Sick of science

As a child, Charles O. Handley, Jr. (1924-2000) envied explorers who discovered new oceans, continents, mountains and rivers, and dreamt of becoming an ornithologist. Son of a life-long bird watcher, with every bird he spotted by his father’s side he imagined discovering and naming a new species. But he was born about 200 years too late for that. So instead of ornithology, he studied mammalogy and more than fulfilled his dreams of becoming an explorer; he named many species of lemmings, hares, bats, an armadillo, an agouti, and of course the pygmy sloth. This extremely rare and critically endangered animal is only found on one island in the whole world, and I almost died going there to see it. Almost dying is not the same as dying, so since I didn’t, I can now tell the story.
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Waypoints in Portugal

I don’t know what started it all; maybe I read about a cork yoga mat, or maybe I looked at the massive pile of wine corks I collected over the years and wondered what to do with them; but 2014 was the year I was obsessed with cork. I wrote about my journey hugging cork trees earlier; below are some notes from the road that should not be forgotten.

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First day with the Olympus EM-1 system

I love photography. I also love the freedom and flexibility traveling light brings. Those two usually conflict. Very often I don’t have the heart to check my camera, lenses and the underwater housings when traveling, because they will get damaged or stolen. The hard cases they go in –even though they are cabin-sized– already exceed the  weight limits on most airlines before I put anything in them. Then I feel like an idiot paying excess baggage fees to airlines like Lufthansa that won’t give in to my bargaining skills. In addition, having too much luggage makes me vulnerable when traveling solo, not to mention ungraceful.

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