Cinema – hard to imagine life without it. It has been pronounced close to death for years, but artists keep on cranking out movies, and good ones too. Why do people enjoy cinema so much? A cinema is a unique place: you visit it with dozens of people, no need to talk, great for a first date, and (added bonus) you have to switch off your mobile. And the popcorn.
I’ve seen hundreds of movies over the past 50+ years. The first-ever movie was Mary Poppins, I was a boy of 5 or 6, and going to the city cinema with my parents and older brother and sister was an amazing experience, engraved in my memory. Shortly after that: the Sound of Music. No wonder I still rate these two movies as top of the list. The miracle has never left me. From The Godfather, to Young Frankenstein, all the way to Hannah Arendt and Bohemian Rhapsody… I love cinema.
I had forgotten why I took this picture. It wasn’t because of the building in the background, but because of the cars: all 4WD vehicles. It is rumored that the average Qatari has a 4WD for daytime, a sports car for the evening and a special desert car for the weekend.
This picture, taken at the corniche, shows a spa with the picture of the Qatar emir – which is shown all over. I took this photo mostly because of the full moon over the Persian Gulf.
Before Qatar struck gold with natural gas, pearl fishing was one of the main industries (referred to in Jules Verne’s “20000 leagues,” if my memory doesn’t fail me). This sculpture, with a man-high pearl, can be found in the port.
Learn more about my travels: www.clemenssuter.com/tag/travel
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The future of Robokind
I firmly believe that humankind will, at some distant point in time, manage to build self-replicating robots. These robots will be able to harvest minerals and metals, and will create their own offspring, each generation better suited to its environment. These robots will be able to leave Earth (especially since the initial models will have been designed by humans to do so), and initially settle throughout our solar system, then making the big jump to the Great Beyond. Humans will not be part of this Great Exploration, as our bodies are not suited for space travel, first of all due to the radiation levels encountered in deep space. In addition, the time needed to travel from star system to star system are very large if compared to the average lifespan of a human. Humans have a hard time planning beyond the next presidential election, and are incapable of planning a hundred years into the future (climate warming, folks?). Thus the colonization of space will to a large part be the job of robots and some parasitic organisms that these robots will carry with them.
The good news is that these robots will have very little interest in organic lifeforms, humans included – as long as these lifeforms aren’t a threat, they will be ignored. Likewise, if extraterrestrials will ever visit Earth (or have done so in the past), those visitors will most likely be robots, inconspicuous and disinterested.
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Again I had a chance to visit this intriguing country (see elsewhere in my blog www.clemenssuter.com) – but as I was quite busy, I couldn’t take a lot of photos. Some impressions below.
There aren’t many old buildings in Qatar; due to the profit created from natural gas, many new skyscrapers are being built.
Sound advice, and not only for people that live in a desert.
We visited an extraordinary Persian restaurant, beautifully decorated. There were a dozen waitresses and waiters – not a single one from the same country. Qatar has 2.5M inhabitants, and only 10% are actual Qataris. The rest are migrants from every conceivable country.
Even more skyline. An accident happened close to my hotel: a tree fell over. This may sound absurd, as Qatar is usually not associated with an abundance of trees. It did cause considerable ruckus: dozens of men surrounded the tree and gaped at it in shock and horror.