Anekdotische Evidenz
ist ein informeller Bericht über Evidenz in Form eines Einzelberichts oder vom Hörensagen. Der Ausdruck wird oft als Gegensatz zur empirischen Evidenz und zum Analogieschluss verwendet. Anekdotische Evidenz hat eine schwache argumentative Aussagekraft.

Genderst Du schon?
30′ Sendung auf Radio Orange auf-hoeren von Alina Hauke und Barbara Strasser

Gas und Strom
alle zwölf Monate wechseln

tägliches Foto
Noah ist mir zuvorgekommen, aber ich habe noch keine zwanzig jahre.

Die vier Gesichter unserer Internetprofile

The Heartbreaking Effects of Being Only Partly Committed to Most Things

Kammer ersetzt Selbstbehalt beim Arztbesuch

I Borghi Più Belli D’Italia

those untranslatable words

Those untranslatable words that teach us how to travel better
by Brian Johnston

Anyone who enjoys travel should appreciate the Dutch word voorpret. Literally translated as „pre-fun“, voorpret refers to the pleasant anticipation of a forthcoming event. Yet it’s more than just looking forward to something, in which the focus is on the future. It’s more about the here-and-now pleasure that comes in the preparation.

Surely there’s no keener manifestation of voorpret than preparing for a journey. Pleasure can be found in the turn of pages in a holiday brochure, in reading guidebooks, in planning what you’re going to see and where you’re going to eat. When I first started travelling, my voorpret would last for months. As a university student heading to Greece, I surrounded myself with maps and history books, read novels set in Greece, plotted which islands I was going to visit.

As my life became busier, the voorpret dwindled. And as travel information moved online and became ever more ubiquitous and readily available, I began to do my research on the hoof. It was easier to check out local restaurants online a half-hour before dinner, or details of the Parthenon’s architecture even as I sat beneath its columns. Eventually, though, I realised anticipation had been sacrificed. The pre-fun had been lost, and my life was a little less rich.

It was coming across the Dutch word that reminded me something was missing. Since discovering it, I’ve taken time once more for some old-fashioned preparation. I was in Greece again this year, and before I went, dug out my old history books. I reread Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and took the time to study the difference between Doric and Ionic columns. I enjoyed Greece twice, once in my head before I went and again when I was there.

There are other foreign words that might teach us how to travel better. They’re often described as untranslatable, which isn’t really true – although it might take a few sentences to explain their subtleties. Nor do I believe that foreigners are graced with special insights. The Japanese aren’t the only people who can appreciate filtered sunlight through trees, even if they have the special word komorebi to describe it. Such joys are universal.

Still, what strikes you when you travel and tune into language is the ways in which that language is used to shape thought. Paying attention to concepts that lack easy English words gives you an insight into another society’s philosophy and aesthetic sensibility, and the qualities it particularly values. In the last few years, whole self-help industries have arisen around concepts such as hygge (Danish cosiness), lagom (Swedish just-enough-ness) and Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking tokimeku, a word more commonly used to mean „flutter“ or „throb“.

Few people are associated with esoteric words as much as the Japanese. Their language abounds with clever philosophical vocabulary to make you marvel, such as wabi-sabi (the beauty to be found in impermanence or imperfection) and omotenashi, the philosophy of thoughtful, considerate acts that results in the country’s impeccable customer service. It could be that we all travel in search of ukiyo, literally a „floating world“ in which we live in the moment, detached from life’s worries.

But what can we learn from such terms? Perhaps to sit a moment longer in contemplation of the cherry blossoms, which erupt in such beauty yet die so suddenly. Perhaps to get up early, step outside and listen to early birds sing, an experience for which Swedish provides the word gokotta. Perhaps to indulge in spontaneous urban meandering that leads to pleasant discoveries, which the French call a derive or „drifting'“.

Certain cultures share certain concepts, and we’d do well to enfold ourselves in them while travelling. Only in dark, chilly northern nations can you really appreciate the almost existential nature of cosiness encapsulated in the German word Gemutlichkeit, hygge and a dozen others. This isn’t just the creation of a warm atmosphere of crackling fires, candlelight and wood-carved interiors. It’s about appreciating rustic simplicity, tradition, the company of family and friends. If you sit in a posh, minimalist Copenhagen hotel room watching CNN or checking your work emails while on holiday, that’s the antithesis of all that hygge stands for.

All humans understand hygge, but it’s hard to truly live it in a sunny climate. Similarly, there are Mediterranean rituals that just wouldn’t work on the Baltic, as you’ll discover if you join the passeggiata, the pre-dinner stroll along the main street in Italian towns. It’s a timeless ritual that involves dressing well, gossip with neighbours and aimless relaxation, and relies on a balmy climate. The Greeks call it the volta, the Portuguese passeio, the Spanish passeo.

The Spanish have the sobremesa too. It’s the after-lunch, mid-afternoon slump around cafe tables in sunny plazas, when the whole afternoon can drift away with drinks and conversation in the pleasant acceptance that life is about more than work. As a traveller, you can charge around all the cathedrals and palaces you want, but you haven’t soaked up Spain until you’ve wasted half a sobremesa day away.

