Monthly Archives: April 2014


New York Times: Chernobyl: Capping a Catastrophe. By Henry Fountain. Photographs by William Daniels.

“Against the decaying skyline here, a one-of-a-kind engineering project is rising near the remains of the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster.

An army of workers, shielded from radiation by thick concrete slabs, is constructing a huge arch, sheathed in acres of gleaming stainless steel and vast enough to cover the Statue of Liberty. The structure is so otherworldly it looks like it could have been dropped by aliens onto this Soviet-era industrial landscape.”

Link via dangerousmeta!.

Update: There’s a related thread on MetaFilter now: “What’s been the biggest challenge? Every single thing,“ he said.

Related, but from last year: The Engineer: Building Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement. By Jon Excell.

How many of these have you done?

Adventure Journal: The 20 most beautiful day hikes in America.

André and I have done these four:

Observation Point, Zion National Park, Utah (2012)

Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona (1999, a blast from the past)

Coyote Buttes North, aka “The Wave,“ Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona (2012)

Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park, Washington (2008)

My favorite hike ever was the one to and from “The Wave”. André and I were lucky and scored permits at the lottery for our tenth-anniversary-trip to the Southwest in 2012. The hike out to the Wave was well worth it and would even be among my personal top three hikes if The Wave wasn’t at the end of it. Here, take a look at the scenery:

The Wave is of course, famous, and only 20 people are allowed in every day, but if you hike a little further, you reach the “Second Wave”, which we had all to ourselves on our hike:

Good old times…

Back in the late 1980s my father bought his first computer, a Commodore PC20-III. I remember playing “Reflections” on it, a game in which you had to direct a laser beam using mirrors, splitters etc. to hit several light bulbs. I just found a flash version of the game: Laser Reflections. Of course, back then there was no cheating by looking up the passwords and solutions for each level on the internet because there was no internet, but at least it was one of the games where it didn’t matter much that the monitor was just black and white. ;-)

The Eagle has Landed

Continuing yesterday’s space theme…

First Men on the Moon:

“This project is an online interactive featuring the Eagle lunar landing. The presentation includes original Apollo 11 spaceflight video footage, communication audio, mission control room conversations, text transcripts, and telemetry data, all synchronized into an integrated audio-visual experience.”

Link via MetaFilter: One Giant Leap.

View from the ISS

Did you know that the ISS has a webcam? You can see the live stream on Ustream or on the NASA website (oder bei der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR).

You can also see the ISS overhead at night. When? Look it up at Spot the Station on the NASA website.

If you’d like to see where on above earth the ISS is right now, check this page, which gives the ISS’s position and velocity as well as the time until the next sunset. Similar information is available at

NASA also offers a lot of other live information, for example crew timelines, science timelines and live console displays.

Inspiration Watching the world turn bei Pharmama.