One of the joys of working as a trainer at Capgemini Academy is the frequency with which I’m expected to be on the receiving end of their courses. Just tonight I completed their ‘Vision and Didactic skills’ course, one of their requirements for Certified Trainer status and a rich source of theoretical knowledge (Behaviorism, Kolb,…

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Interviewed in this week’s VARA TV Guide, renowned negotiator Alistair Crooke illustrates the principle of give and take in negotiations by quoting a remark a Hamas leader made to him: The Americans demand that we cease all violent action, turn in our weapons, and recognize the State of Israel, before they will enter into negotiations…

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On its way to Leiden Lammenschans station, the slow train to Alphen passes a crossing. It’s a fairly unappealing place, where the ugly housing developments of northern Leiden crowd up to an uninspired business district and an empty lot. At first, therefore, it was hard to explain the rush of satisfaction I felt when I…

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Writing is, almost by definition, a lonely occupation.* Fortunately, that doesn’t stop “us writers” from flocking together at the least provocation. Be it a signing, or a Con, or a workshop; any excuse is good enough to get together and act geeky. The latest occurance of this flocking behaviour was the second Villa Diodati Writers’…

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In a similar vein to my previous post, I’d like to rant a bit about the glaring idiocy of the so-called scientists who announced, a few years back, that they had calculated the chance that God exists*. Rest assured I don’t want to get into a discussion about the question of God’s existence. I’m pretty…

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In this month’s Scientific American, a book is reviewed in which yet another scientist makes a complete fool of himself by referring to […] the perplexing fact that many basic features of the physical universe seem tailor-made to produce life. Every time someone comes up with this amazing fallacy I want to weep and wail….

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Cycling home from the song improvisation workshop, I complimented my fellow student on her amazing performance. She blushed, looked away, and to drive the point home stated that she was terrible at accepting compliments. “Of course you are,” I replied, “or you wouldn’t be practicing improvisation theatre, or any other brand of performing art.” A…

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Not only does true love exist, it has been incarnated in a Dutch female author, who has mastered the art of capturing it in words. Connie Palmen, a highly successful Dutch novelist and essayist, wrote ‘I.M.’ after the love of her life, Ischa Meijer, the hugely talented columnist, radio and TV personality, and above all…

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Being a writer is so much like being in a relationship it’s easy to confuse the two. (Or maybe I should compare it to being in love. That comparison works in the sense that when writing is going well, it feels like I’m on top of the world, and nothing or no one can get…

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