Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CANCUN CYCLING ADVENTURE

CANCUN CYCLING ADVENTURE
First let me say this; Cancun is NOT bicycle friendly! But it is adventuresome.
The paved bicycle path from downtown to the beach, the new Talmar lagoon bike path, and the numerous green zone parks are great.


Above photo: Cuidado! caution! 

Great leaping lizards, aggressive crocodiles are 10 times faster than alligators, and the lagoons are full of them...the exciting beach bicycle path takes you there.
For more bicycle adventures read the books; Yucatan for Travelers and Yucatan's Magic to find the places that tourists miss most.

The crocodiles do exist: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2017/07/cancun-croc-attack-leaves-american-tourist-without-an-arm/

Friday, April 14, 2017

Paul Robeson: A Biography - Recommended Reading

Paul Robeson: A Biography by Martin Duberman
book review


Paul Robeson was simply the very best at whatever he did. He excelled in athletics and dramatic acting, and he had a world class singing voice.
 
I am totally amazed at this man’s abilities and his humanitarianism coupled with his crusade for world peace with freedom and justice for all.

By the end of WWII Paul Robeson was earnestly doing everything in his power to stomp out lynchings and segregation that was going from bad to worse. General Eisenhower eloquently proclaimed in a 1945 speech that blacks had been friends in need to the U.S. government along with the USSR in waging war against the Nazi Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan.

After WWII the U. S. implemented the Cold War to perpetuate its hold on world power and immediately things got worse for Robeson and the USSR. McCarthyism began under Truman and went wild with Eisenhower in the 1950s.

You will need to read this true and revealing book ...I will not spill the beans here and spoil your read. This book has a monumental message, and I strongly recommend it. 

Excerpts:
Paul Robeson’s voice is all honey and persuasion;
His voice has all the power of Chaliapin’s and practically the same range, but there the likeness ends. Paul Robeson’s voice is all honey and persuasion, yearning and searching, and probing the heart of the listener in every tiniest phrase. A rich, generous, mellow, tender, booming voice that you think couldn’t say a bitter word or a biting sentence with a whole lifetime of practice. A voice like his is worth waiting ten years to hear, and an art like his comes once in a generation…

Robeson went on the radio to introduce songs of the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War, appeared at a rally in behalf of the China Defense League, helped to dedicate the Children’s Aid Society in Harlem, and, along with a host of other celebrities, appeared at a mass meeting sponsored by the Committee to Defend America by Keeping Out of War, to protest conscription and other preparedness measures. There he argued, yet again, that under their present leadership Britain and France were essentially engaged in a struggle to protect the profits of plutocrats, not the rights of the people.

As late as March 1941, Robeson told a reporter that he was against aid for Britain because he believed the mobilization was primarily aimed at saving the British Empire. According to the reporter, Robeson spoke “angrily” and “stormed” over the refusal of the British ruling class to do anything “about giving India and Ireland and Africa a taste of democracy.”

June 1941, the war would become, in Robeson’s eyes, an unimpeachable and united struggle against fascism…

On March 12, 1956, 101 Southern members of Congress issued a “Declaration of Constitutional Principles,” which called on their states to refuse implementation of the desegregation order. Defiance became the watchword in the white South, massive resistance the proof of regional loyalty. Every item in the white-supremacist bag of tricks—from “pupil-placement” laws to outright violence—was utilized to forestall integration of the schools.

The Ku Klux Klan donned its masks and hoods; the respectable middle class enrolled in White Citizens’ Councils; the press and pulpit resounded with calls to protect the safety of the white race. A tide of hatred and vigilantism swept over the South. Some blacks knuckled under in fear; many more dug in, prepared once again to endure—and this time overcome. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks, a forty-two-year-old black seamstress, stubbornly refused to give up her bus seat to a white man—thereby launching the Montgomery bus boycott, energizing black resistance, catapulting Martin Luther King, Jr., and his strategy of nonviolent direct action to the forefront of the movement. An epoch of black insurgency had been ushered in.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Germany, Green, Clean, Solar, Wind, and Recycling

 
GERMANY, GREEN AND CLEAN - Leading the world and on the cutting edge in solar, wind and recycling technologies. Updated 2017.

 Still fully functional after more than two centuries of dependable, clean and non-polluting production, this 1802 grain mill in northern Germany combines hydro with wind power, cleanly powering Germany.

