Why I left the Swiss CFA Society

Good bye CFA

Until October 2012 I was a CFA charter holder and regular member of the Swiss CFA Society. After reading an article about Indonesia (as booming economy!!!) in a CFA magazine I definitely decided to resign from the society and informed the society accordingly. I won’t use the CFA designation any more. My reasons can be [...]

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Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Jared Diamond

Did you know that great Indian civilizations like Maya and Anasazi went down primarily due to environmental disasters like erosion and aridity? Did you know that the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, such a creative and influential society, collapsed due to the salinization of the soil? Did you know that improper irrigation practices brought at least one [...]

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Impressions from my Bolivia journey in 2007, part 1

Hot water lake in Robore, Bolivia

Impressions from my Bolivia journey in January 2007, organized by the retired Swiss biologist Robert Guggenbühl. Our travel group consisted of botanists, nature lovers and some passionate aquarium hobbyists. Passing from places like St Cruz, Robore, Trinidad, Magdalena and Bella Vista the primary purpose of this journey was observing, filming and photographing the rich habitats [...]

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Take clean-tech one step further: A self-sufficient life style

Self-Sufficient Life And How To Live It from John Seymour

What is cleantech? Cleantech in the narrow sense includes green technologies like: Renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels) Green buildings Energy efficient and low emission transportation Biomaterials like bioplastic Water filtration With cleantech in the narrow sense one still means manmade technologies. For example solar panels, photovoltaic (PV) modules, high efficiency heat pumps and so [...]

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Indoor plants for water purification and nitrate reduction in aquariums

Umbrella papyrus (Cyperus alternifolius) in a lowtech natural aquarium (see biotope in my room)

Ecology of the Planted Aquarium written by Diana Walstad is one of the books which inspired me most for low-tech natural aquariums. Diana Walstad explains why emergent plants are better water purifiers than the submerged water plants as follows (in chapter 9, the aerial advantage): In comparison to fully submerged plants, emergent plants are characterized [...]

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Wild form angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

Columbian angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

As a student in Turkey I was every time taken aback when I read in aquarium books and magazines that angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) was one of the most popular aquarium fish. All the selective-bred angelfish races I saw in aquarium shops like the smoke angelfish, white sailfins, triple colors and so on, looked so sluggish, [...]

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A pair of peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) guarding their eggs in Bella Vista, Bolivia (video)

Male peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) seen from the underwater camera

In January of 2007, I joined a three-week expedition in the Beni region of Bolivia which was organized by the Swiss biologist Robert Guggenbühl. It was rainy season in Bolivia. Water levels had risen 6 meters or more. A pair of peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) on the river shore in Bella Vista (Rio Baures) was [...]

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Biotope in my study, a low-tech natural aquarium

Bitope in my study. A low-tech natural aquarium

Like natural garden ponds this aquarium has no filter, no heater, no artificial light, no electrical equipment at all. It is a silent aquarium, a piece of real tranquility. It receives natural sunlight directly from the window. The temperature may drop to 16°C in winter, and rise up to 28°C in summer, but no problem; [...]

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Improving well-being through mind manipulation: Motorboats versus sailboats

Original 5-level hierarchy of needs from Maslow

The bottom line of this article is very simple: “Make the most of what you already have”. Nothing new, nothing extraordinary, just what the common sense says. You may see on the left side the famous five-level hierarchy of needs from Maslow. This hierarchy is after 1990s further extended to include transcendence, helping others to [...]

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Open source Web Content Management Systems: Why I chose Drupal

Bilyap Aquaristic

Last year (2008), I decided to migrate our somewhat antiquated Turkish aquarium site www.bilyap.com.tr onto a decent content management system, and started to investigate well-known open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) like Joomla!, WordPress and Drupal. I am a proficient programmer and an experienced content organizer. I wrote web applications like forums, membership systems and even [...]

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Renewable energy resources for beginners

Renewables in electricity production,  IEA 2004

You are maybe an economist, a financial analyst, or an engineer, or simply a layman interested in renewable energy. You think you need a solid overview but you don’t know where to start. I don’t know what’s the best way to start, but I can tell you how I started and got deeper and deeper [...]

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Difference between neoclassical and ecological economics

Neoclassical model for economy & environment

Assume you are living in a small village located at the shore of a beautiful lake. Your village’s main source of sustenance is fishery. You, like your fellow villagers, live a simple but happy life. You don’t have luxury cars, high-end music sets or swimming pools, but you have your close friends and relatives, and [...]

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Aqua-Fish Fair 2009, Friedrichshafen (video)

Discus with youngs

You may watch below my impressions from the annual AquaFish Fair for aquarium hobbyists in Friedrichshafen, Germany (see Aqua-Fisch Messe Friedrichshafen). My spontaneous narration in Turkish with subtitles in English. Aqua-Fish Fair 2009 March, Part 1 Content in chronological order: Quick tour, assassin snails (Anentome helena), dwarf shrimps (Neocaridina sp.), dwarf crayfish (Cambarellus sp.), discus [...]

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Is evolution a kind of creation?

Evolution of whales. Source: www.edwardtbabinski.us/whales/

There are lots of hefty discussions about the Darwinian evolution and the biblical creation story in the forum on www.richarddawkins.net which I regularly visit. Scientific minds and biologists usually harbor no doubts about evolution whereas religious minds tend to hate this theory. Both parties however seem to accept that creation in the biblical sense must [...]

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My aquariums at home (July 2009)

Community aquarium in our living room

I have at the moment four aquariums; one in the living room, three in the study. All of them are quite large aquariums with 200 liters or more water capacity. 1) Community aquarium in the living room (160x60x60 cm) This is a somewhat overcrowded community aquarium with variety of relatively peaceful cichlids like Colombian angelfish [...]

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