Finding it hard to make ends meet can impoverish the brain and reduce your ability to think, say scientists. Financial worries tax the brain so much t(...)

Even the simple ritual of setting a table enables us to taste food better and focus more on taste. Photograph: Getty Images

There is an old rule in restaurants that says: “Make it beautiful.”Of course, while this rule applies primarily to the food on the plate, a good resta(...)

Microsoft founder Bill Gates (left) and chief executive  Steve Ballmer, who is to  step down  within a year.  Photograph: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg

The share price said it all: Microsoft rose as much as 7 per cent on news that chief executive Steve Ballmer will step down within 12 months. During h(...)

Ireland’s hopes of doing well at Henley Royal Regatta this year have been dented by the draw. None of the five Irish crews have been “selected” (seede(...)

Joe Kennedy with his family when he was US ambassador in London.

In 1848, Patrick Kennedy surveyed the moonscape that was Dunganstown, County Wexford. He regarded both the dead potatoes and his dead neighbours and c(...)

Back in the day, the Catholic Church went to great lengths to discourage young, and old, people from thinking about sex. If they had known about the “(...)

Jason Furman is to replace Alan Krueger as chair of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, an administration official has said. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

US president Barack Obama will nominate longtime adviser Jason Furman to be his new chief White House economist today, an administration official said(...)

Researchers have successfully linked the climatic aftermath of volcanic eruptions to extreme cold weather events here over a 1,200-year period

Could the writings of ancient Irish monks and scribes hold a key to our cold weather patterns? A group of Irish and international researchers think so(...)

Michele Bachmann, who made an ill-fated run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, announced yesterday she would not seek a fifth term in Congress next year. Photograph: Travis Dove/The New York Times

Former Republican presidential candidate and Tea Party star Michele Bachmann has said that she will not seek a fifth term in Congress next year, endin(...)

Breaking point: after a financial crisis, a huge excess of desired private savings is likely to emerge, even when rates are very close to zero. In that situation, immediate fiscal austerity will be counterproductive. It will drive the economy into deep recession.

In 1816, the net public debt of the UK reached 240 per cent of gross domestic product. This was the fiscal legacy of 125 years of war against F(...)

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