Vin Crosbie's Personal Blog

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The Canaries for the Holidays

As usual this time of year, Emma and I are spending December and January at our home in her native Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the most populous (380,000) city in Spain’s Canary Islands. Although we’ve been here a few days, I am still jetlagged!

Fast Landing in the Canaries

A 45-second timelapse of the final five minutes of flight into Gran Canaria’s Gondo Airport (LPA).

Returned to Eastern Connecticut


NEARLY FOUR DECADES AFTER I LEFT, I have returned to my native land. A region the U.S. National Park Service has designated ‘The Last Green Valley’. It is a roughly 20-mile (32 km) swath of forests that extend from the Atlantic salt waters of Long Island Sound, north through eastern Connecticut, and into parts of central Massachusetts. In nighttime satellite photos of the 250-mile (400 km) wide American megalopolis stretching from Washington, D.C., to Boston, this regional appears dark because it is the only undeveloped region amid that 50-million person megalopolis. It is the watershed of Connecticut’s Thames River and it consists of 1,100 square miles, 77 percent of which is simply forest.

I was born in Willimantic (population 15,000), the fourth-largest of the region’s 35 towns. I left this region in 1983 for a larger world, but last week moved from that world into tiny Taftville (pop. 7,000), a half hour downriver from my birthplace. There my wife and I have a three-bedroom duplex in a converted mill overlooking a lake and very wide waterfall. When this mill was built in 1866,, it was the largest (430,000-square-feet/40,000 m2) thread mill in the world for several years. My Irish great-grandparents each emigrated here during the 1880s, met and married. She worked in the mill; he on the railroad that serviced it. I now live in that mill.

My wife and I live part of each in the United States and the other part of the year in her native city (population: 380,000) in Spain’s Canary Islands. A three-bedroom duplex in a converted mill overlooking rural Shetucket Falls here in eastern Connecticut costs less than a studio apartment would have in the New York City suburb of Stamford, Connecticut, where my wife and I were living. Moreover, our new place lacks the four-figure monthly commons/homeowners charge that we have been paying where we had been living at what before February had been known as Trump Parc Stamford.

Our view of Shetucket Falls
Our Brick Village was built during the 1870s and features its own hydro-electric power generating system.

World Media Economics & Management Conference (Postponed until 2023!)

UPDATE: Due to the COVID situation in South Korea, this conference has been rescheduled until 2023.

I spoke at the World Media Economics & Management Conference this year in Rome, and am looking forward to next year’s conference, which will be held in Seoul [7-minute conference preview video].

The paper I presented in Rome explains what have already begun superseding Mass Media as the predominant means by which people obtain news, entertainment, and other information, as the Industrial Era wanes and the Informational Era dawns. The peer-reviewed Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability published the paper two weeks ago.

Volcano Erupts in My Wife’s Native Islands

In the south of La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Island of La Palma, a volcano has erupted between two village in Cumbre Vieja national park. Elsewhere in the Canary Islands is the sites of Spain’s highest point, the dormant volcano Teide (3,715-meter or12,188-foot), which is also the highest point along the Atlantic Ocean. Off El Hierro island, an undersea volcano has been erupting during recent years. And the island of Lanzarote is the site of more than 30 extinct or dormant volcanoes (as well as a restaurant that use a volcanic vent to grills meat).

Flying into Lisbon (4K video)

FOR MY FRIENDS WHO ARE ‘ARMCHAIR’ TRAVELERS and need a scenic, seven-minute breaks. Although the weather in this video is so perfect that it looks more like a Microsoft Flight Simulator artificial view than reality, it is the actual view outside the window of seat 1A while TAP Air Portugal’s Flight #1117 makes its final descent into Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado international airport.

It starts with a view of the Atlantic Ocean and the ‘Portuguese Riveria’ where the resort towns of Cascais and Estoril are located, with the Sintra Mountains in the background. Then the mouth of the Tagus River (Portuguese: Rio Tejo) appears as the aircraft steadily descends. At the 1:45 mark, the 16th Century Belém Tower (Portuguese: Torre de Belém) monuments rises above the northern bank of the river, with the Jerónimos Monastery (Portuguese: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) two blocks behind it. The flight path then passes over the heavily-forested Monsanto Forest Park (Portuguese: Parque Florestal de Monsanto) at the center of the city. I regret that this descent doesn’t the old parts of this ancient city, only the new parts of the Portuguese metropolis. The airliner lands at the four-minute mark, then taxis to the airport terminal.

If you ever have the chance, visit Lisbon. It is a lovely, charming city, full of friendly people, history, and excellent cuisine. I’ve loved it ever since my first visit in 1970.

Tiempo en Las Canarias

I’m spending most of this month in my wife’s native Canary Islands, doing videography for a project she and I are undertaking later this year. Most of the past weeks have involved shooting ‘B-roll’, which are short background scenes designed to be used beneath narration or other contents. This is an example from a farm in the highlands of Gran Canaria island.

This is the Hubble Space Telescope’s photograph of Arp 195, the collision of three galaxies.

The Outrageous Increase in Sheepskin Costs

I cannot justify the increased costs of a U.S. college education during the past 40 years. Although the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that although the overall costs of everything in the United States increased by 236 percent (i.e., inflation) between 1980 to 2000, the average costs of a U.S. college education increased by 1200 percent: five-times more than inflation. Yet has the education received increased five times as much? I very much doubt so.