CommunicationCreativityDemeanourMeeting CulturePerseverancePhobiasStage Fright
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
Age PyramidAltruismCommunicationDemeanourGeneration YMeeting CultureRespect
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 that may change to 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, but 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
Overfishing is only half of the story, says Paul Greenberg in his talk. The other half is about the boom in fish farming and aquaculture, which – over the past few years – has started to exceed the amount of wild fish produced. In America and a great part of the Western World, shrimp is by far the most consumed seafood. 5, 10, 15 pounds of wild fish – deemed trash fish by the fishing industry – are killed to bring one pound of shrimp to the market. Filmmaker Mark Benjamin called the phenomenon “Grinding Nemo“: Shrimp dredgers vacuum up a huge amount of by-catch that is then minced and turned into shrimp feed. An „ecosystem literally eating itself and spitting out shrimp“. A recent study has found that dredging for shrimp represents one of the most carbon-intensive ways of fishing there is.
Reading time: about 1 minute
BethlehemChristmasClement Clark MooreJesus ChristOdinSanta ClausSleipnirSt. NicholasTraditions
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
Zzzzzzzzzzp! Flash! There you go! A spiteful and cowardly camouflaged radar trap has lashed out at you once again, and another costly and questionably handsome snapshot is on its way into your post box. Fuming traffic offenders are said to have clandestinely returned to the place of crime to take revenge – fortified by a bunch of best-friends’ hercules’s and in order to punish the wicked contraption out of its wits. Ignoring, that there’s sure to be another invincible clone around the next corner. Instead of adding up on the offence front, avoiding speeding and/or respecting red traffic lights may actually do the trick fairly well and entail far less trouble: It allows short tempers to lie dormant just a little longer and lends bank statements a so much more encouraging appearance. Similar to police records …
Reading time: about 2 minutes