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Zaid El-Hoiydi
Travel photography, nature and society.
Travel photography, nature and society.


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Warmer colors for colder days
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Schadau Park
The Alps just got their winter clothes and the November sun drew us some wonderful shadows today.
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❝How can we get ahead of crazy if we don't know how crazy thinks?❞
There is a new series on Netflix and its gripping story, beautifully set in the late 1970s, shows how FBI crime fighters slowly learn to think like the serial killers they must face.

I was beginning to wonder about how the writers of this show were coming up with their storyline. Simple, they had some strong reality to back it up in the form of a non-fiction eponymic book.

If you're interested in sociology and behavioral science, then this was tailored for you, and me. I found it especially enjoyable because the illusion of being educated is stronger that the guilty pleasure, a rare thing.

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Did you know that aluminum is the most recyclable of all materials?
Discarded aluminum is more valuable than any other item in the recycling bin.

I learned that long ago, when I was still a full time student, but nowadays every time I enjoy a piece of quality chocolate, I end up with a little ball of aluminium just like this one and I put it away for recycling, whatever its size.

Since it takes more energy to dig up and produce aluminium than any other metal, recycling not only avoids resources to be extracted from Earth, it also saves energy - lots of energy! So this also feels good in my head after it already felt good in my mouth.

❝Globally, the aluminum industry annually emits millions of tons of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. Although aluminum cans represent only 1.4 percent of a ton of garbage by weight, according to the Container Recycling Institute, they account for 14.1 percent of the greenhouse gas impacts associated with replacing an average ton of garbage with new products made from virgin materials. Aluminum smelting also produces sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide, two toxic gases that are key elements in smog and acid rain.❞

❝In addition, every ton of new aluminum cans that must be produced to replace cans that were not recycled requires five tons of bauxite ore, which must be strip-mined, crushed, washed and refined into alumina before it is smelted. That process creates about five tons of caustic mud that can contaminate both surface water and groundwater and, in turn, damage the health of people and animals.❞

❝During WWII, aluminum foil was so vital to the defense effort that families were encouraged to save strips of foil. In many towns, the foil balls could be exchanged for a free entry to a movie theater. Government-sponsored posters, ads, radio shows, and pamphlet campaigns urged Americans to contribute to scrap drives. A New York radio station, WOR, debuted the radio-sketch show “Aluminum for Defense” in 1941.❞
Fingerprints Ⓒ2017 to me

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Gorkovskaya UFO & Velikan Park
The Gorkovskaya metro station below ground is not remarkable in my opinion, especially in comparison to a great many other ones I already reported about in this collection, but the UFO looking part on the ground level - the station pavilion - certainly is. One just can't miss it.

Also worthy of attention for me was the Velikan Park located 200 meters from it. This place looked so familiar. During the time I spent there I felt like I was in New York, or Singapore, or Copenhagen, or Paris, ... or Milano. It is a movie theater with all the features we already know and would expect to find in such a place, down to illimited supplies of M&M's. Currently (I just checked, link below) they are playing the super American League of Justice blockbuster.

So much water has flown under the bridge since the cold war...,,
#StPetersburg, #Russia,
October 18th, 2015.
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What the Health!
In recent years I once heard the expression "We are what we eat" and it struck to be so profoundly simple and true that I since then always think about it when I buy convenience or processed food, and then can't determine what I am eating. That works wonder in controlling impulsive buying, believe me.

Being already quite well informed on this matter this documentary brought little fresh on the table but, for anyone new to the topic, it does nicely cover all the basics. Thus for me still a recommended viewing.

What stood out in my opinion is how it exposed the evil financial dependencies between countless health care organisations with the food and pharma industry and how the curing business is so much more lucrative than preventing illnesses. (where I watched it)

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Always dark, cold and humid. A great place to hide from the summer sun and to wonder at for a moment during the rest of the year.
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Water Powered Sawmill
I don't know about you but I am often wondering about how our ancestors were doing without all the technology we have available today, especially without that electricity which flows inside our copper wires by the flip of a switch and powers everything, to very soon include our private vehicles as well.

In the open air Ballenberg museum they have rebuilt and they maintained several water powered machinery systems and the last time I visited it, in August this summer, I took a long and hard look at the sawmill.

So it all begins with the sun which will hoist huge amounts of water as vapor thousands of meters high in the sky. Then rainy clouds get it back down until it forms rivers, of which we recuperate the gravitational energy of only a minuscule 3 or 4 meters, the diameter of the water wheel.

But there is still enough energy left to do some great work, see for yourself... Makes me wonder how nature uses the rest of that gravitational energy, the 99.99% rest. Any idea about that?

To see everything make sure to check out the album. The media navigation of this post can be unreliable.
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When Cold Nights Begin to Linger
As the winter approaches, the midday sun gives us starker shades; a bit like if the longer nights were leaving a foot behind knowing they will anyway quickly come back and rule the place again.
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Today, exactly two days before that the 730 days warranty expires, my trusty old Garmin fénix 3 smartwatch began to freeze during a GPS activity and, upon rebooting, it got stuck into its service test mode. I managed to get it out of there once, after a heartless factory hard reset, but it froze again and returned down there in its cozy test mode just a moment later. A solid two hours of retries and internet searches could not change this dire situation.

So lucky me can still send it back for repair but, meanwhile, unlucky me has grown pretty dependent of this fine piece of modern technology. Initially I only had the first four requirements to satisfy (A list) but, overtime, the list has kept growing to a point that I am not looking forward - at all - in spending days without it.

A - Things I thought would be nice when active outdoor
- To keep me motivated while running (distance)
- To record the explorations I do
- To record the location of the pictures I take
- To navigate new routes outdoor

B - Things I really didn't know I would grow to use everyday
- To unlock my phone (bluetooth LE)
- To see who's calling and decide if I take the call
- For the email notification and content summary
- For various other configurable notifications
- To navigate my podcast and music
- To countdown my coffee and tea
- To countdown the bread maker
- To countdown the washing machine
- To keep me on the move (steps and floors counting)

It appears as if I have again trapped myself in technological luxury:
❝One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations.❞
Yuval Noah Harari

I need a backup...
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