Category: The Story

Journalist

Paul McCartney

When I’m 64 at the age of 14

Who Else? Amsterdam, 7th April 2021– In 1956, when Paul McCartney was 14, he sat down at his Dad’s piano and tried to come up with his own song.  For years he had been breathing in songs from radio and TV and movies and family singalongs. Folk songs, show-tunes, pop hits, jazz standards, music hall…
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Brain

The Mysteries of the Brain

New study Amsterdam, April 7th 2021– It must have been something like: the more you study, the more you know. The more you know the more you forget. Or was it: the less you know the less you forget?  For all we hear of neuroscience’s great advances, the field has generated more questions than answers. …
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Hot Mud Indonesia

The Story of Hot Mud and Human Suffering

In Photographs Amsterdam, March 12 2021– Lusi, or Lumpur Sidoarjo Indonesian word for hot mud. It now is a household word in Indonesia, the result of an erupting mud volcano in the subdistrict of Porong, Sidoarjo in East Java, Indonesia since May 2006.  We visited not long after, for the BBC’s Outlook. Some suggest it happened…
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Burundi Civil War

Burundi, the Almost Forgotten Civil War

Beatriz and Bernard Amsterdam, March 12, 2021 – First thing the Vice Minister of Health in Bujumbura, the then Capital of Burundi says when I am entering his impressive office and on a story invited by a Dutch NGO, to report on the construction of a water system in Muyinga, is: ‘ Be welcome and…
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Miles Davis Sketches of Spain

The Sketches of Spain: Concierto de Aranjuez

Lessons for Life Amsterdam, 25 Feb. 2021– When I once, long ago, privately met with the fabulous Miles Davis in Berlin after a concert arranged by Hans-Georg Brunner Schwer, he, among many other things said,: “It takes a long time to sound like yourself.”  That remark surely took its time to ripen and grow as I went on with life…
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Othello Shakespeare

Happiness to your sheets Shakespeare and Verdi

Making the beast with the two Backs Amsterdam, Feb. 25 2021– Long ago, really long ago, when growing up from a child to a young man, I became fascinated by a comment with a, for me then and at that time, strongly sexual connotation. A comment triggered as a lifelong and equally beautiful experience.  One…
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Friendship Nietzsche

Friendship and Happiness Masterclass

Amsterdam, 24 Feb. 2021 — My good and faithful friend, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) is, according to many, not only a philosopher of the first order and category, but also a poet and one who thinks in prose. In his philosophical novel Also Sprach Zarathustra, published in parts now almost some 140 years ago, through the…
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Everyday Life

The philosophy of everyday life.

The architecture of happiness For Frances Amsterdam- 24 Feb. 2021– Marvel about love, for example. Or else go travel, roam the world and search for the unveiling of these questions in your quest for love and happiness. My hero Alain de Botton makes that possible. First amazes us about space, about the fact that a beautiful…
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Notre-Dame de Paris La flèche e son coq

Notre-Dame de Paris – The Spire and its Cock

The story how the cock from the cathedral’s spire finally could be saved.

Alhambra

Al-Andalus, Civilisation and Slavery

Measuring Today with Yesterdays Tools Amsterdam, 19 feb. 2021– The Alhambra in Granada, central Spain, is one of the many pinnacles of Islamic architecture. Toured by the art historian José Miguel Puerta Vílchez, it is a revelation and satisfies a lot of curiosity about the influence of Islam in Europe. He has written extensively about…
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