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A woman views the floral memorial outside the fenced off Lindt Chocolate cafe in Martin Place in Sydney. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Could the Sydney siege have been predicted and prevented?

It’s the question everyone is asking – could the Sydney siege have been predicted and therefore prevented based on the past behaviour of gunman Man Haron Monis. Monis' troubled history was well known to…
Protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, after the Monday evening announcement of no charges over a teenager’s killing. EPA/Tannen Maury

Timing of the Ferguson case may have made the riots worse

The announcement Monday evening in the US that there would be no charges against a policeman over the shooting of a teenager is puzzling and already the target of critique. It’s not just the decision itself…
We know different coloured plates can affect how food ‘tastes’ … and now we know that the same applies to coffee. Esti Alvarez/Flickr

Bitter coffee today? Try changing the colour of your cup

In Australia, around a billion cups of coffee a year are consumed in cafés, restaurants and other outlets. Even Britain, a nation famous for its fondness for tea, has in recent years seen a dramatic rise…
Faced with uncertainty and unpredictability, your brain’s on its way to anxiety. Woman image via www.shutterstock.com.

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news…
Different people behave in different ways behind the wheel of a car. Flickr/Nuno Sousa

Road rage much? Personality predicts our driving behaviour

Personality traits can be used to predict a lot about a person. They can tell about their probable career success, if they’re likely to get divorced, their risk at dying early from disease – and now, how…
Our brains make judgements about images before we’re even aware of making a decision. A Health Blog/Flickr

How to help take control of your brain and make better decisions

This is the first article in a series, How we make decisions, which explores our decision-making processes. How well do we consider all factors involved in a decision, and what helps and what holds us…
Go with the group on trick or treat this Halloween. Sean Locke Photography

Trick or treating this Halloween? Know your group behaviour

Halloween is upon us tonight and it’s all just a bit of harmless fun, right? Or is there truly a dark side to Halloween? What should we make of kids getting together in groups, wearing costumes that hide…
Five years on, the bush and people are recovering well from the Black Saturday fires. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Five years on from Black Saturday, most survivors are doing OK

Five years on from the devastating Black Saturday fires that swept through central Victoria in February 2009, research shows that people and communities are largely recovering well. In the first major…
Icy times for mom-to-be meant bad news for baby-on-board. Shaun Best/Reuters

Mom’s prenatal hardship turns baby’s genes on and off

In January 1998 five days of freezing rain collapsed the electrical grid of the Canadian province of Québec. The storm left more than 3 million people without electricity for anywhere from a few hours…
Friendly or flirting? Science says you stink at telling the difference. Cafe image via www.shutterstock.com

A flirter’s dilemma: subtlety vs. success

Flirting comes in many forms: a casual gaze that lingers a half second longer than necessary, a light touch, an amorous expression, an overenthusiastic laugh during conversation, or even some playful or…
Guns were part of Pistorius' life at home and in public. EPA/Phill Magakoe/Pool

Pistorius verdict reflects a troubling relationship with guns

South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found not guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The presiding judge, Thokozile Masipa, found him guilty, though, of culpable…
Justice and forgiveness can co-exist so that one may encourage the other. Steve Calcott/Flickr

Eye for an eye? Why punishing the wrongdoer helps us forgive

One of the inevitable things in life is that someone will do or say something to upset and hurt us. While forgiveness is a good way to overcome such hurts, we also don’t want people to get away with what…

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