Archives for category: running

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Support your local farmer, and consider your global fellow human beings. Nutritious food and clean water should be a basic human right across the globe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/world/europe/amid-bugs-hail-floods-and-bacteria-italian-olives-take-a-beating.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/world/asia/superbugs-kill-indias-babies-and-pose-an-overseas-threat.html

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Enjoy your tea and remember, to keep enjoying all this goodness, take care of your soil everyday, and celebrate TERRA MADRE day, on December 10!

http://www.slowfood.com/terramadreday/

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New York Times, September 17, 2014 “Sit Less, Live Longer?”

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This is a very nice historic village, the main village of what used to be Shermereiland (Schermer island). situated between two lakes, De Schermer and De Beemster. Before it was pumped dry this area used to thrive on whaling. What I learned today is that there is a difference between a polder and a droogmakerij. Given that this region was marshland below sea level, a polder is created when this land is pumped dry. A droogmakerij on the other hand is a lake that is pumped dry, and in this case the land that was thus created by pumping De Schermer and De Beemster, was lower than the surrounding land. All designed and supervised by Leeghwater.

I pick up some maps and information at the local tourist information and plan to run the walking route that circles the former Schermer eiland, renamed as Eilands polder. Running in this land is not the most exciting, but it is green and because very few people are walking, the trails over the dykes are quite nice. When I get FIVE windmills within my Field of View, I start to warm up to Leeghwater’s land, also helped by warmth of the sun.

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The Dutch are very proud of the geometric design of this land and this is also mentioned as outstanding universal value in the UNESCO description. From an engineering perspective this system of windmills and canals is impressive, however, in the back of my mind I think the Mesoamerican cities served as prototypes or at least inspiration. The Dutch however seem to have appropriated the geometric STIJL as part of their character.

What may be more innovative about this project is how it was funded. Wealthy merchants from Amsterdam invested in this project and after completion each of them received a piece of agricultural lands based on the proportion of their investment, based on proto- crowd funding.

When I get to Schermerhorn I really want some food, but there is no grocery store, no other choice than to keep running. It is not that far, less than 10, but when I get to De Rijp I’m thinking food and fail to watch the uneven bricks in the road, I trip and make a slider. This is not even downhill! Where such thing usually happen. Oh well, story of my life, you fall, get back up, check your wounds, and keep running…. The bike ride back was sunny and dry, with fluffy clouds in the sky.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/NL/

http://www.landvanleeghwater.nl/

http://www.molendatabase.nl/nederland/

 

 

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Support Runners

http://www.tierranativa.org/en/index.php

http://www.carlyleobserver.com/article/20140718/CARLYLE0101/307189990/-1/carlyle/lance-runners-honoured-as-north-american-indigenous-games-are-set-to

http://borderlinesblog.blogspot.nl/2013/06/the-tarahumara-arent-running.html

 

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http://edepot.wur.nl/110211

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http://www.veluwezoom.nl/informatie/kidsengezinnen/index.php

Following the trail I run along a fantastic dune formation, where a crow is perched on a dead tree nearby. Running is such a great way to take in the sounds, smells, and sights, with heightened senses. Not only is this my perception, but it is also likely that your senses may benefit in other ways. A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience reported that running and exercise potentially affect retinal health, in other words, running means seeing better longer. The research was discussed in an article in the New York Times, (march 26, 2014) under the title, “Exercising for Healthier Eyes.” EXERCISE YOUR SENSES can thus be done in multiple ways!

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https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebied/de-veluwe

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Maybe to be expected, but not selected on purpose, the farms I have worked at so far have mostly been run or led by women. In Japan (Okinawa) for instance, the network of farming women is characterized by a sharing of labor, products, produce and socializing. In Italy, it is a little different but the solidarity principle is underpinning a large organization of “Donne in Campo.” (www.donneincampo.it)

The work done by all these women is crucial for future food security (see report “Smallholders, food security, and the environment” IFAD, UNEP 2013). Yet, farmers and women are described by Raj Patel in his book “The Value of Nothing” as two groups whose work is in general the least valued in our current economic system.

http://rajpatel.org/

SUPPORT SUSTAINABILITY – FORWARD – FARMERS / FEMALES

landscape

P.S. incredible view on my run this morning…

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My running objective today is to go to Macerata Feltria to visit the Pitinum Thermae, getting in ‘touch’ with the local water sources. The name of both the town and the Terme refer to its Roman past. The Terme in Macerate Feltria takes its water from the natural sulfur spring.

