Cows up-side down. Camera tricks reveal what the human eye cannot see.

TED Talk. In Slow-mo or Time Lapse: Awesome Wonders of Nature

29.04.2021

A Treasure Trove for Science

Surely you have seen dragonflies hover. But did you know that they were also capable of flying backwards? Or even up-side down like a vintage double-decker during a daring air show? And that they could activate each one of their four wings separately – working at varying speed and propelling in different directions, all at the same time? Today it is possible to shoot images that are thousands of times faster than our own vision. Or slower. We can see how nature’s devices work – and imitate them. Helicopters or mechanical drones pretty much simulate the congenial dragonfly’s techniques. We live in a world of invisible beauty, too subtle to be perceptible to the human eye. Louie Schwartzberg shows breathtaking images during his fascinating TED talk. Read article

Reading time: about 1 minute
Modern structures in Bali made of Bamboo

TED Talk. Elora Hardy: Magical houses, made of bamboo

3.04.2021

Imagine you were the fortunate citizen of a lush tropical island, say Bali, and financially privileged enough to afford an extraordinary home built according to your most daring desires. Ideally, renewable materials would be used almost exclusively so that your new residence became a sustainable and thus environmentally friendly affair. Bamboo is one of these resources – abundantly available locally, easily cultivated and growing back rapidly. It is light yet sturdy, albeit a little stubborn when it comes to delivering reliably straight rods: No two poles are alike and creative thinking is required on a permanent basis in order to come up with a feasible design. In Elora’s case, her enigmatically shaped edifices are the surprising result of these given twists and curves. Bamboo structures can now last a lifetime. Whereas formerly they used to get eaten away by insatiable termites and bugs, this building material receives treatment with a boron solution, a natural salt despised by hungry insects.

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Constitution Hill Johannesburg

Johannesburg: Constitution Hill

1.03.2021

 

Before setting off on a journey to foreign latitudes, a general plan of action seems a reasonable idea. When time and funds are limited, the most has to be made of both. The aim is an agreeable cocktail of experiences upon whose long-lasting effect individual memories and emotions can foster. Sometimes even carefully charted programmes are missing a vital link. One that takes travellers back into a country’s historical and political past, grim as it may have been. Then it will be understood why the past is inseparable from the present and the future and why landmarks such as Joburg’s Constitution Hill epitomise the lifeblood of an entire nation.

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Reading time: about 5 minutes
Vegan Diet

Vegan food trend: Crying for substitution

8.02.2021

As will soon become obvious, this article was written by an omnivorous female who believes in the power of a well-balanced diet – and still respects animals and their rights and our environment in a healthy and practicable manner.

The ambition for a good and wholesome cuisine has always been fresh produce and to tamper with it as little as possible: to retain vits, minerals and trace elements, maintain its original shape, colour, size and taste and to offer a pleasant sight on the plate. Boiling vegetables to death or to make a pallid mash of virtually everything has luckily dropped out of fashion – reason enough for palates and eyes each to heave a huge sigh of relief.

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Reading time: about 5 minutes