Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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World Ocean’s Day 2018

Today is the World Ocean’s Day, and I will celebrate it by sitting here, at the bottom of the ancient Tethys Ocean, writing a chapter of a book about a sea monster.

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Tethys was ocean that occupied an east-west corridor between Gondwana and Laurasia during the Mesozoic. In the following two-hundred and fifty million years the Tethys basin and its sediments were involved in the breaking up of continents, in the opening of the Atlantic and the Indian oceans, and in the Alpine event that caused the formation of the highest mountain chains in the Old World.
Snippets are preserved, folded inside of the moutains, or as sedimentary rocks.
Here where I sit, this used to be a shallow water lagoon (probably), in which sharks swam. Continue reading


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Life on Mars

As I am seriously thinking about ditching my TV set for good (and thus escape the blood-dripping 120 bucks TV tax our friendly government imposes us), I am once again using the web and MOOCs in particular for my entertainment and edification – and as a break from reading and writing.
And therefore, in October, I will be on Mars, for a short survival course…

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This free online course will introduce the key scientific concepts needed for humans to survive on Mars, where there is no air to breath, no water to drink and no food to eat. The course will also examine interdisciplinary skills and meticulous planning required to sustain human life in such a hostile environment. Case studies and insights from leading experts in the field of Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics and Geology will demonstrate the basic science and problem solving skills you can use in everyday life.

The course is offered by Monash University, through the Futurelearn platform.
It’s free and it will last four weeks.
I think my brother will join me on this one, too.
If you’re interested, see you on Mars next month.