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Columbia South Carolina

 

As already mentioned Columbia is the State capital and second largest city in South Carolina.  But we were only staying one night and it was Saturday.  The markets had taken over the down-town area so we went for a wander.  The town was pleasant but our combined memory is more of the comfortable Home Towne Suites out on Columbiana Dr and the nearby shopping mall that provided food than of the City itself.

 


Saturday Markets Columbia - Click on this picture to see Meet Your Cremator and more
 

Most of the stalls were selling local produce like honey, cheese or jam.  A number had handcrafts. 

But the most innovative was Meet Your Cremator.  This guy is a ceramic artist who makes personalised ceramic mugs that are caricatures of the client.  He was chatting up some potential clients so I could only go by what he was saying to them. As far as I could work out he takes their photograph and possibly makes a sketch of what they might expect, then during the week in his studio/pottery he crafts a mug of their 'mug' and brings it back next week. They're a sort of modern Toby Jug.

It seemed to have a lot of downsides.  Did they trust him enough to pay upfront?  And if so what if they hated the thing?  If not, does he trust them to turn up next week?  Has he got a shed full of unsellable mugs?  And how many people want a ceramic caricature of themselves anyway? 

It was the stall's name that initially caught my attention. It seemed to suggest a change of business direction.  Did he start out making crematory urns?  I can see why that might've been an even harder sell than personalised mugs: 'It's the latest thing: an amusing caricature of your loved one to keep their ashes in... Got a photo of your mum on you?' 

 

 

 


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Travel

Balkans

 

 

In September 2019 we left Turkey by air, to continue our trip north along the Adriatic, in the Balkans, to Austria, with a brief side trip to Bratislava in Slovakia. 

'The Balkans' is a geo-political construct named after the Balkan Peninsula between the Adriatic and the Black Sea.

According to most geographers the 'Balkans' encompasses the modern countries of Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Greece; Kosovo; Montenegro; North Macedonia; Serbia; and Slovenia. Some also include Romania. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Writer

 

 

The fellow sitting beside me slammed his book closed and sat looking pensive. 

The bus was approaching Cremorne junction.  I like the M30.  It starts where I get on so I’m assured of a seat and it goes all the way to Sydenham in the inner West, past Sydney University.  Part of the trip is particularly scenic, approaching and crossing the Harbour Bridge.  We’d be in The City soon.

My fellow passenger sat there just staring blankly into space.  I was intrigued.   So I asked what he had been reading that evoked such deep thought.  He smiled broadly, aroused from his reverie.  “Oh it’s just Inferno the latest Dan Brown,” he said.   

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Opinions and Philosophy

Carbon Capture and Storage (original)

(Carbon Sequestration)

 

 

 


Carbon Sequestration Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

At the present state of technological development in NSW we have few (perhaps no) alternatives to burning coal.  But there is a fundamental issue with the proposed underground sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a means of reducing the impact of coal burning on the atmosphere. This is the same issue that plagues the whole current energy debate.  It is the issue of scale. 

Disposal of liquid CO2: underground; below the seabed; in depleted oil or gas reservoirs; or in deep saline aquifers is technically possible and is already practiced in some oil fields to improve oil extraction.  But the scale required for meaningful sequestration of coal sourced carbon dioxide is an enormous engineering and environmental challenge of quite a different magnitude. 

It is one thing to land a man on the Moon; it is another to relocate the Great Pyramid (of Cheops) there.

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