Scene: Berkeley, California, April 1986. A bar. Five conference attendees, myself included, grabbing a hamburger and a beer in a fern-bar on or near Telegraph.
All eyes are on the TV’s mounted over the bar, where we watch footage of an air strike against Libya. This is the retribution by Ronald Reagan against Insane African Leader Muammar al-Kadafi. The White House was issuing statements about al-Kadafi’s involvement in bombings in Europe, the OPEC oil ministry kidnapping, linkage to the infamous Jackal, and so on. Nikki, a friend and colleague, said something, and I remember asking her to repeat it. Nikki is a low-talkier. You’ve got to lean in really close. So I leaned in and heard her say, “Lybia is the only country in Africa where the people get to share in the national wealth. They love Kadafi. Others should take a lesson from him.”
Continue reading Flight 103 from Frankfurt
This is a canal paralleling the Gariep (aka Orange) River in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Around the turn of the 19th century missionaries moved into this area and developed water irrigation systems that supported the development of an orchard industry which is still going strong, with an increasing focus on table grapes. The dry conditions facilitated drying fruit, so this is essentially the tried apricot and raisin capital of the world. Or at least, southern Africa.
This water wheel turns with the force of the water in the canal, and with the wheel rotates a cup which picks up a small amount of water with each rotation, dumping that into a sluice that feeds to an irrigation pipe or ditch.
The coffee shop was already loud. The walls, floor, and ceiling of the Caribou are all made of sound-bouncy materials. The equipment behind the counter is loud to begin with and is not muffled by any structure. The barista has developed the typical barista habit of banging shit on other shit as loud as he can and as often as he can.
Continue reading The Loudness of Coffee Shops