Posts about Demeanour

A Clown Fish receiving massage by a sea anemone. Photo: Nick Hobgood.

TED Talk. Paul Greenberg: The four fish we are overeating

7.03.2024

“Grinding Nemo”

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.

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Workers burning harmful waste at the Agobogbloshie dump in Ghana.

Electronic Waste: Intoxicating Agbogbloshie

24.12.2023

At breathtaking speed, our world is being inundated with ever more sophisticated electronic equipment. Devices hardly a year or two old, are replaced at 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 Most “outdated” models are added to a recycling bubble already straining at the seams. Considering that resources are scarce and thus valuable, this 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? More than half of the electronic waste from, for e.g., the United States, is shipped to countries fairly ignorant of environmental issues – like for instance to China, India or Ghana in West Africa. A Boston-based company is shining a light for sensible recycling worth copying.

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Out of shape: The inverted Age Pyramid

2.10.2023

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.

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A curled blurr of colours in blues and pinks

TED Talk: How to beat stage fright

29.05.2023

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.

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Pink for girls: Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland Paris - excellent fairy-tale stuff.

Germany’s Blockbuster: Neuschwanstein Castle

3.05.2023

When the King is a Queen

As is endorsed, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany’s prime tourist attraction perched on a steep rugged rock deep in Bavaria, served as a role model for what was to become the epitome of a castle eligible for the classical Disney story. Its silhouette was even chosen for the logo of the Walt Disney Studios. The elaborate palace is a real estate shrouded in ever-lasting mystery and thus an ideal venue for the incarcerated, bewitched or poisoned princess desperately waiting to be rescued.

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