by JANNIS REISSIG


Another late night. And what a night at that.

It is close to midnight in Vienna as I walk on a wet, slightly uphill pavement, three piece pinstripe-suited, buttons open, hands in my pockets, strands of hair that escaped the hair tie one by one over the course of the night playing in the soft breeze of the night. I am just a cigarette away from being the embodiment of a French tobacco brand commercial.

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Around my neck I still carry the name tag that gave me access the ASE Award Dinner, as part of the planetary congress 2016[1] in Austria. On its back hastily scribbled names and email addresses. I mean what are the odds that one is working on a decentralized micro grid concept, only two short semesters away from being in need of a thesis project regarding renewable energy systems and your table host next to the Space Shuttle Captain Pamela Melroy[2] is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy for the US Energy Department Douglas Hollett – who is by the way a very forthcoming person and despite his title big on renewables.

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Bruce McCandless (second from left)

But that seems almost circumstantial when you are in a room with 104 astronauts, people who performed the executing part of incredible engineering feats on an international level. People like Bruce McCandless[3] who performed the first ever untethered spacewalk or the above mentioned Pamela Melroy who went to space thrice, once as mission leader[4]. I am myself seated next to taikonaut Kimiya Yui[5] who persists in telling me that I have to at least try to apply. I appreciate his encouragement.

The evening in general is a great encouragement. Gives you back some faith in humanity and hope for the future and the feeling that whatever it is that you are doing it can’t be that wrong since somehow you ended up here. If nothing else it finally pushed me to stop procrastinating on the relaunch of this blog. To tell some stories otherwise untold and to keep looking for what a sustainable future should look like and to write about the technical and human aspects necessary to accomplish such a vision. It might get a bit more geeky since it is much harder to write adventurous pieces when living in a nine to five society. But damn we will try. And I’m saying “we” because there will be some guest authors[6] to create a more diverse and interesting reading experience.

I kept delaying this post because I wanted to think out the whole concept for this blog with different categories etc. first. But now I’m convinced its better to develop and make that up as we go. Gives more space for input anyway. So this is it.

Its way past 1:00, the suit back on its hanger, an empty can of beer at my feet, my fingers still hammering the keyboard, huddled on the couch that I’m crashing. Those late night works seem to become a habit.


[1] http://ase2016.oewf.org/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Melroy

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_McCandless_II

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Melroy

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimiya_Yui

[6] https://highlowtech.wordpress.com/authors/

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