Zwischen zwei Welten

Deutsche Welle: Donata – Einmal pflegen und zurück. “Donata ist eine von vielen tausend polnischen Frauen, die im fortgeschrittenen Alter noch in der Pflege in Deutschland arbeiten: Deutschland – Polen, hin und zurück. Arbeit in Deutschland, Familie in Polen.” (Video, 12:02min)

“Zwei bis drei Monate lang pflegt Donata den 80-jährigen, dementen Adolf Faulhammer in Baden-Württemberg, rund um die Uhr. Dann steigt sie wieder in den Bus und fährt 17 Stunden lang zurück nach Cestochowa nahe Krakau. Dort wartet bereits ihr Mann – er ist ebenso ein Pflegefall. Und auch der 19-jährige Sohn Alexander, der während Donatas Abwesenheit den Vater pflegt, ist froh, wenn sie wieder da ist. Ein Leben für die Pflege in zwei Ländern. Eine Reportage von Almut Röhrl.”

It’s full of stars!

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Tiny Planet Timelapse .

“You can pack a lot of sky watching into 30 seconds on this tiny planet. Of course, the full spherical image timelapse video was recorded on planet Earth, from Grande Pines Observatory outside Pinehurst, North Carolina. It was shot in early September with a single camera and circular fisheye lens, digitally combining one 24-hour period with camera and lens pointed up with one taken with camera and lens pointed down. The resulting image data is processed and projected onto a flat frame centered on the nadir, the point directly below the camera. Watch as clouds pass, shadows creep, and the sky cycles from day to night when stars swirl around the horizon. Keep watching, though. In a second sequence the projected center is the south celestial pole, planet Earth’s axis of rotation below the tiny planet horizon. Holding the stars fixed, the horizon itself rotates as the tiny planet swings around the frame, hiding half the sky through day and night.”

Atmospheric optics

I love me some sun dogs and halos.

The Washington Post: The story behind an incredible sky scene in New Hampshire. “This was the surreal scene Saturday morning at Franconia Notch in New Hampshire. Steve LeBaron of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Bureau captured a stunner of a sky atop Cannon Mountain while skiing.”

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A picture-perfect Hebridean island

The Economist: Scottish islanders are buying out their lairds. “But remote settlements will need more than new owners to survive.”

“In June Ulva was bought by its residents, a result of sweeping land reform by the Scottish government. “For the first time, the people who live on the island will get to decide what happens to it,” declared Rebecca Munro, an islander.

When Ulva was put on the market last year, Mrs Munro and her family feared that a new landlord might terminate their tenancies. A brochure portrayed the island as a private playground, they said, listing the dates when tenants could be evicted. Community ownership, by contrast, suggests security and self-determination. But the fate of fragile and marginal places depends on more than land changing hands.

Who owns what, and why, has a particular emotional pull in Scotland. Half the country’s private land is owned by fewer than 500 people. Nationalists view this as a legacy of English colonialism, which saw the appropriation of land that under the clan system had been mutually owned. The clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, when rich landowners forcibly evicted poor tenants to make way for sheep farming, loom large in the cultural imagination.”

Huffington Post: Meet The Island Communities Fighting Back Against Wealthy, Absent Landlords. “These tiny Scottish communities are taking control of their own destinies.” (Includes a 10min video worth watching.)

“Eigg is one of the Scottish Small Isles, an archipelago of islands a few miles off the country’s west coast, and when Fyffe arrived, the population was at an all-time low of 39.

The island was owned by businessman and former Olympic bobsleigher Keith Schellenberg. Schellenberg had bought Eigg in 1975 for the equivalent of $360,000 (274,000 pounds), and despite some initial investment, things had progressively declined. In an interview with the West Highland Free Press in 1991, he enthused that under his ownership the island had kept its “slightly rundown … Hebridean feel.”

Fyffe and her neighbors saw it differently. “We were in extreme circumstances,” she says. “With no security of tenure, no one was investing; the community hall was falling apart; the only shop was in a corrugated shed with no water or electricity.”

Fed up and desperate for change, the community decided to do something about it. When Schellenberg’s divorce led to the island being put on the market, Eigg passed briefly to a German artist, before the newly formed Isle of Eigg Trust raised $1.97 million to buy it ― one-third from hundreds of small donations and two-thirds from a woman who has remained anonymous to this day. Last year, Eigg celebrated its 20th anniversary of community ownership.”

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