Archive for January, 2007

A Fan of the Desert

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Hal writes that today would have been Edward Abbey‘s 80th birthday.

I discovered the author by accident when I found his book Desert Solitaire among a bunch of 75% off foreign language books at my favourite bookstore in Bonn. It must have been either shortly before or after André’s and my first trip to the USA because Arches National Park rang a bell, so I bought the book and instantly liked his writing style, as well as his descriptions of what Arches was like before it became a National Park.

I’ve since read The Fool’s Progress and The Monkey Wrench Gang, too. I enjoy his books partly because he describes landscapes and areas we visited during our trips to the US and instantly recreates the feeling of being there in my mind. I can almost smell the sagebrush…

Another book by him deserves being mentioned here: The Hidden Canyon with photos by John Blaustein. The text is Abbey’s journal of a boat tour through Grand Canyon.

In Desert Solitaire I first read about the controversy of building Glen Canyon Dam to create Lake Powell, which to me seemed strangely out of place in the middle of the desert when we visited it in 1999. If you want to see Glen Canyon the way it looked before the dam was built, I recommend the book Glen Canyon: Images of a Lost World by Tad Nichols, which is another favourite of mine I wrote about before (10 Jan 2001, 3 Nov 2004). You can see some of Blaustein’s photos here and here.

Einmal um die ganze Welt fliegen…

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Markus und Arnim, zwei Flugbegeisterte, umrundeten die Welt – mit einem kleinen Flugzeug, einer zweisitzigen Cirrus SR22.

Das ganze fand in zwei Etappen statt. Am 27. Oktober 2005 starteten sie in Deutschland und erreichten am 19. November 2005 Melbourne. Den zweiten Teil der Weltumrundung (den ich noch nicht gelesen habe) starteten sie im Mai 2006. Man kann ihre Reise in ihrem Logbuch nachvollziehen.

Seven Years

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Seven years and almost 3500 posts ago I signed up for a Manila weblog at www.editthispage.com. I honestly never thought that I would keep this up for such a long time, but even though my posting frequency has decreased quite a bit because I don’t have as much time as I used to have it is still a lot of fun.

There are two main reasons for me to keep this weblog: First of all, it is an excellent way for me to organize links to interesting websites in a way that I’m able to find them again, even years later (if the pages have not disappeared in the interim). And second of all, I’ve met and continue to meet interesting people from different countries, of different ages, with different jobs and backgrounds, most of which I would not have met otherwise.

I tend to think that I have few long-time readers, most of which I know (waving hello to the people who started out at ETP as well!), but sometimes I hear from people who have read my weblog for some time without me knowing them, like LuCaS, a fellow physics teacher from Belgium, who noted this weblog’s anniversary a day in advance. Hi Lucas!

Thank you all for reading!

P.S.: I know that National Delurking Week was the second week of January, but if you’ve been lurking here, why don’t you consider this the delurking posting for Serendipita and leave a comment? Thanks!

Diese Woche in der Zeit

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

Diese Woche in der Zeit:
Internet: Leben im Netz. “Viele reden von Web 2.0. Aber noch haben nicht alle bemerkt, wie ein neues Medium die Welt verändert.” Von Gero von Randow.

Bildung: Hamburger Modell. “Die CDU in der Hansestadt verabschiedet sich vom dreigliedrigen Schulsystem. Es soll nur noch Gymnasien und Stadteilschulen geben. Ein Vorbild für Deutschland?” Von Thomas Kerstan.
Dazu:

  • Schulstudie LAU. “Hamburg wagt den Leistungsvergleich mit Baden-Württemberg”.
  • Mit Abstand das intelligenteste Konzept. “Entsteht im Norden das Schulschlaraffenland? Die Hamburger CDU will kleine Klassen, beste Ausstattung und nur noch zwei Schulfomen. Ein Gespräch mit dem Bildungshistoriker Heinz-Elmar Tenorth.”
  • Was wird aus den Kindern? “Der Bildungsforscher Rainer Lehmann testete neun Jahre lang die Leistungen Hamburger Schüler. Ein Bilanzgespräch.”

The next morning

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Well, the power went out less than five minutes after my posting last night, came back one for a few minutes half an hour later but than went back out again. It turns out that there’s not much to do without power. Reading by candlelight is not much fun, so we watched a movie on André’s laptop (which had a full battery) and went to bed early. We woke up around 11:30 pm when the power – and the lights – went back on.

Right now, it’s still quite windy, and it has just started to rain. It’s not light outside yet, but it seems like we made it through the storm okay. The trees are still standing, the house wasn’t damaged, and the only thing left to do seems to be setting the clocks on some appliances.