To work or not to work from home

On the weekend, I read an article in the German FAZ ( ‘Der Unsinn des Home Office’) about the pro and cons of working from home versus working at the office.

It describes a study with which researchers wanted to find out who worked more efficiently: someone working alone, or people working in a team. They gave a group of students the task of enveloping letters. Some of them were paired up, others worked alone. Those in the team enveloped more letters than those who worked alone. Continue reading

How to get the blog to show on Internet Explorer 9

I just found out something quite curious. I was trying out the search function on my blog – I was looking for my post on the War of the Worlds: the page popped up and all the things on the right side bar as well. So, although not a perfect solution, to see the blog completely in Internet Explorer 9 you just type in part of a headline and it shows – black on white with all the categories, former posts, calendar etc.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks report

As mentioned in my last post that eventually took a different direction, I was looking for the article in which I had read about an increasing worry among experts from different realms over possible consequences of income inequality or disparity. And I found it: it was a (German) newspaper article reporting the findings of the annual survey on global risk assessment conducted by  the WEF and summarized in their ‘Global Risks‘ report. Continue reading

NPR: National Public Radio

A great new website I have found.

I was actually googling ‘gap between rich and poor’, looking for an article I had recently read about how the growing income gap, especially the growing income loss, is one of the most volatile issues for the future of societies, and the biggest threat to peaceful co-existence. I actually believe this fact to be a no-brainer, and at the core of most violent conflicts in the world – poverty bears violence -, but it seems more and more people (some of whom in the past couldn’t have cared less) are beginning to see a growing threat in and to hitherto basically democratic societies. Continue reading

To ‘Lord of the Rings’ Fans

Have you ever tried reading the books in the original? My experience with classes in Germany tells me most haven’t. As ‘The Lord of the Rings’ also falls under the category of a classic, you can actually read it for free online (which is something you can do quite nicely with a tablet PC).
Below I copied some lines from so give it a try. You might find the reading is not as difficult as you believed.
In 1981 the UK radio station BBC Radio 4 broadcast a dramatization of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings in 26 half-hour stereo installments which is really great. It’s not an audio book but an audio play, so the characters are acted out (by British actors) with a narrator telling the story in between dramatized scenes.

The Lord of the Rings : A Full Cast Dramatisation (BBC Radio Collection)

The Google Effect

New Technologies and how they have changed or are changing our lives has been a recurring theme over the last years. This year a new term popped up: the google effect.

Last year, we discussed a study that intended to explore the effect that easily available information accessible via digital devices like smartphones might have on people’s mind or ways of thinking and memorizing. Study participants were asked how many countries’ flags had only one color. Continue reading

Happy New Year! (Any New Year’s resolutions anybody?)

Every year around the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year the same topics pop up. Some I love to take up on, others I try to avoid. However, similar to the taboo topics I wrote about in my last post, those I try to avoid most have the tendency to hop up and down in my mind, forcing me to at least mention them in a class. It’s a little like the things we try hard to forget: the harder the attempt the more likely unpleasant moments are to sneak back into our memories. Continue reading