Curious on the way

700 kilogrammes

is the weight of a leatherback sea turtle. Moving a load like that on land is quite difficult, which is why this marine mammal spends most of its time on the high seas. There it is in motion day and night: the females go on land only to deposit their eggs.

Source: «Reisen ohne Rast und Ruh», FAZ online, 6.5.2003

How today’s man travels

Gone are the days of bulging pockets in men’s trousers, where wallet, key chain and mobile phone all once fought for space. Why? Handbags are back in fashion. Inconspicuous, supersized, turquoise or even red, and with a neck strap, of course. Good news for women, who now have their own handbags all to themselves.

Source: «Brustbeutel: Geld um den Hals», ZEITmagazin No. 34/2019

Car sharing in Japanese style

The spread of car sharing is bringing new ideas on car use to Japan. Ideas that have little to do with mobility, however. The cars are being used in unusual ways, for example as air-conditioned sites for picnics complete with packed lunches. Some like to use these vehicles as places for quick naps, whilst others deposit luggage or shopping bags in the hired cars when no lockers are available nearby. The stationary cars are even being used as comfortable charging stations for mobile devices, private mini-offices or as meeting places for personal conversations. The large GPS displays make tempting television screens.

Source: “Was man mit einem geliehenen Auto auch noch tun kann», NZZ online, 24.7.2019

A nut on the move

The peanut plant grows towards the sun, flowering above ground, but maturing its fruits in the dark soil below. After the flower falls off, the “peg” grows downwards into the soil where the peanut will mature and ultimately be harvested.


Let others be mobile

Garden eels anchor their lower bodies to the ocean floor, making them the only marine vertebrates with a sedentary lifestyle. They allow their heads to protrude from the ground in order to find food, waving to and fro to snap up passing zooplankton.

Source: Wikipedia

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Henry Ford

“Generation E” versus “Petrol Heads”

According to a study by the Nuremberg-based market research firm puls Marktforschung, interest in electric cars is rising steadily. About 41 per cent of those surveyed could imagine buying an EV (electric vehicle). In contrast to those who use conventional drive forms (“petrol heads”), proponents of e-vehicles (Generation E) are younger by four years, with an average age of 44. They are more food-conscious and belong to the so-called visionary milieu, taking part in discussions about the future – not only about mobility, but also societal issues as a whole.

Source: “Umfrage zur Elektromobilität”,, 27.9.2018

A pack mule on two wheels

In Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nearly everything is transported from A to B by chukudu, a robust wooden contraption that resembles a kick scooter. It doesn’t have a motor, and so is powered purely by muscle. Each year, Goma hosts the Formula 1 racing competition for chukudu drivers. Alexis Claude Giovanni has won the race so many times that a monument has been erected in his honour. Giovanni dreams of developing a new type of chukudu – one equipped with a motor.

Sources: “Kongo: Die rasenden Roller”, Das, 14.7.2019

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