Details

A new metal door in Venice, Italy is surrounded by abundant evidence of urban decay, photo by author
A new metal door in Venice, Italy is surrounded by abundant evidence of urban decay, photo by author

Detail

Here, in Venice, the “Devil” is (definitely) in the detail. The new metal door recently installed in the much older building, though a little out of place, appears perfectly functional and looks like it is good operating condition.

What needs to be pointed out here is that Venice, Italy is a city, situated just a few feet above sea level and so those cracks in the wall may be caused by the overwhelming presence of sea water in the immediate vicinity.

Furthermore, Venice may also be a bellwether locale, for the distinct possibility that our sea levels are rising and this phenomena may be causing and will cause problems along some coastlines in the near future.

Details

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Future

Future

Here is an image of one possible future.

In this poster, a wooden car negotiates the wide canals of Venice, photo by author
In this poster, a wooden car negotiates the wide canals of Venice, photo by author

About the Artist

This is a photograph (taken by the author) of a popular poster, commemorating the work of Livio De Marchi, an Italian artist and woodcarver, who enjoys building floatable cars and driving them around the canals of Venice, Italy.

Global Warming In Our Future

Many scientists predict dire environmental events in our near future. Here is one possible scenario, where rising coastal waters, make life at sea level unpredictable or perhaps impossible.
Future

The Empathy and Antipathy Concerning Christopher Columbus

Christopher_Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo

Visiting Italy

Several years ago I made a rail trip across Italy. My journey began in old Venice and ended up at a small coastal town (Finale Marina) on the Italian Riviera. The scenery from Venice westward was rather mundane until the train began approaching Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Here, the flat plains gave way to a rugged almost mountainous terrain, where many dwellings were situated on the sides of some very steep hills.

800px-Genova_1481_(copy_1597) View of Genoa by Christoforo de Grassi
View of Genoa in 1481, copied in 1597 by Christoforo de Grassi

Birthplace of Columbus

At Genoa, I transferred trains at an underground station, so I didn’t get to see much of the city, but the ride along the Mediterranean coast was spectacular as the train passed through several long tunnels interspersed with short lengths of rail set right next to the tranquil blue sea. All in all, this provides little insight into the life and times of the “Great Mariner”, though it could shed a little light on the origins of the explorer, who crossed the Atlantic. For info on the trials and tribulations of Mr. Columbus it is necessary to do some research. A good place to begin is Martin Dugard’s excellent book, entitled The Fourth Joutney of Christopher Columbus.

488px-Venise_et_le_Lido,_travel_poster_for_ENIT,_ca__1920
Travel Poster for Venice

Cruising the Internet for Columbus Editorials and Articles

Every year about this time there appear several articles underscoring the destruction and misery caused by the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. This year the big winner seems to be over at the Oatmeal, where a poster by Mathew Inman has been published entitled Christopher Columbus was awful. Check it out.  On a similar (but not so negative) note you might want to check out what the staff at Indian Country Media Network has to say. Just go to their website and read the piece entitled, How not to party on Columbus Day. Then there is the more positive view which found at the Queens Gazette.  And finally on a lighter note, in an article written last year, Laura Geggel of the NY Times speculates on what that mysterious light might have been that Columbus saw just before he landed in the New World.

In Conclusion

After taking in all these viewpoints, don’t forget that Italy is still a fun place to visit. Along these lines I have included another travel poster. Ciao, and so long for now.

FLICKR~1
Travel Poster for the Italian Riviera

I Am A Jelly Doughnut

Cover image for ebook, I Am A Jelly Doughnut
Cover image for ebook, I Am A Jelly Doughnut, by Henri Bauholz

What’s It All About

This is the ebook cover for a small (11,000) word collection of essays that I have just self-published at Smashwords.com. There are about 10 essays all total, covering such diverse topics as Icelandic yogurt and the Vienna Opera. It is not all original writing for some of the writing has appeared online at various journals and general interest websites. The title comes from John Kennedy’s speech in Berlin of 1963, when he reassured West Germans and warned Russians that the US supported the small enclave in East Germany 100 per cent. Later, the story circulated that JFK’s famous words, (Ich bin ein Berliner) really implied that he was a jelly doughnut. Since the news item broke (it was reported at such prestigious places as CNN, the BBC, MSNBC and the NY Times), this viewpoint has been pretty much relegated to the realm of urban fiction. Still, the life of the story makes for a good tale.

Besides JFK’s remarks made in Berlin, the text includes travel stories about Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy and France. The material is a result of two month long voyages, I made in 2003 and 2006. For a link to the book you can click on the image.

Putting the Cover Together

I had fun putting the cover together. I started with a NASA photo of distant space, then I added the jelly doughnut on a plate. I picked this image up on Wikipedia and I believe the image comes from Berlin, which is the geographical locale of the Jelly Doughnut story. Finally, the text was added. Everything was done in an old Photoshop Elements software program, which I paid 25 dollars for years ago. Photoshop was necessary to isolate the dish and also to get curved text. To be honest I am quite pleased with the way everything came out. Having a good cover is very important to promoting an Ebook, for most interest come from curious individuals, who see the image online and then become intrigued by the text. That’s kind of how it works at least for me.