5.3.17

G.L.O.V.E.

Knackered, overworked and loaded with mounds of homework, I staggered into the lift too tired to take the stairs. As bad as the day had already been, on top of that the lift got stuck mid way. Hysterically I punched every possible number on the display and suddenly the cart plummeted. As the doors opened there was a strange capsule directly in front of me. I cautiously made my way inside step by step and suddenly the hatch closed abruptly, the capsule lurching forward. It came to a sudden halt and the hatch opened.

An ear-piercing alarm sounded “Intruder alert, code red, I repeat code red.” Then suddenly countless uniforms slammed me to the ground. I awoke in a sterile room, slumped on a hard stool, the only other pieces of furniture were a stool with a table opposite me.

The door swished open as a smartly dressed woman appeared in the doorway giving me a cold stare as she marched toward the other stool. A file slammed onto the table in front of me. “Now, Mr Francis Watson, born 2000 at 0700 hours July seventh. Parents work at the EU, one mother in cyber security and the other in media.”, she read from the file. How did she know all this? “What is this place?” I asked scared to my core. “You are at G.L.O.V.E also known as Group, lex, ordo, verum, ebire. We are a secret organisation working to protect the law and order of the EU and it’s executives.” “Look I shouldn’t be here.” I responded."Actually all of this was orchestrated to get you here, you see we believe that coincidences do not exist."

"You have two choices either you can forget this ever happened or you can work for us.” “Get me out of here.” “Well why don’t you listen to our proposal. We have our suspicions about someone in your school, the European School of Brussels II“ “Oh you mean EEB2.” “Yes. We need you to be our eyes and ears. We have credible information that someone will attempt to assassinate the President of the EU. We believe that the suspect is either an authority figure or a student in 6th or 7th  year.” I thought about it for a while and asked: “If I were to agree hypothetically, would I get gadgets? “ “Now you are not 007 but never the less you will be provided with a wrist communication device and your glasses will be fitted with a camera which will send information to our monitoring system.” “Do I have to tell my parents?” “No, of course not, if you decide to work for us you will have a higher clearance level than your father.” “Okay, may I think about it?” “No, we have to know your answer before you leave the premises." "Oh, okay"  "Before you make your decision I want you to meet my boss." 


As the door swished open I heard a familiar voice saying ”Hello Francis.” I knew immediately who had just walked through the door as I felt my face go red from embarrassment. Out of shock I shouted out “Mummy, what how even-“ “Francis Alistair Peter John Watson I had you pegged for this job your whole life.” “But-but you-are a se-secretary at cy-cyber-security.” “Well that is partially correct just that I’m the head of G.L.O.V.E. Now it's decision time.” I probably looked like a tomato but never the less I had an odd feeling that agreeing to work for them would be the right decision ”Yes I will work for you.” “Good there is a lot you need to learn so we better get started. Allis take him to the Dojo and then he has to take the TEST.” “Yes ma'am, right away.” What did I just agree to?

By Tristan Francis Watson Brown
1.3.17

How Donald Trump Got Elected - Or How the Neoliberal Moderate Left Led to America's Downfall

In the past few months, all the way through the American presidential elections, the world has been shocked by one man: Donald Trump. How a racist, xenophobe, wall-preaching so-called businessman, who has gone bankrupt a staggering four times, managed to become the leader of the free world is a question people all over the world have been asking themselves ever since the last ballots were drawn. 


17.2.17

How technology is changing our lives

Thousands of years ago early humans were already using technology to hunt, gather and harvest crops. Since those very first spears and axes, technology has developed very far. Today we live in a world where information travels almost instantly across the Earth. We are in a place where people can travel faster than the speed of sound and where we keep discovering new things and new ways to improve. 

