How the Napoleonic Wars shaped Brazil’s Independence

Brazil is an immense mass of land, bound by a single flag and language. Against all odds, it emerged from its war of independence as a unified country. A story that was only possible due to Napoleon’s megalomaniacal plans. For those unfamiliar with the history of Brazil and Latin America, claiming that the French emperor … Continue reading How the Napoleonic Wars shaped Brazil’s Independence

Knowledge for all – Open access to scientific research

Scientific papers are at the very heart of our student lives. They cause nightmares as they feature on the seemingly endless reading list for our seminars and inspire dreams as we strive for seeing our own name in the list of authors. Still, few students waste a thought on the business side of scientific publishing. … Continue reading Knowledge for all – Open access to scientific research

The growth of world air traffic and its impact on climate change

Driven by economic growth in East Asia, world air traffic has increased at a very rapid pace in the last decades. As more and more people join the middle class in emerging countries, the market for domestic flights is expanding rapidly, which, in turn, boosts demand for commercial flights in different parts of the world. … Continue reading The growth of world air traffic and its impact on climate change

The English Language: History and Etymology

  Old English – First three lines of the epic Beowulf (composed in the early eighth century) 1. in the “Insular Hand”, the handwriting of the time, which had been adopted from the Irish, 2. the transcription into the Latin alphabet and the translation into modern English (read line by line).   Each of us … Continue reading The English Language: History and Etymology

Moral blindness

  Throughout history, humanity has committed what we now think of as moral atrocities. Some obvious examples are slavery, the subjugation of women, and the persecution of homosexuals. For generations, practices such as these seemed completely normal. We have a remarkable record of being completely oblivious to our moral failings. Take Aristotle, one of the … Continue reading Moral blindness