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Mind always matters

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Facing the new year is about mindsets.

Making resolutions is a lovely gesture, but unless you have steely determination, scribbling down “Lose 5kg”, “Write that novel I’ve been planning for 15 years” or “Take out a 12-month subscription to Very Interesting” in your journal is a waste of effort.

Now, while we haven’t brought in Oprah as a guest editor to get you screaming and raving about being able to, like, believe and achieve – don’t bother looking under your seats, there are just cobwebs there – we have thought it worthwhile to include some thought-provoking material that would give you some perspective on possibilities in 2017.

There is, for instance, the possibility that you may be a superhero. Yes, you. Happily, there is no need for you to wear your underpants on the outside or face your fear of heights, as your superpower may be lying around in your DNA, awaiting discovery. Read more about it in Are you a genetic superhero? on page 16.

Speaking of a fear of heights, many travellers need psychological support every time they board an aircraft. How safe is your plane?, on page 28, shows you the strenuous tests these machines have to undergo before take-off. You’ll feel better.

The rat race is, for city dwellers, apparently inescapable, and our Are cities affecting our mental health? feature doesn’t offer any solutions to that conundrum. But it does give you a window into what the pressures of city life may be doing to you, and forewarned is forearmed – if you recognise yourself in the text, take action!

Keep your own questions coming to and take advantage of our subscription deals at





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In putting together this edition, we found ourselves regularly faced with needing to make a call about something being good or bad. This made us think about the many shades of grey that make up our everyday decision-making processes, which was fairly distracting as we found that most people are often willing to embrace what’s most convenient rather than what’s most worthwhile.

But enough with the philosophy: in this issue, there is insight and information that will help you make your own good versus bad decisions in a number of areas. Who should you believe when it comes to the health benefits of coffee, alcohol or red meat (read Is anything good for you any more? on page 16 to find out). Or consider whether your decision to own a dog should be based on considerably more than the amount of fur on the couch (in Your dogtor will see you now on page 28). And tear yourself away from Facebook for long enough to get involved in the debate about the impact of social networks on our lives (read Do social networks make us antisocial on page 52).

If all this complexity gives you a headache, don’t stress – humans will all be gone one day. And we have that covered, too – in Life after man, on page 42.

Go forth and be good – or at least, with your newfound knowledge, a little better. And keep your questions coming to Also, take advantage of our subscription deals at


Bruce Dennill