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nomad dimitri
Works at Stanford University
Attended Stanford University
Lives in marseille
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nomad dimitri

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Where people linger, streets are alive

Like schools of fish, crowds of people swim through cities, purposeful, determined. Think of the release of energy when the subway car opens its doors. Everyone flees! The important thing is not where they are, but where they are going: future, not present.

Montpellier is a city full of squares at every crossing, ancient history, curving streets, giant shade trees, outdoor dining and an attitude towards space that does not reduce it to just "real estate" and "commercial opportunity".

Here, people linger on their way from A to B, like fish do around corral reefs, and observe their surroundings, and talk, and interact, and enjoy the present moment, and fall in love. When we say a city is magical, or that it has great energy, this is part of what we mean.

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For the child within

I discovered this fabulous toy shop in Montpellier, that reminded me of the films of Tim Burton (remember "Edward Scissorhands"?)

The shop window was fantastic: everything was moving about: giant flowers and a guy with a net chasing a butterfly. It was all handmade and low tech and goofy and utterly charming.

The staff inside had never played video games, they had huge smiles and giggled and were wearing funny hats and clown noses and oversized glasses. In the lovely southern French town of Montpellier, I was, suddenly, magically in the 1950s, a child, before I was even born!

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+Vicky Veritas it made me think a bit of old Palo alto
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Part 8: She took off her sandals and walked right in

I go for long stretches as if that summer never happened. I wake up mornings, have my tea, walk the dogs, clip the bushes, read my pages, prepare my lectures, turn in under crispy white sheets. As if she never existed.

As if that morning, on that island, I did not try her crystal sandal and noticed the similarities: another half that had never been lost was suddenly found.

And then, there are days like today, when, groggy from sleep, it all comes back to me: that beach, the perfect pebbles she covered me with, the weird bone I put on her hair, that confused and confusing summer.

I still cannot tell in advance what will trigger her memory. I still have no choice when it happens.

( All those years ago. A story I have tried to tell again and again.

>>> Part 1 is here: https://plus.google.com/+NomadDimitri/posts/GfzfiGgALN1 )
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Very good writing...

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Ketamine: now I understand!

"This will only hurt a tiny bit" is what we are used to hearing at the doctor's.
Not at all like: "You will be on a flying luge, soaring through a giant beech forest, with ferns brushing against your cheeks, for half an hour".

But this is exactly what it felt like, when, during a small diagnostic outpatient operation, I was put under anesthesia using Ketamine & Propofol.  WoW!

For years I had heard that teenagers, clubbers and others used Ketamine, (something I had also heard was an animal tranquilizer - "animal"?  as opposed to "human"? who is is not an "animal"? anyway...) to get high.  Well, yesterday, the doctors used it on me.

I refuse to be dishonest about how it felt: fantastic!  (This does not mean we should become repeated users, I am sure it does plenty of damage.  Of course I am NOT endorsing drug use - I don't even take aspirin.)  But I have never had such an utterly pleasant, psychedelic, shamanistic experience in my life.  And I "woke up" feeling great from it.  I say "woke up" but it is not quite accurate: I never felt I slept: I just went for that flying luge trip through the beech forest.

(The diagnostics were good yesterday.  The real definitive tests, the scans, are next Tuesday.  Fingers crossed.  Today, I am heading south for those, more later...)
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Great news! good luck on scans. Fingers crossed ;)  
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I have been designed to be scary by Mr. Darwin

We are so often taken by the beauty of animals (the green flash of a lizard, the bright orange of a mushroom, a leopard's spots) that we forget that many of these features are meant to be protective.

Butterflies and moths, on the face of it, are some of the prettiest & most vulnerable creatures around.  If you hold one in your hands, half of it comes out on your fingers.  This is because they are never really meant to be caught, thanks to the beautiful designs on their feathers which, seen from the correct angle, are meant to scare.

Take this moth for example: it does NOT want to be bird lunch.  As soon as it sits on a leaf to rest, all it has to do is spread its wings.  As soon as it does that, an altogether different animal, a cat, is staring up into the sky, ensuring that birds keep their distance.

Of course, the moth does not "know" that his wing designs are scary: it is the magic of evolution that has taken care of that: scarier moths are more likely to survive.

(I wish I had something similar to keep teenagers with loudspeakers in their backpacks away from me.  What an utterly obnoxious trend that is...)
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Wonderful shot !!
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The majestic oak tree

OK, OK, we all know that I like plants, flowers, gardens... nature!

But once in a while, I run into something that really blows me away.  This oak was it this year, I just could not believe my eyes.

I had seen giant trees before and very large oaks before, but this one, its grace, the balance of its branches, the way they twist out in all directions, defying gravity, defying the weather, defying time!  She must be 600-800 years old?  Maybe more?

Somewhere in a forest in Brittany, she has seen many like me pass her by, admiring her and, admirably, sparing her for all these centuries...

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+nomad dimitri It's so nice!!! It's a beautifull reality. Good evening
...and good life.sonia
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Ireland delivers a message for tolerance

I just noticed the stunning victory for gay marriage in Ireland. If I am right, this referendum is particularly important precisely because Ireland has such a strong catholic tradition.

It sends the signal, strongly and unambiguously, that religious and sexual tolerance are not incompatible. I imagine that, thanks to the Irish people, religious authorities have been delivered the most definitive message yet, that change is in order.

And that is wonderful news for so many parts of the world that extend far and wide from the shores of this emerald island. With a Guinness or some cider, Ireland is what we are toasting this weekend.

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+Eileen O'Duffy​: I am raising my teacup to you today
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Glide like a seabird

Beautifully adapted to glide between earth & water, seabirds amaze us by occupying that firing line between these two elements: the beach.

