Showing posts with label Other. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Other. Show all posts

Thursday 25 August 2016

Hitler on souvenirs

Souvenir cups with Hitler
This type of souvenir cups are sold in many Bulgarian resorts.

Sunday 7 August 2016

Flying object over Kopitoto, Bulgaria

This observation was made on 07 August 2016, between 21:05 and 21:10, over "Kopitoto" tower, near Knyazhevo district in Sofia, Bulgaria. Probably is more correct to say over Vitosha mountain.

At first it was a bit further and smaller and looked a bit like plane's lights, but pretty fast it was clear that it moves somewhat irregularly and the light is too big for a plane. Then it looked like plane of fire, accident maybe. Then it got a bit bigger or closer and didn't look like anything, but the speed was probably 100-200 km/h and the distance 1-2 km, but I may be wrong, there was no way to judge it correctly.  Then the light got extinguished and it proved to be dark object somewhat triangularly shaped and spinning, while getting closer and closer and dropping down. Also there was no sound, the speech you can hear is Bulgarian.

I filmed it with Samsung S4, the camera is not very good and it looked much clearer and bigger on live.

I'd like to see a real UFO or extraterrestrials, but here I am 99% convicted its something human-made, maybe some kind of toy or else. I'll appreciate deeply any ideas about what I've just seen.

Monday 18 July 2016

Update about the travel posts

Now I don't have access to Internet everyday and when I do have its often way too slow to update anything, so I am posting some of the videos not in a chronological order, but rather because it managed to get uploaded. For my next trip I'll have in mind to sort somehow better, or at least more regular access to Internet, so I could post daily or nearly that updates.

PS And at the end I'll stitch up these short clips together with some photos to make something like short movie.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Plans for travel in Bulgaria

So, I decided the first part from my walk to be between Vama Veche, Romania and Rezovo, Bulgaria, which means walking approximately 400 km along the whole Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. I bought already plane ticket from London to Sofia for this weekend and then with a bus I'll get to Vama Veche.

The issue with the wild camping in Bulgaria seems to be somewhat grey area. Big part of the land is not private property, so there is that, but still it could be somewhat illegal to pitch up tent near the coast. I'll check this more in debt and will write about it more in some of the next days. Next, there are few rivers which doesn't have bridges close to the sea, so I'll need small inflatable raft to cross them. I found one for £15, with weight 2.1 kg and I hope it should do the job of carrying me across these small rivers. Also that small raft can be used as mat, so its worth the additional weight. Fishing with fishing line should be completely legal without any licenses or permits in Black Sea, but again I'll check that to confirm.

That so far is my idea, but its not set in stone, so it may change.

Somewhere in Bulgaria around Black Sea

Monday 4 July 2016

Plans for next travel

In case anybody wonders where I disappeared the last 5 days, worry not, I've been planning my next walking adventure. This year I am not going to see anything too exotic for various reasons, but still I'll try to do my best with what I have. So the choice is narrowed to one of the Balkan countries and I am planning to walk several hundred kilometres for several weeks along sea coast and during that time I also plan to sleep exclusively under open skies if the weather permits it and if it doesn't, in my simple tarp bivvy. Also I'll try to avoid buying food, so I'll have to see how I'll sort that issue. Probably best bet is to go fishing from time to time and also carry some food with myself in case I feel too lazy for hunting and gathering.

Next few days I'll write a bit more about that.

I want to be in places like this

Friday 3 June 2016

Essential skills and crafts needed for survival in the wilderness - overview

While thinking how can be achieved in minimalistic way the walk around the world, started to wonder how it was done originally, when the humankind spread across the globe. So I came down to the question how to cover the basic need for survival: clothes, shelter, food, water. There is going around the rule of the three for the importance of each of these. It sounds something like that:

One can't survive more then:
a) 3 minutes without air or warmth (icy waters or extreme cold)
b) 3 hours without shelter in harsh environment
c) 3 days without water (if sheltered from harsh environment)
d) 3 weeks without food (if there is shelter and water)

First point is obvious, we should avoid any possibility we'll be left without air. Normally this is not issue, but if it happens to come across situation like that we have to try to prepare ourselves accordingly. This may happen on sinking boat, under avalanche and some other cases, which are not really the topic of this post.