New technology startups are being formed everyday and revolutionary technologies are being developed faster than ever before. Facebook recently bought the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for two billion dollars after it had been a startup for only a short period of time. Google is building driverless cars which means that future generations may never need to learn to drive. Other companies like Tesla have developed electric sports cars that can go 270 miles in one charge.
Anyone can make a successful startup with a good idea and some hard work.  Well, no you need to be very lucky. You need to be able to betray your close friends and lie straight to peoples faces. You need to be willing to do many things to get your idea out there. Whether it includes sleepless nights or not spending any time with your friends and family, that is all part of the pack. With more and more technological advances it has become increasingly difficult to succeed. 


8.2.17

The Silent Train


The man hurried up the steps, slightly breathless. Just minutes before he had taken a

glance at the clock and realised he would miss his train with his slow pace. The platform

was empty, but he did not think much of it. It was only seven in the morning on a Saturday,

was it not? His hurrying paid off, for the train arrived exactly on time, as if called by the

man.




He stepped into the clean and modern train and made himself comfortable in a seat.

The long train seemed to stretch to infinity with all its identical, silent seats. He did feel a bit

lonely in the empty train, but it could not be helped. His station was the first on the

trajectory. This wasn’t his first ride deprived of company.
7.2.17

Experience as a volunteer in India

This summer I had one of the best experiences of my life. I participated in a solitary project in India.

22.11.16

Disposal of Nuclear Waste

Nuclear waste consists of products that contain radioactive material. There are three types of radioactive decay: alpha decay, beta decay and gamma decay. An alpha particle is made up of two protons and two neutrons combined. It can easily be stopped: a paper sheet does the trick. Beta particles can be positive or negative,  depending on how they were transformed. It can be stopped by an aluminum sheet. 


19.9.16

Tears raining in May


As morning turned into afternoon
and me spending in bed all day.
Wasn't expecting to see you very soon,
in fact you had just left in may. 
With wounds still so very open,
and me everyday missing you.
My soul left on the ground broken
wishing to hear one more time: I love you too. 

By Babette Stolk
14.9.16

Interview with Austėja Linartaitė, President 2016-2017




On Tuesday this week, the students of EEB2 were faced with choosing their president for the coming school year. Both candidates, Austėja Linartaitė and Gustavs Zilgalvis, made compelling speeches expressing their motivation and goals for the upcoming year. With a small difference of 14 votes, the students elected Austeja their president for this year. What happens now? We asked when we talked with Austėja about her plans for the coming year. 

5.9.16

THE COGNITIVE BUBBLE AND POST-TRUTH POLITICS


Artwork by Kristaps Zilgalvis

There's a new mood in the Western world. It's been called the post-truth era, described as homeopathy politics, and is ubiquitously driven by ideals of populism, isolationism and the uneasy juxtaposition of nationalism and pessimism.

Experts are dismissed in favour of intuitive rhetoric, such as liberation from the chains of the EU or the idea that the system is rigged against blue-collar workers.

Voters are swayed by appeals to prejudice, exaggerated personal attacks and outright falsehoods at the expense of objective weighing of the costs and benefits of particular alternatives.

24.4.16

IV.


Died has the smouldering fire of day,
Its embers still glow in the westerly sky,
Soon they’ll give way to the darkness of night.
A slow-moving shade creeps from the cold east,
Hiding the world with its black starry cloak,
Everywhere under the bright colours fade,
Thicker grow shadows in corners and cracks.
Just as a sickness creeps over a man,
Paling the face and stealing its redness,
Surrounding the eyes with ill boding black,
Seeping the life from a body once strong.
Quiet’s the world with slow idle sleep,
Its creatures depart for the dreamy realm,
The woods and the fields and the high mountain peaks,
Lonely they listen to Silence’s song.
A frost bringing wind just howls in the dark,
Its voice undisturbed by bustling day,
Calm’s all around in this shadowy waste,
Peaceful and quiet is starry-eyed Night.


