Rachel Lopez

Rachel Lopez is a a writer and editor with the Hindustan Times. She has worked with the Times Group, Time Out and Vogue and has a special interest in city history, culture, etymology and internet and society.

Articles by Rachel Lopez

Listicle: 10 of our favourite high-school clichés

They don’t make American high-school clichés like they used to. Here are our most treasured from film and TV

She’s wanted. She’s hot. She’s everything you’re not. Even outside of practice, the cheerleader is always in uniform and a high ponytail.
Published on Mar 17, 2023 10:52 PM IST

Can paper straws save the world? Weighing our green choices

It’s the little paper straw against a planet slowly destroying itself. Do our little switches really add up to big differences for Earth?

Switch to a bamboo toothbrush and wood-stem cotton swabs, by all means. But remember that addressing the climate crisis is more than a consumer choice. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Mar 11, 2023 01:32 AM IST

Fanning an old flame: Chef Gaggan Anand on his India dreams

The chef best known for his chart-topping Bangkok restaurant Gaggan is in India for a residency, serving up 25-course meals at ₹50,000 per head. The event is sold out and wait-listed. Does that mean it’s time to finally drop anchor here too, with his first restaurant in India? The diners are ready, but he wonders if the industry is.

‘I’ve conquered my fear of trying new things. I’ve taken my risks with Indian cooking. The Indian restaurant industry, however, is as rigid as when I left it,’ Anand says. (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 10, 2023 07:08 PM IST

A timeline for therapy

When should you seek professional help? Any time is a good time, but some milestones call for a helping hand

Grief, anxiety, depression, divorce, abuse, addiction and phobias are difficult. But therapy can help in smaller ways too. (Shutterstock)
Published on Mar 03, 2023 08:41 PM IST

Outdated etiquette? Just don’t give a fork

Good behaviour shows refinement. But some rules are sexist, ageist and classist. Here are the manners you don’t need to mind

Etiquette consultants like Sara Jane Ho (left) believe that good social behaviour puts everyone at ease, but that way of thinking may be outdated. (Netflix)
Published on Feb 17, 2023 07:38 PM IST

Ghosting someone is all right. So get over it, already

You’d best make your peace with it

Must every dalliance end with a long exit interview? Sometimes, it’s better to be quiet than to hurt someone’s feelings. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 11, 2023 12:02 AM IST

Hide, don’t bend. Low-rise jeans are back in style

All through 2022, we dismissed them as one-offs, well-intentioned sartorial errors we assumed would be quickly dismissed

We may have dismissed low-waist jeans as one-offs all through 2022, but, to everyone’s horror, the style — tight on the hip, fitted at the crotch — seems here to stay (Stella McCartney)
Updated on Jan 27, 2023 04:04 PM IST

Patty smiths: Check out the latest advances in meatless meat

As manufacturers rush to innovate, mushrooms and seaweed are fast becoming popular. See which other plants and proteins are being used to raise the steaks.

Updated on Jan 20, 2023 05:51 PM IST

Way of all flesh: A look at meat-eating patterns worldwide

Global per capita consumption is growing. Poultry is the most popular form of meat, followed by pork, beef, fish. See which tiny countries eat surprisingly large portions, and where India stands amid it all.

Updated on Jan 20, 2023 05:47 PM IST

Eats shoots and leaves: How green is our diet really?

Around the world, people are cutting back on eating meat, or giving it up entirely. So is vegetarianism winning? We looked at how various countries have fared and found that the numbers vary in unexpected ways, and our diets are not as green as you’d expect.

Updated on Jan 20, 2023 05:36 PM IST

Suite spots: Which hotels from films and TV to waltz into, and which to avoid

White Lotus seems almost as high-risk as the Bates Motel. Expect a break to stretch on and on at the Cherry Tree Inn. See where to check in and where to stay out.

Both seasons of The White Lotus were shot on location, at Four Seasons hotels.
Updated on Dec 23, 2022 08:43 PM IST

Mr Fix-it: Author and influencer Ankur Warikoo on failure,mistakes and making it

He’s known disappointment and fear; changed his mind about what he wants to do; started over at 40. It’s all part of what makes this author and entrepreneur, co-founder of Nearbuy, just the right person to craft life hacks for young India.

