The power of comparison…


People often think, that bloggers share ideas, that can help to other to get things right, to get things done. Is this true? It depends on who is commenting the subject and the level of the criticism in you. If somebody thinks that all those who express the ideas, thoughts and opinions should be heard, then I got another question. How do things like someone’s story about a great travel around the word or some far away country can help to those who is struggling with the life’s problems of some kind? It won’t be helpful. Therefore, some people might say, there are a lot of blogs with different specializations, so there is a big field for your research. Firstly, if somebody would do so, it would be a strong argument, but even then if somebody writes a story and shares a solution, it doesn’t mean that it will work for everybody (if it will work at all), and secondly, it also doesn’t mean that somebody is an expert in such issues. There are lot of opinions in the world that aren’t connected with the expert’s conclusions. Moreover, it could be a personal understanding of subjective matter.

Many of video blogger’s on YouTube, while commenting their achievement, are using self-advertisement by saying something like: “I was working hard and I became the best in something… Probably the best I know”. This “something” means whatever a narrator, a blogger, an entrepreneur or a regular YouTuber is explaining, commenting, teaching, advising. The last one part, mostly used without the word “probably” shows narrator’s confidence that among his friends, colleague, acquaintances there’s a lower levels of knowledge, practical skills or achievements. Also there could be a strong possibility, that mentioned above statement was compered to anybody else. It like somebody worked hard on something, get it done and thinks afterwords that it was the most requiring challenge in the life.

Meanwhile, from the objective point of view, it could be as good result as somebody’s or as mediocre as somebody’s. But it could be the best result for the person who achieved it or in the circle that he/she deals with. Thus, if somebody claims on the Internet that he or she thanks to self-efficacy got his own success, it seems to be either partly true, not true or even self-delusion. But if somebody knew that there are many people, who are much better, then it can be considered as a classic move of self-advertisement to make his/her words more significant, reliable and trustworthy. Hence, next time you the phrase: “the best I know”, you should suppose it as an act of serf-expression that suppose to make you focus on the topic.


Two types of travel…

Mountains road.jpg

Mountain road (source

Robert Louis Stevenson once said: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” It seems, when you’ve taken a step forwards it’s highly illogical to retreat unless the situation so ambiguous that makes you to take a second thought. The following reflection is going to be not about thoughts or ideas. It’s about varieties of travel and its motives.

Modern people got needs. We won’t discuss where did they originate: in civilized times or much, much earlier in a dawn of human civilization. What is important, is the fact that modern human conditions in Western European countries and in the North America, promote travels as a lifestyle. Meanwhile, in Central, Eastern European countries and in the other states, they are part of basic needs, because people usually travel or… to describe it more correctly take trips as a part of labor migration.

To get a meaningful understanding of this delicate matter, you should know that many scientists tried to make a useful model of human needs. In this case, we’ll stay classy and will use hierarchy of needs developed by Abraham Maslow. Some people now think that he was wrong and his model is a very trivial concept. But there is a known fact, that it is much easier to criticize somebody’s work that to make a something innovative, effective, productive and complete. Except this, it’s hard or even impossible to find some concepts or classification made by those, who express their resentment.

According to A. Maslow needs can be grouped in 5 type in a hierarchical order (from the lowest to the highest). Among them: physiological needs, safety, social needs, esteem, self-actualization. Where can we place the travel or the need of travel?

First off, we need to determine two type of travel: one based on the need to get a knowledge and the inspiration, which financed as a typical or extraordinary vacation and one based on necessity: business travel, labor migration, training courses and other trips related to work or income.

When we say: “travel” most people around the world would imagine the picture of luxuries hotels, swimming pools, five-stars service, leisure, many shades of turquoise water near the shores of Caribbean Beaches. One might say: “Hold on a second! Are you talking about Caribbean Sea where The Pirates of the Caribbean are?”  I would say, that I meant The Caribbean Sea in general, but the entertainment industry created a beautiful image of the travel to all these unforgettable places. The movie mentioned earlier, was filmed there, but movie didn’t make an attraction, because the sea with its features was there all alone. What filmmakers did, is to add some popularity.

Interesting thing is, that in this case nobody imagined a dim water of polluted, cold Baltic Sea or the Barents Sea, perhaps the Chukchi Sea. This means that as far as imagination goes there are a lot of famous move scenes comes to your mind. Basically there is nothing wrong with that, except the fact that these places are available for those, who can afford it financially.

