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Anesha George

Anesha is a features writer, sometimes a reader, who loves to eat and plan fitness goals she can never keep. She writes on food, culture and youth trends.

Articles by Anesha George

Math and music: A brief note on Pythagoras’s theory of universal harmonies

The Ancient Greek mathematician used ratios to explain harmony. See what he got right, and see which parts of his theory researchers are refuting today.

A visualisation of Pythagoras and his music theory, by Midjourney.
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 05:32 PM IST
ByAnesha George

The quest for quiet: Can we retune the urban world?

The pitch of human-made noise has risen. See how seismic guns fired underwater are claiming lives; how trains are affecting learning levels in classrooms.

Flamingoes flock to Talawe in Navi Mumbai, during the pandemic. Around the world during this time, birds became more audible; some actually responded to the quiet by beginning to sing more softly. (HT Archives)
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 05:21 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Early ears, audible plants, and bizarre acoustic experiments through the years

Humans have been fascinated by who can hear, and how, for centuries. We’ve used endearing, intriguing and brutal methods to study how sound works.

Charles Darwin played a bassoon to a mimosa, to test whether plants could “hear”. He wanted to see if it would close its leaves, as it did when touched. (It didn’t.) Above, a recreation of the experiment, by Midjourney.
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 05:46 PM IST
ByAnesha George

What did the Big Bang sound like? Tour astonishing sonic landscapes of our world

A Book of Noises journeys back, and peers into the future. See how sound shaped the era of the dinosaurs, and how it’s altering medicine today.

(HT Illustration: Rahul Krishnan)
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 04:59 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Window on the word: Why do accents form and why do they matter?

The study that recently revealed new speech patterns in Antarctica, reveals a lot more. What might people sound like in space, or on Mars?

(Images: Adobe Stock; Imaging: Monica Gupta)
Updated on Mar 30, 2024 01:36 PM IST
ByAnesha George

The rise of merchants of menace: What will the internet of the future look like?

Scams, spam, glitches... the enshittification of the Net will continue. Even as walled gardens of protected content form, it will all come at a cost to the user

Is Hagrid Played By a Robot?: An AI-generated story on the AI-controlled website The Enlightened Mindset. The article contains made-up quotes attributed to real people.
Updated on Mar 23, 2024 02:07 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Playin’ and simple: How podcasts change you

Tuning in via headphones can impact how people retain information and engage with it. Could podcasts alter speech patterns, and make us more curious too?

 (Adobe Stock)
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 07:21 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Whose hoarding?: See how ads are heading towards outer space, surrealism

In an effort to stand out, brands are being sent into space. On Earth, ads are using surrealist messaging that embraces CGI and holograms.

In one CGI-led surrealist campaign, London’s Big Ben was “clad” in a North Face puffer jacket.
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 06:45 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Beauty’s beast: How cosmetics packaging went from brass to plastic

Makeup kits once resembled small treasure chests. They have since shrunk to wallet-sized pouches. Makeup expert Cici Andersen builds a timeline.

The Polish-American makeup artist Max Factor’s kits were an early trendsetter, in the 1920s. They offered grease paint packaged in aluminium tubes. (Courtesy Cici Andersen)
Updated on Mar 08, 2024 09:00 PM IST
ByAnesha George

They too shall pass: Wildlife crossings now go the extra mile

Canopy bridges for monkeys, ropeways for squirrels, ladders for fish. Wildlife crossings are finding new ways to ferry animals across highways and tunnels.

The Ecoduct De Borkeld in the Netherlands. (Adobe Stock)
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 05:19 PM IST
ByAnesha George

As OpenAI’s Sora ups the ante, what’s next for AI detection tests?

Algorithms were already struggling to identify AI-generated text, voice, video, imagery. Could a new tech alliance get the tech world to enforce metadata?

