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The World on Fire
The World on Fire

As in every turn of the year in 2018 a bonfire was lighted on the beach of The Hague in Holland. The difference of this fire, though, was its magnitude caused by the 50 meters high wooden pyre. The western wind blew a sea of sparks in the residential areas and caused a lot of damage to cars and houses until the fire brigade ended the dangerous outburst. Afterward, the responsible mayor had to withdraw. The next year the new mayor forbid this kind of bonfires. This caused protests among the youth accompanied by violent destruction and arson. In many countries serious revolts are taking place...

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The beauty of Curaçao
The beauty of Curaçao

For those who don’t know, Curaçao is a small island in the South Caribbean Sea, 50 miles north of Venezuela. It is the main island of the former Netherlands Antilles under the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its source of income consists of the tourism industry and Venezuelan oil refining. Curacao also serves as a transit country for shipment and financial trade. Most tourists come from the USA (on cruise ships and by air), from Europe and some South American countries. What makes the island attractive are its sandy beaches, its crystal clear sea, its architecture and its friendly people. Of...

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Impeachment
Impeachment

The House of Representatives has been dominated by accusations towards President Trump. This led to an impeachment inquiry by the House after a whistleblower came up with a story that Trump in a conversation with Ukraine president Zelensky (July 25, 2019) had asked the man to investigate Joe Biden’s behavior concerning a Ukraine company and Biden’s son during the election in 2016. Biden should have favored his son to a high function in a cyber-security technology Company and a Chinese Equity Investment Fund Management Company. Biden had pressured the Ukraine president to back away from an...

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Nitrogen perils and PFAS
Nitrogen perils and PFAS

The Netherlands keeps looking for problems. First CO2 and now nitrogen, i.e., nitrogen compounds, such as ammonium and nitrogen dioxide, give political and social headaches. What's the problem? Well, high concentrations of these chemicals affect nature. Most plants grow well by it, but some species may then prevail. What's wrong with that? The landscape can, therefore, change, especially on low-food soils. Moorland, for example, might become forestland with grasses and nettles. And what's wrong with that? Actually, nothing at all, but some scholars want nature to stay the way it is. They...

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Why Trump won the presidency and may win once more
Why Trump won the presidency and may win once more

A better question would be: why did the Democrats loose. A reasonable explanation for that has been given by political scientist at the Colombia University, Mark Lilla, referring to the change in the Democrats politics. He uses the term Identity Politics that puts emphasis on the importance of minorities. According to Lilla, “with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the anti-capitalist economic preoccupations of the old Left began to take a backseat to a new way of understanding oppression: the politics of redistribution was replaced by a ‘politics of recognition.’ That’s how modern identity...

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Bonobo’s and Chimps
Bonobo’s and Chimps

The two species in the picture above are portrayed brotherly next to each other. In reality, in the wild, something like this would never occur. Though both live in the Congo the bonobos inhabit only an area south of the Congo River.

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Climate skepticism
Climate skepticism

Climate is a very complicated matter of which experts and novices can pick their preferred research results to fabricate a more or less devastating view of our future. And everyone will believe them, especially the non-physicists (and there are a lot of them). Scientists, pressure groups and politicians have found a new man-made disaster that’s awaiting us and for which drastic measures have to be taken to stop this evil. Another reason to show man’s superiority.

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Superiority
Superiority

If you’re born in one of the countries of the Western world have you ever wondered why people of this world feel responsible for the misfortune of non-Western countries? And why they think they can solve all kinds of natural and man-made disasters? And why they have a moral opinion about other cultures with different systems and politics? And have you ever wondered why Chinese, Russians, Africans, and South-Americans, the rest of the world so to say, don’t give a shit about the state and fate of other countries and parts of the world? The answers to these questions all track back to one...

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The cockroach approach
The cockroach approach

The beast climbed up the table, attracted by the smell of gone stale beer. It was night, but from the ceiling burned a light that bothered him, even more than that person, who sat half asleep in a chair at the table. The man slowly opened his eyes and almost immediately focused on the insect. The beast raised its front legs and looked sharp at the man’s face. ‘I know, you want to kill me now, don't you?’ Surprised the man straightened his body. ‘Yes, keep calm; nothing to worry about; I only came on that delicious smelly beer; you should have drunk it all.’ ‘Since when you nasty beasts...

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The Curacao Oil Refinery
The Curacao Oil Refinery

From the beginning of 2017 Venezuela stopped the export and the supply of their oil to the Curacao Oil Refinery, popularly named Isla. The ever smoking chimneys extinguished their penetrating effect and thousands of people became unemployed or out of work. In the following years, the dwindling supply forced the company to import oil from other countries (US, Russia) just to meet the island demand for gasoline. Curacao (pop. 160.000) is an autonomous island, part of the Dutch Kingdom, about 50 miles north of the Venezuelan coast. The problems with the Venezuelan Oil Company started when in...

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Undesired sex
Undesired sex

The Hague 2019. In May the Dutch Minister of Justice revealed his plans to extend the law on sexual exceeding behavior. New is that not only rape and molestation are punishable, but other forms of undesired sex and sexual intimidation also fall under this category. That means among others that when a victim didn’t specifically give the consent for the act or didn’t protest, the act is still punishable. Also that any form of inappropriate sexual signals or manifestations may lead to criminal charges. In light of the Me#Too movement, these additions are a more or less logical consequences....

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Big brains
Big brains

How come our brains are bigger than those of other mammals? It all began about 3 million years ago. From that period until the emergence of Homo sapiens, some 200.000 years ago, our brains almost quadrupled: from 350 cc to 1300 cc. Of the three main parts of the brain, the neocortex (cerebral cortex), the cerebellum, and the brain stem (including the limbic system where emotions are generated), the growth manifested itself primarily in the neocortex. In general terms, the neocortex has the function to control and refine our emotions, bolstered by a huge memory and by sensory and motor...

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The inevitable progress
The inevitable progress

Progress is beneficiary, religiously cherished, and the motor of the superiority and success of societies. That’s the general idea. People who don’t always believe in progress are considered conservative, old-fashioned, outdated, even retarded. Is that justified? I don’t think so, but there is a lot to say about it.

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