Words, schmerds

“’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.” Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll, 1871 Words are funny things. They’re a jumble of letters and sounds which intrinsically don’t mean anything. A few words are onomatopoeiac – the ones that sound like the things theyContinue reading “Words, schmerds”

How to change by not changing at all

Margaret Thatcher was the UK’s Prime Minister from 1979 – 1990. In her party’s October 1980 conference, she said: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning!” She was hitting back at those who wanted to force her hand, to get her to change her mind. She stood firm, despite the concernContinue reading “How to change by not changing at all”

Waking up from unmindfulness

Here’s a bit of Greek mythology that I discovered the other day. In Greek legend, Lethe is the River of Unmindfulness, one of five rivers in the Underworld. The river winds around a cave where a character called Hypnos lives and anyone who drinks from Lethe’s waters forgets everything that went before. As is the wayContinue reading “Waking up from unmindfulness”

Choice is not always our friend

Ever found yourself rooted to the spot? Overwhelmed by choice, unsure what to buy? 30 sorts of cooking oil, 23 brands of shampoo, 15 types of eggs. The issue is not what. It’s which. Renata Saleci is a Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Law (an interesting combination). This is her talking about the paradox ofContinue reading “Choice is not always our friend”

Why eating salad isn’t enough

I’ve just finished reading Sherry 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”

When science is art and art is science

When I rocked up to a school chemistry class my teacher would sigh. I was good at English and history, art and music. But I was terrible at science. Physics was within touching distance if I really stretched. But chemistry? However hard I tried, I couldn’t work it out. Physics interacted with the world IContinue reading “When science is art and art is science”

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”

Why this isn’t the time to set resolutions

Rain, rain, go away, Come again another day. Rain, rain, rain. It’s been falling for days. I look out at the leaden sky as huge raindrops pound the windowsill and bounce heavily on the grass outside. Will it ever stop? I’ve been indoors for weeks. OK, two days, but it feels much longer. I giveContinue reading “Why this isn’t the time to set resolutions”

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”