Contrary to stereotypes, there are idle moments to be enjoyed elsewhere. The Germans have their Feierabend or „celebration evening“, a complete disconnect from the office for a moment of carefree, do-nothing wellbeing. The Dutch have their uitwaaien, a walk in the countryside that clears the mind. The Norwegians, admittedly, only occasionally get to enjoy an utepils, literally „outside lager“, a beer outdoors on a sunny day, especially the first sunny day of the year. It’s a niche word, but conveys all the particular joy of a blue-sky afternoon in a cold climate.

There are various niche activities that we all might enjoy, even if we don’t have a word for them. Who doesn’t secretly long to cast off their clothes in some uninhibited dancing? That’s mbuki-mvuki in Swahili, from which boogie-woogie is purportedly derived. Who doesn’t enjoy walking across warm sand (hanyauku)? That’s apparently a Kwangali word, though perhaps the Namibian who told me so was pulling my leg.

The Italians in particular must appreciate the pleasant drowsiness that overcomes you after a good meal, since they coined the word abbiocco to describe it. The Germans like the solitary feeling of walking alone in a forest, Waldeinsamkeit. And what is it about the Turkish mind that especially delights in light reflecting in water? That’s yakamoz, and can be used for anything from moonlight to the glitter of swimming fish.

Some words are ambivalent. I love the Swedish term resfeber for the fluttering mix of excitement and anxiety that might keep you awake before a journey. But is there a word for the sheer delight that sometimes overwhelms us after we’ve set off? Not that I know of. The upwelling of emotion encapsulated by the Arabic word tarab is usually used only in the context of music. The Spanish call it duende, the power of a performance to make your nape prickle or move you to tears. Such a feeling is what we want when we travel and occasionally find, whether at the Taj Mahal, the summit of a mountain or a wild-animal encounter.

Cherish those moments, though. The Italians may have a warning about attempting to recreate them. Going back to travel destinations where we were once particularly happy is a mission fraught with disappointment. The dismissive Italian phrase cavoli riscaldati (literally „reheated cabbage“), used to describe a doomed attempt to revive a love affair, might be applied. You visit a destination you loved in your youth but find both it and you have changed. You find traffic jams, a rash of souvenir shops and fast-food stores where once there were rice paddies and temples piled with pyramid offerings of fruit.

Who else but the Germans would have a word (Weltschmerz) for the feeling of sentimental sadness and world-weariness that seeps into you in such moments? The German language has all kinds of melancholy words for complicated thoughts. And some delightful ones, too. Like Fernweh, the longing for faraway places that might overcome you on a rainy winter’s day, and Sehnsucht, the yearning for something indefinable that can be evoked by anything, from the sound of waves on a shoreline to the lonely sight of birds flying overhead in a big sky. A lovely notion in any language.

Small Kindnesses by Danusha Laméris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

Billy Joel setlist

Billy Joel setlist at Wembley Stadium, London, England, 22.06.2019
A Matter of Trust
My Life (Intro Piano 9th Beethoven, Ode to Joy)
The Entertainer
The Downeaster Alexa
Say Goodbye to Hollywood
Don’t Ask Me Why
She’s Always a Woman
The Ballad of Billy the Kid
The Magnificent Seven Theme (Elmer Bernstein cover)
Movin‘ Out (Anthony’s Song)
New York State of Mind
Rule, Britannia! (Thomas Augustine Arne cover)
We’ll Meet Again (Vera Lynn cover)
I Go to Extremes
Sometimes a Fantasy
Only the Good Die Young
The River of Dreams (interspersed with ‚I Feel Fine‘ by The Beatles)
Nessun dorma (Giacomo Puccini sung by Mike Delguidice )
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Piano Man
We Didn’t Start the Fire
Uptown Girl
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Big Shot
You May Be Right (with a snippet of Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin)

