Ascension Day


The gorgeous glas window in Tromø’s Arctic Cathedral displays actually the Return of Jesus, not Ascension Day. I had visited the church for the first time, shortly after my arrival in the Arctic, on Ascension Day 2007 when several newborns were baptized. The northernmost cathedral is one of the must-see sights when visiting Tromsø.

I have to admit that mystic traveling in particular into Heaven fascinate me. I was long amazed about the stories around the Night Journey of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, which took him first to Jerusalem and then up to Heaven, and further than any other prophet. I have written about some aspects here.

10 May 2018 @ 10:13 am.

Last modified May 10, 2018.



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US Presidents Lack Moral Center


In an interview with Al Jazeera on 12 January 2013, Noam Chomsky characterized then president Barack Obama as a man without “moral centre”.

If you look at his policies I think that’s what they reveal. I mean there’s some nice rhetoric here and there but when you look at the actual policies … the drone assassination campaign is a perfectly good example, I mean it’s just a global assassination campaign.

I had then commented on Chomsky’s damning assessment. Once almost regarded as the Messiah, Obama had in fact sunk to such depths rather unexpectedly.

When sacked former FBI director James Comey emphasizes that the present president of the US Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency on moral grounds, it may mean something else.

In a way Obama maintained, generally spoken, his grace despite shocking moments of self-reflection, “Turns out, I’m really good at killing people”. The Peace Nobel Prize laureate of 2008 should have returned the award.

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Top Environmental Policy Adviser’s Nomination Withdrawn

It comes somewhat as a surprise that climate change denier Donald Trump has finally withdrawn the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White as environmental policy advisor, a climate change sceptic. White has got her academic degrees in humanities and religion at Stanford University and attended one year at Texas Tech University law school. It was announced that president Trump himself has nominated her to chair the Council on Environmental Quality.

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The Super Blue Blood Moon in Tromsø


Not really expected, when watching the end of the total lunar eclipse today from our offices in Tannbygget in Tromsø, we were really fascinated that the forecast time of the moon’s appearance was so precise. The moon was not really red this time as the eclipse happened when skies were still rather bright.

This is the second total eclipse I had the opportunity to watch in Tromsø, after the eclipse on winter solstice in 2010, see here.

31 January 2018 @ 5:40 pm.

Last modified January 31, 2018.

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Now They Gas Monkeys

The real shocking news about Volkswagen’s ongoing scandal about exhaust fumes is that the Germans are now gassing monkeys. (Humans were only tested for adverse effects nitrogen oxide.) The news broke more or less on Germany’s Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January, the day when in 1945 the Auschwitz extermination camp was liberated by the Red Army.

When Reinhard Heydrich informed senior NAZI government officials on 20 January 1942 at a villa in Wannsee about the planned “final solution of the Jewish question”, attendees of the infamous conference discussed, in rather private talks, disadvantages of then common mass shootings and experiments with gassing disabled and later Jews in vans with exhaust fumes. The latter’s disadvantages were 1) it took too long, and 2) it wasn’t quiet.

Results of these experiments led directly to Auschwitz.

30 January 2018 @ 6:11 am.

Last modified January 30, 2018.

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