, music puts us in a better mood, which makes us better at studying – but it also distracts us, which makes us worse at studying.
Intelligence could play a role in how quickly people learn music, according to new research on the early stages of learning to play piano.
Get ready for some romance on the dance floor as the second series of Flirty Dancing kicks off.
The concept of “home” refers to more than bricks and mortar. Just as cities are more than buildings and infrastructure, our homes carry all manner of emotional, aesthetic and socio-cultural significance.
If you say, 'I am not creative,' then that's an affirmation that will be true for you for as long as you continue to use it. You can never express yourself creatively by talking or thinking about what a klutz you are. We create our lives every day...
Some things have not changed since Homer's time. Now as then, the young despise boredom. Now as then, kicks are the cheapest solution. As to the beneficial uses of sensuality, dashes of it, to be sure, spice creativity. But runaway sensuality has...
Reduced brain size may suggest a genetic predisposition towards heavier alcohol consumption, according to new research.
How do you like the following joke from Sumeria in about 1900BC? “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap."
Thrill seekers and daredevils thrive on the terrifying because of their high-sensation-seeking personalities, according to a new book.
We are being lazy if there’s something that we ought to do but are reluctant to do because of the effort involved.
The 50th anniversary re-issue of the seminal Beatles album Abbey Road – remixed and with a slew of alternative takes – along with the celebrations by surviving band-members and fans alike, illustrates the recording industry’s preoccupation with nostalgia.
“We should work to live, not live to work”, declared John McDonnell in his speech to Britain’s Labour Party Conference.
The traditional poetry and music of Iran aim to create a threshold space, a zone of mystery; a psycho-emotional terrain of suffering, melancholy, death and loss, but also of authentic joy, ecstasy, and hope.
When Margaret Atwood was writing The Handmaid’s Tale in 1984, she felt that the main premise seemed “fairly outrageous”
In the recently released film Blinded by the Light, Pakistani teenager Javed discovers commitment and courage through the music of Bruce Springsteen.
Even when we are not competing with other people, we can often feel like the world around us is competing for our time, money, and attention. One of the most resisted — and most productive — tools in The Artist's Way was one called "Reading Deprivation." Today, when I...
For many baby boomers, an important goal is staying independent as long as possible.
The joker, the trickster, the jester, the provocateur - there is a rich cultural history of these roles going back at least as far as Greek mythology’s Hermes.
Even in the city, it is possible to maintain a connection to the cycles of the seasons and the rhythms of nature. It's increasingly recognized that regular contact of this kind is an important component in establishing and maintaining the kind of inner balance and peace that promotes happiness.
One of the best ways to heal a physical problem or reduce emotional stress is to interrupt our daily routines with experiences that reacquaint us with Nature. As we are swept up, captivated, and enthralled by the displays of Nature's wonder, we sense the immutable balance that is our own source...
Women are catching up to men in rates of alcohol consumption and this has important implications for how we think about our community response to harmful alcohol use.
Science fiction is brimming with visions of the future and the many wondrous things the human race can achieve.
Learning how to relax is one of the most powerful healing tools that I have ever come across. Emotional suffering comes from overthinking issues. Stress also plays a major role in our physical health, affecting for example, our weight, cholesterol and digestive systems.
In July, the website Snopes published a piece fact-checking a story posted on The Babylon Bee, a popular satirical news site with a conservative bent.
As a composer, John Cage sought to get the weight of Beethoven and the other past masters off his shoulders. He felt it was essential to be freed from the repetitive patterns of personality and style (“memory, tastes, likes, and dislikes”) and to free audiences from their expectations of what art should look and sound like.
The Most Influential American Author Of Her Generation, Toni Morrison's Writing Was Radically Ambiguous
Toni Morrison, who has died aged 88, was the most influential and studied American author of her generation.
More than four million Britons watched Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea being crowned the victors of Love Island 2019.
While it’s difficult to fully disconnect from work as we head home for the day, our personal thinking styles and values can affect how well we manage the stress of work interruptions, and think about work during leisure time.
