Fountain pens were a stylish statement but messy and impractical. Their replacement was a stroke of design genius perfectly in time for the era of mass production.
Tag: bbc future
The surprising benefits of talking to strangers
For some it’s a habit, while others avoid it at all costs – but talking to strangers has unexpected benefits for our wellbeing.
The movements that betray who you are
The accents that creep into the way we speak can reveal a lot about where we are from, but there are also subtle clues visible in our faces and the way we move.
A high-carb diet may explain why Okinawans live so long
The search for the “elixir of youth” has spanned centuries and continents – but recently, the hunt has centred on the Okinawa Islands, which stretch across the East China Sea. Not only do the older inhabitants enjoy the longest life expectancy of anyone on Earth, but the vast majority of those years are lived in remarkably good health too.
How surgeons learned to operate on beating hearts
Less than 70 years ago, it was almost impossible to safely operate on a beating heart. That is, until a handful of surgeons solved the challenge – and paved the way for life-saving techniques.
Why do we think cats are unfriendly?
Cats are the only asocial animal we have successfully domesticated. We’re disappointed that we don’t bond with them as easily as dogs. But are we just missing the signs?
What makes people stop caring?
The death of an individual can have a powerful effect on our emotions, but as numbers rise so does our indifference. Why?
Why clothes are so hard to recycle
Fast fashion is leading to a mountain of clothing being thrown away each year and has a huge impact on the environment, so can we turn our unwanted garments something useful?
The Best (And Worst) Ways to Spot a Liar
Thomas Ormerod’s team of security officers faced a seemingly impossible task. At airports across Europe, they were asked to interview passengers on their history and travel plans. Ormerod had planted a handful of people arriving at security with a false history, and a made-up future – and his team had to guess who they were. In fact, just one in 1000 of the people they interviewed would be deceiving them. Identifying the liar should have been about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.