Monday, December 29, 2008

consequences of gay marriage

couldn't let it pass.




song chart memes
more music charts

Thursday, December 25, 2008

...and here's an online comic that will knock your socks off

I believe I've said it before --it always pays off to read Nalo Hopkinson's blog. This time it was a wonderful recommendation, the wonderful Bayou by Jeremy Love and Patrick Morgan. I like to think of it as a cross between Toni Morrison and Hayao Miyazaki, and I'm really looking forward to the second instalment. I had no idea you could read comics this good online, so Zuda, the home website in itself is quite a discovery.

I leave you with a teaser ;)



Bayou by Jeremy Love and Patrick Morgan

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

So many mistresses, so little time...




I've just finished the second season of The Tudors, and it's been exactly the same guilty pleasure as watching its first season or any season of Rome. It's great fun to see the beautiful costumes and the hyperbolic acting (John Rhys-Meyers, please cool it, will you). At the same time, however, you just want to smack them on the head with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, for all the historical inaccuracies they throw in just because. Margaret Tudor, especially, must be rolling in her grave for being merged with her sister and being portrayed like such a superficial $"·$%. As for the Atia of Rome, if there ever was such a thing as vengeful Roman ghost, I'm sure she will be there, holding a devout matronly rolling pin. (Of course, anyway, nothing will ever, ever, beat Braveheart becoming the father of Edward II for the sake of having Sophie Marceau squeezed in and having something of a happy end).

I'm not going Taliban on these people. Heck you have to film a movie or do a TV show, and I suppose nobody expects total accuracy when you have a limited budget and a limited time to stuff all the stories in. But if there is something that people like Simon Schama has proven with stuff like A History of Britain is that there are enough good stories in the history books to make such distorsions not terribly necessary. The problem, I think, is that there might be less boobs around, which seems to be the whole point of The Tudors and Rome at times. But oh well, being fun to watch as they are, all you can say is, bless Wikipedia for at least a few people in the audience will bother to check the facts out of simple curiosity, and that's good. The show becomes quite interactive that way -- at least for me. I'm becoming a complete expert on royal mistresses, who are all quite a curious bunch, what with all their ambitions, beauty (or lack thereof) and, more importantly, not giving a flying %&$%% about society's conventions. My favorite, so far, is Charles II's Nell Gwyn, if nothing else for this beautiful, beautiful scene, taken straight from the wikipedia article on her:


    Nell Gwynn was one day passing through the streets of Oxford in her coach, when the mob, mistaking her for her rival, the Duchess of Portsmouth, commenced hooting and loading her with every opprobrious epithet. Putting her head out of the coach window, "Good people", she said, smiling, "you are mistaken; I am the Protestant whore"






Oh how I wish The Tudors got spin-offed all the way to The Stuarts! In any case, I'll certainly watch the third season of The Tudors next year, even though I'll miss the great Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn --she didn't look a thing like the historical Anne but hey she definitely can act. A lot of the weight of the show fell on her shapely shoulders and I worry that the actress they've chosen for Jane Seymour -- and, well, the character of Jane Seymour itself-- will not be enough to fill the space of Anne's severed head. Unless they go on to create a completely different Jane out of nowhere (see above), or dispatch her in a couple of episodes. And on with more interesting stories, such as When Good Portraits Happen to Ugly People.


Ps. One day, I hope, someone in Spain will do The Austrias. Now that's fun stuff for at least seven seasons.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

you'd think NASA is getting some kind of publicity money from the Galactica crew...

Kara Thrace, anyone?




A 400 year old supernova captured by infrared and X-ray telescopes. This is sooooo going straight to my computer's desktop :)
NASA - A Vivid View

Ps. Yeah, I don't know how I'm going to wait another month... sigh.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

yaaayyyyyy cylons!!!

... that's how articulate I can be about this... XXDDDD

(again, don't watch unless you want spoilers)



eheeeheehhehhheee XD

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a short story of pop'era

... it started off fine with this...



the three tenors popularize the beautiful Nessun Dorma before the 1990 FIFA World Cup
(the idea was to make opera available to a larger audience, and it did. Many arias are known thanks to these three guys)

... went on with this, still making musical sense...



Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe sing Barcelona for the 1992 Olympics

(Freddie has proven he knows about opera since Bohemian Rapsody and knows how to not take himself too seriously. This is why it works)

... started going wrong with this...


Andrea Bocelli gets a career by squandering a tenor voice on corny pop songs , e.g. Vivo por Ella

(note how Marta Sanchez, an otherwise competent pop performer, suffers greatly to catch up with Bocelli. This is what happens when you get opera trained people to work/compete with pop singers and they both take it seriously)


... quickly lead to this...



Il Divo. I guess it's better than being unemployed.

(I need someone to sit down and explain this video to me. Slowly. )

... degenerated into this...



The Ten Tenors. Bee Gee Medley?????!!!!! WTF?????!!!!!

(no, it is NOT a parody. Why you need to spend all your childhood and youth studying classical music to end up performing a choreographed Bee Gees medley with 9 other guys is a mystery to me)

... and finally, we got this...