Many people cannot do it. Even if they could, it seems that they won’t be able to fully appreciate an advantage of such place. It’s like a school group came to Paris to visit the Louvre and after the tour what the remembered is the entrance which has a shape of a pyramid (actually it calls The Louvre Pyramid). The point is, that they weren’t ready to appreciate masterpieces of art, not unless like  the art connoisseurs for whom every detail is valuable, mostly esthetically. The bottom line here is, the appreciation of high-culture and related activities, including five stars vacation it’s a state of mind that you can develop along with a habit to some respectful pecuniary achievements.

The keyword for second type of travel is necessary. The obligatoriness is a part of life situation.  Many people experience an influence of changes in the society, that makes them face new problems such as unemployment or lack of decent jobs. People lost their confidence and hope for a better future.

In some societies the culture actually based of joyless tradition connect with past.  One can be surprised how cultural deformation can affect people’s mind. When I use word “deformation”, I mean deviation from normal or maybe common lifestyle that usually suppose to accompany the people of civilized society.

Well, it’s not a topic for now, but what is essential here is the understanding that when tragedy hit a nation or a society, people didn’t really think about the travel as a way to get entertained or get new excellent pictures, they think about survival in the meaning of brutal fight for a life or softer need of existence in the civilized times in uncivilized circumstances.

News feed is full of this kind of information. This causes migrations, domestic or international trips. Today’s life is completely different that it was 20 years ago. There is progress indeed, but not all countries in the world are part of it. That’s why when people travel with the idea of great rest it’s their self-actualization need which is positioned in the highest place of the hierarchy, while when people travel because they need to get a job etc., it’s situated much lower, somewhere between physiological and safety needs.  Therefore, this second type of travel can be considered as a basic need, while first one it’s a matter of a choice and the development of higher needs.

Healthy breakfast is important!

Day by day when people wake up they do their daily routine. Sometimes it’s becomes boring while in other times it feels as a part of everyday activity.  Then, coffee or tea and you are set to go to school, university or work. But before you do that, remember about nutritious breakfast that will give a vital energy for a whole day or at list for a half a day.

There are difference opinions how should it look  like? Is breakfast  suppose to be light or heavy, ordinary  or extraordinary?  Sure thing, that is  depends on your preferences and lifestyle. However, there are many people who think that breakfast suppose to be as light as possible. This is why some of them usually have just a coffee or cotton cheese as a morning meal.

Basically a cup coffee with nothing else it is not very healthy solution in the morning,  but it’s a matter of a habit. Some years ago, I had a very long discussion with the acquaintance, who thought that coffee is a great way to go, especially if you are in a rush. It could be a fastest way to focus your mind on something, but the price you pay is a negative impact on your health that can be noticed after long period of time.

Let’s get back to a breakfast type that you start your day with. When you at home or at your apartment you can cook whatever you want  as long as you have products in the fridge. Do you prefer light or heavy breakfast? It’s easier to choose when you are not in a hurry which happens seldom in nowadays. There are people, who even after all these warnings about unhealthy lifestyle, think that the best way to compose your breakfast is to buy croissant and some coffee. It’s very popular solution among the student and yang people generally. Most of the time they are either too busy to eat well or got a lack of  monetary assets that would provide them a nutritious breakfast. This is not how it suppose to be according to author’s view, but that’s it is now.

Meanwhile, people who travel a lot and stay at hotels that a richer choice in restaurants’ menus. All available options are listed and what they need to do is to make right choice. This last on could be a tricky process if visitors are not familiar with the local cuisine.

This is unwilling ignorance that  can lead to unpleasant situation. There was a story with one traveler who once visited  Vietnam. Local culinary tradition was a mysteries and unfamiliar to him. It could happened to everybody, but he was the one who experienced the surprise brought to him by unfamiliarity.  Therefore to make long story short it’s needless to say that he choose one of the dishes from the menu with the thought that he was ordering a chicken with some additional ingredients based on local culinary tradition. When he got his order that meal was delicious and so tasty. Everything seemed normal until the time when he learned that he ate well-prepared snake. This is an example, how important is the knowledge of local cuisine.      

When you stay in a hotel usually you have a few types of breakfast: Continental Breakfast, American Breakfast, English Breakfast, Indian Breakfast.

First one is associated with France where it was originated. Usually there are two options: either with the  hot beverages only such as coffee or tea or varieties of beverages: juice, tea, coffee with some croissants, rolls, brioche, toast etc.. It’s basically depends on hotel’s menu.

