ANIMALS … And Now Poor Harmless Pangolin!

It became endangered. Why? The silly Asians again ...

Pangolin

Auch dieses Tier stirbt an einem Irrtum ...

THERE IS AN UNPRETENTIOUS MARKET-VILLAGE IN MYANMAR, in the north, close to the Chinese border, called Mong-la. It became the international center of the PANGOLIN trade. June 2016: Customs investigators confiscated in Hong Kong stupefying 4 tons of Pangolin scales, which means: over a 1000 animals had to die for this smuggled load alone. I’m sure none of my readers have ever seen a Pangolin live, me neither. It’s a nocturnal animal, looking like an artichoke on four feet, with a long tail and a ant bear’s snout. The „Knight in Armor“ of the animal world, feeding on insects, timid and diversified in 8 species all over Africa. Some witchdoctors, and unfortunately a lot of silly Asians, believe, that the scales are a potent medicine against the lack of mother’s milk, stomach pain, slow wound healing and male impotence. Imagine, people nibbling Pangolin scales like artichoke bracts! I tell you: It’s all an enormous nonsense. The scales are made of exactly the same material as human fingernails – Karatin. Absolutely useless against any ailment! And for this error a very peculiar, decorative, unique, antique and lovable animal is hunted into extinction …

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MUTINY „Bounty’s“ Never Ending Story …

Now an DNA Slab is flying from Australia to Germany – and back!

Bounty

A replica of the famous ship ...

Bounty

… an old print showing the mutiny ...

Bounty

… and my book who started it all

REMEMBER, when the mutineers of the „Bounty“ fled to Tahiti and Pitcairn, the British admiralty sent the „Pandora“ after them, catching the ones on Tahiti, sailing back to England, being shipwrecked off the Australian peninsula of York with all on board safe but three. Those couldn’t get rid of their chains fast enough and the „Pandora“ took them down into he ocean’s depth. But their bones were found recently, their DNA was extracted – and now I come into the picture. Because in my „Bounty“ book (see photo) I followed the only German on board, Heinrich Hildebrand from Hanover, who – what a coincidence – started the mutiny by accusing Captn Bligh of having stolen the cheese rations. I searched for descendants of Hildebrand(t) in Germany and found Uwe Hildebrand in Munich, whose grandmother had told him of an ancestor, being a pirate or a seaman on a British ship. The scientist, working on the remains, got in touch with me, I on the other hand got in touch with Uwe Hildebrand, the Australian shipped a DNA Slab to his address, he gave examples of his spit, send them back to them – and we waited for the result! But unfortunately the DNA didn’t match, Uwe is not a great-great-great … of Heinrich! It would have been too good to be true …

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ISLANDS Some People Are Really Crazy …

Thousands flock to Paqueta to bury their birds!

Paqueta

That's the island, looking from Rio ...

Paqueta

… that's the map of the island ...

Paqueta

… and here you see the bird cemetery!

FOR THE BRAZILIANS IT IS LIKE A WARM SHOWER: Mourners from all over South America flying to the island of Paqueta in the Guanabara Bay of Rio de Janeiro with their dead and frozen birds! Because there on the island lies (allegedly) the only cemetery for birds in the world. Each bird gets a decent place for the eternity, with a beamy white tomb slab, the name of the deceased darling engraved – and taken care of by a guard. Who started this? Nobody knows. It’s almost a miracle that a woman from Cartagena in Colombia or a man from Montevideo (Uruguay) thinks that Paqueta is the only place on earth where dead birds are honored like dead human beings. The Brazilians of course didn’t contradict and now we got this feathered burial ground not far from the Copacabana …

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HOTELS A Wonderful, Lousy Palace …

„The Grand“ in Scarborough is ruined from within – what a shame!

Hotels

A lobby for kings and queens ...

Hotels

My god, what a great guest palace ...!

