Topic: Global

TED Talk. Stillness

TED Talk. Pico Iyer: The art of stillness

1.01.2020

In our hectic lives of constant motion and commotion, going nowhere at all could well be the key to more contentedness, says Pico Iyer, a travel writer with his heart and soul. A contradiction for a man crisscrossing the globe? Nothing is as urgent as sitting still, he says. To take the time to quietly lean back and indulge in a few peaceful moments a day, or to take the liberty of withdrawing for days, months – or years. And to contemplate to digest and organise the billowing mass of impressions inside our heads. An invigorating sabbatical may even provoke an entirely new approach and reveal a completely different meaning of life.

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

9.12.2019

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
Climate Change + dramatic sky

Climate Change: Hell and High Water

8.12.2019

Can it be that it takes a Swedish youngster by the name of Greta Thunberg, together with her followers, to shake the (adult) world community out of its environmental deep sleep? Is it so that we have been unable to classify the impact of our own hedonistic demeanour towards nature up to the decisive moment Greta arose? It almost looks like it, as progress on the green front has proved frustratingly tedious over a long period of time. The more welcome is a strong juvenile conviction leading to fresh initiatives that may propel forward what has been snailing along seemingly forever. Question is: Does a massive professional PR engine supported by overly obedient media coverage make the cause of the heroine they are shaping more credible?

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
TED Talk: Making ears from apples

TED Talk. Andrew Pelling: Making ears from apples

7.11.2019

„My lab is not in the ear-making business. What I’m really curious about is if one day it will be possible to repair, rebuild and augment our own bodies with stuff we make in the kitchen,” says Andrew Pelling who leads a university-based biological research lab. Usually, he likes to rummage through garbage and often digs up discarded hardware he first dismantles and then reassembles into something completely new. Could that also work with a biological system? Creating human ears from apples may be far-fetched, but seems feasible: the lab removed apple cells and DNA and implanted human cells instead. The result was a cellulose scaffold with a structure that could be carved into a human ear!

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Reading time: about 1 minute
A Clown Fish receiving massage by a sea anemone. Photo: Nick Hobgood.

TED Talk. Paul Greenberg: The four fish we are overeating

15.09.2019

“Grinding Nemo”

Overfishing is only half of the story, says Paul Greenberg in his talk. The other half is about the boom in fish farming and aquaculture, which – over the past year or two – has started to exceed the amount of wild fish produced. In America and a great part of the Western World, shrimp is by far the most consumed seafood. 5, 10, 15 pounds of wild fish – deemed trash fish by the fishing industry – are killed to bring one pound of shrimp to the market. Filmmaker Mark Benjamin called the phenomenon “Grinding Nemo“: Shrimp dredgers vacuum up a huge amount of bycatch that is then minced and turned into shrimp feed. An „ecosystem literally eating itself and spitting out shrimp“. A recent study has found that dredging for shrimp represents one of the most carbon-intensive ways of fishing there is.

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Reading time: about 1 minute