You need to transcend that, she said
Perhaps out of desperation to sound like
Being someone with gravitas
Gravitas, a word of honor that echos long
And transcends those nasty little words
Like Fuck, I said
Like Fuck do you hear a person
But merely draw circles around your own
Image that now has left
My view in search of another sound


Carolina Reapers are listed as the hottest chili peppers in the world. According to the Guinness World Records, they measure 2.2 million SHU (Scoville heat units). That number sounds so ridiculously high. It did not mean much to me when I bought them. However, if you cook with these peppers…


I remember reading the New Yorker short story “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian when it came out in late 2017. It was a good story. Some of it even sounded familiar, in a way. Yet, I was not sure why everyone else suddenly had the same thought. It’s okay to…


Disputes about consciousness, its roots and requirements, are more than philosophical. They are of importance in real-world settings, especially in clinical contexts.

Clinicians routinely face the difficult situation of deciding whether a patient in an unresponsive state after severe brain injury may recover — or at least regain some minimally…


The Smeller 2.0 / Osmodrama by Wolfgang Georgsdorf (Source: Wikimedia)

Imagine you are visiting a modern art exhibition. The exhibition leads you through several rooms with various pieces in the installation. Next, there’s a corner with a large fatty smudge on the wall in one of the rooms. Is this art, or should it be cleaned?

This question is far…


A short string of words may end up having a much greater resonance in your mind than the entire book in which you read them. These words often have a long yet indirect history that echoes with something in yours.

The novelist Tom Wolfe wrote a story about test pilots…


Imagine you wake up with your vision twisted.

Just like in a Kafkaesque dream, one day, you wake up, and you cannot move your eyes to what lives in your periphery. Everything is in prime focus only, with no subtle presence of an indefinite scenery with all the movement and…


Listening to a good interview on a podcast makes conversation feel deceptively simple. People just talk, after all, right?

Three years of listening taught me otherwise.

I recently wrote a book, “Smellosophy: What the Nose tells the Mind” (Harvard UP, 2020). And it could not have come into being without…


It took me a year to make a rash decision.

The decision to leave social media, I mean really quitting (not pausing, taking breaks, silently checking here and there — quitting), came rather unceremoniously for something where I had spent lots of energy and time over the past five years…


2021 began with a migraine.

The familiar knifing of my brain did not let me sleep through the end of Twenty-Twenty. It had tainted every waking moment of the past few days, and now it greeted my morning as if nothing had changed. But things should change — with all…

Ann-Sophie Barwich

I smell for a living. No, really: http://www.smellosophy.com

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