LINZCEPTION welcome issue
THE ULTIMATE MEGA CULTURE ISSUE containing tips and tricks and pi and more...
CO NTE NTS
tips & tricks introduction
TIPS & TRICKS 4-5 6 7
Culture navigation You are what you eat Turning the world into
a better place
OF INTEREST 8 9 10 11
Kevin alone abroad Project funding in the 21st century Art by heart or art falling apart Taste the waste - dumpster diving
12 13 14 15
Natural highs Blasting music and blazing tires The rationality of the irrational The homeless language
Issue brought to you by Karin-Liis Lahtmäe, Andre Tamm, Ieva Pastare, Mario Anderhub, Johanna #YOLO Ebner, Marek Navrátil, Sebastian Rieger, Jenni Röynä, Miriam Dusej, Heiko Brantsch, Felicitas Strauch
YOU ARE PROBABLY A HIPSTER
A guy with cool glasses, an impractical old bicycle, your granddad’s clothes. Hipsters here, hipsters there. They seem to be all around us, yet I’ve never met a person who would describe themself as a hipster. They also seem to encounter hatred everywhere they go. What actually is a hipster? Thousands of people identify themselves as nerds. Even though there’s strong dislike towards nerds and geeks alike, it still seems to be more socially acceptable to be a nerd than a hipster. The essence is that both groups enjoy things that the “mainstream” does not ap-
prove of. Nerds are enthusiastic about things they’re keen on. There are math nerds, literature nerds, comic book nerds, basically whatever as long as the enthusiasm is included. Hipsters, on the other hand, like things ironically. You don’t consider a hiker wearing hiking shoes hipster, but when you see a guy in the streets of New York with skinny jeans, the assumption is completely different. Hipsters like the things they’re not supposed to like, things usually not included in the culture they’re living in and, therefore, we consider their behaviour preformative or in worst case – mocking. Whichever, the pursuit of coolness may make
their character appear slightly arrogant. Even if only few people identify themselves as hipsters, the actual number is massive. Our urge to express uniqueness of ourselves whilst being socially accepted is an equation that inevitably leads to ‘hipsterness’. There are many a level to a hipster, the strongest are the ones you can immediately spot on the street that make you go “now that’s a hipster.” Therefore, the question whether you can be a hipster when ‘hipsterness’ is so mainstream, is a question falsely asked. If most of us are hipsters, is the categorisation necessary?
tips tricks tips &and tricks
VIBRATING YOUR BODY
Everyone has at least once in their lifetime experienced that feeling when “You walk in the club like whaddup, I got a big clock”, but nothing is actually happening and you stand there alone and uncomfortable without anybody noticing you. Then it’s in your hands to take control and start some action. Or in the opposite case there is the action, but you want to capture the spotlight. For this purpose I introduce to you the ultimate dance moves so you can shine bright like a diamond and be the star of the party.
The Running Man 1. Stand with your feet together, arms relaxed by your sides. 2. Lift and bend your right leg, forming a 90-degree angle. Then raise your hands in front of you with your fists relaxed and arms bent at the elbows. 3. Lower your right leg, sliding your left leg back and lifting the left heel, while leaning slightly forward and push your arms out. 4. Repeat these steps over and over again.
The Tap Snap
1. Bend arms at 90-degrees. 2. Snap fingers to the beat of the song. 3. Tap foot to the beat of the song.
4. Nod your head to the beat of the song.
1. Lay on the floor facing the ceiling with arms at your side. 2. Move hips from side to side. 3. Shake legs up and down. 4. Roll onto stomach and repeat.
1. Stand tall with arms at side. 2. Beginning from the feet work up a violent shake. 3. Shake your hands extensively for added effect.
1. Step to the right with your right foot. 2. Put your left foot next to the
right foot. 3. Repeat to the left. 4. Maintain the movements, add some hip movement to take it to the next level.
