Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 246

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps, Text & Photo series

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Friday - Wednesday, May 11 - 16 2012 (diary)

Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928 I am generally disappointed about the prevailing stupidity in the world, the clinging to old beliefs and attitudes, the ignorance and lack of awareness of what has been discovered by a small segment of clever thinkers amongst us.
I have taken the view that it will take another 500 to 1,000 years before true enlightenment has spread around this globe.
But when I read Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (as I do at present), I become somewhat more optimistic.

Like most of Hardy's other novels the main theme is the relationship between a man and a woman. Jude and his companion Sue, both divorcees from previous marriages live together out of wedlock, and most of Hardy's writing revolves around their mental and emotional state. As such it is (in my view) more a very elaborate defence for such social (at the time unacceptable) behaviour than a novel.

When first published in 1895 the novel was met with outrage from his contemporaries and as a result was the last book Hardy wrote, although he lived on for another 33 years !
At least in most of the Developed World we have come a long way in terms of moral and social attitudes since then, and in less than 100 years. So perhaps enlightenment in other areas will spread faster too, especially with the globe spanning Internet these days.

But then again (as I hear from a most reliable source) the Internet, through Facebook, Twitter, iTube and the likes, can have a dumming, meaningless trivialising effect too, especially on the young.
Throughout Australia mediocre teachers, having given up on keeping order and discipline, let kids do their own thing in the class rooms, which usually is mucking around on the "social media" via their iPads, iPhones etc. As a result numeracy and literacy are suffering and education in our country is falling well behind that of Asian nations. Not a good development.

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Thursday - Sunday, May 17 - 20 2012 (diary)

The Feldberg, capped with snow, April 2008 After completing my last bridge chores and packing my bag I finally got away this Saturday. It has been a real Airbus experience and I must say, most enjoyable. Here follow some comments on my flight from Darwin to Frankfurt which may be of interest to others who fly that way.

First with Jetstar in an A321 from Darwin to Singapore (JQ61). It is a great little plane.
I always book a seat next to the Emergency Exit as it has much more leg room, an in the A321 there is plenty of that. You pay $39 extra but that is well worth the money.
Jetstar is a budget airline, so you pay for your drinks and meals. Previously this could be a hassle paying with small change, but now they accept credit card payments only. It makes everything much easier and more efficient.

Because of my relative short time interval between arriving in Singapore and boarding the next plane I was somewhat worried. A couple of bridge acquaintances who were also on the plane faced the same dilemma and had organised to stay in Singapore overnight. With lots of luggage this is certainly the best option.
But for me, traveling with cabin luggage only, the 1½ hour interval was sufficient time to get a new boarding pass at a transfer desk and be well in time for boarding flight Lufthansa LH779, even though it was quite a walk from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2.

My holiday apartment in Sankt Peter, Black Forest The flight to Frankfurt with Lufthansa was for me a new experience this time around, for it was the first time I traveled on the new A380-800 Airbus. Fully loaded it can carry 800 Economy passengers or, more commonly, around 500 Economy and another 150 First and Business Class passengers, like they did now.
All First and Budget Class travelers were accommodated on the upper deck, with us commoners all on the lower deck. Every seat in Economy has its own digital monitor with movies, TV series, Games etc.

The A380 also has 3 cameras mounted outside, one right on the nose of the plane, one on top of the vertical tail wing and one underneath the aircraft. So on your monitor you can actually observe take off and landing as if you are in the cockpit yourself, a great experience.

On my balcony, Fledbergblick As we were flying mostly by night there was not much to observe during the flight itself, however on the monitor screen you can also select a virtual vision of the ground underneath taken by daylight with the exact position of the plane (from moment to moment) and its actual course superimposed, so that you can get a real sense of awareness of what you are flying over.
I found this a real improvement on the past : getting into the plane and having no idea of the earth underneath throughout the journey. The plane cruised at an altitude of 38,000 feet (11,600 metres) which was very smooth.

The Lufthansa cabin staff was at its usual best, very friendly and most helpful, plying us with plenty of drinks (for me G&Ts, Henkel sekt, and very nice cognac). Leg room was a little tight but better than some other economy seats I have traveled in : not too bad.
I arrived in Frankfurt on time, then caught the train to Freiburg where my sister Wivica was waiting for me. Soon after I arrived at my holiday apartment in Sankt Peter. Having a leisurely drink there on my balcony I noticed that the Feldberg was still capped with snow (and that in mid May !!). The day temperature was pleasant though, around 24° Celsius.

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