...
The Three Priests. The CD your grandma will get this Christmas.
(They seem to be taking it the religious way, so they could pull it off after all. And they are not trying to be sexy either. So I think I'll give them the benefit of the doubt)

The frightening thought is... what will we get next year??!!

... and they say the internet is killing music. Ha.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I cannot believe I haven't posted in a month.

... sigh. It's been a busy month, though... the problem is, the longer you stay away from something, the harder it gets to come back. Posting something dumb sort of doesn't do the trick. But since it's been a Very Eventful and Happy Week in global terms, I guess I can post an Onion video that made me smile a few days ago...



Obama Undertakes Presidential Internship To Ease Concerns About His Lack Of Experience


That was lovely. Especially him "sitting" right next to Ibarretxe, the leader of the Basque nationalists... priceless... I honestly hope he brings dignity and respect back to the White House. And, since he's been to Harvard, we can be pretty sure this one knows at least how to spell those words.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The T-shirt-o-meter!




I found this chart just hilarious. Cafe Press, the internet custom T-Shirt store, have decided to keep track on how their political items are selling, and well, the results are just fascinating... the only problem is that they have no way of telling apart the "for" and the "against" buttons and t-shirts, so one cannot now if what's selling is this...









or this...
Nevertheless, it's certainly the kind of thing the anthropologically curious can enjoy...


Ps. Oh that Sarah Palin... she sure is media-friendly...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul is coming

Las Viñetas de ELPAÍS.com (by Forges)

Careful with those fans... :)
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sigh... I miss bagels...

The real, New York bagels, not the cheap depressingly boring varieties we get around here....






You Are a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel



You are warm, loving, and genuinely selfless.

You enjoy comforting other people, and you easily fall into the roll of caretaker.



Of all the types, you're the most likely to be an excellent cook.

You tend to have something delicious for breakfast that you've cooked up for everyone.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yes, Palin wears Tina Fey glasses

Well, I told you so... Palin looks like Tina Fey. So I guess it was only a matter of time we got this... definitely portraits those two well...




"Can you believe it, Hillary?".................."I CANNOT!!!!!"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warning: downer.



I was there, at Loquillo's concert, last Sunday. The song is a version of a poem that has always been a favorite of mine, especially as you can see a fragment of it at the Universidad Complutense subway station. True enough, it's probably not the best thing to read at birthdays, but still great in a depressing kind of way...



NO VOLVERÉ A SER JOVEN

Que la vida iba en serio
uno lo empieza a comprender más tarde
-como todos los jóvenes, yo vine
a llevarme la vida por delante.

Dejar huella quería
y marcharme entre aplausos
-envejecer, morir, eran tan sólo
las dimensiones del teatro.

Pero ha pasado el tiempo
y la verdad desagradable asoma:
envejecer, morir,
es el único argumento de la obra.

-- Jaime Gil de Biedma.

(and here, a chance to use my translating wheels)

WON’T BE YOUNG ANYMORE

Life was in earnest –
one realizes that only later.
As with all the youngsters, I came
to take life by storm.

I wanted to leave my mark
and leave with an ovation
– to age, to die, were only
the dimensions of the theatre.

But time has gone by
and the ugly truth begins to show:
to age, to die,
is the only plot of the play.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

GASP!!! Tigh IS running for president!!!




*Waaarning!* -- follow the first link at your own risk... there's a major spoiler of Galactica's season 3/4 there. And you definitely don't want that spoiler. Really. You don't. So if you haven't seen the 3rd season finale , just don't it. Don't. Seriously.


Tigh selects Roslin , via Vayatele




Although, me myself thought first of my beloved Tina Fey when I saw Palin... sigh... and the people at Time Magazine thought she resembled "a classier, older, made-better-life-choices Britney Spears." I guess she has a common face. Or maybe it's the glasses. Which, I guess, will end up having me hearing I look like her. Too....
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

How do you solve student violence?

... you go OK Corral on them!!!

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started," he wrote on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's web site.

Mr Thweatt [the superintendent] said he believed the school's proximity to a large, busy motorway could make it a target.



BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Guns for Texas school's teachers


Well at least the teachers are taking crisis management training!

Now, seriously. A few things worry me about this article:

1) parents apparently did NOT object (?)
2) being close to a motorway makes it a target (last time I checked, most of the school shootings were done by students, not truckers, but hey...)
3) I'm getting flashes of that Boston Public pilot when the man fires a gun to make the kids go silent... pity I can't find the video on youtube anymore because it was priceless...

Bottom line is, you don't really want teachers with guns. I have some friends that have joked about giving us tasers ;) but jokes apart, teaching is stressful enough without having firearms involved. Jn just 5 seconds, I get a few scenarios based on the fact that so far neither students nor teachers have become flawless cyborgs:

a) teacher gets really really pissed, fires at ceiling (see Boston Public above)
b) teacher argues with spouse, comes pissed, gets even more pissed at trucker at the motorway (see upper above), gets to class gets totally pissed, student becomes rowdy, teacher yells, student becomes abusive, teacher loses it, student gets shot.
c) student argues with parent, gets pissed, argues with teacher, teacher yells, student steals gun from teacher, uses gun.
d) teacher accidentally fires gun
e) student accidentally fires gun
f) bullets accidentally end up at chemistry lab. Hilarity ensues. Explosion follows.