Germany may not have been the first to initiate these green and environmentally clean power sources but on the eve of the Industria lRevolution they were there to lead in innovation. An example is the mill pictured above where two sources of power are tapped so either wind or water will keep production dependable.

In the above photo, John and Jane Grimsrud enjoy the world’s best bicycling with their novel Dahon folding bicycles that fit perfectly with Germany’s extensive well marked paved bicycle paths. Buses, trains, airplanes and even the ferry boats are bicycle friendly and accommodating here.
Bicycles are a way of life in Germany, children ride to school, and adults go to work and shopping, tourists vacation cross-country staying at bed and bike hotels. This goes on year round in sun or snow. Electric or E-bikes are now diminishing automobile usage as they make a big clean air impact.

Germany, besides having excellent bike route maps and smooth paved trails, which are clearly marked with information signs like the one above, has set a world standard. These information signs are literally loaded with facts. Even the small red and green tabs above, 9, 10, V, and the petroleum pump indicate special bicycle tour routes that are designated on biking maps available at book stores and tourist offices. Digital versions are available on mobile navigator devices.

From left, natural gas pump, wind farm, and paved bicycle path...clean and green.
 

Germany has gone all-out to make your bicycling experience world class. This is one of thousands of covered bicycle shelters that are conveniently placed, meticulously clean, and well equipped with tables and benches. Note the plate glass picture windows and barred off parking place. For bikers only…no cars.
  This historic canal dates from the 1870’s and was built by the muscle of man and beast. Connecting to the textile center of Nordhorn, this Ems-Vechte Canal heads east and links with the Dortmund Ems Canal that was built in 1899.
The busy and sill active Dortmund Ems Canal connects the German industrial heartland with the North Sea Port of Emden. Most of these interconnected canals that crisscross Europe have lovely bicycle paths with numerous covered shelters and plenty of accommodations. This is cycling as good as it gets.
The monumental effort required to complete this European canal system must rank with the wonders of the world for human engineering and effort.
Initially the canal traffic was moved by beasts of burden plodding along a tow path, next steam engines did the work.
Nordhorn, Germany is still a city of canals, but its heavy industry no longer exists. Now this beautiful canal is silent except for the birds that have made it their seasonal home.
The incredibly beautiful hardwood forest that flanks the border is now quietly enjoyed by bicyclers. They glide silently beneath the towering shade trees on the bike paths stopping along the way at the numerous covered picnic tables like the one above.
In downtown Nordhorn this neatly dressed lady is doing her shopping by bicycle with her young child comfortably riding in the attached kiddie cart. Notice the cleanliness of the brick street.
Even the dependable German postal service that delivers rain or shine is ecologically friendly with these specially equipped bicycles.
This photo is taken at a grocery store where you can see that bicycling clients have top parking priority.
Also in the above photos notice the cleanliness that is the German standard.
Now supermarkets and shopping centers have charging stations for electric bikes.
In the balance of things ecological, bicycling is as close to an equilibrium with nature as you can get. Here in Europe, bicycling to school, work, shopping, and recreation, is an every day part of life.
In 2010 six percent of Germany’s power requirements were met with wind, by 2015, wind power in Germany was 13.3 percent with 26,772 wind turbines making it the third largest producer of wind power in the world.
In Germany wind generated electric power enters the grid.
Netherlands trains now are powered exclusively by wind power.

CURRENT WIND POWER OUTPUT NUMBERS
Even with solar and wind generation lower emissions of CO2 are hard to achieve as demand skyrockets. Germany is burning fossil fuel equal to 15 years ago. Residential rates have now tripled as demand continues to increase. Solar and wind have become imperative for a green and clean future.

In June of 2014 Germany achieved a milestone rewarded with 50 percent of its electricity demand from solar power, which was half of the entire world’s production at the time. Germany is unquestionably the world leader.

Renewable power now generates 27 percent of Germany’s electricity. Ten years earlier it stood at 9%. Ultimately the goal is to do away with coal and nuclear.
Chancellor Angela Merkel wants Germany to shut all 17 of its nuclear reactors by 2022. Nine have already been retired as renewable picked up the slack.

Germany with the world’s fourth largest economy until 2009, has pledged aggressive emission cuts. By 2020 they are on track for a 40 percent cut of 1990 levels, and by 2050 they want at least an 80 percent reduction.

Germany still gets more electricity from coal than from renewable sources. Transportation and heating emits more carbon dioxide (CO₂) than power plants. Dirty lignite mines continue operating and are expected to do so until 2050.
Determination and dedication to fulfilling this ecological problem while balancing economic and demand issues requires a united community spirit.

