Have World Leaders Got The Will To Bring Peace To Yemen?

During his historic recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis condemned the war in my home country, Yemen, as a terrible humanitarian crisis. Addressing the world he said, “Let us pray strongly, because there are children who are hungry, who are thirsty – they don’t have medicine and they are in

I Got A Phishing Email That Tried To Blackmail Me

I got this email today. It says “I hacked your device, because I sent you this message from your account.” It goes on to claim that it has filmed me watching pornography, and demands $698 in bitcoin. Phishing? Pwned? What to do? Pauline  This is generally known either as “webcam

Gazing On The Beauty Of God

Psalm 27. This canticle of King David presents us with a sufficiently vivid vignette of his historical lived experience with Yahweh in life’s problematic existence during his reign; specifically related to ‘the day of trouble’ (Ps 27:5; Ps 27:1-3). In the midst of abject turmoil encircling and threatening him, David’s singular request was to be in the Jerusalem tented temple meditating on the beauty of his God (Ps 27:4), a quest towards seeking solutions to his troubles! If

Something Is Not Quite Right In The Universe

Something isn’t quite right in the universe. At least  based on everything physicists know so far. Stars, galaxies, black holes and all the other celestial objects are hurtling away from each other ever faster over time. Past measurements in our local neighbourhood of the universe find that the universe is

Environment In Multiple Crises

Politicians and policymakers have failed to grasp the gravity of the environmental crisis facing the Earth, a report claim.   The think-tank IPPR says human impacts have reached a critical stage and threaten to destabilise society and the global economy. Scientists warn of a potentially deadly combination of factors. These include

Macropinna Microstoma

Macropinna microstoma is the only species of fish in the genus Macropinna, belonging to the Opisthoproctidae, the barreleye family. It is recognized for a highly unusual transparent, fluid-filled dome on its head, through which the lenses of its eyes can be seen. The eyes have a barrel shape and can be rotated to point either

The Sagitta Constellation

Sagitta is a dim but distinctive constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for “arrow,” and it should not be confused with the significantly larger constellation Sagittarius, the archer. Although Sagitta is an ancient constellation, it has no star brighter than 3rd magnitude and has the third-smallest area of all constellations (only Equuleus and Crux are smaller). It was

The Math Behind Successful Relationships

Nearly 30 years ago, a mathematician and a psychologist teamed up to explore one of life’s enduring mysteries: What makes some marriages happy and some miserable? The psychologist, John Gottman, wanted to craft a tool to help him better counsel troubled couples. The mathematician, James Murray, specialized in modelling biological processes. It

The Internet Battleground Between The US & China

The global internet is splitting in two. One side, championed in China, is a digital landscape where mobile payments have replaced cash. Smartphones are the devices that matter, and users can shop, chat, bank and surf the web with one app. The downsides: The government reigns absolute, and it is watching—you may

A New Prognosis For Pain Care

A new world of pain treatment is on the horizon. Advances in measuring pain could show doctors how much pain a patient feels more vividly and help them dial the treatment up—or down—more precisely. Better ability to assess each patient’s risk for chronic pain, including identifying the genes that make

The Legacy of Trauma

In the mid- to late 2000s, Brent Bezo and his wife were living in Ukraine, when Bezo began noticing a kind of social hostility and mistrust among the population. It was subtle, “not necessarily something you’d pick up on if you’d spent only a short time there,” says Bezo, a

The Killing of Large Species Pushing Them Towards Extinction

The vast majority of the world’s largest species are being pushed towards extinction, with the killing of the heftiest animals for meat and body parts the leading cause of decline, according to a new study. While habitat loss, pollution and other threats pose a significant menace to large species, also

Readers’ Travel Tips, Ten Best Ethical Holidays

Ladakh ( ” land of high passes ” ) is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that currently extends from the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram range to the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. It is one

Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?

