Never say good luck: Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane play the scheming theatrical producers in the movie musical version of Mel Brooks’ Broadway smash hit, The Producers. Photograph: Andrew Schwartz

In the summer of 1948 the behavioural psychologist BF Skinner, already a maverick in his field, appeared to be for the birds. Skinner had come to atte(...)

Simon Singh: ‘The number of the house in which the Simpsons live is 742 and for ages I couldn’t figure out what it meant.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

In the Simpsons episode “Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play”, a big screen in Springfield’s baseball stadium asks the crowd to guess the capacity. (...)

Prof Richard Wiseman: ‘more to luck than luck’.

Is luck a matter of luck? That question has perplexed philosophers, writers and psychologists for millennia. The old maxim that luck happens when prep(...)

Goretti Brady: “I realised I was too squeamish [for a career in medicine]. I used to practically faint in the dentist’s chair.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

With many in the struggling pharmacy industry in need of a dose of corporate Prozac, you would expect the managing director of the largest chain of di(...)