Create a secret garden on your desk. Nobody will see it but you.

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You show virtual plants to your Zoom pals, but why not get some real ones for yourself?

Here in the UK we’re settling down into our second lockdown. It’s supposed to be for the month of November but we all know it could go well beyond that. Spending Christmas on Zoom is becoming a real possibility.

Many of us are already spending our days working online via endless screen-based meetings and everyone complains of Zoom exhaustion. So how can you soothe yourself when your eyes are aching and your brain feels like sludge? Sure, you can decorate your call with a fancy virtual wallpaper that makes you look like you’re in a jungle, but you can do much better than that. And best of all, it’s not for sharing. …


“Water makes you happier, more connected and better at what you do.”

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Photo of Durdle Door, Dorset, UK by on

I’m lucky enough to live close to a lovely beach, so all through lockdown I was able to stroll down to the sea whenever I felt like it. Since it began to ease, however, my neighbourhood has been crammed with visitors who have driven for hours just to sit on the sand and dip their toes in the water for a little while.

Recent events have shown that when we are deprived of access to watery places, as during lockdown, reaching a beach, river or lake can become an obsessive pursuit.


Do you remember Epic 2014?

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Photo:

Epic 2014 was a short Flash video released in January 2004 by and at the Berlin-based .

I was doing a lot of talks and teaching in those years and I showed this film many times. Audiences usually viewed it with a streak of disbelieving horror but, hey, look at us now.

It covers the history of digital news media up to roughly December 2003, followed by predictions as to how it might evolve over the decade ahead. It’s a rather slow watch but remember it was made in the early days of Flash multimedia software. …


Verónica climbs a tree to get an internet signal

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Verónica climbs a tree in her grandmother’s garden to log in to her classroom. Photo: Verónica’s sister.

This article was co-written by Dr Thilo Böck, Director of the Transitions Project of the NGO Amantani and Rodrigo Bustos, Executive Director of the NGO Amantani. Edited by Sue Thomas.

Verónica

This is Verónica. She lives in a remote area of Peru, far away from the kind of education systems familiar to the highly developed industrialised nations, but during the Coronavirus crisis she, too, must do her learning online. But how, when signing in means scaling to the top of a tree in her grandmother’s garden in order to get a signal?

Verónica lives in Peru, in the community of Coyac, Ccorca, outside of Cusco. 364 (air) miles from the capital city of Lima at an altitude of 11,200 feet. She is 23, and a student of Initial Bilingual Education at the Pedagogical further education institute of Tinta. She is an excellent student and was awarded the National Scholarship in 2017. …


Podcast interview exploring the distinctions we draw between ourselves, the living world and the technology we create.

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TV audience. Source unknown.

Last year I was interviewed by for her podcast series . I’m posting the link here because our discussion was very relevant to what is happening now with Covid-19 as we find ourselves turning to the digital in order to connect with the natural world. (For more on why and how that works, see my 2017 book .)

Our wide-ranging conversation explored the relationship and distinctions we draw between ourselves, the living world and the technology we create, what it means to be , and how our search for meaning, awe and transcendence can lead us to unexpected places. …


My 2017 book ‘Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age — How to feel better without logging off’ is now being read as a handbook for the Age of Covid-19.

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Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital (Coronavirus) Age

I wrote three years ago for people who were feeling overwhelmed by the digital and worried about spending too much time online. Some were desperately concerned that we could lose contact with humanity and become alienated from nature. It includes 50 practical tips as well as explanations of biophilia, technobiophilia, and other research information.

Today, this book about the Digital Age has begun a second life as a manual for living in the Coronavirus Age.

Now, as we battle Covid-19, the very technologies we feared would destroy our lives are helping to save us, or at least to keep us sane.

In 2017, I knew that when I offered 50 ways to feel better without logging off, some people would find the idea dangerous and unnatural, yet in the current crisis the tables have turned. Now, many are devising their own methods of staying in touch with the outside world via the internet. …


Combine 20 minutes of movement with mind-expanding discourse and an increased heart rate.

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Photo by on

Do you, like me, find physical exercise extremely boring? Would you rather immerse yourself in the life of the mind?

Here’s an opportunity to get in some self-isolation exercise whilst thinking and raising your heart rate at the same time.

I’m always interested to hear from Yuval Noah Harari so I was excited to come across the article below. But, knowing it could be a challenging read, I devised a plan for managing the anxiety it might induce. Please note: no disrespect intended!

Disclaimer: I tried this workout today. It was good for me but may not be good for you. I take no responsibility for your state of mind or body.


It will be hard to remember how things were before.

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A corner of my kitchen as it looked on 18th March 2020

Life will be different when we re-emerge from our homes after ?? months indoors.

So do this today:

Take photos of all your rooms and the people and pets living there.

Who knows how they will alter as we ourselves change inside our cocoons?

When we step outside and into a new world, they will make for a fascinating record of the time before. And, perhaps, a memorial of those who didn’t make it through.

So here is a photo of the corner of my kitchen, taken in Bournemouth on the South Coast of England, 9:16am,18th March 2020.

Take care, everyone, and stay inside.


The story of a woman who, by the intense power of her imaginings, conjures a lover from a drop of water.

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Photo by on

Overwhelming physicality 1992–1995

Chapter 3 of my 2004 PhD Thesis “A Journey of Integration”.

After Correspondence I turned my attention to a different reading of physicality and, perhaps taking direction from the damp sensualities at the end of the first book, began to imagine the body and its potential beyond flesh, in my second novel Water¹. With the inorganic substance H20 as my reference point, I constructed a conceit around water and its effect on the human imagination. …


At last you have time to grow some stuff

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Image by from

During World War II, people in many countries created Victory Gardens. The idea was not just to grow fresh food at a time of scarcity but also to boost morale and empower people to make a practical contribution to the war effort.

Now is the time to update that concept and start gardening towards a different kind of future. It’s not clear yet what the world will be like by harvest-time or beyond, but we’ll still need fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’m self-isolating in my 4th floor flat, but I’m getting busy. I’ve ordered some seeds and I’m making a start. Here in England, March is the time to sow the seeds of most summer fruit and veg, so that’s perfect timing. I’ll start with tomatoes. …

About

Sue Thomas

Latest book: ‘Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age’. Important reading for the Covid Age. Now writing ‘The Fault in Reality’.

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