Monday, October 29, 2007

"education(?)" on the 21st Century....

A group of American students conducted a survey about modern university education... click to watch video... the lives of these students might remind you of your OWN'...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trade talks that were meant to help the poorest

International trade is not until next year but we will be discussing a few issues now and it would be a good idea if you slowly got acquainted with the big picture. This article is from the International Herald Tribune (which I see very few of you checking out on our lovely new couches in the Art building where past IHT and Economist issues can be found). Doha is the capital of Qatar and in 2001 it was there where the latest round of multilateral trade negotiations began under the WTO. Click, save, print, skim through and file the article.

Η ωραιότερη ιστορία του κόσμου του Βασίλη Μαυρογεωργίου

You guys are a bit too old (and/or not old enough..) for this one but if you have younger brothers/sisters have them go watch Η ωραιότερη ιστορία του κόσμου του Βασίλη Μαυρογεωργίου at the Εθνικό Θέατρο (παιδικό στέκι). The underlying issue (bridging the east and the west) transcends even our stuff...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Absolutely amazing!

Vilayanur Ramachandran: A journey to the center of your mind

Please 'waste' 23 minutes and watch this video. It's fascinating (and, you'll have plenty to say in your TOK class...)

Quoting from TED:

V.S. Ramachandran is a mesmerizing speaker, able to concretely and simply describe the most complicated inner workings of the brain. His investigations into phantom limb pain, synesthesia and other brain disorders allow him to explore (and begin to answer) the most basic philosophical questions about the nature of self and human consciousness.

Low dollar helps fuel record high price for crude oil

Haris Kampouris brought this article to our attention. Most of the analytics behind it are rather simple:
Rising global crude oil demand, especially from the top consumers, the United States and China, has driven oil's current rally, helped by a weakening dollar and investment flows from pension and hedge funds into commodities and oil.

Price is rising because demand is rising (shifting to the right). China and the US are driving this increase in demand (China mostly because oil is an input in manufacturing and in the US also because of colder temperatures in the Northeast; the lower dollar as a reason is not yet accessible to year1 but the basic idea is that oil seems cheaper still to others as oil is priced in USD and the USD is depreciating. (think of a Hummer: it is priced in USD and if now you can buy a dollar with 0.71 euros instead of 0.80 euros, it is cheaper in Greece.......)

The supply side is also responsible:
Fears of a supply crunch have also helped the surge. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has signaled it is unlikely to increase supply further, and political tensions in the Middle East have increased investors' worries that some output could be disrupted

OPEC (a cartel that controls a significant chunk of world oil output) is saying that it won't raise output (so, price will not ease) and political tension in the ME area signal that producton and thus the flow of oil into world markets may be disrupted. So (back to demand), if it seems likely that price will rise in the foreseeable future then oil is a commodity that will become more valuable to possess in the future (so, it is bought and demanded now by investors).

It is also interesting that if you click on the right on the 'translate' link the same article opens up in a separate page but all words are 'hot' and clickable in a dictionary! Good for your English!

This could be a nice article for the Econ IA. More on this later.

Enjoy, and thanks to Haris.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Humanity's very syrvival is at risk....

Kostas Armenakis sent me this link and it's one more alarm perhaps worth paying some attention to. We'll be discussing a bit later the analytics of pollution and environmental costs and our treatment will help us put some perspective into the causes of this problem, possible solutions and why many of these are very difficult to adopt. For the time being, download the article, save it, print it, read it and file it! Also, contrast this view with the view that Achilleas Voutsinas posted for us (a video actually) in our ibecon wikispace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

China Makes, the World Takes....

One of my previous sweethearts (Yiannis Pavlakis, 2007) now doing great stuff at a great town (Boston University) sent me this link. It's an article and a slideshow on what is going on in China. Worth your time! Enjoy dah-lings!

Remittances --> money sent back home

This is a chart from the Economist showing the $s remitted back home by migrant workers. This money can and does play an important role in the development process. More on this, later in our course. The link is here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Economist Debate Series

I was checking out the current issue of The Economist and I bumped into this which could be of interest to some:

Last month, the editors of The Economist invited readers to choose the topic of our first debate. Your voices have been heard and your votes tallied.

The winning propositions are:

First Debate Oct. 15th-23rd, 2007, “Effectiveness of Technology - Does new technology add to the quality of education?”

2. “National Competitiveness - Should countries compete to attract qualified students regardless of nationality and residence?”

3. “Social Networking - Does it bring positive change to education?

Keep up with speakers' arguments, post opinions, and vote for or against the proposition

The link is here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Richistan": How the other 1 per cent lives

Who buys a 750,000$ watch? Why are seven years olds made to understand cost-benefit analysis? How many times the wage of his employee takes home the average American chief executive? U'll find that and much more at the:,,2131752,00.html

Friday, October 19, 2007

IB Teachers' team victorious in soccer game against IB students (candidates 2008)

Today, at the Karapialis Soccer Field the IB teachers' team defeated the IB students 4-2 after a very exciting game. Excellent defense, wise strategy against the younger but inexperienced players together with startling goals by coach Costas Sykiotis led to the final score.

In this picture, Agis Galopoulos displaying his skills against Nick Nicolaou.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On the Econ Nobel

In today's class (I have no clue which section it was - I think it was the one I like - or was it the other one?) we had a discussion on this year's N prize. This link is the story in a nutshell (u better study what Chris and Agis teach u....)and this is the paper on the idea we talked about in class. It is not accessible to you (parts of it are not -anymore- accessible to me either....) but you may find sentences or paragraphs illuminating! This one is more accessible (it is meant to be) so check it out.

Mankiw's blog: a real economist and his thoughts

I do suggest that you visit and save N Greg Mankiw's blog. He's a prof at Harvard (the one at Cambridge Mass, not Mexico...) and has done lots of work in many areas of economics. He has also written an excellent introductory text that I used to assign for higher IB econ (decided on Krugman to check his out - he's also excellent). Following his blog will help you with your evaluation skills. so, plz, follow my advice!

Check this out!

I posted the Letterman video clip on Jules' blog so this is an opportunity to see the great job he's doing!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Everything you always wanted to know about Essays

Purdue University, USA, offers a tremendous Online Writing Laboratory. Look it up. It's as informative and helpful as it gets.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Extended Essays

It's very early to formally discuss the extended essay but it may be a good idea to download, save, print and skim through the new guidelines. They can be found here.

Moreib...another blog to check out!

Our own very special Spyros Kasimatis (aka PHILOLOGUS QUIDAM) has started another blog with very-very interesting posts. Do check out and bookmark moreib!

Friday, October 5, 2007

quiz 1 Hb....

What a fiasco! Never has a teacher handed out the answers instead of the exam itself! In any case (for the other section) the exam is here.