Compass gets you lost – seriously

Did you know that the physical north pole of our spinning blue planet is not the same as its magnetic pole? Heheh… for that matter do you know what the magnetic north is? In case you really needed it, here’s a Wiki on this subject.

If this article is accurate, then you might want to update that iPhone of yours soon.

Assuming you read the article in the link above (could be a stretch), you might recall we wrote about the alphanumeric signs painted on the tarmacs of airport runways here. Honestly, after reading this article we are not sure if we are that ‘grounded’ afterall. We mean that the earth beneath us appears to be not only dynamically moving and churning, but at a seemingly rapid clip too!

At the time of writing this post, we had read of large oar fishes (that live at a depth of 200-300m) had turned up on the coasts of Toyama Japan. Their appearances had been associated as being harbingers of impending seismic events. Coincidence or not, Mother earth surely acts in mysterious and many ways. So many things and events are interconnected.

Got you worried. Don’t be. It’s all part and parcel of living on this beautiful blue marble that spins around the golden egg that is the Sun.

The garden on an island

If you thought this post is one more piece about our island home (aka the little red dot), well sorry. Not so! Well it is about an island, though one that is not set in the sea. Huh? Yup, this island is now lush with vegetation where it was once barren and devastated. And it is now home to an incredible assortment of residents.

This is definitely dedication.

Jadav spent the better part of his life planting a tree every day on the river island of Majuli in north-eastern India (story here). Here is a man who spent time and effort performing this tree planting feat which covers more than NYC’s Central park over a period of almost 40 years (wow this number seem to be repeated oft times on this blog).

It is stories like this that provide some hope that indeed we just might have a chance at working to mitigate the effects of climate change, albeit a little limited now that we are so far along the curve.

Our little red dot has been fortunate that we had a leader who had that vision more than 50 years ago to do the same. And today we reap the rewards of living on a lush island full of green too. Don’t you wish there are more people like Jadav? Can we be like him too?

Don’t you love lighthouses?

Lighthouses.

You know the buildings they build along the coast line, often at the confluence of stretches of water that can and often will be treacherous to the sailor bobbing like a cork in the sea. We were inspired to write this post after reading and enjoying the beautiful photos of lighthouses from around the world here.

This is a compilation of lighthouse photos we’ve captured over the years. Its a humble collection and nowhere near the spectacular ones in the link above, but it’s a start. Perhaps some day we will have a collection of these venerable structures standing up to the elements.

Do you love lighthouses? Climbed up one before?

Walking on tree tops

We almost forgot to post this. As you know, we schedule our posts well ahead. Some of the posts have links to other posts in our blog and sometimes we miss them out too! Or in this case, we literally forgot to schedule it… heheh. First – Merry Christmas!

Walking on trees.

Well not swinging amongst them like our primate cousins. Literally walking… lol. We are sure you know what that means. Having suspension bridges that connect between tall trees well over the canopy of the forests, that’s what we are talking about. There are similar ones all over the world and we do not profess ours to be the best. But ours is free for all to visit, and includes a brisk walk to get there.

Where’s this you ask? MacRitchie reservoir, one of them in the central catchment area. Right in the middle of our little red dot (well, almost). Aside from being high up in the trees, one can also blend into the fauna (well not so much) and flora of the reserve. Take a ‘hike’ ahem walk early in the morning before it gets too humid and muggy.

Read all about how to get there and what expect here. Have you experienced tree top walks in your country?

Into Africa

Actually we were thinking about the Toto song… heheh. But then today’s post is really about this giant continent. If one reads our travel handprints page, one might notice that of all the continents (save Antarctica), we’ve hardly touched this one. So it is now with resolve (not a new year’s resolution) that we seek to journey into the continent.

And honestly this is a really diverse continent. From the deserts of the north (Sahara) to the savannah, from lush settings of primary forests to harsh mountain ranges, it has them all. Plus the cultures. Soooo distinct that it defies imagination.

We have friends in South Africa. And for years they had asked for us to visit, to see their beautiful country. Unfortunately one of them passed on a few years back and we regret not having met up with him. Though we might not look like it (heheh), you know you are getting a little on age when you have friends who moved on.

Anyway.

When one talks about Africa, safaris spring to mind. And having read Megan (ESL ventures) and Senja (beatravelling), we got inspired to commence a plan to find our way to Africa. Notice we said ‘find our way’… not ‘a way’…. Because we have concluded some very specific things we want to do and places we want to touch. So what will it be?

With limited time (what’s new), we can only plan a two week journey on each occasion. And we are hoping to exclude flying in and out from the equation. Where do we designate to start? Why the place where we were to meet our friends! That will be good ole Jo’burg… Will we commence it with a tour and then run on our own? Hmm, those are the options.

With so much ideas coming from the ladies who already did the work for us, we can afford to pick and choose. Africa. Bring it on!

How good’s your listening?

As you might also notice, there are many people on headphones walking around with their smartphones. Today this would be as ubiquitous as it can get. Since it is also said that there are more than 2 billion smartphone users in the world today though folks may well quote statistics that differ.

Not the point of this post.

We were more interested in how using headphones will affect hearing. This intrigued us because we read of this guy here who can recognize birds just from listening to their song. Wow. Now that surely takes great hearing to be able to first tune in to the chirping and then discerning it. Tweet! LOL.

Where we live (ie the little red dot), its never truly quiet. We have plenty of traffic on the roads and in the skies that contribute to the hustle and bustle of daily life. Then there are the neighbours, the chattering of children and crying of babies… All in a day’s life indeed. Some people simply hate that while others love it. Talk about a man’s meat being another’s poison.

We all encounter challenges in listening in our lives from the office to being at home. How do you filter out the noise?