Bald eagle — a bird of prey native to North America. Delisted in 2007.

In August 2019, the Trump Administration announced sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), slashing regulation that helps protect wildlife and plants from extinction.

The modifications make it harder to add species to the list and easier to remove those currently listed. They allow regulators to bypass long-term climate change goals and reduce existing protections for species that are deemed ‘endangered’, but not ‘critically’ so. The revisions open the door for continued oil and gas exploration by limiting the area of protected land. …


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Move on over monogamy, because open relationships are on the rise. An estimated 4% to 5% of people in the U.S. are now in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship. And a survey of 9,000 respondents conducted in 2017 found that every fifth person has engaged in consensual non-monogamy at least once in their life. A study of Google trends found that non-monogamy is certainly piquing our interest with the number of searches for “polyamory” and “open relationships” having steadily increased between 2006 and 2015.

When a relationship is open, it means that both partners agree to have sex with others, which…


Photo by Unsplash.

Rock, sea, Himalayan pink — salt is the most central ingredient in our kitchens. A savory meal without the white stuff is unthinkable. And not even chocolate is safe because good chefs know that sweet with a dash of salt brings out the flavor that much more.

Yes, food tastes better when sprinkled with salt, the magic crystalline mineral. It’s hardly surprising, given that it is one of the five basic human tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. And yet, the magic stuff that titillates our taste buds is also frequently referred to as a “silent killer”. A major…


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Big data rules and we’re all, sooner or later, going to be caught in the system. At least that’s the takeaway from Netflix documentary The Great Hack about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It’s a message we’re perhaps all aware of, but one that is hard to (truly) comprehend.

Mere numbers for corporations, powerful targets for advertisers, you in a nutshell — that’s personal data. And there’s big money in consumer data. From shopping carts to social media — understanding you and me and what made your mother purchase a Nicholas Cage sequin pillow drives sales and investments. Some of us…


Funerals, breakups, and other serious situations sometimes elicit a funny (lol) response

Credit: PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton/Getty Images

“I can’t break up with her. I’ll start laughing,” he says. Two years into a lackluster relationship, my friend Ben is ready to go it alone. His admission prompts a perplexed chuckle from our small group. “Wait. So, who’s going to break up with her?” I wonder.

“I don’t know, but it can’t be me. I guarantee I will burst into laughter.”

“I love thinking about embarrassing [or] awkward laughter,” Adrienne Wood, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, tells me. It’s what she calls “affiliation laughter” — the kind that’s more about the sound than the…


Research reveals that not everyone is doing it

Illustration: Anne Freier

Harris was 21 years old when he met his first girlfriend.

They sat next to each other in a seminar on global health in college. He hadn’t been looking for a romantic encounter; it just happened. His friends applauded; his family sighed with relief that, finally, their “precious boy” had met a nice girl. “I don’t know what all the fuss was about,” he says. “I just wasn’t interested in dating before.”

Sexual late bloomers are often regarded as odd or even dysfunctional by society. But some emerging research takes the side of young people like Harris: Teenagers who don’t…


Illustration by Anne Freier.

Whenever I find a double carrot inside a pack of otherwise perfectly cylindroconical-shaped carrots, I smile. Nature has a way of keeping me entertained through simple shape-shifting. But I have to visit the local farmer’s markets if I want a surprise on my dinner plate. Sadly, most retailers don’t appreciate a wonky vegetable.

Supermarket demand for cosmetic perfection results in 40% of crops such as potatoes, apples, and onions being tossed in the bin. In the UK, 25% of carrots were rejected because of cosmetic imperfections. That equates to 1,750 tonnes per year — nine times the weight of a…


Photo by Unplash.

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. The business plan at the ready, you know what you’re doing; you read all the “how-to” articles on the World Wide Web; you spent hours rehearsing your speech. Now all you need is an investor to put some cash behind your dreams. You’re about to walk through the doors to make a professional and level-headed plea for money… Just make sure it’s a passionate one.

It sounds like a no brainer, after all, you’re excited about your start-up’s potential. Why wouldn’t you show that? …


Imagine living in a world where machines can read our minds and emotions; where your thoughts and your feelings are connected, shared, stored and controlled; a world where you become as transparent as air.

If that doesn’t alarm you, you’re not thinking hard enough about the consequences — say goodbye to lying to your mother-in-law; no more flirting with that cute bartender; better not kiss butt to get that promotion and no more poker face. For those of us who value privacy, the only hope will be to imitate the blank page.

The bad news first: you already live in…


My friend’s a narcissist. Let’s call him Ronin. I once told Ronin I thought he displayed all the hallmarks of narcissism including self-absorption, a lack of empathy and the need for recognition. I said it as a joke so I’m not sure he believed me. Ronin is not only egotistic; he’s also annoyingly talented with the paintbrush — every stroke a little truth. I told him that as well; he believed it.

Ronin is in good company. The artworld is full of inflated egos interested in the praise to cement their beliefs that, yes, they are loved; they are respected…

Anne Freier

Author of “Science of Breakup”. Preorder now: https://scienceofbreakup.com/buy.html MRes Biomedical Research & MSc Neuroscience Neuropsychology.

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