A few years ago, I was interviewing a psychologist for a piece I was writing about introversion, when he mentioned a term that I had never come across: the ‘highly sensitive person.’ His description of this person sounded so like me that I forgot all about the piece I was

Call For Retraction Of 400 Scientific Papers

A world-first study has called for the mass retraction of more than 400 scientific papers on organ transplantation, amid fears the organs were obtained unethically from Chinese prisoners. The Australian-led study exposes a widespread failure of English language medical journals to comply with international ethical standards in place to ensure

Milky Way Is Warped And Twisted

The Milky Way isn’t a stable disk of stars; new  research has discovered, but in fact,  is warped and twisted the further away from the centre you look. Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ national astronomical observatories (NAOC) have discovered the unusual shape and published their findings in the

Attitudes In Prayer

Matthew 6: 5 – 15. The significant context of praying in the Gospel of Matthew is preceded by Jesus’ exhortation towards giving to the poor (Matt 6:1-4); linked by the connecting coordinate ‘And’ and parallel thoughts on hypocrisy in public displays of these religious acts. Both these sacred undertakings characterise

Infanticide Debate Reflects A New Era For Abortion Politics

Over the past month, pro-lifers have been compelled to speak openly and loudly about the possibility of infanticide being permitted by our laws. On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, video spread of New York’s legislature giving a standing ovation for a bill that, among other things, removed requirements that

The Grubby Business Of Counting The War Dead

Counting the bodies in conflicts is a necessary, confusing and too often sordid business. Body counts are needed for obvious reasons. Numbers supply a moral reference point. They tell us about the scale of a conflict as well as if civilians were targeted and how. They provide evidence for different


Bouvardia was named in honour of Charles Bouvard, who lived in the 17th century, and was a physician to Louis XIII, King of France. It is said to represent enthusiasm and is given as a gift for those who have a zest for life. Bouvardia will typically bloom between May

What Does Stress Do To The Body?

Your boss ominously requests an urgent meeting, your taxi is inching towards the airport with minutes to spare before your flight, or your football team have been granted a potentially game-winning penalty in the 91st minute. Your heart pounds, your stomach lurches, your hands turn clammy: the effects of stress

The Reticulum Constellation

Reticulum is a small, faint constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for a small net, or reticle—a net of crosshairs at the focus of a telescope eyepiece that is used to measure star positions. The constellation is best viewed between October and December, but cannot be seen from middle to northern latitudes. The constellation was

Democracy In Retreat: Freedom In The World 2019

Since the early 1970s, the pro-democracy non-profit Freedom House, founded in 1941 to mobilize American public opinion against Nazism, has published an annual survey evaluating political freedoms and civil liberties in countries around the world. Using 25 indicators, including electoral processes, individual rights and the rule of law, nations are

Which Countries Eat The Most Meat

You may have heard an increasing number of people vow to reduce their meat-eating lately – or cut it out altogether. This often forms part of a bid to become healthier, reduce their environmental impact, or consider animal welfare. A third of Britons claim to have either stopped eating meat or

Which Way Is North? Scientists’ New Answer

Magnetic north has never sat still. In the last hundred years or so, the direction in which our compasses steadfastly point has lumbered ever northward, driven by Earth’s churning liquid outer core some 1,800 miles beneath the surface. Yet in recent years, scientists noticed something unusual: Magnetic north’s routine plod has shifted

A Third of Himalayan Ice Doomed

At least a third of the huge ice fields in Asia’s towering mountain chain are doomed to melt due to climate change, according to a landmark report, with serious consequences for almost 2 billion people. Even if carbon emissions are dramatically and rapidly cut and succeed in limiting global warming to 1.5C,

Wishing All My Chinese Readers A Blessed Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated by more than 20% of the world. It’s the most important holiday in China and to Chinese people all over. In China, you’ll hear it being called chunjie, or the Spring Festival. It’s still very wintry, but the holiday marks the end of the coldest days.

Great European Art Anniversaries In 2019

2019 marks the 350th Anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn, the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age. Several cultural institutions in the Netherlands will commemorate Rembrandt’s legacy with special events and exhibitions. From Amsterdam and The Hague to his birthplace in Leiden, Dutch museums will be staging unprecedented shows of