I'm sure TV watchers worldwide could go on thinking scenarios around this. I'm just very surprised that Superintendent Thweatt didn't seem to be able to.


Now, how about some "Let's work around why we love violence so much we can't think outside the barrel" workshops???

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Monday, August 4, 2008

The future of TV? (pointless ruminating while driving mode)

Well, this is what happens every summer. Too much free time, too much reading (on and offline), too many good TV shows and the next thing you know, I'm driving back from my ex-home thinking about my favorite pastime, what if scenarios. The what if of today was:

- what if people stop watching traditional TV altogether?

Because, I'm not sure about what happens elsewhere, but here in Spain watching traditional TV means not only endless commercials but also *years* of delay with respect to US or UK broadcasts, jumping showtimes and, did I mention endless endless endllllllllesssss commercials. Me, I'm about to give up. Fast forward a few years later, and if media companies don't get cracking or do something close to terror tactics, I'm afraid we're all going to be downloading stuff, legally, alegally or illegally.

So the question is, will that mean no more TV shows, no more films, no more music? I was ruminating on these terms when suddenly it dawned on me -- what if, what if instead of buying the product after it is done, audiences gave a sort of economic vote of confidence to an author, musician or company to produce or record X, Y or Z? If you think about how some products such as Firefly cause such a fan movement to revive a particular show, I wonder if individuals would not be willing to "fund" future shows or musicians or even film companies, the same way that politicians get funding. Particularly if they are faced with an "either this or nothing" scenario. This would also possibly imply more micromanagement and a different source of promotion, but we already have the tools: youtube, myspace...

This is possibly just rambling, but hey, I've been speaking about the prices of houses falling down for years and nobody listened... well, whatever, you can call me Cassandra. But if I'm right, in ten years time I'll proudly wave this post in the air. HA.




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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And so, space exploration became interesting again...

I link to the digg news because the comments are so much more fun than the news themselves...

Digg - Lake of Petroleum-Like Liquid Confirmed on Titan's Surface
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

you know you live in science-fictional times... (or at least kafkaesque) when...

Ok so this is how teaching positions in the public system get handed out.

First you do this exam that consists of two parts, one of theoretical knowledge and the other of so-called "practical" fake-a-lesson knowledge.

After that, they check all sorts of elements in your CV that they believe are relevant, e.g. work experience, random courses, whether you have been an elite sportsman (true) or can speak Chinese and prove it (true).

All this is minced and blended and you get a mark with four decimals.

With that mark on their hands, they put you on a list and round you up in this high school auditorium at 10 am and keep you there for 7 hours while each of the people on the list choose from different positions neatly arranged in a similar numbered list.

Same again for next year...

... and the next...
... and the next...

... and the next...
... and the next...



...sigh. I'm tired...







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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I LOVE Catherine Tate!!!!

I knew Catherine Tate only as a Doctor Who sidekick, but her own show is just brilliant... and heck, this sketch is just soooo much like real life to me (oh that Lauren!!!)... XD



(you might need a transcript but just read the comments and it will all come to you...)



Ps. Celebrating that, once more, I did NOT get a full time position at the teacher exams this year... the Return of the Sub!!!
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

I can't sleep 'coz I'm a mutant!

A new genetic mutation found in flies can cause 80% less sleep than
normal flies, forcing the flies to get by with much less sleep.
"Sleepless" Mutation Found Responsible for Sleeplessness

You know, that makes a lot more sense than much of what I've been reading about sleeplessness lately. It's certainly a wonderful excuse for the typical question of "but, why are you insomniac? your life isn't that bad!"

Ok, so the mutation is for flies, but hey, most of our genome is the same as theirs... besides... there's always the classic teleportation problems ;-)




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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Depressing fact of the day

According to La Lista Wip these are the most quoted people online (times quoted between brackets)


1
George W Bush

293.334.362
2
Barack Obama

153.086.957
3
Britney Spears

95.317.590
4
Paris Hilton

82.990.831
5
Bill Gates

74.436.260


Now, what are the professions of the only two women on the list? Argh.


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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

dedicated to ME for FINALLY FINISHING the exams XD ...wew.

Lol... Robbie Williams, Queen, Heath Ledger... What's not to like here XD



YouTube - Robbie Williams - We are the champions

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I just *love* the chorus of this song :D

... aaah the things you find running around the net...



Aaron Neville | Everybody Plays The Fool



(r. clark, j.r. bailey, k. williams)

Ok, so your heart is broken
Youre sitting around mopin, mopin, mopin, cryin, cryin
You say youre even thinking about dying
Well, before you do anything rash, baby, listen to this

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
Theres no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I aint lying
Everybody plays the fool

Fallin in love is such an easy thing to do
But theres no guarantee that the one you love, is gonna love you
Oh, loving eyes they cannot see a certain person could never be
Love runs deeper than any ocean, it clouds youre mind with emotion

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
Theres no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I aint lying
Everybody plays the fool

How can you help it, when the music starts to play
And your ability to reason, is swept away
Oh, heaven on earth is all you see, youre out of touch with reality
And now you cry, but when you do, next time around someone cries for you

Hey, everybody plays the fool, sometime
Use your heart just like a tool, listen baby
They never tell you so in school, I wanna say it again,
Everybody plays the fool

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
Theres no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I aint lying
Everybody plays the fool

Every plays the fool, sometime
Theres no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I wanna say it again
Everybody plays the fool


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The anthropology of soccer

Ok, so I'm not a football person. Never been. I've been known to fall asleep and sit with my back against the TV set during terribly exciting matches, and even though I've had periods when I really wished and tried to like the King of Sports (as we call it over here), well. Can't help it. Yawn.

