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.

Articles By Kabir Firaque

Explained: How the kilogram has changed, why your body mass has not

The kilogram is no longer what it used to be. How has the definition changed? Will it affect the way we measure body mass or weigh our groceries?

Are spoilers Endgame for enjoyment? How viewers feel, what studies found

Do spoilers ruin one’s viewing experience, or do they enhance it? There is no clear answer, given that viewers themselves disagree. So do the findings of research.

In Abel Prize triumph, a statement against gender gap in mathematics

History has several examples of outstanding women mathematicians. Hypatia (370-415) of Alexandria remains legendary even though her entire work is lost.

Dear MS: The legacy of Mindsport and its affable, ingenious maker, Mukul Sharma

Fans like us will remember MS for Mindsport, his biggest legacy. It was Nandy’s idea, after he had taken over as IWI editor.

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta: ‘We haven’t discussed going back to BJP… It depends on what they decide on the Bill’

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta talks about citizenship Bill, says AGP can’t morally align with the Congress, and warns of polarisation.

How bots spread fake news: Study throws light on tweeting strategy

Bots tend to get involved at particular times, trends for sharing showed. Once an article is published on Twitter, likely bots are more prevalent in the first few seconds than at later times. After that, humans do most of the retweeting.

How much is a kilogram? Here comes a new way to measure it

So far, the mass of a metal cylinder locked away in France. Now, being redefined on the basis of a physics constant.

Should India have two time zones? National timekeeper adds new arguments

The researchers estimated energy savings at 20 million kWh a year based on a formula explained in the article. They also analysed the importance of synchronising office hours — as well as biological activities — to sunrise and sunset timings.

The Goblin: How does it support the idea that a giant is hiding farther away?

Its orbit, according to the team who discovered it, supports the existence of Planet X, or Planet 9 — distant and elusive, presumed to be the ninth planet of the Solar System.

Why Assamese script wants its own slot, and what it has got instead

ISO recommends renaming of Bengali script as ‘Bengali-Assamese’; a look at what led to that move and why campaigners aren’t satisfied.

Psycho Analysis

With his 1960 classic, Hitchcock invented a genre. Two revived films relate to it in 2018.

First among Bond girls

What Eunice Gayson, who died last week, brought to the 007 franchise and the Bond girl cult

Planet Nine: New evidence strong but not proof

In a paper on a preprint archive reporting the discovery, a large team of scientists has concluded that 2015 BP519 “adds to the circumstantial evidence for the existence of this proposed new member of the Solar System”.

The Mystery of the Giant Foetus

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

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

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

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

Tripura elections: How BJP consumed Congress while eating into Left

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

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?

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