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FROM THE EDITOR

What is the reminiscence bump? � p78

CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS

N O B L E

I E T

, H A R R

X 2

I M A G E S

, G E T T Y

I N S O N

I L K

W, PA U L

: B B C

PA G E

I S

T H

B A R

: N O M A

C O V E R

What went w rong? Modern l i fe, a nd t he conven iences it of fer s, was supposed to g ive us a l l t he f r ee t ime i n t he world. Dr iver s deliver whatever we desire to our doors; ovens spit out readymade meals in mere minutes; and robots dust, mop and vacuum ou r f loor s while we eat . And yet, col lec t ively it seems we never have enough time these days. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that sc ient i s t s have even coi ned a ter m for it : t ime f amine. The ph r a se f i r s t emerged i n sc ient i f ic l ite r at u r e i n t he late 90s to desc r ibe t he d i ssona nce between t he conven iences of modern l i fe a nd t he sha r ed sense t hat ou r f r ee t ime was under more pressu r e t ha n at a ny ot her per iod i n history. It’s been worthy of study ever since and to find out what’s actually going on, Dr Ruth Ogden has been running a pan-European study that explores t he exper ience of t ime i n t he d ig it a l age. To see her t a ke on t he mat ter head to p56.

But if you want my view, which comes with no academic authority whatsoever, I bla me t he sma r t phone. Not on ly does it d rown me i n a tor r ent of communications that demand my urgent attention at all hours of the day, it also provides an unending stream of videos, photos and tweets that draw me in and soak up my f ree time like a sponge. Boredom is what I need. Want to feel l i ke you’ve ac t ua l ly got too much t ime on you r ha nds? Tr y bei ng bored.

If that’s too extreme, however, then maybe join me in my New Year’s resolution instead: take a book with you wherever you go and next time you feel t he u r ge to r each i nto you r pocket a nd s t a r e i nto t he black mi r ror, pick up the book (or magazine) instead and read a few pages. At the very least, it’ll be a bet ter use of you r t ime.

Daniel Bennett, Editor

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N T H . . .

ON THE BBC THIS MONTH...

The Life Scientific Podcast In the last episode of the year (and the 300th episode of the podcast), Prof Jim Al-Khalili was joined by computer scientist Prof Michael Wooldridge, who delivered this year’s Christmas Lectures, to talk about how our worst fears regarding artificial intelligence are overblown. Available now on BBC Sounds

0th was istmas rs own.

Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster In case you missed it, this one-off film sees Sir David join two fossil hunters as they delve into the discovery of a lifetime: a giant, intact skull of a pliosaur – the T. rex of the seas – that was found on the UK’s Jurassic coast. Available now on BBC iPlayer

Attenbo the Gian In case you sees Sir Dav as they del lifetime: a g pliosaur – t was found Available

Just One Thing – Weight

Loss Special

Just One Thing – Weight Loss Special Dr Michael Mosley and regular BBC Science

Dr Michael Mosley and regular BBC Science Focus columnis t Prof Gile s Yeo prov ide a br i l l ia nt dis sec t ion o f why i t ’s so hard to lose weight. They look at why it ’s become such a problem in modern l i f e and what you c an ac tua l l y to do to shed some pounds and keep them off. Available now on BBC Sounds

DR STEVE BRUSATTE Dinos aur s a ren’ t what t hey used to be. L i ter a l l y. Our v i s ion o f how t hey l i ved evol ve s ever y week . Steve , a palaeontologist, explores how that change takes place. -> p48

DR RUTH OGDEN Feel like you never have enough hours in the day? Professor of time psychology Ruth unpacks some simple strategies to help you take control your schedule. -> p56

CARLO ROVELLI Theoret ic a l phy s ic i s t and best-selling author, Carlo shares his exciting theory about what happens inside a black hole when it can collapse no fur ther. -> p64

DR TONI PIKOOS Body dysmorphia is on the rise and with it , the numbers of cosmetic surgery procedures. Ruth looks at why we’re so dis s at i s f ied wi t h t he way we look. -> p72

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