However, the guys at the bar next door are making me switch to the Spain-Russia match. It's a very entertaining orchestra of ARRRs; OOOOAAHs; UUUUUYs and YEAAAAAAHs so they sort of spark my curiosity. They did the same last Sunday, when the penalties came up and I just couldn't resist to see what the enthusiasm was about. Which was nice, because I got to see the historical last two penalties: the one that Fabregas managed to score and the one that Casillas managed to keep from scoring. I think it was the first time in my life when football actually moved me. After all, that was history --we haven't been beyond quarter finals in something like twenty years.

The thing is, I think I enjoy more listening to people's reactions to football than the whole affair of having to watch it. Especially after a guy on the radio today has brought further insight, when he said that football is so exciting because it contains the most important aspects of ancestral hunting -- throwing and catching. Certainly listening to the guys next door one can definitely imagine that Cro-magnons hunting for mammoths ten thousand years ago must have sounded exactly the same. And I don't mean this in a bad way -- it's just the anthropologist in me being a nerd, and wishing I liked football. And catching mammoths.

Me! Catch! Beast! Now!

Ps. Keeping in line with my anthropology theory, somebody has just marked his territory the primeval way. By pissing. On my door.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PEGGY, PEGGY!!!!

Yaaay!!!

Maybe I'll finally be able to speak about Margaret Atwood in Spain without getting blank stares... she's one the most important arts and literature prize Spain can give to a foreigner. Bonus: she'll probably come to get it. I don't think I'll do the crazy-fan thing and go yell at her in Oviedo, but hopefully she'll take a detour and come to Madrid ;)

MARGARET ATWOOD, PRINCE OF ASTURIAS AWARD LAUREATE FOR LETTERS

And, taking advantage of the hype, I leave you with a repost of one of my favorite clips of Margaret being herself... if you click on the video you can finish the interview on youtube...



STATEMENT BY MARGARET ATWOOD, AFTER BEING BESTOWED WITH THE 2008 PRINCE OF ASTURIAS AWARD FOR LETTERS
25-June-2008
"I am thrilled and honoured to have been awarded this highly important prize. The Prince of Asturias Awards are not only a great tribute to literature, the humanities, and the sciences, but also to the universal project of building a sane, human society".Margaret AtwoodToronto, 25th June 2008





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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm a crocodile

A sad, bored crocodile....




You Are a Crocodile



You are incredibly wise and knowledgeable.

In fact, your wisdom is so deep that it sometimes consumes you.



People are intrigued by you, but you find few people intriguing.

You are not a very social creature.



You are cunning. You enjoy deceiving people a little. (?)

You are able to find balance in your life, and you can survive anything.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh, Amy...

I feel very very regretful about this. I somehow managed to see her live, brilliant an apparently sober at the Festival of Benicassim last year, and heck was it memorable. I just hope we get the chance to see her in full shape again one day.

Singer Amy Winehouse has lung damage and irregular heart beat, says her father - International Herald Tribune
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Monday, June 16, 2008

the defeatist idea chain

particularly dedicated to those who can't make out my facebook updates...

  •  there's no way i can memorize all this c%·&
  •  and, anyway, i'm sure to get one of the topics i'm not memorizing at the exam
  •  besides, no matter what i do, it won't make a difference because i don't have enough experience points to get above the competition
  •  furthermore, i can't memorize all this c%·&
  • and, anyway, i'm sure to get one of the topics i'm not memorizing at the exam
  •  besides, no matter what i do, it won't make a difference because i don't have enough experience points to get above the competition
  •  furthermore, i can't memorize all this c%·&
  • and, anyway, i'm sure to get one of the topics i'm not memorizing at the exam
  •  besides, no matter what i do, it won't make a difference because i don't have enough experience points to get above the competition
  •  furthermore, i can't memorize all this c%·&
  • and, anyway, i'm sure to get one of the topics i'm not memorizing at the exam
  •  besides, no matter what i do, it won't make a difference because i don't have enough experience points to get above the competition
  •  furthermore, i can't memorize all this c%·&
  • and, anyway, i'm sure to get one of the topics i'm not memorizing at the exam
  •  besides, no matter what i do, it won't make a difference because i don't have enough experience points to get above the competition
  •  furthermore, i can't memorize all this c%·&
  • ... and so on, and so forth, until Friday (and beyond...?)
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Case in point...