The Dionysian
20.4.16

Interview de M. Spronck, Conseiller S7



Présentation : Je m'appelle Christian Spronck, je suis marié et j'ai deux merveilleuses jeunes jumelles (quatorze ans). J'ai été gradué non-licencié en professeur de maths et physique. J'habite à Liège, sous Magne, et là c'est ma troisième année à EEB2.

Donc ce n'était pas votre premier choix d'être conseiller ?
Ouhla non, c'est une longue histoire d'ailleurs.... quand j'avais seize ans je me formais pour être pilote de chasse à l'école Cadet de l'Air, dans la Force Aérienne ; en même temps que je faisais ma secondaire, jusqu'à mes dix-huit ans. Et donc j'ai obtenu mon brevet de planeur (glider). Au final j'ai arrêté parce que je n'aimais pas la mentalité de l'Armée. Ensuite, j'ai fait un an de maths à l'université mais j'ai aussi arrêté parce que l'ambiance ne m'allait pas. Par contre, j'ai fait un régendat, ou graduat en maths, ce qui m'a plus plu parce qu'il y avait plus de contact. Je suis sorti en 1993 pour devenir éducateur (conseiller) pendant quatre, cinq ans un peu partout, surtout dans un internat à Liège. Ce qui m'y a intéressé c'était de comprendre les problèmes des adolescents pour pouvoir les aider.

Comment êtes-vous donc arrivé ici ?
Je suis plus tard retourné en école secondaire comme professeur de maths, d'ailleurs dans la même école que Mme Mirolo – j'ai eu son fils comme élève ! Mais après treize ans à cette école et au total vingt-huit ans du même genre de boîte, j'ai voulu partir, et c'est ainsi que j'ai postulé à EEB2.

Et vous voilà.
Et me voilà. J'ai aussi enseigné dans une prison.

Merci beaucoup pour cette petite récapitulation... Parlez-nous maintenant de votre journée typique.
Je commence tout d'abord avec un grand sourire [rires]. Une fois arrivé à l'école, je surveille les absences et les retards.

Ce n'est pas trop frustrant ?
Non, ça va. [ça ne va clairement pas] J'écoute aussi les élèves en difficulté, puisque en plus du travail d'administration je me prend aussi en charge des étudiants. C'est un travail important. Dernièrement, je me charge aussi de l'organisation du Bac – ça demande beaucoup de travail, c'est sûr. Ça fait deux ans que je suis en charge de ça.
20.4.16

Interview with Mr Spronck, S7 conseiller




Presentation: My name is Christian Spronck, I'm married and I have two wonderful young twin daughters (14 years old). I graduated unlicensed as a teacher in maths and physics. I live in Liège, below Magne, and this is my third year at EEB2.

So being an educator wasn't your first choice?
Oh no, it's actually a long story... When I was sixteen I wanted to become a fighter pilot at the school Cadet de l'Air, at the Air Force; and at the same time I was completing my high school education, I was eighteen at the time. Eventually, I got my glider certificate! In the end I stopped because I didn't like the mentality of the Army. [piercing stare] Later, I did a year of maths at university but left because the atmosphere didn't suit me. However, I completed a teaching graduate in maths, which I liked more because there was more social interaction. I finished school in 1993 to become an educator for four or five years all over, I spent most of that time in a boarding school in Liège. What got me interested in being a teacher was understanding the problems that adolescents go through and trying to help them out.

How did you get here?
I later went back to high school as maths teacher, at the same school as Mrs Mirolo – I had her son as a student!-, but after thirteen years in that school and in total twenty-eight in the same kind of establishments, I decided I wanted to leave, and that's when I applied to EEB2.

And here you are.
And here I am. Oh, I also worked as a teacher in a prison.

Thanks a lot for this recap... Tell us about your typical day.
I first begin with a big smile [laughs]. Once I'm at school, I check the absences and lateness.

It's not too frustrating?
No, it's OK. [It clearly isn't] I also listen to students who are in trouble, since on top of the administration work, I'm also in charge of the students. It's an important job. Finally, I'm also in charge of the organisation for the bac – it demands a lot of work, that's for sure. I've been working on it for two years now.