A still from a video generated by Sora, in response to the text prompt: Chinese Lunar New Year celebration with Chinese Dragon.
Updated on Feb 16, 2024 09:42 PM IST
ByAnesha George

A long shelf life: How a book stall in a market became Rupa publishers

In his book Never Out of Print, Rupa head Rajen Mehra looks back on 50 years of stories, history, and bestselling authors such as Ruskin Bond and Chetan Bhagat.

A crowd gathers outside the Rupa office in Kolkata in 1976, to buy early copies of Sunil Gavaskar’s autobiography, Sunny Days. (Courtesy Never Out of Print)
Updated on Feb 09, 2024 08:49 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Rock, paper, fissures: Answering questions around the continent of Zealandia

See how it twisted away from Gondwana, caught fire and sank. Was missed and then mislabelled. And is now being studied for clues on life in the dinosaur age.

The topography of Zealandia, outlined in pink. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 02:56 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Un-hintered access: The Book of Bihari Literature holds many surprises

Poems of rebellion by Buddhist nuns, culinary treats, an excerpt from the first book published by an Indian in English... a new anthology offers a rare tour.

A streetscape in Patna, painted by British civil servant Charles D’Oyly, in 1825. (WIkimedia Commons)
Updated on Jan 27, 2024 04:44 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Who was Aphra Behn? A look at a trailblazing 17th-century poet, writer, spy

She inspired Virginia Woolf, wrote of gender-fluidity, and was likely overshadowed by the growing legacy of Shakespeare in her time.

Born in Canterbury in 1640, Behn died at 48, and is buried at Westminster Abbey. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 03:09 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Contested Will: What is Shakespeare’s true linguistic legacy?

A new encyclopedia of his language addresses questions of meaning and structure in the playwright’s work. How many words did he coin? Which ones? Take a look.

(Clockwise from bottom left) King Lear, the Fool, Romeo and Juliet, Lord and Lady Macbeth, Othello and Desdemona, The Three Witches. (Top centre) William Shakespeare (1564-1616). (Photos: Getty Images, Adobe stock, Wikimedia Commons; Photo Imaging: Puneet Kumar)
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 03:57 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Guest practices: Towns around the world are turning tourists politely away

Is there a way to save a place from its own beauty before it is all gone? We could learn from approaches in use in Venice, Vermont, Austria, Athens, Mallorca.

Tourists at the Acropolis, which is set to cap the number of visitors at 20,000 a day. (AP)
Updated on Jan 13, 2024 03:42 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Mardon Wali Baat: An interactive web comic is helping reimagine masculinity

The comics explore stories of first dates, consent, homosexuality. At each stage in the tale, the viewer pick the course of action, and experiences its impact.

Rushed a first kiss? Stumbled upon someone else’s secret? With every option selected as a scenario plays out on mardonwalibaat.com, a pop-up box appears to explain why it may or may not be the ideal choice.
Updated on Dec 23, 2023 08:59 PM IST
ByAnesha George

How did hue get there? A colour-mapping project is peering at pigments in art

The Asia-focused project aims to bridge key gaps in the history of pigments. How did a specific blue get to Europe; where was a certain popular yellow invented?

A 12th- century palm leaf manuscript is examined as part of the project, at the Asiatic Society, Mumbai. (Mapping Color in History)
Updated on Dec 15, 2023 10:28 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Mera Wala Grief: A podcast that became a space for tears, fears, silence

Struggling after the death of her father in the pandemic, RJ Stutee found a new voice, through an HT podcast she launched to talk about loss.

Ghosh says her idea was for the podcast to show that grief is not just dark and morbid. It is also a way of coping, remembering, and processing love that now has nowhere to go.
Updated on Dec 09, 2023 10:12 PM IST
ByAnesha George

What does healing look like, in unruly and unpredictable grief?

Processing grief isn’t about losing the pain; it’s about being able to sit with it. What is a good way to reach out to someone who is bereaved? Take a look.