Second one is of great importance and normally can be addressed with proper preparation, because if we happen to be in harsh environment unprepared it may be is too late. However there are still things that can be done in some cases. For example during the winter in snow storm we can build igloo-type shelter just in time to save ourselves, or if there is no snow we can dig out hole in the ground and add some rocks and branches for additional cover. Still better if we are caught in the wild without shelter, but the condition in the moment are not so bad (its sunny day still) we may have time to build proper shelter until the fall of the night/arrival of the storm/etc. Here is coming handy knowledge how to build igloo, zemlyanka, tent, mud&rock house and other appropriate shelters. So we came across the first batch of essential skills and crafts. In my opinion most people should be able to do decent job even without much previous knowledge, because all of these are relatively simple and what is needed is a little bit  of common sense and experience with tools. However we'll need something for digging out and cutting like shovel and machete/axe. Actually I am going to look for the best tools for the task and there may be even some good hybrid option. In that line of thought may be we'll need some knowledge of tool-making, for example flint knapping for making stone hand axe, hand spinning for making string from some plants or other fibre, so our axe can be upgraded with handle. Also in this category we may include the clothes, because even if they are not shelter per se, they may offer in many cases enough protection to allow us to survive the harsh environment. So here we came to the need to be known not only the craft of the spinning, but also weaving. With weaving we can make clothes, tarps, tents and other essential for survival items.

Once we made sure we are protected from the elements we should think about the water. There are few cases in which we may be left without water. The first situation is if we are in some kind of dessert without any obvious water in any form. That is the worse case scenario, but there are still things that can be done. First we should try to find any kind of plant, the easiest way is just to squeeze some water form them, but if its too woody of we are not sure about poisons, we may cook it in something closed and to drink the evaporated and condensed water. If that is not an option we may try to do a condensation trap (which is essentially desalinating tool) and so on. Another situation could be that we have access only to non-drinkable water like, which is going to be much easier to be solved with proper knowledge and preparation.

In cases like that I think we have to learn the exact methods of harvesting water with primitive and modern technologies and if possible always to carry with ourselves some items and tools, like big enough clear plastic sheet, pot with lid (for fire distilling) that facilitate the process. Here I am not yet sure the knowledge of exactly what crafts are going to be needed, if any, but I'll update in future.

Condensation trap   Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

And the last is the food. Here I guess that we'll need to eat plants and animals found in the nature. with the plants, the case is relatively simple, we just have to find them and forage. We may not need too specialised tools for the gathering (probably shovel for digging out roots and some pots for cooking), but we need extensive knowledge of what can be eaten, how to find it and how to prepare it. The problem with the plants is that most of them are either poisonous or not edible and even many of the edible ones can't be eaten without the appropriate preparation. The animals on other hand are kind of the opposite case, near all of them can be eaten raw and are much easier for digestion and more nutritional. However there is the problem how to catch them. In nearly all cases we'll need some special weapon or trap and this are going to be essentially the crafts needed.

Lets start with fishing, we can catch fish with hook and line (for this we need to know spinning and weaving), nets (spinning, weaving and special net-making), blind baskets (basket weaving), spears, harpoons, arrows (bow and arrow making), fishing with hands (needed experience), damns, poisoning and many, many other methods.

Next are the birds and mammals, they can be caught with nets, snare-wires, traps, projectile weapons, throwing weapons and others. I guess we need to know how to craft and use all of these weapons and things.

Last I think are the invertebrates. Some of them are not edible, but these that are may turn to be the best and most accessible source of food. There are survivalists that ignore them, but I think its mostly cultural thing. Invertebrates in most of the cases can be harvested very easily and are actually very tasty and nutritious. Some like snails or prawns are even delicacy. I'll look further into this and I'll make some experiments.

Anyway the topic is just too big to fit it in one post, so I am giving only overview here and more detailed information will come in separated articles.

Hand spinning
Condensation trap

The Life in a Nutshell

I found this pretty old video from the London zoo in my first camera, while I've been backing up the data.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Adventure idea - Walk around the World

Some time ago I was thinking what is possibly the most amazing adventure I can imagine for myself. And my thought went along the following lines: so, there are many things I'd like very much to do, but one stands out. Its the idea of around the world travel on foot with minimum luggage and through places rarely or never visited or if visited not documented. One of the main reasons for this to be done could be to document and research places, people, flora and fauna, which will disappear soon and the knowledge about them will be lost forever.

