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So far, there were only two people on my “Ingmar’s official heroes” list.

Tensin Gyatso and Peter Ustinov.

Now I have a new hero: Galsan Tschinag.

He appeared on a talk show two days ago. I don’t remember which one, as I wasn’t even watching initially.  The other guests included Til Schweiger, a German female boxer, some cook and, ironically, a son of Peter Ustinov. None of them really fascinated me. But this Mongolian chief, who writes books in German, has an amazing charisma!

It’s rare that anyone radiates such a warmth, such a humor, such an intellect and such a wisdom at the same time.

The next day I tried to get one of his books in a local bookstore but they didn’t have any. Funny thing: I was not the first person who had asked for this author on that day in that store.   🙂

Then I was wondering, why in modern times bookstores could not run some simple program to scan all the TV programs for appearances of writers. The store could have sold at least two books more, if they would have had such a program, which told them: “Oh, you should probably order a handful of books by this and that author as he’ll appear on TV next week.”

At least, if the election is for attorneys or judges.

I wasn’t aware of this but district attorneys in the US can actually be elected. Why is this a problem? Well, imagine you’re in Texas (… that’s where a lot of problems come from …) and now imagine you can choose between an attorney, who actually wants to give a fair trial to everybody and is willing to let innocent people run free and a law-and-order kind of guy, you makes sure your prisons are always filled to the roof. (And if there’s no more space left, there’s always the electric chair … or what is the standard execution method in Texas?)

People don’t like to see long debates. They want to see actions.

Surprisingly, Craig Watkins, a black democrat, somehow managed to become the district attorney in Dallas in 2006. And, unbelievable as it may sound, he’s become famous for getting people out of jail! Innocent people that is. Like Billy Smith, who served 19 years in prison for rape until a DNA analysis finally proved his innocence. [His whole case was a set-up. Even his own lawyer was in on it and did not even call the key witness of the defense.] Probably needless to say that Billy is also black.

Yesterday, there was a very interesting report on Craig Watkins in the “Weltspiegel” Journal. It probably, just like me, is too biased in favor of Watkins (… just Google for him and you’ll find lots of people against him). But, hey, if there are white republican Texans on the one side and a black democrat attorney and innocent black “criminals” on the other side then I’m always quick to jump to foregone conclusions.

Yesterday, there was the “Nuit des Musées” here in Lausanne. As the name suggests, the museums were open until 2am. I just had two items on my list: The “Espace des Inventions” and the “Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts“.

The Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts is currently still hosting an exhibition by the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar (who surprisingly does not have a Wikipedia entry). Don’t get me wrong: I’m really ignorant when it comes to the history of art or the knowledge of contemporary artists, but there are lots of posters for this exhibition all over Lausanne. Here‘s a picture of one such specimen. Any clever political/philosophical art I certainly find appealing.

I must say that overall I was really impressed by the creativity of the things on display. Everything had a certain “aha”-effect which took a few seconds to settle in. E.g., there was a video of a clarinet player in an empty room who just makes random (and not very pleasing noises). At first I just thought “That’s pretty stupid!”. But then I realized that next to the video screen, in a not very prominent spot, there was a photograph of the same clarinet player in uniform and playing behind two soldiers which were taking cover in what appeared to be a civil war in South America. This changed my whole perspective on the video.

Most of his pieces of art had a political message and often pointed out the inhumane side of capitalism or the Western ignorance with respect to global problems in the world. The past projects on his homepage also look absolutely fascinating. I hope I’ll have a chance to see more of his work in the future.

I simply enjoy the additional warmth and buoyance provided by a wet suit. Lewis Pugh, on the other hand, swims 1 km on the Northpole to raise awareness for global warming (… as there should be a solid cap of ice, where he swam) … with just his swim shorts, a cap and his goggles. Water temperature: refreshing -1.5°C.

The fasted marathon times are held by men. The same holds for triathlons over the Ironman distance. But, if you’re honest, these things are for wusses.

Go to 5x or even 10x Ironman distances (38 km of swimming, 1800 of cycling, 421 of running) and they are all dominated by the same woman:

Astrid, you’re my new hero.  🙂


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