Germany was a bombed wasteland 70 years ago and has shown extraordinary rebuilding resilience.
In the years after World War II, with a demolished country to rebuild, there was scant questioning of past governments. The 1970s saw rebuilding completed. Questions arose about who started and lost the war. The German people no longer automatically accepted authority.
Germany plans to continue being an industrial country. Their plans are to use half as much energy as before and get a minimum of 80 percent of its power from renewable sources. If anybody in the world is capable of this it is Germany.

Germany now produces more than two dozen models of electric cars with plans of a million by 2020. Forty-thousand electric cars are already in use and electric bicycles are seen everywhere and fulfilling a large part of the transportation requirements. All of the above mentioned quality electric vehicles are made in German.
Enercon the German company that designs, manufactures, and installs non-smoking colossal wind generators that make life cleaner and better has an impressive track record. In the past ten years they have more than quadrupled the clean electrical power they are providing, and they are on track to meet their goal of supplying twenty-five percent of Germany’s electrical power requirements with wind alone.
In the above photo you can get a perspective of the size of these wind-powered generators when compared to Jane on her bicycle.

This wind generating station at Bimolten, Germany has fourteen generators producing the electrical energy necessary to power 14,000 four person households. This wind farm is one of many in the area. Here in north Germany the homes are truly total electric.
North Germany is at nearly 53˚North latitude, about the same latitude as southern Hudson’s Bay in Canada. Photovoltaic or solar electrical generation has more than come of age here. They top the world in solar generation.
Solen Energy Company at nearby Meppen, Germany, is the manufacturer, distributor, and installer of nearly all of these photovoltaic panels, but BP, Shell Oil, and Sharp Electronics have also been major players in this green revolution. The above private home is a good example of how the people with government incentives have made a positive impact in leading the world in clean living.

Solar electrical generation is everywhere in Germany. Private homes, government buildings , industrial facilities and even farms, are all getting involved.
This two-hundred meter long pig farming facility has been fitted with enough solar generating panels to provide the power to take care of the needs of at least twelve private homes.
In the back-ground is a wind farm, one of many in the area, cleanly producing more electrical power.
Believe it or not, but Nordhorn, Germany, even has a solar powered excursion boat that gives canal tours.
Here at these northern latitudes solar heated water systems in homes are very common and becoming more popular all the time.

 
Nothing goes to waste here in Germany. Propane, butane, methane, and other gases that are by-products of petroleum and farm product production are separated and used to heat, generate, and propel. Clean, quiet, and efficient, the above auto proudly advertises the fact that it is going far with earth-gas. 



Taking bio-energy another step further, this vibrant field of sunflowers is being cultivated to provide the component required to make enough heat energy through gasification to warm the large complex of buildings at Frenswegen Kloster near Nordhorn, Germany.
This is part of the building complex to be heated by the above sunflower field.

 
Again Germany takes the lead when it comes to recycling. The people are responsible for disposal of their own glass garbage. Homeowners dutifully remove corks and caps from their glass containers and according to color, green, clear, and brown, deposit them in containers like the ones you see above found in neighborhoods and at shopping places. The grocery stores have places for disposal of batteries, corks, and even all merchandise packaging…this is the law.
Most all grocery stores also have automated bottle returns for bottles with deposit. You put your bottles in one at a time, they are scanned, and when you are done, press a button, and the machine then prints out an itemized credit slip that you turn in at the check-out.
Different colored refuge containers for sorted garbage are collected on specified days.
Garden waste material is not picked up and must be taken to the municipal disposal center. The upside of this is that the city then does the complete composting process and homeowners are welcome to then pick up as much fully composted material as they want at no charge. In other words, the city composts, stores and makes available as much as you want when you want it.
In 2016 Nordhorn expanded and modernized their garbage recycling facility.
This is garbage pick up day in Germany. Notice that the canisters are precisely parked exactly on the curb line. This is something that the Germans take special pride in…precision!
The plastic bags with draw-strings are for recyclable plastics disposal and are given out free of charge at the grocery stores.
Many public park benches and tables are made from this re-cycled plastic.
This 1600’s vintage water driven mill at the little town of Lage near Nordhorn is still fully functional and in service to this day, cleanly operating without burning a single drop of fossil fuel.

Germany is a tough act to follow. 


