Changes of Mind

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

How did we get where we are, we human freaks of nature? Language, rational thought, art, science and technology set us apart from other species. Add to that list (more curse than accomplishment) an acute awareness of our own mortality. Other animals show faint glimmerings of innovation – crude tool use, for example – but no other species has

Skin & Bones

Posted on by David Gelber

I remember my summer of ‘Perfect Skin’. It was 1985 and, home from university, I was working shifts in a canning factory. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ debut album played on permanent repeat during the daily drive. I was lucky: I had escaped the traumas of teenage acne. But I still longed for the ‘cheekbones […]

Breaking the Colour Codes

Posted on by David Gelber

We live in interesting times. The global rise in populist politics has led to a growth in overt racism. Despite the fact that the last US president was a black man, violence against black people in the USA continues, often perpetrated by the police, surprising those of us lucky enough to be unaffected by racial […]

Getting the Look

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Cast your mind back to 1910. That was when the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși met Hungarian art student Margit Pogany in Paris. Years later Brâncuși carved her portrait in marble from memory. He refined Pogany’s features down to their simplest form – hardly more than arching brows and a long, straight nose – until it […]

Gene Genie

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

The fact that Homo sapiens was preceded by multiple now-extinct hominid species tells us that evolution has experimented with a number of different ways of being human. One of the most ancient and best characterised of these prior forms of human existence, Ardipithecus ramidus, is a case in point. It lived roughly 4.4 million years ago. Extracted from the reddish-brown sediment

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