week 7

 

Mon: The Xenius reporter couple presented the dilemmas that self-driving cars pose. More relax and safer driving for humans except when, in a mixed traffic situation, computers are confronted with divining the all too human chaotic behaviour of us behind the wheel: speeding, singing, chatting, cursing, texting, eating, dozing, day-dreaming… even meditating!

Tue: With Sarah Wiener we learned how to prepare crystal noodles starting with grinding rice grains in northern Vietnam. Lots of hydration, dehydration and rehydration cycles.

Wed: Watching the raramuri’s spring festival or “teshuinada”, when they get together at the main town of Batopilas to reacquainted themselves with neighbors and friends after spending the long winter in isolated hamlets, it reminded us of atavic customs from our African ancestors. Shamanic rites, religious syncretism (native and christian) practices, passing around bowls filled with fermented alcoholic beverages, friendly fights among youngsters and a final ablution in the white water Urique river to rinse it all off.

Thu: A report of the “shocking” news that tsar Nicholas II abdicated 100 years ago. Trying to broadcast the 1917 event as if it had happened in 2017 worked well with live commentary -via Skype- from Petrograd, New York, Paris & Berlin; but the final photo post of the tsar on his facebook page standing in a private car-train while retained at Pskov felt out of place given the gravitas of the event. How do you tweet that the house of the Romanov, a 300 years old dynasty, has fallen? What a difference a century makes…

Fri: A pastoral take on the politically unstable Abkhazia republic 25 years after its bloody secession from Georgia during the dissolution of the USSR. The rural villages on the slopes of the Caucasus mountains where bears and wolfs roam free, transhumance and expiatory goat sacrifice are still practiced, and voluntary arranged marriages is a common societal practice, give a very bucolic feeling to the modern city dweller.

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