Monthly Archives: May 2021

Remote working – even miners do it.

Hi folks!

I’d heard a lot about modern mining equipment that works autonomously, i.e., without a miner nearby controlling it. Well now I’ve seen it in action too – the other day, when I paid a visit to Phosagro in the Khibiny Mountains on the Kola Peninsula – inside the Arctic Circle! – in the northwest corner of Russia, not far from the Finnish border.

Here’s a robo-miner drilling into rock, all on its lonesome:

Whereas today’s ‘miners’ sit in a brightly-lit, air-conditioned office operating joysticks occasionally and checking the progress of the robots on a bank of screens:

Read on…

The 12 most beautiful places in the world. No. 5: Red rocks rock.

If it’s possible to be able to choose one’s kings and queens among volcanoes, bodies of water, and bodies of iced water, to be able to do the same for the world’s mountains-and-rocks elite is much more difficult. First – there’s just so much rockinesses around the world. Second – there are so many different kinds of it. Therefore, I’ll list them according to geography. And first up is…

No. 5 – Delicate Arch, Utah, U.S.A.

A profoundly fantastical construction.

Now, if you believe the theories put forward as to how other, similar natural arches and rocky formations were formed – including by wind, erosion, the occasional earthquake, and many millennia – all well and good. But how can you rely on such theories for this masterpiece sculpture? No. Can’t be. Clearly this is the work of aliens, or possibly a clever ancient civilization from around the time of the dinosaurs, which decided to bury something big and round, and billions of year later – we get this delicate fossilized construction:

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Flickr photostream

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The 12 most beautiful places in the world. No. 4: The glacier you’ve never heard of.

Oh my glacier. The ‘big ice’ theme appears in various places around the world today, from Alaska, via Greenland, to New Zealand. Alas, glaciers are fast melting, but there’s still a long way to go before they do so completely. Meanwhile ,the Antarctic ice sheet continues to feel nice and cozy underneath the polar vortex, and is thus the most significant ice zone on the planet. But none of these big icynesses can compare to a not-too-well-known glacier in Kyrgyzstan (who knew?!). I’m referring to Engilchek (aka Enilchek, or Inylchek). And it’s landed on the No. 4 spot in my Top-12 (after Nos. 1 and 2&3).

No. 4 – Engilchek Glacier, Kyrgyzstan.

It too is melting at speed, but today you can still walk atop it for a full 50-60 kilometers, taking in the grooved-out streams that run across it in the most unusual of directions. This ‘water’, too – like fire and folks working – can be looked at forever:

Read on…

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