May the rest of the world follow Germany's exemplary example and make this world a better place for all of us.









 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Passionate Declarations: Essays on War and Justice by Howard Zinn



Passionate Declarations: Essays on War and Justice by Howard Zinn is a
Howard Zinn classic: excellence in research, top quality editing, superior insight and perceptiveness.

I loved the book’s curiosity building momentum that was unrelenting. Zinn wove this informative volume around the Constitution and its Bill of Rights putting an interesting prospective on its framers, their contemporaries, and detractors. I would only recommend this book to those people who want to contemplate history objectively.

Excerpt:

In the 1960s, a student at Harvard Law School addressed parents and alumni with these words:

“The streets of our country are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might. And the republic is in danger. Yes! danger from within and without. We need law and order! Without law and order our nation cannot survive. There was prolonged applause. When the applause died down, the student quietly told his listeners: These words were spoken in 1932 by Adolf Hitler.”

Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010) was an American historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a political science professor at Boston University. Zinn wrote more than twenty books, including his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United States. In 2007, he published a version of it for younger readers, A Young People′s History of the United States.

Zinn described himself as "something of an anarchist, something of a socialist. Maybe a democratic socialist." He wrote extensively about the civil rights and anti-war movements, and labor history of the United States. His memoir, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, was also the title of a 2004 documentary about Zinn's life and work. Zinn died of a heart attack in 2010, aged 87. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

“In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.” 
Mark Twain

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2016 Happy Holidays

2016 HAPPY HOLIDAYS from John "Bing" and Jane
We are actively bicycling every day on excursions plus to coffee shops and shopping.
Most of the year was spent on the quiet streets of our home town Mérida, Yucatan
Mexico. In the spring and fall we spent time at the nearby port town of Progreso 
on the Gulf of Mexico and then three glorious months in Europe where we visited
old friends in Germany and the Netherlands. 
If next year could equal this one for rewarding pleasure we will be very happy.
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST OF EVERYTHING.
 Veldhausen, Germany, 2016






Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Man and Nature, George P. Marsh

Man and Nature or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human History by George P. Marsh published 1864. 
 
FIVE STARS 
 
America's first environmentalist, George P. Marsh's encyclopedia sized report on the planets status holds answers to human impact. This timely old book critically looks at alterations to the environment over the entire span of mankind's involvement.. Consequences of atmospheric, oceanic, topographic, and even socially are examined in great detail from contrasting views using documented sources.
Though the book is huge in scope it approaches each subject with scientifically minded objectivity. The book impacted the mindset of many powerful thinkers who took Marsh's message to heart.
The battle of environmentalism versus man's insatiable drive to exploit every earthly resource beyond extinction and total plunder is balanced on a tipping scale favoring the greedy money hungry.
The book is in the public domain and downloadable for free from Amazon.com and Project Gutenberg.

Excerpts:
"Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discords. The proportions and accommodations which insured the stability of existing arrangements are overthrown. Indigenous vegetable and animal species are extirpated, and supplanted by others of foreign origin, spontaneous production is forbidden or restricted, and the face of the earth is either laid bare or covered with a new and reluctant growth of vegetable forms, and with alien tribes of animal life. These intentional changes and substitutions constitute, indeed, great revolutions; but vast as is their magnitude and importance, they are, as we shall see, insignificant”

“Since the invention of gunpowder, some quadrupeds have completely disappeared from many European and Asiatic countries where they were formerly numerous. The last wolf was killed in Great Britain two hundred years ago, and the bear was extirpated from that island still earlier. The British wild ox exists only in a few English and Scottish parks, while in Irish bogs, of no great apparent antiquity, are found antlers which testify to the former existence of a stag much larger than any extant European species.”

If man is destined to inhabit the earth much longer, and to advance in natural knowledge with the rapidity which has marked his progress in physical science for the last two or three centuries, he will learn to put a wiser estimate on the works of creation, and will derive not only great instruction from studying the ways of nature in her obscurest, humblest walks, but great material advantage from stimulating her productive energies in provinces of her empire hitherto regarded as forever inaccessible, utterly barren.”
About George P. Marsh (from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Perkins_Marsh

George Perkins Marsh (March 15, 1801 – July 23, 1882), an American diplomat and philologist, is considered by some to be America's first environmentalist and the precursor to the sustainability concept,although "conservationist" would be more accurate. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont takes its name, in part, from Marsh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

To Have or To Be by Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm (1900-1980), a prolific twentieth century author with and immense collection of profound essays and books too long to list here...a pleasure to read and ponder. 

