bookcoverSM2Thanks to everyone who re-tweeted about the illusion yesterday. It was great to see such a great response, and a special nod to Phil Plait and Dave Gorman for helping spread the word.

Tis another busy day. Have the final meeting about the campaign for ’59 Seconds’ today. This is my new book exposing the myths that abound in the self-help industry, and describing scientifically supported techniques that make people more creative, happy, attractive etc. and take less than a minute to carry out (thus the 59 Seconds title). It’s all a bit hush hush at the moment, but launches in the UK in 10 days time (on Amazon here). Then off to the Natural History Museum in London for the opening of a new exhibit that I have been working on with artists Jeremy Deller and Matthew Killip about facial expressions and Darwin.

So, what’s all this about a Tardis, I hear you say. Well, Dr Who travels through time in a police box that appears small on the outside and huge on the inside. Earlier this week I went along to the opening of the Walking In My Mind exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, and saw a real Tardis. Well, kinda.

Actually, it was a very clever exhibit that looked like this on the outside….


But used the ‘wall of mirrors’ illusion to appear huge on the inside….


It is a nice idea. Let’s imagine that someone made a wardrobe like this – would you have one in your house?


  1. I adore ‘quirky mind stuff’ but didn’t know that I had company…Excellent!
    I like wordpress, I really do!
    Thanks, I do believe I will look around, if you don’t mind.
    See ya soon,

    1. Time And Relative Dimensions In Space: T.A.R.D.I.S

      It is The Doctors time machine in Doctor Who. His looks like a Police Box as his chameleon circuit got stuck whilst blending into a 50s high street. Its bigger on the inside. Time Lord technology and so on.

      I am an unashamed geek.

    2. Alex beat me to it. I’m also an unashamed geek, in many arenas – including sci-fi/fantasy and English (my degree).

      TARDIS, being an acronym (as Alex identified), is properly spelt in all capital letters.

      Fittingly, my housemate is currently watching “Doctor Who” (up to episode “Fear Her” now) in the living room. ;-D

  2. I would adore a TARDIS wardrobe. Assuming it did look like a TARDIS both inside and out, of course. 🙂

  3. Probably nicer to think about it than to actually have it my home. I have enough problems keeping my windows clean, I’m not going to want to keep my wardrobe clean too.

  4. They did a similar trick – only with an *actual genuine police box* a few years ago in Glasgow – you could peer through a viewing hatch in the TARDIS door, and see into infinity.

    This was the box they used; it was an installation to promote the nearby Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art.

    Sadly the box is now a coffee kiosk instead!

  5. Oh, and to make myself look even worse, technically it’s TARDIS [Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space] not Tardis.

    Sigh. I am going to get out more, I promise.

    1. Oh, but why? (*points to own comment above on the same point*) If not for us nitpickers, the world would be a much more badly punctuated place. 😉

      Stay in and break out the Tennant. LOL

  6. Dammit, I was supposed to be going to the “Contemporary Exhibitions” opening tonight, but circumstances have contrived to prevent my attendance. It would have been nice to meet you (although you’ve probably had a very lucky escape).

    I hope the evening goes well!

  7. It’s fascinating to me that, faced with the comment below, Tracy King, the self-confessed pedant, picked up on the use of capitals and whether it was ‘Dr Who’ or ‘Doctor Who’. I’m really not one for nitpicking, but what leapt out at me was the missing ‘.’. TARDIS is fine, or T.A.R.D.I.S. (if you must – to make the point it is an acronym), but “T.A.R.D.I.S”? Never!

    Be honest, how sad am I that I’m really quite bothered by that?

    Alex Pryce, you should be a slightly ashamed geek now.

    Alex Pryce Says:

    June 25, 2009 at 8:50 am
    Time And Relative Dimensions In Space: T.A.R.D.I.S

    It is The Doctors time machine in Doctor Who. His looks like a Police Box as his chameleon circuit got stuck whilst blending into a 50s high street. Its bigger on the inside. Time Lord technology and so on.

