November 28, 2015

#EGOUpdate - who are you

EGOUpdate - could it be the most interesting show so far?

We humans are so predictable.
"What do you work with".
Why is that so often the first question we ask when we meet someone new, after we asked their names? Is how someone is making a living what defines them? Should that really be the first question? 
Skateboard ramp with Eric Kessels' collection of feet selfies, at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
Erik Kessels My Feet 2015 
© NRW-Forum Düsseldorf / Foto: Andreas Kuschner/ALIMONIE

Maybe we should ask what they are passionate about instead?

A lot of people also ask the question I really dislike, because I never know what to answer, the question that is so common in an international environment - I ask it too, from time to time:
"Where are you from?"
"Why do you want to know?"  I answer with a question. Do you want to know where I am a local, do you want to know where I live, do you want to know where I was born, or what kind of passport I have. or do you want to know where my family lives - and if you want to know where I was born, or where my family lives, why do you want to know that? Will you know who I am if you know where my family lives? Do you need to put a label on me?

We are very good at putting labels on people... Maybe it's only human. The question is what the labels really say about us? Maybe it says more about the person who is putting the label on someone than on the person who gets the label put on him/her, really? What IS an identity?

Photo of pictures of monkey selfies in a cage at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
David Slater Monkey Selfies 2014 
© NRW-Forum Foto Andreas Kuschner / ALIMONIE
Who are you? Who am I?

And why are you that person? What defines us?

What makes us who we are?

And do we remain the same through life?

Do we humans not have different identities, take on different roles depending on whom we talk to? I believe we do, I believe we always have.

And are we alone with this notion of an ego, a self image?

November 17, 2015

A whole different issue - Charlie Sheen and his diagnosis

I don't follow celebrity news. I couldn't care less about celebrities for the sake of them being celebrities - and that's even more true after I moved to Germany. But now and then something comes through that I actually care about.

Today it was Charlie Sheen. 

Photo of boats, nothing to do with the article, just needed an uplifting picture
I don't care about Charlie Sheen as a celebrity, and I don't know him as a person - but a friend of mine posted a link today talking about Sheen going public with having HIV.
Charlie Sheen having HIV. 

This shouldn't even be news. Sheen has HIV, a virus that with the right medicines doesn't really have to impact a persons life at all. Charlie Sheen has access to those medicines. Sheen having HIV, or anyone else having HIV for that matter; it really shouldn't be something that makes the headlines - HIV doesn't, or at least shouldn't define a person. 

I personally think it's great that Charlie Sheen now talks about it openly. I think it's terrible that he does so because he felt forced to - according to media and the interview he did, he has been blackmailed. Imagine if the money Sheen has paid blackmailers had gone to supporting HIV positive people in poor countries, countries where many people can't afford the medicines, or if the money had gone to research? 

November 09, 2015

And her name is Deep Blue

The biggest Great White ever filmed

And she is beautiful! She may seem a bit chubby around the waste but that's because, they say, she might be pregnant.

She is really a massive this shark, apparently a female Great White, according to an article I read on  Live Science, Great Whites continue to grow also after they reach sexual maturity, unlike us humans, who more or less stop growing a few years after reaching puberty.

Those of you who have met me might know that I am kind of obsessed with sharks, and have been ever since I was little - many kids are but with me it just didn't stop. I love learning about sharks - often I read but from time to time I can't help but watch some videos. Magnificent animals - and there are supposed to be over 400 different types in our oceans - Sharks World tells us there are over 440 different types! And of those +400 only about a handful could be a threat to humans - and the majority are small ones, sharks we would hardly realise were sharks if we saw them - but yes, there are some big ones and some of the big ones are best avoided... 

November 03, 2015

On the topic of waste

A few words on waste and recycling

On the topic of waste I recently read that a Swedish supermarket is copying the French model selling fruits and vegetables that aren't picture perfect but have everything else a fruit and vegetable should have. Read more about the French project here, "Ugly Carrots" - I blogged about it earlier this year. 

I am very happy and excited that more countries take after the French example! Our resources are not for ever. We only have one planet. 

November 02, 2015

I found my doppelgänger

Maybe we all have a Lookalike

The first ever exhibition I saw at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf where I am now doing the English tours of #EgoUpdate exhibition  was Radical Advertising, a spellbinding exhibition about - you guessed it - advertising.

Recently I looked for some material about this exhibition and I was also reading up on some other things related to the Forum.

As so many other times when you use Google, I found a Wikipedia page, which, in English, talked about NRW-Forum and the exhibitions.

November 01, 2015

Voice interaction - is it always cool?

100 days of Google Dev - the Voice API

Recently I saw the video linked to here "Introduction to Voice Interaction API", from Google, a new API for Android , and it made me think about what the impact will be. 

With the new Voice API the applications can be programmed to have a dialogue with you. Not just saying things out loud, and giving commands, but actually having a kind of dialogue. 

I am not sure what I think about it...
  • From a technology point of view it is of course fascinating. It's utterly cool that your app can ask follow-up questions and get things right. 
  • From a user perspective it's also convenient when you have your hands full and are busy but still need to check something out. I can for example imagine myself using voice if I am checking a recipe and want to know the next step but my hands are covered in grease.
  • If you are in the car it's also pretty great, except personally I prefer setting the music/audiobook/whatever it is up BEFORE I start driving and then focus on the driving - it feels safer. But if you forgot, and you urgently need to check something to do with the road, voice is great - keep both hands on the steering wheel. 
However: I live in Europe; To commute often means using public transportation. This is where my concerns start.