A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: A great primer on where brain research has gotten us when it comes to understanding the human conception of time. Hammond fills in the research with stories of wacky time experiments and some exercises to try and trips to follow to help the reader control time.
A young Frenchman chooses to maroon himself in the darkness of an ice cave for two months, volunteers step blindfolded to the very edge of a deadly drop down a stairwell and a woman makes copious notes on her daily life for five years and tests herself every month on how accurately she recalls them. These crazy stunts represent just some of the lengths people go to to test human perception of time.
In "Time Warped," BBC reporter Claudia Hammond attempts to answer a few of many questions on the subject of time: Why does it seem like only yesterday that our university aged children were toddlers? Why does time drag in a grocery store line-up but fly during pleasurable events? Hammond communicates her research excellently and tells gripping stories to enhance the science, including that of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, held hostage in Gaza and confined to one room with no idea how long he'd be held in captivity and, quite literally, nothing to do.
At its most fascinating, the book discusses how people literally picture time. Do you see it running away from you, or yourself running towards it? Why do some people imagine the months going counter-clockwise around a wheel? Does your concept of "before" and "after" vary according to whether you write your language right to left or left to right? And, finally, can you really be sure (and if so, how?) you remember the year Princess Diana died?
Informative, stimulating and accessible, "Time Warped" proves a worthy addition to anyone's non-fiction list.
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