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg auf Facebook im Februar 2019:
Recently I’ve seen many rumors circulating about me and enormous amounts of hate. This is no surprise to me. I know that since most people are not aware of the full meaning of the climate crisis (which is understandable since it has never been treated as a crisis) a school strike for the climate would seem very strange to people in general.
So let me make some things clear about my school strike.
In may 2018 I was one of the winners in a writing competition about the environment held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. I got my article published and some people contacted me, among others was Bo Thorén from Fossil Free Dalsland. He had some kind of group with people, especially youth, who wanted to do something about the climate crisis.
I had a few phone meetings with other activists. The purpose was to come up with ideas of new projects that would bring attention to the climate crisis. Bo had a few ideas of things we could do. Everything from marches to a loose idea of some kind of a school strike (that school children would do something on the schoolyards or in the classrooms). That idea was inspired by the Parkland Students, who had refused to go to school after the school shootings.
I liked the idea of a school strike. So I developed that idea and tried to get the other young people to join me, but no one was really interested. They thought that a Swedish version of the Zero Hour march was going to have a bigger impact. So I went on planning the school strike all by myself and after that I didn’t participate in any more meetings.
When I told my parents about my plans they weren’t very fond of it. They did not support the idea of school striking and they said that if I were to do this I would have to do it completely by myself and with no support from them.
On the 20 of august I sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. I handed out fliers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations on why I was striking. The first thing I did was to post on Twitter and Instagram what I was doing and it soon went viral. Then journalists and newspapers started to come. A Swedish entrepreneur and business man active in the climate movement, Ingmar Rentzhog, was among the first to arrive. He spoke with me and took pictures that he posted on Facebook. That was the first time I had ever met or spoken with him. I had not communicated or encountered with him ever before.
Many people love to spread rumors saying that I have people ”behind me” or that I’m being ”paid” or ”used” to do what I’m doing. But there is no one ”behind” me except for myself. My parents were as far from climate activists as possible before I made them aware of the situation.
I am not part of any organization. I sometimes support and cooperate with several NGOs that work with the climate and environment. But I am absolutely independent and I only represent myself. And I do what I do completely for free, I have not received any money or any promise of future payments in any form at all. And nor has anyone linked to me or my family done so.
And of course it will stay this way. I have not met one single climate activist who is fighting for the climate for money. That idea is completely absurd.
Furthermore I only travel with permission from my school and my parents pay for tickets and accommodations.
My family has written a book together about our family and how me and my sister Beata have influenced my parents way of thinking and seeing the world, especially when it comes to the climate. And about our diagnoses.
That book was due to be released in May. But since there was a major disagreement with the book company, we ended up changing to a new publisher and so the book was released in august instead.
Before the book was released my parents made it clear that their possible profits from the book ”Scener ur hjärtat” will be going to 8 different charities working with environment, children with diagnoses and animal rights.
And yes, I write my own speeches. But since I know that what I say is going to reach many, many people I often ask for input. I also have a few scientists that I frequently ask for help on how to express certain complicated matters. I want everything to be absolutely correct so that I don’t spread incorrect facts, or things that can be misunderstood.
Some people mock me for my diagnosis. But Asperger is not a disease, it’s a gift. People also say that since I have Asperger I couldn’t possibly have put myself in this position. But that’s exactly why I did this. Because if I would have been ”normal” and social I would have organized myself in an organisation, or started an organisation by myself. But since I am not that good at socializing I did this instead. I was so frustrated that nothing was being done about the climate crisis and I felt like I had to do something, anything. And sometimes NOT doing things – like just sitting down outside the parliament – speaks much louder than doing things. Just like a whisper sometimes is louder than shouting.
Also there is one complaint that I ”sound and write like an adult”. And to that I can only say; don’t you think that a 16-year old can speak for herself? There’s also some people who say that I oversimplify things. For example when I say that „the climate crisis is a black and white issue”, ”we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases” and ”I want you to panic”. But that I only say because it’s true. Yes, the climate crisis is the most complex issue that we have ever faced and it’s going to take everything from our part to ”stop it”. But the solution is black and white; we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Because either we limit the warming to 1,5 degrees C over pre industrial levels, or we don’t. Either we reach a tipping point where we start a chain reaction with events way beyond human control, or we don’t. Either we go on as a civilization, or we don’t. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival.
And when I say that I want you to panic I mean that we need to treat the crisis as a crisis. When your house is on fire you don’t sit down and talk about how nice you can rebuild it once you put out the fire. If your house is on fire you run outside and make sure that everyone is out while you call the fire department. That requires some level of panic.
There is one other argument that I can’t do anything about. And that is the fact that I’m ”just a child and we shouldn’t be listening to children.” But that is easily fixed – just start to listen to the rock solid science instead. Because if everyone listened to the scientists and the facts that I constantly refer to – then no one would have to listen to me or any of the other hundreds of thousands of school children on strike for the climate across the world. Then we could all go back to school.
I am just a messenger, and yet I get all this hate. I am not saying anything new, I am just saying what scientists have repeatedly said for decades. And I agree with you, I’m too young to do this. We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.

And if you have any other concern or doubt about me, then you can listen to my TED talk, in which I talk about how my interest for the climate and environment began.
And thank you everyone for you kind support! It brings me hope.
Ps I was briefly a youth advisor for the board of the non profit foundation “We don’t have time”. It turns out they used my name as part of another branch of their organisation that is a start up business. They have admitted clearly that they did so without the knowledge of me or my family. I no longer have any connection to “We don’t have time”. Nor has anyone in my family. They have deeply apologised and I have accepted their apology.

russian doll

‘Russian Doll’ (nyt)
The “Groundhog Day” premise of the eternally resetting day has itself — somewhat ironically — been done over and over in movies and TV shows. But nothing that’s come before is quite like “Russian Doll,” an innovative comedy co-created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler. Lyonne stars as Nadia, who finds herself continuously looping around to the same party, where something disastrous always happens. With every do-over, “Russian Doll” proves constantly delightful and surprising.

FIRE movement

The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is a movement whose goal is financial independence and retiring early. … Those seeking to attain the goals of FIRE intentionally increase the rate by which they save their income through simple living or generating secondary and passive streams of income.

Hide your phone during conversations

Having your phone visible when you are around others will immediately decrease the quality of your interactions. This is the so-called iPhone effect, and a 2014 study confirmed that the mere presence of a mobile device (even if switched off) made conversations less fulfilling. Another study found that a visible cell phone had negative effects on attention and on people’s ability to perform complex tasks. So, leave your phone in your bag and encourage your relationships to flourish.

