Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Elon Musk – Visionary of the Future

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

In an age when we desperately need visionaries to lead the way, Elon Musk is a multidisciplinary engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and futurist with the drive to do what today’s politicians can’t – change the world for the better.

Words: Michel Cruz

There have always been visionaries and inventors, from Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo to Jules Verne, but more than anyone else today South African-born Elon Musk is the renaissance man of the hour. This is an era where we look in vain to our leaders for answers to the pressing environmental, social and economic issues that beset humanity. Decade upon decade, there is no change, no action and no transparency. We seem to be locked in an ever-increasing spiral of uncontrolled technology development that has the potential to disrupt our economic system and the fabric of society. Global warming, population growth, pollution, growing disparity in wealth and the rise of artifiial intelligence are the spectres that stare us in the face, yet they are barely addressed by those in power. (more…)

The tones of taste

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Tones of Taste- Michel CruzThough they relate to different senses and experiences, colour and taste are so entwined as to overlap in meaning – making yellow synonymous with lemons, brown with chocolate and orange with, well oranges. The strength of the relationship is revealed when you imagine a topsy-turvy world in which beer is green, tomatoes brown and rice blue…

We associate colours and tastes to such an extent that we mix them, speaking of lemon yellow, lime green, tangerine, plum red, chocolate brown and so on. In fact, many of the characteristics we ascribe to a certain tone, such as fresh green or deep burgundy, are at least in part drawn from the foodstuff they remind us of. Naturally there are also variants, such as white chocolate, green tomatoes and brown rice, but while we have grown used to these it feels odd to stray too far from the combination of tones and flavours that have become engrained in our brains, as well as our eyes and taste buds. (more…)

The Mysterious ‘Face on Mars’

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Life on Mars Michel CruzDo Sphinx-like monuments and water irrigation systems point to the existence of an ancient civilisation on Mars? Among a great many other conspiracies, NASA is being accused of ‘covering up’ what it really knows about the red planet, reports Michel Cruz.

In July 1976 NASA’s Viking 1 spacecraft was put into orbit around Mars, on a seemingly standard mission to look for suitable landing sites for the impending Viking 2 mission. As its cameras scanned the red planet’s surface, however, they suddenly came across a feature so incredible that it would not only spark off a sensation, but also a legion of fanciful hypotheses about life on Mars. The images beamed back to earth by Viking Orbiter 1 were of a land form that so strongly resembled a human face, complete with eyes cast in shadows, a narrow nose and frowning mouth, that to many it had the unmistakable appearance of an Egyptian Pharaoh. And so the mysterious ‘Face on Mars’ was born, capturing the attention of millions across the world and completely overshadowing what had started as a scientific probe into the mysteries of our nearest planetary neighbour. (more…)

Discovering beautiful lakes on our doorstep (Part 2)

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Laghi di Monticchio, Italy In my previous blog you will have read all about our adventures in and around the fair town of Potenza. If not, go right back to start and catch up before reading on…

So having chanced upon the wondrous Laghi di Monticchio after our laborious travails through the hills of Basilicata, we promised ourselves to come back and explore this little hidden paradise properly. This is exactly what we did a few days later, following the much easier route from Calitri along the gently winding valley road en route to Melfi. Well before that town, however, you turn off and upwards towards Rionero in Vulture. (more…)

Málaga, a regional powerhouse in the making

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Malaga's technology parkThis article was written for Essential magazine May 2012 edition

We’ve all noticed it, there’s a recession going on. What’s more, it’s been biting hard and has done so for some time now, but quite apart from worries about the national economy there is a local trend that is far more encouraging. In the midst of recession Málaga is transforming itself into a modern city capable of attracting not only tourists and students but also foreign investment and international corporations. Whilst the beautification of the city’s historic centre continues, its pace is increasingly matched by an infrastructural modernisation aimed at turning Málaga into a centre of business and technology.

The first steps towards this goal have already been taken, in the form of the major new public works that began just as the boom ended and either have or are reaching completion now. Thanks to these, Málaga now boasts an impressive new airport terminal with transit capacity to match, a new ring road that alleviates congestion at former choke points near the city’s periphery and allows for easy routes to surrounding cities, and a high-speed rail link to Madrid that culminates in a brand new purpose-built railway station and commercial centre. In addition, work has begun on the initial part of a future metro network. (more…)