Reduce, reuse and recycle

Oh wow. Talk about the 3Rs. Shocking were the words used for this story on the web a few months back. Can you imagine drinking a glass of wine poured from this bottle? True. True that there could have been good reasons for doing so. And perhaps readers who know better can comment. But today our focus is on airline waste. So maybe the attendant was not wrong in doing what she apparently did.

You’ve heard about the amount of waste we (ie humans) have generated. There are many a statistic, and one claims that we purchase a million bottles of plastic every minute! Wow. Can you imagine the volume of trash that is building up. This reminds us of the animated feature “Wall-e”. Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth. The story is that by the year 2805 the planet is contaminated with too much waste.

Think we’ll last that long?

There is a guardian article (here) that suggests that 5.2 million tonnes of airline waste is generated every year. And that some airlines are finally attempting to help reduce this load. A wonderful development in our opinion. Here’s a thought. While we do not support budget airlines with no frills at all such as catering, how about making it mandatory for passengers to choose their meals and drinks ahead?

It may sound draconian, but packaged and marketed appropriately (heheh, occupation hazard) this can become a ‘feature’. That way, airlines can work seamlessly with catering companies to prepare the right meals, reducing the “buffer” stock of meals they need to carry with them on the plane. We probably can’t bring back the use of metal utensils on flights anymore (perhaps except in business and first), but perhaps a move towards bio-degradable ones could help?

Wouldn’t you support efforts to reduce waste from your flying?

Have you seen sleeping whales?

We’ve written about our snorkels and how beautiful the world underneath the seas are. But have you ever wondered, with all the tempestuous sea currents and potential predators – how does a fish sleep? Does it even sleep at all? Perhaps the naturalist or Zoologist within the midst of the readers can tell us more.

But today we are sharing with you a link (here) where you can see more of the photos taken by Franco off the coast of Dominica. Since we’ve just rambled a few days back about not seeing them – Whales, that’s what we’re talking about. It is said they don’t really sleep but snooze (ie nap?), and even then for short stints of between 6 to 25 minutes. Wow.

Sleeping Whales
Lifted from the Daily Mail

They look so majestic even as they sleep, don’t they?

Charging your phone with a stove

Folks who venture hiking for significant periods will know this. That out there in the middle nowhere, your digital devices may not last long. And thus one needs to be sparing in their use. But what if you’re told that you will have a source of power to charge your phone out in the wilderness?

If this product truly works as the article suggests, then one would be truly shooting two birds with one stone – we mean with the stove in more than one way.

For imagine using this stove and plugging it into your phone (and/or camera) to charge, even while it is used to cook your food or boil water. Such a luxury isn’t it? Yes it will require you to chop some wood and fire it up. Some might balk at the idea of potentially damaging the environment that way. Perhaps the use of solid fuels might work too?

Point is – would you go to this length to put some juice into your digital devices when you are out in the wild? Some people go into the woods to get off the grid so to speak. Others simply want to be disconnected because they are so wired into the digital lifestyle when at home or at work. But does the idea of being able to capture beautiful vistas out there and being able to send them out to the world excite you? Think about it for a moment before you respond.

For the hikers and trekkers amongst readers out there, would this be something you’d consider?

It finally happened!

You might remember that we have written quite a few times about the crowds. Finally it has happened. Barcelona has moved to restrict tourism numbers as the strain on the city finally comes to a breaking point. Though we fail to see how the proposed ban on building new hotels would help. And we doubt that they can effectively check and police the AirBnB rental market with 110 inspectors. And it seems if this article is true, more cities are finally jumping in.

One thing’s for sure, if you want to be one of the 32 million visitors to the city of 1.6 million, you will have to pay a higher surcharge if you only do a day trip. How they levy that we don’t know (someone tell us?) especially if you come on your own. Do they ask you as you get off the train, bus or ship? Ok off the cruise ship for sure.

The most interesting thing though is the tax rate on vacation property. Many years back when we live in Holland, we had quite some Dutch friends who bought apartments in Spain for vacation use or as a second home. How will they be affected? Oh dear. This is the pitfall of investing in real estate in a jurisdiction outside your own country. Never know when the laws change… and btw the barbers realtors will never tell you it’s ever a bad time to speculate invest.

When your city gets visited by the equivalent of 20x the local population, infrastructure will surely begin to creak and moan as we mentioned here. Can you as a local imagine having to crowd with the tourists on the trains, shops etc. It is a fantastic compliment to have many folks from around the world clamour to visit your home city. But it is a whole different proposition to have them clog up your streets! Locals in the city support this move. Businesses object (of course?).

How soon before a BTA (Barcelona travel approval)  or TVA (Trevi visit approval) is required?

Oh how times have changed!

One of the challenge of trying to travel around the world is that you never really do. With 510 million km², that’s surely a lot of ground to cover. Granted much of it you cannot really travel to, or rather not want to, or better yet not practical to. You get the picture no?

Ok surely by this point you would be a little frazzled by the first paragraph.

Yep, this style of writing is called “frazzlegraphing”. The intent is to either: get you to roll your eyes, OR make you curious. LOL. If you came to this point, guess you are the second lot. Thanks.

So what’s up? Comparing photos of the places we took from the same spot years apart. And we are not talking about how much we have changed, because we surely did. Plus we don’t mean a gap of just a few years… here we cite the following exhibits.

Changed? Wow…

What do’ya think? On the right is the photo first taken in May of 2000 when we visited Japan for the first time. Yes that’s the streets of Ginza and it was already a pedestrian-only street during the weekends 17 years ago (and well before that). Ok not exactly at the same spot but the point was to convey : Tokyo’s landscape is ever changing even as we speak!

NO change? Hmmm…

Yeah. And this is a decades’ gap. But there we were at 461 Fifth Avenue just opposite the New York City public library. Almost a month’s difference and 20 years to the day, Suan was checking out the shops along the busy shopping belt at that time. But she’s gone a long way, having since ‘graduated’ to forensics examination of premium outlet malls…

Where in the world have you been more than once? Your hometown does not count.  Ok it does. Does this touch of nostalgia bring back any memories for you?

Social Media? Nah…moving on!

A couple of months back, we read this article in the local newspaper. It suggests that the era of social media is coming to an end. And from the ashes of its demise, messenger apps would take its place. You know, the Whatsapp, Wechat etc of this world. Those using FB would know of its messenger app too.

The premise for the demise of social media is fatigue.

But we extend this beyond social media to blogosphere too. We not sure about you. But we can only post once every two days because we have limited content available. And as in the corporate world when there’s nothing to say, don’t say anything. So can but only post content because it makes sense to.

Even that requires planning (yeah we schedule posts ahead). Because there is so much to do in our daily lives – like going to work, doing the chores, fixing things around home etc… and for those with kids… need we say more?

Some nuggets from the article we find familiar. Have you not thought there is a lot of clutter on social media? Even in WP, it is challenging to sift through the many thousands of posts that appears every second. The search function is rather rudimentary (ie not Google level) and turns up such a disparate result when you are too generic in your search term. And don’t even get started on instagram and FB. If there is a de-cluttering tool, we are all for it!

Actually, the article pointed out that such predictions were already made years back. This example suggests that while people might still be on social media, it is social circles that’s become more important. That means rather than mass sharing, it is back to sharing with a group. Exclusivity. Yes this will probably be a gradual thing. But it may happen faster than we all predict and a trend in motion stays in motion?

We’ve become a lot more active on messenger apps these days. How about you? Oh no! Will you shut down your social media accounts and abandon all your online followers?