Updated on Dec 17, 2022 01:06 PM IST

For better and for worse: Wedding-night rituals from around the world

Some customs are endearing, others downright abhorrent. See who is harassing grooms, and where karaoke has entered the fray.

. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 10, 2022 10:07 PM IST

A case of monumental errors: Bright hues cover ancient temple art

As temples, some over 800 years old, get makeovers, bright, shiny paint is being used to decorate exteriors. This can damage stone, obscure workmanship and impede archaeological study.

Murals have long adorned the insides of the Meenakshi temple in Madurai. But interior and exterior surfaces are increasingly being given bright coats of enamel paint, risking damage to the stones beneath. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 03, 2022 07:40 PM IST

Summing it up: Manil Suri’s new book looks at the wonder of maths

Stop chasing calculations and correct answers, and math starts to get magical. It can unravel mysteries of the universe and prompt questions about why we’re here, says mathematician Manil Suri. See how his book accounts for it all

In his new book, Suri takes a step back from the Big Bang that created the cosmos, and looks at what came before: mathematics. Not merely the calculations and correct answers, but the larger principles that govern numbers. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 26, 2022 12:51 AM IST

Starry knight: Meet the first Indian to use the James Webb Space Telescope

Manoj Puravankara, a researcher of young stars, is focusing JWST’s giant lens on points far back in space and time. How did the universe evolve? Are planets a natural by-product of all stars? What can the answers, whatever they are, tell us about how we came to be?

‘Stars are, in some sense, like human beings. They’re born, they have an active and violent youth, and a staid, sedate middle-age. Then they expand... and die out,’ Puravankara says. (Satish Bate / HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 07, 2022 03:01 PM IST

Stuff of legend: The history of the buffet, via Rachel Lopez

Large spreads have a history going back 2,000 years. The Roman empire, the Sikh langar, Vegas — see how the all-you-can-eat format came about.

Updated on Nov 04, 2022 03:27 PM IST

Parallel tracks: Not-to-be-missed films and shows inspired by reality TV

They use tropes such as backstories, voting rounds, alliances and surprise challenges to tell tales that are witty and unusual. Take a look at how the mockumentary, shockumentary and even animation have been influenced by the genre.

Drawn Together, an animated sitcom parodying a reality drama, premiered in 2004, with loud, crass, smutty stereotypes competing to evict each other from a house.
Updated on Nov 04, 2022 03:24 PM IST

See plus: Reality shows that are giving the genre a good name

Reality TV has learnt a few lessons in its 30 years. One of them is that audiences don’t always want to see contestants squabble, squirm or scheme to get ahead. Some shows now focus on healthy competition, self-betterment, great ideas, and the occasional stubborn crocodile. Binge on these.

Shows such as Old Enough!, The Great British Bake Off, Fake or Fortune? and Wild Croc Territory focus on new themes such as toddler excursions and art, natural and culinary adventures. They also feature kind contestants, patient judges.
Updated on Nov 05, 2022 11:59 AM IST

Reality check: Are you still watching?

Reality TV is now 30 years old. The cameras are still rolling; the participants, as eager to squabble, sob, sweat and squirm. But new shows are reworking old tropes. Judges are more encouraging, competitors more relaxed, formats more informative. Even the cameras feel less intrusive. It’s almost as if being nice is finally being recognised as part of the human condition.

In 30 years, reality programming has expanded from humiliating elimination contests and scheming confessional dramas. They now also focus on niche skills and professions, offer lessons in business, conservation, inclusion, and spotlight life on the fringe. How many of these shows do you recognise?
Updated on Nov 08, 2022 01:05 PM IST

See where your city has been: An interactive graphic maps Earth’s ancient past

Pick a location and see where it might have been on the globe, and what was around it, as much as 750 million years ago. It’s a whole new way to see the world.

