Tipp No. 104: “Below The Surface” – Spectacular Underwater Photography by Tobias Friedrich

arts, Creatures, Film, Insights, Nature, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel

When I was a child, I dreamt of becoming a crew member of spaceship “Enterprise” in order to discover new worlds, unknown life forms and different cultures. Actually, I`ve lived this dream by chosing jobs that
allowed myself to travel a lot, to visit exotic places and which is even
more important to meet interesting people of in many aspects different cultures.

Scuba diving has been on my bucket list since childhood because I was
aware of the fact that the oceans are still “terra icognita” although about
71% of the earth`s surface (2/3) is covered with water of which 97,4% is salt-water.
From the very beginning, I had the idea that scuba diving could be the
unique opportunity to experience a kind of “space traveling” without the
need to meet NASA qualification requirements.

Of course, I was also inspired by the reports about Jaques-Yves Cousteau
and his adventureous expeditions when I finally took action and passed my scuba diving PADI open water exam in the Red Sea / Egypt many years ago.
It turned out that my phantasy of “space traveling” underwater was not completely absurd. As a scuba diver rookie, who is dependent on his
equipment and the goodwill of the sea dweller, I felt actually very vulne-rable. There was no doubt, it was me who was the intruder… the alien in this outlandish – almost surreal – water world! 

The spectacular underwater photography of Tobias Friedrichs brought
pre cious memories back…
Back on board after a beautiful dive, I was completely overwhelmed by
all the impressions and my emotions…Secretly and unnoticed a few tears
dropped into the Red Sea.
I didn`t recognize myself anymore because I was convinced to be quite
top-heavy and introverted. 
All this fragile beauty underwater was simply breaking my heart.
I learnt that beauty can be painful. In particular, if it is endangered by
pollution, mass tourism (I was a part of too) and climate change.   
Maybe, it was also a dash of desparation why I experienced this sudden
“crisis of joy”. 

Tobias Friedrich`s touching underwater photography allows us to sneek
a peak  cit.: “Below The Surface”. This motto might be ambiguous in
my case.

However, I` d like to share my fascination with you and invite you to
descent into The 50 Shades of Deep Blue….Enjoy the weightlessness, the flow, hushed sound level and not to forget the encounters with still quite unknown creatures who are often as curious as the human visitor!

Friendly encounter with a brown fur seal (South Africa)
Humpback Whale (Oman)
2 purple eye dwarf gobies, sitting on top of a hard coral near Marsa Alam (Egypt, Red Sea).
Face to face with a shark

ABOUT THE ARTIST

"From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is 
bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he
is free."
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 - 1997)

In his childhood Tobias Friedrich loved to watch the adventures of the Calypso with Jacques-Yves Cousteau as its captain and the beauty of the world that is below the ocean’s surface. It’s still an overwhelming feeling for him when he has the chance to dive. He loves the elegancy and calmness of the world under water standing in contrast to the hectic atmosphere above.

Tobias Friedrich lives in Germany and started taking pictures with a DSLR underwater in the year 2007. Since then his images have been published in prestigious scuba diving magazines and newspapers around the world.

Several underwater photographic competitions, have honoured his work, resulting in over 50 awards with nearly 30 1st places.

Lately, he has been named “Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018” in the prestigious UPY London competition.


The UPY 2018 awarded photo: A panoramic view of the cargo deck inside the SS Thistlegorm with the motorcycles in the middle and light to lighten the trucks on the side of the cargo deck, near Sharm el Sheikh, Northern Red Sea, Egypt.

All waters, from zero to 30° Celsius, are attractive for him, at least there is something to photograph.

Tobias`fine arts photography is not staged. His photography is rather a result of stamina, patience and opportunity. He is not working with photomontages. The panorama view – combining a view above and under the ocean surface – is achieved by utilizing a dome camera.
He is SEACAM equipment for his Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark II DSLR.

He is leading expeditions and workshops around the world, where everybody can join.

