Read our posts about culture

Culture Tip: x + y

Culture Tip: x + y

x + y, a film by writer director Morgan Mathews, is a wonderfully crafted insight into the world of teenager Nathan, played by Asa Butterfield, a bullied maths whiz, struggling on the autistic spectrum. Brilliantly shot, the film brings to life the imagery, patterns, sounds and sensations of Nathan’s world, as well as his impact on others as he navigates the alien world around him. His mother Julie, played by Sally Hawkins, is left to cope with his condition, as she mourns her partner. His father’s instinctual connection contrasts the daily disappointments she...
» Read More
Wellcome Book Prize 2015: Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

Wellcome Book Prize 2015: Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

This book may not sound like an easy read. Chapter after chapter about the triumphs, tragedies and tribulations of a London-based neurosurgeon as he looks back over 40 years of treating serious accidents and illnesses. Blood, bone, brain and many tears. Doctors live with life and death decisions every day; they seem to be able to cut themselves off the human tragedy. But some, like Henry Marsh, can use what they see, hear, and ultimately do, to open us up to essential truths about life and what really matters. That’s why this book has made the shortlist of...
» Read More
Wellcome Book Prize Shortlist Announced

Wellcome Book Prize Shortlist Announced

This year’s Wellcome Book Prize shortlist is an amalgam of non-fiction and fiction books that as head of judges Bill Bryson said today, are “all accessible, engaging and beautifully written”. Deciding on the six books that would make the shortlist was “like being in the world’s best book club”, said the best-selling non-fiction author. The prize, which was relaunched last year with the strap line “books for the incurably curious”, is for publications that engage with some aspect of medicine, health or illness. As Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programmes at the...
» Read More
Iraqi Food I Grew up With is Today's Food Fad

Iraqi Food I Grew up With is Today's Food Fad

Digestive health is today's big food fad. People today are discovering food allergies they were not aware of; that some foods make you young and others make you age; that changing your job, partner or lifestyle would have fixed your ailment more efficiently than being loaded up on antibiotics.     This food fashion is all over men’s and women's magazines. Flipping through them at newspaper stalls in London makes me realise that their ground-breaking discoveries are my everyday food habits since I was a child growing up in Iraq. Back then I didn't once stop to...
» Read More
The Psychology of 50 Shades of Grey

The Psychology of 50 Shades of Grey

The Valentine’s weekend release of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film of 50 Shades of Grey is impossible to book, so eagerly anticipated is the adaptation of E.L James' erotic novel, the UK's fastest selling paper back of all time.  The story of the filming pitches the director and scriptwriter in a battle with James as they struggled to make a film of a highly commercial soft porn caper. But what’s it like on a psychological level? There is much of the cheesy tongue in cheek on view, as university student Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) goes to interview entrepreneur...
» Read More
Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing

Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing

As the name suggests, Craftivist Collective, founded in 2009, is a movement which seeks to combine craft and activism. Their aim is to provoke awareness and discussion of issues surrounding local and global poverty and injustice. The World Health Organisation includes “contributing to society” as one of their paths to wellbeing. This was the focus of the most recent Craftivist exhibition, which was held in Aldgate East in London. The project, titled #wellMAKING, was the culmination of more than 50 ‘stitch-ins’ held across the nation. It’s goal was to...
» Read More
Culture Tip: Still Alice

Culture Tip: Still Alice

What do you do when you’re fifty years old, a Professor of Linguistics at Columbia, a writer, a mother, and all of a sudden you start to lose language and memory.   'Still Alice' is based on a book by Lisa Genova, and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Julianne Moore gives an award winning turn as Dr Alice Howland, whose identity has been built on her intellect, and who teaches the early language skills of an eighteen month old, just as she is losing her own. Visiting her youngest daughter Lydia (Kristin Stewart) in LA, she dismisses her...
» Read More
Culture Tip: Whiplash

Culture Tip: Whiplash

Damien Chazelle wrote and directed Whiplash drawing from his own experience, in this edge of the seat ride into the sadistic mind games of a teacher and music conductor at a top New York music academy. Fletcher, (brilliantly captured by Golden Globe nominee JK Simmons) reveals his manipulative techniques the moment he watches Andrew Neiman practise his drums after hours, then leaves without a word. Andrew, (a brilliant performance by Miles Teller), lives and breathes his instrument, as he listens to the greats, thrilled to be asked to audition by Fletcher,...
» Read More