Some people are literal minded – they think in black and white whereas others colour their worlds with metaphor. A new paper published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reports on the first standardised measure of this difference, and it shows that having a proclivity for metaphors has real consequences, affecting how people respond to the world around them and even how they interact with others.
A summary of the paper in non-technical language can be found in The BPS Digest (from which this quote is taken).
At the Drentes Museum there is currently an exhibit on mummies. Mummies are not confined to Egypt and the exhibition (with information panels in English as well as Dutch) sheds interesting light on attitudes towards death.
The exhibition of corpses can be both controversial and a bit gruesome as some of the mummies look as if they have escaped from the set of a horror movie.
The Victorian prison at Lincoln has a chapel arranged in a semi-circle in such a way that the preacher (whose pulpit is high up on the flat wall and whose perspective is shown in the photo) can see all the prisoners simultaneously while they can see nothing else but him (locked doors prevent their seeing those seated beside them, while the different levels of the tiers of seats prevents them from seeing even the heads of the prisoners in the rows in front). The surveillance was both physical and spiritual, internal and external.
I used give a lecture there once a year on Nineteen Eighty-Four and, predictably, Michel Foucault, sometimes to the confusion of accidental tourists who arrived to find live student prisoners alongside the exhibition dummies and a deranged clergyman addressing them from the wall opposite.