Please, feel free to visit his website that shows further amazing underwater photo galleries, panorama views, beautiful aerial views (highly recommended!) and a few offerings like:

  • Underwater photography BOOKS in German and English language,
  • His calendar “BELOW SURFACE 2019″
  • A collection of high-quality POSTCARDS with unique motifs
  • His schedule of awesome PHOTOWORKSHOPS 2019 (Destinations: Egypt, Bali, Philippines, Brother Islands) – simply click on “JOIN”.

web: http://www.below-surface.com

The Calendar 2019 by Tobias Friedrichs

Strong Women No. 1: “Lise Meitner – Discoverer of Nuclear Fission”

Insights, Technology

Lise Meitner (born in Vienna, 1878 – 1968) was an Austrian-Swedish physicist, who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics.

Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and Otto Robert Frisch led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939. Meitner, Hahn and Frisch understood that the fission process, which splits the atomic nucleus of uranium into two smaller nuclei, must be accompanied by an enormous release of energy.

Nuclear fission is the process exploited by nuclear reactors to generate heat and, subsequently, electricity.This process is also one of the basics of nuclear weapons that were developed in the U.S. during World War II and used against Japan in 1945.

Meitner spent most of her scientific career in Berlin, Germany, where she was a physics professor and a department head at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute; she was the first woman to become a full professor of physics in Germany. She lost these positions in the 1930s because of the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany, and in 1938 she fled to Sweden, where she lived for many years, ultimately becoming a Swedish citizen.

Meitner received many awards and honors late in her life, but she did not share in the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nuclear fission that was awarded exclusively to her long-time collaborator Otto Hahn. In the 1990s, the records of the committee that decided on that prize were opened. Based on this information, several scientists and journalists have called her exclusion “unjust”, and Meitner has received many posthumous honors, including naming chemical element 109 Meitnerium in 1992. Despite not having been awarded the Nobel Prize, Lise Meitner was invited to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 1962.

Lise Meitner in 1946

Tipp No. 112: ECOSIA – The Search Engine That Plants Trees (Awarded German Social Business)

Insights, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
About 51.000.00 have been already planted

LETS`S PLANT TREES!

Greening the Desert

ECOSIA is a German social business that was founded in 2009 after a trip around the world and the discovery of the high impact on all kinds of life by deforestation. Ecosia won several awards for its clever concept and speedy growth in Europe and beyond. In April 2014, ECOSIA was the first German company to become a B Corporation thanks to its social business model.

ECOSIA uses the profit made from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most. Get the free browser extension and plant trees with every search.

ECOSIA knows that trust has to be earned

That is why ECOSIA publish his monthly financial reports and tree planting receipts online. This way the user can hold ECOSIA accountable.

ECOSIA is planting all around the world

Trees mean a happy environment, healthy people, and a strong economy. Their awesome projects in cooperation with notable local organizations:

  • Restoring watersheds in Brazil
  • Restoring coastal forrests and natural corridors in Madagaskar
  • Trees for healthier forrests and people in Indonesia
  • Empowering women in Kenya – as part of the “Green Movement” against deforestation, land grabbing and corruption.
  • Coffee For Peace in Colombia
  • Protecting the home of the Orang-Utans in Indonesia
  • Regreening the Sahel in Burkina Faso
  • Restoring key watersheds in Ghana in coop. with “TreeAid”
  • Supporting Europe`s biodiversity in Spain
  • From Cocaine to cacao in Peru in coop. with the PUR project
  • Restoring the Atlantic rainforrest in Brazil in coop. with PACTO
  • Food security through tree planting on Haiti
  • Alternatives for Palm Oil in Indonesia
  • Reforesting vulcano slopes in Nicaragua in coop. with Dia
  • and more important projects with a focus on tree planting.

“We plant native acacia trees, because they make the soil more fertile. With our earnings we started a communal savings account for women to borrow and start their own businesses.”
Sara, 42 Mechisho, Ethiopia
From Cocaine To Cocoa, Peru

ECOSIA RESPECTS YOUR PRIVACY

It doesn`t save data about your searches. ECOSIA doesn’t create personal profiles of his users based on their search history. ECOSIA actually anonymizes all searches within one week.

