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Jerry Kobalenko: Searching for ghosts on Ellesmere Island (Episode #4)

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Jerry Kobaleko (Photo found at RMOToday.com) Jerry Kobalenko is one of Canada’s most experienced High Arctic travelers. He’s the author of The Horizontal Everest, and Arctic Eden. His writing and photography have appeared in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Canadian Geographic and Time.  He’s also the editor of ExplorersWeb. He was awarded the Polar Medal in 2018 by Canada’s...

Political Fictions

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I read a collection of long pieces written by Joan Didion in the 1990s called Political Fictions this week. It contained “the first of a number of pieces I eventually did about American politics,” she wrote in the Preface, “most of which had to do, I came to realize, with the ways in which the political process did not reflect but increasingly proceeded from a series of fables about American...

Watching films in palaces and prisons

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Berlinale summer screening at Charlottenburg Palace Covid cancelled Berlinale, but summer brought a week of screenings curated from this year’s films. I watched the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize winner last week a short bike ride away at Charlottenburg Palace.  Waiting for darkness to fall It was the second-best place I’ve watched an outdoor film. The best was in Malta. We...

Lawrence Millman: the Arctic, technology and saving stories (Episode #3)

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Lawrence Millman serving up arctic tern shit in Iceland… Lawrence Millman is the author of 18 books, including Northern Latitudes, Last Places, An Evening Among Headhunters, and Lost in the Arctic.  His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, National Geographic Adventure, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and Islands.  He’s made 30 trips to the Arctic and Subarctic...

Spandau Citadel

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Spandau Citadel by A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) – Own work, FAL, Berlin is finally emerging from the pandemic lockdown we’ve been in with increasing forms of severity since mid-December. The biergarten are open, so I guess civilization won’t end just yet.  We can go to shops now, too. And barber shops and indoor dining are open to those who show a same...

RORY MACLEAN: Berlin, Bowie and the new Cold War (Episode #2)

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Rory Maclean Rory Maclean is the author of 15 books, including Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries, Stalin’s Nose, and Pravda Ha Ha.  He’s been called “the outstanding, and most indefatigable, traveller-writer of our time” by the novelist John le Carré. Jan Morris described his work as “a new kind of history, in several dimensions and innumerable moods, that adds up to — across...

Anthropology-lite with Barnaby Rogerson of Eland books (Episode #1)

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Barnaby Rogerson (Photo by Tom Bunning, October 2014) I’m launching my new Personal Landscapes podcast with Barnaby Rogerson, publisher of Eland books. It’s the only possible way I could open a discussion on books about place. Eland has been resurrecting lost travel classics and keeping them in print for more than 35 years.  The legendary travel presenter and Monty Python...

Time Among the Maya

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“If Greek civilization explored the universe with geometry, the Maya did so with arithmetic and time.” This insight comes early in Ronald Wright’s Time Among the Maya, and it sets the stage for his journey through Belize , Guatemala, Chiapas and the Yucatán. Like the Mayan calendar, the narrative ranges through vast spans of time, from distant prehistoric beginnings to the heyday of powerful city...

Moving to Germany? Bring medicine

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I’ll never forget the first time I got sick in Germany. In Canada, the common cold is a trivial annoyance. Simply trudge to the nearest Shopper’s Drug Mart and buy a bottle of Tylenol Cold, perhaps with a Robitussin chaser for the cough. Put the kettle on that night, sip a mug of NeoCitran with a dash of gin, and achieve a fantastic, un-nose-blocked sleep. You’ll wake the next morning feeling...

The NSA listening post on Devil’s Mountain

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Teufelsberg — ‘Devil’s Mountain’ — is a man made hill that rises 120m above sea level and provides a 360 degree view of flat Berlin and the surrounding Grunewald. The hill was built from an estimated 12 million cubic metres of war rubble, the remains of all those shattered buildings that were left of the city after WWII bombing. They dumped the broken brick and stone over an unfinished Nazi...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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