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Spoon by Spoon

Here they all are. There’s no order, other than I wrote the first one first and the second one second…. you get the picture. If you fancy going back to the start of all of these, then head for the bottom of this page. But don’t feel obliged to, you could just as well rummage around and read what you like.

Why eating salad isn’t enough

I’ve just finished reading Sheryl Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversations – Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Turkle is a Professor of the Social Study of Science and Technology at MIT. She’s spent 30 years studying people’s relationships with technology and her book is a great read. But if you haven’t got time here’s a summary: putContinue reading “Why eating salad isn’t enough”

Industrialising food and people: why it needs to stop

There are 300,000 edible plant species on the planet. Yet 60% of our plant-based calories are from wheat, corn and rice. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization says that 75% of our food is made up of five animals and twelve plants. And we’re losing plants all the time. Since the 1900s, 90% of the US’s native fruit andContinue reading “Industrialising food and people: why it needs to stop”

When giving is really receiving

With the Christmas holidays upon us, my mind turns to gift giving. I thought I’d share with you a particular type of present: a Chewbacca present. This is something we buy for ourselves under the guise of buying it for another.  The name comes from the first Chewbacca present. It was selected by my husband in the late 1970s.Continue reading “When giving is really receiving”

What I say is not what you hear

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw During the Korean War, a British army unit was holding a hill above an important river. But the British were on the back foot, surrounded and increasingly becoming outnumbered by the Chinese army: eight to one. The BritishContinue reading “What I say is not what you hear”

The crucial art of telling your story

Storytelling is literally as old as time. And the people telling those stories were around long before historians. Nicholas Read studies indigenous Australian languages at the University of New England in Australia. In this fascinating article by Scientific American he says, “It’s almost unimaginable that people would transmit stories about things like islands that are currently underwater.” AndContinue reading “The crucial art of telling your story”

Why change is so hard to notice

How do we know what is changing in our world if we can’t see things moving? It’s a distressing situation for people with Akinetospia, a condition where you can’t process moving objects. One example is a 60-year old man who was struck on the head by a pole. Afterwards he couldn’t tell that his dog was running.Continue reading “Why change is so hard to notice”

Having a ‘calling’: why it’s not always a good thing

Lesser Water Boatman. A beautiful name for a bug. Corixa punctata have bodies shaped like boats and legs like oars. Gold coloured backs and red eyes that darken with age. These tiny creatures skate effortlessly across the water like they’re flying. Olympians diving, punctuating the surface, leaving just a ripple. They feed on algae at the bottomContinue reading “Having a ‘calling’: why it’s not always a good thing”

Running away or running towards? Why it’s important we know the difference

“I was much further out than you thought. And not waving but drowning.” Stevie Smith From a distance it’s hard to know why someone is running. Are they fleeing from or racing to? To the casual observer they look the same. It can be equally baffling to the runner. Some of my Spoon by Spoon interviewees areContinue reading “Running away or running towards? Why it’s important we know the difference”

Old dog, new tricks: why it’s never too late to learn something new

Neuroplasticity is the new kid on the block. It’s been around for a long time, but it’s having a second wind. A bit like the Rolling Stones. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change itself. When it’s injured or diseased it can re-route traffic to avoid roadblocks, re-organising cells or re-mapping whole areas. Neuroplasticity isContinue reading “Old dog, new tricks: why it’s never too late to learn something new”

The career-shifting tale of the Silverfish, the Grasshopper and the Butterfly

Metamorphosis is a useful metaphor for career change. I was researching it for a previous blog and discovered there are three types in the insect world. Insects like silverfish are ametabolous and only change a bit — mostly they just grow larger. Grasshoppers and crickets are hemimetabolous and evolve from egg to nymph to adult. The changeContinue reading “The career-shifting tale of the Silverfish, the Grasshopper and the Butterfly”

Career Advice in 6 Seconds

Questions to ask yourself when you’re contemplating a change. Brevity is the new black. OK it’s not very new, but it’s definitely very popular. I wrote a 250-word blog a few weeks ago, a two-minute read that seemed to go down well. In our time-poor/attention-deficit world anything beyond a tweet is seen as overkill. We’veContinue reading “Career Advice in 6 Seconds”

Collaboration: how labouring together gets you further

Collaboration is an odd word, meaning both traitorous co-operation with an enemy and working together to create something better. It comes from the Latin collaborare (col means together and laborare means to labour). Over the ages we’ve been encouraged to labour together for the benefit of society: “It is the long history of humankind…that those who learned to collaborate andContinue reading “Collaboration: how labouring together gets you further”

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