In the late 17th century, the female English playwright Aphra Behn wrote a smash hit play about a man obsessed with the moon, who was constantly travelling there in his imagination.
Imagine walking through a lush tropical forest. You hear a rustle overhead, and a half-eaten fruit plops onto the trail. You lock eyes with a howler monkey, before he gives a soft grunt and moves higher into the trees. These magical, fleeting connections with a wild animal can be the highlight of a holiday.
In the first act of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical A Little Night Music, the long-suffering Countess Charlotte Malcolm mentions her younger sister, noting, “Dear Marta has renounced men and is teaching gymnastics in a school for retarded girls in Bettleheim”.
Marvel’s “Shang-Chi” – the studio’s first Asian superhero movie – is a sign of the times.
Whatever our cultural or linguistic background, we can all claim some knowledge of the lives of others, and this knowledge has reached us through stories. These stories may have been told by an animated grandparent; maybe we heard them on the radio or encountered them during a religious-studies lesson at school, where we learned about the lives and times of saints, gods, and goddesses.
Online gaming has become a concern for some parents in the past few years and there are worries children might become addicted,
Many Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but how many actually know the story of the holiday?
Beethoven and Picasso are the perfect examples for mastering the creative process. Behind each of their works are countless studies and sketches. - The lesson?
It is my observation that true creativity often involves a marriage (or surprising connection) of two things that are not related to most people’s minds. The larger point I am trying to make here is that creative people often see connections and build bridges where others see no such things (until someone shows them! Then many of us can cross the same bridge).
This year is the 40th anniversary of the release of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. The film met with instant controversy in 1979 and was banned in Ireland, Norway and parts of Britain.
Not all bike routes are equal. Some places that are marked as bike routes on a map feel precarious when traversed on two wheels, including shoulders covered in debris and places where you can feel the wind from speeding cars.
Virtually everyone has heard of Ernest Hemingway. But you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who knows of Ellen N. La Motte.
Here’s an interesting fact for Mothering Sunday. When it comes to children’s books, the word “mother” is the most frequent noun used to refer to female characters – and has been since the 19th century.
Local libraries are often thought of as places to check out books or engage in some silent reading. But libraries offer so much more than just what can be found on their shelves or done in hushed tones.
When Stevie Wonder’s 1972 hit “Superstition” comes on, you might find yourself bobbing your head, tapping your feet and maybe even dancing along.
She's a music and entertainment legend, star of movies, TV sitcoms and Broadway theater -- not to mention a retail mogul.
As I hiked up the old E4 trail above the temple complex at Delphi, romance was the last thing on my mind let alone a dalliance with the ancient forgotten Greek god of Light and Wisdom. It was April of 2015, and all I wanted to do was to get away from the tourists and my worries about a book deadline with Simon & Schuster...
As China demonstrated its space credentials by landing a lunar probe on the far side of the moon in January 2019, a science fiction movie was hitting mainland cinemas that could also redefine China’s credentials as a maker of global cinema.
Singing a song in your head before actually singing it could be nudging you out of tune, according to new research.
One of the challengers at this year’s Oscars is “The Favourite,” a film set in the early 18th-century court of British monarch Queen Anne.
It is no secret that women are still underrepresented in cinema – whether they work behind or in front of the camera.
“Why do people love Pierre Bonnard so much?” asks The Guardian’s art critic Adrian Searle in his review of the painter’s current show at London’s Tate Modern.
Visual illusions show us that we do not have direct access to reality. They can also provide an inkling of the mental processing that delivers our experience of the viewable world.
Millions of people tuned in to the Oscars to see “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, compete for best picture, which “Green Book” ended up winning.
Green Book. It’s for “travelling while black”, explains Tony Vallelonga to his incredulous wife, Dolores.
A new expansion has added environmental challenges to Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the latest in a popular series of strategy video games that has been running since the 1990s.
