The Politics of Sports

By Noort Bakx

With a spectacular opening event last Friday (although the last Olympics circle failing to open messed it up a bit, leading to some great responses) The Olympics in Sochi finally kicked off. After months, maybe years of controversy and issues surrounding the event, question is whether sports will now finally take over as the dominant factor surrounding the games. Cause that is what it’s all about, no?

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Thailand’s Democracy Collapse Disorder

By Paw Siriluk Sriprasit

As a global citizen and an environmental journalist, I am always watching out and waiting to get more information to write about the bees’ colony collapse disorder (CCD) – the world is now facing. The CCD is an extremely important problem that can put the human kind to an end. As Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in ‘The Life of the Bee (1901)’  “if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” No bees mean no food, “as bees are the most important pollinator of our fruit, flowers, vegetables, and crop. About a third of the world’s food supply depends on bees” said Marla Spivak, a well-known American entomologist.

For anyone who is not familiar with this subject – the bees’ colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which worker bees from beehives abruptly disappear. The CCD occurred in late 2006 and also began to happen afterwards, mostly in Western colonies in North America and Western Europe. The cause of CCD is somewhat unclear, but the possible factors have been studied by many institutions and universities. Key causes that distributed for CCD are overuse of pesticides, fungicides, diseases, bee mites, and electromagnetic radiation from electronic communication devices (wifi, mobile phones, etc.).

Happen to be that I’m not only a global citizen and journalist, but was also born and raised in Thailand. So enough caring for bees and talking about CCD for now. I’m proposing that what Thai politics and society are currently facing can be called “Democracy Collapse Disorder” (DCD). Why DCD? I’ll try to comprehend this phenomenon for you, however your final consideration and judgment are with you, the readers. But let me try.

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

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Could you give me a job…please?

By Jasmijn de Baan

As a Recruiter, it is the most asked question from anyone who has just received their hard-earned diploma.

Like so many others, I started my education five years ago with all the gleam and pride of someone who thought they were getting the best start in life. Cause not everyone makes it up to university. And at that time it was literally said: ‘no matter what field of study you choose, you will have a job within a short period of time’. Five years later, the unemployment plague is a stark reality. Starter positions are relatively scarce, and the jobs available are usually met by hundreds of candidates applying (300 to 400 candidates for one job opening is rather a rule than an exception). The competition is murderous and (sadly), you can expect your group of competitors growing every half year. Unless you are in IT of course.

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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

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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.

 NTR-bereid-Sinterklaasjournaal-aan-te-passen

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