I thought about that when I realised that the proverbial modern access to information is simply illusion. Everybody thinks that we have access to nearly all information that exists, however people are mixing quantity with quality. We do indeed can instantly get enormous amounts of information, but that information is about relatively small number of topics. To illustrate what I mean, just think how much information there is on internet about celebrities, sport, movies and compare that to how much we can find about the way of life of the native Americans before Columbus or indeed about these living until nowadays in the jungles of Amazonia. For example one of my projects is to reconstruct fully the way of life of the different groups of humans before the agricultural revolution (in my opinion it is the way of life for which we evolved, we are best adapted and the way of life most beneficial for our mental and physical health). So first I went to look for more information about the hunting techniques and what a surprise nobody bothered to even document how exactly bow is held and shot by the different tribes. There was rich information about certain topics, which were speciality of the particular researcher, but this method leaves enormous gaps in the knowledge. For example a researcher may not realise the importance of the weapon crafting techniques and to fully discard unique and mind blowing things as "well they have something like 3 feet long bows, crudely made". These "crude bows" and how they are used may happen to be actually the most important thing that need to be documented instead the description of some trinket produced by these people. So to avoid this problem I think we need to have more encyclopaedic approach, in sense the researcher needs to have enough knowledge in very wide range of fields so he'll be able at least to appreciate that certain things are important and have to be described and documented, even if he doesn't know enough to make proper research of the specific topic. Anyway, I strayed a bit from the topic. What I wanted to say is that out there is big world mostly unknown and disappearing and it is worth to go and gather  the information before its gone.

So, once we established the need these less known places, people and things to be found, seen and documented the next question is going to be: "How to get there?". Nowadays we have of course many options for travel, but the drawback for most of them is that they can get you only to places that are already often visited, by the virtue of being part of the global transport net and our only other option is to simply walk to the places we want to reach. And once we get our heads around the idea to abandon for most of the part the more conventional methods of transportation, we can start seeing the beauty of the idea to walk around the World. The walk itself is one of the most pleasant and beneficial for our physical and mental health activities that we can think of. In essence such a project is going to combine in one the useful with the pleasant.

So, these were my musings on the topic about the adventures and I thought to share them here.

Friday 20 May 2016

Topics for research of cultures and people

Happened that in my life I stumbled a few times on some odd and interesting people and their cultures and every time I was rather taken by surprise and didn't knew what exactly to look for and some time later, while recounting the experience I've been realizing that I've missed many interesting moments about them. So to avoid this happening in future I decided to put together list of topics in which I am personally interested in regard of researching specific cultures.

Also while I've been thinking about this topic it sprang in my mind the side project to collect information about some less known tribes and cultures, which information is often spread around the net in different places and often is wrong and contradictory. And the plan is that the points from this list will roughly correspond to separated posts about each ethnics/tribe I'm planning to do. The idea is eventually to have a full article, which will encompass all of these topics and this article will serve as complete source of information about the specific culture in one place. Ideally this has to be article in Wikipedia, but as I'll be unable for the moment to provide reliable sources it has to be put somewhere else and even if not properly sourced the information at least will be available in condensed form in one place. I'm not sure how exactly should be called such article, may be "Ethnographic study of X"? So I'll be grateful for some hint from more knowledgeable readers. Also I'd like some feedback about the list, what I missed, what I categorized wrongly, etc.

So, lets list these topics:
1. Language
2. Writing systems
3. Symbols
4. Clothing and how it is made
5. Utensils and how they are made and used
6. Tools and how they are made and used
7. Weapons and how they are made and used
8. Hunting and fishing tools and weapons, how they are made, used and by whom
9. What is hunted, when and how for each specific type of prey
10. Religion, belief system, superstitions, legends, myths, oral traditions, tales, etc
11. Customs and rituals, all particular ones listed, illustrated and explained
12. Marriage, coupling customs and rituals
13. Relations between sexes, duties and rights
14. Attitude to death, rituals and customs
15. Naming
16. Food, what is it, from where is taken, how is made, eaten, etc
17. Husbandry, what, how, by whom, when
18. Animals, what kinds, for what propose, how, by whom, where, when
19. Martial arts, training, rituals, competitions, tools/weapons
20. Festivals, celebrations
21. Songs
22. Dances
23. Free time, when, how
24. Daily life, breakdown by time, tasks, type of people
25. Annual and monthly changes, migrations
26. Work, which days, how long, from what to what time, breakdown by sex, age, trade
27. Attitude towards sex, customs, rituals
28. Rising children
29. Medicine, what, how is made, found, by who and how and by who is taken and given
30. Agriculture, what, how and for what propose is grown
31. Plants, what, how are collected or grown, how are harvested or found, how are processed and kept, for what propose, by whom
32. Housing, what is it, from what is made, how is made, where is made and by who is made
33. Water, how is found, kept, used, processed, when, by who
34. Fire, how is made, kept, used, when, by who
35. Laws, courts, authorities
36. Social hierarchy
37. Other materials used, when, how, etc
38. Decorations and motifs
39. Beauty and personal aesthetics
40. Physical description and particularities of the people from the culture

That is more or less what I am interested in the different cultures and this list is going to be the first approximation of my "Don't forget to find about ..." manual.

Thanks for reading and see you soon.

Nomad camp of Golok people, note right shoulder normally is exposed while working or sitting. (photo taken at the 1938–1939 German expedition to Tibet)