F1 Fun in the Azeri Sun.

I’ll cut to the (car) chase: it was a real fun race.

No one was expecting such mad twists and turns on Sunday. Especially me after the fairly dull race in Sochi a few weeks back – and also since last year’s Grand Prix in Baku was very boring too (so I’ve been told). This year – oh my gravel trap! No one could have foreseen such a lineup on the podium. But I’ll get to that a bit later…

So here we were, in the Azerbaijani capital. Salam Baku, say the teams and spectators…

Peace be upon you too, says Baku, after having prepared the track and its bends on the city’s roads à la Monaco Grand Prix ahead of the race…

Read on: And they’re off!…

Sun in Trondheim – It’s All Mine.

No, not Fog on the Tyne, but Sun in Trondheim! I could hardly believe it either!…

And, in anticipation of the ‘inevitable’ rain before getting here I’d gone and prepared a quote from my fave authors about the stuff! Oh well, you might at well still hear it…:

 “It was getting dark, and still pouring with rain. Large, heavy droplets of unhurried rain, in no rush at all. The rain will fall on an empty city, washing pavements and trickling through rotten roofs… Then it will wash everything away, dissolving the city to reveal virgin land again. While the rain keeps falling, falling.

All over the world it’s raining. Over steepled roofs – rain. Down hills and ravines – rain. One day it will wash everything away, but not soon…”

So, like I say – the sun came out to play that day :)…:

When I looked out the window of my hotel room after waking up I had little trouble noticing this temporary guest in the port. It had more than double the number of floors of our hotel (in the pic after it):

Read on: Impressive from all angles…

Stars, Strings, Exoplanets, Apollos, and Now Politics – Starmus 2017.

Hi folks!

Time to tell you all about this year’s Starmus. Last year the conference took place in sunny Tenerife. This year – just the opposite: it was in rainy Trondheim in Norway. Not that the rain made the experience any worse. Mere weather cannot dull something so otherworldly as Starmus…

Here’s the audience slowly filling up the venue just before kick-off:

This year 2,500 folks attended (at least, that’s how many tickets were sold), plus there’d have been untold numbers watching the proceedings via the Internet. And judging by the fact that the large hall was packed, I reckon all those who purchased tickets were in fact there.

Read on: Norwegian armed chess forces…

Happy Birthday to Us – 20 Years Old – to the Day!

Whoosh!

What was that?

That, boys and girls, was the history of cybersecurity passing by!

28 years ago, somewhere around the fall of 1989, my Olivetti M24 was attacked by a virus. That fateful event changed my – and many others’! – lives. If only that virus had known precisely whose comp it attacked that day, and how many malicious descendants would be wiped out over the next decades both by my hand and later by the hands of KLers, I’m pretty sure it’d have about-turned in a jiffy and gotten the hell out of there!

26 years ago, in the summer of 1991, a group of like-minded computer geeks enthusiasts launched the great grandfather of what is today one of the top antiviruses in the world.

Precisely 20 years ago today – on June 26, 1997 – ‘Me Lab‘ was founded.

But it’s fairly quiet in the office today. No party, no champagne, no nothing. On our 20th birthday? Don’t worry – we’ll get to that. We’ll be celebrating, in usual crazy fashion, but just a little later. Today it’s business as usual. All the same, tonight – NOW!, if you’d raise a glass of something tasty and utter a few kind words, please do. You will be repaid in good vibes and positive karma or some such – for sure!

Whoah – we just received congrats from Scuderia. Grazie mille! (the photos arrived with a note: ‘Kimi is smiling!’ Well, so are we:).

The icing on the cake birthday cake:

Now back to those drinkies :)…

 

Unwelcome guests in the streets of Trondheim.

 “The rain fell for no particular reason, sifting from the roofs in a fine water spray. In air drafts, the rain accumulated into misty white columns which dragged from one wall to another. The rain roared through and splashed down from rusty rain-pipes. The rain spread over the pavement and flew along the watercourses that had eroded between cobblestones. The heavy black-and-gray clouds crept slowly just above the roofs. The man was an uninvited guest in the streets, and the rain showed him no welcome.”

© “The Ugly Swans” by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

“The man was an uninvited guest in the streets, and the rain showed him no welcome.” – This is a spot-on description of me and my travel companion A. Sh. while in the lovely city of Trondheim, Norway.

The view from the window holds no promise whatsoever of sunny pleasure-beaches –

either by day…

…or by night.

In this sort of climate, shells end up growing on your ears. Or do ears grow on shells?

Read on: A heroic walk along the embankment…

Rotoruan Redwoods at Hell’s Gate.

If you were hoping that was the end of my Rotorua trips, volcanoes and geothermal stories, then you’re in for disappointment. I still have lots to tell – your popcorn stocks may well run out before I’m done!

It’s time now to enjoy a ride around the lake, including a trip on a helicopter.

Let’s go clockwise. The first stop on the list is Hamurana Springs. Here there are mineral springs and a magnificent sequoia plantation.

Read on: Mind the black swan…

A very large rift on a mountain top.

Get your popcorn now and take your seats in the front row – I’m about to continue my stories of New Zealand!

Next on my agenda is the Tarawera volcano. This is perhaps one of the most unusual volcanoes I’ve ever seen: its top split by a huge volcanic rift, in which some 10 distinct craters can be identified. I guess there must have been quite spectacular fireworks when the volcano erupted 130 years ago…

Read on: why volcanoes are so much better than mountains?…

Munich-Jerusalem-Moscow. A week without tourism.

I’m taking a short break from my stories about New Zealand: firstly, I do not want to “overload” my readers, and secondly, I have something new to talk about.

A few sketches along the way last week, something like this:

1.  Wow! What a great name for a business – ‘Ikar’! Obviously a subsidiary of ‘Daedalus’ airlines. Hard to believe anyone would deliberately board a plane named Icarus.

Read on:

NZ Infernal Volcanic Features.

Continuing my tales about Waimangu and Tarawera. This is a story of volcanic miracles and the amazing events that unfolded here in days of old. Just to remind you of the chain of events, my last story ended next to a crater filled with boiling chemical-laden water.  And here it is:

Turn your back on this, and you’re right in front of the place where the largest known geyser on Earth erupted in the 1900s –  the Waimangu. Every 36 hours, this geyser shot out a water jet reaching up to 400m; each eruption lasting several hours.

Read on: What an amazing phenomenon!…