Follow ECOSIAs journey to one billion trees

ADD ECOSIA TO YOUR CHROME BROWSER + DOWNLOAD THE APP FREE OF CHARGE!

For further details, just visit their website: https://www.ecosia.org/

By the way, ECOSIA is also offering a tiny Online Shop….

The headquarters of ECOSIA is located in Berlin.

Insight No. 84: Breakthrough Technologies – “Custom Cancer Vaccines”

Insights, Technology
Custom Cancer Vaccines for Prevention – R&D work in progress

The treatment incites the body’s natural defenses to destroy only cancer cells by identifying mutations unique to each tumor

Scientists are on the cusp of commercializing the first personalized cancer vaccine. If it works as hoped, the vaccine, which triggers a person’s immune system to identify a tumor by its unique mutations, could effectively shut down many types of cancers.

By using the body’s natural defenses to selectively destroy only tumor cells, the vaccine, unlike conventional chemotherapies, limits damage to healthy cells. The attacking immune cells could also be vigilant in spotting any stray cancer cells after the initial treatment.

The possibility of such vaccines began to take shape in 2008, five years after the Human Genome Project was completed, when geneticists published the first sequence of a cancerous tumor cell.

Soon after, investigators began to compare the DNA of tumor cells with that of healthy cells—and other tumor cells. These studies confirmed that all cancer cells contain hundreds if not thousands of specific mutations, most of which are unique to each tumor.

A few years later, a German startup called BioNTech provided compelling evidence that a vaccine containing copies of these mutations could catalyze the body’s immune system to produce T cells primed to seek out, attack, and destroy all cancer cells harboring them.

In December 2017, BioNTech began a large test of the vaccine in cancer patients, in collaboration with the biotech giant Genentech. The ongoing trial is targeting at least 10 solid cancers and aims to enroll upwards of 560 patients at sites around the globe.

The two companies are designing new manufacturing techniques to produce thousands of personally customized vaccines cheaply and quickly. That will be tricky because creating the vaccine involves performing a biopsy on the patient’s tumor, sequencing and analyzing its DNA, and rushing that information to the production site. Once produced, the vaccine needs to be promptly delivered to the hospital; delays could be deadly.

Shared No. 82: “Deutsches Steuersystem” – Funny, Cool Cartoons by KPLX (For Sales in the Etsy-Store)

arts, Cartoons, Creatures, humor, Insights, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Tipps

Diese und weitere Originalzeichnungen gibt es jetzt im Kplx-Etsy-Store! Für Patronen gibt es jeweils Etsy-Codes mit bis zu 50% Rabatt!

Etsy-Store — KPLX

Shared No. 70: Cit.: “My Life with Gracie Reminded Me Even Small Gifts Help Keep Doors Open For Those Who Have No Voice” by Dad4Gracie

arts, Cartoons, Creatures, humor, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Oddities

Please, feel free to visit the very charming blog of the artist Dad4Gracie that provides you with funny insights, heartwarming stories and universal wisdoms of his lively chicken family.

The beautifully ilustrated finding below refers to the capital campaign in favor of the St. John`s church in Portsmouth, which is well-known for supporting homeless and other vulnerable members of their local community.

The capital campain shall provide the church with a new roof, repair water damage to the stonework, and replace the knob and tube wiring that could cause a serious electrical fire.

Give yourself a special christmas or seasonal gift

…by making a small donation. You will find a link to the charity webiste on the blog “My Life with Gracie”….simply follow the link at the end of this post.

No, you won`t become visible, you are possibly no member of this community, you might have another religion, you are financially challenged at the time being (like I am due to the sudden death of my car), you wont get any direct payback or feedback …and nevertheless you´re compassionate and willing to be of help without any vanity & shelfishness. That`s true (inner) beauty which might rise you self-respect and -self esteem. Levitate your spirit…and prove that someone who is in need, will be helped — even by strangers at remote places. I am not religious frankly speaking but I believe that the universe wont forget anything….

