content warning: racism, mentions of eugenics and genocide Overpopulation can be defined as an excess of people on the planet, and the assumed environmental, social and/or economic collapse that results. It is often followed by ideas and actions about curbing such population dilemmas. So, why is this idea an issue? Overpopulation is a difficult discussion, […]
Roughly 9,000 years ago, somewhere around the Tehuacan Valley of present-day Mexico, a common local wildgrass began an extraordinary transformation. It probably started by accident: local foragers favouring those plants with larger, looser seeds, and inadvertently spreading them through their waste. But it wasn’t long before humans made art out of chance and began deliberately selecting the best grasses to sow—and unwittingly became the world’s first genetic engineers.
If you’ve caught the last ten minutes of the news any time in the past six weeks, you may have noticed that Hawai’i is on fire. The culprit is Kilauea, one of the tropical island’s five volcanoes: a diminutive creature huddled on the east flank of the mighty Mauna Loa, and a remorseless slayer of volcanologists.
Any first-year psych student knows the story. A mouse is placed in a box with two levers. One delivers food on demand—the other, cocaine. Come back five days later and you will find the outcome is always the same: having tasted euphoria, the mouse has starved itself to death.
In year 9 everyone got their Bunsen burner licence. Everyone except for me. I looked around and saw laughter, joy, happiness – people were quite literally getting ‘lit’ all throughout the class room. In the cold dark corner of the science room I sat with my little ‘safety flame’ which was designed to ensure the […]
Singapore, 2012: Kannan, my uncle, dies aged fifty-one. Cause of death: myocardial infarction – heart failure. But the disease that ravaged his lungs and consumed his body goes unmentioned. My uncle’s tuberculosis (TB), contracted on a working-trip to India, went undiagnosed for 10 months.
There’s something curiously humble about the flask-shaped perfume bottle that holds Chanel No. 5. Surprisingly, it never seems to get drowned out by the noise made by more ostentatious designs (Davidoff, anyone?).