MM- Sense and the City

MM.APRIL2013

An unexpected nature of urban cliffs, caves and creatures reveal themselves to those with an eye for discovery and an awakened sense of perception.

Acquiring a more intuitive sense of awareness involves little more than obliging the faculties of perception — of which sight, sound, smell and ‘experience’ all contribute. The frame of reference availed by the latter is possibly the most intriguing aspect of how we interpret our world– a notion more deeply explored by Alexandra Horowitz, author of the New York Times bestseller ‘Inside of a Dog’ and most recently ‘On Looking: About Everything There is to See’.

Through a series of walks with different individuals, each distinguished by their profession or physical uniqueness, Alexandra a trained cognitive scientist investigates how the senses influence our perception– along the way uncovering an urban ecosystem teeming with biodiversity, history, and stimulus both simple and complex.

You will never look at a sidewalk in the same way again, after cracking the spine on this field trip through New York.

Exploring the ordinariness of life from different angles, opens the senses to new experiences and perspectives. From the archaeology of architecture (discovering fossils embedded in a building made from limestone) to non-visual seeing (traversing the streets with a blind person primed to detect and receive auditory and other cues of navigation and perception).

And don’t assume wildlife to be confined to public parks or live only beyond the city fringe, indeed this revealing book teaches you how to look for signs of life on leaves, spot dwellings and dwellers from patterns in debris, smudges, scratches, trails and teeth marks. A different kind of field guide for the naturalist and a detectives handbook for those who love Sherlock Holmes or TV series like CSI.

Buy the book and treat yourself to a cornucopia of cool facts dispersed through narrative as a witty account of the authors urban adventures, covering evolution, science, art, culture, ageing, wildlife and so much more.

Then… take a perceptual patrol around your own neighbourhood and see if you don’t discover a whole new world– once ignored, now waiting to be explored!

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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