Kabir Firaque


Kabir Firaque is a civil engineering graduate-turned-news journalist with an interest in recreational mathematics and cinema. His interactive blog on puzzles, ‘Problematics’, appears weekly.

The Mystery of the Giant Foetus
Sun, Apr 15, 2018

Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey is now 50 and powerful as ever.

The printed ‘g’: Easy to recognise, hard to remember, harder to write
Fri, Apr 06, 2018

In study that raises questions about the way people learn to read and write, university students flounder with common print form of letter 'g'.

Nudge or nuke? Scientists work to prevent asteroid hit
Tue, Mar 20, 2018

Scientists are looking at two possible ways to ward off the threat, if and when it comes. Either nudge the asteroid off its Earthbound course, or blow it up before it strikes.

Horror, Lost And Found
Mon, Mar 12, 2018

The genre must dilute its essence to make itself Oscar-worthy

Tripura elections: How BJP consumed Congress while eating into Left
Sun, Mar 04, 2018

Tripura election results 2018: In terms of vote share, the Congress dropped from 47 per cent to 4 per cent in these 10 seats, as compared to a drop from 37 per cent to less than 2 per cent across the state

Why horror has usually scared the Oscars away — until now
Thu, Mar 01, 2018

Of all the nominees in the previous 89 editions, less than 1% have been horror — just five out of 537.

Did Indian tool help Egyptians achieve pyramid perfection?
Thu, Feb 22, 2018

Indians used rod and string to determine east and west, recent study suggests ancient Egyptians used a variant with no strings attached.

99% female: Skewed sex ratio in green sea turtles in warming climate
Mon, Jan 15, 2018

Study raises alarm over near-total feminisation of green sea turtles in one of the world’s largest turtle colonies in Australia, says climate change is the cause

Sheep recognise faces from photos, raise hope against Huntington’s disease
Fri, Nov 17, 2017

The researchers hope their findings will hold promise for the treatment of Huntington’s disease, which impairs face perception.

When an alligator meets a shark, one of them eats the other
Mon, Nov 13, 2017

Rare study describes alligators preying on sharks, compiles accounts of sharks feeding on alligators

Ratlike mammal is earliest fossil in human ancestral line, claims study
Thu, Nov 09, 2017

Of the two new species, Durlstotherium newmani has been named after Charlie Newman, the landlord of the Square and Compass pub in Worth Matravers, close to where the fossils were discovered.

What the cult of cannibal and giallo films owes to Italian filmmaker Umberto Lenzi
Sun, Oct 29, 2017

The passing of Umberto Lenzi, 86, went largely unnoticed. In India, some of his films might ring a bell for the VHS generation of the 1980s, even if his name does not.

How dogs smell fear, why they wear that sad look
Tue, Oct 24, 2017

Dogs make more ‘puppy dog eyes’ when people are looking at them; the study interpreted this as a sign that they make this expression to communicate

Celebrity spiders: Named after Obamas, DiCaprio, Jolie…
Mon, Oct 23, 2017

From 2 studies, a selection of ‘smiley face’ and trapdoor spiders, and the celebs they draw their names from

Cheating dinosaur, giant rat and other quirky species
Mon, Oct 09, 2017

2 new species living and extinct, 3 more with newly identified habits; Indian Express reports

A Blade Runner for our time
Fri, Oct 06, 2017

The 1982 film introduced a new vocabulary, inspired a generation of sci-fi

Why the sizes of earthquakes multiply rather than add up
Wed, Sep 27, 2017

Magnitude is derived from a formula involving a logarithm, which makes the scale exponential rather than linear.

In page from Indian history, zero’s oldest living ancestor reveals its age
Tue, Sep 19, 2017

‘We now know that it was mathematicians in India in 200-400 CE who planted the seed of the idea that’d become so fundamental to modern world’

The roots of trigonometry, freshly debated
Tue, Sep 12, 2017

3,700-yr-old Babylonian tablet contains world’s first trigonometric table, claim Australian mathematicians; not all are convinced.

New dinosaur with a secret to hide
Mon, Aug 07, 2017

It was big and armoured but had predators, scientists suggest; well preserved fossil suggests its pigmentation enabled camouflage