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.


week 52


Mon: Xenius describing the properties of walnuts with “appellation d’origine” cultivated near Grenoble made the case for a healthy product worth protecting.

Tue: A report of Spaniards (mainly male, young, professionals) migrants in Kazakhstan gave a distinct view on the people of the steppes.

Wed: Remembering the May’68 demonstrations in Paris, were the events the making of a distinct generation?

Thu: Mysterious Saudi Arabia, from the ancient rock carved buildings of the Nabateans to the oil fueled skyscrapers of nowadays Ryadh … quite a change!


week 51


Mon: Skin injuries are so painful that applying sun screen cream is, comparatively, a very minor inconvenience.

Tue: Gender neutral child education is not without its caveats. What to do when almost nobody else in society has got the point?

Wed: La castaigne a la Corse, a unique harvest in an isolated place with very singular people; for how long will it last?

Thu: Abu Dhabi and Dubai, two out of place mega-cities, cosmopolitan yet provincial, with its locals trying to preserve arabic as their language since the migrants are fluent only in globish, while everybody is riding the wave of globalization fueled by oil revenue.

week 50


Mon: Xenius does a strange mix of how to spot fake news on the media (double check sources) and lie detection in humans (recording changes in skin electrical conductivity).

Tue: Is camel milk from Kazakhstan (chubat) the new super-food?

Wed: Behavioral genetics has a long way to go before a quantitative measurement (rather than qualitative link) of the relation between a person’s genome and their social abilities is available.

Thu: Along the Arabian peninsula we visited extremely oil rich Kuwait and tolerant Bahrain where even Clapton played back in 2014.

Fri: NHK aussie cyclist enjoyed a historic, 3 days,  ~200 km. ride of the Shizuoka prefecture coastline, including its traditional ateliers where kimonos are stamped with flowery patterns by hand making each colorful design unrepeatable.