Creatures Nr. 1: Die Kiwi – wehrhafte, aber romantisch-bodenständige Superfrauen mit Kuschelfaktor, Nasengespür & Verstand (in German language only)

Creatures, humor, Insights, Nature, Oddities, Travel
kiwi1


KIWIs
….nicht nur zuckersüß, fusselig, sondern auch wirklich erstaunlich:

1. Kiwi Mamas sind Superhelden.
Sie legen nämlich im Verhältnis zu ihrer Körpergröße eines der größten Eier im Vergleich zu anderen Lebewesen. Ein Kiwi Ei entspricht ca. 20% der Körpergröße eines Weibchens und wiegt ca. 16 oz (ungefähr 460 g). Zum Vergleich: Ein menschliches Baby entspricht nur ca. 4-5% des Frauenkörpers. Ein Kiwi Ei zu gebären, muss sich anfühlen wie eine türkische (die großen also!) Wassermelone zu scheißen… Respekt, Sisters down-under!

2. Sie sind sehr romantisch & treu.
Kiwi Vögel gehören zu den wenigen Spezies, die den Anspruch haben, ihr Leben als monogame Paare zu verbringen. Sie scheinen an die große Liebe zu glauben und suchen sich also einen Partner fürs Leben. Es heißt, dass ihre Partnerschaften >20 Jahre halten…und das ganz ohne Partnertherapien oder wirtschaftliche Zwänge. Wenn sie daten, besuchen sie sich übrigens alle 3 Tage gegenseitig in ihren Nestern. Vernünftig….Prüfe sich, wer sich ewig bindet. Nur keine falschen Moralvorstellungen!

3. Kiwis, die Schnüffler Down-under
Die kleinen Puschel sind so etwas wie die Fährtensucher in der Hundewelt. Am Ende ihres langen Schnabels besitzen sie nämlich Nasenlöcher und sehr empfindliche Sensoren, um ihre Beute unterirdisch aufzuspüren. Ihr Geruchssinn ist sehr hochentwickelt. Vielleicht könnte man sie ja auch zum Drogensuchen, Diabetes-Warnen etc. ausbilden?

4. Die Puschel sind sehr bodenständig & tolerant – buchstäblich
Mangels Feinde vor 1000 Jahren, d.h. bevor Menschen und ihre Haus-/Nutztiere einwanderten, konnten sie eben gut aufs Fliegen verzichten. Heutzutage sind sie leichte Beute für Migranten und daher vom Aussterben bedroht. Dennoch haben die Kiwis sich nicht dazu hinreißen lassen, eine Alternative für Neuseeland zu gründen.

5. Sie haben wunderschönes Haar!
Wozu Federn, wenn man eigentlich nicht fliegen mag? Ihr Federkleid hat sich also über die Zeit zu einer Art buschiges, softes Feder-Fell zur Camouflage in den neuseeländischen Wäldern weiterentwickelt. Nur allzu gern würde ich gerne einmal einen Kiwi streicheln…fraglich ist jedoch, ob er sich streicheln und kraulen lassen will. Höfliche Zurückhaltung erscheint mir angemessen….schade! Aber man will nach der #metoo Kampagne ja nicht zum Täter mutieren.

6. Kiwis sind niedlich, aber keine Schwächlinge!
Sie sind nachtaktiv, aber durchaus nicht scheu & wehrlos. Mit rasierklingenscharfen Krallen kombiniert mit hinterhältigen “hit & run” ISIS-Guerilla-Taktiken verteidigen sie ihr Territorium und ihre XXXL Eier….auch gegenüber Humanoide.

7. Sie sind nicht leicht zu täuschen,…
…so berichten Wissenschaftler, die Aufzeichnungen von Kiwi-Lockrufen verwendeten und bei der Kiwi Population schnell aufgeflogen sind. Die Zoologen bescheinigen den flugunfähigen Eingeborenen zudem ein ausgezeichnetes Gedächtnis. Noch nach mehr als 5 Jahren erinnerten sich die Kiwi an die Tonbandaufnahmen und ließen sich nicht mehr über den Tisch ziehen. Bleibt zu hoffen, dass sie ihren Lebenspartnern gegenüber nicht so nachtragend sind…

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

Haiku No. 52: Wide World (Weite Welt)

Gedichte, poems, Reisen, Travel
Bettina Hoebenreich.jpg

Bettina Hoebenreich (German Globetrotter)
isabelle_explorer

Isabelle Eberhardt

WIDE WORLD

World is vast and wide.
So much out there to explore.
Right now, let’s have lunch.

WEITE WELT

Die Welt ist gewaltig und weit.
So viel da draußen zu entdecken.
Fürs Erste, lass uns zu Mittag essen.

