Archive for the ‘A Picture and its Story’ Category

Usually the posts in my English blog differ from the German blog. But since there are always questions what I have done during the past months (since I came back from the US) – well, I wrote another non-fiction book. And this one was published by the end of the 2012 Frankfurt Bookfair.
More about the Book: E-Books publizieren. (ISBN 978-3-645-60206-8)

E-Books publizieren

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Today was a great day for the Americans and especially for NASA (we Europeans had shares in that too): The car-sized rover Curiosity has landed successfully on Mars.

On NASA’s webpage you will find always latest news and information about the mission progress and you can even connect with Curiosity on Twitter and Facebook. The rover’s goals include: investigation of the Martian climate and geology; assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for future human exploration.

A few of the pictures I took this morning (it was worth getting up at 4 am!) at the German Space Headquarters ESOC in Darmstadt (copyright for any kind of publishing: hkl).

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TV spots shown during a suspense-packed TV series are usually the time when I check my mail. There are two exceptions: Apple commercials and this Citibank spot (I have no relation whatsoever to this bank):


Music: The singer is a charming female pop/rock artist named L.P. (Laura Pergolizzi), here is a another video to the music of “Somebody left the gate open”.

Also the rock climbers in the TV spot are not enhanced by any any digital means: Katie Brown and Alex Honnold are real life rock climbers, Katie Brown is ranked as one of the top free climbers in the world.
In the commercial she is climbing one of the Fisher Towers near Moab, in the deserts of Utah. A GoPro Camera on her head took the short sequence where she looks on her feet.
Girls Rock!

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This country and its inhabitants are unbelievable.

One day in Athens and a book to write.

You arrive at 2 am at the hotel on a Sunday morning and the hotel clerk hands you a bus schedule for the hotel bus going downtown.
A few hours later, at 12 am, you wait for the bus.
“Oh, this one does not go today”.
Fine, you think, then we wait for the next one.
“There is no bus going today, its Sunday.”
Besides that the schedule says everyday, besides that she knew we would be departing Monday morning at 5 am and still had given us the schedule, besides that we had waited for two hours for this bus…
…you are still in a good mood and make your way to the next public bus station, only to wait for another 25 minutes, to finally get transported by a squeaking, overloaded, overaged, undermaintained vehicle for another 45 minutes to the center of Athens.
To the Akropolis. Because it is the great Greek and human history you are interested in.
That seems to have been aeons ago.

When you buy your ticket (14 Euros!) they remind you that the Akropolis will close in an hour, at 3 pm. Closing at 3 pm on a warm, sunny, perfect Sunday. Lots of tourists, that still would like to hike up the hill and (maybe not like it but) still would pay good Euros for their visit to the Greek heritage. Still six hours of sunny daylight left.
Looks like people in Athens and Greece do not need to earn money.

Half an hour later four lady clerks try to push you out of the fenced part of the hill. “We are closing.” Fine, they just want to leave 20 minutes early.

You think that cannot be topped until the taxi driver smiles at you and says:
“Did you have a great time at the Akropolis? The entrance is free on Sundays, thats why so many people are there today…”
Your (payed) ticket had been checked for validation three times…

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Some impressions from the Sunday before Sun ‘n Fun started in 2012…
Sun 'n Fun Preview 2012
Sun 'n Fun Preview 2012
Sun 'n Fun Preview 2012

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A few years ago I talked to a high ranking NASA official and suggested they make/support another movie like Top Gun to enhance the general interest in Space and its exploration. While he did not show that he thought this to be a good idea, in 2009 a TV series named Defying Gravity got highly advertised long before it was shown. I was thrilled and very much looking forward to watch an episode whenever I was in the States.

What I had meant by “a movie like Top Gun” was the spirit in that movie, the inspiration, the allurement to put every effort into someone’s life to succeed. To know and see that it is worth to aim high for goals that are beyond our everyday life. The American way of thinking as I see it.

What Defying Gravity turned out to be was showing a bunch of people gulping alcohol like fish drink water instead of learning or training for their job. No other hobbies or concerns. Binge Drinking seemed to be the only solution whenever the slightest distraction in their life turned up. Not to mention real problems. That are no role models to inspire. Those characters are less than average and not above the viewers.

A space movie or series should have the intellectual class and optics of 2001, the intellectual humor of Dark Star and characters like in Top Gun that can function as heros for our every day world.

I never ever saw so many people vomiting in a film than in those episodes. Disgusting.

The character of Nadja who is supposed to be a former German fighter pilot is not even shown once in a cockpit or acting as a pilot in her free time during her training on earth. Pretty unbelievable. A pilot in real life is a pilot and would want to act as one. Female astronauts are shown during their training on earth as dumb “Barbies” and not as successful women. Same applies to the male characters, they are shown way to weak and dumb to act as role models in an inspiring space movie.

While Defying Gravity has its funny sides, good character development (besides the drinking issue) and it also provides good suspense with many cliffhangers it had lost its audience already during the first few episodes. Especially disgusting Episode “Bacon”. When I would want to see blood or other hospital issues there are enough series that provide that. Yes, there are health issues in space that should be shown when dealing with/in space. Those have not even been mentioned. Also the real time communication to the space ship is kind of funny and unrealistic.

We, the audience, want to see heros in space. Not the average boys or girls from next door who we feel sorry for their way to handle their lives.

To miss such a chance to inspire and to get the good things across is a pity.

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This book is really made for pleasure: a cosy touch of cuddly wool… After such a heavenly soft and pleasant presentation: who wonders, when kids
see nasty bugs (in the view of an adult) as perfect candidates
for nourishing and breeding?

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