Hotels

… and here you'll find Scarborough

THIS HOTEL IS ALMOST UNIQUE IN IT’S SPLENDOUR, this „Britannia Grand“ in Scarborough (East England). It could be one of the greatest hotels on earth – but just read the comments of the 99 % highly disappointed guests! Well, the British never were great hoteliers, without the assistance of their Asian subjects at the high tide of their Empire („Taj Mahal“, „Raffles“, „E & O“). This hotel on home turf was built in 1867, has 316 rooms on 11 floors and, unbelievable as it is, 97 of them are called „Internal“ or „City Rooms“ and have no window!!! And an mazing lot of the other rooms have windows but face either a wall or another (dirty) window!!! But nevertheless, if you got a room with bay view, it’s sheer eye delight. The reception area is grand architecture, and now follow the „buts“, some from my own and my friends experience, some from Tripadvisor comments: 1 Two class breakfast, the one for the cheap rooms hilariously lousy. 2 Beds not made all day. 3 Rarely new towels. 4 Bathroom not cleaned for 48 hours. 5 Seagull shit on the window, the sill and the balcony never cleaned. 6 Horrible smell when you open a window. 7 Furniture seem to have come 50 years ago from a junkyard. 8 Check-in took 55 minutes. 9 Complaints were heard, nodded at but not followed. 10 Floors and room carpets never cleaned (to my knowledge). 11 The noise of the seagulls is deafening – night and day! 12 Never ever eat there, service is as lousy as the food! – The complaints are the same for many years (if not decades), but obviously the owner(s) refuse to invest any money and give a shit about the quality of the management. The question is why, because greed would be a too stupid explanation. I even saw the portfolio of a German photographer who started a project to cover the decay of once great hotels worldwide – and the „Britannia Grand“ was, he said, „the worst I’ve seen so far.“ Result: Wonderful building, splendid public interior, remarkable history – but only guests with steel nerves can stand more than one night! Oh, by the way: Room rates start at  … – no, range for the same room from 41 to 120 Euro/US$, depending on how you book (that’s another very strange thing). Oh, what a shame …!!!


 

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HEROES A (Sad) Story Of Glory …

No man ran faster to the summits than Ueli Steck. Now he is dead ...

Ueli Steck

Ueli, the summit runner from Switzerland

He is Swiss, a legendary mountain climber and a unique person in the alpine scene. His aim is to conquer the highest summits in the fastest time – and he indeed holds impressive world records on the Eiger, the Matterhorn and the Grandes Jourasses. Now he set a new speed record in the Himalayans: Steck ran up the Shisma Panga (8027 m or 26 335 ft.) in 10 1/2 hours and was back in basecamp just 20 hours after departure! Weird? Yes, but useful. He is redefining what is possible in alpine climbing – and for a very well trained human being. What Steck does is physiology in the field, scientists are grateful for a man like him, his body is a laboratory to find out what’s possible. Definitely not all if you are 41 years of age – because Steck died in April 2017 on Mt. Everest, trying to conquer two 8000 m summits within 24 hours …

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ANIMALS An Elephant With Four Tusks …?

Yes, I saw this miracle – in New York!

4 Stoßzähne

The trophy with a dark secret ...

THEY DON’T SHOW THIS TROPHY TO EVERYBODY at the headquarter of the Explorers Club in New York. Members (as I am one) are entitled to enter the so called „Trophy Room“, and you might remember that some posts ago I presented you with the pelt of a man-eating tigress from India from the same cabinet. Now I got to see the skull of an elephant with four tusks. Enormous ones, if you look closely, because the gentleman in the historic picture might measure at least 1.75 m – which means that the tusks are over 1.75 m long! A very rare trophy indeed by shape, length and weight, and the first question which comes to your mind is: Where did this animal live, how come the Explorers Club got the trophy and is there a dark story behind. 1. The tusks come from Beni in the Congo, when this country was Belgian colony. That’s known but nothing else. 2. Because the skull is veiled by secrecy! To me it seems that the ruthless British-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley acquired (or shot) it at the end of the 19th century, had it sent to his master, king Leopold II. in Brussels … – no, sent it directly to the USA to his publisher who financed him for years in gratitude … – no, sold it secretly and for a dear price to a collector … no, because nobody knows the truth! For over 100 years the oddity is in the clubhouse of the explorers in New York, and I was glad to have seen it. And I got to know that the truth lies in their archive but they wouldn’t let me inspect the documents. That’s why I suspect a very dark secret behind the skull with the four tusks …

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POLITICS No „Comrade“ Nonsense Anymore!

In Zimbabwe they begin to wake up to reality ...

Mugabe

The last of the „Comrades“ ...