99 Good News Stories in 2018

99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2018 by Angus Hervey
For the last 12 months, the global media has been focused on a lot of bad news. But there were other things happening out there too. Good news stories that didn’t make it onto the evening broadcasts, or your social media feeds. We spent the year collecting them, in our ongoing mission to stop the fear virus in its tracks. Enjoy.
1. The Kofan people of Sinangoe, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, won a landmark legal battle to protect the headwaters of the Aguarico River, nullifying 52 mining concessions and freeing up more than 32, 000 hectares of primary rainforest. Amazon Frontlines
2. Following China’s ban on ivory last year, 90% of Chinese support it, ivory demand has dropped by almost half, and poaching rates are falling in places like Kenya. WWF
3. The population of wild tigers in Nepal was found to have nearly doubled in the last nine years, thanks to efforts by conservationists and increased funding for protected areas. Independent
4. Deforestation in Indonesia fell by 60%, as a result of a ban on clearing peatlands, new educational campaigns and better law enforcement. Ecowatch
5. The United Nations said that the ozone hole would be fully healed over the Arctic and the northern hemisphere by the 2030s, and in the rest of the world by 2060. Gizmodo
6. $10 billion (the largest amount ever for ocean conservation) was committed in Bali this year for the protection of 14 million square kilometres of the world’s oceans. MongaBay
7. In California, the world’s smallest fox was removed from the Endangered Species List, the fastest recovery of any mammal under the Endangered Species Act. Conservaca
8. In 2018, after more than ten years of debate, 140 nations agreed to begin negotiations on a historic “Paris Agreement for the Ocean,” the first-ever international treaty to stop overfishing and protect life in the high seas. National Geographic
9. Niger revealed that it has planted 200 million new trees in three decades, the largest positive transformation of the environment in African history. Guardian
10. Spain said it would create a new marine wildlife reserve for the migrations of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and will prohibit all future fossil fuels exploration in the area. Associated Press
11. Following ‘visionary’ steps by Belize, UNESCO removed the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, from its list of endangered World Heritage Sites. BBC
12. Colombia officially expanded the Serranía de Chiribiquete (also known as The Cosmic Village of the Jaguars) to 4.3 million hectares, making it the largest protected tropical rainforest national park in the world. WWF
13. Mexico said its population of wild jaguars, the largest feline in the Americas, grew by 20% in the past eight years, and 14 Latin American countries signed an agreement to implement a regional conservation program for the big cats through 2030.
14. In the forests of central Africa, the population of mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species, was reported to have increased by 25% since 2010, to over 1,000 individuals. Reuters
15. Canada signed another conservation deal with its First Nations people, creating the largest protected boreal forest (an area twice the size of Belgium) on the planet. BBC
16. Chile passed a new law protecting the waters along its coastline, creating nine marine reserves and increasing the area of ocean under state protection from 4.3% to 42.4% BBC
17. The Seychelles created a new 130,000 square kilometre marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, protecting their waters from illegal fishing for generations to come. National Geographic
18. New Caledonia agreed to place 28,000 square kilometres of its ocean waters under protection, including some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. Forbes
19. 25 million doses of a new cholera vaccine were administered globally, and preparations began for the largest vaccination drive in history. UNICEF
20. France revealed a sharp fall in daily smokers, with one million fewer lighting up in the past year, and cigarette use among Americans dropped to its lowest level since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started collecting data in 1965.
21. Rwanda became the first low income country to provide universal eye care to all of its citizens, by training 3,000 nurses in over 500 health clinics. Global Citizen
22. India registered a 22% decline in maternal deaths since 2013. That means on average, 30 more new mothers are now being saved every day compared to five years ago. The Wire
23. Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma. In 2000, it threatened 2.8 million people (15% of the population) with blindness. Devex
24. The WHO revealed that teenage drinking has declined across Europe, the continent with the highest rates of drinking in the world. The country with the largest decline? Britain. CNN
25. Since 2010, global HIV/AIDS infection rates have fallen by 16% in adults and by 35% for children. Most countries are now on track to eliminate infections by 2030. Undark
26. In 2018, New York and Virginia became the first two US states to enact laws requiring mental health education in schools. CNN
27. Malaysia became the first country in the Western Pacific to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Malaymail
28. South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV, shocked health officials by revealing a 44% decline in new infections since 2012. Telegraph
29. After five successful, annual rounds of large-scale, school-based deworming across Kenya, worm-related diseases have fallen from 33.4% in 2012 to 3% today. KEMRI
30. Russians are drinking and smoking less than at any point since the fall of the Soviet Union, with tobacco use down by 20% since 2009, and alcohol consumption down by 20% since 2012. Straits Times
31. Tanzania revealed that in the last ten years, it has reduced the malaria death rate by 50% in adults and 53% in children. Borgen
32. The WHO certified Paraguay as having eliminated malaria, the first country in the Americas to be granted this status since Cuba in 1973.
33. Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, and gave the government 18 months to change it. BBC
