Monday, November 12, 2012

Global Challenges in 2012: Taking Responsibility for Our Interconnected Future

Dear All,

This is your chance to start getting others inspired to take responsibility for what you think is important:

please post the abstracts for your conference presentations and any other material you would like to share here as well as anything else you find relevant in connection with your topic. 

Please use this forum to create more awareness about your topic and to inspire others to join you in creating a better world!

Of course, there should also be some time to celebrate! And tomorrow (Nov 13th) is a very special day:

Happy Diwali!


More Topics to Discuss....

This is YOUR space:

-> Please use this space to talk about other topics you find important and interesting!

Consciousness and the Meaning of Life

Dear All,

I think the most recent discoveries of Science are simply amazing - and they change the way we see reality and ourselves. In fact, it seems that quantum physics can help us recreate ourselves - and live the life we choose to live.

Please watch one or more of the following clips and share your thoughts with the rest of us:


Brian Green: Quantum Mechanics Explained
Brian Greene: The Hidden Reality


Big Thinkers - Michio Kaku:
Michio Kaku:  The Quantum Revolution
Are We Ready for the Coming Age of Abundance? (with Michio Kaku):


Stephen Hawking: The Meaning of Life
Stepehn Hawking: The Power of Ideas
also interesting:
Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, and Arthur C. Clarke (1988): God, the Universe, and Everything Else


Deepak Chopra:
Down the Rabbit Hole - Beyond the Matrix (3 minutes only)
Deepak Chopra: Lecture about Consciousness
Deepak Chopra & Leonard Mlodinow: Science and Spirituality
Leading@Google: Deepak Chopra [about leadership]

Thank you!


Writing in Different Ways

Dear All,

More suggestions for writing in different ways. Feel free to pick and choose.


Alternative Beginnings of the Same Essay Subform

Please write three alternative - and very different - beginnings of either an ACADEMIC essay, a GENERAL INTEREST essay, or a LITERARY essay about one of the following topics: Dream, Men and/or Women, Color, or the Elements. Please use different strategies for each beginning but make sure the essay subgenre you have chosen as well as the focus of your topic remain the same.


Oral and Written Discourse

Please choose ONE of the following paired options (a or b) and write the beginning of a piece in both media about one of the following topics: Ideals of Beauty, Consumerism, the Universe, Artificial Intelligence, Procrastination, Yoga, Leading a Meaningful Life.
a) [transcript of a] conference presentation and academic essay
b) [transcript of a] speech in front of a mixed audience an general interest essay
Focus on bringing out the differences in style that your change of medium (oral vs. written) demands.

Happy Writing!


Creative Writing

Dear All,

Please share your creative work here with the rest of us! Poems, stories, short plays, and anything else you wish - including cartoons and manga as well as any other pieces that combine multiple media - are welcome. If you do something fancy that is difficult to post in a comment to a blog, feel free to give us the link to your own website that is better equipped to the form you have chosen.

You are also welcome to do one of the following EXERCISES and post what you wrote here.


Multiple Genre Combo:

Please write a text in a genre of your choice that includes at least two other genres - as well as at least 5 of the following word: magic, metamorphosis, mirror, wall, door, window, moon, cat, butterfly, chocolate, water, well, man, woman, dragon, game face, tweet, computer, coffee, cup, bottle, blue, green, yellow, red, black, white, purple, orange. (Or use any other words of your choice but let us know which words you are using.) You only need to use your chosen words once (please underline them so that we know which ones you have chosen). Of course, you can repeat them as often as you like. In any case, please keep them in your mind as key words for your piece.


Seeing Things from Contrasting Perspectives:

Please choose a text and retell "what really happened" from two contrastive perspectives. Try to choose the language (vocabulary, syntax, tone, style, etc) that is appropriate for the character through whose eyes you retell the events and feel free to make up concrete details that reveal the personality of each speaker and the motivations for his or her actions.

Have fun!



Dear All,

Please go for a walk somewhere outside where you are close to the natural world. Spend some time doing nothing - just enjoy the world around you. Then choose a phenomenon or object or being that you feel close to and observed him/her/it for a while.  Try to define it/him/her in an unique way. Then write an interesting narrative about that phenomenon/thing/being or about your encounter with it/him/her. Share you definition and/or your narrative with the rest of us if you wish.

Please repeat your walk whenever you feel stressed! You will encounter many amazing beings....


Looking and Listening - and Finding the Untold Story Behind

Dear All,

Please go to the Museum of Anthropology (or any other museum of your choice) and choose any "object" you can connect with emotionally. Spend some time just looking at it and listening to it. Then describe the object in a unique way and compose a dialogue (or monologue) that involves the object either as speaker, listener, or topic.



Friday, November 9, 2012


Since it's dark outside in the evening - and since you might feel more like staying inside - I thought you might enjoy watching some movies.

Please find below a  list of some movies that I thought might inspire some further thoughts and discussion. Please pick something you haven't seen yet and fee free to add to the list.

Thank you,


Here my little movie list:

What the Bleep Do We Know?

Dead Poets Society

Hermann Hesse

Bab'Aziz - the Prince that Contemplated His Soul
Michael Ondaatje
The English Patient

Margaret Atwood
A Handmaid's Tale

Albert Camus
L'Etranger (part 1 of 11)
-> please follow prompts for the other parts!
see also:

Jean Paul Sartre
A Huis Clos/ No Exit
version 1:
version 2:
version 3:   
see also:

Samuel Becket
Waiting for Godot    
or any other version

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlett Letter
version 1: 
version 2: 
-> please find the other parts yourself!

Herman Melville
Moby Dick

Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls

Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose

R.K. Narayan
Malgudi Days

Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart (47 parts on youtube)

V.S. Naipaul
The Mystic Masseur

Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire

Arthur Miller
The Crucible

George Bernard Shaw

Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray

James Joyce
Ulysses (Documentary in 9 parts & other material)

Bert Brecht
Galileo Gallilei  

Eugene Ionesco
La Cantatrice Chauve (7 parts)

Heinrich Mann
The Blue Angel/ Professor Unrat

Thomas Mann
The Magic Mountain

Franz Kafka
The Trial
Coming out soon as well: Metamorphosis

J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Spirited Away


Rising Moon

Memoirs of a Geisha


Black Orpheus

V for Vendetta

The Motorcycle Diaries

Meshes in the Afternoon


The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

L’Âge d’Or

clip 1:

The Other Half


Cell Phone

Family Ties

The Year My Parents Went on Vacation

Eagle's Bride

A Separation

Madadayo/ Not Yet

Monsieur Lazhar



William Shakespeare
-> anything 

... and any other literary or experimental movie of your choice.

If you would like to learn more about film/ movie analysis and/or get a little intro to film studies in general, please check out the following link & connected website:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thinking about - and Acting for - the Environment

Dear All,

Please check out either the links about the Story of Stuff Project (#1) or about Climate Change (#2) or about Sustainability and the Future of Our Planet (#3) and share your response and other thoughts, ideas, and/or suggestions you have about the topic(s). Feel also free to post links to other sites you find interesting in this context.

Thank you,


Here the links:

1) The Story of Stuff Project

a) The Story of Stuff:
b) The Story of Change:
c) The Story of Electronics:
d) The Story of Bottled Water:

The Story of Stuff Project:

2) Climate Change

a) NBC News: Was Sandy a Warning:
b) Bill McKibben: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math:
c) Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends:

3) Sustainability and the Future of the Planet

a) David Suzuki: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future
David Suzuki - Lecture at UBC: Accelerating Sustainability