What do you dislike about the European school?
No student coming out of high school is ready, they just don't know what they want to do. The level of certainty is simply way too low, and pursuing your studies or whatever comes after becomes difficult. I also find myself puzzled by certain things that happen in the school, or wrong ideas that can spread around very quickly. Then again, no school is perfect.

23.2.16

EEB2 Debate Club Invite Michael Gahler To Debate About Europe

EEB2 challenged Michael Gahler, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), to join a club debate on the future of Europe. 

The proposition team put forward the motion that the EU is doomed to failure.  Michael Gahler accepted the challenge to oppose this motion and the event took place on Tuesday 16th February in Salle Polyvolante.


EEB2 students prepared well for the debate and impressive arguments were made on both sides.


Over 500 people attended – all our S3 and S4 students.  Thank you for the support!


Well done to:
Ligaya
Alessia
Amy
Christina
Sofia
Gustavs
Emma

At the end of the debate, the motion was rejected – the EU is safe for now ☺



By Colm Kehoe

Edited by Gustavs Zilgalvis
18.2.16

Questions of the Future #1

Should we create artificial intelligence superior to our own?


This is the first in a series of posts where readers are welcome to comment or post their ideas regarding pivotal questions of the future.



The term 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at MIT. 

Numerous well known people such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have expressed concern about the ramifications of its enormous potential. Hawking claims that "the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race" whilst Musk describes it as "our biggest existential threat".

Artificial Intelligence is very real. Take Siri, for example, the digital personal assistant on any iOS device since the iPhone 4S. Siri adapts to every user's language and can interact with numerous applications within your phone, connect to Apple's servers to collect information and correlations, and decide on results that work best for you.

Not dangerous enough? Take the Starfish Assassin, an AI powered agent of death that carries enough poison to wipe out more than 200 starfish in one 4-8 hour mission. Yes, that's a thing. 


Employing sonar, multiple cameras and thrusters, it navigates the Great Barrier Reef. 

Programmed to identify specific starfish that are a specific threat to the reef due to an explosion in population, it injects 10 ml of poisonous bile, which, according to Scientific American, "effectively digests the animal from the inside". 

One of the robotics researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia adds "It's now so good it even ignores our 3D printed decoys and targets only live starfish." It knows.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is not, however, concerned. "I have no fear of Artificial Intelligence" he says. In fact, at this stage, artificial intelligence is almost exclusively benign to develop.


Indeed, if regulated and controlled, the potential of AI is quite literally beyond anything we can imagine. "The right emphasis on AI research is on AI safety." Elon Musk responded to critics.

Artificial Intelligence has surpassed humans in countless areas, ranging from chess, when Kasparov was defeated by Deep Blue, to production, where robots like Baxter are capable of almost instantly learning and efficiently executing any task. Internet bots and software can far more efficiently manage data as well, and this is only the beginning.

Once AI surpasses humans, countless predictions suggest it will be capable to restructure itself and develop at a rate biological evolution by natural selection can not possibly match. It could solve all problems, heal all diseases, or wipe humanity off the face of the Earth, depending on its design.




Should we take the risk? 

I welcome all your responses and will discuss them further, as well as propose a new debate in the next Question of the Future.



Here's an idea for discussion: computers think differently. 

An AI might be told to get rid of cancer, and achieve this by wiping out life, and therefore all potential hosts. How can we teach a program human values?




By Gustavs Zilgalvis




Sources

Scientific American January 2016 "The Starfish Assassin"
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies  - by Nick Bostrom


20.1.16

Mock United Nations (M.U.N.) and EEB2's Future Team


On Friday 15 January, a group of EEB2 students braved the cold and snowy conditions to take a train to Wavre and walk two kilometres into the Belgian countryside to visit the international school of Le Verseau. The purpose of this excursion was to attend an M.U.N. training conference and discover what M.U.N. is all about. 