Roller coasters may seem like a very modern type of entertainment – constantly getting bigger, faster and scarier thanks to advances in technology.
If an event is otherwise highly enjoyable, pausing to take photographs will detract from your enjoyment, research finds.
Do you inspect the appearance of a wine before swirling it around the glass (holding the stem, naturally)? Inhale deeply while describing the flamboyant nature of your Shiraz? Do you do that slurpy thing that some love but others loathe?
The winter months are an ideal time to turn your attention inward and think of how you can establish something new for your family to do together indoors. If you can find the right thing, perhaps it will become a family ritual.
Physicist Max Planck demonstrated that the behavior of energy is influenced by the intent of the observer -- the implication is that you can intentionally impact how your creative energy acts. The way in which energy behaves depends on what the observer expects to see. If you intend to see certain events, your creative energy will transform itself into those events.
Claude Monet used a very limited color palette in his Waterloo Bridge series, but could still evoke a wide range of ambiances. New research shows how.
In recent years, we have seen an epic scale of destruction caused by war, terrorism, global warming, famine and the obliteration of human cultural artifacts.
The freedom to choose one’s clothes is key to sartorial experimentation. In the late 1920s, the Catholic Register wrote that these swimsuits were indecent.
James Corden welcomes the stars of "Mary Poppins Returns" to perform a musical-inspired Role Call.
When people see my art, they often exclaim, "You are so creative! I cannot even draw a straight line!" My answer is the same, "I cannot draw a straight line either; when I need one, I get a ruler!" Creativity has nothing to do with art...
Film director Joel Coen – one half of the famed Coen Brothers – once quipped that “every movie ever made is an attempt to remake The Wizard of Oz”
Many environmental agencies and organizations now also aim to connect people with nature, and our new research suggests daily doses of urban nature may be the key to this for the majority who live in cities.
Even in the real world there are witches among us, and fantastic beasts – and a touch of magic, too. And so to mark the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, University of Birmingham experts have answered some of the more mysterious questions behind JK Rowling’s magical fiction. And they’ve made a series of short video explainers, too.
As a general practitioner, I hear a lot of colorful advice from my patients about what they believe constitutes “safe” drinking and how to avoid a nasty hangover.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. But a few drinks with friends turned into a few more, and the next morning you’re not feeling so crash hot. Is there anything you can take to help?
Last year, in 2017, the 50th anniversary remix of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band gained considerable respect from critics and fans alike. Now we have the 50th anniversary remix of The Beatles, universally known as The White Album thanks to its ultra-minimalist artwork.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho recently criticised his players for not having the courage to take penalty kicks, declaring: “I don’t like Mickey Mouses.” His choice of words made him surely just the latest to misunderstand one of the most significant icons of our times.
Disney’s latest offering, Nutcracker and the Four Realms comes with a warning for anyone who might imagine lighthearted, singing, dancing holiday entertainment. “The legend you know has a dark side.”. So be warned.
Many people dream about moving to the country, escaping the city for good. Most Australians live in cities, but there seems to be a collective desire to escape the concrete and glass for green fields and open spaces. Those who do this are popularly known in Australia as seachangers and treechangers.
I am always repeating the mantra that we should “work hard and play hard”. But is having fun professionally productive? As someone who studies animal behavior I sometimes look to my experimental subjects for an answer.
The story of Count Dracula as many of us know it was created by Bram Stoker, an Irishman, in 1897. But most of the action takes place in England, from the moment the Transylvanian vampire arrives on a shipwrecked vessel in Whitby, North Yorkshire, with plans to make his lair in the spookily named Carfax estate, west of the river in London.
Halloween used to be kid stuff. To quit dressing up was an important rite of passage. It meant you were one step closer to becoming an adult. Not anymore. Today adults have become avid Halloween revelers, especially young adults.
There is an old story our Elders teach us about a Water Snake who lived in a pond up high at the base of a sacred mountain. He was a very healthy, wealthy, strong, and handsome man. He was on top of the world, you might say. He had the whole pond to himself and he had everything a person could ask for in life: plenty of natural resources, open space, lots of food, good weather, ample shelter...
