Things we thought were facts


Marco Polo
In 1271, the Venetian merchant Marco Polo set off with his father and uncle on a legendary trek across Asia. Over the course of his 24-year journey, Polo would become one of the first Europeans to chronicle the cities, cultures and technology of the Far East. Discover 11 fascinating facts about the life of one of history’s greatest explorers.
 There is no real record of the explorer Marco Polo. 
  • Nowhere is he mentioned in Chinese writings and the Chinese were well known for documentation  and certainly they would have documented at least something about Marco Polo especially as he was claimed to be a mayor of some small province.
  • A Man called Marco Polo did live in Venice but that was not the Marco Polo we learned about.
  • What a disappointment!

In a book published in 1995, “Did Marco Polo Go to China?”, Frances Wood, the head of the Chinese section at the British Library, also argued that he probably did not make it beyond the Black Sea.

She pointed out that despite being an acute observer of daily life and rituals, there is no mention in Marco Polo’s chapters on China of the custom of binding women’s feet, chopsticks, tea drinking, or even the Great Wall.

“There’s nothing in the Venetian archives to say that the Polo family had direct contact with China at all,” Dr Wood told The Daily Telegraph. “Nothing from China has ever been found in the possessions they left behind.

“One theory is that Marco Polo copied a sort of guide book on China written by a Persian merchant. Only about 18 sentences in the entire manuscript are written in the first person – it is extremely rare for him to say ‘I saw this with my own eyes’.

“I believe that rather than being one person’s account, it’s a sort of medieval database of European knowledge of the Far East at the time.


you can also read all about MP in Wikipedia of course. That is if you never read his travels.


Come Fly with Me


Amazing absolutely amazing.


The Eyes of Eagles


An eagle’s flight from the top of the world’s tallest building to his handler below. An eagle was fitted with a camera and released from the top of the 2,715 foot Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.
The eagle has no idea where the tiny speck of land was that his handler is standing on or what it looked like among all of the other islands and buildings and people. Somehow from that altitude, the eagle actually picks out and recognizes the trainer from all of the other objects, people, etc. You can see him looking, looking, looking for the trainer, completely invisible to a human eye and the camera, then fold his/her wings and drops like a bullet straight to his trainer.

What surprised the experts is not only how efficiently the eagle spots his trainer from that altitude, but how smooth its flight is with no camera shake whatsoever, even when it goes into a power dive.



Click on the link below to enjoy this record flight. https://www.youtube.com/embed/ 6g95E4VSfj0?rel=0

What do You do with an empty glass bottle?


In the early 1900s, Fort Bragg residents threw their household garbage over the cliffs above what is now Glass Beach. It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass.

Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump, and locals referred to it as “The Dumps.” Sometimes fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile (up to 30 feet high), however in 1967, the city leaders closed the area. Various cleanup programs were undertaken through the years to try to correct the damage, but without success.

Over the next 30 years the pounding waves cleaned the beach, by breaking down everything but glass and pottery. The pounding waves washed the trash up and down, back and forth. Tons of polished, broken glass were created by the pounding surf. These smoothened, coloured glass particles then settled along the sea shore in millions, and so a magnificent beach was formed. The name was changed from, “The Dump” to what we currently know as, “The Glass Beach”.

The sea glass that was created is the product of a very long and interesting process.  It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to make sea glass, the name for any piece of glass that finds its way to the ocean and tumbles around in the water long enough to frost and smooth its surface. Once it makes its way into the ocean, the glass is broken up into shards and is tumbled around in the water, where sand and other rocks act like sandpaper to smooth out its rough edges. Sometimes as the sea glass is passed through fire, it becomes “fire glass”, the rarest of sea glass with certain “inclusions”, just like precious gems.

In 1998, the private owner of the property determined that Glass Beach should belong to the public and in 2002 it became part of MacKerricher State Park, open to the public.

Within a period of few years the Glass Beach won fame, attracting a large number of tourists every year. Way back in time, people wanted to dump their glass products on this shore; now they would try to get one of these pieces to take home as a souvenir. It is ironic but true that where once it was illegal to dispose the glass on the shore, it now is a crime to remove it.

Visiting the Glass Beach today is a unique experience. What makes it even more remarkable, are the sounds produced by the glass pebbles as they are being washed away by the gentle waves.

Glass 1

Weekly Photo Challenge – Movement



Daily Post wants MOVEMENT.

If it is your turn to move and you do it,  that’s movement – right?

And that is how some move on a Sunday Afternoon in Aix-les-Bains



As per Sideview’s     challenge

I have this strong ambivalence when it comes to Tour de France which I have now watched on TV for the last 20 years. Do we want to rent a camper and go to France to watch (my husband will have to do the driving) or watch from the comfort of my couch? It is all about BEAUTIFUL France.


Jake’s Movie Challenge



This was a wonderful book, but a mediocre movie. The book is among my favourite 10 of all times!



In the book but not in the movie is the delightful and hilarious story of wrought iron gates in Savannah.

Here are a few photos (taken with a first generation digital camera in 1999) of the charming town of Savannah. But do read the book!





Review of the movie taken from Amazon.

Readers of John Berendt’s bestselling novel were bound to be at least somewhat disappointed by this big-screen adaptation, but despite mixed reaction from critics and audiences, there’s still plenty to admire about director Clint Eastwood’s take on the material. Readers will surely miss the rich atmosphere and societal detail that Berendt brought to his “Savannah story,” and the movie can only scratch the surface of Georgian history, tradition, and wealthy decadence underlying Berendt’s fact-based murder mystery. Still, Eastwood maintains an assured focus on the wonderful eccentrics of Savannah, most notably a gay Savannah antiques dealer (superbly played by Kevin Spacey), who may or may not have killed his friend and alleged lover (Jude Law). John Cusack plays the Town & Country journalist who arrives in Savannah to find much more than he bargained for–including the city’s legendary drag queen Lady Chablis (playing “herself”)–and John Lee Hancock’s smoothly adapted screenplay succeeds in bringing Berendt’s characters vividly to life with plenty of flavorful dialogue. In similar fashion to Warner’s acclaimed DVD of L.A. Confidential, this classy DVD includes a behind-the-scenes documentary titled The Real People in the Garden and an interactive map tour of Savannah and its most celebrated (or notorious) citizens. The original theatrical trailer is also included. –Jeff Shannon

Weekly Photo Challenge – Close



But there is space for one more.

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