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The Bubble is an online magazine based at Durham University, launched in 2010. More about us…


Articles by Sergio Brodsky

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Game On!

Letting your face know you play to win

Since the days of the Romans little has, arguably, changed. Panem et circenses or, Bread and Circuses, is still the most powerful vehicle for controlling the masses. Romans had their beasts and gladiators; we have Max Payne, Hollywood and sports events. Could it be by chance that Spain’s recent bail-out by the IMF happened just a day before La Roja’s match against Italy for the UEFA cup? Nevertheless, the real twist of these virtual realities is that the masses are now able to play for change instead of the …

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0 comments | Tags: business, learning, Memory, video games, games, technology

Just Nudged

Tempted to hit the target? That’s exactly what the picture is nudging you to do!

Human memory is story-based, facilitating the learning process. This fact is as old as the invention of writing. Indeed, letters can be said to be blood-related to shapes and colours. Sumerian cuneiform writing – allegedly the first written language – could almost portray motion through its characters. Egyptian hieroglyphs were made up of symbols and images. But what was the purpose of registering a message?

The whole idea was that the creation of an accessible visual language would allow everyone to have access to …

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0 comments | Tags: technology, advertising

Reinventing the World: Stoner Civility

There are plenty of ways to feel high without feeding the brutal drugs trade

After writing about the politics, the economics, the spirituality and even the sportive sides of sustainability it is time to talk about that inconvenient truth, that people enjoy feeling high. In simple wording, happier than usual or with deeper thoughts, more alert, relaxed, etc. But then comes all the questioning… is it legal, is it healthy, and is it right?! Opinions and even laws disciplining the usage of chemical substances are all very subjective, as objectively we are constantly inhaling, drinking and eating chemicals of all …

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5 comments | Tags: drugs, sustainable development, addiction

Reinventing the World: Neverlanding

Children will design the future. Sadly, they’ll steal The Bubble’s crayons to do it.

It is a suicide mission to come up with “one size fits all” solutions. Many have tried and failed. However, it is an invaluable achievement to come across something that will stick for the rest of our lives. For example, one of my earliest memories is going to see the play Peter Pan with my parents. Although I knew nothing about J. M. Barrie, Jung’s Puer aeternus syndrome or a half-goat half-boy oboe player from Greek mythology, a cultural imprint for …

Complete article

3 comments | Tags: PythagoraSwitch, Peter Pan, children, sustainable development

Reinventing the World: Game Changer

Sergio and his niece practise their parkour technique.

Originally, Νενικήκαμεν! Phonetically, Nenikékamen! Or simply, we have won! That was what Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, exclaimed after a non-stop 42k run from the city of Marathon to Athens… just before collapsing and dying. As was well understood by Shakespeare, “All the word is a stage […]” and with the same grandeur of a Greek tragedy the Olympic Games were born.

The celebration of human physical might is clearly expressed by the Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (from the Latin; “faster, higher, stronger”); nevertheless, maybe as a way to avoid sports arenas …

Complete article

3 comments | Tags: Millennium Goals, Olympic games, sport, sustainable development

Reinventing the World: New Applications for Old Traditions

Attitudes to religion have altered radically over the years

Religion, from the Latin religo, means to re-connect. Although belief systems were probably invented concomitantly with languages, the Latin term expresses this sense of expansion of self to the Universe, to disengage from time and somehow accept we are all part of some superior entity’s dream. Quite a nice way to comprehend it; however, it has become a fashion to deny and deprecate organised religions and the possibility of one or multiple creators. Maybe the unprecedented advances in science, the materialization of our spiritualities through consumerism, and the questionable …

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7 comments | Tags: Sabbath Manifesto, environmentalism, sustainable development, religion, economics

Reinventing the World: H2Ope

Sergio outside the Kafka museum in Prague, demonstrating the process. Charming.

Have you peed in the shower today? No? Oh, you naughty child…

Every single flush wastes around 12 litres of potable water, which in one year could add up to 4,000L. This is the science behind humorous campaign “xixi no banho”, which with a surprising 73% adherence since its launch is giving a whole new meaning to the term “golden shower”. Top model Gisele Bündchen liked the idea so much that she became the campaign’s ambassador and is now making all big guys (and girls) pee while …

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6 comments | Tags: FOG-to-Fuel, wastewater, sustainable development, sewage, Humanure

Reinventing the World: War and Peace

Outside the UN Headquarters – a reminder of the organisation’s ultimate goal

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

“The world is a fine place and worth fighting for … But never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.”

Bravo Hemingway! To save military resources ancient Greeks invented a type of combat where the best soldier of one army fights the other and the winner resumes the battle. With a similar intention Romans created the fundamentals of the Legal System. In our postmodern society the only …

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11 comments | Tags: Costa Rica, war, poverty, peace

Reinventing the World: Business Models, Model Businesses

Co-operative enterprises are run by their service users

When I wrote Consumption by Design as a provocation to our insanely consumerist culture driven by unscrupulous 360° marketing campaigns, I offered a design based solution (Cradle-to-Cradle) as an alternative. This time, the exposure of UK’s co-operative model will serve as the business case for good, fair trade and inspiring marketing practices; yes, ethical marketing does and can exist. It’s all about giving a legitimate purpose to the act of communicating.

A co-operative is a business organisation owned and operated by a group of individuals …

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5 comments | Tags: ethical marketing, Co-operative Group, sustainable development

Reinventing the World: Give It Away

Red Hot Chili Peppers performing a classic. Sergio chose this. Promise.

The excellent article When Will World Aid Step Up To The Plate? published by The Bubble provides a truthful picture of international relief organisations’ morose state. On the other hand, international private organisations are doing pretty well. Clearly there is a lot of wealth in the world, yet a lot of need too. Both should meet.

Over the last few years philanthropy has stopped being a simple hobby for the rich, having acquired a radical new formula powered by capitalism and the efficiency of the markets; plowing money into …

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13 comments | Tags: philanthropy, World Aid, sustainable development
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