Editor's note

Six years ago, when our beloved pooch Betty was but a small puppy, my wife took her into work at The London Evening Standard for a feature on dogs in the office. Being a cross between a Jack Russell (yappy, wilful) and a poodle (extremely intelligent), Betty’s a handful – but by all accounts she behaved herself admirably and the resulting article was well received, if readers’ letters were anything to go by.

These days pet-friendly workplaces are becoming much more common. From Dilyn the Downing Street rescue dog to Lillput, the Maltese terrier supermodel, dogs in the office are contributing to a more relaxed atmosphere, promoting interaction between staff members and helping break down barriers between the bosses and the rest of the staff. But remember, there are some “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to pets in the office (and some of the “don’ts” revolve around “do’s” if you take my meaning).

Still on the subjects of dogs and work, one workspace that was occupied by dogs before humans was space itself. Early Soviet missions used dogs to determine whether human spaceflight was possible. Humankind has gone far beyond that now, of course – and now space scientists are launching themselves into “zero gravity flight” to find out how it affects the human mind. Space scientist Elisa Ferre talks us through her flights on the “Vomet Comet”.

This week we’ve also been reading about why “boogies” in our nose are good for us, the danger of governments led by narcissists, and we’ve been providing some sound advice for students about to embark on their university careers. We’ve also published a series of articles about the climate crisis, which will be valuable reading in the run-up to the UN Climate Summit next week.

Meanwhile, from our colleagues around the world, why dreadlocks are feared in Nigeria and, from Australia, this beautifully written essay about the end of a long friendship.

Jonathan Este

Associate Editor, Arts + Culture Editor


Why more companies are going dog friendly

Holly Patrick, Edinburgh Napier University

And how companies can let dogs in without scaring off any humans.

Is that what I think it is? Shutterstock.

Curious Kids: why do I have boogies and why does my nose keep replicating them?

Carl Philpott, University of East Anglia

Those little nuggets in your nose are actually a sign your body is working to protect you.

PA/PA Archive/PA Images

Pathological power: the danger of governments led by narcissists and psychopaths

Steve Taylor, Leeds Beckett University

The risk of "pathocracy" is always close. And once entrenched, difficult to dislodge.

Knowing how to plan, write and evaluate your assessments is key. shutterstock/GaudiLab

Four things new students need to know before tackling a university assessment

Karen Clegg, University of York

New students, listen up, here's what you need to know about university essays and assessments.

Flavour, a popular Nigerian musician, can wear his dreadlocks in peace because they are seen as a temporary fashion statement. Elizabeth Farida/Wikimedia Commons

In Nigeria, dreadlocks are entangled with beliefs about danger

Augustine Agwuele, Texas State University

Nigerian men who wear their hair in knots are not a new phenomenon, but the hairstyle's spiritual heritage sparks fear in the hearts of many.


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