Life Stories

Behind the Lens

Experience the adventure of a lifetime with this article about a two-week stay in Łutsël K’é, an Indigenous community in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Here, a film crew was given the opportunity to explore the land and the relationship of the people with it in order to create a documentary about the Ni Hat’Ni Dene Guardians, who protect the area and watch over the Tu Nedhé Lake. From offering tobacco to the lake to spending time with the elders by the fire, this unique experience will stay with the crew (and the reader!) forever. Read full article here

Cooking With My Sons Taught Us How to Relate to Each Other

Cooking with his twin sons at home has led to a whole new side to Chef Michael Gulotta’s cooking life. Despite both boys being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, they have pushed to make their own pasta dough and help prepare family recipes such as grillades and grits. Although the kitchen can become chaotic, the boys are always eager to help and take pride in their work. Their love for cooking has even inspired them to want to help in their dad’s restaurants, although for now, the puzzle that is autism means home is the best place for them to explore their culinary skills. Read full article here

The Road to Becoming Enough

A woman drove into Montana in search of a romantic adventure and found much more instead. After years of being unsuccessful in relationships, she found solace in the mountains. She went on a blind date with a trail worker named Ben, and was amazed to find out how much she loved the outdoors. Ben took her on a hike, and even got them lost, but that didn’t stop her from developing a newfound appreciation for the mountains and for her own capabilities. She eventually left Montana with a new perspective and found a home in the mountains of British Columbia. All in all, a reassuring, heart-warming story, worth a read. Read full article here

The Train Crash That Spooked Charles Dickens

In 1865, a train crash near Staplehurst, Kent in England shocked the world. Charles Dickens, author of Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, was a passenger on the train and survived the crash with minor injuries. But the experience left him with long lasting psychological trauma: he suffered from post-traumatic shock and was seen trembling, sweating and in a state of panic on trains afterwards. Read full article here

James Bartley: The Sailor Who Got Swallowed by a Whale And Survived

The incredible story of James Bartley, a young sailor who supposedly survived being swallowed by a sperm whale, has been told for over a hundred years. But recent investigations suggest it was nothing more than a tall tale (shock horror!). Despite its impossibility, the story of Bartley has become a popular one, even appearing in pieces of literature such as George Orwell’s, Julian Barnes’ and Arthur C. Clarke’s writings. The author portrays a fascinating history of how this tale gained notoriety. Read full article here

Good news: Misinformation isn’t as powerful as feared! Bad news: Neither is information.

Recent news items have reminded us that we are not always as vulnerable to external stimuli as we may think. The so-called ‘hypodermic needle model’ of opinion change suggests that we can be easily swayed by information, yet recent research indicates that this is not necessarily the case. A study published in Nature found that a few Russian tweets had no significant effect on American’s opinion of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, while a book on the myths of American history focuses on the effects rather than the causes of these misconceptions. Read full article here

Sleepless Cities

Sleep is the last bastion of humanity, protecting us from the deluge of consumption. But in Singapore, citizens are sleeping less than ever – only an average of five hours a day. Money doesn’t sleep and stock markets are active at all times, leading to a compression of time, with people staying in a gentle, intoxicating stupor with their phones always close by. Researchers are alarmed, for this is nothing but a sample of a future where there is no more sleep. For the market to keep going, sleep must be eliminated – a worrying reality, for if sleep goes, so does our ability to dream, reflect and make decisions. Read full article here

The Art of Bidding, Or How I Survived Federal Prison

We think that wanting more—and the pursuit or accomplishment of achieving our goals—makes us happier, but perhaps it’s the opposite. We can look at wanting more as growing restless and never being happy with what we have. Once we give in to our cravings, we end up craving more and more things. One way to avoid getting stuck in this paradox is to have backup plans for when you don’t get what you want. Instead of pining for an outcome you can’t have, you can move towards something more manageable yet still satisfying. Read full article here

Chris Hohn Is A Hedge Fund Manager Like No Other

Chris Hohn is the opposite of the archetypal greedy money-man: “What’s the point of making lots of money if not having the joy of giving of service, meaning, and purpose?”. A hedge fund manager set apart from the rest by his activism, Hohn is particularly invested in mitigating climate change; part of his profits go to climate foundations. His hedge fund requires all companies in its portfolio to have a substantial climate plan. A substantial climate plan is one that aims to slash emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and has both long-term and short-term goals. Read full article here

Phineas Gage: The Man Who Survived an Iron Rod Which Went Through His Skull

“[H]e was ‘no longer Gage’”. In 1848, Phineas P. Gage suffered an accident that sent an iron rod through his skull, costing him an eye and most of his left frontal lobe. Against all odds, Gage survived; while he miraculously lived, he was a changed person. He became angry and vulgar—a far cry from the respected man that family and friends knew him to be. He is now seen as the first person who showed a definitive link between a head injury and a change in personality. Read full article here


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