Throughout the ages, Greece has created an inspiring legacy in the arts and culture. Renowned Greek philosophers, architects, sculptors, poets and playwrights like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Herodotus, Sophocles, Euripedes and Aeschylus have made remarkable contributions over the centuries to the arts and culture and have left an indelible foundation for future generations.
With AI becoming incorporated into more aspects of our daily lives, from writing to driving, it’s only natural that artists would also start to experiment with artificial intelligence.
When you think about creativity, it might be highly creative people like Mozart, Da Vinci or Einstein who spring to mind. They were all considered to be “geniuses” for their somewhat unique talents that led to global innovation in their fields.
Ancient innovators were poets, thinkers, artisans and scientists, not business owners. The classical Greek philosopher Socrates did not become famous for the massive dividends that he provided to his shareholders in the hemlock industry.
People often believe those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder face challenges that could hinder future employment, but a new study finds that adults with ADHD feel empowered doing creative tasks, which could help them on the job.
All over the world, community stories, customs and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. This folkore is used by elders to teach family and friends about their collective cultural past. And for African Americans, folklore has played a particularly important part in documenting history too.
Knowledge can take many forms. There is “knowledge by acquaintance”, as in knowing a person or place. There is propositional knowledge, or “knowledge that” – for example, knowing that the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016. There is also “knowledge how”, as in knowing how to ride a bicycle.
Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centredness. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love when he saw his reflection in water: he gazed so long, he eventually died. Today, the quintessential image is not someone staring at his reflection but into his mobile phone. While we pine away for that perfect Snapchat filter or track our likes on Instagram, the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. Or so it would seem.
As a boy in late-1940s Memphis, my dad got a nickel every Friday evening to come by the home of a Russian Jewish immigrant named Harry Levenson and turn on his lights, since the Torah forbids lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath. My father would wonder, however, if he were somehow sinning.
Could disc golf become more popular than ball golf by 2028? Ask disc golfers and they’ll say, “You bet – our sport is growing like crazy.” But for most Americans, the answer is, “What’s disc golf?” And the typical ball golfer will likely respond, “No – and stop calling my sport ball golf.”
For almost two years now, Americans have been confronted daily by ominous tidings. We are living through stressful times. Reading the news feels awful; ignoring it doesn’t feel right either.
Most of us spend much more time with digital media than we did a decade ago. But today’s teens have come of age with smartphones in their pockets. Compared to teens a couple of decades ago, the way they interact with traditional media like books and movies is fundamentally different.
When I give talks, I am often approached by people who are worried about their memory. Maybe they are studying for an exam and don’t feel that they learn as well as their peers. Maybe they keep forgetting to close the window when they leave the house. Or maybe they struggle to remember an event that happened a few weeks ago but which everyone else can describe in vivid detail.
One of the first albums I owned was a tape of Madonna’s 1987 remix collection You Can Dance. I’m not sure where I got it from – and I’m not sure I even liked it – but the bright red cover and Madonna’s hard, direct stare are etched in my mind’s eye even now, 30 years later.
If you like independent, art-house films or other specialised movies, you may have heard of the Romanian comedy-drama Sieranevada, which was released in 2016. The film was formally premiered as part of the main competition programme of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently shown at other international film festivals, including Toronto, New York and London.
The duck-rabbit image above is one of the most iconic in philosophy – so iconic that a former undergraduate of mine had it tattooed on his leg. So what’s philosophically significant about this dot and wavy line?
Our brains hold the magic that allows us to find our stories and to make and remake our meaning. When split-brain research began in the 1960s, the findings expanded horizons on how our storytelling minds work.
Craft can be done solitary or with other people, and its up to you to decide.
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G, Borat, and Brüno), is back – just in time – with his new show: Who is America? Based on 12 months of undercover interviews, this satirical comedy series “explores the diverse individuals… across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate the United States”.