Meanwhile, a big Republican defeat in November is quite likely to result in a very nasty isolationist turn inside the opposition party. The neoconservatives - those bad guys who believe that the US should spend blood and treasure trying to bring democracy to the great unwashed - will be discredited. President Obama could find himself under pressure from both parties in Congress to put US interests first.
Europe will miss George Bush when he's not around | Gerard Baker - Times Online

Most of all on the big issues — Iran, climate change, trade - he says that there has been convergence between the US and European governments in the past four years. He seems frustrated that America is not given more credit for its good works, dismissing polls that show he in particular — and the US in general — are viewed in Europe as “a force for evil”.He says: “I don't buy into that theory. America is a force for good. America is a force for liberty. America is a force to fight disease. We've got the largest HIV/Aids initiative in the history of the world. We've got a malaria initiative that's saving babies.”
President George Bush starts talking language of a dove - Times Online


Oh
, that a British journalist thinks we all are ungrateful idiots and will regret not having a boss/daddy/Superman in charge. Oh well, Kipling does live on...
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You may think we got over Victorian times. Think again

Studying, studying, studying... I stumbled upon Wikipedia's transcript of Rudyard Kipling's The White Man's Burden, which I've always found a gem of obtuseness. What I did not expect is that there were, soon enough, anti-imperialist replies to the poem. So much for "he received the Nobel Prize because at the time people didn't know better". Apparently, some people did know better, just not the Nobel prize committee. What annoys me the most, is how damn familiar this whole frame of thinking is, even today, just substitute the "ports" and "roads" with, er, "democracy"...


The White Man's Burden (1899)

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to naught.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

The White Man's Burden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




(With apologies to Rudyard KiplingTake up the White Man’s burden.)

Send forth your sturdy kin,
And load them down with Bibles
And cannon-balls and gin.
Throw in a few diseases
To spread the tropic climes,
For there the healthy niggers
Are quite behind the times.
And don’t forget the factories.
On those benighted shores
They have no cheerful iron mills,
Nor eke department stores.
They never work twelve hours a day
And live in strange content,
Altho they never have to pay
A single sou of rent.
Take up the White Man’s burden,
And teach the Philippines
What interest and taxes are
And what a mortgage means.
Give them electrocution chairs,
And prisons, too, galore,
And if they seem inclined to kick,
Then spill their heathen gore.
They need our labor question, too,
And politics and fraud—
We’ve made a pretty mess at home,
Let’s make a mess abroad.
And let us ever humbly pray
The Lord of Hosts may deign
To stir our feeble memories
Lest we forget—the Maine.
Take up the White’s Man’s burden.
To you who thus succeedIn civilizing savage hordes,
They owe a debt, indeed;
Concessions, pensions, salaries,
And privilege and right—
With outstretched hands you raised to bless
Grab everything in sight.
Take up the White Man’s burden
And if you write in verse,
Flatter your nation’s vices
And strive to make them worse.
Then learn that if with pious words
You ornament each phrase,
In a world of canting hypocrites
This kind of business pays.

Source: Ernest Crosby, “The Real White Man’s Burden,” Swords and Ploughshares (New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1902), 32–35.
Crosby on Kipling: A Parody of "The White Man's Burden"

The Brown Man's Burden,
By Henry Labouchère

Truth (London); reprinted in Literary Digest 18 (Feb. 25, 1899).
Pile on the brown man's burden
To gratify your greed;
Go, clear away the "niggers"
Who progress would impede;
Be very stern, for truly
'Tis useless to be mild
With new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden;
And, if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old-fashioned reasons
With Maxims up to date.
With shells and dumdum bullets
A hundred times made plain
The brown man's loss must ever
Imply the white man's gain.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden,
compel him to be free;
Let all your manifestoes
Reek with philanthropy.
And if with heathen folly
He dares your will dispute,
Then, in the name of freedom,
Don't hesitate to shoot.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden,
And if his cry be sore,
That surely need not irk you--
Ye've driven slaves before.
Seize on his ports and pastures,
The fields his people tread;
Go make from them your living,
And mark them with his dead.
 
Pile on the brown man's burden,
And through the world proclaim
That ye are Freedom's agent--
There's no more paying game!
And, should your own past history
Straight in your teeth be thrown,
Retort that independence
Is good for whites alone.
The Brown Man's Burden, by Henry Labouchere


Ps. Heart of Darkness was written exactly on the same year than Kipling's poem.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

quotable quotes on King Kong

[Remedial class of 11 fourteen-going-on-16-year olds. We're watching King Kong]




Student A. "Oh, teacher, this is like Titanic but with a big monkey"
Student B. "What? are they going to crash into the monkey?"




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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

When dystopia gets to real life, well...

... it ends on the humor pages of the New York Times. Kinda.

I just loved it...

Homage to Catalonia - Laugh Lines - Humor - New York Times Blog
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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Imagine...


.... that all the stupid time I spend memorizing crap for the competitive exams I spend, instead, on actually learning to become a better teacher, preparing materials or, well, having a life...























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Monday, May 26, 2008

This was simply too funny...

I. Simply. Love. The. Onion. Always sooo accurately insane...







"There is nothing that says women can't experience the manifold of crippling defeats life has to offer," said Elizabeth Mooney, a 46-year-old career counselor. "A woman shouldn't feel as though she has to forfeit her chances of raising three disappointing children with a man she doesn't love simply because she chose to squander the best years of her life working as a career counselor."
Report: Women Increasingly Choosing Dead-End Careers Over Dead-End Relationships | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

How not to sell anything to women.

