The (Online) Rules of Friendship

Online social networking has made friendship omnipresent, giving you constant updates about even the most casual of acquaintances. How do you go about setting things in order?

What's the Latest Development?


It is safe to say that online social networking has expanded the definition of 'friend'. Today, many of our important social distinctions are made under the umbrella of that wordFacebook friend, work friend, old friend, etc.but the proliferation of 'friend' hasn't erased the need to prune our social lives. It has, however, made it trickier. The ease of technology, where everything is on our terms, temps us to make ending friendships as simple as 'defriending' someone, another word for which we must credit social networking. 

What's the Big Idea?

The emotional severity of ending friendships can be shockingwe typically assume romantic relationships are the ones which 'really' matter in our lives. But the gentle terrain of being someone's friend can make reducing time spent with them feel like betrayal. Slowing things down or completely stopping a friendship means walking a fine line between directness and sensitivity, both of which are required by respect. Yet for all its brevity and superficiality, social networking often provides the only way for an old friend to reach out to us.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less