Second one is more nutritious because it contains cereals, eggs, jams, fruits and wide varieties of beverages. You can choose among: juice, milk, chocolate, coffee and tea. Therefore, as far as you can tell, it’s a heavy breakfast that can be or cannot be part of your diet.

Third one – English Breakfast is very extended and you can choose between about 11 courses of  delicious food. There are varieties  of beverages such as juices and cooked meals fish, meat and so on. Additionally you can choose from different types of cheese. Mostly it depends on offer of the restaurant. This type of breakfast can be considered as heavy one.

Indian food became very popular around the world, especially in the USA. Therefore, some hotels can offer meals of this cuisine. The variety of courses in Indian Breakfast depends on the restaurant of your choice, but basically there are few meals that you can find in the menu: Puree Bhajee, Masala, Samosa etc.. This type of breakfast consist some amounts of fat and can be considered as heavy breakfast as well.

Next time you visit hotel, you’ll know what kind of breakfast you’ll choose. Even you are not planning the trip, what type of breakfast you’ll eat tomorrow depends on you.


Mission to Mars??? Is it worth it?


Every day pictures, movies and news feed our curiosity and desire of mind to learn more about Mars. This also leads us to believe that the trip to the planet – it’s a real goal, which the U.S. alone or some sort of international cooperation can get done. But what do we know about Mars, except the fact that almost every week NASA publishes new images of the Red Planet? Is this mission necessary for humanity?

The idea of the travel to the fourth planet in our solar system doesn’t appear from nowhere. During thousands of years the astronomers observed a celestial body that glitters with the reddish tint. The Romans called this star – Mars in honor of their god of war. However, it turned out that this celestial body was the planet.

The idea of the travel to the fourth planet in our solar system doesn’t appear from nowhere.

In 1877, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli discovered the nullah, which was similar to channels that were built in the ancient Egypt to irrigate fields. Later the scientists using spectral analysis found a substance similar to water. This was the reason, why different theories about the highly developed civilization of Martians, who live on a nearby planet, spread all over the world.

That was the newsflash of its time. However, describing his discovery, astronomer used the Italian plural word “canali” which means natural channel, but to English it was translated as «channel». The difference between these words is that the first of them means the channel, formed naturally, while the second is an artificial construction. Scientists began to theorize that some beings have built a network of channels for their purposes. This increased speculations about the intelligent life on Mars.

In the 20th century this idea has spread in the world of science. Percival L. Lowell even founded the laboratory to study Mars. In addition, he published books, booklets and various illustrations. His activity didn’t pass by without a trace. American society had no longer doubts that there is a life on the planet. But during the 60-70’s of 20th century technical capabilities allowed to collect more data about the planet and it was scientifically proven an opposite. It turned out that there is no water in liquid state as well as life at all.

Percival L. Lowell even founded the laboratory to study Mars.

Earlier rumors suggested that John F. Kennedy wanted astronauts to land on Mars, but after a detailed NASA report about the technical possibilities, he had to accept the Moon landing program.

Scientists, engineers and space enthusiasts wanted to accomplish even a bigger goal. For decades they have been working on Mars landing program. This is a reason, why on Internet portals, newspapers, magazines we have top lines filled with the information and new facts about the planet. Meanwhile, there is a lack of information about the necessity of the mission and its costs!

What do we know about Mars so far? Studies have shown that the temperature range on the planet is between -93˚C and + 13˚C (-135.4˚F – 55.4˚F). Average rate is: -66˚C (86.8˚F). The lithosphere consists 50% of basalt formations. They are reminders of volcanic activity in the past. The surface is covered with iron oxide. It is basically a rust that gives characteristic red color. The surface on Mars has different features such as sand dunes, cliffs and so on. In some areas mountains can be as high as 12-14km.

The surface is covered with iron oxide

The lack of barriers such as trees causes the massive dust storms that can cover the planet during a few hours. The atmosphere is sparse, consists carbon dioxide. Sometimes its compounds can be mixed up with water vapor.

The density of atmosphere is too small, so it does not protect Mars from the cold that comes from the space. Reddish color that can be seen on the NASA’s pictures and other agencies – it’s a result of iron oxide particles that after the dust storms spreads all over the planet.

