The Burden of Beauty?

Is there a burden of being too attractive? Do people with symmetrical faces live in a cloud of appreciation?

The burden or blessing of beauty has been a long-standing interest of scientific studies. On one thing most studies agree: gender makes a huge difference if beauty turns out to be a curse or a blessing.

Burden of Beauty? Do those two suffer from their appearance?
Do those two have it easier in life? Or is dealing with all the prejudices harder?

Find out why it is good to be gorgeous! And why you still can move on if you are not.

Continue reading “The Burden of Beauty?”

Why You Are More Creative Than You Think

Creativity sparks from curiosity, and curiosity sparks when you play. (Source: PEXEL Images)
Creativity sparks from curiosity, and curiosity is sparked when you play. (Source: PEXEL Images)

 By: Linn Lemhag, Rubini Gunaratnam & Tue Boisen

Creativity is part of our everyday lives. Some think that it has to do with the arts, production, or even the design of the latest iPhone. But what about the other kinds of creativity?

The used to break out of Alcatraz, or that aha-moment when you discovered your own life hack. Fight or flight, circumstantial creativity. When called upon, how creative can you really be?

We tested this out by leaving 6 people in a room, and asking them to ‘play’. In a social experiment we left pairs of adults and children with a table full of random objects, with everything from mayonnaise to matchsticks. We wanted to spark their inner child. And so they played.

We watched them interact wit the objects, and cognitively connect to a playful pastime. Adults were no longer inhibited by real life experiences, and children were in their element. The games they invented were both fun and stimulating; and all different.

They  invented rules, structure and followed the conventions that a normal game should. But each differed in creativity and artistic form, because each echoed things that were relevant to that individual.

Did you read: http://kujks.dk/en/how-creative-was-steve-jobs/

This experiment tackled myths about creativity.

In order to be creative, the myth goes, an idea has to be entirely new. Yet these six people created new games, and Steve jobs created his Apple empire based on the already existing invention of mobile phones and computers.

The experiment also challenged the stigma that you must be the ‘creative type’ to be creative. The truth is, we are far more creative than we think, and so perhaps we just need to change how we perceive it.

If you haven’t already seen this week’s video, be sure to check it out. It could be the inspiration you need to unlock your creativity.

Depression hits the world’s happiest country

Denmark made the top of the list of the world’s happiest countries, according to the 2016 U.N.’s World Happiness Report. It defeated Switzerland (2nd place and last year’s winner) and Iceland (3rd place). At the same time, depression and anxiety rates in the country are steadily rising, reaching over 200,000 cases in 2015.

Depression and anxiety on the rise

According to the latest figures from the National Institute of Public Health (Statens Institut for Folkesundhed), each year 11,000 new cases of depression and 17,000 new cases of anxiety are reported. The study also revealed that around 143,000 women and 84,000 men in Denmark are currently suffering from these two medical conditions.

Women are more prone than men to suffer from depression.
Women are more prone than men to suffer from depression.
So, is Denmark really the world’s happiest country?

Denmark became the world’s happiest country because of its long life expectancy, high income, good health care and welfare systems.

Based on the way the report’s statistics were made and the kind of questions respondents were asked to answer, psychologist Annemette Hylgaard believes that Danes have plenty of reasons to be happy. “Danes feel they can trust public institutions and one another. It makes them feel safe. And a sense of security fosters happiness”, she says.

World Happiness Report and how statistics are made

Richer countries are more depressed

Cases of depression and anxiety in Denmark can be explained by a 2011 study from World Health Organization (WHO). It found that rates of depression are higher in affluent countries. Although the underlying reasons for this trend remain unclear, Hylgaard points to stress as one of the contributory factors to the development of depression.

“In Denmark, people are trying to succeed in all spheres of life: family, friends, career, education”, she explains. “In an effort to meet social expectations and try to have it all, Danes often get anxious and stressed”.

Sources: http://worldhappiness.report/ed/2016/http://www.si-folkesundhed.dk/upload/web_version_sygdomsbyrden.pdfhttp://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/2011/en/

Author: Milena Wisniewska

5 Vegan myths destroyed

With vegetarians making 10% of the Swedish population, and vegan alternatives becoming more and more accessible, its time to debunk the most common myths of a vegan diet.

  1. Vegans don’t get enough minerals or vitamins

    Any well rounded diet will include all the nutrients your body may need. Even when eating a plant-based diet, this remains true. If you need iron you could fry up some tofu, cook up a lentil stew, or just add some spinach to your next meal. The same logic can be applied to the typical roll call of omega-3, calcium, and B12 deficiencies. Omega-3 can be found in various seeds, nuts, and berries. Calcium, in leafy greens and even broccoli. And as for B12, all you need is some fortified foods. But let’s be honest, how many omnivores really consider their own dietary needs?