However, Gracie and her chicken sisters, who are doing their best to support St. John`s too (pls. see the wonderful cartoon of Dad4Gracie below), are clucking: “Danke schön! Thank you! Merci! Xiexie! Gracias! Grazie! Shukran! Spassiba! Domo arigatou!”  

Dad4Gracie`s Blog:   https://mylifewithgracie.com/2018/10/14/my-life-with-gracie-even-small-gifts/

Even Small Gifts

PS: It would be also very kind of you to reblogg and forward this post or even better Dad4Gracies original post to increase the reach….Thx.

Poem No. 113: “Poems for Europe – 10 National Portraits in Verse” by various European Poets

Gedichte, Insights, poems, Reisen, Travel
Bildergebnis für i love europe

What happened when 10 European poets were asked to portray their home country in verse ahead of the European elections?

Well, the first thing some of them did was cheat. Then they all became a little melancholic…
Magazines across the continent – not necessarily within the EU itself – would commission a favorite poet to write four lines on their country. Frankly speaking, the majority of Europeans don`t regard Turkey as an European country at all.

Please forgive the glaring omissions – the result has been dictated by those who decided to take part – and instead worry for Europa. Clearly this is not a continent suffering from bombastic self-confidence & optimism; in fact, quite the opposite.  (Die Zeit & The Guardian)

Kosovo

Magazine Kosovo 2.0 
Poet Shpëtim Selmani

On the first day blood was created 
on the second day death 
on the third love was mentioned 
and then there were no days left for us

Germany

Magazine ZEITmagazin 
Poet Saša Stanišic

We’ve lost our secrets. Gave them away, like our well-built weapons,
only involuntarily. We shake babies, when Bayern lose a match, we are as beautiful as a bishop’s residence. We bet our beer will take over, a monument for Erwin
Rommel, our epics, our migrants in the theatre, our Russian energy

Belgium

Magazine De Morgen Magazine 
Poet Maud Vanhauwaert

Small, but with a central location 
And with views aplenty. Belgium is a house 
With many rooms – where things get shuffled and pushed around – 
Behind curtains where all of Europe wanders past

Netherlands

Magazine Volkskrant Magazine 
Poet Johnny Ceres Jr

We from on top of each other
Are not like iron on iron
But are like slipping in
When nobody’s looking for a moment

Italy

Magazine Il Venerdì di Repubblica 
Poet Valerio Magrelli

On a Turkish Song to Italy

Dear Italy, At last you’re in my sight
I salute you, friendly shores!
The whole peninsula rests
Encircled by a craving necklace
Of the drowned.
Every one of them is a crumb
Scattered to find the way home
But the fish have eaten them 
and the clandestini [illegal immigrants]
Lost in the sea without return
Wander like Tom Thumbs
Sown in the water all around

Greece

Magazine ViMagazino 
Poet Dimítris Dimitriádis

The Buried Cradle

The crisis is not the same in Greece as in other countries. 
Everyone says, no matter how they say it, Greece is the cradle of Europe. 
Europe should consider its roots and reconsider its values. 
And see in Greece, and Greece in itself, the painful present, 
the raw material for a brand-new cradle

United Kingdom

Magazine Observer Magazine 
Poet Don Paterson

Whereinsoever

What country? And you try being so far adrift 
in this weather. Still, we have our two-edged gift 
of tongues to watch, and tongues we find to sing 
of London’s Babylon, Skye’s Wyoming

Turkey

Magazine Radikal 
Poet Murat Mentes

The aliens sniffing the aromas rising from Turkish kitchens
The aliens hearing poems of Rumi, melodies of Mevlevis
The aliens seeing the brightness of the Bosphorus, of domes, of young smiles
Ask each other: “Those signals do come from the Earth, but which part exactly?”
One among them gives the answer: “From Europe, of course, where else?!”