1. Pull an imaginary hood on your head. 2. Have your arms as if you were holding a backpack. 3. Lean forward with the upper part of your body. 4. Throw your right foot back while balancing on the left one. 5. Repeat with the other foot. 6. Increase the speed of the movements.
DO NOT WATCH THAT FILM
The feeling after watching a really bad film in a theatre is one of the worst to be experienced. What are the usual suspects when speaking of elements of bad films?
not so serious
One of the worst things that can happen to a film is when its key scenes are ridiculous. Crucial moments of the picture come off so bad that you can throw the DVD away right after watching it.
This problem strikes when the film crew puts the actual plot of the motion picture aside and focuses on something else. When there are lots of explosions and epic takes on people walking in slow motion towards the camera, something is not right. The
plot line of the two-hour film then becomes similar to that of a twenty-minute TV series.
3. The Binks
I will leave this one without further commentary.
HANDS IN ACTION
There are hand movements we take for granted, know the meaning of and use in appropriate situations. But there are some gestures that have different meanings depending on where you are. So here is a guide with three hand gestures and their different meanings.
A fascinating story about a man Everything alright? Yes? Thumb up and it’s go-time. But in regions like Latin America and West Africa thumbs up is basically the Western version of the „middle finger“. Also, in the Middle East thumbs up is basically the biggest insult out there. So watch out and don’t worsen the situation by using both hands to emphasise your mood!
DO READ THAT BOOK
Where we use our crawling finger to invite somebody to come to us or follow us. In the Philippines this gesture means something totally different! It’s a method of communication considered worthy only to use on dogs; it’s also punishable by arrest. If you are very unlucky they’ll even break your finger in order to prevent you from committing the same crime again!
In the U.S. and other countries the V-sign with the palm facing outwards means „peace“, whereas palms facing inwards means „victory“. But be careful using the victory sign in Great Britain or other English-speaking countries, such as Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. Let’s just say that, if you are ordering two beers in the UK, don’t show the waiter your two fingers (palm facing inwards). Just don’t.
We all have things we want to do before we take our last breath on Earth. There are the extremely adventurous ones like climbing Mount Everest; those are much harder to achieve than, for instance, reading an exceptionally enriching book. Hopefully the three books chosen by the session participants will wind their way into your bucket lists.
by Friedrich Dorrenmatt There is no author that pulls on the heartstrings with such determination and passion as Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The plots are thought through so well and the book is so fascinating that you won’t be able to put the book down once you’ve picked it up.
by George Orwell A dystopian novel written in the 1940s about a future controlled by Big Brother, leaving man with no other choice than to obey the government. Although the novel isn’t the newest, the topic is still topical, if not even more prominent.
by Patrick Susskind A fascinating story about a man with an incredible ability to pursue an indescribable desire. Written in such a riveting way, this book is despite its thickness a real page turner.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT The situation in ever growing cities is getting worse due to urbanisation and the increasing air pollution linked to it. More and more people from rural areas move to cities. They have to make sacrifices, such as leave behind their vast land properties and start new lives in over-crowded cities with insufficient green areas, led by their hope of better job opportunities. Stress, pollution and dissatisfaction lead to a desire to escape – what could be better than a green and quiet place to call your own? In the last few years the modern population’s thoughts on a healthy life style have changed. Organic food is more popular than ever, people are starting to pay attention to what they are actually buying. To ensure that their food doesn’t include any unwanted ingredients a daily enlarging number of people have started planting their food themselves. Not only the freshness, but also the taste and the actual look of the biological vegetables and fruit have convinced a large amount of people to jump on the bandwagon. Due to the fact that most of the people who live in big cities just do not have the opportunity to have their own proper garden – space limited, rents high – they have to make use of their balcony to fulfil their newly discovered passion. One of the main tips to help you enjoy your own personal green area is to have a diversity of plants, vegetables and fruit to avoid mono-cropping. It is one of the biggest issues that people are not just facing in rural areas, but, also, increasingly so in the cities. The diversity leads to a perfect usage of all minerals and other contents of soil, otherwise
plants will not have the best basis to grow on and fertilisers have to be added after a short time.
