Gifts for Brain Enthusiasts #2 (Birthday Edition)

Time for more neurologically-relevant items, given people seemed to like the first set so much. Recently it was my birthday. I’m struggled to come to terms with my transition to ‘adulthood’ and the realisation that I may have peaked, cognitively (indeed, I think I may actually have peaked around the time I sat my AS Levels aged 17, and been on a decline ever since).

Anyway, the occasion was made all the sweeter for some fantastic presents some lovely people got me. They seem to know what I like.

Asylum – The photographs of Christopher Payne

I’m something of an amateur urbex-er and I’ve always loved the old hospitals and asylums the best. This beautiful book is full of photos of america’s old mental hospitals. Beautiful and haunting, the buildings are often derelict, left to be recalimed by nature. These images seem at once strange and startling, they serve as a reminder of the dark places psychiatry has come from. Also includes a moving introduction from the wonderful Oliver Sacks.

Usborne’s See Inside Your Head

This book may technically be aimed at a younger audience, but I’m pretty thrilled with it. So many flaps to lift! Hours of entertainment here. If I ever get a job in paediatric neuro, I may take it into work.

Old anatomical print 

Isn’t this just exquisite? This wonderful print of the inferior view of the brain is about to gain a proud place on my wall. I’d say an old print makes a really good gift for any fans of the biological sciences, there are some really beautiful and intricate ones out there. One of my best friends found this for me at an antiques market, apparently it’s over 170 years old! It’s been cut from a book and is a bit crumbly on the edges. You can find similar items on ebay too.

Yes, I’m a massive nerd and I have a rather limited set of interests. Stay tuned for part three…

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Camera Wonderfulness

I only just discovered this website and it’s already got my heart on rapid-fire. Photojojo sells all kinds of wonderful camera-related things (except for the actual camera, lenses or studio equipment). It’s not cheap, a few items are currently sold out and they seem to stock a lot of gadgets for phone photography (which I grumpily don’t 100% approve of) but look at these lovely things:

Camera cookie-cutters

Creative Bokeh-kit (I tried and failed to make one of these once)

Lomokino 35mm Movie Camera

I have recently acquired a ring-flash adaptor, which is like a round periscope which attached to a normal flash gun, for more even portrait lighting. Will post some results when I’ve tried it out properly. Also, they send out a little toy dinosaur with all orders. What’s not to like?