Since November 6th, my inbox has more or less returned to business-as-usual. Four years ago, while on a sabbatical in the U.S., I took the fateful decision to accept 'occasional emails' on behalf of the Obama campaign. Note the word ‘occasional’.
I remember myself standing in front of these huge massive gates. Made from elegant iron sticks. -Yes, rust already touched it at least few times, and now dark grey has turned into spotted scarlet and brown.-
Over the past year, the public’s interest in space has seen what I find to be a very pleasant spike. During this year we’ve had a successful rover landing on Mars, the launch of NuSTAR, aimed at finding black holes and studying supernovas, as well as amazing advancements in the private sector, which could lead eventually to a resurgence in space faring (now even energy-drink companies are funding missions to further push aerospace technology).
Last weekend we could change our clocks back from daylight saving time. This allows us to still leave for university in daylight and to get out of bed a little less early. The feeling is correct: during winter, our internal clock is better synchronized with social clock time and we behave more in line with the rising and setting of the sun.
Strolling through the local Albert Heijn during the examination period is quite the experience. Numerous students engage in ‘au naturel’ shopping: without make-up or equipped with a cautious beard, they queue impatiently with some fast food meal. They ain’t got time to spare.
There are many things important to humanity. One of them could be the diversity of interests that single individuals possess. Some are sinking in the technology ocean, the others race with newest design trend lines. Some of us are poets, some read poetry, the others, on the other hand, in general don’t give a hoot about rhyming words.
It has been the most read article on the website of the Cursor for almost a month: a piece about the theft of a laptop with scientific data from the car of a PhD student. By the time this column appears, the article will have been read more than five thousand times. What makes this story so appealing to people?
This past Sunday, at an altitude close to 38 kilometers, Felix Baumgartner said live, to an audience of more than 7 million people around the world, “Sometimes you have to go really high to understand just how small you are”. Then, with a half-hearted military salute, he took a step into the nothingness of the upper atmosphere and plunged back to earth. In less than thirty seconds, he had achieved a speed of more than 1.300 km/h, officially breaking the sound barrier in unaided free fall.
Writing a column about the English skills at the TU/e is as innovative as the Ipad 3. But I can’t stand it anymore: The English that is spoken by some lecturers originates from the Dutch farmland and is familiar to the enjoyable sound of fingernails scraping chalkboard.
We are so afraid of being left, misunderstood, offended by immaterial strangers, rejected by material familiars, that we refuse to be ourselves and sing our songs. And even though some dawns clear our minds and show the right paths, the bloodhound evenings mingle them all into one. The ‘OPTIMUM’.
During introduction week back in 2010, I attended a number of workshops organized under the TU/e Introduction Program. One of these totally changed my perspective about different cultures.
The Erasmus University in Rotterdam is going to use cameras to prevent cheating during exams. It was predictable that students, even if they never cheat, would not enjoy this. If you aim a camera on people to keep watch over them they will pay more attention to what they are doing, but at the same time they begin to suspect their peers of dishonest behavior. This creates an atmosphere of distrust that no one likes.
Twitter-enabled tooth implant. Read that again. Call me old-fashioned, but I find no reason or motivation whatsoever to have the need to broadcast all across the Internet the number of times I’ve brushed my teeth today. Such is one of the rather banal applications of nano-technology shown at the Nano Supermarket exhibition during the Discovery Festival, this past Friday 28th at the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven.
This is my introductory column. It also comes with the new beginning for me here at TU/e. However - the second beginning. I am not a student anymore, but will stay here for the following two years getting postmaster trainings at the Industrial Design department. This new start made me think of the previous student years and the connection that I’ve made with our university. Did you ever think what university is for you? Besides the educational institution, of course!
According to Wikipedia, “the Strauss-Howe generational theory identifies a recurring generational cycle in American history.” This theory was developed to describe the history of the United States. In essence, it suggests that there are four characteristic types of generations that repeat in cycles. My belief, even though I am as much an expert as you are, is that this theory can be applied to everyone anywhere, not just Americans.
For every human on the planet there are approximately 62 Lego bricks. With five boys in the right age-range -including myself- we have more than our fair share at home. Psychologists praise Lego for being smart toys; excellent for developing valuable skills in problem solving, spatial cognition, construction, collaboration, and -indeed- imagination. In fact, the ideal preparation for a career at TU/e.
Growth! The new Bachelor College yields a 14% increase in subscriptions, the highest growth percentage among the 3TU. On top of that it blew a fresh breeze across the campus with a dash of estrogen: there was an increase of none less than 53% in female applications! I’m happy for the university male, finally he’s not obliged to turn to Fontys parties with girls from teacher training or nursing, and doesn’t need to type 5318008 in his calculator to see boobies.
Sustainable. Green. Environmentally-friendly. Words that used to signify progress, forethought and responsibility. Words that, today, years after their first introduction, have become little more than labels used to make products attractive to the market, dodge the inquisitive public eye, or used haphazardly to pass laws and gain supporters.
I can vividly remember my first day at university. I had been looking forward to it, but was also a bit insecure about what to expect. When I was walking among all my new fellow students, I experienced this insecurity as slightly annoying. Now I know a little insecurity can’t hurt.
The introduction week is quite the rollercoaster: awesome parties, nice people and long nights. It’s one big attrition. Accordingly, you can easily recognize the friendly freshmen after the intro because of their cancerous coughing, nasty noses and speechless voices.
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At this university there are students who are not taking any classes, but they are still forced to pay the full sum of their tuition fee. How is that? When you take a look at what they are doing instead of following courses, their reasons become clear. They form one of the most important cornerstones of the TU/e, they are the student board members and part of student teams.