Phobias: A Plague or Mutations of the Basic Instinct?
Phobia is Greek and means to be afraid of something. In the non-Greek world, it is mainly used in psychological terms, signifying severe fear as in: terrified and: neurotic and: in need of professional treatment. Those in the grip of a veritable phobia are panic-stricken and paralyzed when it comes to tackling certain situations. Phobias are relics of our evolutionary past and were quite useful back then. Should a ferocious sabre-toothed tiger – teeth bared – spring up inadvertently from the undergrowth with an intimidating roar, the primitive brain would switch to red-alert and reliably signal to the short-legged homo erectus: RUN as fast as you can! It was a matter of survival, and the same basic instinct takes control over us in perilous situations until this day.
Reading time: about 3 minutes
At breathtaking speed, our world is being inundated with ever more sophisticated electronic equipment. Used devices hardly a year or two old, are replaced with increasing frequency, to be cashed in or be thoughtlessly dumped for the next much fancier gadget. Most “outdated” models are added to a recycling bubble already stressed at the seams. Considering that resources are scarce and thus valuable, this sort of rotation system is still unrivaled. Yet, have you ever wondered how – and above all – where, your discarded cell phone, laptop or PC may have ended up eventually? It is estimated that more than half of the electronic waste from, e.g., the United States, is shipped to countries fairly ignorant of environmental issues - and there it is successfully buried in oblivion. Like for instance in China, India or Ghana in West Africa. A young company in Boston, Mass., sets an example of how fruitful sensible recycling can be.
Reading time: about 2 minutes
The 25 most expensive Dishes and Drinks compiled by Ignitespot
As is widely known, there are many sappy fruitcakes on the face of this earth, some even make it to the top of politics. But no, what we are talking about here is genuine food, albeit of a nature that again gives reason to doubt reason. Spending a fortune on a humble trench of Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu beef – the Kobe superlative – may still be somewhat comprehensible given the fact that body and soul of an Asian cow need to be pampered into beef so artfully marbled and tender that effort and price are warranted and the cow is a happy one until death do them part, bovine and farmer. If you are a good Miyazaki-Wagyu-beef producer you might even win the Japanese Culinary Olympics Beef Competition held in Nagasaki every five years. And so it happens that a slice of Lancashire Wagyu & Mushroom Pie served in England may cost you a handsome 1,781 US-$.
Reading time: about 2 minutes
„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. :-)
Reading time: about 1 minute
Longevity and the future Population Structure
A World Bank report makes it clear: owing to the demographic evolution, and the consequent shrinkage of a working age population, it becomes important to keep older workers in the labor force longer. A changed pension policy accompanied by a flexible labor market should enable them to remain in the workforce and retain a high level of productivity. Presently, the prognosis for the future population structure resembles a column and may even take the shape of an inverting pyramid – with smaller cohorts of working age population expected to support the larger ones of elderly retirees. With rising longevity suggesting an average life expectancy after retirement of 15 years, the elderly are encouraged to spend their healthy years in the labor force rather than in retirement. This not only feeds pension funds, it also helps maintain the living standard enjoyed while working and reduces poverty among the elderly significantly. The following poem is a reminder of all those well-known facts – and relates to the meetings industry.
Reading time: about 4 minutes