Johanna Ebner Felicitas Strauch
So let’s take a step forward and keep our quality of life as high as possible – you are what you eat and you only live once!
TURNING THE WORLD INTO A BETTER PLACE
Are you one of those people who really likes helping people? Are you someone who prefers giving presents to others to make their days a little bit nicer instead of getting something for yourself? Or even someone who needs other people’s happy smiles to really feel “complete”? Yes? Well, then I have something for you. (Although you’ve probably already discovered it on your own since you seem to be quite a helpful person.) Obviously, it’s volunteering. There are so many different possibilities of doing something to help others! And I can promise you will get much more out of it than from any random paid job! If you are generally interested, you need to ask yourself, what kind of voluntary work you would like to do. I’ve arranged a little overview for you to help you with your decision. volunteering in your village or anywhere else close to your home
This is probably the perfect solution for people who do not have that much time, but still want to help. You can ask every organisation, everyone is going to be
really happy to have you. Examples include sport clubs where you can work as an unpaid coach. Also, the local church is always happy that people are supportive of it; especially help for their social programmes is highly appreciated. But you can also go to local agencies of international institutions, like the Red Cross, Amnesty International or Greenpeace. Also, the voluntary fire brigade is always a good idea! volunteering by doing an internship
This is something more time-consuming than the first possibility. Holidays or semester breaks are ideal to take some time for such a project, preferably even in another city. It might be a good idea to ask bigger organisations for an internship, so it is guaranteed that you have enough work to last you the whole day. You are on a holiday, but you want to make the world a better place, right?
anywhere as long as the location is social, charitable or of public utility. Many young adults use this opportunity to broaden their horizon, to use the time after high school graduation or just to help others to an enormous extent. As a nice side effect, it also spices up your CV. going abroad
It is always a good idea to spend some time abroad. And if it is connected to social engagement, it is even better! There are countless possibilities, from helping the poorest of the poor in Africa to helping educate children all over the world, there’s something for everybody. You see, there are so many ways to do some voluntary work, trying to cover only half of the offers would have ended in printing a thousand-page issue. Therefore, we want to give you some useful link to start your own research:
doing a voluntary social year
Countries such as Germany and Austria offer the so-called “FSJ” (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) to young people. It can take place
KEVIN ALONE ABROAD Imagine you get off a plane at an airport thousands of kilometres away from your home. You hear a language you can neither speak nor understand. At the exit gate you see an unknown family waving at you, holding placards with your name on them. And now imagine that you’re going to live with this family in an unknown country far away from your family and friends. For many young people from all around the world this scenario is the beginning of a very special year: their exchange year abroad. Many high school students – including me – take a gap year during their high school education or right before university. Some want to learn a new language, some want to have fun and some just want to distance themselves from their family. The motives for such a year abroad might be different, but all the courageous students who decide to take a gap year abroad receive a unique view into another culture. Unlike travelling, an exchange year enables you to completely immerse into culture of the country you’re staying in, because you’re not simply staying at hotels for several weeks, but living together with a local family. This special combination of a foreigner and a local family with completely different cultural backgrounds is, obviously, full of challenges. It starts with the language barrier that may lead to misunderstandings and it ends with things you simply don’t know about life in a foreign country.
I had such an experience at the beginning of my exchange year in China. After the first day, shortly before going to bed, I tried to remove a very sturdy and hard bamboo mat from my bed. When my Chinese host mother saw my intention she laughed and explained to me that the hard mats are used to sleep on in order to have some cooling from underneath to minimise the effect of the hot Chinese summer nights on the sleeper. Even though I had bruises the next day I eventually got used to the bamboo mat and learned to appreciate it.