In general, I love public baths, especially when build around a natural water source or completely in natural setting. My favorites so far include Jemez springs, New Mexico, kulttuurisauna in Helsinki, where you plunge in the Baltic Sea to cool off, and the tidal hot springs of Yakushima that are incredible!

I pack my things and am ready to go. Silvia told me it is about 8km, but It includes running up the next high hill and I hope I can run back after bathing. I underestimate myself. It takes me less than 45 minutes to get there and I spent about the same time in the pools. One is a hot sulfur Jacuzzi, and the other a cooler herbal ‘bubble’ bath for the legs. It is interesting that in mainland Europe many of these baths are frequented by older or injured people, as part of the health system. I enjoy the hot sulfur, and the old ladies, and finish my time with some herbal water to invigorate the legs.

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It is still early, I have a coffee and decide to run to the next body of water, the artificial lake of Mercatale (Lago di Mercatale), where I hope to have my lunch break, an maybe another dip. I cross the dam and get on the unpaved road along the lake, but there is no place to reach the lake. The boat dock/recreation area is still under construction. Lunch will have to be up in Sassocovare. I climb up, have another coffee, my banana, some frutta secca and enjoy the view from a park bench under a tree, overlooking the lake.

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Time to return, I follow the valley road to Bronzo and run back to ‘my hill.” It is hot and finish my water.

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http://osservatorioastronomico.org/osservatorio/

Today I run in the direction of the observatory and decide to circle Monte San Lorenzo over the top. A moderate run because I have to work in the field later in the day. Sun, no clouds, but the temperature is not too high and part of the road is shaded.

Beyond the observatory the dirt road turns into a single-track trail, I can’t run too fast because I get entangled in the blackberry bush. I hear small animals and keep my eyes on the track. This year there are many snakes around, we find a lot of eggs in the crocus field, but I think the rustling sounds are mainly made by the small, beautifully green, lizards.

I get back on a bigger road; turn of here and there on some dead end roads in the Adriatic direction to enjoy the view. I think to myself that it is actually hard to get lost because there are so many viewpoints to do some mental triangulation. Famous last words.Slide15

 

 

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I pass Ca’Secco, run up hill to where the road connects at a sharp angle to the paved road. I keep running but now downhill. I know this is not right; I had planned to circle Monte San Lorenzo on the top. Running down hill is so nice so I indulge. When I almost reach a big river, Torrente Conca, I stop. I can’t remember if there is another way back to my ‘nest’ if I continue along the river. I turn around and run back up the hill, a gently slope, nice running, and a lot of cyclists on this road. Now I’m headed in the right direction, running down from San Lorenzo. A short, but very enjoyable run.

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my track today…

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In my current location, agricultural machines yes, church bells no. I know that a nearby place, CA’ Antonio, that I frequent on my daily run has a bell, but it is not in use. I even miss the rooster. The neighbors have chickens but lay their eggs without a ‘man’. Significantly rural…I am told to stay in after dark to avoid encounters with the animals, wolves, boars, and badgers, but I can listen to them…

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From ‘my high nest’ in the Montefeltro area, with rounded hills, and hilltops that are sparsely dotted with farmhouses and hamlets, I take of for a moderate length run. No road is flat, many slope steeply and the coolness of the early morning quickly changes to hot and humid conditions on most days. Fortunately, today is overcast with a forecast of thunderstorm, still humid, but pleasant to run, up or down.

Montefeltro I now realize is named after Federico da Montefeltro , who was condottieri     of this region and Duke of Urbino and known for his contributions to art and literature driven by his humanist education. He was also ‘immortalized’ by Pierro della Francesca, a fantastic Italian Renaissance double portrait (diptych) of the duke and duchess of Urbino (1465-1472), currently in the Uffizi museum in Florence.

