Could there be a Train Around the World?

I think this is a great idea. But, maybe better for a super train than a highway for standard vehicles. There are so many great ideas in the works for trains. Even trains which seem impossible to derail and have accidents. All run faster and work with various green fuel ideas.

I’d love to take a trip on a train from London to Toronto. No doubt the tracks could connect to Toronto somewhere along the way through western Canada or around the Great Lakes. What a great trip that would be.

Travel to Europe might become much more affordable too. Shipping of goods/ trade could be simpler. Not all of those trains would be for passengers!

Far into the future (or not so far) the road or train could extend south into Africa and South America too. How great would that be for developing countries? I’m not thinking tourism or charity but real human resources as people could make the trip in much less time – quite a distance to commute to work but the super trains could make the trip.

How would a whirlwind trip around the world on the super train be? What would you pack?

London to New York City by car? It could happen if the head of Russian Railways has his way.

Source: Road from Europe to U.S.? Russia proposes superhighway – CNN.com

Pay with a Poem

What is a poem worth? As authors around the world despair of making a living, a company based in Vienna has finally come up with a definitive answer: one cup of coffee.

Julius Meinl, a coffee-roasting company founded in 1862, is marking Unesco’s World Poetry Day with a promotion in 1,100 cafes, bars and restaurants across 23 countries mostly in continental Europe but including the UK, the US and Australia, offering a dose of caffeine to any customer who hands over one of their own poems.

via Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry | Books | The Guardian.

World Poetry Day is today (March 21st).

Esperanto

Communication is vital, bottomless in importance to the world and possibly beyond. Communication is also ever changing, one of the least stagnant things we have. New words are created, used and some are adopted into everyday language, even accepted into our dictionaries. The world is full of different languages, different cultures and endless groups of people with endless interests and goals.

Esperanto was started as a way to link people with different cultures and languages. If everyone could understand one universal language then we could all communicate no matter what part of the planet we are from or where our cultural background takes us.

Would you learn a new language? At least a few words? Would you like to be able to give a friendly greeting to anyone in the world, anywhere, no matter what languages each of you use to communicate day to day? 

From Wikipedia:

Esperanto (help·info) is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto (Esperanto translates as ‘one who hopes’), the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887. Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding between people with different regional and/or national languages.

Esperanto was created in the late 1870s and early 1880s by Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, an ophthalmologist of mixed cultural heritage from Bialystok, then part of the Russian Empire. According to Zamenhof, he created this language to foster harmony between people from different countries.

After some ten years of development, which Zamenhof spent translating literature into Esperanto as well as writing original prose and verse, the first book of Esperanto grammar was published in Warsaw in July 1887. The number of speakers grew rapidly over the next few decades, at first primarily in the Russian Empire and Eastern Europe, then in Western Europe, the Americas, China, and Japan. In the early years, speakers of Esperanto kept in contact primarily through correspondence and periodicals, but in 1905 the first world congress of Esperanto speakers was held in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. Since then world congresses have been held in different countries every year, except during the two World Wars. Since the Second World War, they have been attended by an average of over 2,000 and up to 6,000 people. Zamenhof’s name for the language was simply La Internacia Lingvo “the International Language”.

Resources:

Keeping the Man of Marble

An Uncle in Europe, somewhere, has had a marble statue delivered to your home. It’s a little over powering. Certainly all the neighbours have noticed it’s addition to your landscaping. After all, no one else has a life-sized naked male in marble on their front lawn.

As awkward as that is… how do you cope with the marble man when… after a little rubbing (you were just cleaning him off! couldn’t leave bird poo on the guy after all!) the statue stretches, hops off his pedestal and asks if you’ve got anything to eat. He also begins giving you a good look over, like a man who has been trapped in marble a few thousand years and wants a good… umm… rub down.

What do you do with marble man? Can you keep him? He might make a very nice pet after all.