Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Strange Saturday

I woke up this morning, and with it being a work day, prepared myself, and then went for a coffee before heading to the chess centre for my classes. I have found a routine on a Saturday whereby I get up a bit early, and find a coffee before work, read a novel for about half an hour, and then head in. Today, I unfortunately forgot to take my novel, but as a resourceful fellow, I had a smart phone with me and browsed through my Twitter account to see if there might be anything interesting

Interesting Fact Number 1:

As with most people I was appalled by the destructive earthquake that happened in Nepal last week. The last I heard over 6000 people had died in this tragedy, but the death count could still rise drastically, especially with the displacement of many people caused by the destruction of buildings, villages, towns. Organisations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, and OXFAM can be donated to.

Just how powerful was the earthquake? Well, it was graded 7.8 on the Richter scale but besides the devastation it caused, that doesn't mean much to me. To put it into terms I understand, this article by the Smithsonian  tells of a region 75 miles long, and 30 miles wide that was lifted up by about 3 feet. Apparently, it caused Mt Everest to shrink by an inch! That is an unbelievable power of nature!

Interesting Fact Number 2

I love my multi-cultural city, Melbourne, and country, Australia. I'll admit that it is not perfect and that their is sometimes ethnic tension, and racial issues. Only yesterday there was a protest march in Melbourne, as there was across Australia, against the Abbott Government's proposed closure of indigenous communities in Western Australia.

Europe has it's fair share of racial tension. I remember this from my life in England, and with immigration being an issue that has right wing parties such as UKIP gaining popularity, I'm guessing these issues haven't disappeared.

So I was a little concerned to see Munich had opened a Nazi Museum in a building which used to be Nazi headquarters in the 1930's. I understand that we sometimes need to confront our past and ensure that we learn from the past to ensure the same mistakes aren't made in the future. I just hope that this new centre doesn't become an icon for right wing organisations, which certainly exist in Bavaria, and Germany and Europe.

Interesting Fact Number 3

Last, and possibly least in the strange new things I learned today concerned interesting historical facts about my secret food addiction, croissants. First, let me say that I pronounce croissant, "krwasohn", as in the French, rather than cross-ant, as in the Australian. But perhaps I'm being unfair, as croissant's pre date France by quite a margin. Apparently, a crescent shaped Kipfel can be traced back to the 13th century in Vienna, the Kipfel being the croissant's predecessor. But the croissant as we know it today is quintessentially French with puff pastry and oozing with butter. If the plain croissant isn't good enough, then you could go for the bigger artery clogger, the almond croissant which is my particular favourite!

French pastry basket from Rocley's Cafe, Elsternwick. Mine's the sugar coated almond croissant in the middle!

And it is especially good with a cup of coffee....damn, not only did I forget my book, I forgot my Saturday morning croissant

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