Zijn expatrates meer creatieve? (Are expatriates more creative?)
Gulliver’s blog reports on a recent INSEAD study that concludes that there is something in the experience of living in foreign parts that helps foster creativity. I would suspect that there is a self-selection bas at work: that the most creative people are also the ones most likely to see out cross-cultural experiences. But the researchers claim to have adjusted for that, suggesting instead that
It may be that those critical months or years of turning cultural bewilderment into concrete understanding may instill not only the ability to “think outside the box” but also the capacity to realize that the box is more than a simple square, more than its simple form, but also a repository of many creative possibilities.
I think that so many abstract ideas become real as an expat, from seeing the real art and architecture or learning a language as an everyday means of communication. How and when people work and eat, organize politically and socially, become concrete alternatives to the best, conventional way of doing things. In a Piaget’s sense, I think this exercises our ability to assimilate and to accommodate, fostering creativity (and occasional exhaustion).
(Note: I’m finding that “Expatriate” seems a difficult word to translate: something between foreigner (buitenlander) and exile (balling).)
Hoe vaak moeten oefenen wij? (How often should we exercise?)
5 to 7 days of exercise per week with 3000 to 3500 kcal/week of energy expenditure, according to a report in Circulation from the University of Vermont.
The researchers compared overweight patients in cardiac rehab, randomized to high-calorie-expenditure exercise vs. standard 7 to 800 kcal/wk routines for four months. They report double the weight and fat mass loss, improved insulin resistance, and better cholesterol ratios after 5 months, benefits which remained at one year.
I normally do a half hour on the Il Fiore exercise bike four times a week. At 400 kcal per session that’s about half what the study suggests. I’ve increased my time to 45 minutes (600 kcal / session) five days per week to get to 3000. It’s significantly more work for me: it must be huge for someone in rehab. Still, I picked up a few kilos in Turkey that I’d like to lose, so I’m giving this a go.
And, yes, outdoor bike riding is much preferred…I need to get a bike, really. I will. I promise.
According to the Economist, Nijmegen? The introduction, giving a bit of perspective on Dutch culture behind their jewelers, is intriguing:
Humour and subversion are an intrinsic element of this kind of jewellery, which may explain why one European country, the Netherlands, has become a beacon for collectors… The Dutch “like to turn things upside down”. They possess a fierce merchant mentality, but do not like to display their wealth, preferring instead to show off their intellectual power…retaining their taste for being experimental.
The Galerie Marzee in Nijmegen is cited as an outstanding example of contemporary Dutch jewelry artists. Galerie Ra, Galerie Louise Smit , and Galerie Rob Koudjs, all in Amsterdam, are also referenced. The piece above is a brooch, Lichtkasten, by Rudolf Kocéa.
I especially liked the article’s allusion to jewelry as living sculpture, interacting with the environment and with the wearer, rather than as simple adornment.