Oliver Sacks on Nature’s Beauty as a Gateway into Deep Time and a Lens on the Interconnectedness of the Universe

Oliver Sacks at the New York Botanical Garden. (Photograph by Bill Hayes, Dr. Sacks’s partner, from How New York Breaks Your Heart.) “The sense of deep time brings a deep peace with it, a detachment from the timescale, the urgencies, of daily life… a profound sense of being at home, a sort of companionship with the earth.” BY MARIA POPOVA “When we have learned how to listen to trees,” Hermann Hesse wrote in contemplating what our arboreal companions can teach us about belonging and life, “then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.” Nearly a … Continue reading Oliver Sacks on Nature’s Beauty as a Gateway into Deep Time and a Lens on the Interconnectedness of the Universe


Posted by Soren Dreier Author: Psychology It usually starts out as a logical tactic. We gain others’ approval, make them happy for a moment, and feel pretty good about ourselves. It seems like the perfect path to take—and it’s one we can continue on for many years, believing it’s reducing our anxiety about disapproval in our daily lives. In actuality, it can work pretty well in getting people to like us. We avoid having them disapprove of our actions, and we get to enjoy that nice pat on the back every once in a while. But there will come a time … Continue reading LET GO OF THE NEED FOR APPROVAL

How one fence ruined an eco-system

Dingo of Fraser Island c/o Newretreads (Creative Commons)  by DEREK BERES California is not waiting for climate change. State agencies recognize it’s already here and are preparing to combat a drier and, oddly, dependent upon the year, wetter future. That means more droughts and, when the dry spell breaks, much more flooding. Given the state’s role in national agriculture, this seesawing is a recipe for disaster that needs to be addressed now. River Partners is one organization partnering with the state in preparation for this future. They’ve been buying land across California, especially in the flood-prone Central Valley, in order to … Continue reading How one fence ruined an eco-system

Gossiping Is Good

CHRISTOPHER DELORENZO The surprising virtues of talking behind people’s backs by BEN HEALY Word on the street is that gossip is the worst. An Ann Landers advice column once characterized it as “the faceless demon that breaks hearts and ruins careers.” The Talmud describes it as a “three-pronged tongue” that kills three people: the teller, the listener, and the person being gossiped about. And Blaise Pascal observed, not unreasonably, that “if people really knew what others said about them, there would not be four friends left in the world.” Convincing as these indictments seem, however, a significant body of research suggests … Continue reading Gossiping Is Good

On coincidence

Illustration by Clayton Junior Lightning can strike twice and people do call just when you’re thinking of them – but are such coincidences meaningful? Cody Delistraty is a writer and historian based in New York and Paris. He writes on literature, psychology and interesting humans. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Atlantic, among others. Edited by Marina Benjamin In the 1920s, one of Carl Jung’s female patients proved particularly frustrating to him – notwithstanding her ‘excellent education’ and ‘highly polished Cartesian rationalism’. She was ‘psychologically inaccessible’, the Swiss psychiatrist later wrote in his Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), by which he meant … Continue reading On coincidence

When Someone We Love Has Died

Someone we loved so much has died. It can be hard to know where to turn. For religions, dying was regarded as an essential, immensely important, part of existence; it was supposed to happen at a time appointed by God or by fate. It was not an embarrassing or despair-inducing end point, it was a transformation: the soul would continue its life in another form or in another place. Those who died had only ‘departed’ and lived on elsewhere. Perhaps after our own death, our souls would be reunited with theirs. By contrast, in modernity, death cannot help but come … Continue reading When Someone We Love Has Died

Incredible photos of New York City when it was covered in farmland

The Brennan farmhouse, at 84th and Broadway, 1879. Collection of The New-York Historical Society by Leanna Garfield Most New Yorkers today are living on what was once farmland. As early as the 17th century, before Manhattan formed its famous 1811 street grid, the island contained farms in neighborhoods from Midtown to the Upper West Side. The Museum of the City of New York’s online collection reveals what the city looked like at the time. The series, “The Greatest Grid,” features illustrations and photos of New York City’s former rolling hills, which were later demolished to create a flat streetscape. Take a … Continue reading Incredible photos of New York City when it was covered in farmland