    I am an unashamed geek.

    1. Paul, Paul, Paul. All that fuss over a full-stop, and you didn’t mention the two missing apostrophes?! 😉

      *stops before she nitpicks again*

  8. To Tracey King and Paul Emecz:

    To be proud enough to admit you’re (pedantic) geeks is, firstly, sad. But you look especially ridiculous when the rest of your comments is littered with grammatical errors.

    “Its bigger on the inside”?

    You should be ashamed. VERY ashamed.

    1. Amazing how someone who goes out of his/her way to complain about other people being pedantic, decided to misspell one of the two people’s name. It’s Tracy, not Tracey. Also, I’m trying to find the grammatical errors in either person’s comments, neither used the phrase “Its bigger on the inside.”

    2. I caught the phrase. It is true, they both missed Alex Pryce’s mistaken use of the word “Its.” Paul quoted all of Alex’s comment, which is how it shows up in his comment.

    3. And why shouldn’t they (or I) wear that geekery with pride? I say, ’tis time to cast the stigma from geekitude and embrace it! Everyone has his/her own way in which to be a geek. Own your particular flavour of geekiness and flaunt it.

      In a nice pot/kettle moment: “You lot”, check your verb agreement.

  9. Yes, the self-help industry is very bewildered. I very much agree with you. 99% of the people there do not know what they are talking about.

    If you read anything self-help wise and are baffled by how the book makes so much sense yet you cannot abide by what it is saying, it is because believing that you have learned something and ACTUALLY learning something are two completely different things.

    Richard, I trust your book will have very evidential facts that will enlighten most readers. What sort of things do you say about self-esteem and happiness? Most self-help books often encourage people to say to themselves ‘I am a great person’, ‘I rock’, ‘I CAN DO IT’ etc – and that of course goes against everything your brain must insist is right in order to keep its sense of the world intact and not appear crazy…

    But would you agree with me when I say these things? :

    You cannot directly control which thoughts come into your head (to do so would defeat the purpose of thought!).

    The problem is not that we think bad things, the problem is we engage with the thoughts as if they are really important – as if they really mean something about us.

    The reason why most people get into ‘fights with life’ is because we think it’s supposed to make sense.

    What makes anything ‘bad’ bad in the first place is the unhappy emotions we’ve come to believe is the best way to respond in a situation.

    We can respond to situations better if we learned that being happy will help us make better decisions.

    Happiness is not dependant on us getting what we want (getting what we want is a nice thing, yes, but that is not the ONLY way to be happy) and that, just like our well-being, is not something ‘to be found’ in the outside world because it is not there to begin with – not when it’s INSIDE us.

    I would like to hear your take on these ideas.



  10. Please, don’t pick apart my punctuation; I’m not a geek, pedantic or otherwise.

    The other day someone was trying to sell my sister a load of nonsense about diet and exercise, so I started doing jumping jacks while waving my arms wildly. I explained that it was helpful to aerate ourselves. Sissy noted that I would make an excellent guru. It was a really good spiel. I could really use a new gig and I’d appreciate it if you don’t expose me until after I’ve made my first million.

    The closet might sell really well in Manhattan. We could live in them.

  11. A very good day to all of you.

    Any idea when the Dutch edition of 59 seconds will come out?

    Not for me of course, but for my fellow Dutchmen. Also we badly need to win that Worldcup (yes we really do).


  12. This image doesn’t remind me AT ALL of the inside of the TARDIS! But, does remind me of a “sculptural piece” at a local museum, which is intriguing to a certain point, but then, what is the point? (of that piece at the museum – clever manipulation of mirrors… so, …)

  13. Jameshogg, just to disagree with you, life does make sense. It isn’t supposed to, it just does. Life isn’t really “supposed to” anything it just is, so you might as well make sense of what is there.

    All of my accidental typographical errors are deliberate to attract the people who want to correct them and help to make them happy. Or maybe I am bluffing.


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