Yesterday the stores reopened in Austria after a six week lockdown. In a newspaper interview, the managing director of a discount fashion chain with over 180 outlets expressed his joy and relief. Customers could once again pay tribute in his shopping temples fulfilling a “basic human need”. What? When did shopping become a basic human … Continue reading Is shopping a basic need?
After the Moria fire in September 2020 media coverage suddenly focused on the appalling conditions in the refugee camp. In 2018, the BBC had already dubbed Moria “the worst refugee camp on earth,” and Jean Ziegler had compared it to a concentration camp. The world, however, took no notice. The refugees have now been moved … Continue reading Corona is not the only crisis
Jeff Bezos isn’t the only person whose business has improved because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cosmetic surgeons in South Korea have been profiting from a significant increase in the number of rhinoplasty patients. The nose job boom can be attributed to two factors. First, many Koreans are self-conscious about the bruising and swelling associated with … Continue reading Nose jobs in Korea
We live in an age of journalistic exaggeration. Most of this hyperbole I let slide with a slight eye roll or sigh, but somethings really get my dander up. One recent over amplification that has been causing me to spew my morning coffee over the op-ed page are the spate of columnists referring to current … Continue reading The real Lost Generation
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised an incessant debate about who should be included in decision making regarding, lockdown policies, testing, vaccination, and economic stimulus programs. The only commonality among Austrian politicians is the opinion that a “group of the best experts” should set policies. If politicians could only agree on who the experts are, we … Continue reading Dirty birds
2020 was a difficult year for us financially. Although our teaching positions provide some regular income, most of our earnings are variable and come from contract work with corporate clients. This revenue stream is predicated on meeting our clients live. As such, travel and lockdown restrictions brought our business to an abrupt standstill in March. … Continue reading How will you be paying for that?
Yeah! The World Economic Forum has launched The Great Reset Initiative to “improve the state of the world” following the COVID-19 pandemic. In their own grand words… As we enter a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery, this initiative will offer insights to help inform all those determining the future state of global … Continue reading The Great Reset Initiative
With a second COVID-19 lockdown coming to your town soon – Graz just went to warning level orange which is akin to Corona DEFCON 3 – you might want to think about what you’re going to read when you’re cooped up again. Sales of Camus’ The Plague spiked in the first lockdown. I highly recommend … Continue reading Quoth the Raven “Corona more”
For millions of Europeans, COVID-19 containment measures created a longing for activities and daily routines previously taken for granted. Unfortunately, in Austria current infection rates are raising the specter of a second lockdown. During the initial lockdown, one of the hardest separations for me was the closing of my university's campus. I especially missed not … Continue reading COVID-19 and memories
If you didn’t already have enough to worry about with COVID-19, the impending election in the USA, global warming, and whatever local issues might be troubling you in your corner of the world, allow me to give you something else to fret about: Giant Hogweed. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a member of the carrot … Continue reading Attack of the killer Giant Hogweed