To Have or To Be by Erich Fromm
Book Review, Five Stars
A compendium of philosophical insights into what generates humankind's driving forces.
Filled with thought provoking comparisons from political, religious, and environmental powers, Fromm states his analyses that are eye opening and relevant. I loved the books presentation of original perceptions that will make you ponder his power of thinking. This is the kind of book that will leave a lasting memory. 

Excerpts:
Erich Fromm on faith.
Faith, in the having mode, gives certainty; it claims to pronounce ultimate, unshakable knowledge, which is believable because the power of those who promulgate and protect the faith seems unshakable. Indeed, who would not choose certainty, if all it requires is to surrender one’s independence?

Erich Fromm on owning material things:
The greatest enjoyment is perhaps not so much in owning material things but in owning living beings. In a patriarchal society even the most miserable of men in the poorest of classes can be an owner of property—in his relationship to his wife, his children, his animals, over whom he can feel he is absolute master. At least for the man in a patriarchal society, having many children is the only way to own persons without needing to work to attain ownership, and with little capital investment. Considering that the whole burden of childbearing is the woman’s, it can hardly be denied that the production of children in a patriarchal society is a matter of crude exploitation of women.

Blazing Bicycle Saddles

Blazing Bicycle Saddles by James Clarke
Five Stars
This book is a collection of humorous cross-country bicycle trips by a group of South Africans.
In actuality this is about pub-crawling at a pleasurable and enjoyable pace. When their outlandish antics became humiliating they always claimed they were from Australia. Being a life-long bicycling person who loved to go through life having as good a time as possible without suffering to impress I loved the book.
It was a pleasure to read James Clarke’s lighthearted narratives. This is a fun book to read even if you are not an avid bicycler.
Excerpts from Blazing Bicycle Saddles
Pray for forgiveness
A bicycle is probably the first serious material thing a child earnestly pleads for in its prayers. Canadian comedian, Emo Phillips, said he used to pray every night for a bike until he realized that the Lord doesn’t always work that way, so he stole one and then prayed for forgiveness.
First class
Here they place bright red PRIORITY labels on my bags and with deep respect direct me to the business lounge. There are armchairs in the business lounge and one gets free snacks and drinks, and I sometimes have to be restrained. This agreeable feeling wells up again when I am ushered into the front section of the aircraft where they have reclining seats and offer French champagne and a hot towel before take-off. Sometimes I wonder how I’ll ever be able to descend again to the level of my family and friends. One shouldn’t feel guilty of course. After all, it’s not just me who is getting a free ride. Nobody in business class or first class is paying. Businessmen charge the fare to the company and politicians and officials have their fares paid by the taxpayers sitting at the back. But sometimes, when in business class, I am overcome with compassion and a strong desire to scatter my superior business class cashew nuts among the peanut-eaters in economy class, but I suppose this would simply cause an unseemly scramble – possibly even a midair riot. 


Thursday, September 29, 2016

My favorite Books by German Authors – September, 2016

Dreaming in German by Claudia Poser
This is the best book I have read in years. It is a memoir of the author's experiences from Communistic East Germany, West German, and America as they evolved into the 21st century from post WWII. This life story is seamlessly related in a style and method that makes you lament the end of the book.
Excerpts from Dreaming in German:
“The stories about war did nothing to make me feel confident that I could handle such a catastrophe. They left me certain that you needed luck to survive. But luck I already had. I was alive now, after the war, in a time when the world had just learned a lesson it could never forget. Nationalism had been exposed as a curse. Everyone had learned war brought no glory, only misery. I hoped that would be enough.”

“I tried to turn back, but I no longer fit and the home I longed for had vanished along with the child I had been.”

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf
Alexander von Humboldt was an exceptionally brilliant, insightful man. He was painstakingly thorough in his research, and he delivered his monumental message two centuries ago. This one of a kind scientist pioneered his research with an original approach. He saw the need for an ecological balance between nature and mans ever encroaching plunder of new frontiers.
I loved the book’s aspects of discovery, enlightenment, and consciousness. Andrea Wulf delivered Humboldt’s message which the world desperately needs to heed now. This huge volume captivated my attention all the way through and I was sad to see it come to an end...it is memorable! 