About Isabelle Eberhardt – Famous Explorer & Adventurer

Born and dubbed ‘illigetimate’ to her Aristocratic mother in Switzerland, Eberhardt’s life was short but certainly well-lived. Due to a family affair, Isabelle’s paternity remained a secret, and from the off, her life was steeped in secrecy and financial struggle. What’s a girl to do when she’s not wanted? Become one of the most famous explorers of all time.

The path was not going to be easy however, and Eberhardt found her female status in the 1800s slightly exacerbating in terms of traversing the world. As such, she dressed as a man, learnt several languages, and severed ties with her shattered family, and left for Africa.

Before long, Eberhardt’s experiences left her on a spirtual journey as well as a literal one, and adopted the pseudonym Si Mahmoud Essad on her quest for a more ‘free life’. She converted to Islam in order to be truly accepted in Arab society. She died at 27 in a flash-flood. Although tragically young, she died doing what she loved best – going somewhere.

Shared No. 71: “About the October Festival in Munich” – Zum Oktoberfest in München by Roland Risch

Food, humor, Insights, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

IN ENGLISH:

Rolands funny post provides you with a few images to point at (to ease the communication with locals) for survival in the event that you`re planning to attend the famous OKTOBERFEST in Munich next year. Below the images you will find the accordant vocabulary in the unique Bavarian dialect….

THE OKTOBERFEST 2018 STATISTICS:

Daten zu 2018 / Data 2018:

6,3 Mio. Besucher / 6,3 mio visitors

14 Festzelte / 14 pavilions

7,5 Mio. Mass Bier à € 11,50 verkauft / 7,5 mio Mass Beer (1 Mass = 1l) for € 11,50 (USD 13,-) each Mass sold

123 Ochsen aufgegessen / 123 oxes were eaten

Haxe € 19,00 / one joint € 19,- (= USD 21,60)

Halbes Hendl € 12 / half chicken € 12,- (= USD 13,60)

1 Liter Wasser € 10,00 / 1l water € 10,- (= USD 11,40)

Tipp No. 70: Water Colour Wildlife & Landscape Paintings by The Artist Ben Woodhams (Denmark / Bornholm Island)

arts, Creatures, Kunst, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

I totally fell in love with Ben`s work…I would like to share a few of his wonderful water colour paintings.

As you might have noticed from visiting my tiny blog, I am at home in Northern Germany. Northern Germans are often teased by calling them: “fish heads, shell pushers and dike tramplers”.  I suppose, I am touched by Ben`s art because on one hand I know his themes well and because ….I can feel the weather looking at his paintings, on the other hand I seem to share his perspectives and perception of moods, colours, surface structures etc…Besides, the picture composition and other details of Ben`s aquarelles reminds me on Japanese paintings. 

However, I am very glad that I stumbled upon his wordpress blog linked to his website:

 https://benwoodhams.com/

ABOUT BEN WOODHAMS

Ben Woodhams is an English artist and illustrator currently living and working on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

After beginning a career in museums and art galleries as an exhibition curator and designer, Ben and his family moved to Bornholm in 2008, where he works as an artist, illustrator and educator.

Ben’s practice is founded in direct observation and specialises in birds, working primarily in watercolour. Studies of living birds are made in the field, while dead birds are taken to the studio. Moments in time, and the relationship between the process of observation and depiction, are the engines that drive Ben’s work – the tension between the ‘need’ to capture the moment or the vision, and the desire to let the medium speak its own language.

Recently Ben has been studying changes in the landscape through space and time. The patterns made by a passing flock of cranes, the rising tide within a rock pool, shadows moving over a rock during a day, an oilseed rape field blooming over a period of weeks, changes through the seasons and over years.

Of course, Ben is offering original paintings as well as limited printed editions for purchase.

Interestingly, he is teaching aquarell painting  & drawing (in English and Danish language) for private and public groups (all age classes) additionally.  
He focus on observation-based drawing, watercolour painting and relief printing techniques and put emphasis on outdoor drawing and painting.

Just a few impressions of BORNHOLM – as a teaser that I don`t need anymore….Maybe, we will see each other on Bornholm island in 2019?

Postcard No. 18: “DÖRVEDEN” – Stay Overnight in a TREE INN in a WOLF CENTRE (Baumhausübernachtung im Wolf Centre)

Creatures, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
The Tree Inn in the 1st German Wolf  Centre
Wolf Pack in Dörveden

Most probably you have never heard of DÖRVEDEN….It is time to change this situation.

Nature, Wildlife Observation, Adventure but with Romantic, Comfort & No Risk?

The Wolf Centre Dörveden in Nether Saxony / Northern Germany is offering an unique opportunity to combine all of these aspects.

Dörveden gives home to Germany`s first wolf sanctuary & breeding station, a science & education centre, a wildlife park plus horse stable for guests and their horses. Among other accommodations (like Tipis, tents, camper vans) the wolf centre offers a luxurious tree inn right next to wolves compound!