Ice was found on the planet’s polar caps, but there is no water. This is because on Mars water can move only from the solid state to the gas (vapor). Liquid state requires a smooth temperature change that goes through 0˚C (32˚F) degrees, but eternal coldness on the planet eliminates this possibility, so there is either ice or vapor. However, detailed studies have shown that there are a lot of materials that couldn’t be formed without the liquid water. This indicates that at some point of planet’s evolution there was water as we know it. Scientists believe that if there was a technology to melt ice caps on Mars, water would cover the surface of the planet. Such ocean would be 20 meters deep. Is it possible to melt an ice on Mars? Now the answer is no! This theoretical possibility was developed by scientists for research purposes.

An ice was found on the planet’s polar caps, but there is no water

NASA has created a training program for astronauts, who may fly to Mars. They will get a “one-way ticket” there. Astronauts will take a space journey for half a year, maybe a year. Next, they’ll land there, live for a while and newer come back to Earth again. This is a kind of irony that the best of the best of mankind, who want to be a part of it, will stay on Mars forever.

NASA has created a training program for astronauts – they will get a “one-way ticket”

The chosen candidates may fulfill the dream of NASA’s engineers and to establish a colony on the Red Planet or may not. We’ll see. But the basic question is this mission worth the money, resources and sacrifice?


The planet Venus

Venus header

Scientists sometimes call far distant planets – far away worlds. One of those is the second planet in our solar system – called Venus. It was named after the goddess who according to Roman mythology had such functions as love, beauty, fertility, prosperity and other. It is the only unquestionable planet (in the meaning of classification) in our Solar system that got feminine name along with dwarf planets such as Ceres, Eris, Haumea and the asteroids.

Venus is a rocky planet with inhospitable environment caused by extreme geothermal activity. The atmosphere contains 96.5% of carbon dioxide, 3.5% – nitrogen, 0.1% oxygen, 0.05% – hydrogen oxide etc..

Planetary rovers cannot handle such tough environment and after the landing they usually get seriously damaged by an acid and the pressure.

High level of carbon dioxide has created the greenhouse effect that made an atmosphere so corrosive that asteroids usually dissolve before the contact with the surface. The temperature on the planet is approximately 470-500⁰C (878-932⁰F) and the pressure is about 76000 mmHg, while on the Earth we have average sea-level pressure 760 mmHg.

These conditions exclude even small chances for survival of bacteria and affects planetary rovers’ functionality. Studies from 60-70s of 20th century have shown that they cannot handle such tough environment and after the landing they usually get seriously damaged by an acid and the pressure. Therefore, space agencies study Venus during flyby missions.

venus flyby complete

This is a visual explanation how flyby mission looks like…

The surface of the planet is very diverse. The geothermal activity never ends because of close location to the Sun. During the billions of years, volcanic eruptions erected many landforms such as stratocones, tuff cones etc.. Even hill and mountains are result of undersurface activity. The highest mountain is volcano named Maat Mons. It’s height is 8.3 kilometres (5.17 mi), but Mount Everest (8.8 km (5.49 mi)) here on Earth is still higher. There are other geological formations which are still hidden under the layer of thin, but colored atmosphere and massive tornados that are visible from time to time to telescopes on Earth.

An atmosphere so corrosive that asteroids usually dissolve before the contact with the surface.

Another interesting feature called arachnoids. It is recognizable on the pictures made by NASA. These are deep, large cracks on planet’s surface that create something like cobweb mostly around the northern hemisphere of the Venus. There are 256 of them all over the planet. Astronomers have named only 55 structures of this kind.

The rotation of the planet is also different. It rotates very slowly. One day on Venus equals 224 days on Earth. Moreover, it spins in opposite direction than our planet. This means if we were there, we would see the sunrise from west to east, while on Earth it goes from east to west. Another interesting thing is that day lasts 243 days, despite the fact that one year is 224 days. But on Earth one year is 365 day, and 366 days in leap year. There is no need to make complicated calculations to conclude that duration of the day on Venus is 19 days. This is a paradox, but on planet the day is longer than a year.

In spite the fact that planet is an interesting object of studies, the astronomers have found that it extremely difficult because of reddish, nontransparent, corrosive atmosphere. But radar installed on the satellite can get more data about landforms and ongoing processes, so we can learn more about Earth’s sister planet. It also means that there is a huge field of studies for those, who want to bring new facts and undiscovered features of the planet to mankind.


Cities and people. The comparison of magnitude

When you think about city what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Skyscrapers? Building blocks? Highways? Avenues? Well, it depends on what type of city you think about? If we talk about American agglomerations, all of mentioned earlier are right. Huge streets and avenues promoted by the U.S. entertainment industry became a most recognizable “business card” of North America.