Author Andrea Wulf writes of Alexander Humboldt:
"During much of his long life, he was the nexus of the scientific world, writing some 50,000 letters and receiving at least double that number. Knowledge, Humboldt believed, had to be shared, exchanged, and made available to everybody. Humboldt ‘read’ plants as others did books – and to him they revealed a global force behind nature, the movements of civilizations as well as of landmass. No one had ever approached botany in this way."

"Humboldt talked of ‘mankind’s mischief … which disturbs nature’s order’. There were moments in his life when he was so pessimistic that he painted a bleak future of humankind’s eventual expansion into space, when humans would spread their lethal mix of vice, greed, violence and ignorance across other planets. The human species could turn even those distant stars ‘barren’ and leave them ‘ravaged’, Humboldt wrote as early as 1801, just as they were already doing with earth."

The Owl of Minerva by Gustav Regler
Gustav Regler was an exceptional intellect with a brilliant mind. He was a compassionate humanitarian, politically just and publicly empathetic.
Many events impacted this man’s life beginning with his mother introducing the Bible into her bed-time stories. He wanted to trust and came away with memories of his foolish heroism in WWI. He wished he could talk to one of the dead and was conscious of the utter finality of their end. He was imprisoned because he would no longer endure the war.
Hitler’s fascism of the 1930s which he found frighteningly lethal drove him and his social conscience to communism.
Joe Stalin’s twisted and oppressive degradation of the Soviet people drove him away from communism to fight Franco’s fascism in Spain, and ultimately he was imprisoned in a concentration camp in France for being anti-fascist.
He and a shipload of anti-fascist refugees from the camps in France were shipped off to the U.S. and refused entry…Mexico took them in.
The following are quotes from The Owl of Minerva.
Regler to his wife: “We could each think our own thoughts, and we would not let this mad, merciless century drive us apart.”
Regler about his wife:
“It is the only temple that has any link with the cosmos." She loved the Mexican pyramids because they were not graves but altars speaking to Heaven.”

Regler relates how the Russian Communists went to absurd extremes to destroy Regler, his wife, and their adopted home in Mexico.
This is a powerful book of an extraordinary man’s struggle through the tribulations of the 20th century. I have read it twice.

Gustav Regler wrote many books. Another of my favorites by him is A Land Bewitched: Mexico in the Shadow of the Centuries. I recommend that you read the Owl of Minerva first.

Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
This is a novel originally published in 1927 is a stand alone classic...memorable and unforgettable. My favorite line: “Not for everybody.”


Erich Fromm, a prolific twentieth century author with and immense collection of profound essays and books too long to list here...a pleasure to read and ponder.
One of my favorite quotes: “Modern man, if he dared to be articulate about his concept of heaven, would describe a vision which would look like the biggest department store in the world, showing new things and gadgets, and himself having plenty of money with which to buy them. He would wander around open-mouthed in this heaven of gadgets and commodities, provided only that there were ever more and newer things to buy, and perhaps that his neighbors were just a little less privileged than he.”

The World As I See It and other essays by Albert Einstein
Physically the book is relatively small, but intellectually it is a giant. I positively loved this compilation of essays with accompanying commentary that give insight into one of the world's most profound thinkers.
All of mankind needs to listen up and be aware of Einstein's scholarly advise.
This book is one of my favorites and the messages within are intense.
I recommend “The World As I See It” only to those who are interested in a harmonious world of peaceful coexistence.
In the introduction to this collection Neil Berger, Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago wrote in August of 2010:
Einstein characterized himself as a supporter of cultural and social Zionism, but not political Zionism, thus attempting to stay true to his distrust of nationalism. He wanted the Jews to “solve the problem of living side by side with our brother the Arab in an open, generous and worthy manner.”
Einstein did not have the unquestioned support of the Jewish community in America, and his backing of the Zionist movement was criticized by many who felt that Jews should assimilate to society in America.
The economic and social essays of Einstein reflect his almost wholesale adoption of the current socialist and anti-capitalist views of the 1930s. They were based primarily on his notion of “surplus value of labor.” These views are currently out of favor with the pro-market, capitalist economists of today.
Quote from Albert Einstein:
“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism—how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press.”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hops Fresh from the Vine
















photo; Helga Stuermer in Nordhorn, Germany.

Hops fresh from the vine:
A beer lovers dream come true.
Savor them by giving them a chew.
They will satisfy your yearnings for a brew.
They don’t make you fat.
They don’t make you drunk.
You won’t wake up feeling like a skunk.
Hops season is a reason to be jolly!
A clasified substance in Mexico.