Randy Osborne

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The Love of My Life

They wore each other like a pair of socks. He was at her house, she was at his. Everywhere they went—to the mall, to the game, to movies and shops and the classes that structured their days like a new kind of chronology—their fingers were entwined, their shoulders touching, their hips joined in the …

Hung Up

The Abyss

Music and amnesia.<p>In March of 1985, Clive Wearing, an eminent English musician and musicologist in his mid-forties, was struck by a brain infection—a herpes encephalitis—affecting especially the parts of his brain concerned with memory. He was left with a memory span of only seconds—the most …

The Possibilian

What a brush with death taught David Eagleman about the mysteries of time and the brain.<p>When David Eagleman was eight years old, he fell off a roof and kept on falling. Or so it seemed at the time. His family was living outside Albuquerque, in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There were only …

The Jefferson Bottles

How could one collector find so much rare fine wine?<p>The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction was offered at Christie’s in London, on December 5, 1985. The bottle was handblown dark-green glass and capped with a nubby seal of thick black wax. It had no label, but etched into the glass …

Brain Gain

The underground world of “neuroenhancing” drugs.<p>A young man I’ll call Alex recently graduated from Harvard. As a history major, Alex wrote about a dozen papers a semester. He also ran a student organization, for which he often worked more than forty hours a week; when he wasn’t on the job, he had …

The Curse of Reading and Forgetting

Recently, a colleague mentioned that she had been rereading Richard Hughes’s “A High Wind in Jamaica,” which was first published in 1929 and is about a group of creepy little kids who become the unwanted wards of sad, listless pirates. She praised it, and her recommendation sent me to Amazon. The …