Saturday, 27 October 2012

A walk in the (pine) woods

The pine grove trail

Just came back from walking in Ottawa's green belt, and had to shake the last remaining ladybugs out of my hair. They are absolutely everywhere, and they seem to have taken a special liking to me - at one point there were a rough dozen clinging to my clothes.

It's a lovely day today, all warm and sunny (and it feels even warmer when thinking of all the cold weeks before), and it felt really great to wear a T-shirt, and not shirt-hoodie-coat-combination outside.

So when I saw the sun, I just had to go out and do something - and decided to try out the "pine grove forest trail. As soon as I had entered the forest, I could see why it was called such. Anyway, let's stop babbling and have a look at some pictures instead...

Love this picture - I think it looks like a painting

Pine wood

Spiders seem to love needles

Fun walking on this strange trail
Calm, calmer, Buddha
Another close-up

Dozens of ladybugs descended upon me - and my phone
If there's someone in Ottawa who now wants to walk this trail to, here's a map.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Broke? Free book


just a quick notice:
My book is free this weekend on - it's in German, but you can always try to read it anyway. Download it, tell other people, spread the news...
Thanks! :)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


There's been a tiny earthquake in the Montreal region, which, reportedly, could be felt even in Ottawa. I didn't feel anything, I was sound asleep, but when I saw all the wonderful Twitter posts, I couldn't resist writing to a few earthquake experts to find out how often things like this actually happen.
The first scientist that answered wasn't in Ottawa. She'd flown to California to do earthquake research. How ironic - she traveled 500 miles to get closer to earthquakes, and then missed the one in her home town.

Anyway, I will try to get some nice radio interviews with earthquake experts and will then publish them on here sometime. Stay posted. Don't let the big bad earthquakes get you.

Just when you thought you knew everything about busses

Canadian busses can be overwhelming.
First, they (almost) always seem to be on time, and often too early.
Then, if you want to get off, don't start for handy little buttons to press. Nope, much cooler than that - you have to pull on a yellow cord that is drawn once around the inner walls of the bus.
Thirdly (I should have made this a bullet-point list), the back doors don't open automatically (which could be an advantage during the winter to avoid having the cold draft over and over again, but could also be a disadvantage for all the unassuming tourists (and new students) that wait desperately for the doors to open by themselves. But no matter how long you wait, they won't open. Unless you press a yellow bar which at first glance resembles a holding post - but it isn't. It's soft and squischy and yellow and you can never be completely sure how hard you have to press it.
While the doors might be a slight inconvenience, the Ottawa busses make up for it by having a bike rack at the front - outside. You can just pull it down, put your bike on, and hope that the driver won't be distracted by having a dazzlingly pink bike in front of him.
Picture: STW