   I'm a regular user of Netvibes, which is for me one of the greatest inventions ever --I haven't used any other RSS readers so I can't really compare the experience, but heck when you have a good thing you don't think of changing it, do you?? Anyway, one of the feeds I have on my/their site is their own blog, because I'm a nerd like that. so when I got the newest post I first got a bit suspicious, then clicked on it, got really mad, then read the comments and had a fit of giggles. Apparently the postmistress or whatever you may call her didn't realize there *are* a lot of female geeks out there who don't exactly feel represented by bubbly statements like these:

 "You can also have a look at Popsugar personal space on which you'll be able to find many exciting items to install on your page! From cooking to fashion or gossips, only and exclusively for girls!"


 = uh uhhhhh yay I'm a twelve year old Stepford wife!!! (popsugar???!!!! POPSUGAR???!!!!!)

And what about "exclusively for girls"???? guys don't cook, gossip or, er, get dressed???!!!

Dear FSM. Well at least as I said the reaction on the comments is, well, priceless...

... and now that we're at it. I want a widget on the weather  "exclusively for girls". And another on Galactica. Like, now.

This way girls ! - Netvibes.com Blog

   What (grown) women want. From internet.It seems.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In 10 seconds, guess which one of these two pictures belong in fiction







... curious how, sometimes, life goes much faster than movie scripts... take that, Sarah Jessica Parker!!

ps. that is the UGLIEST wedding dress in world's history.
ps2. yes, I guess I'll watch the movie, sometime.

Spanish defense minister begins maternity leave - International Herald Tribune


Spain's Pregnant Defense Minister - TIME


Handicapping Sex and the City - TIME
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's the chromosomes, stupid!

... If I had to go for Hillary just because she's a woman, I guess I should have gone for Maggie Tatcher in the 80s as well.... Ok so I am not American so I don't get to vote in these elections, and I am not British and I was a baby when Thatcher got elected, but you get my point. I think...





(...) [Ellen] Malcolm even wrote an op-ed declaring that Clinton herself had a "responsibility" to stay in the race. She owed it to all women to prove that she wasn't a quitter. The sentiment echoed Clinton's own comments on the stump, her declaration that "I am not a quitter. I do not give up."These rousing displays of fortitude , however, don't necessarily suggest a positive message for women. Clinton's vow, in particular, moved Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick to ask what it means if feminism is "the inability to concede error or defeat — even in light of irrefutable, empirical evidence and in the face of spiraling support and tanking morale."
The Feminist Divide Over Obama - TIME
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Friday, May 16, 2008

What a nice suburban story... not.

When I hear about things like these, it becomes less and less difficult to understand how some kids grow up into the ·%$"%" they become.  I suppose you can get all sensationalist and blame the Internet, or Myspace, when the truth is that the mother that created the hoax has the ethics of a vulture on cocaine. It's just appalling to think that an adult would think it's "ok" to bully a 13-year-old kid, but hey, she had "reasons"!!

MySpace hoax victim’s kin seek justice - TODAY: People - TODAYshow.com
The parents of a 13-year-old Missouri girl who hanged herself after a failed MySpace romance — later uncovered as a hoax — say they have yet to receive an apology from the family they blame for their daughter’s death.

“They’ve absolutely offered no apologies,” Ron Meier told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer on Monday. “They sent us a letter in the mail, basically saying that they might feel a little bit of responsibility, but they don’t feel no guilt or remorse or anything for what they did.”

(...) After the two girls had a falling out, the mother invented a 16-year-old boy, “Josh Evans,” created a MySpace account for him, and made Megan believe he was new in town and thought she was cool. (...)And then the boy turned on Megan, leading a campaign of vilification and online name-calling that ended when Megan took her own life.

 
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

On Israeli writing

This article confirms both my belief that Israel is an utopian project and my belief that all utopias are dystopias about to explode. It gives a great overview of Israeli writing and how there *is* an undercurrent in Israeli society that is critical of the state's foundational imaginary. Definitely worth checking out.


Chroniclers of pain | Review | guardian.co.uk Books
All nations, as Ernest Renan famously stated, rely on forgetting or historical error (which is why, he adds, progress in historical knowledge can threaten national identity). They rely on stories that have to be forged out of a retreating past, reworking memory as they go. In the case of Israel, we could say that forgetting became a matter of survival and denial a way of life.
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's a bit like 1947's 'Doom"




what a fine example of filmic experimentation gone seriously wrong (well, just like  'Doom' )

Maybe they should use these shots to do the videogame. It really shouldn't be much work...


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Saturday, May 3, 2008

saturday night live


... been studying for three days straight. Stuck Up North so I guess it's Babylon 5 for me tonight, as Saturday TV s-u-c-k-s.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

make-a-society

A friend of a friend is on her way to becoming an artist and had one of her first exhibitions yesterday. It was quite an interesting little thing that mixed consummerism and dictatorships. One of the things that struck me at the exhibition is this website, that allows you to play nation-builder for a while, deciding how much freedom, services, etc. your citizens will have. The results may surprise you :)

DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
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Monday, April 21, 2008

I HATE ANTS!!!!