This story from my exchange year stands for my transformation from a foreigner to a national, who actively takes part in the cultural and social life of the locals. In doing so the exchange student has the exceptional opportunity to see all aspects of the culture of the visited country and at the same time share the culture they’ve been growing up in. If this happens the exchange year has reached its aim – namely intercultural exchange and communication.
PROJECT FUNDING IN THE 21ST CENTURY The Internet has given us a wide range of opportunities humanity has never had before. We can listen to music while we Skype with friends on the other side of the world and stalk random people on Facebook. But the Internet also offers us a new concept that could revolutionise the way the cultural scene works. The magical word is crowd funding. Crowd funding is based, just like the name says, on a crowd of people, who are interested in an idea and would like to see this idea realised. The Internet brings together the bright minds with the ideas and the people who demand the realisation of these ventures and would like to fund these projects. One of
the biggest and most popular online crowd funding platforms is Kickstarter. Kickstarter went online in 2009 and viral after the Times named it one of the â€œBest Innovations of 2010â€?. Kickstarter mainly focuses on cultural projects in different areas from comics and fashion to film and theatre to photography and publishing. Whoever has a brilliant idea for a project can easily create a site on Kickstarter where the project itself and the aim of it can be introduced with a short pitch video. Moreover, the amount of pledged money needed to implement the project is presented. Millions of Internet users might now decide to financially support the idea. The ones who
actually do this, so-called backers, often invest only very small amounts of money in the project. But not the amount every single backer invests matters, but the sum of all the backed money together. The ones who decide to support a project on Kickstarter will receive no financial reward in case the project is a success. But the initiators might offer some goodies, such as free entry to their theatre project or a free copy of a photo booth project in the Old Town of Linz. This on the one hand gives an incentive for the backers to invest and on the other hand it ensures that projects are being backed because the supporters have passion for it. This new option of funding great ideas has had a huge impact on culture creation. Crowd funding makes the way how projects are funded a lot more democratic. Whether you receive funds depends not on the prestige of your project nor on the connections you have with possible investors, but on the ability of you and your project to trigger interest among the Internet users. This at the same time means that creating culture is accessible to a lot more people and, therefore, leads to more creativity and diversification of culture. So if you have an idea, use the opportunity you have and realise your project with the help of the community!
ART BY HEART OR ART FALLING APART? Miriam Dusej
Banksy, C215, Jaz, JR, Aryz, Blu, Vhils and innumerable paint, mark, spray, tail mosaics sticker the cities of the world. Huge fascinating paintings cover whole houses, tiny little details embellish bricks in the walls. But what is it that makes street art so popular? There are too many reasons as to why artists like Banksy are covering the cityscape. Whatever the motivation may be, all artists are trying to reach out to people and share their message. That is also why street art is a way of protest, activism and sharing information. We’ve seen it in countries like Egypt where people showed their frustration
with the government on the walls, Mimi the Clown showed his discontent about Sarkozy using stencils. Whether the art’s content is against communism, capitalism, governments or environmental hazards, all artists have their own style and own important themes they want to showcase – and people respond to that.
ence between „real vandalism“ and street art. In the Middle East, for instance, street art is a major crime and a street artist is considered a criminal. Since there is an extremely thin line between what one deems beautiful and ugly, it is hard to tell who is destroying public property and who is beautifying the cityscape.
However, since „vandalising“ public property is strictly illegal most street artists use pseudonyms to stay anonymous and not get caught. Yet, many artists have already showcased their art at exhibitions and are gaining global recognition. Understandably so, as there is a differ-
There is no right or wrong definition of art, so there is no right or wrong definition of street art. Some may consider it vandalism and destruction of property; some may see it as a public outcry; whatever the verdict, street art is definitely one of the most controversial art forms.