34. New research revealed that in the last two decades, female genital mutilation has fallen from 57.7% to 14.1% in north Africa, from 73.6% to 25.4% in west Africa, and from 71.4% to 8% in east Africa. Guardian
35. India’s highest court struck down a century-old prohibition on homosexual sex, calling the Victorian-era law “irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary.” Al Jazeera
36. Morocco passed a landmark law that criminalises violence against women, and imposes harsh penalties on perpetrators. Albawaba
37. Germany released new figures showing that more than 300,000 refugees have now found jobs, and the share of MPs with migrant backgrounds has risen from 3% to 9% in the last two elections. Economist
38. New Zealand became the second country in the world (after the Philippines) to pass legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave. Guardian
39. Scotland became the first nation in the world to guarantee free sanitary products to all students, and India’s finance ministry announced it would scrap the 12% GST on all sanitary products.
40. Canada became the second country in the world to legalise marijuana. A major crack in the grass ceiling, and a wonderful moment for fans of evidence-based decision making everywhere. BBC
41. In a major milestone for human rights in the Middle East, a Lebanese court issued a new judgement holding that homosexuality is not a crime. Beirut
42. Trinidad and Tobago’s high court ruled that the Caribbean nation’s colonial-era law banning gay sex was unconstitutional. NBC
43. Tunisia became the first Arab nation to pass a law giving women and men equal inheritance, overturning an old provision of Sharia Islamic law. Dhaka Tribune
44. Pakistan’s parliament passed a landmark law guaranteeing basic rights for transgender citizens and outlawing all forms of discrimination by employers. Al Jazeera
45. Scotland became the first country in the world to include teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights into its state schools curriculum. The Scotsman
46. Nepal became the 54th country in the world, and the first country in South Asia, to pass a law banning corporal punishment for children. End Corporal Punishment
47. Quietly and unannounced, humanity crossed a truly amazing threshold this year. For the first time since agriculture-based civilisation began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind is no longer poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty. Brookings
48. A little perspective. The Economist revealed that global suicide rates have dropped by 38% since 1994, saving four million lives, four times the number killed in combat during the same time.
49. According to the UNDP, 271 million people in India moved out of poverty since 2015, and the country’s poverty rate has been cut nearly in half. Times of India
50. India also continued the largest sanitation building spree of all time. More than 80 million toilets are estimated to have been built since 2014. Arkansas Democrat Gazette
51. The International Energy Agency said that in the last year, 120 million people gained access to electricity. That means that for the first time since electrical service was started (1882), less than a billion of the world’s population are left in darkness.
52. A new report showed that the global fertility rate (average number of children a woman gives birth to) has halved since 1950. Half the world’s countries are now below replacement levels. BBC
53. Bangladesh revealed that it had reduced its child mortality rate by 78% since 1990, the largest reduction by any country in the world. Kinder-World
54. Remember how the global media worked itself into a frenzy over Cape Town’s water shortages and Day Zero in 2017? Strangely, nobody reported this year how the Mother City successfully averted the crisis. apolitical
55. Respiratory disease death rates in China have fallen by 70% since 1990, thanks to rising incomes, cleaner cooking fuels and better healthcare. Twitter
56. The share of black men in poverty in the United States fell from 41% in 1960 to 18% today, and their share in the middle class rose from 38% to 57% in the same time. CNN
57. A new report showed that democracy is more widespread than ever. Six in ten of the world’s countries are now democratic — a post war record. Pew Research
58. A new global youth survey showed that young people in all countries are more optimistic than adults. Nine in 10 teenagers in Kenya, Mexico, China, Nigeria and India reported feeling positive about their future. Guardian
59. The world passed 1,000 GW of cumulative installed wind and solar power this year. 10 years ago, there was less than 8 GW of solar. Future Crunch
60. Solar and wind continued their precipitous cost declines. In the second half of 2018 alone, the levelized cost for solar fell by 14% and the wind benchmark by 6%. In many parts of the world it’s now cheaper to build new clean energy than it is to keep dirty energy running. BNEF
61. Allianz, the world’s biggest insurance company by assets, said it would cease insuring coal-fired power plants and coal mines, and Maersk, the world’s largest maritime shipping company, said it would begin ditching fossil fuels, and will eliminate all carbon emissions by the year 2050.
62. Repsol became the first major fossil fuels producer to say it would no longer be seeking new growth for oil and gas. Bloomberg
63. California unveiled the most ambitious climate target of all time, with a commitment to making the world’s fifth biggest economy carbon neutral by 2045. NBC
64. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, revised its renewable energy target upwards, committing to 35% clean energy by 2030. Engadget
65. Chile said it had managed to quadruple its clean energy sources since 2013, resulting in a 75% drop in the average cost of electricity. IPS News
66. The United States set a new record for coal plant closures this year, with 22 plants in 14 states totalling 15.4GW of dirty energy going dark. #MAGA. Clean Technica
67. 11 European nations either closed their coal fleets or announced they will close them by a specific date, including France by 2023, Italy and the UK by 2025, and Denmark and the Netherlands by 2030.
