Study: U.S. alcohol deaths have doubled since 1997

A separate study shows that binge drinkers are also ordering more rounds.

  • From 1997 to 2017, alcohol-related deaths among Americans aged 16 and older doubled from 35,914 to 72,558.
  • From 2011 to 2017, the average number of drinks consumed by binge-drinkers rose from 472 to 529.
  • A 2018 study showed that people who consume six or more drinks per week are more likely to die early.
Keep reading

The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life?

The desperate search for a narrative opens the door to the wonders of magic.

  • By embracing a rational approach to life, society at large has stripped away meaning from psychologically important elements of life, including death.
  • A lack of meaning leads to discomfort, which results in a desperate search for narrative in things that feel transcendent and bigger than ourselves.
  • For some, the wonder of magic fills that void and provides the meaning and structure that has been lost.
  • Derren returns to the stage with his new live, one-man show, Showman. Check it out here.
Keep reading

#3: Earth at 2° hotter will be horrific. Now here’s what 4° will look like. | Top 10 2019

Third on the Big Think 2019 countdown reveals this is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.

  • The third most popular video of 2019 presents a frightening truth: The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
  • Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
  • David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
Keep reading

Ghost Stories of Christmas: A chilling Victorian tradition

Here's why scary stories were once an integral part of Christmas Eve festivities.

Getty Images
  • Gathering around a fire to share ghost stories was a beloved Christmas tradition in the late 1800s into the early 1900s.
  • Victorians also sent bizarre Christmas cards with morbidly humorous designs featuring murderous frogs and anthropomorphic insects.
  • Historically, December 25th has a close link to pre-Christian solstice festivals that viewed mid-winter as a time when light dies and the veil between the world of the living and dead is most thin.
Keep reading

Thinking about one’s birth is as uncanny as thinking of death

Do we suffer from birth anxiety like we suffer from death anxiety?

Christian Bowen / Unsplash

Many people feel anxious about the prospect of their death. Indeed, some philosophers have argued that death anxiety is universal and that this anxiety bounds and organises human existence.

Keep reading