The energy transition is one of the most important challenges of our century. In fact, it is one of the most important challenges of our millennium. As Prof. Jan Rotmans – a leading academic in the field of climate change and sustainability – in his much too less watched speech at TEDxMaastricht states, it is one of these transformative changes on our planet that happens only every few centuries. Rather than living in an era of change we are, in fact, experiencing a “change of eras.” As this period is so transformative it requires action by each and every one of us, be it the government, businesses or private citizens.
Between having ramen as dinner for the third day in a row and spending all-nighters unblinkingly focused on the glowing screen of a laptop, many students tend to overlook the importance of maintaining physical and mental health in their everyday lives. An increasingly popular solution to this issue is the use of mobile apps designed to help them form healthy habits, whether with a friend suggesting a useful healthy recipe app or a Top Universities article inviting you to check out the “Best Health & Safety Apps for Students” (1). In the light of this development, for better or worse concerning personal and public health efforts, could the future bring about a new spin on an old saying with “An app a day keeps the doctor away”?
All right, so let’s say you’re an avid reader and love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925). Or maybe Fitzgerald isn’t really your thing, but you simply can’t get enough of E. A. Poe’s short stories. Now, how would you react if Jay Gatsby suddenly started walking down the streets of Yokohama and, or wait, let me rephrase this; How would you react if Jay Gatsby suddenly started flying above the streets of Yokohama in Moby Dick with Herman Melville, E. A. Poe and Mark Twain aboard, while H.P. Lovecraft is wading in the water after having transformed into a giant, slightly deformed, humanoid octopus? Well, these are all pretty mainstream events in Bungo Stray Dogs.
Walking through the library during the exam period, simply searching for your own study spot, makes it quite clear what the opinion of most Groningen students on joining music and studying together is. Headphones and earphones are omnipresent in the study areas just as much as they are present at gyms; allowing everyone to immerse in their music of choice to help them perform the task at hand better.
For many people, the start of a new year symbolizes an opportunity for new commitments, especially regarding self-improvement of not only the body, but also the mind. According to a recent Elliptical Reviews survey (3), the goal to read more books is among the top ten New Year’s resolutions, whether “more” means “more” compared to past reading habits or marking a newfound desire for intellectual growth. However, reflecting on the potential obstacles for reaching this goal, the time that could be spent reading often goes to other recreational activities: watching movies or TV, browsing the Internet or playing video games. While literature is not inherently superior to these types of entertainment in the sense of gaining new experiences and knowledge, it may seem like the newer media are replacing books in the stores, technologies and minds for many of the post-Internet generation. This begs the question: could the fate of digital era books truly be summarized as “out with the old, in with new”?
Anyone who has ever read Sui Ishida’s popular dark fantasy manga series Tokyo Ghoul or watched at least one episode of its anime adaptation probably noticed that the series largely builds its plot around the theme of the so-called ‘(evil) double’ or ‘the Doppelgänger’.
The 24th UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) has just wrapped up in Katowice, Poland. The conference’s main objective was to reach a decision that will ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement (the so-called Katowice Package) and this way further lower greenhouse gas emissions globally. However, reaching a decision which will appeal to all the signing-parties of the Paris Agreement is not a piece of cake, as different national actors are still tackling the issue of climate change at their own pace, while the discrepancy in terms of technological possibilities of controlling climate change between developed and developing countries is still enormous.
Song recommendations, video suggestions, related articles – these are just some of the curated features we have come to rely on when using platforms like Spotify, YouTube and online news sites. All of these strategies for making us consume more and more media material draw upon the much-debated concept of personalisation: tailoring content to suit personal preferences. It might sound luxurious, but there are darker consequences to individuals and their communities indulging in the custom-made appeal inherent to many aspects of today’s world.
Every armchair expert on economics or the Middle East can be counted on to shout “it’s the oil!” when discussing why Saudi Arabia is what it is and does what it does. And when one looks at the headline figures, it is hard to argue otherwise: the Kingdom is the world’s largest oil exporter, has the second-largest reserves and is the de facto head of OPEC, a cartel of oil exporting countries. It is also the quintessential rags-to-riches oil state, defined by irresponsible spending, peculiar national priorities (what is the point of building a 1 km high tower?) and a bloated bureaucracy. Oil has long been the indicator Saudi Arabia’s foreign and domestic policy, but times might be changing.
Not so long ago, when visiting my friend in her room, I noticed an old vinyl record of The Beatles on the shelf. Intrigued, as it certainly wasn’t there before, I soon learnt that she has bought it in a second-hand shop for quite a low price, which certainly would not be surprising–if it was not for the fact that she does not have a gramophone, nor does she intend to buy one.
Our issues can be found at most university buildings, including:
- Honours Tower (Academy Building)
- University Library
- Duisenberg Building
Honours Review is a publication of students at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.