Mon: Xenius taught us about Pacific ocean deep bottom mining of poly-metallic nodules and its environmental disastrous consequences. Believe it or not, down there it is teeming with life.
Tue: A train carriage turned into a mobile hospital riding along the transiberian track delivers much needed help to rural areas, as long as patients find their way to the station. Easier said than done, especially on a brutal winter day.
Wed: The savage viking visits rural Chechnya driving the route from Grozny to Itum-Kale passing by jewels like the 11th century Ushkaloi twin towers, and not stopping!!!
Thu: The ETH, or MIT of Europe, showed its formidable engineering strengths to remedy environmental degradation and ameliorate climate change. Only if the global citizenry gathered their collective willpower towards such a goal, the results would be at hand with minimal social disturbances.
Fri: ARTE 360 degrees report on the Lezgin people of the mountainous village of Kurush at the border between Dagestan and Azerbaijan was astonishing: collecting backyard manure to patch house walls, separating the wheat from the chaff by hand, threading wool into rugs at night with light coming from kerosene lanterns … Footage recorded in 2015.
Mon: Xenius presented the urban nuisance of the noisy crows. Should we deal with the crowds of crows with relocation of their nests or with predatory falcons?
Tue: Androids (human-like robots) are here to stay. And nowhere more so true than in Japan. R’u ready for a “Mazinger Z” real encounter?
Wed: The Finnish traveler leaves finally the helicopter behind and hits the (unpaved) grown of Ingushetia. Too bad he misses the highly scenic medieval tower complex of Egikal and instead heads for Magas outskirts to interview kiddos skateboarding in back alleys.
Thu: The impressions of Austrian journalist Joseph Roth during his trip to the just stabilized Soviet Union in 1926 reveal how effervescent the society was at the time. From the new ascending Jewish bourgeoisie class in Moscow to the pumping oil fields surrounding Muslim Baku. One cannot stop wondering how different that social experiment could have turned out…
Fri: RT documents the futuristic megapolis of Shenzhen, China’s “Silicon Valley”, where robotic platforms park your electric car and while it plugs itself to a recharging station powered by solar panels, you are free to shop around downtown riding on an elevated monorail tram.
Mon: Xenius investigates how the health self-monitoring devices affect one’s behavior towards a life quality improvement.
Tue: Arte documents the long lasting influence of Botticelli’s painting “Birth of Venus” on Western culture and society up to the present.
Wed: “Le Caucase en 30 jours” host ventures into the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, to helipad on mount Elbrus, and North Ossetia, where he relaxes at the ski resort of Tsey with guitar in hand playing folk songs.
Thu: ZDF presents the lifestyle of Cossack’s descendants along the shores of the river Don. Since more than a century, they have exchanged the thrill of the horse and the sword for a quiet farming plot of land.
Fri: “360 degrees report” team took us to Varanasi to witness the healing powers of Ayurvedic medicine, including heat baths, sand massages and herbal extracts, curcumin included.
Mon: Are humans growing taller and taller? It looks like H. sapiens has hit a plateau at around 1.82 meters, much like in lifespan at around 115 years.
Tue: The gardens at villa Borghese in Rome delight in their appeal for nature no matter the season. Why is it so hard for city planners to get it right? Blame it on money.
Wed: The finnish viking starts his “Le caucase en 30 jours” trip in Sochi. Too bad he missed the walk along the hanging bridge over the Akhshtyrskoe gorge in the Mzymta river valley on the way to Krasnaya Polyana.
Thu: Mark Twain’s trip to Germany in the late 1860s gives a perspective on how a traveler influences the stereotype that his home society will construct about his host culture. Moral of the story: Do travel yourself!
Fri: Judy Garland’s career travails, just like those of Marlene Dietrich or Edith Piaf, show the high price paid for a life in the entertainment business.
Mon: The importance of ocean currents caused by differences in water temperature to the air circulation of the Gulf stream were highlighted by Xenius. Worth noticing how hot water from the Indian ocean meeting cold water from the Atlantic at cape Agulhas feeds the stream.
Tue: Le jardin de Luxembourg are the key to make Paris a livable city.
Wed: The highly innervated human digestive system and its communication with the brain makes one take pause to reflect on “who is in charge”?
Thu: RAI Overland team peregrinates via the Georgian military road from South to North Ossetia. The abandoned town of Dargavs looks like an interesting stop on the way to the quiet capital city of Vladikavkaz.
Fri: RT reported on the Chinese “One road, one belt” commercial project trying to rejoin again China and Europe through terrestrial links (road & rail) via Russia and Kazakhstan.
Mon: Xenius reported on the human microbiome. How does diet influence the composition of the gut microbiota?
Tue: Digital memory is very short lived. It is either getting back to pen-and-paper or jumping to the high density long lasting DNA coding what will be needed to preserve human knowledge.
Wed: NHK took a bike ride along the Akita prefecture. The usual craftsmen appear this time molding tree bark into a cylinder for making a tea leave storage container. However, a surprise was to watch the new generation of kids learning to sing traditional folk songs about fishermen braving the high seas.
Thu: “La Volga en 30 jours” ended with a grand view of the river’s delta expanse and the familiar comment from the Finnish viking traveler that what made the trip worthwhile was the people he met along the way.
Fri: An appreciation of the influence that three tzarines of Prussian origins had on Russia made the case for a better understanding of the relationship between the neighboring empires during a century and a half (1762-1918).
Mon: Xenius tackled the long term health issues of body tattooing, how the ink particles below the dermis with enough time travel and accumulate in the axillary nymph nodes and, how pulsating laser beams applied on the skin can fragment the grains so the immune system, ultimately, degrades them.
Tue: We were introduced to the subject of gastrosophy or the art of mixing agriculture, cuisine, nutrition and pleasure everyday sur la table. Worth noticing that, currently, Wikipedia in English lacks an entry for it while it is available in French, Catalan, Spanish, Italian and German.
Wed: A well rounded portrait of painter Velazquez, his portuguese father, his upbringing in cosmopolitan 17th century Seville, his freedom seeking trips to Rome and his lasting influence on later masters, such as Goya and Picasso.
Thu: “La Volga en 30 jours” series crossed the steppe of the republic of Kalmykia. The finnish viking-like reporter spotted the almost extinct saiga antelope in the outskirts of Elista, and around the village of Yashkul found a ger (yurt) and got treated with tea reinforced with camel milk while chatting with nomads of mongolian ancestry in the lingua franca, Russian.
Fri: Like Velazquez before, Goethe got an inspirational kick out of his 2 years Italian trip. Given the endurance needed for the three weeks of carriage ride from the Weimar court to Venice, who could blame him for overstaying his allotted time. And from his remarks about 1780s lively Rome and chaotic Naples, one starts to believe that the cities character has barely changed.