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
It’s Christmas time, and most of us are sucked up by the current that swashes along with it. Year by year, it seems to be swashing earlier and to suck more. Easter rabbits have hardly vanished from shelves, August-heat still blazing and: forward come chocolate Santa Clauses and gingerbread loaves, twinkling stardust-sprinkled Christmas balls and light chains. By October, carols obtrusively blaring from loudspeakers near and far have long lost their magic – and meaning. In November, commerce and media insist that it is high time for us to finalise our Christmas shopping, and we are constantly reminded that the western-world citizen spends an average of 280 Euros on presents alone. Those who won’t comply, will forever be stigmatised stingy misanthropists, who – not even for the holiest of occasions – overcome their revolting parsimony.
Reading time: about 6 minutes
Earth is littered, no doubt. She is being pummelled by any sort of pollution we can possibly conjure up. It lingers on/in ground, water and air and thus permeates our entire global ecosystem that is now striking back with opposing evils like drought and floods. The average polluter may be unaware of some of the toxic substances wafting around them.
Reading time: about 4 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
As will soon become obvious, this article was written by an omnivorous female who believes in the power of a well-balanced diet – and still respects animals and their rights and our environment in a healthy and practicable manner.
The ambition for a good and wholesome cuisine has always been fresh produce and to tamper with it as little as possible: to retain vits, minerals and trace elements, maintain its original shape, colour, size and taste and to offer a pleasant sight on the plate. Boiling vegetables to death or to make a pallid mash of virtually everything has luckily dropped out of fashion – reason enough for palates and eyes each to heave a huge sigh of relief.
Reading time: about 5 minutes