They change shape and color, and squirt ink. But they also will return your gaze, "as if they're scrutinizing you." You’re sitting on the seabed, just off the coast of the Indonesian island of Lembeh. You’re not deep—20 feet or so—and there’s plenty of light. As you’d expect in such a tropical place, the water … Continue reading Why Do Octopuses Remind Us So Much of Ourselves?
Neuroscientists have studied treadmill runners, ultramarathon athletes – and a number of lab animals – to investigate the effects of running on grey matter. It may seem obvious – as you push on through a long run, veering wildly between sensations of agony and elation – that running can have a huge effect on your … Continue reading What does running do to your brain?
Twenty six percent of adults in the United States have not read even a portion of a book within the last year. It's an unfortunate reality considering that researchers have found that consuming the written word is exceptionally good for people. Here's what studies have found. Reading fiction helps you be more open-minded. It's because … Continue reading Why a daily habit of reading books should be your priority
Before your trip abroad, you hit the flashcards hard. You memorized how to say essential words and phrases like “hello,” “where is the bathroom,” and “I’ll have a beer.” But once you arrived, it’s like your brain had never encountered the language at all. Words would not come. It’s not you, it’s how you used … Continue reading The scientific, efficient way to learn languages: “spaced repetition”
Croissants are literally the stuff of legend. One often-told story is that the pastry was created by Viennese bakers after the city defeated the Turkish army at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The crescent was a prominent part of the flag of the Ottoman Empire, so by enjoying a croissant you could symbolically bite … Continue reading The fat in a perfect croissant
The scenic river known as the Water of Leith runs through the city and its collection of stone buildings.(Tom Shroder/For The Washington Post) The doors of the Airlink 100 bus from Edinburgh airport hissed open at what we thought was the stop nearest to our hotel. The desk clerk I’d emailed said the stop was … Continue reading Discovering the magic of Edinburgh