Posted inNonfiction, Reading List

‘The World Is Full of Obvious Things’: A Sherlock Holmes Reading List

Sherlock Holmes feels uncannily contemporary these days — from his dizzying array of post-hipsterish quirks (Cocaine user! Virtuosic violin player! Exotic tobacco aficionado!) to a social aloofness that feels straight out of a Millennial INTP‘s playbook. (His knack for Twitter-ready aphorisms doesn’t hurt, either.) I’ve been rereading Conan Doyle’s stories for almost 20 years, and the guy has never felt more fresh.

Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

When the British Museum Reading Room Was Bohemian London’s Most Happening Spot

It’s counterintuitive to think of the British Museum as a happening spot, but for a long time its reading room served as a premier gathering place for London’s brainy bohemians. In the 1880s, these included radicals like George Bernard Shaw, Henry Havelock Ellis, and Eleanor Marx, Karl Marx’s youngest daughter. They worked there, and they talked […]

Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

A ’60s Poet, Mixing Images of Asia and Africa with Bohemian London

[Rosemary] Tonks’s first poetry collection, Notes on Cafés and Bedrooms, was published in 1963; her second and final one, Iliad of Broken Sentences, in 1967. She interweaves images of her years in Asia and Africa with snapshots of bohemian London: desert oases and mirages, jazz and cocktails. True to the first collection’s title, the poems carry a […]

Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

‘We Don’t Know What Is Changing in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers.’

A study by neurologists at University College London found that the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for spatial navigation, of a London cabby is significantly larger than those in the rest of the human population—a result of the intense memorization and route-finding undertaken while doing The Knowledge. The study involved taking regular brain […]

Posted inUncategorized

How musical therapists are helping patients in a care center in southeast London: For about 10 minutes, Gibbes hits the djembe in a 3/4 beat while Prince accompanies him in making what sounds sort of like a flamenco song. Gibbes stares off into space while pushing the song up to its crescendo, then rolling it […]