Longevity in Blue Zones

Longevity: The Blue Zones Methusalem Enigma

30.12.2016

The „quality“ of longevity is being discussed in controversial ways. Whereas the set goal for the ones optimistic of their (ever-)lasting physical and mental stamina is reaching an age of biblical extent, others would rather see themselves passing away at the height of their beauty, wit and grit – just in time, so to say. For them, the outlook on being left wilting helplessly in a forlorn nursery home or as an undead vegetable plugged to the wonders of life-prolonging contraptions, is utterly unbearable. Not to hope for heavenly conditions on earth seems the more realistic approach as well as being aware that, commonly, just-in-time rarely happens.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Berlin-Neukölln is changing

Berlin-Neukölln: From problem child to clubbable prodigy?

2.12.2016

It is presumed to be the most colourful, multinational and omnicultural of Berlin’s districts: Neukölln, whose reputation – up to the recent past – could be considered controversial at best. Predominantly low-income (German) residents alongside a high rate of immigrants touching the 40 per cent mark have been benefiting from affordable rents and trying to make ends meet remote from posh Berlin areas. Different beliefs; traditions; habits; tongues; skins or dress codes hailing from alien ethnic backgrounds not seldom ignited the precarious potential for social conflicts. Better-off Berliners and visitors to the city alike preferred to stay at a safe distance for a reason. Yet, by avoiding the confrontation with an often bleak reality, they simultaneously missed out on glamour of a quality only thriving in microcosms such as Neukölln.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Rusty wire cage. Are we caged in our personality?

TED Talk. Brian Little: Who are you really?

17.11.2016

„One of the most influential approaches in personality science is known as trait psychology, and it aligns you along five dimensions which are normally distributed, and that describe universally held aspects of difference between people. They spell out the acronym OCEAN. So, ‘O’ stands for ‘open to experience’ versus those who are more closed. ‘C’ stands for conscientiousness’ in contrast to those with a more lackadaisical approach to life. ‘E’ — ‘extroversion’ in contrast to more introverted people. ‘A’ — ‘agreeable individuals’ in contrast to those decidedly not agreeable. And ‘N’ — ‘neurotic individuals’ in contrast to those who are more stable.“

Brian Little’s intriguing talk is highly entertaining – and it reminds us that we cannot lick the outside of our own elbow. :-)

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Reading time: about 1 minute
European Theatres

The European Route of Historic Theatres

15.10.2016

Renowned architects have made them their individual masterpiece and often theatres and opera houses are named after their talented creators. Art and culture lovers not seldom go to great lengths to visit these awe-inspiring edifices and to inspect every detail of their often sumptuous and lavishly decorated interior. At best, admirers become part of a sublime performance. Even a trip halfway around the world does not seem to deter the truly addicted.

Embarking on a journey of theatre-sightseeing based on a pre-selection of venues is a possibility provided by The European Route of Historic Theatres: 8 routes including 22 countries have been compiled not merely to facilitate users’ choice but also to support better planning, help deepen the experience and to promote the around 120 member venues. In Europe alone, a vast number of formidable treasures are waiting to be lifted. Each route combines about twelve theatres and offers a pleasant journey taking roughly a week.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Abbey Road Studios in London

A groovy kind of place: The Abbey Road Studios

30.09.2016

The much-published image of a Liverpudlian boy-band cheerfully zebra-crossing Abbey Road, is one familiar the world over. Miraculously, it has never gone threadbare! In times when impatiently awaited new albums regularly catapulted the international fan base into a state of frenzy, the venue of recording stood a serious chance of attaining similarly excessive attention.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes