Mixed feelings

Here’s the grimy hull of an abandoned ship on an isolated beach surrounded by barbed wire and covered in rust and flaking graffiti. If you like that kind of ruin then you are drawn to it. If not you will probably keep away. You are either attracted or repelled; you approach or avoid. (My instinct was to approach.) To approach…More

Bear in the park

The publicity for our Mobility, Mood and Place study includes a photograph of people walking across a park (The Meadows). In the foreground there’s someone wearing the unusual head mounted EEG apparatus. Everyone notices that. But neither I as the photographer nor many of the people who have seen the picture noticed a further unusual presence.…More

Accentuate the negative

Protesters are demonstrating against plans to build on Gezi Park in Istanbul (Financial Times). Commentators say the park issue is just a trigger for the expression of widespread discontent. But people do have passionate views about open outdoor space. A recent article on the BBC Science website says, “Being physically active can bolster good mental health…More

Are you aware of your brain?

This is the end of International Brain Awareness Week. Brain studies have a high profile at the moment. The US Obama administration just announced the release of funds for the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative: “These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast…More

Ambient wit

Film, music and game sales from downloads reached £1bn in 2012 according to a BBC report. Travellers waiting patiently in airport lounges and couples and groups sitting in dulled silence access online news reports. They also stream, download and play movies, tv programmes, and other information content and entertainment on their smartphones, tablets and laptops…More

Kim Jong-Il orz

Amidst the grim images and doleful wails of the North Korean nation mourning the death of its leader Kim Jong-Ill we see grief-stricken citizens enacting the customary orz posture and gestures (YouTube).More

After affects

How do surveillance cameras, and increased monitoring and security procedures affect you? Such causes have undoubted effects on material circumstances and well-being. Actions affect things, and thereby produce effects. The verb, to affect, results in a noun, an effect. But there’s also such a thing as an affect, as a noun. Last Friday I attended…More