68. Some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, representing more than $3 trillion in assets, and Black Rock, the world’s biggest fund manager, with assets worth $5.1 trillion, said they would only invest in companies that factor climate risks into their strategies. UNFCCC
69. India increased its already massive 2022 clean energy target by 28%. It plans to add 150 GW of wind and solar in the next four years. Clean Technica
70. Ireland became the world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels, after a bill was passed with all-party support in the lower house of parliament. Guardian
71. Spain committed to shutting down most of its coalmines by the end of the year, after the government agreed to early retirement for miners, re-skilling and environmental restoration. Guardian
72. The Journal of Peace Research said that global deaths from state based conflicts have declined for the third year in a row, and are now 32% lower than their peak in 2014.
73. After a decade long effort, Herat, Afghanistan’s deadliest province for landmines, was declared free of explosive devices. Nearly 80% of the country is now mine free. Reuters
74. Following the collapse of ISIS, civilian deaths in Iraq decreased dramatically. 80% fewer Iraqis were killed in the first five months of 2018 compared to last year. Anti-War
75. Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace treaty, signalling the end of a 20 year war, and reuniting thousands of families. BBC
76. Malaysia abolished the death penalty for all crimes and halted all pending executions, a move hailed by human rights groups in Asia as a major victory. SMH
77. Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2012. Murders have decreased by half since then, more than any other nation. Ozy
78. Crime and murder rates declined in the United States’ 30 largest cities, with the murder rate for 2018 projected to be 7.6 percent lower than 2017. Vox
79. Crime falls when you take in millions of refugees too. The number of reported crimes in Germany has fallen by 10%, to the lowest level in 30 years. Washington Post
80. Worried about the kids? Youth crime in the Australian state of New South Wales has plummeted in the last 20 years. Vehicle theft is down by 59%, property theft by 59%, and drunk-driving by 49%. ANU
81. Still worried about the kids? In the last generation, arrests of Californian teenagers have fallen by 80%, murder arrests by 85%, gun killings by 75%, imprisonments by 88%, teen births by 75%, school dropouts by half, and college enrolments are up by 45%. Sacbee
82. According to new data from the Department of Justice, the proportion of people being sent to prison in the United States has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years. Pew Research
83. Damn those pesky millenials. A new report revealed that, thanks to shifting tastes amongst those born after 1980, 70% of the world’s population is reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether. Forbes
84. Germany announced one of the most ambitious waste management schemes in history. The government plans to recycle 63% of its total waste within the next four years, up from 36% today. DW
85. The Malaysian government announced it would not allow any further expansion of oil palm plantations, and that it intends to maintain forest cover at 50%. Malaymail
86. Denmark became the latest country to announce a ban on internal combustion engines. There are now 16 countries with bans that come into effect before 2040 — including China and India, the two biggest car markets in the world. Bloomberg
87. In 2018, the world surpassed the 4 million mark for electric vehicles. In the world’s biggest car market, China, electric cars reached 5% of sales; China’s internal combustion car market is flat, with all growth now being absorbed by EVs. Bloomberg
88. Adidas expects to sell 5 million pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic this year, and committed to using only recycled plastic in its products by 2024. CNN
89. Four years ago, China declared a war on pollution. It’s working. Cities have, on average, cut concentrations of fine particulates in the air by 32%. New York Times
90. Thanks to tightening restrictions, the United Kingdom reported a 12% drop in vehicle emissions since 2012, as well as significant overall drop in air pollutants. BBC
91. 250 of the world’s major brands, including Coca Cola, Kellogs and Nestle, agreed to make sure that 100% of their plastic packaging will be reused, recycled or composted by 2025. BBC
92. The European Parliament passed a full ban on single-use plastics, estimated to make up over 70% of marine litter. It will come into effect in 2021. Independent
93. As of the end of 2018, at least 32 countries around the world now have plastic bag bans in place — and nearly half are in Africa. Quartz
94. China said it had seen a 66% reduction in plastic bag usage since the rollout of its 2008 ban, and that it has avoided the use of an estimated 40 billion bags. Earth Day
95. India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra, home to 116 million people, banned all single use plastic (including packaging) on the 23rd June this year. Indian Express
96. India’s environment minister also announced the country would eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022. Oh, and three years after India made it compulsory to use plastic waste in road construction, there are now 100,000 kilometres of plastic roads in the country.
97. Four years after imposing a 5p levy, the United Kingdom said it had used 9 billion fewer plastic bags, and the number being found on the seabed has plummeted. Independent
98. Following a ban by two of its biggest retailers, Australia cut its plastic bag usage by 80% in three months, saving 1.5 billions bags from entering the waste stream. NY Post
99. After enacting the world’s toughest plastic bag ban, Kenya reported that its waterways were clearer, the food chain is less contaminated — and there are fewer ‘flying toilets.’ Guardian
100. There is now a giant 600 metre long boom in the Pacific that uses oceanic forces to clean up plastic, and you can track its progress here. Despite a few early setbacks, the team behind it thinks they can clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the next seven years. Ocean Cleanup