  2. A vegan diet is boring and tasteless

    Eating vegan doesn’t mean you’re stuck with only salads. From juicy burgers to heartwarming casseroles, a vegan diet can be fun and delicious! Just look at this rustic beauty:

    Vegan Mediterranean dish

  3. It’s too expensive

    Eating plant-based doesn’t need to break the bank if you shop smart. If you can’t buy the vegetables that are in season, buy them frozen. A package of legumes or beans shouldn’t cost much either, much less any typical sides such as rice, couscous or pasta. Plus, think of all that cash you save by not buying any meat.

  4. What about protein? I’ll never get enough to stay fit!

    UCLA3-1024x683
    David Carter, the 300 pound vegan and NFL defensive lineman

    Protein is not a meat-only phenomenon. There’s protein in everything from green vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, and nuts. If some of the best athletes can survive off a vegan diet, I think you can too.

  1. It’s just too difficult

    Eating only plant-based meals can be hard for some. But it can never hurt to incorporate a more animal-friendly diet into your life. Even the small changes in your kitchen can make a big difference in the long run.

/Janet Hansson

Leading Ladies in Cinema: Are They Here to Stay

Leading ladies have been on the rise in today’s cinema with more female-driven narratives reaching audiences than before

Four leading ladies of 2015's top grossing movies
From left to right: Imperator Furiousa (Mad Max: Fury Road), Joy (Inside Out), Beca Mitchell (Pitch Perfect 2), Susan Cooper (Spy)

The 90’s included an array of female characters that were both relatable and inspirational. While such narratives seemed to slowly fade away after the millennium, it seems that a new era of ‘girl power’ may be on it’s way. With leading ladies constituting 22% of lead roles on the top 100 domestic grossing films of 2015, women are slowly securing a more prominent space in today’s cinema. What this suggests is that audiences do have an interest in stories that promote female-driven narratives. Moreover, it suggests that such narratives are not as common as many would like to advocate.

2015 had leading ladies hitting the top of the box office
More female centered narratives are making the big bucks in cinema

Audiences today are not as one dimensional as the movie industry may believe. While a good story is often seen as the ‘bottom-line’ to success, dynamic characters are just as important in reeling in an engaged public. While the diverse range of successful films in 2015 may have us thinking that such characters are being represented on the big screen, the fact is that women are still being given fewer major roles than men. This lack of representation has repercussions as to how audiences will view the world around them, and who they are able to identify with. Now we have already seen the macho man, the sympathetic man, and the man who overcomes all obstacles. But what about their female counterparts? Not only do we need more dynamic characters but female ones at that!

In the podcast bellow, fellow film-buff Josefin and I talk about a relatable and inspirational character that we have both identified with the past year. Using her as a point of departure, we then discuss what we are hoping 2016 will offer more of: a smorgasbord of female leads reminiscent of the 90s that better reflect reality.

For your listening pleasure, here is CulturePodMedia’s Leading Ladies podcast

Creative: What Did it Mean to Steve Jobs?

Not all creatives play an instrument or paint. (Source: Pexels images)
You don’t need to paint or play an instrument to be creative. (Source: Pexels images)

Being creative has previously been associated with the arts; painters, musicians, writers and dancers. But what about those of us who aren’t directly involved with the arts? Are we not creative? Surely creativity has played an important role in countless technological and scientific breakthroughs. Meet the new creatives. Innovative individuals who find the solutions you couldn’t.

We now live in cities that depend upon smart solutions; wind mills in our oceans, solar panels on your roof, the smartphone in my pocket.

I’m looking at my smartphone. I use it to call my mother, write to my best friend, stream hours of cat videos, and take pictures of my lunch. It wakes me up in the morning. Without it I don’t even know what time of day it is. Without the creativity of one Mr. Steve Jobs, the world wouldn’t have what is undoubtedly one of the most influential inventions of the 21st century. And he didn’t get the idea from course at KADK or a textbook. Steve Jobs was a college dropout. So was Bill Gates. And Mark Zuckeberg.

Creative in the Classroom

In the past 5 years, there has been a distinct focus on changing the attitudes that the education and creativity are two mutually exclusive terms. Scholars are fighting to change the way  people see creativity as one set definition: being solely associated with the arts.

Academics are finding new and innovative platforms to circulate their work and involve their peers in the creative process. Does academia stifle creativity? Is it possible to make room for creativity in the classroom without sacrificing academic standards?  Listen to our podcast below about creativity in the classroom, where we talk to Research Assistant Kjetil Rodje of Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at Copenhagen University.

