How about some extra endorphins?

by Michael Seckler

“From a biochemical perspective happiness is nothing more than the release of endorphins in the brain. Love, music, a nice sculpture or chocolate can cause that, but also complex mathematical constructs”. If math professor Christian Hesse was telling the truth in his interview with good impact magazine we seem to miss out on loads of endorphins all the time. Noort Bakx showed it with dating the other day: There is more math in your everyday-life than you might expect. You don’t think so? Maybe a look at this extremely average Wednesday of mine can convince you of the contrary (Do I already sound like the math teacher you hated? Good!): 

The Travelling-Salesman-Problem (Picture: dogonews.com)

The Travelling-Salesman-Problem (Picture: dogonews.com)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Word of the year 2013: a reflection of the “me-me-me” generation

by Alix Barré

This week the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year 2013 came out and it was…drum roll…selfie! The word beat seven other ones that had made the shortlist for this year, beating words such as Twerk (thankfully), showrooming, bitcoin and bedroom tax. In order to qualify as the word of the year, the Oxford Dictionary requires it, “to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.” With that in mind it can make you wonder how a word such as selfie could become the word that reflects the preoccupations of our culture the most.

credit: AP

credit: AP

Continue reading

Mathematical dating

By Noort Bakx

There are more than 7 billion people in the world. Half of those are male, and about 1/7 of them my age. Meaning a bunch of about 500.000.000 is left. Start finding Mister Right. Continuing with numbers, say you can meet about 50.000 in a lifetime, you need to live 10.000 lives to meet every single one of them, and consequently, be sure there is no better one out there. Apparently, a classical mathematical problem that can be solved with a simple formula.

Michael Tompsett – Fine Art America

Michael Tompsett – Fine Art America

Continue reading

MTV, the Philippines Typhoon and Grotesque

By Daniel Isler

Grotesque: adjective. comically or repulsively ugly or distorted.  incongruous or inappropriate to a shocking degree.” (Oxford Dictionaries). 

A cute guy with a perfect nose comes out of a rain of confetti. He is accompanied by a robot-like figure, covered all in white and wearing a robot-mask. The cute guy is wearing a leopard print scarf and a red jacket.  The crowd is ecstatic, just as it has been for the last two hours. What will the cute guy do next? This evening is full of surprises, and the crowd is hungry for another one. Surprisingly, the guy and the robot do not start dancing, twerking, or lighting a joint on stage. The cameras do not fly around them, no music is being heard. the guy addresses the audience, ask them for their attention:  “um… I’d like to invite you to join me in a moment of silence for the people in the Philippines that are suffering because of this horrible typhoon that’s affected this country”. The audience is obviously baffled. This whole evening they are encouraged to party like there is no tomorrow. Now this pretty-boy wants them to be silent? The “moment” lasts 10 seconds, as it is clear that a lot of people in the crowd did not understand what he asked for, or worse – they did understand, but genuinely do not give a rat’s arse.

jared-leto-reclame-un-hommage-aux-victimes[1]

We salute you.

Continue reading

The Illusion of Choice

by Laura Vilaça

Two years ago, the Occupy Movement made a stand with the slogan “We are the 99%”. They were referring to, as Wikipedia puts it, “the concentration of income and wealth among the top earning 1%, which reflected an opinion that the “99%” are paying the price for the mistakes of a tiny minority within the upper class”. Though this was an American movement, their protest expanded around the world, with Europeans feeling this inequality as well.

The world is run by a few – that we all start to realize. But how few are they? And how do they become so big? Well, dear reader, not only but also, because of you. We are part of the oil that makes these giant, transnational corporations run smoothly, earn market power and, consequently, political influence. An example: Breakfast. You have a Nescafe coffee. Then a shower, using L’Oréal to wash your hair and Garnier to cleanse your face. Moving on, you moisturize your body with products from The Body Shop, put on your Diesel jeans and grab a KitKat for the way. In a simple, standard morning routine, all things used are owned by Nestlé.

William True - "Nestlé's Milk Project" (1901)

William True – “Nestlé’s Milk Project” (1901)

Continue reading