When the first dinosaurs appeared, Mumbai and Delhi were likely coastal regions (above left). By the time the dinosaurs died out, the Indian landmass was on course for its crash into Asia. (dinosaurpictures.org)
Updated on Oct 29, 2022 04:42 PM IST

Retell therapy: Indian literature is flourishing in translation

Telugu thrillers, memoirs in Marathi, epic poems in ancient Prakrit... books from across the country are enjoying a second life in English. Where should you begin? Six translators, including Daisy Rockwell, Jerry Pinto and Poonam Saxena, pick their translated favourites.

 (HT Illustration: Mohit Suneja)
Updated on Oct 18, 2022 02:46 PM IST

Sounds of not-so-quiet quitting: The disgruntled ditty

I’ve No More F***s To Give by Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq is all over Instagram. And he’s not the only one. It seems a welcome new genre is emerging: protest poetry for a generation that’s just starting to rage against the machine.

Updated on Oct 08, 2022 02:09 PM IST

In a Barbie world: Why it’s time to give Ken his due

He’s remained a steady, loyal, supportive boyfriend for more than 60 years. What’s his story? How has it evolved? And what’s the dark twist in the Barbie film due out in 2023?

Ryan Gosling plays Ken in the Greta Gerwig film due out next year. ‘Ken’s got no money, he’s got no job, he’s got no car, he’s got no house. He’s going through some stuff,” the actor says.
Updated on Oct 08, 2022 01:14 PM IST

Ink spell: Celebrate Indian tattoos at The Godna Project in Delhi

From indigenous inks and hand poke styes to traditional motifs, the Godna Project in Delhi will bring together indigenous tattoo artists from across India, in an effort to document and discuss India’s inking traditions

Mangla Bai tattooed generations of her Baiga people in distinctive thick designs. The motifs are now a hit with city folks, as are kolams and symbols from central India. (The Godna Project)
Updated on Oct 01, 2022 12:37 AM IST

Material gains: The return of the scrunchie

The ponytail accessory is trendy again, luxurious, and all over Instagram. And it’s helping small businesses stretch out.

Today’s scrunchies use up to a metre of fabric each, in a vast range of colours and prints. The simple one-tone variety is on view in retro shows such as Stranger Things.
Updated on Sep 23, 2022 07:30 PM IST

Mumbai’s very own art gallery inside kaali peelis

Close to 60 images make up “What’s On Your Taxi’s Ceiling”, at the picturesque town square of Place Scanavin at the biennial Images Vevey Festival which runs all through September

The designs – arrangements of fruits, ornamental florals, geometric motifs, stars, stripes and confusing abstracts – are at once beautiful and ridiculous (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 13, 2022 11:05 PM IST

Alpha Bets: Talk like an Egyptian

It’s been 200 years since the Rosetta Stone was decoded. As HT Wknd marks the milestone, see how new tech is attempting to unravel all that we still don’t understand about the hieroglyphics.

Fans of the videogame Assassin’s Creed have the Rosetta Stone to thank. Until the Stone, all information on Ancient Egypt came from classical sources and the Bible.
Updated on Sep 10, 2022 08:36 PM IST

Pyramid schemes: Tour the museums displaying rare Egyptian treasures

To mark 200 years of the decoding of the Rosetta Stone, and 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, museums around the world are showcasing objects from ancient Egypt. Take a peek.

Tutankhamun’s tomb was described by British archaeologist Howard Carter (above) as a “strange and wonderful medley”.
Updated on Sep 10, 2022 08:05 PM IST

Signed, sealed, undeciphered: Check out these scripts we still can’t read

Ancient writing systems are some of the most complex codes ever devised. Even after the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, which offered translations for some of the symbols, it took two decades before scholars could actually read hieroglyphs. Elsewhere, undeciphered ones remain like a lock without a key. Here are some of them.

The Voynich manuscript is a 15th-century book, most likely created in Italy. It’s named after Wilfrid Voynich, the rare-books dealer who rediscovered it in 1912. No one knows who wrote it, what language it is in, or what the book is about. (Wikimeida Commons)
Updated on Sep 10, 2022 08:04 PM IST
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