Who’s at the helm in Europe?

by Michael Seckler

“Eurosur”! Ever heard of it? Even though it may sound like a new “no-frills-airline” it is not about moving people. Actually, quite the opposite. Eurosur is short for “European Border Surveillance System” and is part of Europe’s answer to illegal immigration. For me, it is the law that convinced me to go vote in May 2014 when the next European parliamentary elections are being held.

picture: zeit.de

photo: zeit.de

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Oh society, what are you reading?

By Sonja Nikcevic

“The masses are stupid.” Unfortunately, this is a sentence I have heard too many times in the world of media and news production. I have even been guilty of thinking it myself, when I moderated comments or published photos of footballers’ naked girlfriends instead of stories about how said footballer played the previous weekend. I grumbled and cursed the masses, but conceded that clicks make money and money makes the world go round. I never really believed in it though. It’s just something you say at work; the whole of humanity can’t REALLY be stupid, can it? Or at least that’s what I liked to believe.

Then, a couple of days ago, I came across a truly tragic infographic, about a slightly different type of written word. You can see it below, possibly the saddest Top 10 ever – the top 10 most read books in the world in the past 50 years. And so I redirect you, and myself, back to the opening sentence – there is obviously something innately and frighteningly wrong with a species that has Shakespeare, the great Russian authors, and libraries full of literary genius, but that picks up Twilight instead.


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Let’s Make Time for Games

by Daniel Isler

“Learning, according to that almost automatic view, is what children do in school and, maybe, in other adult-directed activities. Playing is, at best, a refreshing break from learning. From that view, summer vacation is just a long recess, perhaps longer than necessary. But here’s an alternative view, which should be obvious but apparently is not: playing is learning. At play, children learn the most important of life’s lessons, the ones that cannot be taught in school. To learn these lessons well, children need lots of play — lots and lots of it, without interference from adults.” (Peter Grey)

Do you feel sometimes that people around you – at work, at school, on the bus or on the internet – are being schematic and predictable, contributing nothing to a given conversation but a chewed-up set of ideas? The world is getting rapidly more full of adults that are incapable of creative thinking that creates new knowledge by building on existing knowledge. A few weeks ago I wrote here about Sir Ken Robinson and his notions of how schools kill creativity. What are the alternatives that the modern education system can provide in order to overcome these problems?


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Sinterklaas, evolving traditions…

By Noort Bakx

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. If you’re not Dutch these words won’t mean anything to you. For me, it is associated with a whole lot of heartwarming feelings, childhood memories and tradition. Sinterklaas is a guy, a Saint, and the name for the winter holiday we celebrate in The Netherlands and some surrounding countries. This week was the kickoff of another year where both kids and many adults will continue this tradition. This upcoming weekend, Sinterklaas arrives by boat to The Netherlands, a crazy yearly grand entrance, full on parade and national television show. But this year, the craziness started early. Cause next to heartwarming feelings, more and more people associate the feast with racism. Zwarte Piet, Black Peter, the black helper of the Saint, represents a reference to slavery. The annual discussion about keeping tradition versus moving away from an association that should be left behind, has gotten stirred up to high proportions.


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The collaboration of a lifetime

by Lisa Gut

In 2004 H&M offered its first designer collaboration with no other than Chanel God Karl Lagerfeld himself. The collaboration was such a huge success that H&M has since released a new collaboration at least once every year, if not more often. The collaborations involve high-end design houses such as Comme des Garcons, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Lanvin, Maison Martin Margiela and many more. The list is vast, diverse and most importantly draws a huge crowd. In general these collaborations sell out within the first couple of hours and it is not unusual for fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters (call them whatever you want) to camp out the night before to be able to storm the stores the second the doors open.

H&M - Lanvin

H&M – Lanvin

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