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Catherine Ma

A head with a long snake neck is looking in fascination at dream-like architecture with pink clouds. Magikarp are jumping into the river and a PETA van is driving in the distance

Why do we dream?: The psychology behind our nighttime adventures

You are sitting at your childhood dining table, eating pink-and-yellow striped Goldfish crackers. Your little brother is sitting next to you, and he presents you with seven new Goldfish cracker flavours. “They’re all named after Pokemon,” he says. Right—Pokemon are real now. They’ve been in the news all day and you’re trying to adopt one. You wanted Bulbasoar but you keep getting MagiKarp. There are three MagiKarp across from you. They’re different colours. Why? One’s sick. It’s allergic to Goldfish crackers. It’s going to die. Oh God—you’re going to be arrested by PETA. This is bad. Their van is here already. You clutch your brothers in your arms and tell him you love him. He screams as the masked PETA officers break down the door.

Mirror, mirror: The psychology of how we determine the fairest of them all

What makes a person attractive? This question has been debated hotly throughout history. Our sayings tell us that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, while our stories describe objective measures of beauty, such as the magic mirror in Snow White, which unequivocally evaluates who is the fairest of them all. More recent contributions to the beauty argument are similarly mixed: motivational throw pillows assure us that beauty is about being yourself, incels argue that beauty is in the jawline of the Chad, skincare gurus promise it’s in their special seven-step routine.