Me And The Galapagos

For a city girl who has had little exposure to nature, this trip was an eye opener. Of course, I have been exposed to other national parks, museums and zoos. I also watch nature shows on TV and in the movies, visited farms, ranches, and read National Geographic and travel magazines.

This was different. Hanging out with Naturalists for a week, and spending time with bird watchers, hikers, wildlife lovers and people who truly care about the Earth, was refreshing and inspiring. I should have done this decades ago.

People in their 50’s to late 70’s came from all over the world to make this trip. We made friends from South Africa, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Seattle, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. It was amazing for me to see women my age easily hiking over the giant boulders and lava rocks. Younger folks wore flip flops. I needed a walking stick and Eliot’s arm not to break my neck.

Suddenly, I realized what I missed out on and what I can’t do on my own. My girl friend Marcia recommended Yoga for better balancing techniques and stronger physical capabilities. Whitney gifted us a series two years ago. We loved it but stopped for a number of meaningless reasons. There is too much living to do. Yoga here we come. We strongly recommend this trip to anyone who really wants to feel close to the Earth and examine how they actually fit in.

Turtle poop.

Ecuador Interrupted

If you are reading this post, it’s because we still do not have enough Internet in the Galapagos. C’Est las Vie. We should be fine by tomorrow.

The following are photos by Eliot Hess, which will be distributed to the press and collectors this week. I’m showing them to you first.

A Collection of Croatia and Slovenia Photos,

Croatia and Slovenia are a reminder of what the French and Italian rivieras looked like decades ago. The two countries are situated along the picturesque Adriatic Sea at the intersection of the Balkans and Europe. Without a lot of fanfare, you get to soak up the charming seaside towns, the breathtaking topography, and the romantic colors of the lakes and waterfalls. It’s one of the few times, you can truly experience an uncluttered lifestyle.

Guess The Dish

The meal preparations and designs have been so elaborate in a number of restaurants we visited in Quito the last few days, we didn’t know what we were eating at times. I wanted you to guess the dish. Good luck. Anyone who gets all nine right, wins the new and very innovative Waterpik device being introduced May 15th. You will never brush the same way. Have fun!

An Over The Top Lunch In Quito

Did you ever get your appetizer served in a music box. This was totally decadent.

I prepared this blog just in case I don’t have Internet on the boat in the Galapagos. Someone else is posting for me. We had quite a lunch at Le Mirage. Tomorrow I will try to post the meal. You will have a difficult time identify each dish, I’m awarding a nice prize for the person who can guess all. Till then…

Visiting The Center Of The World

Look at us. It’s Howard, me, Rene, and Eliot at the Equator. We really had a lot of fun experiencing this milestone. Tomorrow we are leaving for the Galapagos. We may not have Internet on the boat starting tomorrow, through Monday morning. It will probably be very spotty. If anyone can manage to get on, it will be me. This might be the first time in almost six years that you will not be getting a daily DigiDame. Enjoy your vacation.

This is the Intiñan Museum in Quito. The museum studies the equatorial zone from a scientific point of view. It explores the sociological, political, cultural and communal aspects of the people living in what is often referred to as the Center of the World. The Intiñan Museum has developed into an attraction that is both entertaining and educational.

The museum features a number of interactive exhibits demonstrating events that occur only on the equator. These include the complex Coriolis Effect, as well as simple, but effective and entertaining, demonstrations such as water going down a drain with no whirlpool,

Watch my video which demonstrates the water pouring straight down on the equator, clockwise on the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise on the Southern Hemisphere.

Watch us try to walk down on a straight line directly on the equator. It was impossible. Each hemisphere was pulling us at the same time.

We got our passports stamped in the center of the world. That was very special.

Till next time.

Debbie Nigro Show

Click here to hear my girl friend, Debbie Nigro, interview Marion Ross on her Internet and radio show. It’s a remarkable piece. Thank you Debbie for allowing me to share this with DigiDame readers. Debbie has quite a following. You will soon see why.

Arrived in Quito, Ecuador

We are traveling with Rene and Howard. They arranged the entire trip. We opted in. First stop Quito, then the Galapagos. This trip is going to be very adventurous. We are at 9,000 feet above sea level in Quito, and the four of us don’t feel a thing. So far, so good. We hope we do as well on the boat taking us from island to island, in the Galapagos, which we fly to on Thursday.

