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Who owns the world?

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, April 2015

A Jew arrives at the gates of heaven, is admitted by St Peter and given a guided tour of heaven. St Peter stops in front of a high wall and indicates to Samuel to keep very quiet. “Why?”, the latter asks in a whisper. Says St Peter: “The Christians are behind this wall and they think they are the only ones here!” [more]

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Finding the mysterious

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, February 2015

“The most beautiful thing we can experience,” Albert Einstein said, “is the mysterious.” He called it “the source of all true science and art”.  [more]

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Forging freedom

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, January 2015

2045, so says Dmitry Itskov, Russian entrepreneur and founder of the international “2045 Initiative”, will be the year in which humanity achieves immortality. [more]

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Summer reflection

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, July 2014

A waterside promenade, evening light, peaceful coming to rest, observing. A girl and a boy, both about seven years old, come dancing by. Each one of them dances their own dance, jumps a few steps, walks, skips on one leg, experiments with the rhythm, transforms it, saunters on and suddenly both “arrive” in the same place together. [more]

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New Year’s resolutions

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, February 2014

I resolve to let one less child die of hunger this year. More than two-and-a-half million children under the age of five starved to death in 2013. The strength to feel what that really means is beyond me. But with a few euros enabling a single child to survive – that should be possible. I resolve to enable a child to have a school education. While our governing parties once again make a great big German media song and dance about the clapped out “laptops for all” initiative, I intend to ensure that a child in Bangladesh or India can attend school for a year. None of this is new. The Rio earth summit 22 years ago came up with the slogan “Think Global, Act Local” together with the hope: “Another world is possible”. Meanwhile the Internet has... [more]

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Everything fine?

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, August 2013

“It will frequently be found that the defenders of freedom are more often than not the greatest tyrants in their house.” Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) [more]

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Hats off to stress-free learning

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, July 2013

All of them did it: Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Winston Churchill, the actor Harald Schmidt, the journalist Ul­rich Wickert and the comedian Otto Waalkes, but also the leading politicians Edelgard Bulmahn, Edmund Stoiber, Christian Wulff, Peer Steinbrück, Guido Westerwelle, Klaus Wowereit as well as, incidentally, the author of these lines: all of them had to repeat a year at school. Ever since the state government of Lower Saxony has started thinking about whether holding children back a year should finally be assigned to the dustbin of history, a debate has flared up in which a surprising number of education politicians have felt called upon to stand up for this relic of a bygone age. The second most frequent argument, “It didn’t do me any harm”,... [more]

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Helicopters, tigers and doers?

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, June 2013

“Can you imagine marrying a guy who was breastfed until he was six?”, author Tracey Morrissey asks in a blog and adds: “… and then having to deal with [his mom’s] domineering bullshit at Thanksgiving?” A year ago, a cover of the US magazine Time featuring a breastfeeding mother caused a stir. Because her son was standing upright on a little chair while he was suckling – he was approaching his fourth birthday. “Are you mom enough?” the magazine asked its readers and reported about the growing number of parents who no longer release their children out of their protective envelope at all and want to shield them against all... [more]

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Learning culture not arms

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, March 2013

In Ohio (USA), the janitors of two schools will with immediate effect carry firearms when performing their duties. The director of the responsible authority praised the measure because it would “considerably improve” the safety of the children. He allayed the concerns of parents with the assurance that the two janitors would undergo two days of training. [more]

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Hand and head

By Henning Kullak-Ublick, February 2013

“A bright head, if we think aright, is really just a carpet knight:it eats and drinks, states its opinion – but on the move is carried by a minion…”(from a verse for a class 4 pupil) What kind of education is it which without much ado declares the head to be a parasite? We have learned so much in the meantime about its neuronal inhabitants, the synapses, their dwelling places and mirrors, that we can almost watch ourselves thinking. Brain researchers have studied the central organ of our conscious life in such detail with the aid of imaging methods that some people would like nothing better than to relocate the whole soul into the brain. The author of these lines also admires the revelations from these modern-day high... [more]

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