Switzerland

Magazine Das Magazin 
Poet Jürg Halter

Pro Helvetia

As neutral as a cheese free of inhibitions
Thriving in a golden bank safe
In the shade of chocolate-covered mountains
Where every cliché becomes a shrieking reality: Pro Helvetia

Austria

Magazine Falter 
Poet Michael Stavarič

Barely have I closed my eyes 
and I think to myself
That I fit in there perfectly
In you, my beloved Austria
And everything is good
For 10, 12, 13 breaths
Barely awake again, I am asked if I will 
be writing an obituary to
you, my beloved Austria
And I hear myself say
Yes, yes, oh yes
And then that truly frightened me

Poem No. 112: “Freedom on the Wallaby” by Henry Lawson (Australia, 1891)

Gedichte, Insights, poems

Freedom on the Wallaby“, Henry Lawson’s well known poem, was written as a comment on the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike and published by William Lane in the Worker in Brisbane, 16 May 1891.

Australia’s a big country
An’ Freedom’s humping bluey,
An’ Freedom’s on the wallaby
Oh! don’t you hear ‘er cooey?
She’s just begun to boomerang,
She’ll knock the tyrants silly,
She’s goin’ to light another fire
And boil another billy.
Our fathers toiled for bitter bread
While loafers thrived beside ’em,
But food to eat and clothes to wear,
Their native land denied ’em.

An’ so they left their native land
In spite of their devotion,
An’ so they came, or if they stole,
Were sent across the ocean.

Then Freedom couldn’t stand the glare
O’ Royalty’s regalia,
She left the loafers where they were,
An’ came out to Australia.

But now across the mighty main
The chains have come ter bind her –
She little thought to see again
The wrongs she left behind her.

Our parents toil’d to make a home
Hard grubbin ’twas an’ clearin’
‘’They wasn’t crowded much with lords
When they was pioneering.

But now that we have made the land
A garden full of promise,
Old Greed must crook ‘is dirty hand
And come ter take it from us.

So we must fly a rebel flag,
As others did before us,
And we must sing a rebel song
And join in rebel chorus.

We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting
O’ those that they would throttle;
They needn’t say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle!

Postcard No. 29: “Ulm – The Tallest Church of the World” (Germany)

arts, Insights, Oddities, Reisen, Tipps

The Ulm Minster is a Lutheran church located in Ulm, State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany). It is the tallest church in the world, and the 5th tallest structure built before the 20th century, with a steeple measuring 161,5 m (530 ft)… For further measurements, please scroll down at the end of the post.

The groundbreaking is dated in 1377. The city-owned Ulmer Münster in the city centre replaced the old Church “Ennet Feldes”(built 600 n. Christi) in front of the gates of Ulm city because during the numerous wars (like the 30 yrs War) the citizens often couldn´t attend church. The Münster was built on the location of another smaller, old church called “Our Beloved Woman” (dated 1220). The construction of the Ulmer Münster was completed in 1890, after 513 years of tough work. This period includes a couple of long-term interruptions due to wars, economic stagnation periods and power play waves.

The “Free City of Ulm” transformed into a fine arts cluster that built up an international trade, training, partnership & job network for artists and craftsmen

Ulm became famous for its highly skilled architects, artists and excellent craftsmen who were working on the church. The pool of talents and innovative senior professionals (entire families with several generations) with signature techniques was called “the Ulmer School” (late gothic). These experts often worked as expats in Europe and contributed to the construction of famous cathedrals & churches in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Spain etc. 55 painters (walls, glass, facades, arts), 25 sculptors and woodcarvers are still known by their names today. In many cases, the artists cooperated with each other. The beautiful high altar in Blaubeuren is an example for the cooperation of 3 artists belonging to the Ulmer Schule.

Blaubeurener High Altar, 1494 (carved by
Michael Erhart, painted by Bernhard Strigel and Hans Holbein the Eldest).

Originally, the church was catholic. But in a referendum in 1530/31, the citizens of Ulm converted to Protestantism during the Reformation. Ulm Minster became a Lutheran church.

When I visited the famous, very beautiful traditional Christmas market in Ulm in front of the Ulmer Münster I was very much impressed. In fact, the top of steeple was partially covered by clouds. The illuminated church in the dark looked like a huge space rocket or spaceship ready for departure! Imagine the impression the church left in medieval times, when people didn´t know skyscrapers etc. The Münster must have been a mind-blowing demonstration of power and closeness to heaven.