Just do it! Have your children while studying.

Just do it! Have your children while studying

”If they want young people to have children while studying, they should rethink the Momentum Reform. Or else it will have an effect on the quality of the education”, says Jorunn in our podcast. Jorunn is student in Copenhagen and mother of two children.

children while studying, student, university, children, fertility, copenhagen,
Copenhagen campaign to make young people have children while studying.

Listen to the full interview here:

You have plenty of time for children while studying

 

”Your time is much more flexible when you study, than later when you work.”: Nina Thomsen, Mayor of Department of Health and Care at the Commune of Copenhagen.

 

We have asked Jorunn, what it is really like to be a student and mother. Working a couple of days a week, taking care of two children every day and night. How is studying coming along?

 

Nina Thomsen had her children while studying and found it feasible. ”But today with the University Momentum Reform, there is little flexibility”, says Jorunn. She adds: ”a number of the other students without children are feeling stressed out.”

 

There is also much more pressure on students today. They have to work while they study. Not so much of financial reasons but to improve their chances to get a job when they are educated.

Declining fertility in Copenhagen

The birthrate in the capital of Denmark is declining. Especially women with higher education have their children very late. They focus on getting their career going before thinking about founding a family.

The average age of having your first child is 29 in Denmark. In Copenhagen it is almost 32.

Jorunn doesn’t think the solution to the declining fertility lies in telling students to have children. It’s about bettering the conditions for the students.

Read about your fertility here:

http://www.fertilitetsraadgivning.dk/ (danish)

 

 

Gold diggers – Dumpster diving as a lifestyle

Freegans – their way out of the consumer cycle

A group of people that call themselves Freegans think they’ve found a way out. A way to exit the consumer cycle and live off the grid by doing “dumpster diving”. For most people, consumerism is a deep-seated and unavoidable way of life. We make money, we buy stuff, we trash it and then we consume again. It’s a cycle that seems all but inescapable in an industrialized society like Denmark.

Constantin from Vienna (interviewed in the Podcast below) and other Freegans are “dumpster divers” who rescue food. Sometimes likewise clothes, household items and furniture trashed by others.

Dumpster diving as a lifestyle choice

Freegans aren’t homeless or poor. In fact, most could easily afford to buy their own food. They have instead decided to live what they believe is an ethical, unadulterated lifestyle. Freegans separate themselves from capitalism and consumerism.

Denmark lowers the food waste every year. Nevertheless, the total annual food waste is estimated at 540,000 tonnes. A value of at least 8.4 billion kroner a year. One big source of wasted food are the supermarkets. They throw approximately 45,000 tons/year of food away.

Food waste is cheaper then donating it

These big chains of supermarkets toss food because they profit from that. When food is thrown away, it is considered as a loss thus a tax deduction. However, if they donate the food, they could not get the tax deduction. There are other reasons for the food toss. Denmark is the only EU country where it is forbidden to sell food after the expiration date.

Dumpster diving

Dumpster diving is not generally illegal in Denmark. Obviously, it does not result in damage to property or trespassing. The Freegan community sees dumpster diving not a solution to the major problem of food waste. They demand concerted community action. Further, they want a reorganization of the priorities and distribution systems.

Read more about food waste and how to avoid it on The Food Project.

by Maike Krütt, 16. March 2016

What happens when Facebook users die?

Death is inevitable. Just like Facebook. Both are predominant parts of our daily lives. But what happens when they clash?

death

Listen to the podcast here:

What’s the problem?

According to research carried out by Huffington Post, about 30 million Facebook users died during the first eight years of Facebook’s existence. That is 428 deaths every hour. When the math is done it is eerie to predict how it will affect our approaches to social media networking.

Social media’s big five – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram – saw their births within the last 10 years. Because this digital revolution is so brand new to us, we are still to witness what is going to happen with the death of the first generation of Facebook users.

“I’d like to delete my account post-death, please.”

You can already now decide what to do with your account in case you should suddenly “see the light at the end of the tunnel” – so to speak.

According to RT correspondent, Lindsey France, you have a variety of choices depending on each individual platform. On Facebook you can create a digital memorial. Twitter allows you to delete the profile as long as you provide some evidence on personal relations with the deceased.

Read also: We Can Choose Between Immortal on Social Media and Dying on Facebook

Each social networking site has different terms and rules, which does not make it straightforward to delete a profile. Look forward to spending time and effort dealing with these.

“Sorry for your loss. Have a like.

How we interact with grieving friends and family on Facebook raises ethical questions and suggests future tendencies.

If Facebook memorials win our mourning hearts online, then be prepared to leave digital flowers. However satirical it may sound now, the idea is not all bad. We all love reminiscing with old photos.