Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

Life is made of small sacrifices; one of mine that parent-hood brought on was sufficient time to read, which is now a precious commodity. The book I am currently reading, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, is a journey into the subject of quick decisions and how the human mind parses micro-slices of information.

On page 214 of the book is a discussion of autism and, in layman's terms, describes its impact on the ability to read faces. One of the studies mentioned is by a professor at Cambridge University in England called Simon Baron-Cohen, who is a pre-eminent researcher into autism spectrum disorder.

Now, most people who come across that name would pass over it without a second thought, but if I mentioned another name, Sacha Baron-Cohen, some eyebrows might go up. If I said "Ali-G," a few more would have a glimmer of recognition. But if I said "Borat," virtually everyone in the US between the ages of 18 and 40 would immediately have an a-ha moment.

Simon Baron-Cohen, a world-renowned researcher into autism, is the cousin of Sacha Baron-Cohen, an actor and comedian who created the character Borat.

Small world.