One of the "advantages" of living on a ground floor next to the mountains is the ability to enjoy a wide variety of wildlife. As in spiders, flies, and more recently, Ants. I've sprayed ant killer and applied salt liberally in every bloody corner of my not terribly large appartment/studio/matchbox, but to no avail. And yes, I clean. A lot. And yes, I throw the garbage out, thankverymuch.

Today has been particularly enjoyable as I found the lovely little creatures dancing near the place where I prepare the food. I've followed them right to their apparent source (right behind the drier), sprayed more useless ant-kliller, mopped, hoovered and put the drier back there.

Fortunately my mum has remembered there are some ant trap that apparently sends poison to every corner of the ant hole and kills the Queen. So I've proceeded to the shopping mall to acquire it. Well, that and a cartload of a dozen other things I needed.

And so, after an hour and a half of intensive grocery shopping I come back home and the internet is not working. I've checked all the cables (my god, have the ants eaten them this weekend?), and they were fine. I've unplugged, reseted the computer, ASKED VISTA TO RUN A DIAGNOSIS (not that I hoped it would help), and finally, figured out the problem. The phone connection is also behind the drier. In my zeal to get rid of the beasties I've disconnected the phone line.

I hate to think of the poor little ants going back to their holes and killing their queen, but then again... no I don't. I'm not a Buddhist and the $%& things almost ruin my internet connection. GO TRAP!!!

PS. In other news, it seems to have snowed in the mountains this weekend. That and the squall clouds have made them look just gorgeous. See, it's not all bad Up North.

PS2. Everything itches now. I know it's psychological, but, ugh.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Aimé Césaire, Martinique Poet and Politician, Dies at 94 - New York Times

After my walk of shame about not reading Clarke and Diaz's last novel, at  least I can say I have read and loved Césaire since I was a student of Caribbean poetry with Colin Nicholson at Edinburgh way back in 2000. I'm very grateful for Nicholson for putting him and other Caribbean poets on my way, and I will never forget the first time I eagerly struggled with Cahier d'un retour au pays natal in the bilingual French-English (my French sucked, my English wasn't great). I go back to that poem every now and then, and always find new things to enjoy.


Aimé Césaire, Martinique Poet and Politician, Dies at 94 - New York Times

Amazon.com: Notebook of a Return to the Native Land (Wesleyan Poetry): Aime Cesaire,Annette Smith,Clayton Eshleman: Books
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another book I've been meaning to read...

... is  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I'm reading close to nothing this year, so, unsurprisingly, this has not yet been... well... even bought.

I've already read Drown, Diaz's collection of short stories, and well, I wasn't exactly thrilled in spite of the good reviews, but I really like the concept between the novel -- a young man who wants to become the Dominican JRR Tolkien. Not to mention how close it gets to what my thesis is about. And now, Diaz gets the Pulitzer -- this goes straight to the summer reading list.


'This Dominican kid from New Jersey' wins a Pulitzer | News | guardian.co.uk Books
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

you know you live in science fictional times when....

-- a friend shows you THIS




yes, it's a cellphone --with benefits that make the iPhone look like a quaint appliance from Captain Kirk's ... nano%·$&·$%technology!!!! nano%·$&·$%technology!!!!



Nokia - The Morph concept

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Friday, March 28, 2008

The kids are (not) allright

All over the world, teenagers give their parents headaches. Why are the migraines induced by British kids felt across a whole society? Part of the reason may be that parents aren't always around to help socialize their children — or even just to show them affection. Compared to other cultures, British kids are less integrated into the adult world and spend more time with peers. Add to the mix a class structure that impedes social mobility and an education system that rewards the advantaged, and some children are bound to be left in the cold [...]

A study in 2000 by the OECD found that British parents spend less time with their children compared to other nationalities, leaving them more open to influence from their peers and a commercially driven, celebrity-obsessed media.
Britain's Mean Streets - TIME



This is becoming more and more common over here with Spanish kids as well. And the reason is, again the same. Kids simply DO NOT spend time with their parents, mostly because both their father and their mother spend a ridiculous amount of time working. In Spain, it is common to start work at 9 and not come back until 8 or 9 pm. The idea of "conciliation" (of work and family life) is a pretty new and often considered "softy-liberal-utopian bs".

The article also talks about guess-what... yes. Ratios. Again. But neeever mind... you won't hear any politician talking about that, at least not in my country. Go figure. Maybe we'll have to wait until kids start bringing guns to school here as well.


So, continue blaming the TV, the videogames and the teachers. Because they're the ones that are raising the kids.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Everybody say OSCAR WILDE!!!!

...otherwise, VICTORIAN, VICTORIAN!!! Funny as Sebastian Horsley is all about that precisely, so I guess it all goes full circle.

Ah the US and its interesting "crimes"... (the amused bolds are all mine)

"I'd been planning the go the US for six months," he told the Guardian yesterday. "I had got to the airport in full dandy regalia - top hat, long velvet coat, velvet scarf. One concession to their Ivy League sensibilities was that I had taken off my nail polish. When I put my finger in the scanner, they took me aside and interrogated me for eight hours."

Horsley said he had a previous conviction in the US for possession of amphetamine sulphate but assumed it had expired. However, his book did not do him any favours with the immigration officers.

