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In 1993, inspired by H G Wells’s short story ‘The Country of the Blind’ (1904), the renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks set out to study life on Pingelap – a small Micronesian island where an estimated tenth of the population has achromatopsia, a rare genetic disorder that leaves people close to or entirely colourblind. The results of Sacks’s investigation, compiled in his book The Island of the Colorblind (1996) and explored in this brief animation featuring audio excerpted from a 1998 radio interview, attests to the brain’s – and societies’ – astonishing ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
A tender poem doubles as a guide to sitting comfortably in one’s own company
Values and beliefs
How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years
War and peace
Before he leaves to go to war, Artem, 18, says goodbye to the man who raised him
A mindbending trip that summons the forgotten women of surrealism
A son of China’s former one-child policy remembers the sibling he never had
A harrowing account of a 1970 ‘leadership seminar’ spotlights self-help’s dark side
Beauty and aesthetics
For Ruskin, words couldn’t capture nature’s palette. So here it is in black and white
Wry animations expose the gap between anxious aspiration and real life
Mood and emotion
Alone on a small island in Belgrade, a father grieves his daughter in quiet solitude