a more deliberate way of living

by Leo Babauta

Our lives are often spent in a rush, almost on autopilot, drifting from one wave of busyness and distraction to another, adrift in a sea of crises and urges. There’s noise and quick tasks, lots of tabs, messages and requests, demands on our attention, multitasking, mind scattered everywhere. The nature of the world is chaos, but what if we could find a more deliberate way of moving through the chaos? I’m going to share some ways I’ve been trying to move more deliberately — none of them new to me or you, but more of a coming back to what I know to be helpful. We’re always coming back.

  1. Set intentions at the start. When you start your day, or any meaningful activity, check in with yourself and ask what your intentions are for the day or that activity. Do you want to be more present? Do you want to move your mission forward? Do you want to be compassionate with your loved ones? Do you want to practice with discomfort and not run to comfort? Set an intention (or three) and try to hold that intention as you move through the day or that meaningful activity.
  2. Pick your important tasks & make them your focus. What tasks are meaningful to you today? Pick just three (or even just one) and focus on that first. Put aside everything else (you can come back to all that later) and create space for what’s meaningful in your life.
  3. One activity at a time. If you’re going to write, close all other tabs and just write. If you’re going to brush your teeth, just do that. If the activity is important enough to include in the limited container of your life, it’s important enough to give it your full focus.  Treat it as if it might be your last act on earth.
  4. Use any activity as a meditation. This is really the same as the item above, but every single act is an opportunity to be fully with the activity. Everything we do can be a practice in breath, in presence, in deep consciousness. Treat each act as sacred, and practice.
  5. Create more space. Instead of filling every minute of the day with space, what would it be like to have some time of rest, solitude, quietude and reflection? My tendency (like many people, I suspect) is to finish one task and then immediately launch into the next. When there’s nothing to do, I’ll reach for my phone or computer and find something to read, to learn about, to respond to — something useful. But space is also useful. What would it look like to include space in our lives? Giving each activity an importance, and when it’s done, giving some weight to the space between activities. Taking a pause, and taking a breath. Reflecting on how the activity went, how I held my intention, how I want to spend the next hour of my life. Moving deliberately in that space, not rushing through it.
  6. Be in silence more. Our days are filled with noise — talking, messaging, taking in the cacophony of the online world. What if we deliberately created a space or two each day for being in silence? That could look like a couple of meditation sessions, a walk out in nature, a bath where we don’t read but just experience the bath, a time for tea and nothing else but the tea, or just stopping to watch a sunset (without taking photos). Silence is healing to the soul.
  7. Create containers for messaging & other chaos. We need to respond to emails and messages, read the news and catch up on things. But this chaos doesn’t have to fill our entire lives. Create a container for each of these activities: set aside 30 minutes for responding to all your emails, another 30 minutes for messages (maybe 2-3 times a day), and so on. In each container, do nothing but that activity. When you’re done, leave that activity until you need to come back to it deliberately.
  8. Simplify by limiting or banning. We don’t have to say yes to every French fry or cookie, or every Youtube video or beer. We can choose what we want in our lives deliberately, and what we don’t want (or want less of) … then set limits or ban that activity. For example, can you limit sugar to one treat every week? Or go a month without alcohol? Or only watch Youtube videos between 6-7 pm? These kinds of limits help us to simplify and be more deliberate.
  9. Listen to what life is calling you to do. As we sit in silence, as we move deliberately into spaces we’ve created, as we check in with our intentions … we can listen. Listen to life, God, the universe, whatever you want to listen to … and see what its calling you to do. Maybe it’s just your own heart. But you’re being called, and if you listen, you will hear it.

When you add these together — and you don’t have to be perfect at any of them — they flow into a beautiful way to move through life. (Leo Babauta)

The Grammys have revoked an award only once

The Grammys have revoked an award only once (Andrew R. Chow @ nytimes)
That happened 28 years ago today, after the German duo Milli Vanilli confessed that they hadn‘t actually sung on their debut album. They also admitted to lip-syncing at their many shows, and blamed their producer for putting them up to it. The scandal cost them the 1989 Grammy for Best New Artist — and their careers. Since then, Milli Vanilli has become pop culture shorthand for fraud. Last month, Nicki Minaj referred to the group in a thinly veiled shot at Cardi B, her rival. But the discussion around authenticity has shifted as well. Cardi B and Kanye West openly acknowledge receiving help with their lyrics, while Mariah Carey and Garth Brooks have survived high-profile lip-sync blunders. In an era of C.G.I and android pop stars, the truth behind art is almost beside the point.
We’ll never know if Milli Vanilli was actually years ahead of its time.

Viennale 2018

Aquarela (08.11.2018)
A stunning documentary that might perform well at the box-office and should be definitely seen on a big screen with appropriate sound system. It was shot in 96 frames per second, “because the rain could be seen as separate drops of water, so it was clear that this was the right speed for water” (Victor Kossakovsky). Siberia, Greenland, the Atlantic Ocean or Venezuela are some of the locations the director picked to show the beauty and the power of water in any shape and conceivable color. There is no voice-over and no plot.
In AQUARELA human presence is mostly relegated to insignificance, but nonetheless the audience experiences a wide range of emotions from ecstasy to fear. Water is, of course, a source of life, but the movie depicts more often its force of destruction. At the beginning, while showing how a car is pulled out of the frozen waters of Lake Baikal, the camera catches another car in the distance cracking through the ice. A certain sense of danger keeps lingering throughout the film despite all the gorgeous imagery. (Ferdinand Keller)

