Turns out the Ring of Fire affects Guatemala too. But then that country classic affects many, and always will :). But no, it’s the seismic-lithospheric-tectonic Ring of Fire that ensures Guatemala is fully sorted in the volcano department.
In all there are around 30 volcanoes in Guatemala – impressive for a country of its modest size. Taking a peek at trusty old Wikipedia, we see Guatemala covers approx. 100,000 square kilometers, so if we divide that by the number of volcanoes… ooh la la!: the volcanism force is strong with this one! It’s nothing on the Kurils of course (68 volcanoes in 10,500 square kilometers!), but the Kurils aren’t a whole country…
Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes – Agua, Fuego and Acatenango – all of which were visible from our hotel:
Summer. A bit of free time – more than usual. So here you are, something for the weekend, sirs and madams…
1. My book recommendation
I’m always hearing funny – not ha-ha – comments about modern-day China, including those related to the incredibly strong rise of its economy, or about how many bowls of rice the worker of modern China is prepared to work for. But Wikipedia is good on China, as are plenty of textbooks, plus this, this and this are interesting too (on per capita GDP China comes 121st in the world – between Tunisia and the Dominican Republic).
But for those REALLY interested in China, I REALLY recommend reading this fat book on China by none other than Henry Kissinger.
In it you’ll learn all sorts of new-to-you knowledge and curiosities about the country’s ancient history, its economy and more. There’s the estimation that the GDP of medieaval China was something like a third of world GDP, there’s all the treachery of the opium wars, there’s the communist past, and the country’s renaissance. As I say, I strongly recommend it. But here’s a warning: there’s a TON of detail in there. Some pages I just scanned. All the same, on the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, it feels like the right time to give it a read.
2. My film recommendation
Check it out if you haven’t already, or watch it again: You Only Live Twice – Sean strutting his stuff as Bond, James Bond; shaken, not stirred.
Turns out GoPro appeared 47 years ago (see the pic below)!! You see, I’m going through the whole series of Bond films – from Dr. No to Skyfall. I’ve got them all in my laptop which I watch while on the treadmill in the gym. Amazing how enjoyable running on the spot can be :).
3. My music recommendation
No words needed. It’s music. To be heard and felt, not talked about. Enjoy!
That’s all folks. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Godspeed!…
As per tradition, we celebrated our birthday in style – for the 15th time (no typo – see the ‘P.S.’ below). KLers from all over the globe descended on a spot in the countryside to the north of Moscow last Friday – which thankfully was a beautiful sunny day (not like last year’s washout:).
I love my job. Sometimes it gets really fun. But sometimes it gets mega-fun, like today…
It’s been high time to replenish the arsenal of corporate photos for a while now, so we thought we’d do it properly – and where else but in a remote corner of Arizona, of course! It was out here on the landing strip of Sedona Airport – up on a hill surrounded by desert – that we had a real-pro photo session… which lasted a whopping six hours! We decided to let photographer-to-the-stars Jonas Fredwall Karlson do the shooting, after he did such a great job with the pic for an article in Vanity Fair some time back. He really knows his stuff!
Sedona’s a popular place with the New Age lot, apparently. Nice place. Super views. Unusual place! More familiar to us in these unfamiliar surroundings was the jet we flew in on: we’ve flown on it quite a few times already, but to an airport atop a hill in desolate wilds like this – that’s a first.
Let me go over the last few days in order.
It all started off with a bit of time travel – Dr. Who or Back to the Future style (take your pick). On November 1 at around 5pm Tokyo time we flew out of the Japanese capital and traversed Pacific Ocean to land in Los Angeles, California – at 11am on the same day, November 1. Doctorin’ the Tardis or what?
But after that nice bit of time gain it pains me to say that it all went downhill from there. From touching down to leaving the airport we had two (TWO!) hours waiting around in various lines – passport control, customs… and to make matters way worse, all the waiting around was topped off with killer dose of I-truly-couldn’t-care-less American “service” at every turn. I guess our negative first impressions this time were made worse for just having just been – later that day! – in Japan. What a contrast!
Anyway, getting on with business… in LA we had a (surprise!) busy schedule. First I spoke at the UCLA; then we got together with our regional partners and partied; and next morning we were on the plane and heading for Sedona.
Here’s a view of the airport’s runway on approach. We landed not long after.
And some more shots of the surrounding landscape…
Not our plane!
That one’s ours! It’s not all work, work, work, you know :)
I’m back again, this time delivering you an experience from Zhuhai, China (literally “Pearl Sea”, 珠海) – one of the seven tracks of the recently launched Intercontinental La Mans Cup series. As luck would have it I was invited to the race on my way to a business meeting (and didn’t regret it one bit!).
Although the Zhuhai race carries the proud Le Mans 24 name, it is more of a cover version of the real thing. It’s not that much of an endurance race – it runs for just six hours – but it still has the same teams, drivers, cars, rules etc. But not quite the same crowds of enthusiastic spectators…yet. Numbers were low, compared with both Le Mans events and with Chinese motorsports in general, but I think it’s only a matter of time before China, as it already has in many other fields, overtakes the established leaders. And this particular event has something else going for it: in Chinese there are plenty of hieroglyphs for “Le Mans” :)
Last week, right before going to the Monza GP, I was in Japan meeting the team at our Japanese office and launching a new generation of our personal products.
I was here last in April, and since then nothing much seems to have changed, but there was a noticeable lack of both cherry blossoms and sun, which would have been nice.
The Tokyo Sky Tree is nearly finished. The old TV tower’s spire is still bent, but wobbles less (so they say – I haven’t experienced it myself), and the worries about Fukushima seem somehow to have eased – people are much calmer than before. The flight went smoothly, helped by a viewing of Die Hard!
As everyone knows, Google is not your average company. It fairly amazes and amuses with its short history of fantastic success (or instills fear and loathing – if Google happens to gobble up your market share). Its totally unexpected projects and even the design of its offices appear mad-hat, slightly odd, or uniquely original, depending on your particular view, but never just average.
Then there are the totally bizarre Googlized numbers.
Let’s start with some amusing arithmetic available from different sources.
At Google they don’t joke with the size of their figures, but do joke – big-time – with which particular figures they use: For its IPO in 2004, the price of the stake sold on the stock market should have come to 2.718281828 billion dollars, which figure is the mathematical constant e. A year later the company sold on the stock market another stake, made up of 14 159 265 shares – a fraction of pi accurate to eight decimal places.