week 25


Mon: Xenius showed the impossibly simple art of making beer with water, grains, hops and the secretive yeast strain. A group of fanatics even tried to strictly revive and mimic a 19th century German method including vintage attire and surviving equipment.

Tue: The decaying sanatoriums around the Swiss lakes are a sad picture of the clusters they used to be for inspiration and social experimentation driven by intellectuals like Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse after WWI.

Wed: The “viking” on the loose in rural Georgia was a bit off putting. But the wild nature vistas, friendly village people and bountiful orchard harvest made for a delicious “al fresco” lunch and relaxed post-pandrial dance by a 85 years old peasant.

Thu: How can a husbandry matter upset the social balance in a mountain village? Come to Lahic in Azerbaijan where a European cow import by a young farmer is causing the elderly to call for a ban of the foreign intruder … or was it all metaphorical?

Fri: RT is hell-bent on showing the improved commercial ties of China with Russia and former soviet republics like Kazakhstan. In free-trade zone towns like Horgos or Yining (Uyghur autonomous province)  the results of the new “Silk road” generated wealth are undeniable.


week 24


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.

week 23


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.

week 22


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.




week 21


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.