Category Archives: Travel

Squirrel cop!

Deutsche Welle: Baby squirrel chases man so relentlessly he calls police. “A man in Germany felt so besieged by a rodent that he called the police emergency number. The baby squirrel has been taken to an animal sanctuary.”

Update: Baby squirrel who captivated Germany is safe — and female. “”Pippilotta” stole the headlines last week after following a man “relentlessly” through the streets of Karlsruhe. According to animal control officers, this is common for squirrels who have lost their mothers.”

This story reminds me of one of my favorite This American Life stories: Squirrel Cop, which is also available on YouTube in two parts – one, two.

If walls could talk…

Arch Daily: The Oldest Building in Every US State.

“The United States is a comparatively young country, but one with a rich and diverse history. From the ancient villages of New Mexico’s Pueblo people and the early Spanish settlers in Florida, to the Russian traders of Alaska and 19th-century missionaries in Utah, each of the 50 states has its own story to tell.

There’s no better way to trace this history than through buildings, which is why we’ve mapped out the oldest intact building in each US state. Whether they’re cottages, grand mansions, fortresses or churches, these historic sites offer us a glimpse into the early days of the regions. They help us to understand what brought early inhabitants to the state – and what their lives might have been like.”

Of the buildings mentioned, I’ve been to these:

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“Es läuft ganz gut bei uns”

Deutsche Welle: Migration in den Städten: Es geht auch anders. “”Wir fühlen uns mit dem Thema allein gelassen”, klagen Kommunalpolitiker, wenn es um die Aufnahme von Ausländern geht. Die Bertelsmann Stiftung beschreibt nun, wie Offenheit für Einwanderer gefördert werden kann.”

“Waren Sie schon einmal in Germersheim? Das ist ganz hübsch da, fahren Sie ruhig einmal hin! Die ehemalige Garnisonsstadt, knapp 50 Kilometer südlich von Mannheim gelegen, wird geprägt von ihrer historischen Festung. Das Rathaus, blau und weiß gestrichen, signalisiert dem Besucher: Hier in der Pfalz ist die Welt noch in Ordnung. Was niemand ahnt: Germersheim ist… überfremdet!

“Jaja, das sagt diese Partei mit den hellblauen Plakaten auch. Ich bin da natürlich ganz anderer Ansicht”, lacht Bürgermeister Marcus Schaile (CDU). Der Kommunalpolitiker hat viel Erfahrung damit, Unterschiedlichkeit auf einen Nenner zu bringen. In Zahlen: Rund 22.000 Einwohner leben in Germersheim. Davon hatten laut Zensus 2011 rund 54 Prozent einen Migrationshintergrund. Inzwischen liegt man nach Schätzungen des Bürgermeisters bei etwa 40 Prozent. “Wir haben hier 108 Nationen.”

Germersheim und überfremdet? Auch die Bertelsmann Stiftung sieht die Situation in dem Städtchen anders und lobt die Kommune als “Gestalter”, wenn es um Integration, Offenheit für Zuwanderer und kulturelle Vielfalt geht. “Gestalter” bedeutet: Hier werden die Dinge angepackt, aktiv bewältigt, nichts wird unter den Teppich gekehrt. Für einen Kommunalpolitiker wie den Bürgermeister kann man sich kaum ein schöneres Zeugnis vorstellen. “Es läuft ganz gut bei uns”, sagt Schaile.”

“As a queer black woman, I’m among the last people anyone expects to see on a through-hike. But nature is a place I’ve always belonged.”

Outside: Going it alone. By Rahawa Haile, April 11, 2017.

“What happens when an African American woman decides to solo-hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine during a summer of bitter political upheaval? Everything you can imagine, from scary moments of racism to new friendships to soaring epiphanies about the timeless value of America’s most storied trekking route.”

Buzzfeed: How Black Books Lit My Way Along The Appalachian Trail. By Rahawa Haile, February 2, 2017.

“I can confirm that one does not walk 2,000 miles across the face of this country as a black woman without building up an incredible sense of self.”

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Wolves in Scotland?

NPR parallels: Landowner Aims To Bring Wolves Back To Scotland, Centuries After They Were Wiped Out.

“When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, they had dramatic impacts on parts of Northwestern United States. Decades later, a wealthy landowner wants to try a limited version of that experiment — in the Scottish Highlands.

Englishman Paul Lister is hoping to see the ancient Caledonian Forest of Scotch pine, alder and mountain ash regenerated, and wildlife long absent from the Highlands return. But as happened with the Yellowstone project, he’s running into strong opposition.”