Sunday, September 27, 2009


I haven't been listening to that much new music lately, because I've suddenly been overwhelmed with the obligation to extract more information about places, events, and peoples that are transpiring right now or have transpired at some point in the past, all around the world. Congruencies, unexpected links, surprising transparencies, dreamlike absurdities and mystifying successes and creations -- there are so many events running parallel to us right now, it's baffling. And that doesn't even include all that's to be learned from events in the past that help elucidate what built up to what is happening right now. I have to get started fast. For instance, instead of listening to music on long bus rides, I've been listening to nonfiction books and documentary podcasts from the BBC or elsewhere that I've loaded up on my ipod.

I once used to fairly compulsively compile a list of various facts and news items that bothered me about the world. I called it "The End of Humanity." I guess due to the narrow focus on negative and tragically humorous entries, my disenchantment with the list was inevitable. But I think now I can return to collecting various pieces of information in a more balanced way, and then distributing a few of them that fit perfectly under the auspices of Permanent Citrus.

Photos: Jaap Berk of The Netherlands

A few decades ago Libya started working on a project called the Great Manmade River. The project is overseen by a group with the really odd sounding name: The Great Manmade River Authority. Below parts of the Saharan Desert in Libya they found water trapped deep in the underlying strata. The water is said to have been trapped there during the last ice age. Depending on the underground pocket, the water is 7000 to 38000 years old. And up on the surface is one the top 10 driest places on the planet. So underway is potentially the world's largest irrigation project, and the largest network of underground pipes and aqueducts. Libyan leader Gaddafi calls the project the "8th wonder of the world." The supply of water trapped in the underlying strata is estimated to last anywhere from 100 to 1000 years. But, wow, think of the ruins that will be left behind once the water is used up! This could be the unintentional foundation for a vast Saharan subway system or highway. Great way to get around the dunes while avoiding the heat. Maybe longest underground inner-tubing event in history?


sg said...

where are these images from? i have got to know!

.db. said...

They were made by Jaap Berk of the Netherlands sometime between 1988 and 1989.

sg said...

that one photo with the shirt over his head reminded me of andy for some reason- really great images.