Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Offline for the next six weeks. Holiday! I'll walk the 'International Four Days Marches Nijmegen' next week. My 5th.

After that at home. We are not going abroad this year. In the morning (7-13) I'll work on my Hessel Gerritsz translation of his routebook on the Cabo Verde Islands (1629). Remember my post 'Right in the Middle'?  Rest of the day I'll enjoy the kids and my wife. Read a little, swim a little, walk a little, sleep a little. Just enjoy ... not working.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Apex. A Hero's Heroes

Chuck Yeager was the best of the best in the 1950s. As Tom Wolfe puts it - in 'The Right Stuff' (1979):
"For every militairy pilot knew where the apex of the great ziggurat was located. You could point it out on a map. The place was Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert. 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Everyone knew who resided there, everyone knew the name of the individual who ranked foremost in the Olympus, the ace of all the aces, as it were, among the true brothers of the right stuff."

On which shoulders did Chuck stand on? Who are his heroes? He gave an answer to this question on facebook (May 6th, 2015):

P.S. "Col Boyd" is Albert Boyd (1906-1976). He was Chuck's commanding officer at Edwards and a test pilot too. Not John Boyd (1927-1997) of whom I wrote before: here 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

50 Words For ...

The Sami languages have as many as 300 different words for types of snow, tracks in snow and conditions of the use of snow (source).

The people of the Cook islands have many words for the age, freshness and use of coconuts (Frisbie, 'The book of Puka-Puka' (1929)). More than 50 words?

The Ma'aza have more names for watercourses than any other topographical features (Hobbs, 'Bedouin Life in the Egyptian Wilderness' (1989)). More than 50 words?

What words are #top1 for
... Farmer in 8,000 BC? Different for the 20th Century farmer? Different 21th Century?
... Sailor in the 17th Century? Different for the 21st Century sailor?
... Singer?
... Writer? Different for a songwriter?
... Hooker?
... Soldier?
... Historian?
... Greek in year 2015? Different than in year 2005?
... Someone who loves listening to 'fado menor' music (listen: here)? Different for the singer?
... Lovers?
... Earthworm?
... Egyptologist?
... Bookreader?
... Someone who lives on the back of the Moon?
... Glider pilot? Different from a fighter pilot?
... Individual 'homo sapiens'? Different from species 'homo sapiens'?
... Oak (tree)? Different from a poppy (flower)?
... Blogger?
... Virtual assistent (VA)?
... Trapper who lives for 10 months a year in a lodge and makes use of a canoe?
... 'Poeta' or 'poetisa'? In Europe? In South America? In Australia?