Grief doesn’t unfold in a linear fashion. It is disorderly, recursive, uncertain. When one no longer reacts to triggers with an intense fight-or-flight response, one can consider healing to have begun. (Pixabay)
Updated on Dec 09, 2023 10:01 PM IST
ByAnesha George

The mourning after: Our understanding of grief is changing

Prolonged grief disorder is now classified as a psychiatric condition. What really happens to the body, via the mind, as we mourn? Updates from our inner world.

 (HT Illustration: Rahul Krishnan)
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 07:07 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Are they, aren’t they?: What it takes to declare a species extinct

It can take years of work, heated debate and anxious enquiry to confirm an extinction. And even then one can run into the potentially deadly Romeo Error.

The ivory-billed woodpecker, a majestic black-and-white bird with a bright red crown nicknamed the “Lord God” Bird, after the reaction its sighting evokes, was almost taken off a list of protected animals and birds this year, because the US Fish and Wildlife Service intended to declare it extinct. The department is now reconsidering its decision. (National Gallery of Art)
Updated on Nov 25, 2023 07:04 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Disappearing acts: Dark extinctions are claiming species before we find them

See what biologists are unearthing amid specimens in museums, and fossils on dusty shelves. See how the problem comes full circle, to your habitat and you.

(Photo courtesy: Senckenberg; HT Illustrations: Mohit Suneja; Imaging by Puneet Kumar)
Updated on Dec 11, 2023 03:55 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Thread lightly: An arched look at what has shaped the eyebrow across centuries

Power politics, silent films, flapper-girl culture, even Ancient Egyptians mourning the death of a pet cat, have all played a role.

(Clockwise from bottom left) Bella Hadid’s straight brow; an Egyptian wall painting depicts thick, bold brows; bushy brows on ’80s icon Brooke Shields; the barely-there eyebrows of the Renaissance, in Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa; Greta Garbo of the silent era; a Roman mural of a couple from Pompeii sporting the unibrow. (Wikimedia Commons; Getty Images)
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 10:46 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Eeny, meeny, miny, woe: Why even retail apps are built to keep you scrolling

The endless scroll that leaves you confused as you search for things to watch, eat or wear, isn’t an accident. The apps are winning, even when you don’t buy.

(Midjourney)
Updated on Sep 30, 2023 08:16 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Four, three, two, one... Where does the countdown come from?

It has links to an early sci-fi film, atom-bomb tests, the space age. It’s now on apps, alerts, clocks tracking the climate crisis. And it’s still evolving

(Clockwise from top) A climate clock in London in June; the annual ball drop at Times Square, New York, on January 1, 2022; an atom-bomb test in Nevada, in 1957; space shuttle Columbia takes off in 1981. (Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Sep 30, 2023 08:30 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Ideal worship: After #GirlBoss, it’s now #GirlFailure

The hustler with no time for lunch has given way to a woman who celebrates her flaws, but this too is an unrealistic ideal. Where do these come from, and why?

Perfect mothers, spouses, cooks? A still from The Stepford Wives (2004). The problem lies with assigning labels to women, says behavioural analyst Aditi Surana. “Society needs to just normalise our journeys as humans instead.”
Updated on Sep 15, 2023 05:24 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Flying without wings: A snowboarding film tells a tale of freedom in Kashmir

Titled It Is This, the 11-minute film uses GoPro cameras to track snowboarders in the troubled state. ‘This sport changed my life,’ says director Rizza Alee.

A still from It Is This, directed by Alee, a 22-year-old from Baramulla, and co-produced by Iranian-American filmmaker Shidan Majidi.
Updated on Aug 21, 2023 12:52 PM IST
ByAnesha George

Myth, fact and a bottle of rum: What was the life of the pirate really like?

It’s been 20 years since the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. Ten since the more realistic Captain Phillips. What bits of those two takes are accurate?

Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean films is a cheeky, treasure-seeking scamp. The Somali pirates in Captain Phillips are closer to the real thing: scrawny, grimy and impoverished.
Updated on Aug 11, 2023 08:18 PM IST
ByAnesha George
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