In our envy, we attempt to join the seabirds, so we can experience, however fleetingly, however awkwardly, the feeling of soaring along the ocean's border.

Take a child to the beach. Watch it. It will immediately be drawn to that zone where wave meets sand, where wind and water shapes earth and is shaped by it.

At the beach we all become children. It can't be helped. So we keep inventing toys to play with her. Really: to commune with nature, to participate in the powerful forces here, to feel part of what is going on here.

Which is why I am indulgent when, as I sit digging holes in the sand, some crazy kite-drawn chariot whizzes by...

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You're a poet +nomad dimitri   We have a lot of sand on the east coast. 
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Late spring in the south of France

Ah, the south of France! Land of wine, lavender, blue Mediterranean waters, music festivals, great cuisine, Roman ruins, ancient towns & villages, lovely countryside.

And hordes of tourists in the summertime! Now is the final time to visit, before the kids finish school, before the temperatures rise, before the local hospitality industry starts feeling hassled & turns into "processing mode".

Unless you are Angelina & Brad, or Johnny & Vanessa (or, what's her name), or any of the many movie stars with villas in these parts. A world apart...

(My reasons for going south are, for the time, more medical than touristy, but if sickness is a "journey" then it's all the same.)

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Great +Jing Xu !!  I'm glad I could help a little!
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Sleepless: cancer again takes center stage

It was nice while it lasted.  I had my 4 months of vacation from cancer and now, as planned, it is time to check up on him once again.
- Will he be there?
- Will he be gone?
- Will he be sleeping & waiting?
Starting tomorrow and during the following week, I start tests to try to answer these questions.

How am I?
It is hard to know.  Sometimes I forget all about it & then it comes back, in waves.  I do everything I normally do, but it is as if there is someone walking behind me with a gun against the back of my head: will he pull the trigger?

How do I sleep?
I have dreams of falling in love.  On those nights, one in two, I sleep well, like a king (it is a king's bed, in the photo).  On the nights I don't dream of falling in love, I wake up often, but without black thoughts, without thoughts of cancer.  I simply wake up.

How do I feel?
A bit numb, a bit giddy.  Impatient: I want this waiting to be over.

One good thing in my mind:
I will go to the hospital with suitcases packed.  If the news is good, I am off to Italy for 3 weeks.  A nomad again...

( Background: 
- I have to be scanned every 4 months for the next 5 years to nip any metastases "in the bud"
- Every scan without a metastasis increases my chance of survival by a few percentage points until, in 5 years time, if all is clean, I become, once again, "normal"
- More here: https://plus.google.com/+NomadDimitri/posts/1aFbN5STfg4 )
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+David Q. Cohen I call all this "internal negotiations": it really helps to find common ground.
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Don't let IS destroy Palmyra, the "Venice of the Sands"

The city of Palmyra, in Syria, more than 2000-years-old, is one of the most magical places I have ever visited.  Islamic State (IS) fighters have been advancing towards Palmyra and it is a matter of days before it falls into their hands to be pillaged and destroyed.

Palmyra sits at the edge of an oasis of date palms and gardens and has been, for millennia, a watering place on a trade route from the east.  Think caravans bringing Chinese silks, stopping to water their camels on the way to Rome!

It makes me sad that, as we spend our time chatting about receiving Amazon packages via drones, using self-driven Google cars, hailing taxis via Uber, and counting our calories with Apple smartwatches, this historical masterpiece will be forever wiped out.

We have incubators & kickstarters where people donate money to create bluetooth-connected toothbrushes!  Why can't we connect/interact/crowdsource to save the treasures of Syria, Iraq, Timbuktu, Yemen etc etc etc?

Why haven't the global tech giants, in particular, who could provide funds, reconnaissance & tech support, teamed up with the UN to help protect our shared cultural heritage from thieving fanatics?  

Larry, we need an initiative urgently: this is a hornet's nest but it is your cup of tea as well.

(read more about Palmyra on BBC today: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32748392)
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non so in quale parte del mondo vivi , ma da noi la Libertà è solo virtuale , tutti i paesi dove le religioni la fanno da padrone sono rimasti all'epoca dei profeti , alla preistoria per essere precisi e con il cervello in lavatrice . +Крыстафер Гомес 
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As light-footed as her ducks

I run into this lovely sculpture at the garden of a mansion during my trip to northwest France.  I immediately liked her!  What a gait she has!

And that bag and that ribbon flowing from her hat!  The ducks seem to be dazzled as well:
- "Should we follow this crazy woman?"
- "Does she have breadcrumbs in that bag?"
- "But the pond is the other way!"
- "Years ago, my grandfather told me to never trust humans because you may end up as foie gras"

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Nomi
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at home in the world
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independent, curious, free-ranging, weary of getting stuck... at home in the world
(i am also a photographer, a cook & a gardener; i especially enjoy when i can cook what i grow)
  • NEW: Read my food posts in an app here: http://goo.gl/8KERd in beautiful magazine format (the Google Currents app works for android, smartphone, iphone, tablet, ipad.  Details here: http://goo.gl/Zca6W).  
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  • If you use smartphone, iphone, tablet, ipad, click here  (you will be able to read me through the Google Currents app under "Lifestyle - At home in the world.")
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Get an idea of what i post about by clicking a topic below:
  • travel: follow me around the world
  • food: recipes, photos & tips
  • gardening: follow my garden: flowers, vegetables, trees
  • nature: all things natural
  • creatures: all sorts of animals i run into
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surviving 2 teenagers on weekends & holidays...
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  • Stanford University
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marseille
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palo alto - tokyo - bangalore - athens - bangkok - carson city - paris
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