Saturday, November 17 2018
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  •  05 06 2015
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Using empathy to detect genuine and fake smiles

Using empathy to detect genuine and fake smiles

Psychologist Richard Wiseman has devised a test to check empathy, which probes our ability to appreciate the feelings of others – from their appearance. Two smiles are photographed - one genuine, one fake. According to Wiseman, who teaches at the University of Hertfordshire, if you lack empathy you are very bad at differentiating between the two photographs.

Last night I made a Freudian slip. I was having dinner with my mother-in-law and wanted to say: "Could you please pass the butter." But instead I said: "You silly cow, you have completely ruined my life."

London tops ‘cocaine in sewage’ league table

London tops ‘cocaine in sewage’ league table

London has the highest concentration of cocaine in sewage of 50 European cities. Study results show that on average, drug users in London relieved themselves of 737mg of cocaine per 1,000 people during the week in 2014. The amount of cocaine in London's waste water peaks on a Friday and Saturday, but then begins to fall away dramatically on Sunday and into Monday. While London comes top for cocaine flushed down the toilet, Amsterdam's drains contain greater amounts of cannabis.

Nomophobia - smartphone separation anxiety

Nomophobia - smartphone separation anxiety

The four major characteristics of nomophobia (no-mobile-phone phobia): 1) Can't communicate - people feel insecure when they can't text or call their friends and family; 2) Lost connectedness - people feel they're disconnected from their online identity; 3) Can't access information - people feel inadequate because they can't Google answers to their questions or find directions with a swipe, for example; 4) It's inconvenient - people feel annoyed that they can't accomplish simple tasks, such as making plans or dinner reservations, as easily without a smartphone.

‘Beautiful Mind’ mathematician John Nash dies

‘Beautiful Mind’ mathematician John Nash dies

US mathematician John Nash, renowned for his work in game theory, has died with his wife in a car crash in New Jersey. His breakthroughs in maths - and his struggles with schizophrenia - were the focus of the Oscar-winning film, A Beautiful Mind. John Nash won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994.

Can social media cause PTSD?

Can social media cause PTSD?

A researcher has suggested that some social media users could develop symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) simply by viewing violent or disturbing content. Usually to be diagnosed with the disorder, symptoms - which include flashbacks, avoidance, sleep disturbances and mood changes - must continue for more than a month after the traumatic event. The idea that the disorder could be triggered just by watching online videos is controversial.

Unhealthily underweight model advert banned

Unhealthily underweight model advert banned

An Yves Saint Laurent advertisement featuring an unhealthily underweight model has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The advert, which appeared in Elle UK magazine, featured a photo of a woman whose rib cage was visible and appeared prominent. It upheld a reader's complaint that the advert was irresponsible for using a model who appeared unhealthily thin.

Charles Kennedy’s struggle with alcoholism

Charles Kennedy’s struggle with alcoholism

Charles Kennedy, the former MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats, has died at the age of 55 years. Kennedy led the Liberal Democrats for more than six years, including its best election result in 2005, but lost his seat at last month’s election. He resigned as party leader in 2006 after admitting that he had been receiving treatment for alcoholism.

Call me Caitlyn - Bruce Jenner’s new identity revealed

Call me Caitlyn - Bruce Jenner’s new identity revealed

Bruce Jenner, the former male Olympic decathlon gold medalist, has launched her new life as a woman on the cover of Vanity Fair. The Annie Leibovitz portrait shows her posing in a revealing cream-colored silk corset under the headline "Call me Caitlyn".

Suicide rate in men highest since 2001

Suicide rate in men highest since 2001

The Office for National Statistics data shows 19 in every 100,000 deaths in men were down to suicide in 2013. Overall there were 6,233 suicides in men and women over the age of 15 in 2013 - 4% higher than the previous year. The most vulnerable age group were those aged between 45 and 59, however, the rates have been increasing in all age groups except in the under thirties.

The yin and yang of cannabis

The yin and yang of cannabis

Complicated and controversial, cannabis is revealed by recent science to have a dual personality, with a dark side and a more positive one. Key to understanding this strange plant are two of the ingredients that make it up, known by their initials as THC and CBD. The THC makes you stoned, but it can also make you anxious. It can also make you feel a bit psychotic, and it will seriously impair your memory. The other side of the yin/yang is CBD, which has almost the opposite effects. CBD calms you down, it has anti-psychotic properties and it also offsets the effects on memory, so that on CBD-containing cannabis you're less likely to forget what's going on.