TASTE THE WASTE â€“ DUMPSTER DIVING Sebastian Rieger
On your mark, get set, go. And the search begins. Traditionally, dumpster diving used to be an occupation for people from a poor background. The idea was to gather from rubbish containers food, valuable items or products, which have a deposit on them, to secure ones livelihood. On average one can earn around 4 euros per hour by collecting and returning bottles. In present day, however, dumpster diving has become more than a form of subsistence. For some people it has become a kind of lifestyle or a sports activity. The so-called Freegans have resolved to living on food that has been discarded and seek to thereby reduce their ecological footprint. They view
themselves as part of an anti-consumerist society. Artists view this method of trash salvation as source for creative inspiration or may use the objects themselves for their art projects. Others use dumpster diving for academic research, either to salvage high-tech reparable items for research or simply for the study of garbology, which deals with the role of rubbish in modern times. Lastly there are people who indulge in this activity for the fun of it, to find unusual objects or to live the alternative lifestyle. This rather recently established hobby is both socially and juristically very disputed. Critics mostly focus on the health and cleanliness issue that comes
with the â€œterritoryâ€?. Dumpster divers may be exposed to dangerous chemicals, foul food, or shattered glass. Often brought up as an argument against divers is the disorder and mess allegedly left behind. Also, the legislation widely differs among countries and is in some cases unclear. In some cases this activity is viewed as trespassing, invasion of privacy or even theft. In other states garbage is public property and may be rummaged in without juristic consequences. Especially the UK should be mentioned for having a very negative stance towards rummaging in trash and, therefore, diving takes place secretly and at night times.
NATURAL HIGHS The means of enjoying music are nearly endless and the access to this abstract stimulus is simplified more and more by sharing on Internet platforms or easy purchase. Spotify, iTunes and Youtube help to take music along wherever you want to go, headsets to enjoy it privately, to turn off reality, simply to take a break. Music is like a connection between people, like the perfect means to showing your feelings, if your are not able to find the right words for the actual situation. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you listen to, the interaction between the lyrics and tunes makes the difference. Our current emotions influence what we actually focus on when we listen to music. Sometimes people just like to feel the tunes, but in general the lyrics are what the consumer is influenced by the most. Often people try to identify themselves with the lyrics and the situation they describe and try to adapt and change their feelings to match their actual position.
Everybody has that special thing that makes them feel better, doesn’t matter if it is food, a nap or something else. For an ever growing amount of people this is music. The happiness (or sense of enjoyment) is caused by the release of the “feel-good” neurochemical called dopamine. Music is the only abstract stimulus that causes the release of dopamine which we usually know from tangible rewards, such as eating, sleeping or intake of recreational or performance enhancing drugs. It activates the regions of the brain related to pleasure and reward and, therefore, can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving. Music is a steady companion of the modern population, doesn’t matter how old or young the person is. Besides different kinds of personalities and behaviours there are also various genres of music to captivate as many people as possible. The reflection of feelings, the means of communicating through music leads to the fact that music is of such high value across human societies.
BLASTING MUSIC AND BLAZING TIRES
It is a fine Sunday. The sun is out, the birds are singing. The picnic bag is packed and you are off to a beautiful spot just by that quiet lake out of town. The old car is shining and the motor roars proudly as you roll down the driveway. The radio is on and Eros Ramazzotti’s voice is soaring through the summer air. Surrounded by these emotional sounds you arrive safely and relaxed at the idyllic destination. But, what are the odds that your trip wouldn’t have turned out so well? How big is the chance that the Italian vocalist is just a little too overwhelming, you get distracted and the daily excursion ends up at the nearby hospital? What effect does music even have on driving? First of all, it is the choice of music that makes a considerable difference to people’s driving capabilities. There is the common assumption that classical music leads to quieter and more relaxed behaviour on the roads, while popular music is linked to more aggressive and irresponsible driving. In general this is close to the truth, although, there are certain exceptions. The most soothing soundtracks seem to be songs by the Sugababes while Richard Wagner’s operas are the work of art most commonly connected to traffic accidents. Classical music as a whole, though, seems to be one of the most successful meth-
ods for decreasing collisions on roads, hence there have been a number of CDs released targeting stressed car drivers. The genres which are most likely to cause traffic accidents are jazz and blues, followed by country music, for the simple reason that it distracts drivers to the extent where they do not pay enough attention to the vehicles and road signs around them. In between the two extremes are hip-hop, pop and finally rock, the latter being the second most calming music to listen to. Another factor leading to the increase of accidents is the volume. While soft music in general does not lessen the performance, even in stress situations, loud music in particular will enlarge your reaction time by up to 15 per cent. While 0.12 seconds does not sound like much, in the scenario that a child runs onto the street in front of your car, this short timespan may be the key point in deciding between life and death. It seems that listening to Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” in the car is not as dangerous as one’s parents have been trying to convince their children all along and may actually be relaxing, rather than aggravating. So long one does not take the lyrics too seriously.
