South of the river is where it’s all at in London

Wednesday, 22 October, 2014

South of the river is where it’s all at in London. If you disagree, you disagree I guess. For those however who like things South London, then you’ll likely enjoy SE/SW, a collection of photos of the region, taken by Benedetta Martini.

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Well, this is one way to cross a bridge

Friday, 17 October, 2014

I doubt you’d be able, or possibly even want, to incorporate this style of bridge crossing into your commute however…

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Timbuktu, a city in decline?

Monday, 13 October, 2014

In the past the Malian city of Timbuktu was a metaphor of sorts for far away, alluring destinations, and for the more adventurous traveller, it may still be those things.

With its population falling, from well over fifty thousand about five years ago, to some fifteen thousand today, the former trade hub appears, sadly, to be in decline, on account of a number of factors:

Timbuktu, city of gold, ancient centre of learning, is slowly turning to dust. The Sahara desert is stifling life, but residents know the blame lies not only with natural forces. Timbuktu is teetering on the edge of existence also because of human neglect, war and greed. Under-development and corruption are the co-conspirators of desertification. The city is not only garrisoned physically, it is mentally sanded in.

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Have desire to live as a digital nomad… will live as a digital nomad

Thursday, 9 October, 2014

The Nomad List ranks cities across the world according to how digital nomad friendly they are. Internet speeds, cost of accommodation, climate and temperature, plus flight time from current location, are all listed.

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Flying from Singapore to New York in the top deck

Wednesday, 8 October, 2014

Derek Low recently flew from Singapore to New York as a Singapore Airlines “Suites Class” passenger, which is like super luxurious, seven star, platinum plated, or something, air travel, and documented almost every minute of the journey.

It must be quite the experience, but I don’t know if I could – much as I’d like to – ever fly that way… I’d just keep thinking this’ll all be over way too soon.

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The not so calm waters of the Suez Canal

Tuesday, 7 October, 2014

I once crossed the Suez Canal, a shipping channel that links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, as I was travelling from Cairo to Tel Aviv. There were half a dozen of us in a mini bus making the trip, and we stopped for a few minutes to watch the freighters that use the waterway as they cruised south.

Or, more to the point, hurtled south. It was the speed these massive vessels moved at, through a trench that seemed to be barely wider than they were, that amazed me. And it’s not like one ship meanders along every hour or so, they were seemingly mere metres apart, almost like peak hour traffic on a busy roadway.

In short, there isn’t much margin for error in the Suez, and move too quickly, too slowly, or deviate heading by the merest fraction of a degree, and you’re bound to run into something. Video footage then, of a collision between two quite sizeable vessels, as they approached the canal, didn’t come as a total surprise to me.

A rudder problem of some sort was said to be the cause. I hate to think how much damage both vessels sustained, but I doubt both didn’t come away quite as unscathed as they look to have.

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Ho Fan’s photos of Hong Kong from the 1950s

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

The way Hong Kong just to be… a collection of photos of the city taken by renown Hong Kong based photographer Ho Fan, as a teenager.

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This is what synchronised traffic chaos look like

Monday, 22 September, 2014

You may not want to drive in a city centre, or try to walk across a street, after watching Fernando Livschitz’s Rush Hour

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The time my car had to be repaired… an illustrated story

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

Stories of car repairs that proved to be far more expensive than originally envisioned are two a penny… maybe then it’s the illustrations that make Josh Michtom’s tale of replacing the battery of the hybrid electric car he and his partner own, one you want to read.

One place could sell me the battery for $1,900 but wanted $850 for the work, so I pressed the guy. I said, “That’s more than double what someone else quote me for labor. How can that be?” I expected him just to come down a little, but instead, he offered a long discursion on the fine art of Prius battery replacement, the careful steps involved, the inherent danger in the operation. As far as I know, he is Connecticut’s only artisanal Prius mechanic.

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Just because a ship has no crew doesn’t mean it is abandoned

Tuesday, 16 September, 2014

If we’re going to have driverless cars and motobikes, then it makes sense there will also be crewless ships, no captains, no no-one. It seems incredible, but apparently is quite possible:

The SINTEF company MARINTEK is one of eight partners working intensely to develop systems which can function without human intervention. Both day and night watches will be taken care of by a control centre onshore, and the Norwegian researchers believe that a 3 to 4 Mbit broadband connection will ensure effective communication between the vessel and the control room.

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