narcississy: (Default)
This is from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, and it seems as if this astronaut is trying to outdo Google Earth. Basically, it is supposed to be somewhat like Google Earth, but with enhanced features like reading bus schedules, seeing the traffic status of a given place of interest, and better maps in general. There is a pending request for EU finanancing, and the e-Globe is supposed to a) compensate for some of the "lacks" of the U.S. and Japan or b) narrow the technological creativity gap between Europe and the U.S. and Japan(? the context of the translation allows for both interpretations). I also believe that they are saying that it is supposed to be ready for next spring...the beta version will be ready for next spring? It says that the project will be ready for next spring, but that the satellite for capturing the images will be ready by the middle of next year. Though I must Going up against Google is pretty bodacious.

Omfg. I just watched a documentary about Iran, intended to break the vexatious stereotype of Iran...and it just fueled my desire to go there. It's a recent documentary too, made this year. Globetrekker Ian Wright tours around Iran, and I was chuckling for the entirety of the documentary, at his very heavy English accent. The Azadi Tower wasn't included in the Tehran portion of the video, but the Shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini was seen in the video. Then, there was skiing in the slopes of Dizin, which also happens to be where women can take more of a latitudinarian approach to their attire. After that, there was caviar fishing and processing (I totally didn't know that Iran's second largest export was CAVIAR!) near the Caspian coast. Then he participated in Turkman (Turkmen?) wrestling in northeastern Iran (which is where the Iran-Turkmenistan border is located), and found another one of the handful of visitors to the country. He then took a 22-hour train from Torkaman (via Tehran) to Esfahan, where the Blue Mosque and Shah Abbas' Palace are located. It's the place that most of the already just a handful of tourists frequent in their travel(s) to Iran. From there, I believe he took a plane to Shiraz...a fifty-minute flight for $11. I didn't omit a zero there, yes, $11. Thanks to heavy government subsidization of oil. So, in Shiraz, there was the celebration of Ashura: men buy these whip-like objects called a zanjeer, and they strike themselves with them. It is supposed to symbolize a sort of sensual pain that was similar to the pain and persecution that Mohammed's grandson had faced from the Battle of Karbala. He then went to see the Quashqai nomads, where he witnessed a goat giving birth, and milking a goat. At night, the Quashqai children were hovering above him, watching him go to see...something which I personally would have found discommodious. Anyway, he proceeded to the standing Citadel at Bam, which is where the documentary actually ended.

What I found particularly ingratiating was the part when he had said that the place gets basically no tourists, so visitors get everything to themselves (hospitality, &c.).


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January 2013

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