Is it possible to induce lucid dreams?

[For Esquire Magazine, May 2011] You’ve been watching Inception haven’t you? Lucid dreams — in which you are aware that you’re only dreaming — occur naturally to most people a few times in their lives, especially before the age of eighteen. A moment of clarity arises where a person becomes aware it’s just a dream…

Has China really bought five percent of Ukraine?

[For Esquire Magazine, November 2013] It appears so. It’s an utterly staggering fact, but it represents an escalation in the ongoing land-grab for food resources. Two Chinese state-owned firms will take over Ukrainian land in the eastern Dniepropetrovsk region and use it to grow crops (and raise pigs) for use back in China. The deal…

Are bananas facing extinction?

[For Esquire magazine, July 2011] Bananas as you know them are indeed under great threat, but the bananas you eat today are merely the latest strain of the fruit and the notion that it would become totally extinct is fanciful. But there is a reason why the rumour started. In 2003 The New Scientist claimed…

Is extreme poverty really being eradicated?

[For Esquire magazine, Jan 2016] Here’s a statistic that illustrates how the world has changed in the last 200 years. Had you been born in 1820 there’s a 94 percent chance that you’d be extremely poor, with just six percent of the world’s population not living in extreme poverty. However, those considered extremely poor in…

How much gold is there in the world?

The truth is, we don’t know. At least, not to any great degree of accuracy, which is odd given how it plays a big part in the global economy. Thomson Reuters GFMS (Gold Fields Mineral Services) produces an annual gold survey that is used by global investors to gauge such things. The GFMS says there…