week 59


Mon: Xenius expose on how easy is to fake, even bring back from the dead, characters and situations in movies makes the skills of an image forensic expert, a widely sought ability.

Tue: “Cuisines de terroir” transports us back five years to our Karelian casserole “c pyat’sod” beer glass days in Petrozavodsk.

Wed: Kazakhstan far west desert, between the Aral and Caspian seas, with its underground sacred caves re-purposed as mosques, makes the traveler’s mind wander…

Fri: Chardonnay wine from the Chinese Xinjiang province? Soon at your convenience store thanks to climate change and globalization.


week 58


Mon: Making “leather” shoes out of pineapple shell? That is a xenius idea!

Tue: Fran├žois Kupka, not Kandinsky, painted the first abstract tableau. Who?

Wed: Driving in Madagascar east coast; now, that is a true “route de l’impossible”.

Thu: Damming the Syr-Darya and Amu-Darya river head waters in the Tienshan and Pamir mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are troubling the irrigation of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan plains with unsettling political consequences.

Fri: 50 years after the 1967 hippies “summer of love”, what did it change? The music, the civil rights movements, gender equality, the futility of war…

week 57


Mon: Neonicotinoids ban in the EU is a sorely needed help for the bees in their very helpful function as pollinators, if only, for agriculture.

Wed: Les routes de l’impossible in Tajikistan along the river Panj, border with Afghanistan, is another reminder of impact of Russo-British imperialism in the region. Where the north bank sees women kissing the hand of their male acquaintances, the south bank witnesses burqa silhouettes.

Thu: The renaissance in the exploitation of the carob tree fruit in touristic Crete is a positive side effect of having to diversify the local economy away from the olive tree mono-culture due to the 2008 economic crises.

Fri: Submerged trans-oceanic fiber optic cable privately owned by the GAFA platforms gives a glimpse of the coming two-speed (private-public) internet.

week 56


Mon: Mobbing among kids is a new and real threat to their well being courtesy of the megaphone provided by the internet social media.

Tue: Cooking khinkali in Dagestan never looked so familiar.

Wed: A theater director diatribe on detective Poirot’s ability to solve the murder of Mr. Ackroyd put Agatha’s life turmoil at the time of its writing on the spotlight.

Thu: Kazakhstan government own report on the country progress towards economical, social and cultural modernization looked way too rosy.

Fri: Chasing time lapse pictures from total solar eclipses in the Moluccas islands was an inspirational documentary.




week 55


Mon: Online dating algorithms, like digital “Celestinas”, trying to perfect the art of soul matching have it very difficult, specially, since we are in the era of “fast”-everything.

Wed: “Les routes de l’impossible” crew gets stuck, together with a few hundred more, in a snow blizzard on the northern Kazakh steppe, while 500 km. to the south the mud from the winter thaw makes every step an odyssey, except for the camel.

Thu: A quite nonsensical take on the future of human evolution. Either the computers will take over or we will continue on the path to self-destruction.

Fri: Why birds are less chirpy than ever? Well, blame city cats, glass tower buildings and city light pollution, all courtesy of H. sapiens.


week 54


Mon: Xenius crossed a line getting into the non-sense hypnosis therapy prescribed to overcome psychological challenges.

Tue: Who knew that cats roam so free and far from home … only turning back when they find the scented boundary marked by the next door feline!

Wed: Placebo effect is an undeniable fact showing a huge variation in its action between diseases and patients. Ignore it at your own peril.

Thu: A dialectical diatribe by a french writer about the naming of Mt. Lenin and Mt. Karl Marx in Tajikistan (border with Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, respectively) did not detract from the astonishing beauty of the Pamir landscape.

Fri: Kazakh diet was reported as based on fermented mare milk (kumis), camel milk (shubat), and horse & sheep meat sausages; but they forgot to mention its lovely flat bread (nan).

week 53


Mon: Is biogas a sustainable source of energy or just a fad?

Tue: What is a spanish female nuclear engineer doing in the desert of central Kazakhstan working at a nuclear plant? Waiting for a Paris appointment at her company’s headquarters!

Wed: The microbiome triggering the neuro-immune synapse in the intestine could have important health repercussions.

Thu: Saudi Arabia “liberal” port city of Jeddah still has a long way to go for qualifying as such.

Fri: Why are computing algorithms ruling everything from criminal profiling to job candidate screening to patient surgery priority listing? Blind faith in statistics is to blame.