He’s just not that into psychology

Abstract: Psychology, it seems, has been hijacked by TV writers of female angst... Maybe it says something about the male human condition that when I die I want to do so in a blaze of glory, saving a toddler from an oncoming train, wrestling a Great White shark, or attempting to defuse a bomb with nothing but a pair of tweezers and nerves of steel. I didn't think it would be clutching my chest whilst crouched next to the psychology section in Exclusive Books. But it seems I have the female human condition to thank for that. When I left school I chose to study clinical psychology because it sounded cool. It was also, I believed at the time, a great place to meet girls. Most of my schoolmates had chosen to study science or engineering, and I certainly didn't fancy my university career

The handbag in your brain

Abstract: Sex, the handbag and neuroscience - they're all connected... There are few things more frightening for a man than being caught in the threshold of a full-on, high-end sales fracas, where branded handbags have been slashed in price, and where women have been unleashed to consume. The resulting frenzied whirr of claws, teeth and spittle can cause irreparable harm; and it's all being driven by an animal instinct. I doubt few women fully understand what is behind the madness that erupts at a high-end sale, and especially around handbags; but it's a wonderful examination of the more baser instincts of human behaviour; and lying, grinning and inviting, at it's very centre is our old friend - sex. As a science journalist and scholar of human psychology, I am fascinated at what drives human behaviour, and especially intrigued at the neurological triggers; i.e. events in

The annoying and inspiring voice of women

Abstract: Women - the cause of all the trouble, the solution to a problem... It was quite a while ago that women were the cause of all trouble, and not so long ago that the very sound of their voices would curl your toes; but now they are deservedly stepping to the fore, and our future is tied very much in their throats. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was so incensed with man, that he sent something that would be man's great undoing: woman, and her name was Pandora. It's easy to chuckle at the far-fetched ramblings of the writers of Greek mythology, but let's not forget that according to the Bible, woman, represented by Eve, was the one that wreaked things for man in the Garden of Eden. As a result, millennia of Western and Middle-Eastern history have viewed women as second-class citizens,

So men only use 10% of their brains?

Abstract: I think we need to nip this one in the bud right away... If you nodded when you read this headline, then I'm afraid you must believe that a prince in Nigeria has left you a fortune and simply needs your banking details to make payment. You see this also an urban myth. However, it's one that masks an insidious undercurrent of dark forces, more attractive than your typical 419 scam, yet equally primed to rob you of your money. I overheard this gem one day while sipping a cappuccino and pondering upon the topic for my next column. Two women, flushed from a busy morning's shopping had collapsed into chairs at the table beside me. They were speaking loudly for no other reason other than to emphasise their frustration with the attention (or not) of a male shop assistant. It's at moments like

Turn down the din!

Abstract: You haven't realised it, but things are getting louder. I said, "You haven't realised it, but...!", oh, never mind... Imagine the scene...a romantic dinner with your spouse...no, wait; let's make it sexy...a romantic dinner with your lover. The food is simply scrumptious and you're both thrilled you chose a fine restaurant for your little tête-à-tête. The wine has a charismatic, zesty character, made all the more evident by the second bottle you're half way through; but there's something wrong...a horrible nagging, make that 'irritating', intrusion that's spoiling the moment. It's the shrill wail of Celine Dion coming from the speaker above you, and she's just the wedge. Many years ago, the radio station at which I was working employed a particularly dedicated senior technical manager. Every morning he'd come into the studio and ask if there were any problems, and most of the

Hello, you’re a lab rat!

Abstract: The world's biggest scientific experiment has you running in a maze... It's easy to look at your life, see the trappings of modern day living and think you're a significant player in the world around you. Little do you realise that you're playing just a minute role in a very, very large scientific experiment. Hello. You're a lab rat. If I were to ask you what you thought was the biggest, most sophisticated science experiment in the world, you'd probably take a stab at that 'God Particle collider thing somewhere in Europe' or maybe 'that telescope they want to build in the Karoo'. Wrong. They pale into utter insignificance compared to a giant experiment happening closer to home. In fact, it's in your home. It's you. Puzzled? That's part of the experiment. Just go with the flow. I'll take a stab at explaining it. An

The easiest thing in the world…to get so horribly wrong

Abstract: What's the one thing that everyone can easily do, that can cause irreversible damage?... If I were to ask you what is the easiest thing in the world to do, in one way the answer is limitless, in another it must surely be only one thing; and it's one thing that can cause almost irreversible damage. Given the indomitable character of the human spirit, there's very little that we cannot do, and some people find certain things easier to do than others; so the easiest thing that anyone can do by implementation is indeed limitless. But if you were to think about what is the easiest thing that everyone can do by abstention, the answer is straightforward: screw up your kids. I was reminded of this recently by two totally random, yet related events. The first was the news that a former colleague of mine

When you can bet he’s going to cheat on you

Abstract: Mother nature has provided some clues to your partner's possible infidelity... For women concerned with the fidelity of their partner, history has provided them with little in the way of counsel. They have had to rely largely on religious texts and cultural prerogatives; which, given their historical foundation, have been largely skewed towards the preferences of men. But now women have a new tool in the fight against infidelity. It's called an 'ear bud'. If one were to find a phrase that accurately encapsulates our current technological zeitgeist, it would be 'there's an app for that'. Our modern lifestyle relies so much on connectivity and instant gratification that we are becoming increasingly reliant on the interfaces on our phones and computers that give us direct access to fulfilment. If we're looking for the latest news, we simply hit a button. If we want to

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

Abstract: A Beatles song banned...and its lasting legacy... It saddens me to admit that I can count on one hand the memories I have of my father; but every year, with the arrival of Human Rights Day, I smile and think of him. That may sound a little bizarre, but stay with me as I tell you a story. My parents were divorced when I was young, and my father was absent during those early, formative years when I really needed a strong figure to guide me. Today, if I close my eyes and try to remember him, a handful of blurred, fleeting images appear of a man teaching me to tie my shoes and to play chess, a science textbook left on my bed for a birthday gift, and a tearful goodbye the day before my brother, mother and I left England for

Why women suck at sport

Abstract: There's a hidden reason why women don't seem interested in sport... I remember the first time my wife beat me in a sport. We had recently got engaged and were playing squash, and she totally pulverised me. Some years later whilst enjoying our honeymoon in the 'berg she beat me at bowls. Later that same evening I challenged her to a game of pool. What happened? Suffice to say it's a game I no longer have the confidence to play. In fact, if I remember correctly I have a reason for no longer challenging her at putt-putt either. In my defence though, my wife is a former provincial hockey player and I have the hand-eye coordination of a rabid squirrel. But then my wife is not normal, because women normally shun the idea of playing sport, and it's quite possibly for a reason unknown