Thursday 4th March

1. I hope this next OECD webinar is not too depressing: How do gender stereotypes affect five-year-olds’ ideas about the future? Monday 8th March at 13:00 UK time

2. A free book in the Cambridge University Press Elements in Applied Linguistics series, edited by Rodney Jones, Viral Discourse, about the language we’ve been using to talk about the pandemic

plus an invite to a webinar discussing the book at 12:00 UK time on 11th March 

To download and skim-read – or indeed read! – the book before the webinar might be the best way to go about it? Let me know if you have difficulty with the book download and I can send you a PDF.

3. Against Disappearance: A discussion about trade and culture at 14:00 UK time next Tuesday, 9th March, is the next event in the Against Disappearance series of discussions about cultural heritage and contemporary culture organised by the British Council and the Shubbak Festival of contemporary Arab arts and culture Marina Warner, Hammour Ziada and Abu Amirah will be having a lively discussion. More info here and registration here

4. I was having an online discussion with colleagues today about happiness – as one does! – and how cortisol, the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormone, is sadly more powerful than ‘happy’ hormones – that’s shorthand that will annoy endocrinologists – like serotonin and dopamine. (The catch would seem to be that cortisol also plays a role in the production of the other two.) Anyway, two recommendations from that discussion:

the first, a great TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight. Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: she had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions – motion, speech, self-awareness – shut down one by one – and understood in detail what was happening to her. She lived to tell the tale! You may want to look away when the human brain teaching aid appears.

and the second, an equally positive talk from last year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival by Rutger Bregman about his ‘hopeful history,’ Humankind:

5. And, finally, a shameless plug for ‘God’s Own Country’: You can take the boy out of Yorkshire but you can’t take the Yorkshire out of the boy ….

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