YOU COULD GO TO PRISON, some years ago, if you forgot to call Zimbabwe’s president Robert MugabeComrade“ face to face. All his compañeros from the struggle for liberation in the 1970s were „Comrades“, or at least „Cmr“ in print. This communist or socialist address was worn like a knighthood and entitled its bearers to offices, farms, cars, influence and – money! And it was a signal in the direction of Moscow: Hey, look, we hate capitalism, we are your allies in Africa, send us weapons and other commodities we need – for nothing! The „Comrades“ have disappeared in print, address and person. Only the dinosaur Mugabe is still alive. In 2017 a person of importance who fought in the 70s, must be at least 70 years old, a tremendous age for an African with such a past. Mugabe is 93. Zimbabweans who were born after independence (1980) don’t remember the war, the merits of the fighters and the significance of the „Comraderie“. So the title was finally and officially dropped. President Mugabe is now „His Excellency“ instead of „Comrade“. Well, well, some nonsense dies with the clowns …

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MONEY 1 The Old Man’s Useless Banknotes …

How Robert Mugabe invented Zimbabwe's „Monopoly Money“ ...

Zimbabwe

A very big lie all over the country ...

Zimbabwe

… and the new money without value

I TOLD YOU IN MY BLOG, REMEMBER: In some parts of Zimbabwe (in the capital Harare and the mining districts) the Chinese currency Yüan is the accepted money.  Because the Chinese are slowly taking over the devastated country of the senile dictator Robert Mugabe, 94, and the Yüan is an internationally accepted financing tool. The original Zim-$, once strong money, had to be printed with more and more zeros behind any digit, 1 US$ became about 20 000 000 000 ZIM-$, the way His Excellency has ruined Zimbabwe, and a have in my possession a 500 000 000 ZIM-$ banknote (value in the moment, April 2017: 0,01 Cent). And in this situation the hero of the liberation war had a splendid idea: He invented money, called „Bond Note“ and decreed that it got the same value as the US$! All over his country Mugabe posted huge signs (see photo), advertising this blatant lie, and tried to force his subjects to prefer his money to the capitalistic currency. Even using power: Zimbabweans are not allowed to change more than 50 US$ per day. That’s lot for a taxi driver but not for a businessman! The „Bond Notes“ look serious (see photo), printed on good paper, look exactly like the good old ZIM-$ of yesterday – and everybody tries to avoid them!

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MONEY 2 Only Clean Dollar Bills, please!

The strange monetary rules in some countries ...

Dirty Dollars

I couldn't pay with these bills ...

I’VE JUST BEEN TO SOUTHERN AFRICA, with a pocket full of US-Dollars (well, as much as I could afford). But I wasn’t able to use all of them, in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa they would not accept all the banknotes I offered. As readers of my Blog you are informed about the strange behavior in Zambia, where I failed to use $ of age – they insisted on the new notes with the big-headed presidents. In the three other countries they refused the two one-dollar-bills I’m showing here: The first had a number scribbled on (2301), the second was too dirty and wrinkled! My argument that all over the world a green dollar is a green dollar is a green dollar, didn’t hit. And I was lucky, I had some clean bills. So next time you change money before you fly to Southern Africa (and most likely a lot of other parts of the earth) look carefully at the state of your dollars …

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FRAUD The Ugly Trick of an Refugee …

After the money scam, they try it with „stranded“ women!

Flüchtling

That's the original Email from Ouagadougou ...

LOOK, WHAT A SILLY EMAIL I GOT! I have no idea were these criminals got my correct contact. And isn’t it amazing that an allegedly poor refugee, allegedly stranded in Ouagadougou (Republic of Burkina Faso) has her own email address? And the money to run it? Hissa Razeen seems to be her name, but it might be as false as everything else. Nevertheless, when I promise her to be a loving husband, she is going to marry me. How utterly stupid! Who is she, how does she look, what are her circumstances, not to speak of the open questions on my side (I’m old and happily married). She/they must have sent hundreds of these fake mails, therefore I didn’t answer her and use her message in my blog only, to warn others of similar efforts – and to point at the creatures who misuse the refugee situation to squeeze money out of allegedly well meaning Europeans …

P. S.: As I write this, two more „refugee women“ are offering themselves via email, this time from Mali!

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