The 5 metres-high tree inn  is equiped for max. 4 persons. It possess a furnitured roof deck and offers hotel-like comfort (toilet, TV & internet, heating etc.). The tree inn even contains a whirlpool. But the major attraction is its location, of course. It is an unforgetable experience to observe and listen to the pack of beautiful grey wolves who were raised by hand, as far as I know.  

It is also possible to do a guided tour through the wolf compound for closer observation and for taking pictures. 

The Wolf Centre Dörveden is a romantic destination for a weekend trip with your family, friends or sweetheart.

Here are a few impressions…

For further details: https://www.wolfcenter.de/Presse-10-Company-portrait.html

Postcard No. 17: “HAMBURG” – The Elbphilharmonie – The Temple of Sound…innovative architecture and outstanding acoustics

Musik, Reisen, Tipps, Travel, Uncategorized

“Location, outstanding acoustics and a visionary concert programme.”

The Elbphilharmonie with its impressive glass facade and wave-like rooftop rises up from the former Kaispeicher building on the western tip of the HafenCity. Accommodated inside are two concert halls, a hotel and 45 residential apartments. Between the old warehouse and the glass structure is the Plaza – a public viewing area that extends around the whole building.

“Elphi” belongs to the TOP 5 concert halls worldwide thanks to its outstanding acoustics. After 9 years of construction and investments in the amount of €789 mio. the innovative landmark of the harbor city Hamburg – also called “The Gate to The World” or “Pearl” – was finally completed.

The Location – The Elbphilharmonie is located in the historic Sandtorhafen, which was Hamburg’s old working harbour for centuries. The Kaiserspeicher, Hamburg’s biggest warehouse on the water, was built in 1875. Destroyed in the Second World War, it was then rebuilt and renamed Kaispeicher. Cocoa, tobacco and tea was stored here until the 1990s.

The Plaza – At a height of 37 metres above ground level, the public viewing area offers visitors a spectacular 360° view of the city and harbour. Hamburg citizens, tourists, concertgoers and hotel guests are all welcome to take a stroll along this unique walkway.

The Glass Facade – The defining feature of the Elbphilharmonie: 1,000 curved window panels, tailor-made to capture and reflect the colour of the sky, the sun’s rays, the water and the city, turn the concert hall into a gigantic crystal. The glass facades in the loggias of the apartments and concert foyers are especially striking: with their boldly convex form they resemble huge tuning forks.

The Grand Hall, the heart of the Elbphilharmonie, has seating for 2,150 guests. In contrast to conventional concert halls, the stage is located in the centre of the hall, while the audience is seated on tribunes around the stage. This “vineyard-concept” that was invented by the architects of Herzog & de Meuron, ensures that each guest enjoy a direct view to the stage without any obstacles. Each visitor is seated in a distance of max. 30 m to the conductor. The highest seat  is located 17 metres above the stage. 

The Acoustics – The leading acoustics expert Yasuhisa Toyota faced the challenge to ensure not only top-notch but a superior acoustic experience for Elphi`s guests.
Toyota’s goal for the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall: the hall should assist the natural acoustics of the music but also be sensitive to electronic sound systems. In this way, audiences can also enjoy rock concerts in the Elbphilharmonie.     

Toyota invented the so called “White Skin” of the concert hall. The White Skin is a surface which consists of 10.000 wall panels. Each single panel is highly customized. The unique design of each panel optimally breaks the sound at the very specific position of the panel. The panels are 35 – 200 mm thick and possess a weight of 150 kg / qm to optimize the acoustics – considering the thumbrule: The bigger the mass, the better the reflection of the sound. The intelligent, sophisticated sound concept  also ensures the optimal reverberant sound time of 2 seconds. Therefore, the guests of the Elbphilharmonie are able to enjoy a very clear, differentiated sound and an amazing 3-dimensional impression.

Among professional musicians, it is said that you are able to hear everything – even all the failures…

The Recital Hall – In contrast to the Grand Hall, the Recital Hall is designed in the classic »shoebox« style. An elegantly milled wooden panelling supplies a perfect acoustic. Both the Grand Hall and the Recital Hall of the Elbphilharmonie are acoustically autonomous spaces that are completely detached from the rest of the building. Massive steel spring elements perfectly buffer the concrete shell of each respective hall from the outside world. No ships’ sirens will ever penetrate these spaces, and not even the sound of a loud trombone ensemble will escape to the outside.

The Kaistudios – Housed in the Kaispeicher warehouse, the Elbphilharmonie’s wide-ranging music education programme offers concerts for children and families, a holiday programme, workshops and more. Many years ago, goods were loaded from ships directly into the warehouse using cargo hatches. Some of the cargo hatches have been now been given a new purpose as balconies, for example, the balcony in Kaistudio 1. A further six Kaistudios complete the music education wing and are used as rehearsal rooms, backstage and foyer rooms, and house for the »World of Instruments«.