"They said ... they knew I had been a crack addict, a heroin addict and a prostitute," he said.

"The good news was that they'd read the book - but the bad news was they'd read the book, and I was deported for my notoriety and for being an alien convicted of a crime involving 'moral turpitude'."



Moral failure bars dandy from US | News | guardian.co.uk Books
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Great Pretender

Two of my friends have decided to live together after just a year of dating and have adopted three cats. Three.
I can't even think of adopting a cat. I don't even know where I'll be living next year.
Going back home, the radio comes up with This.

Freddie Mercury – The Great Pretender – Música en Last.fm


Ugh.
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Plate tectonics is super-cool

When I was a kid, I got this great book on Alfred Wegener, and  since then I've thought the story of the continental drift one of the most fascinating tales ever. Seriously, try telling the story to the kid next door. They'll love it.

And the story gets cooler. The article comes with a great animation of Gondwana splitting into pieces, which is just awesome.

Supercontinent was too heavy to hold - earth - 21 March 2008 - New Scientist Environment
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Operation Chaos!

Hark! Rush Limbaugh is asking his Republican listeners to go out and register as Democrats and vote for Hillary Clinton -- which he has dubbed Operation Chaos. Once more, American politics prove Fact is stranger than Fiction...


"I want our party to win. I want the Democrats to lose," Limbaugh said. "They're in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It is fascinating to watch. And it's all going to stop if Hillary loses."
Can GOP Voters Spoil the Dem Race? - TIME
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke died last night

Suddenly I feel guilty as I have been meaning to read him for a long while, but never got around to do so.
Looking around Wikipedia I found this priceless video of his (last) 90th birthday (can't be embedded)
YouTube - Sir Arthur C Clarke 90th Birthday reflections

The collected quotes he's got on wikiquotes are also pretty good, but of course, I'd have to keep this one:

Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be!

Electronic Tutors (1980)

Fortunately, most teachers can't ☺


I also liked the following:


If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative


The Exploration of Space
(1951), p. 111


Which allows me to seamlessly proceed to cheer at

Google Shoots For The Moon - Forbes.com

"[...]One bold ambition of the project: using lunar materials to make solar
power collectors that can generate carbon-free energy, which is then
transmitted to the Earth. [...]"

When Internet Moguls decide to go to the Moon, anything is possible... I think Clarke would like that.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

...and happy St. Patrick's everyone ^_^

I just couldn't resist...

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Olga doesn't have a clue

I am olga, I am from Russia. Moscow.
I am dreaming to find my real man. Maybe this is you? What do you think
about it? Please, write me a reply here:

mailto:olga@b*******s.com

olga


Sunday, March 16, 2008

I've been meaning to post this for a while...

... and finally, I CAN!! (I have high-speed on weekends, I have high speed on weekends, I have high speed on weekends... )



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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mhm. Someone should import this to Madrid

   


They drive me nuts. Especially the ones with expensive cars. One of these days, I'll go to cafepress.com and get a sticker that says "you bought an Audi, not the F$·%" road"

Just wait and see.
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Things I *can* do

1. finally, use Flock at my Up North computer... for some reason I couldn't install the previous version, but this one is working just fine oh joy.

2. This means I can blog instantly about anything whenever, without the fuss of logging in and out of blogger. This sort of thing is highly appreciated on 56k.

3. Thanks to my new wireless keyboard, type stuff while sitting on the sofa or while cooking pasta in the kitchen. Seriously. It's really cool. And, of course, watch episode after episode of Babylon 5 using my mouse as a remote control. Heee heee heee
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh, my, where has science fiction gone...

I've spent this weekend at the V Fantastic Film Festival of the SciFi Channel Spain. It's been fun but a bit disheartening as most of what I've seen didn't qualify at all as sf, or even fantasy. I got thrillers, yakuza films and a lot of crazy people living in real-life paradigms. One wonders if the people that organized the festival thought that "fantastic" meant "really good" I mean, we got Untraceable!!!!. Oh well.

More disheartening news, the title of this article by The Guardian...

Clarke prize moves beyond sci-fi | News | guardian.co.uk Books

... fortunately once you read the article through you find out that they're exaggerating a bit. And mind you, this is the award Margaret Atwood got for The Handmaid's Tale, so that another dystopia gets the award shouldn't raise many eyebrows... anyway.


Ps. Finally I've downloaded Flock at the Up North computer. Maybe it is a Totally Subjective appreciation, but I think internet goes faster with it. Hm.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Things I can't do

Today marks the fourth week my mother embarked in home renovations one more time after the Big Fat Renovation of two years ago. The main consequence of this wall banging floor tearing is that I'm completely out of a high-speed connection. Meaning, this is the fourth week I can't:



-- navigate all those quaint Facebook applications, download pictures from my email or read any RSS feeds without getting grey hairs in the process
-- listen to Last.fm
-- watch Youtube videos



I'M GETTING COLD TURKEY. I EFFING MEAN IT.
--------

Ps. I've driven for 10 minutes with the door of the back seat of my car open, until a cute little girl and her dad have warned me. This proves two things:
1) There are still nice drivers out there
2) I'm getting dumber by the minute.