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The Mind

This category contains 78 posts

Don’t forget to vote: it’s good for body and mind

Waiting for the general election has been a bit like waiting for Christmas. The hype keeps building but the big day never seems to arrive. Rather than greetings cards, however, ‘vote for me’ flyers have been piling up on the door mat. And instead of wall-to-wall seasonal specials, television viewing has been nonstop politics. Come … Continue reading

Is owning a dog is good for you? Separating howling myths from tail-wagging truths

There are some things in life no one ever teaches you. Like the etiquette of dog walking. As a reluctant dog owner of two years, the strange world of dog walkers still mystifies me. Should I let my dog sniff another dog’s crotch? Should I apologise when my dog barks at a stranger? Will the … Continue reading

Romance is more than a feeling – it’s a matter of health

Dim the lights, uncork the wine and light the candles – Valentine’s Day is here! For all you love fools out there, the flowers will have been ordered days ago while your surprise Eurostar ticket to Paris is already safely tucked under your pillow. The strange intoxicating power of love can change our perspective on … Continue reading

Why it’s time to forget about online dementia tests

You probably remember a time when nobody dared talk about dementia. Comedians would joke about ‘mad granddad’ but no-one seriously wanted to contemplate a life without memory. Thankfully, Alzheimer’s disease charities have started to wake us up to the reality of the 850,000 people who live with dementia in the UK.. Stigmatisation is waning but … Continue reading

What not to tell a child: “Clear your plate or there’s no dessert!”

Tonight’s meal will be steak with all the trimmings and I can’t wait. Nothing – bar a heard of wildebeest running through the dining room – will stop me from finishing it. For I know it will be delicious and that the meat was expensive. My mother has taught me well: ‘waste not, want not.’ … Continue reading

The health benefits of generosity – it really is better to give than receive

Christmas is a time for giving. This week, we will give more to charity than at any other time of the year. For, all the fundraising carol singers, shopping-bag-packing Brownies, and charity tin-shakers make it hard for even the stingiest of scrooges to keep their wallets buckled shut. But a couple of weeks ago, I … Continue reading

‘Leisure sickness’ – why you get ill when you stop work (and how not to)

It must be Murphy’s Law. You soldier through the cold, dark months of winter, working your fingers into stumps trying to get everything finished before the holidays and then… the day after you down tools, you’re struck down with a cold. Of all the luck – another Christmas Day wrapped up in bed with a … Continue reading

Holy Frijoles! Swearing is a natural pain-killer

Stubbing your toe has to rank as one of the most painful experiences ever. Beaten only, perhaps, by a bonnet lid falling on your head or trying to pass a kidney stone. Such agonies momentarily wrack the senses, making us see red while focusing our entire being on our toe – or head – or … Continue reading

The curious case of the phantom vibrating phone

I’ve only been back in the UK a matter of hours and it’s already started. After a few days abroad, I am taking a stroll through the beauty of Wiltshire’s county town to remind myself how good it is to be back in good ol’ Blighty. And then suddenly – and without warning – my reverie … Continue reading

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Hospital doctor turned lecturer and science communicator, I love trying to answer life's questions - whether it is how our body works or the best way to dunk a biscuit.... Read more...

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