A Stroke of Insight

At the age of 37, at the height of her career, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke. She witnessed the functions in her left brain hemisphere shutting down until she could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any part of her life. She says, “How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?” While it was happening she was thinking to herself, “This is cool, but I’m a very busy woman! I don’t have time for this.” Time? It took her eight years to recover. As she recounts the experience of living in her right brain, she stresses that being reduced in this way was in fact a liberation from left brain thinking, with its ongoing chatter, to a more connected way of being. Continue reading A Stroke of Insight


Easter has been connected with the peace movement ever since people first went on a 50 mile “Easter March” from London on Good Friday in 1958 to demonstrate against nuclear weapons. So this week marks the 50th birthday of the peace sign, one of the most universally recognized symbols there is.

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No Genius

symmMath! It seems to me that no subject (except maybe English) can frustrate so many learners. My friend Vanessa, who had a hand in creating the ix-quadrat math exhibit at the TUM, has taught me that children start out with mathematical gifts but lose them in school. So: what goes wrong? Continue reading No Genius

Pizza EU

I confess: I love pizza – the pizza service kind. Finding good recipes and cooking a fine, wholesome meal is great, and so is going out for dinner. But sometimes nothing beats snuggling up with my sweetheart and eating something we’ve ordered through the internet, which some poor bugger has to climb five flights of stairs to bring us.

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Blackbird Singing

These past days I’ve been waking up early. A slipped disk makes lying awake painful, so I find myself at 4am sitting by the open window with a soothing cup of tea and listening to the blackbirds singing. There are two of them, and they sing at intervals.

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