For L.v.B.’s 250th anniversary
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.
Reading time: about 4 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 slice 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
Bringing down the rare Haggis scotticus – the Wild Haggis – to secure the next traditional Haggis meal – requires utmost agility and perseverance by human persecutors equipped with equally-measured lower extremities. One must know that Wild Haggii vary in characteristics and that it is two different genera who roam steep and rough highlandish terrain. In both cases the legs on their left are different in length from the ones on their right – and vice versa. Either way, their unusual physique allows them to swiftly climb and scuttle around their regular habitat unperturbed by topographical challenges, albeit in one single direction only: Wild Haggii featuring longer legs on the left, move around clockwise, whereas the ones relying on extended limbs on their right, will logically proceed counter-clockwise. A refined GPS system usually prevents painful head-on collisions and all Haggii, limbed in whichever fashion, are said to lead a fairly peaceful coexistence.
Reading time: about 4 minutes
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
A Treasure Trove for Science
Surely you have seen dragonflies hover. But did you know that they were also capable of flying backwards? Or even up-side down like a vintage double-decker during a daring air show? And that they could activate each one of their four wings separately – working at varying speed and propelling in different directions, all at the same time? Today it is possible to shoot images that are thousands of times faster than our own vision. Or slower. We can see how nature’s devices work – and imitate them. Helicopters or mechanical drones pretty much simulate the congenial dragonfly’s techniques. We live in a world of invisible beauty, too subtle to be perceptible to the human eye. Louie Schwartzberg shows breathtaking images during his fascinating TED talk. Read article
Reading time: about 1 minute