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It is Sunday and I pass the first bell in CA’Antonio. I pass fields of wheat and clover, the latter is used as a rotation crop. This is small-scale (mainly non-organic) farming. Tractors yes, but this landscape is not suitable for industrial size operations using turbines. Not really competitive. I am told that a nearby farm changed its production from dairy to meat, because of the changing rules and regulations, made milk, yoghurt and cheese a losing business. While eating less meat would be better for the environment and more sustainable in the long run.

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I continue and I see a bell tower on a hill, take a detour and try to find a road but the only way up is through the wild flowers. It is a nice chapel, but apparently no longer in use. I walk around and spot the bell with a rope attached, I am tempted but restrain myself. I this area deserting? (Later I am told that in the first half of the twentieth century this region used to be a prosperous sulphur mining area, one of the biggest in Europe.)

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Then I see another sign, this one of modernization, a sign to direct you to an online bike shop. If ever you wondered where online businesses are located, not in the cloud necessarily, you can check out possibilities in the Marche region

After a few wrong turns where the road ends at a deserted house, I think I see another tower that may have a bell. I decide to run down to check it out. No bell, but a monument restored with EU funds, and no way to get in or get close to the entrance.

I run back up and continue the path, reach the valley road that leads to the main road to Bronzo. I hear rustling sounds of a considerable size animal along the way and hope it is a deer and not a boar. I reach Bronzo and there is a church with a car parked in front, I am hopeful.

I take a break, walk around the church and wait a bit. LUCK, the churchbell rings! I wait a bit longer, but the sound of the bell does not stir any activity in the community.

Then an older guy in t-shirt, shorts and slippers comes out of the church, locks the door behind him and drives of in his fiat panda. After that I hear some more bells ringing in nearby locations.

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I turn around and run back along the valley road, I still hear distant sounds of bells while running. Maybe the bells only ring on Sunday…I return to the farm and am welcomed by the familiar sound of Small Agricultural Machine. No rain yet. Get as much work done before it starts…

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For now I don’t use any electronic assistance during my runs, instead I rely on my senses, accidental human encounters, a simple tourist map with hiking trails and road signage. In this way I hope to get a better insight in how we can use future technologies to enhance these kind of experiences. Meanwhile, the road up gets steeper and steeper and every now and then I pause to catch my breath and enjoy the sight and sound of the running and falling water from the mountainside and along the riverbed.

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Watching out for signs along the road I never see the sign that points the trail back in the direction of Sant Orsola, but reading the landscape, noticing the changing vegetation, I’m beginning to suspect that I am already beyond that point. I run further uphill, I don’t want to go back down to check.

Then I run into some guys who are checking the water pumps, they are not from the area and cannot tell me where I am exactly, but they assure me that if I run a little further there is a road toward the main road to Sant Orsola. A little further I ask a farmer, who knows. He answers me in German and I realize I am in different territory, in Palú del Fersina. It is beautiful; fresh and cool mountain air. I can take some other hiking trails back, just a little bit more climbing.

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I run up to Sontbisen and look forward to run down through the forest, but I am in for a surprise. The path apparently is not used a lot, it is full of weeds and last night’s rain made it more into a stream than a path, I slide and wade down before the path improves. Then beautiful Anish Kapoor-like sculptures of green moss line the path.

On reaching another diversion I stay on the downhill path, even though there is no sign to give me any idea this is the right direction. Luckily I run into a forest guide with his shepherd dog. He tells me to continue and go left to take the paved road when I cross the stream. At the cross-road there is actually another forest trail that will take me to Sant Orsola. Yes! Running downhill on soft forest soil!

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In Sant Orsola I enjoy some yogurt con frutti di bosco and a coffee before I run my last stretch, mostly downhill, the last part straight up to the farm. My shoes never became dry.

 

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https://archive.org/details/grigianovelle00musiuoft

Does Lack of Representativeness also Mean Lack of Historicity?- Robert Musil and His Work ‘Grigia’, A  “Microhistorical” Short Story, Andrea Vitali, 2014, Procedia 116

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