The group experienced an impressive simulation of the workings of the United Nations and received a lesson in United Nations vocabulary, diplomatic conventions and international relations. It was clear that the students at Le Verseau had gained immensely from the research work involved, the public speaking experience, the debating and the critical thinking – all of this while gaining huge experience of working together as a team. 

17.1.16

CASSIUS ON THE NIGHT BEFORE


Tomorrow, subsequent to the break of day,
We will have lynched the one leading Rome astray.

The tyranny of the perfidious scourge eradicated,
His appetency for power never sated,
An insatiable, deleterious rapacity,
For power beyond human capacity.

No man ought ever to climb, to rise,
So high, whilst so feeble, so unwise,   
Assume the might of a god, an Olympian throne,
Shamed art thou, Rome, to such conduct condone!

When I pierce thy heart, Caesar, tomorrow,
Be sure, no regret, no sorrow shall follow,
When no golden ichor splatters from your veins,
But human blood, red blood, with scarlet stains.

Every honest man Caesar bamboozled and deceived,
Every honest man who credulously, naively believed,
Shall soon eulogise our cause, my name.
Throughout Rome shall resonate my fame!

Aye, Caesar, take heed!
For soon, every man in Rome shall be freed!

6.1.16

Footfest 2016 Logo!

We are excited to be the first to bring you the 2016 Footfest logo! The winner of the logo competition is Arthur Cherry, an S7 student from the French section. This logo was chosen by the general coordinators among 20 other drawings submitted.
Credits for digitizing it go to Evelina Anglickaite.




The logo will be printed on T-shirts for Footfest coordinators, crew and security.
Colors of the year? First suggestions are black for security, burgundy for crew and bright blue for coordinators, but this is not a final decision yet.

Are you excited for Footfest 2016? We definitely are!
Let us know what you think of the logo and what you are excited about for this year's Footfest.


by Sofia Brusa
Edited by Emilie Kerstens
20.12.15

Cupcakes


Cupcakes are delicious if you make them with the right recipe. One of the greatest internet cupcake/cake bakers is Elise Strachen, who created her own YouTube channel, mycupcakeaddiction. On this channel, you can find great recipes for all kinds of cakes and everything cake related. One of the greatest things about Mrs. Strachen, is that she uses baking powder rather than baking soda. Baking soda is difficult to find in groceries stores in Europe, you have to go to the pharmacy to find it (not joking). She has also created a lot of videos to show how to make beautiful piping frosting decoration, that are not very time consuming to make. I tried two of her easy recipes. The outcome was delicious which surprised me because every time I've made cupcakes in the past they have always had a weird outcome. Most of the time the texture of the cupcakes were not very appetising and they didn’t taste great, this time they turned out great. 
My cupcakes


5.12.15

Shaving with Occam's Razor

"Nature has a great simplicity and, therefore, a great beauty."

- Richard Feynman



Physics


Occam’s Razor is defined as the principle that in explaining a thing, no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. Essentially, it states that among competing hypotheses, the most elegant, simplest one should be selected. 

Occam’s razor, however, does not serve as an arbiter in modern science but rather as a guide. As Einstein put it, “It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience” or as he is often paraphrased, "Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler." 


The Bullet Cluster

Described as "The longest-standing, unsolved problem in astrophysics" by Neil deGrasse Tyson, dark matter continues to remain a mystery. Scientists observed that only 15% of the gravity of the universe can be accounted for by baryonic, "normal" matter and phenomena such as black holes. This means that 85% of the mass of the universe, hence the formation of all galaxies and complex structures, and the behaviour of the entire universe is attributed to missing matter

Furthermore, the speed of rotation of the edge of multiple galaxies is faster than expected, considering that the majority of their mass is concentrated near the galactic centre. This suggests that the movement of these galaxies is  being affected by the gravity of invisible matter surrounding it, aptly named dark matter.