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Newspaper Articles – Does Size Matter?


Metal door and key hole
How does the optical appearance of a newspaper article, the size of the headlines, the size of the pictures, influence its perception of its content by the readers? How does the context in which a newspaper article appears influence its perception by the readers?

I like to keep myself informed and I therefore like to read newspapers. Now with the internet being so widespread, I do not buy newspapers anymore, but rather visit my favorite newspapers online. Usually I start out with the computer news to keep myself updated on new products and developments, followed by science (deep in my heart I am a scientist, after all!) and politics and economics. The sports section I usually skip, I have to admit to you that I am not very competent in this particular area of knowledge. But I do read the sports section during the Olympics.
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Of Ghost Traps and Wrist Watches


Vitamin C under the microscope
Ghost traps are very useful devices – they can be used to catch evil spirits. What? You say that this does not make sense because ghosts do not exist? You say that ghosts are a product of our imagination? Well… do you believe in time? Could it not be that time is a product of our imagination as well?

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit a cultural exhibition. There were all sorts of interesting exhibits, ranging from art work to the local food… and of course there were also rooms filled with religious objects, handicrafts, clothing etc. I also remember the nice photographs of the landscape that were on display. For the purpose of this episode, the country is of no importance. We were a small group of approximately 10 visitors and we had one tour guide for the museum.
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The TOK Presentation – Possibility 2


Green door
The TOK Presentation: A second possible approach for planning the presentation.

For some of you my previous recommendation on the TOK Presentation (“The TOK Presentation – Possibility 1”) may be a bit formal and rigid. Not all of you may find it easy to identify a (good) knowledge issue from a real life situation. I would like to therefore introduce to you an alternative approach.

  • Step 1: Start off by trying to find a knowledge issue / problem of knowledge right from the start. Knowledge issues often start with the words: “How do we know that….” or “How can we know that…..”, but it is not limited to this. Make sure that your knowledge issue is directly TOK related. Continue reading »

The TOK Presentation – Possibility 1


Wall and windows
The TOK Presentation: A 7-step approach for planning the presentation. This approach is suitable for students who have no idea where to start.

Where should you start with the TOK presentation? The following section should help you out. I recommend that you try to find the required “real life problems” with the help of newspapers, but this is not an IB requirement. The following system is only one approach of many to tackle the presentation. I admit that it is a bit rigid and formal, but maybe it helps those students who have absolutely no idea on how to start off.

  • Step 1: Get yourself several newspapers and a few (news) magazine covering current events.
  • Step 2: Flip through the pages and try to find articles that deal with controversial issues. A controversial issue is an issue on which different people have different opinions. Continue reading »

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Areas of Knowledge

Ways of Knowing



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There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating; people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.

- Oscar Wilde -