week 63


Mon: Is vaping away fragrances with unknown effect on lungs and brain the new cool?

Tue: The historical city of Taraz, close to the river Talas and site of the eponymous battle in 751 when chinese and arab armies collided, is a vivid reminder of the mixed culture and society that lived and lives still there.

Wed: A train ride thru the Congolese Katanga province is a truly astonishing experience on how the railway provides the political, economical and, health care lifeline to the peoples along its route.

Thu: Shymkent market, just 100 miles north of Tashkent, exhibits all the culinary utensils for the proper cooking of an Uzbek naan.

Fri: Katharine Hepburn, together with Garbo and Dietrich, made an actresses triad for the unparalleled golden age of the seventh art that was the 1930s.



week 62


Mon: Almost all the fancy gimmicks to keep a real euro paper bill from a fake one are revealed by Xenius, from the UV light reading logo to the semi-transparent face of the goddess Europa.

Wed: “Discovering Kazakhstan” from Kazakh-TV reported on the new pedestrian friendly area around Panfilov Avenue and the depth of the Metro stations in Almaty.

Thu: RT description of the polygamous “tokal” practice in nowadays Kazakhstan seemed almost trivial.

Fri: Kurchatov, the city on the Kazakh steppe populated by scientist conducting nuclear tests during Soviet times is a grim reminder of the lasting repercussions of radioactivity.


week 61


Mon: At last, the EU digital data protection law is enacted. Let’s see how long it will take for the US government to overpower the GAFA lobbyists.

Tue: The new silk road is half way through. From Chongqing to Khorgos (3697 km) an impressive two-lane highway crosses China. From there to Orenburg (2830 km), via Almaty, Kyzylorda and Aktobe, just a badly repaved potholed track welcomes the truckers.

Wed: Panning for gold in Kyrgyzistan, from the Kumtor open air mine to the Osh market, highlights the environmental and human toll that such practices have on the land and peoples.

Thu: The Afghan Wakhan corridor, the thin strip of land between Tajikistan and Pakistan, exhibits an ”off the beaten path” glamour that is hard to resist its pull to visit it before “civilization” does.

Fri: Aristotle Onassis’ life (1906-1975), from Ottoman Izmir to free-spirited Buenos Aires, from partner Callas to wife Kennedy, from whaling industry to oil container ships, was a global one before the 21st century globalization made it accessible to most.

week 60


Mon: Xenius suggested a ketogenic diet with a menu low in carbohydrates and high in fats to lower free radicals generation and enhance ketoacid compounds presence in order to protect mitochondria.

Tue: “Cuisines de terroir” stops by the peninsula of Istria on the Adriatic sea coast with its three countries / three languages mixture makes for a very palatable blend of ingredients.

Wed: Searching for the oldest prehistoric ski slopes close to the Altai city in northern Xinjiang province.

Thu: How to enhance Kazakhstan international exposure and keep social development on track while there is an ongoing global economic crisis is not an easy task for any politician.

Fri: Becoming Cary Grant, the british actor with 3 american marriages lasting only a couple of years each, shows the lasting effects of an absent mother since the tender age of 11.

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.