The ‘mountain or valley’ illusion

4 minutes

Why can concave surfaces look convex when viewed from overhead (and vice versa)?

Mountain or valley? Concave or convex? Why is it so difficult to tell the difference when you’re viewing a surface from directly overhead? This short animation from MinutePhysics details how this perceptual illusion is explained by our natural conditioning to the Earth’s most powerful light source – the Sun – which has trained us to perceive light as always being on top and shadows as always being on the bottom.

Video by MinutePhysics

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes

Video/Meaning & the Good Life

How the Stoic embrace of death can help us get a grip on life

5 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

Amid massive urbanisation and modernisation, rural Japan persists in idiosyncratic corners

30 minutes

Idea/Love & Friendship

Keeping it in the family: why we pick the partners we do

Tamsin Saxton


Freud the philosopher

Before fathering psychoanalysis, Freud first slayed the dominant Cartesian intellectual tradition of mind-body dualism

David Livingstone Smith


Magic from the mundane – paper towels flourish in the hands of a coffeeshop artist

2 minutes


Indescribable you

Can novelists or psychologists better capture the strange multitude of realities in every human self?

Carlin Flora


Humans are the only animals who crave oblivion through suicide

Nicholas Humphrey

Video/Gender & Sexuality

Meet the lucky little organ that is uniquely dedicated to pleasure

3 minutes