week 49


Mon: Xenius look at alternative medicine (leeches anyone? punching needles, why not?) did not separate the whiff from the chaff. Is there any medicine in the complement apart from the placebo effect?

Tue: Florence Jenkins pathetic story of delusional soprano grandeur together with public voyeurism prompted for a Carnegie Hall performance fiasco.

Wed: French Guiana is the “wild” west of the European Union. How damaging for the natives is the mixture of access to a hard currency (euro) next to cheap booze across the Brazilian border which happen to be at the opposite river bank.

Thu: Exotic yet stable Oman with its unique branch of Islam, its head of state being head of religion too and its first world road infrastructure makes for a very tempting travel destination in the Arabian peninsula.

Fri: “Proteome” sold as the new panacea for human diseases cures sounded like what the decoding of the genome was supposed to achieve for humanity’s health a decade ago.


week 48


Mon: Xenius tries to square the circle with a mushroom sausage. Bad idea.

Tue: Finally, monsieur Montesqiou arrives to Xi’an to touch the terracotta soldiers and marvel at the old city gates.

Wed: Can the power of artificial intelligence analysis of “big data” save humans from the coming quick and drastic global climate change? Probably a misguided faith since data is not wisdom.

Thu/Fri: Messner and his death defying solo climb of all 8,000 meter mountain peaks in two decades opened the gates for the flood of wannabes atop of Everest and the trashed empty oxygen tanks on the way down to base camp.

week 47


Tue: Xenius exposes of the food industry tricks about the properties (or lack thereof) of the so-called “super” foods.

Wed: “La route de la soie” pays a visit to the Mogao caves, near Dunghuan, with its thousand Buddha paintings/carvings.

Thu: An epidemy of myopia is running thu south-east Asia and spreading to the west. Too many computer screens or too many “tiger” moms?

Fri: What is takes for a restaurant to earn a Michelin guide star? Sweat, blood and tears…

week 46


Mon: ARTE expose on the nuclear residue storage facility in the island of Lanyu, off the Taiwanese coast and home of the Tao indigenous group, is an another example of mismanagement by the powerful over the weak.

Tue: The silk road explored the Taklamakan desert area with oasis like the city of Turfan and peoples like the eastern Tajik inside the enormous chinese province of Xinjiang.

Wed: NHK “somewhere street” did tour the former capital of Taiwan, Tainan, exploring its Taoist temples and narrow allies of the old quarters.

Thu: The school made of bamboo in the outskirts of Bali is a palpable example of sustainable yet beautiful and very habitable architecture.

Fri: An overview of Taiwan landscape by visiting its national parks, from the coastal plains to the alpine snowed capped mountain crests via the tropical forests, is a good indication of a well preserved and varied territory.

week 45


Mon: “Voices in the clouds” report on the Atayal indigenous people of Taiwan is a reminder of why the island used to be called “formosa” (beautiful) by westerners.

Tue: La route de la soie crosses the rivers, steppes and mountain passes of Kyrgyzstan, a true cultural border, where muslim and chinese armies met at the battle of Talas.

Wed: Does up to 40 days of continuous fasting do any good on a healthy adult male?

Thu: Arte documentary “Le zen c’est” turns into an ego trip of the protagonist actress.

Fri: The araucaria forest of Villarica in Chile and the baobab in a Senegalese village are perfect examples of venerable trees.


week 44


Tue: Beyond beauty, Taiwan from above showed the astonishing natural marvels of the formosa island and the unfortunate man-made ecological disasters.

Wed: Jardins Orientaux took us on a tour of Jordan, Lebanon Egypt and Saudi Arabia where the mega-city capitals are in dire need of green areas.

Thu: La route de la soie stopped by Samarkand and finally a true east-west melange of physiognomies was visible all around.

Fri: The immortal cypress tree of Tule in Oaxaca is worth of awe.


week 43


Tue: Jardins Orientaux took us to the Mughal times in Indian history sightseeing Agra, Lahore, Jaipur and Delhi.

Wed: We were reminded that the impossible dancing abilities of Fred Astaire are the product of hard work, sprezzatura at its best.

Thu: On the silk road we stopped at Bukhara to marvel at its walls, mosques and minaret towers as well as the unveiled women…

Fri: A very nourishing Dasheri mango tree in Uttar Pradesh (India) brought back images of our trips to Brazil and Fiji.