Blaze (07.11.2018)
Ethan Hawke’s BLAZE is a lyrical, meandering portrait of a life that was short and raucous. Recounting the story of hard-living, larger-than-life country musician Blaze Foley – a.k.a. Michael Fuller, a.k.a. Deputy Dawg – BLAZE is a film full of memories and memories-within-memories. Through a vivid lead performance by newcomer Ben Dickey, the film tracks the legendary singer’s path through back roads and honky-tonks with plenty of Blaze’s own characteristic blend of dirty jokes, tall tales, and country-and-western folklore along the way. And then there’s the songs: uncannily performed by Dickey as well as Texas musician Charlie Sexton – who inhabits the ghostly persona of another doomed country great: Townes Van Zandt – the film’s soundtrack spin its own yarns of regret and heartbreak. Central to these Blaze’s bittersweet romance with Sybil Rosen (Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat), who follows him from a small shack in the idyllic Texas wilds to seek fame along the slow road to Austin. Co-written by Hawke and Rosen herself, BLAZE is a tender and melancholy rumination on that classic dilemma of country music: the choice between home and the road. (Leo Goldsmith)

Leave no trace (07.11.2018)
Will, a psychologically fragile Iraq War veteran, lives in the woods of Oregon with his teenage daughter Tom. They are neither homeless nor criminal; like others nearby, they have chosen to live apart from society. But when government rangers force Tom and Will out, they must try to adapt to civilisation and community. LEAVE NO TRACE is the third fiction feature by Debra Granik and, like DOWN TO THE BONE and WINTER’S BONE, it takes an observational, realist approach to an intriguing, marginal aspect of contemporary American life. Its characters are not militant right-wing survivalists shooting guns; they are ordinary, damaged people helping each other to cope. The social workers who intervene by relocating Will and Tom are benevolent; but to live in society means for Will to “eat their food, do their work” – to conform, crushing his freedom. Superbly acted by Foster and McKenzie, and rigorously eschewing any sensationalist possibilities (there is no sex or violence here), LEAVE NO TRACE eventually zeroes in on a universal human drama: the bond between father and daughter, which must ultimately arrive to the painful crossroad of separation, Tom wanting to think and act independently. (Adrian Martin)

Beautiful Things by Giorgio Ferrero (06.11.2018)
Eine hybride Filmfuge, die den exzessiven Hyperkonsum auf diesem überhitzten Planeten über vier Individuen umkreist, die an verschiedenen Stellen der globalen Verwertungsketten auf paradoxe Weise insuläre, ja mönchische Pole inmitten des rasenden Stillstandes markieren. Die Stimmen des Ölarbeiters, des Schiffsingenieurs, des philosophierenden Industrieakustikers im echofreien Studio und des Verbrennungstechnikers mit einer Vergangenheit im Glücksspielgewerbe verbinden sich zum Libretto einer zeitgenössischen Doku-Oper. Am Ende dann ein ratlos-virtuoser Paartanz in der Shopping Mall. In genau diesem Gebäude, räumt Regisseur und Komponist Ferrero ein, erledige er seine eigenen Einkäufe. (Stephan Settele)

Upholder (Gretchen Rubin)

Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations. They wake up and think: “What’s on the schedule and the to-do list for today?” They want to know what’s expected of them, and to meet those expectations. They avoid making mistakes or letting people down—including themselves. Others can rely on Upholders, and Upholders can rely on themselves. They’re self-directed and have little trouble meeting commitments, keeping resolutions, or hitting deadlines (they often finish early). They generally want to understand the rules, and often they search for the rules beyond the rules—as in the case of art or ethics. Because Upholders feel a real obligation to meet their expectations for themselves, they have a strong instinct for self-preservation, and this helps protect them from burn-out. However, Upholders may struggle in situations where expectations aren’t clear. They may feel compelled to meet expectations, even ones that seem pointless. They may feel uneasy when they know they’re not observing the rules, even unnecessary rules, or when they’re asked to change plans at the last minute. Others may find them rigid. There’s a relentless quality to Upholder-ness, which can be tiring both to Upholders and the people around them. Upholders embrace habits, and form them fairly easily, because they find habits gratifying. The fact that even habit-loving Upholders must struggle to foster good habits shows how challenging it is to shape our habits.

Plan it in, do it anyway.

As we think about time, it’s important to remember that the „self“ is really three selves: the anticipating self (who looks forward to things on the calendar), the experiencing self (who is here in the present), and the remembering self (who thinks back on the past). Philosopher Robert Grudin once wrote that we „pamper the present like a spoiled child,“ and I think there’s something to this. The anticipating self thought it would be fun to go to the art museum on Friday night, when there’s live music and a bar, and the remembering self will look back fondly on the experience, but the experiencing self just got home from work. She is the one who has to brave the rain and the Friday night traffic. So she throws a tantrum, and we wind up indulging her whim to spend hours scrolling through Facebook posts from people we didn’t like in high school anyway.
The way to combat her tyrannies? Plan it in, do it anyway. The experiencing self is trying to deliver a monologue in what should be a three-actor play. In most cases, if your anticipating self wanted to do it, you’ll be happy you went, and probably the experiencing self will enjoy it too once she gets over the initial resistance. We draw energy from meaningful things. (Laura Vanderkam)