Although sometimes referred to as Ulm Cathedral because of its great size, the church is not a cathedral as it has never been the seat of a bishop. Though the towers and all decorative elements are of stone masonry, attracting the attention of visitors, most of the walls, including the façades of the nave and choir, actually consist of visible brick. Therefore, the building is sometimes referred to as a brick church.

Ulm Minster was begun in the Gothic era but not completed until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, all of the church except the towers and some outer decorations was complete, unlike e.g. Cologne Cathedral, where less than half of the work had been done, when it ceased.

The Ulmer Iconoclasm in 1531 and the intentionally self-sabotage of the municipal authorities

In the course of the painful and also violent reformation process, Ulm experienced an iconoclasm. Many religious art pieces, such as 60 altars, sculptures and other artifacts were destroyed by the municipal council reps. But astonishingly, the municipal council acted responsibly and warned the owners and sponsors of the art pieces in advance. Therefore, a lot of artifacts could be rescued and stored in a warehouse that was well-known to the authorities. Thanks to this self-sabotage, you can find antique art works in the Ulmer Münster but also in little churches located in the surroundings of Ulm city.

In WWII, a devastating air raid hit Ulm on 17 December 1944, which destroyed virtually the entire town west of the church to the railway station and north of the church to the outskirts. The church itself was barely damaged. However, almost all the other buildings of the town square (Münsterplatz) were severely hit and some 80% of the medieval centre of Ulm was destroyed.

Today, visitors can climb the 768 steps that lead to the top of the minster’s spire. At 143 m (469 ft) it gives a panoramic view of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg and Neu-Ulm in Bavaria and, in clear weather, a vista of the Alps from Säntis to the Zugspitze. The final stairwell to the top (known as the third Gallery) is a tall, spiraling staircase that has barely enough room for one person.

For some details about the arts in the church and its sponsor (like Einstein), please scroll down.

The Ulmer Münster
The Genesis above the main portal
One of many dragon gargoyles.
High Altar (called Hutz Altar) by Martin Schaffner, 1521

Measurements

  • The height of the steeple is 161.53 metres (530.0 ft). Ulm Münster is the world’s tallest church
  • The church has a length of 123.56 metres (405.4 ft) and a width of 48.8 metres (160 ft).
  • The building area is approximately 8,260 square metres (88,900 sq ft).
  • The height of the central nave is 41.6 metres (136 ft), whilst the lateral naves are 20.55 metres (67.4 ft) high.
  • The volume of the edifice is some 190,000 cubic metres (6,700,000 cu ft).
  • The weight of the main steeple is estimated at 51,500 tonnes (50,700 long tons; 56,800 short tons).
  • The church seats a congregation of 2,000.
  • In the Middle Ages, before pews were introduced, it could accommodate 20,000 people, when the population of the town was about 5,000.

Works of Art

  • Late medieval sculptures include the tympanum of the main Western entrance depicts scenes from the Genesis. The central column bears a sculpture, the Man of Sorrows, by the local master Hans Multscher.
  • The 15th century choir stalls by Jörg Syrlin the Elder, made from oak and adorned with hundreds of carved busts are among the most famous pews of the Gothic period.
  • The pulpit canopy is by Jörg Syrlin the Younger.
  • The original high altar was destroyed by the iconoclasts of the Reformation. The current altarpiece from the early 16th century is a triptych, showing figures of the Holy Family and the Last Supper in the predella.
  • The five stained glass windows of the apse, which is in the form of half a decagon, show Biblical scenes and date to the 14th and 15th century.
  • The main organ of the church was destroyed by iconoclasts and replaced in the late 16th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is known to have played it in 1763. For some decades it was the largest organ in existence. In the late 1960s it was reconstructed to solve acoustic problems of reverberation.
  • In 1877, the Jewish congregation of the synagogue of Ulm—including Hermann Einstein, the father of Albert Einstein—donated money for a statue of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. The figure was placed below the main organ.
  • Later renovations in the modern era added gargoyles and a sculpture, The Beggar, by the expressionist Ernst Barlach.