Topic: Global

Why work doesn't happen at work.

TED Talk. Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work


Where do people go when they really need to get something done? Answers are: the porch, the coffee shop, the library, the kitchen, or while commuting. For some, it doesn’t really matter where they are, as long as it’s early in the morning or late at night or on the weekends. „The office“ is hardly ever the response given. That fully complies with Jason Fried’s theory: that the office isn’t a very good place for productivity. In his opinion, the main disruptions at work are caused by M&M’s: managers and meetings. This video – watched by nearly four million viewers – was filmed five years ago. Yet, its content today is true more than ever!


Read article

Reading time: about 1 minute
Bacteria cultures in a petri dish: (Lack of) Hygiene at airports and aboard aeroplanes.

Germs: Invisible intruders infesting airports and aircraft


Under the microscope, microorganisms offer a fascinating picture. Bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa come in pretty, bright colours and interesting shapes: green balls with or red ones without handsome spikes, orange spirals, blue spheres, yellow rods, violet blotches or grey furry polka-dots. Luckily, the majority of bacteria are considered harmless to helpful. Other lifeforms invade our immune system and cause tremendous havoc in our bodies. Against some, no approved and/or effective pharmaceuticals are available on the market as of yet.

The more populated or frequented a place is, the more germ-infested it becomes. Being of the travelling kind and a member of the cosmopolitan crowd: Have you ever wondered about the degree of cleanliness while at an airport or aboard an aeroplane? If you have, what comes next won’t be surprising news to you. If you haven’t, you better brace yourselves. Travelmath, an online trip calculator, conducted a study on the hygiene on site and sent out a microbiologist to take samples from five airports and four flights – with disconcerting results. Albeit, the most unappetising surface is not the lavatory’s door handle, as is often anticipated. Here’s the hit list of the ugliest bacteria spins:

Read article

Reading time: about 2 minutes
Humankind: Different races, different faces. The secrets about man's evolution.

TED Talk. Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?


Seventy thousand years ago, our ancestors were insignificant animals roaming African terrain. How fortunate for humankind that the course of evolution was not disrupted at some grave point and just kept rolling – otherwise all of us would perhaps have been locked in the ape-stage for ever. Well, we haven’t, and today humans dominate Earth. But how did it happen?

Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests that this is the reason for the rise of humanity: “We are the only animals that can cooperate both flexibly and in very large numbers”. Social insects like bees are also able to cooperate in large numbers, but are inflexible in doing so. “They cannot reinvent their social system overnight. They cannot execute the queen and establish a republic of bees, or a communist dictatorship of worker bees.” Why it was us instead of the wolves, elephants, dolphins or chimpanzees is explained in this easy-to-comprehend yet thought-provoking video:

Read article

Reading time: about 1 minute
Telegraph cables. Portmanteau: Creating new words to facilitate communication.

Blogging bleisure to Humpty Dumpty


A port(e)manteau word is an imaginative linguistic creation anyone can come up with. It fuses two different existing sounds and meanings and compounds them into a new snug expression. A wide array of portmanteaux has quietly infiltrated into our common vocabulary rut without our noticing it. Many of these words are no longer recognisable as random concoctions. Some even made it into respectable dictionaries, whereas others are so painfully adventurous that – for straight minds – their meaning becomes utterly unfathomable. A circumstance that forces the ones who coined them into a kind of zugzwang, should they want to see their congenial brain waves preserved for the next generations. But we need not worry: The universal power of social media will reliably enhance their endeavours to the fullest, don’t you think?

Read article

Reading time: about 3 minutes
Mystery vs. clarity

TED Talk. Chip Kidd: The art of first impressions


People – and objects – are usually given a mere few merciless seconds to let their first impression shine in a positive light; when the impact thus created is of lasting effect, even the better. Who, if not book jacket designer Chip Kidd, is predestined to endorse what’s a commonly known fact. After all, books are written to be read and sold, and their covers ideally serve as a teaser, a marketing tool and as an individual advertising platform alike. Shrouding a message in mystery may be the appropriate method when targeting one specific audience – or be utterly counterproductive when addressing another.

The whys and the wherefores in favour of clarity are readily shared in this informative yet most entertaining talk. Mesmerised listeners learn the difference between those two techniques implemented by successful designers to induce instant communication with the consumer.

Read article

Reading time: about 1 minute