Srinath Perur finished his doctoral work in computer science and, for a change, began a column that answered children’s questions on science. He found himself doing more research than ever to fend off queries about why dogs chase cars and whether there is such a thing as a consequence-free post-meal headstand. He now writes on a variety of subjects, often related to travel and science.
He is the author of If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai, a book about travelling with groups. He lives in Bangalore.
What is your feature about?
It's about Stephen Sumner, who's been cycling around Cambodia teaching fellow amputees how to use mirrors to relieve their phantom limb pain. It's also about looking at the not-quite-settled science in mirror therapy against the backdrop of a place where it could be particularly useful -- Cambodia has an unusually high number of amputees in the aftermath of prolonged conflict.
What did you learn that you didn't expect?
I wasn't expecting to return from reporting a neuroscience story with a deeper sense of the pointlessness of war. Also, to my mortification, I learnt that a one-legged cyclist is easily able to outpace me.
Read Srinath’s feature on Mosaic, publishing 8 July 2014.