THE RATIONALITY OF THE IRRATIONAL You have heard about it many times before at school. The number π, usually rounded down to 3.14, is a rather mysterious mathematical constant that you come across daily without actually realising its importance. Let me introduce you to its magic. Put as simply as possible, π is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. However, this definition only functions in the Euclidean system. It is not the same in curved geometries – for this reason, mathematicians often define pi as twice the smallest positive x for which the value of cosine x equals zero. This determination based on calculus is more universal. Many wise men throughout his-
tory have tried to understand this splendid number, calculate its exact value more precisely and make use of it in various scientific fields. Its usage is certainly not limited to mathematics; there are a wide range of its applications in physics, chemistry and other natural sciences. If you embrace pi you are likely to better the way you think. It is a number of such significance that it allows you to calculate the volume of any 3D object. Geometry is all around us and if you think for a second, you can make your life easier. With a proper rule and straight thinking you have the capacity to measure certain volumes of your body parts, unusually-shaped pieces of furniture or
the head of your cat. Moreover, the presence of this number reliably mirrors humans and their existence. It is a reflection of man in its irregularity – after all, no human being is regular and fully determined just by the fact that they are human. The way people think makes their irrationality rational. The same applies to pi – as a number it is identified as irrational, but the name cannot be more misleading. The existence of π provides answers in a logical manner. 3,1415. Remember this. Learning two more decimal places of the number might be a good start to the search of the true meaning of this mystical value.
THE HOMELESS LANGUAGE After the Great Flood, so the Bible tells us, all people were united and started building a tower so high that they might reach heaven. In anger over mankind’s arrogance and narcissism God gave the workers differing language, so that they couldn’t work together anymore and spread out to different parts of the Earth. And thus, languages were created. To the end of the 19th century the polish doctor and linguist L. L. Zamenhof, however, designed a language of his own, which has very simple Grammar and is rather easy to learn. The language, he called Esperanto, meaning “one who hopes”, was supposed to be politically detached and go beyond nationalities in order to foster peace and international cooperation. While its political influence is rather slim today, it was almost accepted as the working language of the League
of Nations, the predecessor organization of the UN, in the early 1920s. All but the French voted in favor of this neutral language. Estimations vary stating that at the present up to two million people speak this universal language and there are even about one thousand native speakers, having grown up with this Esperanto as their mother tongue. Currently the only official institute using this language is the International Academy of Sciences in San Marino. Some Esperanto speakers see this basis for communication as a good alternative to English, as it is both easier to learn and does not favor a distinct group of people who learn the language by birth. Most fluent speakers, however, enjoy the community attached to it. It is possible to travel to almost any country on the Earth, visit
Sebastian Rieger a local Esperanto club and talk to the locals without being at a linguistic disadvantage. It connects people from all around the world and gives them a sense of belonging, also outside their home country. It can be argued, though, that in the time of telecommunication the minimalist form of the English language, Globish, consisting of about 1500 English words, is sufficient for dialogue and is so widely spread, that the language of Esperanto has become rather redundant in modern society. Perhaps the increase in the popularity of this language shows that there are parts of culture, that can not be undone, coerced or thrust upon people, but that language like all elements of a social identity are subject to a constant development and a natural evolution.