The Music – Variety, quality and accessibility are primary criteria by which the Elbphilharmonie measures its musical profile. As a concert hall of the 21st century, engaging in animated dialogues with classical music masterpieces is as much in focus as the discovery of new sounds. The Elbphilharmonie plays host to acclaimed soloists and orchestras from around the world; at the same time, innovative festivals, experimental formats and concert series outside of the traditional classical music programme will break new ground here.

For further information: https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/concerts/22-11-2018/

Postcard No. 16: “DUISBURG” – Another Recycled Gasometer = Europe`s Biggest & Most Spectacular Indoor Scuba Diving Centre!

arts, Insights, Kunst, Musik, Nature, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel

Hello to all travelers – and in particular scuba diving enthusiasts!

After visiting the Gasometer in Oberhausen, I would like to send you further greetings from the Ruhr area. Let`s make a stopover in Duisburg!

 The City of Duisburg transformed its industrial smelter heritage into a huge recreation park called the “Landscape Park” in Duisburg North. The spectacular highlight of this park is the Gasometer, which serves  as indoor scuba diving centre today. In fact, it is Europe´s biggest leisure but also training scuba diving centre (for professionals like police, military, fire fighters, industrial scuba divers, instructors, special forces etc.).

The diameter of the Gasometer is 45 m and the depth 13 m. The Gasometer contains 21 mio litres sweet water with a varying temperature of 7°C in wintertime and about 26°C in summertime. The visual range can be 25 metres. 

There is a diving school that offers classes for beginners and experienced divers as well as trial lessons and “adventure diving lessons”. Of course, you can rent scuba diving equipement. Additionally, a repair shop offers support. Changing rooms and hot showers are available too.

Diving in an industrial facility is an amazing experience itself. The Gasometer Duisburg North is even topping this unique experience. The Gasometer namely gives home to wrecks of all kind of vehicles, such as different aircraft, various cars, boats & ships, industrial equipement / structures etc.  Scuba diving excursions in the Gasometer are thrilling and sometimes even a bit spooky… You shouldn`t miss this exclusive adventure!

Web: https://www.tauchrevier-gasometer.de/

The “Landscape Park Duisburg” offers gardens, cycling opportunities, outdoor climbing facilities, restaurants & “Biergarten” (beer garden), furnace 5 as viewing platform, concerts and more attractions. During night the industrial complex is enlighted. The very atmosperic industrial leisure park is also very popular among photographers.

As you can see, the Ruhr area – the former centre of Germany`s heavy industry & mining – successfully underwent a makeover and is worth a visit. WELCOME!

Postcard No. 10: “ROME” – The Secret Reason for visiting the Petersdom…Sex sells even in the Vatikan

humor, Insights, Oddities, Reisen, Travel

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The only reason, why Roman locals visit the Petersdom…

No, it is not the opportunity to meet the outside of the Vatican very popular Pope Franziskus or to join a mass in the Petersdom. In fact, there is a very earthly reason, as I was told.

AND FOREVER ALURES THE WOMAN…

The true local crowd puller of the Petersdom is called Guilia Farnese, a young lady well-known as “La Bella” (The Beauty) in Italy.

Giulia Farnese (1474 – 23 March 1524) was mistress to Pope Alexander VI, and the sister of Pope Paul III. Lorenzo Pucci described her as “most lovely to behold”. Cesare Borgia, the son of Alexander VI, described her as having “dark colouring, black eyes, round face and a particular ardor”

Through her intimacy with the Pope, Giulia was able to get her brother Alessandro (the future Paul III) created Cardinal in 1493.

Giulia Farneses grave is unknown. But her image is conserved – and of all possible Locations in Rome, you will find her in the Petersdom. Her Image is namely part of the tomb of Pope Paul III. on the left hand side of the high altar. Already the coeval of Paul III were convinced that the sculpture of a young woman shows the famous, attractive sister of Paul III. The stone of the sculpture is so vivid and full of erotic vibrancy & charisma, so that local men let themself be carried to practice “acts of indecency” (cit. Vatican), while starring at the sculpture of Guilia.

In 1600 the Vatican therefore was forced to respond to this growing group of undesired visitors and dressed the originally naked “Bella Guilia” up  with a shirt made of lead. Still until the 18th century, the entrepreneurial mindset of the Vatican overruled their catholic morale. Visitors were allowed to see the nude beauty if they paid a fee for the removal of the lead-shirt.

Nowadays, this deal is not offered anymore. Due to the fact that there is no picture, painting or sketch of the nude Guilia available, the sculpture in the Petersdom prompts even more erotic phantasies, Roman citizens admit.

SEX SELLS – EVEN IN THE VATICAN.

 

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La Bella Guillia – part of the tomb of her brother Pope Paul III

 

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