week 20


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.



week 19


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).

week 18


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.

week 17


Tue: Xenius confronts the issue of drug side effects given the carelessness of patients, doctors and pharmacists in mixing the incompatible ones.

Wed: Enquetes archeologiques report on Pachacamac and Easter island is a flagrant example of using legend to cover for the lack of facts in the pursue of a coherent narrative from today’s point of view.

Thu: Les jardins series chapter on the abandoned italian Ninfa medieval village reconverted into a semi-artificial garden since early 20th century will make you consider a visit.

Fri: Legends of Ingushetia focused on the history of the region marked by the ancient stone towers used for defense against neighboring villages, the late adoption of Islam compared to other regions of the Caucasus and the forced deportation of its people after world war II.