When it comes to European cities, they look different. Western European urban planning, esthetical views and architectures are different from the American town planning and way diverse from the Central European cities. The history of evolution and development left its mark on the “face” of urban core and adjoining territories.

No matter where city is and what kind of architecture it got, the municipal engineering makes it unique. For example in France and Italy city layouts are so diverse that once you saw them, you’ll never mixed up them with other urban areas. They will have a special place in your memory. Maybe even in your heart if the memories will be connected with the significant events in your life.

Eastern European urban planning was different. The cities are smaller with much simpler architecture. The ideas appeared as a respond to certain needs and twisted events. Some of them connected with the political discord. The streets are mostly narrow and short, sometimes with noticeable sanitation and refuse collection issues. You can see it in the provincial towns, county towns, even in municipal areas.

The social life in a big city is various. People go there because of work opportunities, higher income, and better life standards, to get a better future. Those who really appreciate anonymity, got their success find the life in a big city pretty satisfying while those who came from small towns that located in sparsely populated areas, who looking for a job, may have difficulties to get used to an intensive, busy lifestyle.

Except that, city life takes a special set of social skills that are very useful if you are a part of fast, changeable urban lifestyle. Not all people can handle it. Never-ending activities, motion and urgent businesses this is how mostly people live in a big cities. These issues may require your attention and you’ll need to deal with them fast and consequent. Sometimes the tensions make life very difficult and stressful. In spite of that you need to deal with that, you need to go through…

From the one hand you can get more in the meaning of opportunities, better job, higher income etc., but you need to have self-reliance, good health and many more such as psychological and physical resources. If you don’t have one of those two, you better think twice before you take some actions.

From the other hand you can get less if you are a social person, with the big plans for your life, who like enjoy leisure time and spend time with the friends. One old saying states that big cities, other countries, and big opportunities change people. This is something that gives bread to the mind and a hope to the heart.
It seems that from the practical point of view, one of the best thing about big cities are wide streets and roads where you can take a walk, drive your car, enjoy your space with no intrusion during the business hours (unless you are walking or driving in the rush hour somewhere in central areas).

The fast rhythm of living it an integral part of the urban landscape. Sometimes you have a feeling that a minute in a big city is equivalent to the one hour elsewhere. There is even an expression “New York minute” that underlines this statement. People of all political views and social statuses are moving so quick that the seconds and minutes look like a moment you noticed after it passed away. This makes you think about the urban “relativity” of time. If you compare fast lifestyle in the modern Western European, Eastern American cities with the small crowded, narrow towns of central Europe where everything so slow that you can see the grace of clouds that are moving thought the sky, you know that all of mentioned above sounds about right.

Another interesting thing about the city with wide streets is a feeling of freedom. You can enjoy. It is also could be a case if your country ideologically free, which is very rare phenomenon in our modern world. The wide, long streets give you a comfort of motion where nobody interrupts your walk.

At evening…

It was a late evening and outside was rainy. Huge drops were so intense that without an umbrella, one could get wet during the few seconds. The streets were unusually empty. People mostly stayed at home and enjoyed warm and cozy atmosphere in their houses. It wasn’t very cold, but you could definitely feel the winter. It still was far away but was closing in slowly. In spite of minor climate change the autumn didn’t lose its regular conditions.

I was walking down the street holding my umbrella. The rain became so intensive that visibility became worse. You could see 16 feet (5 meters) in front of you, though. Few more people have showed up from the nowhere and were heading to the bus stop so do I. When we came there, we needed to wait because horrible weather conditions, small streets and rush hour caused slowly moving traffic that jammed public transportation vehicles.

Drivers were sittings in their cars with the grumpy faces. No one knew what the reason of such expression was! It could be long traffic itself, bad mood, dissatisfaction, anger, rancour. Honestly, no one cared because some people got their reasons known and unknown to be joyless.

Finally, bus has arrived. It was half-empty. Passengers were mostly students who were sitting either together if they knew each other or separately because empty seats allowed it. After the bus passed middletown and was closing to the downtown few pucks came in. Their spike Mohawks were ruby red and light green. Those young people were accompanied by their friends who had less varicoloured appearance. It’s needless to say that the way they speak was a little bit unorthodox, as they used slang and vulgarisms. A couple stops later this group got off the bus.

Meanwhile the rain became even more intense. The bus was closing to another stop… I’ve noticed that we were approaching to the part of city where I was heading. Few seconds later, I exited the bus. It was the downtown and much more people were walking around. Even hard rain couldn’t stop them from the walk at the late evening.