Today was a fun day. We did what every tourist does on the first day in a new city, eat, shop, and take photos. I did a little damage at the market at Otavalo. These are the vendors I made rich.

The following photos are dedicated to my friend Bob Risse who taught me to appreciate the entrances (doors) to homes, offices and retail shops around the world. Rich or poor. many folks place emphasis on curb appeal. The following are the doors I found in Otavalo.

The view from our room in Quito.

Peacocks in love

This Airplane Is on Steroids

Stratolaunch’s First Taxi Test

I just heard about the largest airplane ever to be built. They say it will be ready later this year, but I don’t know that for a fact. You can ask Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who is financing it, or Google its name, the mighty “Stratolaunch.” You might find out more information than I know.

I asked several tech friends for information and did some Googling myself. I was astonished to find out that the aircraft is so big that it requires two cockpits and six jet engines to fly.

This big bird is probably being designed for commercial use because its wingspan is longer than a football field. It measures 385 feet and reportedly will be used to transport rockets carrying satellites and astronauts into Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Last summer, billionaire Allen revealed the visionary firm’s ambitious plans for the giant record-breaking aircraft.

Allen told the Washington Post, “I would love to see us have a full reusable system and have weekly, if not more often, airport-style, repeatable operations going.”

When asked about the possibility of manned missions, Allen added: “If you caught the bug back in the Mercury era, of course, it’s in the back of your mind.

“But I think you’re seeing right now, other than [space station] resupply missions, most spaceflights are about launching satellites. That’s the reality.”

As well as sending cargo to space, the plane could be used to launch a secretive shuttle-size rocket codenamed “Black Ice.”

Right now the Stratolaunch is being tested in every conceivable way.

Allen plans to release more details about the functions and services in the near future.

For more information, read The Independent.”

Amazon Wants It All

This morning, I received a text from my friends who are meeting Eliot and I in Quito, Ecuador tomorrow. They are in the mountains and visited the Amazon today.

I decided to look up exactly where they were so I googled “Amazon.” I actually had to scroll way down to find the Amazon “jungle” or the Amazon “rain forest”. I finally had to resort to inserting the words “jungle” and “rain forest” in search to get what I was looking for.

The other Amazon, the Jeff Bezos kind, is not only overtaking Google, but the world as well. It has become our everything. It has taken over cloud services, voice assistants, publishing, and self-serving brick-and-mortar stores.

Now I hear that Amazon is getting into fashion. They want to change our whole approach to buying clothes. To some extent they already have. Now they want their own brands. They already own other fashion companies including Zappos, but that’s not good enough.

Coresight Research claims 14 per cent of what Amazon sells is their own product. Amazon now is going after the remaining 86 per cent dominated by third parties. They are going to spice things up with major fashion concepts and trends. It’s not good enough to be the largest apparel retailer. Amazon wants their own designed clothes on the cover of Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire.

In case you are wondering, the Amazon “rainforest” is located in nine different countries with 60 per cent in Brazil. The balance is Peru, Columbia, Ecuador. Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

Read more about Amazon moving into fine apparel in Tech Crunch.


Using Twitter to Predict Presidential Popularity

My brilliant tech friend from Washington DC, Gary Arlen, shared this story with me from the Tech Policy Institute. I thought you would find it very interesting.

Is it possible to gauge American’s sentiment towards President Trump through the number of “likes” of his tweets?

Washington, DC – Can the number of “likes” of President Trump’s tweets offer any insight into his overall approval rating?

TPI’s President and Senior Fellow Scott Wallsten recently analyzed this topic in detail. The results show a distinct and meaningful correlation between the number of “likes” of President Trump’s tweets and his poll numbers.

Dr. Wallsten’s research and its implications mean that determining the number of “likes” might serve as an accurate, real-time snapshot of how Americans feel about President Trump.

According to the research, “every thousand “likes” correlates to about 0.02 percent decrease in his disapproval ratings and 0.015 percent increase in his approval ratings. These are meaningful magnitudes given that 87,000 likes per tweet on average.” A full copy of the report can be found here:


We spotted Venus tonight from our balcony in Miami Beach. Bright and bold, staring right at us. Eliot wanted a better look so he open his SkyView App and zeroed right in.